Love & Compromise



Mahalia Burkmar’s debut album opens with a clip of the 1982 Eartha Kitt interview from which it takes its title. A chorus of vocals reverberate around the crackling audio as Kitt is asked whether she would be willing to compromise in a relationship. “Compromising for what? Compromising for what reason?”, she responds in disbelief as a kick drum punctures the mix. ‘Hide Out’ then becomes a cross-generational duet, where Kitt’s steadfast self-respect is echoed in Mahalia’s soulful diatribe against an unfaithful partner. “You don’t know what you had, I’m amazing”, the 21-year-old sings, giggling along with Kitt’s wild laughter.

Mahalia takes that unflappable energy and runs with it. Whether making a clean break (‘Do Not Disturb’, ‘Square 1’) or musing over an ex (‘I Wish I Missed My Ex’), she brushes off toxic relationships with an apathetic shrug. Even flirting with the possibility of new love (’Good Company’), Mahalia knows her worth: “If you can respect me I’ll let you stay”. Self-care is Love & Compromise’s bottom line.

Like a guided relaxation tape, the album’s pillow-soft instrumentals slip us into Mahalia’s euphoria. Heavy piano chords melt into warm, purring synths on ‘Regular People’ – a tender ode to being ordinary – as Mahalia sings about loving her body and skin. Hypnotic drones and subtle percussion score the romantic, carnal imagery of ‘Consistency’. The Burna Boy-featuring, Beenie Man-sampling ‘Simmer’ is a balmy dancehall bop that catches the last few rays of summer.

As confident a debut as you’re likely to hear, Love & Compromise reveals Mahalia as an honest, perceptive songwriter. With its refreshing message of self-love and lustrous, unfussy arrangements, the album radiates positivity. Going through a tough breakup? Need to fall in love with yourself again? Just had a really shit day? Mahalia has the cure.

New monthly memberships available

Here’s a new thing: our membership scheme now has a pay-monthly option, plus a load of exciting new digital stuff for people who support what we do. It’s actually excellent value, honest, and will help us continue to promote new independent artists and labels.

Sign up and you’ll receive our physical magazines delivered to your door, our digital editions, exclusive podcasts and playlists and access to our EXTREMELY glamorous Members Lounge. You’ll be the envy of all your friends.