Breaking More Waves doesn’t review albums. When the blog started I did run a few critiques of certain long players but quickly came to the conclusion that I didn’t want to spend my spare time being a naysayer about other people’s work - I'd rather be positive and champion things I love; and negativity would always be the danger in writing opinion reviews. I prefer to leave that to the paid critics.
However, that’s not to say that occasionally I won’t mention in a post a particular album that I rate or at the end of the year summarise my favourite long players in expanded list form.
Up until a week or so ago I was struggling to find any albums released in 2017 that really struck a chord with me in a big way. Then along came Stormzy’s Gang Signs & Prayer and it clicked. Then a week later it was the turn of Alice Jemima to release her first album.
Anyone who has spent a little time on Breaking More Waves will know that I’ve been championing Alice's journey from fully unsigned bedroom artist through till now with some persistence. Therefore, the arrival of her fully formed debut was an exciting although slightly nervous time. Although I was confident Alice was going to deliver a great pop record, until I’d actually played all 12 songs, I couldn’t be sure.
Any remaining doubts were quashed on first play. The eponymous long player is an alluring and quietly confident record that wrestles with being in love, falling out of love and the way Alice lives her life. It’s a record that with Alice’s soft vocal tones and subtle production sounds perfect to wake up to but also sounds perfect in the dead black of night. It’s a record that, at its core, focusses on traditional song writing but is blessed with modern contemporary production. It’s a record that fully justifies everything I’ve ever said about Alice Jemima.
There, that’s a mini review for you in 83 words. Treat yourself this weekend. Go to your local record store and buy it. There really isn’t a weak track on it.
From the album here’s the sublime When You Dance. Being one of the older tracks on the record it’s one I’ve seen slowly morph from minimalist guitar ballad into its current more upbeat form. Dealing with that beautiful second when you’re lost in a dancefloor moment with someone to the exclusion of everything else it’s as sweetly tender as a song about banging bass and beats could ever be.
Alice Jemima the LP is out on Sunday Best now. She's out on tour right now. Catch her in Manchester tonight, Bristol tomorrow and London on Monday. She'll also be playing showcases at SXSW in Texas for the BBC and Sunday Best Records.
Alice Jemima - When You Dance