Words by Ed King
It’s been a few years since Call Me Unique released her Urban Gypsy EP – the sterling 7 track mark in the sand that got crossed fingers everywhere twitching for an album. But the world is not fairy-tale with lottery ticket trees, and life got in the way. Relationship, representation, repatriation… radio silence.
But today, Friday 7th April, in the year of our lord 2017, Call Me Unique has released ‘Shoulda’ – the first single off her upcoming Urban Gypsy II EP, set for release on 5th May. Hallelujah. And the big question lurking behind every word is… was it worth the wait?
Yes, is the short answer. But ‘I’ll tell you why’ is where it gets interesting. And as the 4min self declaration of self determination unfolds, you’ll probably get spikes down your spine to illustrate my point. Honesty. Ah… that seven letter word that Call Me Unique has had in bucket loads ever since we first heard her perform ‘The Wife’ on Radio WM. But ‘Shoulda’ is something different, something visceral; it’s tough about being tough. It’s about fuck you and survival, and just typing these words brings a proud treble clef tear to my eye. Go and listen to it and you’ll see/hear what I mean.
Dark and brooding, in all the best ways you can be, ‘Shoulda’ opens with echoed effects and muffled kick drums, before Unique’s tempered vocals set a steady pace and start telling their story. The tone is similar to Urban Gypsy I but there’s a richer landscape. Unique’s lyrics have matured in three years too – whatever girl was behind the raw six string wonders that first introduced us to this artist, now stands as a woman who doesn’t need to shout to be heard.
The pace, alongside the lyrics, is another step up. There’s a control to it, a bravery; even when the rap gets delivered there is no edge of ego. Everything in this track has its place because that’s how it works. Because that’s what she came here to say. Confidence.
A lot of this, I suspect, has come from the production partnership with Ed Geater who has stepped behind the glass for Urban Gypsy II. Geater has done the job a producer should do – find the power in an artist, bring it out of them and onto a record. You get the sense the rest of the EP is going to have some colourful twists in it too.
But these plaudits have been heard before and Call Me Unique is arguably not where she should or deserves to be. Yet. The quality and evolution of ‘Shoulda’ sets a solid precedent, but it needs to be followed with an EP and album that will confidently dust off the cobwebs. This should, no ‘a’, be a strong year for Call Me Unique. Next stop May 5th.
‘Shoulda’ – Call Me Unique
For more on Call Me Unique, visit www.callmeunique.com