Okou produce a swirling worldy mix of blues, pop, folk and soul – echoing everyone from Billie Holiday, through Tom Waits to Nitin Sawhney. But their sound never feels forced or artificial.
The group is based round a collaboration between singer Tatiana Heintz from Cote D’Ivoire, West Africa, and Swiss guitarist Gilbert Trefzger whose background is Egyptian.
They blur musical boundaries but, partly because the album was recorded live in the studio, it has a satisfying, organic feel. Perhaps surprisingly, Serpentine is Okou’s debut album and should be heard.
Serpentine – Okou
CD out now