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Having started performing and writing at the ages of 5 and 10 respectively, Phalaborwa-born, Joburg-based songsmith Jacqueline Tolken is no stranger to the stage, having performed both at home and abroad and having featured on The Voice Holland and The Voice SA.
Making it to the top 32 of the latter, with a sultry cover of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Dreams’ as an entryway, Tolken was repetitively complimented by judges Lira and Karen Zoid while Kahn Morbee called her voice “a superpower”.
Her debut single ‘My Mama’ exudes a sultry, Winehouse-meets-Joplin vocal quality accompanied by a busy, blues-esque backdrop that dominates the track throughout. Fittingly, tantalising harmonica and ornamental accordion lines create an emotive setting for Tolken’s lyricism: the fluctuating dynamics of love and lust.
Provoked by a relatively unassuming bass line, I’m left with only one significant criticism. Although ‘My Mama’ effortlessly showcases Tolken’s exceptional vocal range and ability, it’s abundantly-textured character makes it difficult to know where to place one’s attention.
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Listen to ‘My Mama’ on below.