On her latest single “Lights”, Senne sings quietly, warmly, over small ensemble playing together with indie band, Blue Ribbon that is classy, hinted at more explorations and administering rhythms, emotions and mood with eloquent elegance. The song is not just a jazz-flavored track; it is a track whose roots are in jazz, showing Senne to be not just a good writer, player and vocalist with loose-limbed phrasing to match the cafe-au-lait tone, but a fine assembler of her talent. Senne’s voice is one of a small number that can appeal to many different groups of people. It has a contemporary attitude mixed with the consistency and flavor of a retro croon.
While she makes no use of dive-bomb solos or heart-wrenching screams on “Lights”, Senne’s voice can be considered one of the more captivating ones around. It’s original and mellow and fits in perfectly with the atmosphere, she herself, and the accompanying band, Blue Ribbon, creates for her.
Deep resonant bass, steady drums, snugly shimmering keys and warm, glistening guitar lines make up the resplendent backdrop to her appealing vocal melody. Overall “Lights” is a very cool mellow record, full of romance and mystery while remaining a cozy wholesome organism all in its own as it changes to a quicker tempo in mid-song.
Senne is blessed with a great voice, a distinctive and beautifully frayed alto that sounds hip and vulnerable, cool and polished all at once. The subtle textures of her singing come through clearly on “Lights”, and the soundstage is wide with fair depth.
The music is very well engineered and doesn’t carry the torch of so many modern recordings that are over-compressed and lifeless. This recording puts Senne right in front of you, centered in the sound and very clear. The instruments play in different areas in the sound spectrum and are all very well represented too.
“Lights” is smooth and silky, delivered by an incredibly beautiful lady, both physically and soulfully. Her rich intelligent tones linger long after the song has ended. Its tender message is articulated with deliberation, timing and a soft emotion that never degenerates into the sentimental.
Some music I love for its energy and novelty, but they don’t necessarily possess high repeat-listenability as does this; high praise indeed. Whatever goal Senne was trying to accomplish with her songwriting, she has gotten across to me.
MORE ABOUT: Senne began as the solo project of Durham based singer-songwriter Karima, who arrived on the local music scene in early 2016 with an unexpected blend of soulful jazz and acoustic indie. Armed with an acoustic guitar and a collection of relatable melodies, she garnered a positive response performing at underground house shows and local open mics. Joining forces with fellow students from NC State’s music community, Karima joined the indie-rock outfit Blue Ribbon in late 2016. After leaving behind guitar in favor of piano and refining her sound, a clear trend towards soulful jazz and R&B emerged, sparking the idea for a new solo project. Karima launched Senne in late 2017. Blue Ribbon feature on the song “Lights”.