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Miss Tess - Sweet Talk (Signature Sounds)

Three years have passed since the release of Miss Tess's last studio album and whilst much of the sassy, brassy jazz appears to have been drained from her repertoire, it's a delight to report that New York's Tess hasn't let go of the crackling-hot rockabilly that made DARLING OH DARLING sizzle.

SWEET TALK - Miss Tess's latest release and debut recording with backing band The Talkbacks - is a spirited outpouring of a fifties-inspired style that has not only enjoyed a revival of late (thanks, in part, to Imelda May) but seems to have endured, building proudly upon its credibility with each passing year.
 
Thanks to Miss Tess's hearty, bluesy vocals, SWEET TALK isn't just another disc to chuck on the rockabilly pile - it's a fine example of how these albums can transcend the 'throwback' appeal. Whilst clearly rooted in fifties rock n' roll, People Come Here For Gold is as fresh and contemporary in feel as it is nostalgic; Adeline - a highlight of the record - would sit comfortably with Amy Winehouse's version of Valerie on any Friday Night Playlist whilst New Orleans - surely in the running for the best of the bunch - features a barrelhouse piano solo that almost succeeds in ushering the rest of the record into the shadows.
 
The album concludes with what has to be the most dreamy, lonesome-sounding I Don't Want To Set The World On Fire ever recorded, featuring the soothing guitar of Will Graefe - and it's a track that will either cast you off into a very pleasant nap or insist that you start over from the beginning. SWEET TALK is, in short, a treat.

Liam Wilkinson
Northern Sky