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Deva Mahal, 'Deva Mahal'

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Tuesday October 24, 2017

From Exclaim!

Deva Mahal, ‘Deva Mahal’
By: Kevin Press

Deva Mahal’s debut LP is still a couple of months away, but in the meantime, we’ve got this delicious three-track taste of what this impressive young woman has to offer.

Best known before now as daughter to blues legend Taj Mahal and dancer/artist/teacher Inshirah Mahal, Deva is about to take centre stage in her own right. She’s grown up surrounded by all the right music, and now she’s got both the voice and gravitas to make it her own.

“Run Deep” channels the best of Amy Winehouse, with a clarity and vocal strength the tragic young woman didn’t get a chance to develop. The track also features a terrific rap from Coco Peila (no small talent herself).

The Winehouse comparison is less relevant on the EP’s other two tracks, “Snakes” and “Take a Giant Step.” The first has a vintage soul vibe layered over a relentless beat; it’s got the kind of broad appeal that’s bound to pull an audience from all kinds of demographics. The second is like one of those mid-1970s Rolling Stones ballads you never get tired of. This is the best of soul, blues and classic rock all in a row.

It’s no surprise that Mahal has produced such a polished debut — she’s been gigging since the age of five. Her resume already includes smash performances at Womad and the Montreux Jazz Festival. By rights, Mahal should be a major story in 2018.

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