Jamaican-born, Miami-based singer-songwriter Etana will reveal arguably her fiercest, most thought-provoking material to date on February 26, 2013. Recorded at Kingston’s legendary Tuff Gong Studios, Etana’s third studio album Better Tomorrow (VP Records) is a true testament to her evolved sound.
With a fresh perspective and baby daughter Nyla born in November 2012, Etana offers newfound clarity on Better Tomorrow. Her powerful songwriting and evocative vocals ride effortlessly over soulful reggae melodies on this 14-track collection produced primarily by Jamaica’s own Shane C. Brown of Jukeboxx Recordings. Described as “reggae’s Jill Scott” (NPR) or “reminiscent of India.Arie” (Essence), Etana is “moving ahead from struggles of yesterday on a musical journey that uplifts the mind, body and the raw soul,” as she eloquently explains on Better Tomorrow’s intro “Spoken Soul.”
Etana’s indomitable spirit uplifts and inspires generations both old and new. Songs like “Queen,” ignite strength and empowerment, while “Till You Get Old (Life’s Gift)” is an awe-inspiring tale of motherhood and unconditional love (produced by Stanley “Rellee” Hayden). Her unabashed romanticism shines on the r&b tinged “4 Play 2 Love (Start Over) and on the rhythmic sway of the album’s contagious first single “Reggae.” She combats hopelessness on “Whole New World,” “All I Need” and “Better Tomorrow.” The latter spine-chilling title track addresses the atrocities of children in poverty-stricken communities while instilling optimism for brighter days.
Better Tomorrow expands upon her recent digital-only EP Reggae and 2011 sophomore album Free Expressions, which won praise for the being “a rarity: music that sermonizes, yet still sweetly serenades,” according to NPR.org. These releases also follow her 2008 critically acclaimed debut The Strong One, which featured massive hits “Warrior Love,” “Roots” “I Am Not Afraid,” “Blessing” ft. Alborosie and “Wrong Address” that topped reggae charts in The Caribbean, England and United States. Essence.com raved that her “poetic consciousness amid soul-stirring grooves rivals that of gifted neo-soulsters.” Pitchfork chose her debut album as their dancehall pick of the month and gushed about her “fulsome and soulful voicings” and “syrupy love songs.” Vibe magazine claimed she had already “established herself as a formidable performer and songwriter whose music and reputation precedes her.” During this period, Etana was nominated for Best New Reggae Artist at MOBO Awards and awarded Best Female Vocalist at both the Excellence in Music & Entertainment (EME) Awards and IRIE FM Radio Awards as well as the Best Solo Female Reggae Vocalist at the 1st annual Reggae Academy Awards.