Laura Mvula brings "Green Garden" to life

On the surface, it makes sense that ESPN is featuring Laura Mvula’s “Green Garden” during its coverage of Wimbledon. After all, Mvula hails from Birmingham, England, about 120 miles northwest of Wimbledon. And the All England Club certainly qualifies as a green garden, with its terraces of grass courts, proliferate floral displays and ivy-covered brick walls.

But the similarities don’t stop there. As you’ll see and hear in Mvula’s recent performance of “Green Garden” at New York’s Bowery Ballroom, the song is built like a well-cultivated garden, or a tennis swing honed through years of practice. The little details, all working together, result in something that exceeds the sum of its parts.

“Green Garden” starts simply enough, with a looping chime melody, hand claps and Mvula’s soulful voice. Then it builds layer by layer, with drums, multiple voices and melodies that remind you of rock music’s roots – the doo-wop of the 1950s, or the classic Motown hits of the 1960s.

Mvula graduated from the Birmingham Conservatoire with a degree in composition. Her debut album "Song to the Moon" was released in March.

Laura Mvula -- "Green Garden"

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