Thick and rich with a tender vitality normally reserved only for other elements in a modern jazz song, the bassline in Marla Lewis’ new single ”Enchantée” is as important a part of its sonic framework as the singing that tethers all of its lyrics together in a nice, neat package is. Where previous songs have seen singers of this caliber playing it a little safe and conservative, she cuts loose in “Enchantée” and unleashes a layer of personality that we’d never been privy to before this latest release. April winds are blowing fiercer than ever, but in the white-hot drawl of this aspiring star’s vocal, we’re transported to a place of endless summer nights accessible to us no matter what time of year it is.
The main draw in “Enchantée,” obviously, is Lewis’ crooning, which was mixed with almost no midrange tones to create as strong a presence as possible in this song. Normally I wouldn’t advise this kind of equalization scheme outside of rock music, but it creates a lot of fluidity on this occasion mostly because of the gentle percussive track in the background. This is a commanding singer to keep up with, but the producers did a good job of creating a decent equilibrium in this single for sure.
Lyrically speaking, “Enchantée” is the most self-aware stuff that this vocalist has ever played with, but it doesn’t strike me as being overindulgent, especially when juxtaposed beside a lot of the top-charting songs in American jazz music right now. The verses are memorable and sometimes scathing in tone, but never to the point of being angst-ridden or egomaniacal, and though she’s descriptive with her words, she doesn’t stress the annoyingly redundant themes that have become trivialized by major label jazz artists who are simply looking to cash in on a tried and true model.
Something tells me that it would be pretty interesting to hear an alternately arranged version of this track because when we break the different dimensions of the composition down to their nuts and bolts, the only integer that has to be present for “Enchantée” to shine is Lewis’ singing. She’s the bread and butter of this track, and if it had been performed by another vocalist with even a slightly different skillset, I don’t believe that it would be nearly as thrill-inducing and evocative as it is with her at the helm of the ship.
You’d be hard-pressed to find another indie jazz musician breaking off the stylish beats that Marla Lewis is this April in “Enchantée,” and with any luck, its gilded melodies will only be a teaser for what her next studio session is going to produce. She’s onto something really good here, and as long as she’s able to abstain from the temptation to align her music with that of a larger movement within her scene at the moment, she’s going to build up quite the reputation as a one of a kind artist in the next couple of years. She’s on the right track in “Enchantée,” a song that lives up to all of its hype and then some.