Laetitia Tamko, better known as Vagabon, is a singer-songwriter and producer from Cameroon, and is now based in New York City. With her first EP release Persian Garden (2014), Vagabon demonstrated her multitude of talents in her unique sound. However, her latest release Vagabon (2019) is an album that simply cannot be ignored. It’s hard to know why this album hasn’t gained more attention in the music scene, but with her name on festivals such as End of The Road this year, it is no doubt she’ll get the recognition she deserves soon.
Vagabon is vaguely reminiscent of FKA Twigs‘ newest releases, and is categorised as alternative, which indicates that there is something for everyone to enjoy. It has some slower and faster tracks, but all are gorgeous in their own way.
This album, alongside containing some gorgeous melodies and harmonies, also includes some potent messages, with ‘Every Woman’ calling for a togetherness in woman-kind. Its stark lyrics “All the women I meet are tired / They just kick up their feet prior” and “We deserve the right to be full / When we’re on our own” indicate and emphasise the importance of women’s rights and female independence. This message is extremely relevant, with international women’s day just last week, and is something that will continue to be relevant for decades to come. She describes it as her “invitation song”, for anyone who has “fought hard for something, who is currently fighting something, who has won wars and who has currently being put against a new war”, emphasising its communal and universal message.
‘Full Moon In Gemini’, the first track off Vagabon differs from ‘Every Woman’ as it is extremely groovy and perfect to move to, whereas the latter’s stark message parallels its emotively slow tempo. ‘Flood’ is also an unskippable song, with its gorgeous vocals from the start drawing the listener in completely. Its chorus is catchy, and the addictive musical accompaniments truly showcase Tamko’s multi-instrumental talents.
‘Water Me Down’ is one of the most popular from Vagabon, which is not at all surprising. It signals a dedication towards her own self worth, and its lyrics are inspiring to say the least. “I’ll take my time next time / And I’ll do it right” indicates a message concerning female independence and decision making, confessing that mistakes have been made in the past but lessons are learned and change can happen. The background melody from the synths is just as catchy as the song’s chorus, and when considering each aspect of the song it becomes entirely impossible to focus on just one greatness. Each element blends perfectly to become one of the catchiest, grooviest and most memorable singles from Vagabon.
Rather than list every other song of the album and discuss their seemingly flawless and addictive qualities, it’s simply best to ask readers to listen. Tamko has something to say on this album, and her messages are unmissable. Vagabon is for anyone who is looking for something a little different, a little groovy or a little inspiring.
Vagabon is available via Vagabon Music, LLC.