It’s a sunny September Sunday morning, warm with a tinge of autumn; the washing is out on the line and it will dry soon; there is a gentle breeze which occasionally becomes something less gentle but still unthreatening; perhaps a meteorologist would call it ‘moderate’. Any clouds that exist are on the western horizon and pose no threat to the drying process.
I’ve just made a cappuccino; I lie back on the cream leather 3-seater, taking in the sharp angular patterns of light created in the wine red rug by the sun as it cuts around the armchair under the window. I’m streaming Kandace Springs’ new album to the living room hifi and I’m even more immersed in my surroundings: in the moment. Like the gold and red velvet cushion supporting my head it is the perfect antidote to a Saturday night.
Now I’m sat on a round leather stool in a Manhattan bar, arms resting on black marble. I like the bar: unpretentious but luxurious and a bit frayed at the edges. Low lighting and a lot of black and gold; you could be almost invisible here if you wanted to be. It’s nearly midnight and been a helluva day at work. Kandace is on her second set at the far end of the bar and I’ve moved on from beer to a fine gin and fever-tree with a good chunk of lime. I’m feeling good and the atmosphere and the music have perked me up no end.
The music is not challenging but does contain a few surprises. The arrangements are perfect, perhaps too perfect at times, but there are enough changes in style and instrumentation to hold my interest. Back in the real world the music washes over and surrounds me like sunshine filtered through trees. The production is perfect: I can hear every instrument just as if I was in my Manhattan bar. There is nothing superfluous here: just everything you need to illustrate each song and nothing more. The soul jazz shifts into hip hop and pop without you even noticing at first. I’m thinking that I generally prefer something with swagger: grit and ballsy. This is not Amy Winehouse. But at this moment Kandace is just right, and that’s the trick isn’t it, finding the right music for the moment you are in.
My mind drifts from critical mode to just letting it happen. I’m back in the bar which is 80 per cent shade and 20 percent subtle light. Kandace has finished her second set and joins me at the bar: we get talking; she is a very attractive woman so now I’m really feeling good. If only dreams came true, but the music took me there for a few glorious minutes.