For fans of Pablo Nouvelle’s already established brand of soulful electronica, this new collaboration will not disappoint – effectively building on the musician’s already distinctive sound, created in many of his past projects and collaborations. Songs such as “Kilo”, title track “Stones and Geysers”, “Medicine” and “Hearing the Quiet” are instant easy-listening soulful pop songs – the kind that will get in your head and work their magic for a significant duration after listening. However this is more than just a pop album. Kinnship‘s emotive vocals are often operatic in tone, while Nouvelle’s clever song composure twists and turns unpredictably and impressively. An interesting fact about Nouvelle is he also turns his hand to filmmaking in the form of animations, even managing to be longlisted for an Oscar for his 2017 film ‘In A Nutshell’ – so Stones & Geysers is clearly the work of an artist who approaches their work with incredibly disciplined methodicalness.
The perhaps initially unfair sounding criticism of the record would be that at times it feels slightly too polished. After listening to such immaculate vocal harmonies, paired with the complex but altogether impeccably flowing rhythms and electronica beats, you may find yourself searching for something slightly rawer. So if you’re looking for an edge, you’re unlikely to find it here.
Stones & Geysers is inspired by spirituality and the human connection to nature, which seems to be a popular theme with artists at the moment – mirroring the international acknowledgment that we need to appreciate and look after the planet more. While it might lack some grit, this is a tenderly contemplative record successfully combining electronica and soul with jazzy/hip hop outlines. Many listeners might find they didn’t need that grit in the first place.