First Listen: Brooklyn Soul Stew finds that "Secret Love"

(November 29, 2019) It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the vast library of American soul music has been an inspiration to leagues of artists far and wide. It’s even engraved in the grooves of musical acts internationally. But have you heard of an international act using a stage name that’s deliberately American? Welcome to the stage Brooklyn Soul Stew, a group of nine musicians from Sweden (Gävle, Sandviken to be exact) with a strong passion for retro R&B.

(November 29, 2019) It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the vast library of American soul music has been an inspiration to leagues of artists far and wide. It’s even engraved in the grooves of musical acts internationally. But have you heard of an international act using a stage name that’s deliberately American? Welcome to the stage Brooklyn Soul Stew, a group of nine musicians from Sweden (Gävle, Sandviken to be exact) with a strong passion for retro R&B.

Two albums deep into their catalog, the group is already forging ahead with their latest release, Hits Where It Hurts. One of the album’s standouts, the mid-tempo “Secret Love,” gives hints to their deep connection to soul and towards Brooklyn. There’s the heartbroken blues and the epiphany of a love affair, all spilling inside the lyrics: “Don’t tell me a story just tell me goodbye/I’m not disappointed, baby but just realize/I’ve got a secret love.” 

And there’s the charming vocals of Annsofi Wigert, who sings like Dusty Springfield on late ‘60s soul. Her voice bears a touch of intentional pop, as if she’s specifically cutting sides for Rick Hall’s FAME. But above all that, she is perfectly surrounded by funky horn riffs, Stax-esque rhythms and sweet elongated organ chords carrying all the attitude of Memphis soul. Although this entire event feels as if the band should risk a name change for Memphis, this kind of song beams with pride over its close resemblance to Brooklyn’s own, the late Sharon Jones and her phenomenal soul revivalists, The Dap Kings. It’s because of the aforementioned soul soldiers that the sound and style of soul isn’t entirely locked down to a remote location, especially in today’s digitally viral climate. Sweet soul music is spreading, even into Sweden.

Check out this First Listen of “Sweet Love” by Brooklyn Soul Stew and let us know what you think.

By J. Matthew Cobb

Brooklyn Soul Stew - "Sweet Love"

 
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