- Words Yazzi Gokcemen
Vagabon takes us on her UK and EU tour, supporting Arlo Parks across six countries before ending at the hallowed Hammersmith Apollo.
It had been almost four years since Cameroonian-born Letitia Tamko, aka Vagabon, released new music. The singer-songwriter dropped her third album, Sorry I Haven’t Called, which launched her back into the spotlight. The 12-track LP, which showcases Vagabon’s unique and playful take on electro-pop, instantly received high praise from critics. She’s currently on tour with Arlo Parks, supporting the Brit award-winning artist at gigs across the USA and Europe.
Things looked very different for Tamko a couple of years ago. After a triumphant debut and sophomore album, which were hailed by the likes of Mitski, the singer lost a best friend. Uprooting to a small lake-side village in Germany, she grieved, processed and healed – making music turned into a cathartic practice that eventually revived her thirst for life.
Hearing the vibrant melodies and joyous grooves which score Sorry I Haven’t Called, the artist’s tragedy isn’t clearly decipherable. Tamko never meant it to be, “it’s completely euphoric…a reaction to what I was experiencing at the time, not a document of it,” she says. This ‘reaction’ manifested in an embrace and exploration of dance music; she revelled in its power to uplift energy, dissolve self-consciousness and connect strangers.
Fusing two-stepping drums and striking bass with her previously-honed effervescent pop sound, Vagabon returned from Germany artistically, as well as emotionally, ‘reborn’. Extensive musical musings came together in LA with the magic of HAIM producer Rostam and now she’s reaching a global audience.