Sule – Love Me (Country Swing)
Sule’s single “Love Me” is a fantastically smooth and welcome reminder that, despite their eclipse in popularity, many musical forms only faced exhausted commercial appeal and still make for excellent songwriting and performing vehicles. “Swing” tempo music may not be something you catch on the Top 40 charts, but it’s still a style assured to capture attention and hold it, particularly in an era when so much in popular music sounds rehashed, digitized, or lifelessly punched out in a state of the art studio. This song has none of those weaknesses. Instead, this remarkably fluid invocation of classic country music has even deeper roots in jazz and blues while showcasing the marvelous and profoundly musical talents of one of a truly talented singer and performer. He’s carved out a reputation for himself as an outstanding live singer and there’s no question the material here gives him a wonderful addition to his live act.
You will love Sule’s restraint. A lesser singer would have tried to dominate this tune with the power of their vocal chords and personality, but it’s clear from his first line on that Sule has a different agenda. Instead, Sule’s vocal wants to seize the song’s emotional moment and milk it for all that its worth. He comes across as intensely likable, totally invested in the moment, and capable of doing anything he likes with golden and infinitely flexible pipes. There’s a definite blues influence in the music, but that influence is even stronger vocally and never has to figuratively beat its chest to earn the listener’s attention and admiration. Instead, the intensely human qualities of the performance and Sule’s palpable confidence make this an exceptional performance that never tries to hog the spotlight and wants to do the song justice as a whole.
The same feeling comes across in the music. Sule is working here with musicians who are prodigiously talented, but I’m thankful that they are the sort of players not intent on proving how technically good they are in every bar. Instead, they hang back just enough and surround Sule’s voice with stylish reinforcement that underlines the song’s melody and helps make it a closer, more intimate experience for music fans. It is every bit as accessible as the vocal and strong lyrical content – the guitar work, in particular, serves as a near counterpoint to Sule’s voice in a number of ways. This is a lovely, lovely performance that never comes off as aggressive or too controlled – instead, it strikes a perfect balance between its various parts and moves with one cohesive motion from the first. Sule’s “Love Me” doesn’t intend to remake the songwriting wheel, but it’s a remarkably intimate number that will definitely prove to be a winning live cut for this blossoming solo artist. Let’s hope his music gets the hearing it so richly deserves.