Phoebe Coco is drawing on the depths of the rich forests in Provence and the urban jungle of London for her anticipated debut album My White Horse And I. Using her natural storytelling abilities, she weaves a complex tapestry of emotion through each track. Touching on tales of love, escapism and friendship, the album pounds through you like the thunder of a horse’s hooves.
Her carefully crafted sound is a swirl of experiences from riding horses in wild forests to singing in the streets of London after a night spent dancing. While she has worked as a songwriter and composer, her debut album is a breath of fresh air with soulful vocals, electronic tones and raw instrumentation.
The album opens with ‘Brick Wall’ which uses a vibrating depth to draw you in. Coco’s vocals are a soulful touch that dances over the deep melody. The flow of her vocals has you swaying to her rhythm while the delayed piano warps its way around you. There is a wonderful depth to this single created through the endless sounds of the melody and the steady thread of the vocals. The chorus is catchy in a smooth way that makes you want to sing along.
‘Sycamore Trees’ has a haunting piano line that cut through the beats. The slow flow of the opening turns into a soaring movement as the song progresses. Coco’s vocals have a different vibe on this song as she adds an almost dark edge to her voice. The paced beats are a wonderful counter to the flowing piano line. These two elements combine beautifully to bolster her vocals and get you lost in the music.
‘Ready’ has a snappier beat to it while her vocals are airy. There is a bohemian flow to this track that makes you think of warmth. The melody is stripped back but has this beat that does not quit. You will feel your shoulders moving to the beats whether you are conscious of it or not. The vocal style is completely different from the two tracks before it which is a true showcase of what Coco is capable of.
‘White Horses’ brings a raw folk energy to the album. There is an airy feeling to the track that makes you think of a breeze gently wafting sheer curtains on a summer day. There are amazing harmonisations on this track which enhance the laidback feeling of the stripped melody. The minimalism of the track creates a beauty that feels luxurious and endless.
The beautiful piano line continues in the opening of ‘Silver Lives’. This line twines with a great beat while Coco’s vocals whisper over you. There is a light touch to the vocals that add a little something to the overall vibe of the single. The movement of the music seems to pull on the power of nature letting you float to an organic freedom.
The next track is ‘Different’ which opens with an almost jazzy shuffling beat. The rolling piano line melds with the other instrumentation on the single for a coiled melody. Her vocals hit these wonderful high notes on the track which act as a perfect counter to the shuffling beats. The harmonica that enters lightly below the vocals adds a new edge to the music.
‘Saturday Night’ takes you back to the beautiful piano line, but there is a delicacy to this. The more modern beats in the lower level of the track meld perfectly with the delicate piano notes. Coco’s vocals have a sultry vibe to them on this track, but the backing vocals have a haunting feeling as they cut through your chest. There is a whirlpool of harmonisations that twirl through the melody that adds an airiness to the song.
‘Wild’ uses catchy beats to grab your attention before the piano makes an entrance. The pulsing beats will not let you go as Coco’s vocals whisper the lyrics to you. There is an intimate feeling to this song as you are drawn into the lyrics. The melody and vocals make you feel like you are cloistered in a corner with Coco as she tells you the tale of the lyrics.
‘Look What the Cat Dragged In’ has a driving beat that is covered in a piano line. The beats have a light snappy tone to them, but the depths of the piano line lightens this. Combined they effortlessly make your head move to the rhythm. While your head moves, Coco has a sassy edge to her vocals, particularly on the chorus. This makes the song a lot of fun to listen to but does not detract from the folky flow of her performance.
The album comes to a close with ‘Strangeness’ which has a very heavy feeling to the lyrics. The melody flows against your skin like morning fog with this feeling enhanced by the higher vocals on the chorus. The misty vocals call you to escape into nature on the mythical White Horse. There is a yearning for something more within this song that causes shivers to break out down your spine.
Phoebe Coco calls us to the freedom of nature while cloaked in the whispers of the urban jungle in her album My White Horse and I. The album is a true showcase of her musicality as she infuses her folk style into snappy melodies and bohemian ballads. Throughout the album, you are drawn into her soundscape only to end with a longing for escape into mythical freedom.