The five years between Si*Sé's last album, More Shine, and its new five-song EP, Gold, were not spent in vain. With the rapid shift in how people consume and experience music, the New York City-based band was waiting for the right opportunity to strike out on its own. These five songs are guaranteed to satiate hungry fans until the full-length album.
Si*Sé weaves an emotional tapestry of eclectic soul for the post digital era, featuring a smoothed-out, electro-dancehall-tinged cover of Fleetwood Mac's "The Chain," the Motown-inspired "This Love," the funky "Buscaré" and "Goes On," and the bittersweet "Dondé Está?" The song set captures the band's ever-evolving sound in full swing. Singer/DJ Carol C's voice evokes a sophisticated sensuality, singing in English and Spanish over producer Cliff Cristofaro (The Crystal Pharoah)'s post-trip-hop grooves. In these five songs, what you'll find is pure gold.
Stream music from Gold
Producer Cliff Cristofaro (aka The Crystal Pharoah) says, "Creating something from nothing is powerful. The music has always been our escape. It starts with an inspiration and begins to grow and evolve, even taking on different forms when we adapt it in a live setting." This is evident in the band's searing and unique cover of Fleetwood Mac's classic, "The Chain."
The electronic influence is heavy on Gold, due to Carol's revisiting old Kraftwerk and Depeche Mode albums and Cliff's obsession with the perfect beat. "Goes On" intertwines local and global issues, from the romantic to the political, with a demanding beat filled out by plenty of swagger. Depeche Mode also influenced "Dónde Está?," if not in soundscape then in meaning. Translating as "Where's the love?," Carol likens it to her version of "People are People." "I was in the middle of asking myself where certain ugly behavior comes from in the world," she says. "The song is about people essentially being the same, and that we should accept each other's differences."
The piano that rounds out "Dónde Está?" keeps the inspired song upbeat. And the adventurous "Buscaré," complete with it's 007-style video that will be released later this year. The title means, "I will look for"; the musical context matches that sentiment perfectly, with it's ever-building and searching qualities. "The song is about deciding you're going to be happy and going out to find happiness," Carol says, reminding one of Bob Marley's eternal quest for happiness: If you don't come, I've got to go looking for you.
Finally we come to "This Love," in which Carol turned to Cristofaro for a "Motown-ish track." He was ready for the request, pulling out a sweetly spaced rhythm with plenty of room for Carol's dream-like vocals to fly over: her heartfelt convictions, one which has caused innumerable fans to connect to her with, is in full force here.
Returning to mix the EP is James Caruso, whose previous work is heard on More Shine. Having recently fiddled the knobs for Mary J. Blige, Madonna, Damian Marley, and Lenny Kravitz, Caruso's keen ear paints the luster on these five songs. Bob Power (the Roots, Erykah Badu, D'Angelo, Citizen Cope) finishes off Gold with superb mastering.
Si*Sé's New York Record Release show will be on March 12 at Le Poisson Rouge.
This Love (The Crystal Pharoah Remix)*