I haven’t written about music in a hot minute, but then, that’s because nothing new has moved me in a pretty long time. Sure, there are a lot of great tunes out there and the airwaves are filled with the latest bangers that’ll form the backdrop to our summer only to later be forgotten or anthologised on a “best of the decade” mix in a fit of nostalgia in a few years’ time. But what I was really missing was something that grabbed at me and forced me to shut up and just listen. Enter Jessie Ware.
You may have heard of Jessie Ware if you troll music blogs on the regular – she’s been a favourite for her collaborations with Sampha (‘Valentine’ was my Jessie introduction) or lately, her cover of the Quiet Storm classic ‘What You Won’t Do For Love’, the latter of which earned no less than 25 repeat listens in my iTunes upon its release. Still, it’s more likely that you haven’t heard of her – not yet, anyway – but that’s all about to change.
It’s hard to describe what Jessie Ware does to a song, the way her voice floats in a sort of soporific stupor atop a melody before delving into the depths of a track until she reaches its core. An easy comparison would be Sade for the new generation, though that seems an injustice to both singers and undercuts the uniqueness of their respective styles. Still, the approach feels similar enough – soulful, smooth like silk under water, a kind of effortless daze you find yourself, as a listener, unable to get out of – not that you ever really want to. She is, by far, my favourite artist this year and I can’t wait to see what she does next.
The 27-year-old – who is, naturally, English – will release her debut album, Devotion, on 20 August in the UK. In the meantime, check out her new single, ‘Wildest Moments’ (and this amazing live performance of the album’s title track here, if you’d like!) below and find out more about Jessie Ware on her website, Facebook or follow her on Twitter @jessie_ware: