B.Cleo Sol is known as one of the voices of the mysterious avant-soul outfit Sault and delivers her second solo album with little context. Three figures adorn the cover: Sol, a toddler and the photo of a young woman on the wall behind it. We have to assume that the three are related and that Mother, the sequel to 2020 album Rose in the Dark, is about those relationships.
Cleopatra Zvezdana Nikolic called herself “Sol” in homage to her mother’s half-Spanish heritage; Her mother’s advice was a presence on the 2019 track Sweet Blue. These 12 new songs pay more tribute to support in difficult times, while one of two sprawling, eight-minute heart pieces, One Day, vows to be “always for … my angel, born in June”. Sol is mothered and mothered.
They suspect that this care isn’t just limited to genetically related people. In her feather-light tones, Sol gives away further encouragement, analyzes of formative memories and pleading to believe in everyone, while producer Inflo weaves orchestral soul jazz around her. Stevie Wonder is a magnet here, but Sol sings with a casual, delicate intimacy that can make mom feel like you’re meddling in private conversations. It’s a quieter, more spacious, inward-looking work than Rose in the Dark.