Mojo journalist Andy Cowan on Rina Mushonga's In A Galaxy
Everybody’s eclectic nowadays but Rina Mushonga subverts her influences more skillfully than most. The all-rounder’s music – a teething tapestry of Afropop, indie and folk with skittering synth orchestrations – is testament to her itinerant past, taking in formative years in Zimbabwe and the Netherlands before South London beckoned.
It’s taken just over four years of sessions with producers Brett Shaw and Frans Verburg to craft In A Galaxy, a dramatic leap from the lightly shaded folk inflections of 2014 Dutch-only debut The Wild, The Wilderness.
With antecedents in Fela Kuti, Paul Simon, Eurythmics, Bhundu Boys and even Kate Bush, this more refined vision explores a gamut of hard-felt emotions, with transformation an abiding theme. As guitars sparkle, synths chime and bass nimbly mediates capering rhythms, Mushonga unfurls highly relatable tales of resurfacing in a new city (Jungles), the quest for self-improvement (Hey Coach), and even recasts the Greek myth of Atalanta without being precious or wanky.
In A Galaxy repays repeated listens – an album as singular and defiant as the clenched fist it wears on its sleeve.