Akosua Gyebi — otherwise known as Kosi — is a vocalist with a range and distinctive style all her own. Her debut One More Cup Of Coffee leaves a lasting memory and is one of the best new albums I have heard for a long while. Recorded in New York with guitarist Aron Marchak, the project is populated by the people of New York, with tales of their ups, downs, lost loves and triumphs. Kosi sings with such emotion that you cannot help but be drawn in to the songs and characters she paints with her music.
“Goodbye Pork Hat” opens the album and Kosi uses her wonderful sultry voice as an instrument, weaving in and out with Marchak’s guitar to create a heartfelt duet. “One More Cup of Coffee” opens with a sublime guitar riff and Kosi’s blues-influenced vocals come in with deep, sultry tones and gorgeous depth of quality. Kosi demonstrates her excellent vocal range here. “Little Miss Generous” is more upbeat, the vocals as generous as the Miss of the title and “Coldest Summer” is a contrast with its strong lines for both guitar and voice. “Karen” is a tale of love, jealousy and hate and Kosi puts emotion into her vocals to make the song speak to the listener.
“Autumn in New York” is a slow, melodious number and, at times, Kosi’s vocals remind the listener of a young Sade with their husky tones — but there is a depth in Kosi which would be hard to find in another vocalist. “Need Your Love” carries a driving vocal line over a strong repeating guitar riff; a beautiful solo in the middle contrasts well with the other lines in the number. “The Last Shot” shows Kosi’s wide range of vocals, and has a Spanish feel to the opening. It is a deep, dark number with Kosi delivering some blinding vocals. It builds up to the final phase of sobbing, crying, heartfelt emotions which Kosi pours into her singing. On “Marlene,” Kosi plays guitar and her vocals carry two characters — one sung in deep alto, the other responding in mezzo tones — the quality and emotions carry the story told inthe song into the sub conscious of the listener.
“Once and Future” finishes the album in a more up-beat manner and is a solid ballad of love with a bluesy style.
Kosi’s voice is perfect for telling stories, bringing characters to life and making them memorable. Her voice has something special about it. You find yourself hanging on to every word, listening to the end of each song. Kosi is a superb lyricist and vocalist and above all, she uses her voice to tell a good story. This is an album to lift the spirits, take the listener to New York and share in its night-time delights.