Boomkat Product Review:
New on Smithsonian Folkways; Leyla McCalla’s ‘Vari-Colored Songs’ - a celebration of the complexity of Black culture and identity, and a tribute to the legacy of poet and thinker Langston Hughes.
"A songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, McCalla sets Hughes’ poems to her own spare yet profound compositions. She juxtaposes these with arrangements of folk songs from Haiti, the first independent Black nation and the homeland of her parents, tapping into the nuances of Black experience.
McCalla’s music elegantly weaves Haitian influences together with American folk music, just as Hughes incorporated Black vernacular into his remarkable poetry, and the way the Haitian Krey l is a beacon for the survival of African identity through the brutal legacy of colonialism. This is music of reclamation, imbued with a quiet power that grapples with the immense weight of history."