ALBUM REVIEW: Jordana Talsky – ‘Zahava’

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Canadian singer/songwriter Jordana Talsky produces pure gold with a musical project that is deserving of all high remarks. Zahava, meaning “golden” in Hebrew, is a universal study on muscle and memory; all instrumentation is produced solely from vocal and body loops the artist created using a Roland Boss RC505 loop station.

The Sara Bareilles look-alike has been praised before for her ingenious use of a capella technique by CBC Music and LA Music Critic, and her song, “RUN” was a finalist pick for the 2018 CBC Searchlight Contest. Jordana was also a finalist in the Toronto Independent Music Awards and has toured across Canada and Europe, gaining airplay for her 2013 release, Standard Deviation, and 2017 album, Neither of Either.

Jordana’s current album is more poppy compared to her past projects, which have incorporated horn sections and have played with southern, soulful styles of covers like “Black Velvet.” On her 2017 album Neither of Either, a sharper, jazzier tone slices into her pop vocals, creating some edge.

On Zahava, we get a stripped Jordana who expertly applies a technique where it is difficult to mask mistakes. It is truly and singularly her in each puff and snap, a daredevil attempt at repopularizing classical genres, and she succeeds. Her flawless execution and full trust in her abilities to make physical contact with the intangible is something to be admired on tracks, most exceptionally on “Honey” and “Superpowers.”

“City Lights,” the last track on the album, is a glorious note to end on. With chilly R&B tones akin to Banks and Bishop Briggs, Jordana dusts over atmospheric jazz and hip hop sound and finds a swelling and angelic chorus with a warm complexion of harmonies.

Zahava is a home for those who are still searching. It’s also a home for those who never left. Jordana describes the project, in her own words, as a place where fragmented identities are “harmonized as we grow to be at home in ourselves.” As musicians fall into relaxation themselves, listeners, too, can benefit from this sedative.

Listen to Zahava on Spotify:

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