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As a reported tour featuring Amy Winehouse's hologram nears in winter 2018 and news also comes of a final album by The O'Jays, it seems there is still room in the world for music rooted in soul and with "jazzy" inflections. Enter vocalist/harpist/songwriter Lucinda Belle.
Less Dorothy Ashby and more Peggy Lee (if Lee played the harp), Belle's harp playing is more textural than virtuosic, and it suits her. On her latest single, "I'll Be Loving You," the sweet rolls that punctuate vocal phrases as well as the subtle accompaniment underneath the very full arrangement lend a novelty to an oft done instrumentation and style and makes it sound authentic in a timeless sort of way.
The atmosphere is unabashedly retro, from the Freddie Green-ish acoustic guitar to the washy, reverb/tremolo saturated electric guitar to the punchy horn backgrounds. Indeed, talking about the recording process, Belle writes "I wanted authenticity all the way, so I chose Toe Rag which meant I cut this song using an 8 track '50s recording studio in two live takes. The warmth you feel on this recording isn't digitally manufactured it's from 1950s pre amps, spring verbs and desk."
The single, being released ahead of Belle's album Think Big : Like Me , has heartfelt lyrics and a compelling vocal performance. Fans of Amy Winehouse or Blossom Dearie will likely enjoy this cut.