Let me set the scene for you - I'm reclining on my outdoor lounger, a warm breeze blows through my hair, the skies are a beautiful shade of blue and the clouds like big balls of cotton candy. The days are long, I wile away my time sipping slushy fruity drinks and daydreaming until darkness falls and the stars light up the sky. I close my eyes and listen to the sounds of the birds singing their bed-time lullabies to me. Aah, sweet serenity.
Now back to reality - I'm in the backyard sitting on a chair, with 2 kids, a Slip 'n Slide, and I'm keeping myself cool with the aid of a water bottle/fan. If the birds were singing, I'd never hear them over the laughter of children - a beautiful sound as well. This is a pretty nice way to spend a summer day too, but sometimes I could use a little of the first scenario to just recharge my batteries. A small break from my usual life to give me the fuel I need for the real scenarios in my life.
When I'm looking for this kind of mini getaway, I find the quickest way to get that feeling is to listen to my latest flavah - Zee Avi.
This 23 year old singer/songwriter was born in Borneo and later moved to Kuala Lumpur, so this lovely lady can quickly deliver me to that relaxing island vibe within the first few words of a song. She plays guitar and ukulele and her voice has an ease and a calmness to it that is incredibly sweet and relaxing.
It's the same quality that draws me to songs like Ella Fitzgerald's 'A-Tisket, A-Tasket' and Sarah Vaughan's, 'The Sassy One'. There is a quiet conviction to her voice that just takes you along for the ride. Stylistically speaking, she hits my musical sweet spot - her songs are reminiscent of some of the best music that I was lucky enough to have been exposed to as a kid. She brings an old jazz feel to her music while still keeping the sound fresh and modern.
My current fave from Zee Avi is the pretty little song, 'Honey Bee'. Being a quirky non conformist all of my life, I instantly related to not fitting in with rest of the bees! 'Bitter Heart' is a breezy tune that takes an upbeat approach to a not so upbeat situation...I've always loved the sad lyric/happy beat combo. 'Just You And Me', is another catchy number that has me planning my next adventure, it's impossible not to be swept away with this song and it's happy ukulele strumming.
Other beautiful offerings include, 'Poppy', 'I Wish I'd Never' and 'No Christmas For Me', all fantastic in their own different ways. Zee Avi also does a selection of covers, so great to hear a new twist on many of my old favourites. Check out YouTube for her videos, as well, check her out at www.myspace.com/zeeavi and www.zeeavi.com
Do yourself a favour and pick up her debut self-titled album.
I look forward to following the career of this musical gem, I know as long as she's singing - I'll be listening.