Britain is no stranger to singing female powerhouses; Adele and Amy Winehouse both modern legends in their own right. We mustn’t forget the reality TV elite either, the likes of Leona Lewis and Rebecca Ferguson have established themselves as solid players in the pop star arena with their diva vocals. So surely there can’t be room for someone else at the top.
Jessie Ware’s eagerly anticipated album, Devotion, was released this week and with it a whole new sound for a female solo artist.
Many will know Ware from her guest vocals on various dub and D&B tracks for the likes of Joker and SBTRKT, and could be found regularly doing backing vocals at drum & bass nights around Brixton. The love of these genres is clearly reflected in her music mixed with Ware’s own blend of soulful pop. The subtle club influences have lent Jessie Ware’s music well to remixes the most prevalent being ‘Running’ which used by fellow Londoners and rising DJ duo, Disclosure to create a true club anthem, one championed by Annie Mac.
Devotion is truly mesmerising; cool and downbeat – so much so that it could almost be overlooked as just another chilled background record. Yet Ware’s vocals are so hypnotic and the sound so much more sophisticated that it has staying power that pull her way ahead of her peers such as Katy B and Emeli Sande. The sound so subtle that you can’t help but sit up and listen.
Jessie Ware’s biggest single to date, Wildest Moment, is a power ballad of epic proportions. The song is a devastating tribute to a broken relationship depicted so poignantly it’s sure to ring true with so many. Wildest Moment will no doubt be ringing wild on the airwaves which will lead to the rise of a new pop star that’s relatively small venue (Manchester – Sound Control) tour has already sold out many dates.
In her track ‘Taking In Water’ Ware lays out her powerless feelings towards her younger brother who perhaps has drifted of the tracks – ‘holding on forever to keep you, to keep you from sinking too deep’… ‘I’m taking in water for you, my love; pulling you out of the blue.’ Ware is so open about the raw, helpless devotion we feel towards those we love unconditionally.
Ware’s lyrics are very open and honest about relationships showing vulnerability yet somehow resilience all at the same time. Jessie Ware is clearly a very talented artist and Devotion capturing all the very best of pop music of the moment packaged in such a way that will mean it’s hanging around in iPods for a while to come.