The wait is over. SAFIA have just released their debut (!!!!) album, Internal. And they did it beautifully so. All the teasers, all the single droplets released a few months at a time, they all contributed to the magnificent final ensemble. First and foremost, this album is the exact picture SAFIA themselves, a true representation of the unique personality divided by three essentials as a whole. Secondly, Internal is a well composed journey through genres and emotions making the ups compensate the downs and the warmth ignite the coldness. And in deed ignite is the key word to describe Internal: it will ignite you body and soul, make you feel invincible doing your daily tasks and club-ready by the beginning of the night.
We had already expressed our love for the “no brainer” Embracing Me EP here, stating that the it brings out the best in the band with a mix of an Alt-J sort of sound mixed with their unique electronic footprints. Embracing Me is a four song set of the singles Embracing Me, Counting Sheep, Make Them Wheels Roll and You Are The One.
Zion opens the album with its all-mightiness during the 5 minutes of dramatic instrumental jam. This first track sets the mood with lots of piano, synths and addictive beats mixed a bit with wildly sparse sounds of urban-like nature and is pure magic.
Follow up, the old-time favorite summery Embracing Me. With several exotic elements from Zion, this second track excels in hooking us in for the long run (i.e., sitting back and enjoying the full 51 minutes long Internal).
Together, Locked Safely is a dangerous one! This song will stay safely locked inside your head as its super beat, catchy electronics and amazing vocal range will get you hooked from the first second. Layer after layer, you can really hear the detail put into every aspect of the song. And its result is showing.
The fourth track is breathe in and trip out time. Fake It Til the Sunrise has a slow start and develops to an engineering masterpiece as the sound travels from left to right and you actually feel your brain wiggle. Clear vocals and electronics, this song’s fundamental brutal force comes from the build-up crescendos and trippy brain workout.
Over You is such a beauty to listen and might be our favorite track of the 12 to choose from, but honestly, it’s really tough to decide. The Artic Monkeys like beginning, the continuous crescendo to the end, the pure R&B vibe, the cool vocals and the sometimes-experimental synths make it a single we DON’T want to get over. Better than said is done so, please, play it below:
We’re halfway through the album thinking, ~ok, we got it, we know their sound by heart~ and SAFIA throw us a curve ball. Bye Bye is the main course of this album. The spooky victorianish almost horror movie like beginning captures our attention as the house vibe enters our ears without warning. This track gives us that grungy, dark vibe we got to taste in Counting Sheep (definitely also a favorite that sadly doesn’t feature this album) and we’re 100% in line with it.
Close To You welcomes the strong percussion back and in great style. Number seven of the list is the big dichotomy, traveling in parallel universes between heavy house-like moments and sparse atmospheric breaths.
At number eight we get what we initially described as Kylie Minogue remastered whilst having a major throwback to the 00’s and lots of tiny spandex outfits. No joke, this is the biggest compliment. My Love Is Gone has everything in it: the addictive beat, the soaring vocals and the current feel of the song make every detail of the synths pop out and prove once again the amazing talent of SAFIA. This is also the last single they released, one week before the album’s due date.
Another long time known, up next comes Make Them Wheels Roll that was released as a single on March 4th this year and bears the main characteristic SAFIA‘s songs share: big falsetto chorus, guitars and synths all round.
Go To Waste is the last chance to pick up your breath. This track slows the rhythm down to make room to the emotion and bring the focus to the lyrics. It builds up and down while talks about fearing a dark future.
Shortly after, the pace picks up again with the show stopper Home. Accordingly, this track is to move your feet with the one person you can call home and brings you peace (as in, leave your worries behind.. Like those expressed in the previous track).
External is the perfect ending to this fabulous album. Bringing back that tribal, “urban-nature” we first got on Zion, the final track is about evaluating and appreciating the past, and looking forward to the future. Well, with the release of such a powerhouse like Internal is, we would also be very much looking forward to what’s coming next.
If you’re interested in listening to the full album, click below the title of the post, on the headphone symbol.