Which reality is this? What is it made of? And how can we get out (escape?) from it? On Exit Simulation, her debut album, Niecy Blues (responsible for the writing, production, and arrangements of the project – the exception being “The Architect”, produced by T. Morris Wilson) presents her set of whispered/filtered answers to these questions, creating a sonic tapestry, which lies between ambient, r&b and gospel (and a considerable dose of experimentation in the mix), to make you feel something (for some, that’s a lot) and deal with feelings that were well buried and that she can only now see from the surface.
With a strong identity that puts her as close to a modern approach to trip-hop as she is to the particular expressions of visionaries of the now such as Kelela or Solange (like them, she has vocals, melodies, and harmonies with elegance to give and sell), the American artist called on a long-time collaborator for this record, Khari Lucas (aka Contour), but also Mary Lattimore (harpist who shows her grace on “Exits”), KeiyaA (who lends her voice and plays saxophone on “Soma”, the only track with an extended band to imagine jazz with spirits inside), Durand Bernarr, Brian Foote, Zeroh and Qur’an Shaheed, names that are close, each in their own way, to the unique universe she has created.
After a youth with a strong presence of churches, cults, and religion, Blues slams the door on that past in this first full-length effort and surrenders to a spirituality that comes from a less oppressive unknown (and that transports her to a freer place). If you click play to listen to their songs and feel disorientated, don’t worry: in the end, everything will make sense (you just need to know where the exit is…). (Alexandre Ribeiro)