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First Play Live: Cold Specks, Fool's Paradise

Reuben Maan

Cold Specks really blew people away in 2011, when she mysteriously appeared — seemingly out of nowhere — on Later ... With Jools Holland in the U.K. Who was this Canadian woman with a haunting voice that could raise the hair on your neck? Ladan Hussein had a couple different aliases — Al Spx, Cold Specks — and rumour had it she was from Etobicoke, but who really knew. The back story didn't matter though: the music always speaks for itself. Cold Specks released her debut album several months later, and the acclaim continued.

Now with her third album, Fool's Paradise, Cold Speck's confidence and comfort level in revealing herself to her fans has grown, and we're richer for it. Not only has her platform amplified — as she openly confronts political issues such as Trump's travel ban and negative narratives around Somali identity — but her music is also transcending. She sings in Somali for the first time, on the title track "Fool's Paradise," and the soaring vocal melody and catchy refrain of "Wild Card" are hypnotizing. The percussive elements of her new songs provide a solid backbone; the fuzzy and multi-layered beats of "Void," for example, are the perfect dirty contrast to Cold Specks' crystalline voice.

See for yourself: watch Cold Specks, along with longtime collaborator, producer/multi-instrumentalist Jim Anderson and Josh Joseph-McIntyre on drums and percussion in the videos below.

More to explore:

Cold Specks set to tap Somali roots on personal new record

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