New Skin

(37 Adventures/PIAS)

Twelve numbers from this artist and a chance to savour her skills and progress. Jones thanks many people in her record liner notes including her mother. This sort of music is usually nurtured from the earliest days and I picture the Jones abode as being music-friendly. It’s a great start, of course. Jones seems to have been involved in every composition so if you like this album or you don’t, there’s but one place to look! That’s brave, one has to say……..

Rainbow has an eerie and spacey start, melting into a restrained and slightly breathy vocal with out-there lyrics. I am immediately put in mind of the still under-rated musical creations of the mighty Syreeta. The soft cosmic thud of the backing track is totally suitable and a tad trippy. Indulge is treated-guitar led and the slivers of strings show underline this as very much night-time music, as is of course most of the output of early hours maestro Maxwell, whose heroic performance at BluesFest 2016 rocked the main arena on a bill with Mary J Blige. Dreamy stuff, indeed.

Hoops follows and it has to be said that this lass is a natural singer, she is making it sound very easy. Good key choices help. This cut has a curious vocal sample undercurrent but it’s a good and strident song. A single maybe? And a set-opener?

Melt has a bounce about it but still a spacey backdrop and an optimistic lyric that is appealing. Out Of This World finds the singer aching for interplanetary know, how it feels when that Post Office due is full of stuttering folk with sacks of parcels. A lovely dream from a lovely dreamer.

Waterloo starts with solemn piano and maybe would work well as a stage selection, but the melody is striking ; Wild is the closest to pop in this collection and shows the lighter side of her singing, set to finger-snaps and floating strings. Vocal sound double-tracked I think, I would have added horns to this, for counterpoint. Walk My Way has a funk tread but those ethereal keyboards and the downbeat mood seems at odds with the words. Tomorrow Is New is back in deep spiritual space and likely the best song here, poetry in motion.

Bring Me Down is produced by Two Inch Punch, clattery drum parts and all. Sung well but doesn’t seem to go anywhere ; Lonely Cry is another ballad and would lend itself to a healthy setlist.  New Skin has a Bowie tinge and almost childlike vocal, ending the record

This collection doesn’t seem to have much to do with what is currently fashionable and is more likely on a linear source from Syreeta, Roberta Flack and – allowing for the totally different vocal timbre – Macy Gray. If you like those artists and want something fresh but related I would recommend this album. It’s a sexy trip through many moods though for me, too many sound a little chilly. That’s down to instrumental choices and production. Jones sings really well throughout

Pete Sargeant


Jones’s debut solo album ‘New Skin’ is out now on 37 Adventures/PIAS. For more information and live shows visit here official website here: