Title - 'Soul Eyes'
Artist - Kandace Springs
For those not in the know, Kandace Springs is a 27-year-old, Nashville-based singer, songwriter and pianist who counts such vocal stylists as Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, Roberta Flack and Norah Jones as her heroes.
But, as fully evidenced by her sparkling full-length Blue Note Records debut, Soul Eyes, Springs mimics none of them. Instead Springs allows her comely alto to become a conduit that touches upon soul, jazz and pop while transforming those aforementioned influences into a personalized sound that reveals itself effortlessly.
Springs was also the last artist found, nay discovered by the late, great Prince himself. She actually, and unexpectedly attracted the attention of Prince, who heard her makeover of Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me” on the website Okayplayer. The music icon invited her to perform with him at Paisley Park for the 30th anniversary of Purple Rain.
So, based on that recommendation alone, you immediately know what you're in for here musically - and no, of course you will not be disappointed. For the overall production value here on Soul Eyes is outstanding, truly impressive, and combined with the dynamic and soulful vocals of Springs ensures that each and every one of the 11 tracks will go down as true gems.
1. Talk To Me (J. Harris)
2. Soul Eyes feat. Terence Blanchard (M. Waldron)
3. Place To Hide (J. Tzuke, L. Silvas, G. Kearns)
4. Thought It Would Be Easier (S. Lynne, B. Bottrell)
5. Novocaine Heart (K. Springs, E. Rogers, C. Sturken, B. Alexander)
6. Neither Old Nor Young (J. Harris)
7. Too Good To Last feat. Terence Blanchard (K. Springs, G. Wells, L. Robbins)
8. Fall Guy (K. Springs, E. Rogers, C. Sturken, J. Harry)
9. The World Is A Ghetto (B.B. Dickerson, C. Miller, H. Brown, H. Scott, L. Oskar, L. Jordan, P. D. Allen)
10. Leavin’ (S. Lynne)
11. Rain Falling (K. Springs)
Leaving Springs’ 2015 eponymously titled 4-song EP in the dust, as far as breadth, cohesion of style, and just plain engagement, it's obvious that Blue Note realized the extent of the talent they are dealing with by the amount of TLC that has gone into its overall production. That, and the fact that listening to the quality of each song's depth of musical experience is going to now become a whole new level of enjoyment for Springs is touring for the first time as a headliner this year. Check her out, I know I will.