Gerald Toto

Sway

We last heard Gérald Toto on trio album Bondeko, recorded with fellow global travellers Lokua Kanza and Richard Bona, the "dreamy backdrop" and "immaculate sweet harmonies" of which earned a run of four and five star reviews, leading one reviewer to liken the trio to "an African Crosby, Stills and Nash."

Entirely written, performed and produced single-handedly by Gérald, Sway's collection of 11 new songs takes its listener on an imaginary journey to a world that has time to stop and stare, where the frenetic din of modernity is hushed to a murmur, Toto's songs seemingly plucked from a place of timeless reverie.

The songs on Sway refuse categorization, a cultural melting pot of acoustic folk, jazz, soul, pop and blues with cosmopolitan borders that embrace exotic Creole and Caribbean favours. Highlights include the sweet, samba-tinged romance of "My Girlfriend" and the futuristic doop-wop that underpins "Umbaka", alongside the diaphanous, sun-dappled lilt of Sway's title track. Elsewhere, the gravity-defying 'Away Alive' and 'Let It Blow' are leavened by the skittering electronic beats that drive 'It's A Love Pain' and eerie, atmospheric album closer 'The Night Is Coming'.