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Jo Harrop

Lateralize Records are immensely proud to announce the release of The Heart Wants, the much-anticipated first self-penned solo album by Jo Harrop.

Written and recorded over the last year when the world came to a sudden standstill in the wake of the pandemic, The Heart Wants is an album about love and life, about losing and then finding oneself in the silence after the applause has faded away.

Although she has built a reputation as an intuitive interpreter of other people’s songs, Jo Harrop would be the first to admit that she always lacked the confidence to reveal her own songs to the world. With no shows in her diary, she started working on what would eventually turn out to be her first album of original material with producers Hannah Vasanth and Jamie McCredie alongside a guest list of world-class musicians including Christian McBride, Jason Rebello and Troy Miller.

“In an unexpected moment of stillness, when the world came to a sudden stop and confusion, frustration and fear seemed to sweep across the earth, I finally began to work on the album that I had longed to make for many years,” Harrop explains. “Ideas that I had talked over with Hannah and Jamie began to unfold, and emotions that I’d always pushed aside began to spill onto the page.”

From the sublime chamber pop of If I Knew to the Muscle Shoals soul of Hold On,

The Heart Wants will no doubt come as quite a surprise to anyone who thought Jo Harrop was only capable of singing jazz ballads.

“I sent my first lyrics to Paul Edis and we wrote If I Knew, which became the key that unlocked the door to creating this album. ‘The heart wants what the heart wants’ was something that Hannah had said to me late one night after a show, and somehow it just stuck inside my head. Each song is a true story about the dreams and desires, doubts and regrets and trials and tribulations of the human heart.”

Born in Durham and raised on a heady musical diet of Nina Simone, Billie Holiday and Aretha Franklin, Jo Harrop cut her teeth as a session singer, working with a host of iconic artists including Neil Diamond, Rod Stewart and Gloria Gaynor.

After moving to London, she quickly established herself as one of the most unmistakable voices in British jazz. Having signed to London-based jazz label, Lateralize Records, she recently received a raft of rapturous reviews for Weathering The Storm, her debut with guitarist, Jamie McCredie. The Guardian dubbed it ‘a little gem of an album: simple, modest and perfect,’ whilst BBC 6 Music’s Iggy Pop fell in love with her voice, calling her “a very fine jazz singer.”

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