DEARLY beloved, gathered here today: let’s let a little smooth Afrosoul sun into our lives to keep the harsh bite of Lockdown 2: The Return at bay.

And what better antidote for crawling those winter isolation walls than the first taste of what we have to come from Marie Bashiru, a singer-songwriter who has signed on the dotted line for Common Language, the label just set up by songwriter and producer Steph Marziano, who’s worked with Hayley Williams, Ex:Re, and Denai Moore.

Marie’s just released “Joyride” by way of introduction to her thing: take a listen below. She has this honeyed caress of a voice, which she lets glide out over a sweet soulful tune with bright highlife guitar with a little English folk pastoralist twist, and grand polyrhythms. It’s a little drop of eyes-shut musical reverie to take as a tonic to our current grind.

Steph is on record as saying that when she heard “Joyride”, she forgot all the darkness of 2020; there’s that little calming hook line to proffer brighter days ahead: “We’ll be alright”.

Marie brings a slightly different take on the song’s origins. She says: “’Joyride’ is a song written in the spirit and in homage to my West African background.

“It takes you on a journey of adventure, colour and new beginnings in the midst of challenge and uncertainty.

“Imagined with a backdrop of earthen and off-the-beaten paths, dry heat and low, wide expansive skies, it challenges you to enjoy the ride, and not forget the journey to the destination”. I’ll take that as a shining thread of song to get me to a better place.

Follow Marie Bashiru on InstagramTwitterFacebookYouTube and Spotify.