Layah Jane – Honey

Layah Jane – Honey

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Toronto’s Layah Jane sure knows how to get your attention. From her Dido-esque vocals to the languid love numbers that abound on Honey, her diverse sounds makes it easy to see why she is making waves in her native Canada. Her sonic palette ranges from folk to jazz, from soul to pop, from acoustic earthy songs to wistful and mourning ditties — and all the while Jane paints a variety of pictures that are worth stopping to take a look at.

Throughout the record, Layah Jane exudes a confidence that some artists never dare show. One listen to the funky, flirty and sexy sounds of “Daydreamin’” will have you reaching for the fire alarm — you’re gonna need a fire hose to cool you off. On the more straight forward “Dandelion,” she sings her questions with surprising amount of clarity. Even on the album’s most ominous track, “Follow You,” she sings with an unexpectedly exquisite beauty and calmness. She sings just as comfortably about happy times as she does about those more unsettling,  leaving her delivery admirable at all times.

The content of the songs ranges from blissful happiness to near abject sorrow, though for the most part this is an album dedicated to love. Whether it’s the sort of song that recognizes what a lover does to you just by being themselves (“Honey”) or one that talks about how someone builds up walls because they’re afraid of letting others in (“Heart That Knows”), the album is an exploration of the depths of the human heart. Even “Wake Me,” a track depicting the deceptions and control that some try to exert over others, plays both sides of the coin by laying out the endgames of both the deceiver and the one fighting the deception.

Honey is a neat little album. Layah Jane’s tender, rich vocals are more than a little pleasing to listen to, and if you’re looking for something that’s a little bit folk, a little bit jazz, a little bit acoustic pop, this just might be the record for you.

 


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