Aisha Badru’s vocals sound so close in and vulnerable on her single “Water” it immediately puts you off expectations for what the song will be making whatever it is emotionally accessible. The minimal keyboard work and guitar figure as pure tone swirl and resolve in the background as Badru’s words paint for us a different kind of love song, one that suggests an understanding of love that seems more enlightened, compassionate and ultimately more pragmatic than many traditional notions of the emotion that cast the understanding of the feeling as having a possessive quality. Badru sings “we cannot be the keepers of anyone’s key we have to love in a way that sets ’em free” and depicts the inevitable future when we aren’t scrambling all the time to make time for ourselves and others. Badru envisions a more nurturing society to come and proposing the idea that “people are water, they need to be free, they need to explore more what they want to be” and later, “people are water, let ’em be, let it breathe, let it leave.” The love Badru sings of is one that isn’t selfish but one that shows a caring for the full development of those we love and who love us back in a way that doesn’t treat love as a scarce resource but a way of being that uplifts everyone. It’s a beautiful sentiment and idea presented in a luminous melody with Badru singing to us like a good friend who has been through the wringer but come back a wiser better person bearing no malice or judgment. Listen to “Water” on YouTube and follow Badru on Soundcloud.