The aspirant London soul-star, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter/producer and über-talented vocalist known as DORNIK (Dornik Leigh) has now released his eponymous debut album.
Before taking the limelight, this extraordinary singer (with an incredible vocal range) was the drummer for Jessie Ware.
(He still maintains his pad beside him on live shows, perhaps as a comforter.)
His spectacular vocal delivery and upper register artistry means that Dornik has been (lovingly) compared to PRINCE.
And as you listen to this new album (sampler below) — you will see what they mean.
His songs contain bouncing funk and imaginative twists — so it’s certain that you will be reminded of The Purple One. Although, perhaps, his wide vocal range and experimental rawness could be best compared to New York singer Bilal.
We had a listen to the new album:
The disc begins with ‘Strong’ which has wriggling bass notes and darting rhythms…
The vocal is almost superhumanly elegant — with a coating of sugar.
The falsetto reminded us of Barry Gibb. It shone through a thin gel-like layer, satin frosted, and reminded us (remarkably) of Samantha Sang.
‘Blush’ is grander.With an assortment of beats and crooked percussive moments that could have been a bit confusing, if they were not so damn groovy.
For sure, you will linger on each vocal nuance. And you will wonder at the dislocation loops and pressure drops.
It’s as if this was difficult for Dornik. His ideas had to be wrested out. So they splutter and spray. Whilst maintaining easy equilibrium.
‘Stand in Your Line’ has a bumptious beat running right through it.
The voice is crystalline energetic, almost transparent at times. And we loved the interatomic spacing of the lines and the way voice flies clear of those, to set its own neat patterns.
‘Shadow’ has lots of loopy ideas. These swirl and twist around the central beat like caterpillars round a licorice stick.
One of the most endearing things about Dornik’s delivery is his articulations — those small coughs, wheezes and vocal nods that he casually imparts. It is an essential part of his performance. Here, these expressive moments — the ticks and chirrups — are revealed carefully and politely.
Possibly, the strongest number on the album is the hypnotic ‘Drive‘ — with its thrusting riff and a penetrating bass.
The rhythmic pace here is delivered with predictability. But the highly polished voice sets new standards in perfection… Whilst also radiating warmth and confidence.
If you are looking for sweetness in your cool soul-jazz and you prefer albums to offer up lots of little experimental moments— then this is definitely for you.
Vibrant and exciting work from a new star in the making…
‘Dornik’ the debut album is available now.