Earlier this year, when I was still working as the music editor at Brooklyn Magazine we highlighted Vagabon as one of the nine NYC acts everyone needed to hear. Looks like people are catching on, and agree with that assertion, as today Lætitia Tamko has released the searing first single off her debut album Infinite Worlds via NPR.
Tamko, who was born in Cameroon and moved to New York at a young age, is part of the greater web of musicians who have ties to the New Paltz community in upstate New York. Though this album is preceded by her 2014 tape Persian Garden, this album represents the first real distillation of her sound and vision. She worked extensively on the record over the last few years with with engineer and co-producer Chris Daly at Salvation Recording Co. in New Paltz, NY.
Tamko will be opening for Frankie Cosmos next Monday, November 13 at Webster Hall if you’re in Manhattan, and then will head out on road opening for Sadie Dupuis of Speedy Ortiz, who is embarking on a tour behind her solo album as Sad 13, Slugger.
“Fear & Force” is indicative of Tamko’s considerable talents as a moving, passionate songwriter, and her distinctive ability to play her own voice like the instrument it is, modulating and expanding phrases until they contain more than the personal ache they portray, ballooning out until they hold the fears and forces that move and rock all of us.
When it’s done right, the most personal music becomes the most universal, and that’s what she has achieved here as Vagabon. Quiet acoustic guitar beginnings bloom into fuzzed out, aggressive noise, and Tamko’s voice similarly expands, ramping up from shy tenderness into an assertive weapon of considerable power. As she grows, we grow; the world is ours. Listen above.
Infinite Worlds is out 2/24 on Father/Daughter Records. Pre-order it here.