9 September 2018 | A page from my diary
It’s a sunny September Sunday morning, warm with a tinge of autumn; the washing is out on the line and it drying nicely; there is a gentle breeze which occasionally becomes something less gentle – 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 my ivory leather 3-seater, taking in the sharp angular patterns of light created by the sun in the wine red rug 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.
I close my eyes and find myself sat on a round leather and chrome stool in a Manhattan bar, my elbows resting on black marble. I like the bar: unpretentious but luxurious if 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 bad 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 with the band. 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 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 and I’m back in the bar which is 80 per cent shadow and 20 percent subtle amber light. Kandace has finished her second set and joins me at the bar: we get talking… and the record ends, as does the fantasy.