The sophomore release from Singaporean-French duo Cravism X Maya Diegel, the Caryatid EP is a romance of sound which quite simply seduced these punk ignited ears. The release is a soulful collection of songs cast in a fusion of R&B, Lo-Fi, Chill and Indie Pop; a sunrise of craft and temptation and a seductive sunset of beauty.
The project is the creation of Paris hailing vocalist/songwriter Maya Diegel and Singapore bred producer Cravism, the pair meeting several years ago in Cornwall after he played a set at the local university, one Maya was watching and “fell in love with.” That meeting led to collaboration and subsequently the album Vibes, vol. 2. The Caryatid EP is their second outing together and a captivation we can only highly recommend.
From the moment It’s Okay opens the release, ears were instinctively drawn. An initial melody with its quaint almost nostalgic twang proving a potent coaxing to which Maya’s instantly magnetic tones added greater tempting. Swiftly the senses were drawn into the subsequent caress of emotive reflection and melodic radiance as a hint of discord echoing the edge of heart felt tempestuousness being reassured by the lyrical hug.
It is an enthralling start masterfully backed by the EP’s title track, its jazzy scenery and smoky breath around a soulfully chilled if emotionally tested heart compelling. In many ways the track is an intoxicating siren yet it has an organic drama and tension which added emotional rawness before Ladies Night brought its noir lit seduction to spark the imagination. As the music is a rainbow of warmth and invention so too are Maya’s tones, a multi-flavoured and styled affair for the senses, indeed together the template for all songs within Caryatid.
Hard Shoes epitomises both compelling aspects, the resourceful beauty of vocals and the matching elegance and intimation of the sounds cradling Maya’s instinctive enterprise. From its opening crystaline glistening, a dawning which alone ensnared, the track grows into a body manipulating pop song, its livelier joyful gait and gentle swing quickly persuasive and soon after inescapably addictive. With a reassuring hand on the shoulder and a caress for inner hope and joy in a moment of shadows and doubt, the song is superb, reason alone to check out the whole encounter.
The EP is concluded by Change Your Mind, a track nurtured in a maze of flavours and textures honed into a kaleidoscope of emotive honesty and graceful enterprise brought with instinctive drama and fertile imagination.
And that is the Caryatid EP, a treat of sound which often is akin to a fusion of Erykah Badu, Asa, and Seratones whilst setting out its own individual personality and temptation and one revitalising pleasure in dark and bright times.
The Caryatid EP is out now via Komplex Recordings.
Pete RingMaster 10/11/2021
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