Daphne Willis begins her Freaks Like Me with a soulfully-sang effort that draws upon influences as wide as Nancy Sinatra and Elle King. A plinking piano and walking bass line make for an engrossing introduction to Freaks Like Me. Out Of The Black is a high-energy, electronic-based song in the vein of La Roux or Meghan Trainor. The bass is again a prominent effort, giving a funky infusion to a track that will get listeners on to the dance floor. Keep On Keepin’ On is a track that defies genre conventions. During this single, nods are given to acts as far-flung as Jazmine Sullivan, Alabama, and India.Arie.
Just A Little Bit showcases the considerable vocal range of Daphne Willis. The set of male vocals that are added to create a call-and-response to the cut adds an additional complexity to this effort. Listeners can enjoy Just A Little Bit a number of times due to the tremendous amount of interactions (drums/vocals, vocals/vocals, horns/vocals) that are presented here. Willis completes her Freaks Like Me with The Letter, an emotional and introspective effort that winds things down. This is as stripped down as a track can be – Daphne’s vocals and a guitar comprise the song’s backbone – but I feel that this is the most beautiful effort on the album. There is no doubt in my mind that this track could make it onto radio rotation, but there’s something here for musicophiles. This nine-song LP is a great introduction to Daphne Willis. The steady guidance she gives to each element on this release makes for an unfettered success. I think that Willis will be able to create something as engrossing with her follow-up to this fantastic disc.
Top Tracks: Keep On Keepin’ On, Out of the Black
Daphne Willis – Freaks Like Me / 2017 Self Released / 9 Tracks / https://www.facebook.com/daphnewillismusic/