London-based singer-songwriter, guitarist, pianist, and saxophonist Sandra-Mae Lux unveils her first full-length album, Happily Ever Now, a lush, dazzling work of art.
Written by Sandra-Mae and Alan D. Marriott, and produced by Gil Cang, the album showcases the musical gifts of Robin Mullarkey (bass) and Toby Baker (keys), as well as Sandra-Mae’s multi-instrumental virtuosity and luxurious vocals.
Sandra-Mae illustrates the album’s production, saying, “It’s been amazing. Everything was recorded at this funky studio in North London just full of vintage gear. For me, it was like a musical treasure box full of all the instruments that created the sounds of the albums I love. Y’know? The real gems, synths like a Minimoog or Juno-6, or that unmistakable sound of a real Rhodes or Wurlitzer. So all those incredible instruments combined with musicians who really knew how to get the most out of them was like…well, it was just a privilege to be in the room.”
Hailing from a small town in British Columbia, Sandra-Mae’s natural gift for music emerged early, followed by learning saxophone and piano while still a pre-teen. Babysitting money yielded a guitar. In high school, she participated in concert and jazz bands, followed by Jazz Studies on Saxophone while at Capilano University. In the wake of graduation, she performed at the Ottawa International Jazz Festival, along with luminaries Herbie Hancock and Dave Brubeck.
At the age of 22, she moved to London, where she concentrated on writing and recording the music for her album, Happily Ever Now.
Spanning 12-tracks, from a purely subjective viewpoint, highpoints on the album embrace tracks such as “How Can You Trust,” which blends flavors of funk and jazz with tinges of gospel savor, all capped by the bluesy, soulful tones of Sandra-Mae. A stellar guitar solo injects the harmonics with surging, blistering notes.
“Moment in the Sun” qualifies as one of the highlights, rolling out on a funky groove, while Sandra-Mae struts her luscious vocal range, made even more expressive by the luminous backing harmonies. A fat, vibrating bassline gives “Now or Never Love” a hefty rhythmic punch as Sandra-Mae’s glossy timbres imbue the lyrics with velvety sensual hues, varying from melodic to wicked snarling inflections.
Smoldering with sultry eroticism, “Do U Wanna” features the voice of Sandra-Mae oozing steamy, smoky tones, surging with surfacing curvaceous essence. “I’m Still Here” rides a low-slung groove, exuding cashmere flair. On this track, Sandra-Mae’s voice takes on rich burnished coloration – like warm Velveeta.
At once elegant, delectable, stylish, and exquisitely nuanced, Happily Ever Now bestows lustrously beautiful music upon listeners.