“Blue Horizon” is the latest single from singer/songwriter Marla Lewis, ahead of her latest album SONGBOOK. Lewis, no stranger to the music scene is maybe best known for her award-winning turns into the children’s music genre with albums like I LOVE TO TALK TO PLANTS (2009) and WE ALL LAUGH IN THE SAME LANGUAGE (2007). She’s even been involved with some Grammy-winning artists having co-written “Leap of Faith” alongside Nancy Schimmel for the Grammy-winning ALL ABOUT BULLIES…BIG AND SMALL.
Here, Lewis pivots away from the children’s music for something in the more adult contemporary realm. Lewis has always been vocal about her love for Jazz and American Standards and various music genres in general. She manages to incorporate as many of those ideas and sounds into Blue Horizon to wildly successful results. The arrangement is mellow and it builds a real relaxing aesthetic that almost recalls sounds of The Mamas and the Papas and even 70s soul sounds. With its beginning mixture of Tamborine, guitar, and steady drums it immediately invites you in. In a time when so much music feels overly dour and reactionary to the past year, it’s honestly refreshing that Lewis’ vision is one of love and passion as evident with lines like “See the planets and their moons at play”. It evokes imagery of soaring above the mist of the atmosphere and it’s incredibly effective. In some ways, it almost feels like a missing show tune from the golden age of broadway where the proper balance of show tunes inherent camp and the sincerity of adult contemporary blend.
I’ll be very honest with you in saying that this is one of my favorite singles to be released this year so far. The guitar work is outstanding especially with its extended bit and the way that Lewis utilizes such a raw and emotive performance all without compromising her actual vocals is nothing short of a miracle. My only complaint with the song really is that it’s only a sampling of what’s to come. It absolutely works as a single on its own but I have high hopes that in the context SONGBOOK, it’ll stand out and potentially be elevated by the songs surrounding it. There’s an almost Peter Pan quality of flight that’s attached to the song with lines like “You might feel queasy, but trust me you’ll be alright” and the minute that things really take off after that, you can feel your heart sink from the ways this song leaves you breathless.
Lewis and her long-time producer and Grammy winner Bob Stander have truly crafted a once-in-a-lifetime song that’s a testament to love and the belief in a better tomorrow, and it will undoubtedly go down as one of the true musical highlights of 2021. SONGBOOK has already been described as “pure bliss!” and even just having a little slice of bliss is something the world needs more of. Blue Horizon will be released on August 12 on most major streaming platforms. SONGBOOK will be released later this year.
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