English singer/songwriter Jessie Ware is about to drop her debut album, something that Swide have been getting excited about for the last year or so. With comparisons to early 90s soul songstresses being passed around, Jessie Ware has clearly established herself on the British soul/pop scene.
It was her single ‘Running’ that caught the world’s attention and, since then, London has taken the young talent into their open arms and openly celebrated their love for their homegrown talent. We were first introduced to the artist through SBTRKT, when she performed on the ridiculously catchy ‘Nervous’, after her school mate Jack Penate. This led on to her getting noticed by some of the most respected producers on the scene at the moment, including Sampah and Joker. It wasn’t long until she had built a following of her own, thanks to her soulful vocals and the range that they are capable of.
Fast forward to 2012, 26 February saw the release of the first single from her upcoming album ‘Devotion’, a perfect piece of seductive pop that was reminiscent of Lisa Stansfield’s take on soul and a very strong take it was indeed. This quickly established her a solo artist and her fanbase grew in size. More comparisons started coming her way; Dina Carroll, Sade and M People were added to list. Then ‘110%’ got dropped, putting her vocals against a running, downtempo, r’n’b-esque electronic drum track.
Jessie Ware wearing Dolce&Gabbana
Jessie Ware wearing Dolce&Gabbana
Produced by Julio Bashmore, praised House music producer, DJ, writer etc, this was a nice surprise for Jessie Ware fans, letting them know that she has the balls to explore music that is more electronic in its nature. The most recent track to be lifted off the up an coming LP was ‘Wildest Moments’, taking the singer to back to soul but putting them to good use as an epic power ballad. This song, again, sees her brand of electro-soul put to amazing use and has set us all up for the release of her debut album.
So, Devotion? Well, to start of, it has to be said that the production of the album has been in the safe hands of Dave Okuma, who fronts England’s funk/electronic/soul/rock group The Invisibles. Working with Okuma has definitely paid off and, to tease us, Ware released a sampler of 6 songs in July, confirming that is is an album to look out for. The title track of the album is a sexed out piece of soul that is one of the albums strongest, if not simplest, moments. This is contrasted wonderfully by the euphorically layered pulse of ‘Taking In Water’, offering up one of the album’s slow jams. One of the strongest songs that Ware has teased us with is the shuffling ‘Sweet Talk’, which has the potential to become this Summer’s anthem. ‘Still Love Me’ is a rare moment on the album, a moment when Ware’s lyrics are not as sweet as others and packing the slightest touch of venom, offering up some soul-funk and guaranteed to get your head bobbing. A highlight for us in the office is the ridiculously sexy ballad, ‘Night Light’, an emotionally charged song that wouldn’t be out of place, being used during a baby-making scene in a Hollywood romantic flick. Period.
This all that we are going to say on the album, the rest is for you to discover, a task well worth your time.
Jessie Ware’s debut album Devotion is available as of 20 August on PMR records.