Laura Mvula 'The Dreaming Room' (RCA Records)
Written in her producer’s garden shed rather than the confines of a studio, Laura Mvula sounds confident and free throughout her second album. She enlists Nile Rodgers’ funky basslines on lead single ‘Overcome’, while ‘People’, a collaboration with Wretch 32, is inspired by “the crisis of black identity in the west”. Elsewhere, the hymn-like ‘Show Me Love’ reveals Mvula’s captivating vocal like a peacock showing its feathers before grand instruments add a cinematic touch, and ‘Kiss My Feet’ is a mass of disjointed beats, SBTRKT-like synths and stark lyrics about loss. ‘Nan’, meanwhile, forms a brief but inspirational interlude that paves the way for the gospel-funk closer ‘Phenomenal Woman’.