by Constance Tucker
Kandace Springs might be a new name to you, but she certainly will win you over the moment she begins to sing. Her early recordings include a self-titled Ep (2014), Soul Eyes (2016), and her latest endeavor Indigo (2018). Springs grew up the daughter of a soul singer. Her dad Scat Springs had his own band but also sang backup for an incredible range of musicians: Brian McKnight, Chaka Khan, Aretha Franklin, Michael McDonald, Donna Summer. While Springs mother had a full-time gig raising three artistically gifted daughters at home. Springs had an opportunity to sign a deal with GRP around age fifteen, but Scat felt it was too much too soon. Springs says, “I’m so glad I waited,” she and Scat made an album when she was seventeen and though it was never released, a piece of it appears on Indigo. Devastatingly, Scat suffered a stroke in early 2017 that rendered him unable to sing. Springs lifted his original vocals from their effort, set it to new music and the cut “Simple Things” became the core centerpiece of her new LP.
“Don’t Need The Real Thing,” Springs warm vocals fill the air waves with a rich timber and controlled vocal technique. The band lays down a pop and RnB jazz fusion groove that provides a big pad for springs voice to float over. The percussion adds a nice world beat flavor. Springs vocal inflections are certainly influence by RnB, gospel and pop. The vocal harmonies are rich and add interest to the track as the arrangement unfolds. The feel changes add interest and allow the listener to immerse deeply into Springs vocal qualities. The textualization is rich and offers a mix of colors, instruments and vocal harmonies, that lend a nuanced feel and evolution of unfolding of the track.
Springs tackles the legendary ballad, “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face.” Keeping the phrasing of the melody respectful of the original for the first verse. Her depth draws you in, as you to pay attention to her vocal subtleties. She slowly puts her own character into the melody, with each passing phrase Springs lets go and adds more of her own character with bluesy turn here and a unique phrasing there. Springs blending of jazz, pop and soul fuse with jazz creating a robust palate of bountiful beauty. The production is what one would expect from a Blue Note recording, but it also reflects the melding of styles that Springs excels at with fitting production qualities to accentuate her versatility.
Indigo represents the continued unfolding of Springs, her soulful harness of R&B, melded with jazz qualities and pop sensibilities speaks to a broad audience, and audience that is growing beyond the jazz walls of traditionalism at breakneck speeds. Springs is one of those voices sounding the call.