Release Date: 1st June 2018
This is the third EP from Plymouth based Joanna Cooke and as the previous two releases sold out of their physical copies you would be excused for expecting big things of this collection from one of the rising stars on the UK scene. Now, this may sound controversial as LWM is a bit of a fan of Ms Cooke but I don’t get on with the opening to this new EP, ‘Some Say’. First track ‘Black Keys’ is a great tune once it settles down but the horn based introduction makes me feel like I’m on a cruise ship and it makes me feel slightly uncomfortable until Cooke’s dusky voice joins and drags the tune back to the right side of credible. ‘Do It Slow’, on the other hand, is a modern masterpiece of observed heartbreak as we hear our heroine singing, through a nearly broken voice, “If you leave me….do it slow”. The piano, organ and simple beat all build the perfect comforting sound for Cooke’s soulful but broken vocals and you find yourself either imagining a moody video or remembering that one relationship that ended without your say-so. We’ve got at least one.
Title track ‘Some Say’ is the one that, for me, points to the way forwards for this rapidly emerging artist to establish herself on a bigger stage. With intriguing percussion and the kind of vibe that Laura Mvula, Kimbra and Sia work so well, this track is modern soul but with an alt-pop edge that makes this crackle and fizz with an irresistible urgent energy. Going back to her routes, final track ‘No Stranger’ is based around a soft, sultry, end-of-the-night piano melody and then the kind of lyric steeped in such honesty that it slays where you stand, “It seems like forever since you’ve smiled, and you’ve got me thinking what’s going on”. The track blossoms without needing any other ingredients and you can see why comparisons to Joss Stone have been made but there’s more than just superb voice here – there’s depth, honesty and a real knack for finely honed song writing. Simply beautiful stuff then, I just have to get over my phobia of cruise ships.
More information: https://www.facebook.com/joannacookemusic/
29th May – Peaky Blinder’s Bar, Paignton
31st May – Millbridge Inn, Plymouth
2nd June – Freedom Community Festival, Plymouth
28th June – The B-Bar, Plymouth w/Beth Rowley
6th July – Glas-Denbury Festival, Denbury w/Martha Reeves + Matthew Gordon Price + Jamie Yost