Capricorn Sun

TSHA

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Capricorn Sun Review

by Paul Simpson

Fast-rising London producer and DJ TSHA followed several singles, a Fabric Presents mix, and a Diplo collaboration with Capricorn Sun, her full-length debut for Ninja Tune. Since her first songs appeared in 2018, her music has become increasingly complex and emotive, incorporating more vocals, acoustic instruments, and pop hooks into her vibrant dance tracks. Reprising a few previously issued singles, Capricorn Sun finds the producer firmly at home on a label whose contemporary roster includes Bicep, Jayda G, and ODESZA, as her euphoric, festival-friendly music cross-stitches elements of Afro-house, progressive house, rave, and R&B. While generally sunny and celebratory, the album is shaded with feelings of heartache and anxiety, inspired by personal issues, friends and family members, and club closure due to pandemic lockdown. "The Light" centers around a wailing soul sample, adding Jamie xx-like steel drums and trancey synths along with the deep house kicks and pianos that extend from the record's intro track. The tempo cranks up a notch as the bass gets rowdier during the song's second half. "OnlyL," which pits bouncy synths against Nimmo's dramatic, soaring vocals, is a prime example of the type of bittersweet, tears-in-the-club material TSHA seems to favor. Oumou Sangaré's echoing vocals bounce along with the skipping beats and sparkling melodies of "Water." The breakbeats kick up during "Dancing in the Shadows," a string-drenched, acid-tinged collaboration with Clementine Douglas, as well as emotional centerpiece "Giving Up," a collaboration with partner Mafro that was born out of a rocky period during the couple's relationship. "Anxious Mind," a second song with Douglas, is a tense two-step pop song with suspenseful pizzicato notes tiptoeing towards the edge, as the singer yearns to be free. "Power" is a big, chunky filter-funk workout with soul shouts and more steel drums, and airy guitars thread stirring melodies throughout the heart-tugging vocal samples and chugging beats of "Running" and "Sister." "Nala (Outro)," a sweet, shimmering tune inspired by TSHA's dog, is the album's most playful moment, yet it still seems like there's some lingering sadness mixed in with the joyous feelings. Well-sequenced and brimming with heartfelt energy, Capricorn Sun is an inspired effort.

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