Mood: it’s the quality that distinguishes a good R&B song from a transcendent one. A powerful mood can pull a listener into the singer’s world, and speak directly to the emotions in a way that words don’t always do. Barbadian-Canadian singer-songwriter Vita Chambers is a woman of many talents. Her single “Fix You” went gold in Canada, and she even opened for Justin Bieber on 27 shows of the MY World Tour. She’s an expressive vocalist, a candid and poetic lyricist, and a compelling screen presence, too. But above all, she’s a master of mood. Chambers is the rare artist in full command of the power of shading, subtlety, and inflection. Listening to her songs is like slipping into a dream – one with muted colors and dangerous undertones, and powerful reverberations that’ll haunt you straight through the waking hours.
“You Should Know” is the lead song for her four-song EP VITA. It’s a breakup song and one on which the singer wears her wounds boldly but never loses her poise or her mysterious sense of proportion. “I will always love you enough to let you go,” she tells her beau, and although her voice is heavy with regret, her conviction shines through. “You Should Know” triggers the mood for her follow-up songs entitled “Seduce Me “, “Treasure,” and “Strange Delight.” Chambers and her producers have backed up this sentiment with music that deepens the passion of the storytelling and the strength just beneath the velvet surface. Muffled beats, echoed vocals and synthesizers that spread seductively reinforce the feeling of destabilization that accompanies a breakup. If you’ve been there, “You Should Know” makes that experience all too real. These are challenging feelings to capture, for sure – but Chambers has captured them brilliantly on VITA.
The clip for “You Should Know” demonstrates that Chambers understands visual mood just as well as aural mood. The star and co-director Jeffrey Nye suffuse the frames with washes of color that heighten the intensity – and deepen the mystery – of the track. The pair reap aesthetic rewards from tricks of light: specks of illumination reflected on Vita Chambers’s eyes, the gleam of her lipstick, the flash of the facets of the diamond rings she wears, the noirish shadows of a Venetian blind. There’s even a bit of pyrotechnics at the end, but you might conclude, rightly, that Chambers is plenty explosive on her own. Vita Chambers also completed this trilogy project with follow-up videos for “Seduce Me” and “Strange Delight,” which can be seen on her YouTube channel or website.