Published May 01, 2015Andreya Triana's sophomore offering is nothing short of a substantial artistic evolution for the South London-based soul songstress. It's said that good things come to those who wait and that phrase seems particularly appropriate given the near half-decade that's passed since her 2010 debut, the Bonobo-produced Lost Where I Belong. Where LWIB bathed Triana's celestial vocals in languid, jazzy grooves, Giants (which was recorded in Los Angeles with Matt Hales behind the boards) is a more stylistically diverse and assured effort, fulfilling the promise of its predecessor.
The brash and playful bounce on the shimmering "Gold" is an impressive showcase for Triana's growth and confidence as a vocalist, while the title track is an ode to self-determination that slowly swells to a stirring climax. "That's Alright With Me" and "Heart In My Hands" are guileless ballads made especially disarming thanks to Triana's blissful pipes. What ultimately impresses most about Giants, however, are her maturing skills as a storyteller. "Keep Running" is driven by a nervous pulse that underscores the song's ruminations on the blurred dichotomy between upper and lower class families, making it a particularly astute examination of modern urban life, while the autobiographical Lauryn Hill tribute "Lullaby" looks back on Triana's troubled teen years and the solace she found in Hill's music.
That autobiographical thread runs through to the closer "Everything You Never Had," a poignant thank you to Triana's mother. Giants affirms that Andreya Triana is an artist that's here to stay. (Counter)