Born in Cameroon and raised from the age of 13 in New York City, Lætitia Tamko — aka Vagabon — captures the beauty of both worlds in her music: wide-open expanses and the moody pulse of an urban landscape. She also draws from them more literally on her second album, applying hip-hop production techniques to West African guitars and inspirations that include Malian musician Ali Farka Touré.
The sound — chill, ambient — is otherworldly; the lyrics are universal. "In a Bind" explores longing for a lost chance at romance, while "Home Soon" celebrates finding comfort in community. "I want to make you a flood in my hands," she croons on "Flood," conjuring up a love so big it sweeps both parties away. As with her artistic peers Frankie Cosmos and Daughter of Swords, there is something charmingly off-kilter about Vagabon's melodic approach. But she also makes it sound as effortless as breathing air.