Thursday, 6 November 2008

Essie Jain - The Inbetween

It’s well known that New York is a Mecca of bisexual cross-dressing musico-haircut savants, who only ever look down from their vertiginous espadrilles to breathe sensual life-fire into the hearts of the stricken normaloids scrabbling in the dirt for flint. The term ‘New York-based’ denotes a certain cachet, and is not to be employed in a casual fashion.

Given this, one might be forgiven for being initially underwhelmed by Essie Jain, an N.Y. singer-songwriter of mists and mellow fruitfulness, lacking the visceral punch of her urban cohorts. Add to this the critical kiss-of-death that is a Daily Telegraph endorsement and things look grim.

Happily, the erstwhile Londoner has more to offer than Melua-like cooing; for one thing, she sings like someone who exists. In fact, fragile tangibility is this record’s strongpoint – it sounds like a whole bunch of Real People made it and Enjoyed the experience, which makes it a lot easier for the listener to reciprocate.

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