Introducing: Michael Kiwanuka

April 18, 2011

At first listen, Michael Kiwanuka’s “Tell Me A Tale” — the stunning title track off his debut EP — might sound like an unearthed gem ripped from a rare piece of vinyl in someone’s 1960s record collection. (Not that I don’t love that sort of thing.) But this instantly timeless recording, in which Kiwanuka wears his influences (Otis Redding, John Martyn, Bill Withers, et al.) on his sleeve, hasn’t even been officially released yet. There’s no question that the weathered soul in this 23-year-old’s voice is authentic and modern, though: the jazz inflections here recall Ray LaMontagne’s “You Can Bring Me Flowers” a bit. Tell Me A Tale arrives on June 13 via Communion Records, but in the meantime, enjoy our first taste of the London singer-songwriter’s debut above.

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