Rest - Michael Kiwanuka

from the album Home Again (2012)

Like many people, I have a playlist of my all-time favorite songs.  It consists of a wildly diverse collection of music from the past 85 years.  Many are classic songs that represent the soundtrack of the times.  But what I find most interesting, is that many of these songs were not particularly popular at the time of their release, if ever.

As I listen to new music and artists, I have developed a growing obsession with finding the songs that will find their way onto someone else's playlist decades from now.  Chances of finding these songs are greatly improved thanks to all our whiz-bang technology.  Yet the commoditization of quality recording equipment complicates the task by enabling millions of musicians to create and publish new material every year, almost everywhere.

I have found that focusing on two items - great songwriting and great vocalists - really helps you sort thru all the noise.  British singer / songwriter Michael Kiwanuka is a new artist who may very well land on that distant playlist.

Rest is a song from his debut album Home Again.  This is a beautiful song that is beautifully sung.  The lyrics reassure a loved one that you will take care of them, starting with the opening lines - Close your eyes / Let them rest / I ain't in no hurry at all - that are touchingly delivered with raw soul.  The guitar work, along with the bass and drums, perfectly compliment the vocal.  Not really sure that the orchestration was required.

I look forward towards following his career.  He may become that needle in the haystack.

Click Here for a live version recorded in Paris.

Click Here for an acoustic version recorded in NYC.

Click Here to listen to the album version.