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Pop - Released May 29, 2020 | Verve Forecast

One year after the release of his debut (Qobuzissime-winning) album in February 2019, J.S. Ondara has released, in the midst of the Covid-19 (then)epidemic, the aptly named “Tales of Isolation”. Lockdown clearly hasn’t deterred this young Kenyan, described by his label as a fusion of Tracy Chapman and Michael Kiwanuka. Following along the lines of his two most beloved records, Dylan’s “The Freewheelin’” and Springsteen’s “Nebraska”, Ondara offers a collection of acoustic songs that are carried by his vibrant singing and plaintive, androgynous voice that pulls on the heart strings. In “Folk n’ Roll Vol. 1: Tales Of Isolation”, the American Dream which fascinates him so once more comes face to face with life’s struggles. And creation in itself is most moving when the artist expresses what’s closest to them. Such is the ideal fuel for the songs of a troubadour of Ondara’s calibre, who is at his most true and powerful when the skies are dark and stormy. © Max Dembo/Qobuz