Sudan Archives – “Come Meh Way” (Singles Going Steady)

Mix Sudanese-style fiddling with menacing electronic beats and you get Sudan Archives.

Adriane Pontecorvo: The way singer-songwriter/violinist Sudan Archives puts together a song is nothing short of extraordinary. From the ethereal dissonance of her opening words to Sudanese-style fiddling to menacing electronic beats, each element of “Come Meh Way” is carefully timed and layered to build up into something complex and breathtaking. There’s a magic to the way Sudan Archives’ voice travels down unfamiliar paths, to the way her strings wail and shimmer. She brings a completely unique style to the table, something as yet untapped that has the potential to rock the musical world. [10/10]

Paul Carr: Over fiddle, finger clicks and percussive claps, Sudan Archives manages to cram sunshine into a bottle. Any artist who signs with Stones Throw must have something special and the 23-year-old self-taught violinist is no exception. On “Come Meh Way” her fiddle playing alternates between an upbeat swing and a smoother slither that skates around a modern R&B backing. It’s an impressive debut that marks Sudan Archives as one to watch. [8/10]

Steve Horowitz: I’m no geopolitical expert but when I hear someone from Sudan repeatedly sing “I can’t escape / I get blown away”, I am frightened by what it may mean! This song celebrates friendship and even love rather than bombs, which is a beautiful thing. The push and pull of the central rhythm and the lilting voice of the lead singer turn this simple song into a giant hook. The listener feels compelled to relax and enjoy it. The accompanying video works well to visually introduce one to Sudan. However, it’s music takes one a step further and hat makes one watch it over and over. [8/10]

Ian Rushbury: This is an inch away from being excellent – it’s got a great vocal melody and a very cool violin loop with a haunting, nursery rhyme bridge – but the arrangement does nothing to tie them together. It’s like seeing all the component bits of a song lying on the ground and you’ve got thirty seconds to bolt them all together any way you can. Almost, but not quite. [5/10]

Chris Thiessen: That violin hook is so uniquely refreshing and catchy. I can’t think of anything else like it right now. Fusing the worlds of Sudanese fiddle-work and electronic R&B, Sudan Archives is definitely on to something. Looking forward to hearing more from her in the future. [9/10]

Chris Ingalls: There’s a lot of interesting instrumental and arrangement choices going on here, and it all adds up to a unique, arresting combination. The violin, the haunting vocals, fat synth bass lines, beautifully understated electric piano. It’s the kind of track that only lasts a few minutes – probably just enough to introduce all its elements working together – but I could listen to it for much longer. Hypnotic stuff. [8/10]

Tristan Kneschke: Sudan Archives was one of the revelations at this year’s Moogfest. Playing solo in a crowded church venue, her combined talents of voice and violin came across modestly yet powerfully in the reverberant space. Archives’ violin pierces through the clapping, stomping drums on “Come Meh Way” while her soothing vocal harmonies twist through the track. On the video, she pays tribute to her namesake, and northeastern Africa more generally, where she’s drawn much of her inspiration. The country of Sudan becomes a character, a travelogue of sorts as Archives explores the country — her second time ever on a plane. [7/10]

Mike Schiller: Fresh in every sense of the word, “Come Meh Way” goes at its own speed, says what it needs to say, and then ends. Archives’ self-taught violin work is fantastic here, though it’s the slithery little beat about halfway through that really sells the song. Sudan Archives is a wonderful talent who deserves a taste of wider fame, but for now, is doing quite well in the independent space she’s carved out for herself. [8/10]

A Noah Harrison: A roomy jingle, sawing fiddle, breathy vocals, and circular hook form this beat-driven, leftfield art pop tune a la Tune-Yards or Santigold. Worthwhile especially for the collection of gorgeous scenes from a Sudanese village, part of a nation most of us only consider in sympathetic abstraction. [6/10]

SCORE: 7.66