Michael Kiwanuka collabs with Black Keys' Dan Auerbach on "Lasan"

Soul Brothers: Michael Kiwanuka and the Black Keys' Dan Auerbach on "Lasan"

Last spring, I had written a post for AOL’s now-defunct TheBVX that started something like, “Michael Kiwanuka has one of those voices that just sounds overstuffed with old-soul emotion.” I wasn’t exaggerating.

But his is not the gritty, gospel wail of a soulman in the Eddie Levert mold. The London-based singer/songwriter has the folksy warmth that recalls Bill Withers or Sam Cooke.

Though that may seem like lot to live up to, just one gander at his video for “Tell Me A Tale,” which made the blog rounds last year, and it’s clear that the lofty comparisons are not that wide of the mark. (Watch it below.)

His collaboration on “Lasan” with Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys makes even more sense. Both acts operate in similar soul-folk-rock realms and on the song, which you can hear below as well, the partnership sounds like a natural fit.

An optimistic Kiwanuka sings:

“Just you live your everyday like you’re running out of time/ Say the things you say, don’t leave any word behind/ Try to find you something that won’t fade away and die…

Earlier this month, Auerbach told BBC Newsbeat that he definitely co-signs Kiwanuka:

“It was great – really quick. We went and did it really quick at Ray Davies‘ studio. It was nice. Obviously his voice is amazing the songs are cool. The production on that stuff is great too – I like what the guy is doing.”

Since dropping three well-received EPs, Kiwanuka’s been tearing up festival stages and club dates across Europe for more than a year now. (He opened for Adele on several dates last year.) He did a few performances in the States late last year like these for Yahoo and KCRW.

He’s touring in UK and Europe right now, in fact, before he drops his debut Home Again on March 12 in UK and March 27 in the US.

LISTEN: “Lasan”

 

WATCH: “Tell Me A Tale”

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