Naga Part ll, on L-abe records, is the latest release from Swiss performance artist Flèche Love (Amina Cadell). While the seven songs on the recording would have some classify the release as an EP there’s more content on this album than you’ll find on most double albums. Maybe not as defined by the amount of time it takes to listen to it, but definitely by the emotional and intellectual content it contains.
Fléche Love is not, by any stretch of anybody’s imagination, a typical popular music artist. Mercurial, intelligent songs emerging from a place of instinctual awareness aren’t the type of material you’re going to finding rising to the top of the charts. She digs deeply into a well spring of emotions, thoughts and memories to create pieces of art that stimulate the listeners’ mind and emotions.
Unlike the sentimental and manipulative songs that pass for emotional content on most radio stations, Love’s work is grounded in universal truths that resonate with her listeners. She speaks of personal trauma in a way anyone who has experienced pain of any kind can relate to.
However, she’s more than just pain. She’s about the triumph of love and life over past pain and the power we achieve by overcoming it. In the final track of the album, “Bruja” she chants/sings, “Oh do you feel the energy that emanates from my wounds?/They are scared of me/They are scared of my power/Are you scared of my power?/Are you scared of your power?/Cause when you look at me it’s you that you see.”
We all have a source of power, we only have to dig deep enough within ourselves to find it. Flèche Love doesn’t just talk sing about it, she encourages us to embrace it. The amazing thing is she does it without sacrificing anything in terms of musical or artistic integrity. Her songs are powerful because of their emotional content, but also because they are great pieces of art.
Musically the songs are an incredible mixture of electronics and orchestrations. Layers of sound create textures over which her words flow. Held afloat on an ever flowing stream of music her lyrics are effortlessly washed into our consciousness.
At times Flèche Love sings with an ethereal brightness while at other times her voice drops to an earthy growl as she chants out lyrics like the words to an incantation. While in others this might seem like an affectation, with her it emphasizes how emotionally connected she is to her themes and her music. Each syllable sounds like its drawn from the depths of her soul and she has no control over how they make her voice sound.
While the songs are sung primarily in English, Flèche Love as befitting a resident of Switzerland (where Italian, French and German are spoken) she switches back and forth between languages within the same song. What this multilingual approach does is help the listener get in behind the lyrics to try and understand a song’s emotional meaning as much as its intellectual content.
Naga Part ll by Flèche Love is a beautiful and haunting album that will stir listeners’ emotions and make them think. This is a piece of art you’ll want to listen to over and over again.