Sometimes you can tell how good an album’s going to be just by hearing the first song. This is the case with duo WeMustBe’s self-titled debut, which starts with the honey-slow groove “Apples and Eve,” a tune that’s powerful in its simplicity with subtle, mood-setting piano; finger snapping and lead singer Christine Dominguez’s soulful crooning: “Your body moves over mine like a monsoon/Ready to drown because you know I can’t stop you/I could be driftin’ for three or four days/ But I can’t take one of your waves.”
Dominguez and bandmate T. Xiques call their style “organic pop,” a freeform way of allowing a song to choose its own direction, creating an unclassifiable mix of various genres. This blend allows each song to have its own individual sound, made up of unique subtleties. For instance, the jazzy R&B feel of the first track contrasts with the following tune, “Sky High,” a sunny, upbeat pop tune with a simple drum beat, a constant percussive piano that harmonizes with an occasional electric guitar riff, and a catchy-as-hell hook, bound to get stuck in your head.
The Lauryn Hill-esque track “Bill Evans” is an homage to the late singer (who the pair have named as an inspiration to their music), a danceable track with gliding piano riffs and Dominguez’s vocals shifting in tones that range from sweet and swinging to quiet and throaty. She takes to the latter tone in the next track, “Waiting,” a ballad of longing that shows off the duo’s ability to flow effortlessly from light and poppy to calm and melancholy. Later in the album, to add even more diversity, “Les Luttes” is sang half in French, half in English over an airy flute and delicate piano notes, soft like a lullaby.
At different points, the album makes you want to get up and dance or sit back and sway. Each song was written by the duo; sonically it’s uplifting — easy to digest no matter what genre you prefer — and light like a pop album, but deep as an ocean.
Catch them live at the Bearsville Theater in Woodstock on August 12, 2011.