Cold Specks on Apple Music

Cold Specks

Born in Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada and based in London, England, Ladan Hussein, who goes by the stage name Cold Specks, describes her signature sound as "doom soul." The child of Somali immigrants, Hussein dropped out of her political science studies at the University of Toronto and moved to London to make music steeped in the old gospel spirituals and traditional folk songs that famed musicologist Alan Lomax spent most of his life putting to tape. Her unique blend of deep Southern soul, Tom Waits/Jeff Buckley-inspired blues, and goth-tinged indie folk first caught the public's attention after an appearance on the popular British music program Later...With Jools Holland. She released her debut single, "Holland," in 2011, and in 2012 she inked a deal with Mute Records and released her debut album, I Predict a Graceful Expulsion. Her sophomore long-player, Neuroplasticity, arrived in 2014 and featured contributions by Swans' Michael Gira and trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire. While touring in support of the album, Hussein watched videotapes of her father's band, Iftin, which he founded in the '70s while living in Somalia. She learned more about her Somali heritage, particularly her family's hometown of Mogadishu before the war that scattered her relatives, and channeled it into her third album, Fool's Paradise. Co-produced by Hussein and Jim Anderson, the album featured Cold Specks' first songs in the Somali language as well as performances by Arcade Fire bassist Tim Kingsbury. ~ James Christopher Monger

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