Malka – I’m Not Your Soldier (Tantrum
Malka - I'm Not Your Soldier

Release Date: 28th February 2020

Well, here it is. The third album from Malka (the solo project of Tamara Schlesinger) is here and it is a belter. ‘I’m Not Your Soldier’ comes with the trademark attention to detail in terms of the images and accompanying videos but all that is just glitter in the cold Scottish wind when compared to the music so let’s get down to business shall we? The album opens somewhat ominously on ‘A New World’, a song that clitters and clatters into life with scattered percussion and electro drones before that trademark impish vocal joins in with beautiful clarity. It’s a strong start that immediately puts you in mind of Kimbra or Bat For Lashes but without a hint of copy-catisms, it’s just that the creativity and delivery is right up there.

‘Get Up’ continues the percussion vs electro melodies theme which runs throughout this album with a playful energy and the kind of vibe that makes you want to skip down the sidewalk stopping only to join in with some jump rope or to steal some candy floss from an old guy making it fresh on the street. On ‘I Know, You Know’ Malka makes excellent of a rhythm section that takes control over your neck muscles, such is the quality of the groove that she sings over with those sweet, sweet vocal chords. Things take a turn for the darker on ‘Taking It Back’ which has a more futuristic vibe that feels like First Aid Kit and Janelle Monae collaborating with LCD Soundsystem in the production booth. Latest single ‘Moving Together’ is utterly joyful with it’s baggy beats and junkyard melodies which will put a smile on even the hardiest of glowering faces.

Malka - pacifist chic
The thing with Malka is that she is not a follower of fashions or trends and it’s even hard to define where she fits in but that is, of course, what makes her music so utterly delicious. Take ‘Don’t Leave Me’, for instance, a song that is comprised of so many flavours and tastes that it becomes addictively moreish as you taste the pop of the beats and the silky smoothness of the bass line. ‘I’m Not Invisible’ has the qualities of a CBeebies montage put together by Goldfrapp and Moloko while ‘Don’t Believe It’ has a more American feel which would suit the soundtrack of a new Netflix series if anyone’s interested. The tempo changes on ‘Tiny Fires’ which slinks and slithers like an electric eel, curling it’s way towards you with more than a glint in it’s eye and a bit of latter-day Muse in the inspiration tank.

On the home straight we get ‘Hardly Sleep’, another percussively lively and beautiful song with chunky horns, and ‘Seize the Moment’ which is the most organic sounding track on the album with sparse instrumentation aside from the near-tribal percussion. The last of the 12 tracks is ‘Close Your Eyes’, a delicate lullaby played out with soft organ keys and a finely spun hair’s breadth of a vocal that leads you on into the land of dreams. Malka is truly unique and an eminently creative force which is sorely needed these days but what’s even more wondrous is that this album is imbued with such joy, positivity and playfulness at a time when it is short supply.

Live Dates:

6th March – Stereo, Glasgow
12th March – Macarts, Galashiels
13th March – The Eagle Inn, Salford
14th March – The Victoria, Dalston w/Seaker
1st May – Pavilhao de Exposicoes do Anhemni, Sao Paolo