MALKA – I’m Not Your Soldier

MALKA returns in a reflective, personal but defiant mood on new album I'm Not Your Soldier

Album Review by Eugenie Johnson | 24 Feb 2020
  • Malka - I'm Not Your Soldier
Album title: I'm Not Your Soldier
Artist: MALKA
Label: Tantrum Records
Release date: 28 Feb

Back in 2017, multi-instrumentalist Tamara Schlesinger, aka MALKA, released the politically-charged Ratatatat in the wake of the Brexit referendum and the election of Donald Trump. Skip forward three years and the political climate is no less turbulent. It therefore wouldn’t be a surprise if Schlesinger continued some of the themes of her previous outing here but, instead, I’m Not Your Soldier sees MALKA in a more reflective and personal mood, but also a defiant one.

Schlesinger sets the tone early on Get Up, while on Don’t Believe It she echoes the title with a bold statement: 'I’m not a soldier, but I will fight for my life'. The melodies Schlesinger weaves are often uplifting and vibrant, with the bouncy hook of single Taking It Back epitomising this by bursting forth from an otherwise restrained palette. It’s unfortunate that things can feel a little one-paced, particularly in the middle of the record, but as the album progresses into its final third the likes of moody meditation Seize This Moment sees Schlesinger playing more with texture and tone. As I’m Not Your Soldier closes with tender lullaby Close Your Eyes, it’s easy to feel like you’ve been given a glimpse into MALKA’s own realm. 

Listen to: Seize This Moment, Taking It Back