“I feel so small” are the first words you hear on “The Embers.” Vagabon, the performance moniker for Cameroon-born, NYC based Lætitia Tamko, tackles the perception of self while existing in an uncomfortable surrounding.

The setting of the track is a symbolic tug-of-war between a distant strumming that is a little weak in the knees and an empowering explosion of guitar and percussion that walks around with the straightest of spines. You can’t help but get addicted to the single, which is from the artist’s upcoming album Infinite Worlds (out on Feb. 24th and available to pre-order on Father/Daughter Records).

Tamko’s forthright nature about finding one’s place in new environments is captivating. There are elements of an autobiographical approach, even going as far as referring to herself in first person at times, but the music also has this feel where it seems as if it’s pulling you through shaky times. A rare feat to pull off really.

While she says she’s a small fish facing off against metaphorical bigger sharks, she’s willing to dive in and surrender herself to the circumstances of the now. “The Embers” pacing draws you in as verse movements ebb and flow, and the nontraditional arrangement of the chorus structures build a towering muscle. A maintained chaotic energy blasts through for one more refrain, and you immediately scrub back to the beginning. Joey Smith

(Front page photo credit: Ebru Yildiz)