After emerging as a dark indie torch singer – with powerful albums inspired by the deaths of her mother, and her lover Jeff Buckley – Joan Wasser has made an unlikely leap aboard the already overcrowded retro-soul train. As its title suggests, her fifth album is full of the kind of stylish, brassy fare that made huge stars of Amy Winehouse and Plan B.
As it is intended as a kind of development from its predecessor, 2011’s The Deep Field, Joan Wasser’s fifth and latest effort is successful. Retaining certain themes and similarities, not least the incomparable groove and feels her formidable backing band is capable of providing, Wasser moves forth in leaps and bounds with her writing and musical exploration, as is immediately evident in the opening track, Witness. It’s worth mentioning that unlike The Deep Field, this has the feel of an album that grows on you over time, like a profound and fulfilling friendship.