Dave Koz Radio Show

by / Sunday, 23 November 2014 / Published in Dave Koz Radio

November 29th and 30th Dave Koz Radio Show

On the Show:

In the “Vocal Spotlight” – ROBERTA FLACK, JOHN LEGEND, ANITA BAKER, MICHAEL FRANKS, STEVIE WONDER AND CORINNE BAILEY RAE.

If you love to hear singers sing, then you don’t want to miss this one!


amazonitunestwitterfacebook

Roberta Flack

Internationally hailed as one of the greatest songstresses of our time, GRAMMY Award winning Roberta Flack remains unparalleled in her ability to tell a story through her music. Her songs bring insight into our lives, loves, culture and politics, while effortlessly traversing a broad musical landscape from pop to soul to folk to jazz.

Classically trained on the piano from an early age, Ms. Flack received a music scholarship at age 15 to attend Howard University. Discovered while singing at the Washington, DC nightclub Mr. Henry's by jazz musician Les McCann, she was promptly signed to Atlantic With a string of hits, including, The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, Where Is the Love (a duet with former Howard University classmate Donny Hathaway), Killing Me Softly With His Song, Feel Like Makin' Love, The Closer I Get to You, Tonight I Celebrate My Love, and Set the Night to Music, Ms. Flack has built a musical legacy. In 1999, she aptly received a Star on Hollywood's legendary Walk of Fame.

Roberta is currently involved with a very exciting studio venture — an interpretive album of Beatles' classics.

She regularly plays to appreciative audiences around the world, and had the pleasure of appearing recently with the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington DC, conducted by Marvin Hamlisch. In February 2009, Ms. Flack performed with critically acclaimed orchestras in Australia, including the Melbourne, Queensland, Adelaide, Tasmanian, West Australian and Sydney Symphonies.

Very active as a humanitarian and mentor, Ms. Flack founded the Roberta Flack School of Music at the Hyde Leadership Charter School in the Bronx, providing an innovative and inspiring music education program to underprivileged students free of charge.


amazonitunestwitterfacebook

John Legend

John Legend has revealed several personas during his award-winning career. Singer/Songwriter. Musician. Producer. Philanthropist. Entrepreneur. To quote music industry pioneer Quincy Jones, the nine-time Grammy winner is simply “a genius.” Writing about Legend for Time’s 2009 tally of the 100 most influential people, Jones noted, “We’ve seen only the tip of the iceberg. For what he has already achieved in his career, it is going to be fun watching where he goes from here.” The fun begins now. Legend, one of the industry’s most innovative artists, returns after five years with his much-anticipated fourth solo album, Love in the Future (G.O.O.D/Columbia). Taking R&B/soul to the next level, Legend creates an immersive experience about romance, love, hope, commitment and optimism. Enhancing the experience: a rich, melodic soundscape--accented by compelling interludes--that fully integrates the musician’s gospel and pop influences, classical training and unerring hip-hop/soul sensibilities.

Love in the Future is a celebration and meditation on love,” says Legend. “I was envisioning what a modern soul album should sound like; wanting to create something compelling. Even in these single-driven days, I still want to reinforce the idea of listening to an album as a whole piece of work.”

Legend first whet fans’ appetites with the album’s lead single, “Who Do We Think We Are” featuring Rick Ross. Its soulful grit and live-life-to-the-fullest theme shot the track to the top of the R&B/hip-hop charts. Now second single “Made to Love,“ is repeating the same trajectory. A progressive blend of soul, classical and ‘80s/’90s Chicago house music, the song is complemented by the ethereal vocals of singer/songwriter Kimbra. The track, co-produced by Kanye West, is also featured in Chevrolet’s current Impala ad campaign.

Back as sounding boards and executive producers for this album are longtime Legend collaborators West, who signed Legend to his G.O.O.D Music in 2004, and Dave Tozer. Enhancing the album’s vibrancy: first-time production collaborations with Q-Tip, 88 Keys, No ID, Bink, Hit-Boy, Da Internz and DJ Camper. Contributing writers include the aforementioned Kimbra and James Fauntleroy.

From start to finish, Love in the Future pulsates with a stripped-down urgency that perfectly showcases Legend’s skills as a musician, lyricist and vocalist. The supple tenor sets the mood with an engaging cover of Bobby Caldwell’s “Open Your Eyes,” then sings about seizing the moment on the Q-Tip collaboration “Tomorrow.” Legend conjures ‘70s Stevie Wonder with the synth-infused “Hold on Longer.” Then the impending groom discourses on the subject of love with the penetrating “You and I” and “All of Me.” Worthy enough to stand on its own as a full track is Legend’s mesmerizing interstitial take on Anita Baker’s “Angel” with newcomer Stacy Barthe.

“As an artist, you don’t want to entirely go back to where you started,” says Legend. “While this album is polished, it still reminds me of the gritty hip-hop soul I did when I first started. I loved working with my core team but also mixing in these fresh collaborations. While it has the feel of my first two albums, Love in the Future takes that sound forward.”

The Ohio native and University of Pennsylvania graduate rocketed to stardom with his Columbia debut Get Lifted. The 2004 platinum set scored eight Grammy Award nominations for the former session player and vocalist (backing Lauryn Hill, Alicia Keys, Jay-Z, and Kanye West). Legend later won the first three of his nine Grammys: best new artist, best R&B album and best male R&B vocal performance for the hit single “Ordinary People.” Two years later came his second platinum album, Once Again, with the Grammy-winning single “Heaven.” Legend snared his third consecutive top 10 album with 2008’s Evolver, spinning off the hit “Green Light” featuring Andre 3000.

Since Evolver, Legend has collaborated with Rick Ross (“Magnificent," "Rich Forever"), among others, and teamed with The Roots on 2010’s Wake Up! The album featured reinterpretations of socially conscious songs from the ‘60s and ‘70s, including Bill Withers’ “I Can’t Write Left-Handed.” Wake Up! netted Legend three more Grammys, including best R&B album and best R&B song for his original composition “Shine.” That track was also featured in Academy Award-winning director Davis Guggenheim’s domestic education reform documentary Waiting for Superman.

Legend’s soundtrack credits also include two 2012 box-office hits. For the film version of Steve Harvey’s best-selling book, Think Like a Man, the singer/songwriter contributed the Grammy-nominated “Tonight (Best You’ve Ever Had)” featuring Ludacris. Then Legend took a bluesy turn on “Who Did That to You,” an anthem featured in Academy Award-winning writer/director Quentin Tarantino’s critically acclaimed film Django Unchained.

Noting “there’s always more to do,” Legend established his own imprint/production company, HomeSchool Entertainment, in 2007. Its roster includes Motown-signed singer/songwriter Stacy Barthe, songwriting duo Phatboiz and management client/producer DJ Camper.

Giving back is another constant in Legend’s life. He serves on several boards, including the Equality Project, Stand for Children, Teach For America, the Harlem Village Academies and PopTech, a unique innovation network dedicated to accelerating the positive impact of world-changing people, projects and ideas. Legend also doubles as the national spokesperson for Management Leadership for Tomorrow, a non-profit organization that assists the next generation of minority business leaders. In partnership with Samsung, he supports education initiatives with a special focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). A 2010 BET Humanitarian of the Year honoree, among other accolades, Legend launched his own education-based organization, the Show Me Campaign, in 2007.


amazonitunestwitterfacebook

Anita Baker

“I never get tired of singing about love. It breathes life into me.”

The captivating voice behind such timeless gems as “Sweet Love,” “Giving You the Best That I Got,” “Just Because,” “I Apologize” and “Fairy Tales” is back.

Singer/songwriter/producer and eight-time Grammy Award winner Anita Baker is releasing her seventh studio album, Only Forever (Blue Note Records/EMI). The new album is executive produced by Baker and musician/Blue Note president Don Was. With four platinum and two gold albums to her credit, this is Baker’s first set of original material since 2004’s My Everything.

“It was just time,” says Baker, who is transitioning into the role of empty nester now that both sons are attending college. “I want to connect with my fans. They’ve been so supportive.”

Because of that support, Baker has already added another hit to her arsenal with the anticipated set’s lead single, “Lately.” Baker’s sensual, bluesy song was launched in unprecedented fashion on Aug. 6: Clear Channel’s Urban AC stations played the song every hour on the hour. Subsequently, the single marked the singer/songwriter/producer’s triumphant return to Billboard’s Urban AC chart. A top 5 hit after only three weeks, the Underdogs-produced track debuted at No. 10—Baker’s highest-bowing single since 1994’s “Body & Soul” at No. 15.

Those numbers aren’t the story, however. The real story is a very clear and simple one. No one sings the hell out of a song and touches souls the way Anita Baker can.

But as an analog-bred singer working in a digital/Pro Tools world, Baker confronted a challenge: how to balance both worlds without sacrificing her unique sound and style.

“There’s a lot to respect about current day but I had never really recorded in a totally digital environment before. I had to try it on,” explains Baker. “My music is 360 degrees: going from my heart to the studio to my fans and the live stage. At the same time, however, I wanted to be with my contemporaries.”

So she started recording the songs in analog with a live rhythm section, then took them digital and added some live overdubs. Baker also called on hit-making songwriter/producers representing both worlds, namely The Underdogs (Beyoncé, Britney Spears, Jordin Sparks and Chris Brown) and frequent collaborator Barry Eastmond (Baker’s Rhythm of Love and My Everything, Whitney Houston). Co-producers include noted bassist and Fourplay member Nathan East and “American Idol” music director Ray Chew.

The resulting Only Forever is a seamless fusion of classic and contemporary soul that remains true to what Baker does best: weaving her earthy yet sultry vocals within an exquisite tapestry of R&B laced with jazz and gospel. And love remains the singer/songwriter’s favorite topic.

“Oh god, no. I never get tired of singing about love,” says Baker with a laugh. “It breathes life into me.”

The singer illustrates that to perfection on another Underdogs-produced track, the lush “Unconditionally Yours.” The Baker-penned track talks about unconditional surrender in a relationship. “I lay down my sword \ This victory is yours \ I fight you no more \ Baby, please remember that I love to surrender to you,” sings Baker.

She switches into jazz mode on two songs she co-wrote with East: “Let Go” and “Play Me Your Music.” Another song, the up-tempo “Heartbeat,” was co-written by Vernon Fails. With Baker, he co-wrote her 1990 hit “Fairy Tales,” but passed away last year. Inspired by her sons’ leaving home, Baker examines love from a different scope on a collaboration with Was, “Free.” Baker also produced the track “Falling in Love.”

Baker’s mesmerizing voice first attracted national attention in 1975. That’s when the17-year-old—born in Toledo, Ohio and raised in Detroit—joined the Motor City group Chapter 8. Signed to Ariola, the act released a 1979 self-titled debut album that spawned two R&B-charting singles: “Ready For Your Love” and “I Just Wanna Be Your Girl.”

The former church choir member and legal secretary next took the solo route, signing with indie label Beverly Glen Records. A year later, Baker landed her first top five R&B single with the alluring anthem “Angel.” Co-written by Baker, the ballad revealed the singer’s talent for penning insightful lyrics about romance and relationships.

Segueing to Elektra in 1985, Baker catapulted to stardom with Rapture. The 1986 sophomore album yielded her first mainstream hit, “Sweet Love” (No. 8 pop, No. 2 R&B). The single was among several songs (including “Been So Long,” “Watch Your Step“) that Baker wrote or co-wrote for the album. Selling more than six million and racking up four top 10 R&B hits, Rapture earned Baker the first of her eight Grammys: Best R&B Vocal Performance, Female for the album and Best R&B Song for “Sweet Love.”

During her Elektra tenure, Baker scored three more platinum albums and more Grammys: 1988’s Giving You the Best That I Got (whose title track was her first No. 1 R&B and biggest pop hit at No. 3); 1990’s Compositions and 1994’s Rhythm of Love. She further sharpened her songwriting skills, penning more Baker classics such as “Talk to Me” and “I Apologize” in addition to “Giving You the Best That I Got.” Taking a break to devote time to her family, Baker returned to center stage in 2004 with a new label—Blue Note—and a new album—the gold-certified My Everything.

The following year, Blue Note released the singer’s first holiday album, the gold Christmas Fantasy. Rounding out her catalog are the greatest hits package The Best of Anita Baker and live album A Night of Rapture: Live.

Now without missing a beat, one of music’s most revered singer/songwriter/producers is back on the scene with Only Forever.


amazonitunesfacebook

Michael Franks

An enormously popular performer in the late '70s and early '80s, though his jazz credentials are in dispute. Franks performed folk/rock songs while in high school, then became a literature student at UCLA and a part-time performer. He taught undergraduate music courses in the early '70s at both UCLA and Berkeley, then provided scores for the films Count Your Bullets and Zandy's Bride. He made his first album in 1973, then enjoyed success with a string of late '70s albums on Warner Brothers. He has worked with the likes of Flora Purim, Kenny Rankin, Ron Carter, the Crusaders, David Sanborn, Toots Thielemans, Eric Gale, and others, and has had songs recorded by The Manhattan Transfer, Patti Labelle, Carmen McRae, and the Carpenters


amazonitunesfacebook

Stevie Wonder

Stevie Wonder was Motown’s golden child. In his more than 30 years at Motown, Wonder has been a musical icon: first, as a child prodigy; second, as a young man with a soulful, maturing and multifaceted talent; and finally, as an adult driven by the challenge of realizing his ever-deepening inner visions. Over the course of his career, Wonder has been a true musical pioneer whose work has embraced influences as diverse as reggae and jazz. He created music that sounded startlingly fresh in the Seventies by bending synthesizer technology to his own funky, visionary ends. A true child of the Sixties, the idealistic Wonder’s music has remained inseparable from his spirituality and humanitarian outlook. Over the years he has been a committed advocate of causes ranging from the anti-apartheid movement to advocacy on behalf of blind and mentally challenged children.

Blind from infancy, Wonder was born Steveland Judkins (later Morris) in Saginaw, Michigan. He literally grew up at Motown, signing with the label at age 12 after an audition for Berry Gordy, Jr., that had been arranged by Ronnie White of the Miracles, whose younger brother was an acquaintance impressed by Wonder’s precocious talent on harmonica and bongos. Motown’s “Hitsville” complex thereupon became a second home for Wonder, who found mentors and tutors in such legendary behind-the-scenes figures as bassist James Jamerson and drummer Benny Benjamin. While his early singles fared poorly, the exuberant pre-teen Wonder began tearing it up in concert. Thus, it was no surprise that his breakthrough single, “Fingertips, Part 2,” was culled from an impromptu encore recorded live at Chicago’s Regal Ballroom and released by Motown in August 1963. At this point, he was billed as “Little Stevie Wonder,” and subsequent releases capitalized on the novelty appeal of his youthful talent while pegging him as an heir apparent to the soulful shouting of Ray Charles (with whom Wonder also had blindness in common).

Wonder scored his next Top Ten hit in 1965 with “Uptight (Everything’s Alright).” By then, his voice had deepened somewhat while his awareness of rock and roll had broadened, owing to his exposure to the Rolling Stones, with whom he toured in 1964. More surprising was Wonder’s soulful recasting of Bob Dylan’s antiwar anthem, “Blowin’ in the Wind” (#9 pop, #1 R&B). That unlikely cover, which was favorably regarded by Dylan himself, hinted at Wonder’s own social conscience, which would emerge more fully in the next decade. As he continued to come into his own, an ever-more confident teenage Wonder turned out one soulful classic after another, including “I Was Made to Love Her,” “For Once in My Life,” “My Cherie Amour” and “Signed, Sealed, Delivered.” The last of these was Wonder’s first self-production, and it set the stage for the album-length masterworks he would deliver in the Seventies.

At the outset of the new decade, Wonder fought for and won creative control over his recorded work. The year 1971 represented a watershed at Motown in that a pair of artist-produced records - Wonder’s Where I’m Coming From and Marvin Gaye’s landmark What’s Going On - broke the mold at the label, ushering in a heightened emphasis on albums and a newfound, hard-won clout for artists. Where I’m Coming From - which yielded the Top Ten hit “If You Really Love Me” - proved to be a warm-up for what would follow. Between 1972 and 1976, Wonder unleashed a quintet of albums that found him scaling heights of personal creativity that revolutionized popular music while reaching across races and age groups with a visionary fusion of pop, soul and technology. This run of fiery, deeply impassioned work - encompassing the albums Music of My Mind, Talking Book, Innervisions, Fulfillingness’ First Finale and the double album Songs in the Key of Life - addressed social, personal, spiritual and philosophical concerns within seamless musical and conceptual contexts. Though their larger architecture as albums was pre-eminent in Wonder’s mind, he continued to score on the pop charts with singles pulled from them, five of which reached #1: “Superstition,” “You Are the Sunshine of My Life,” “You Haven’t Done Nothin’” (which excoriated then-president Richard Nixon), “I Wish” and “Sir Duke” (a tribute to Duke Ellington). On a musical level, Wonder brought the synthesizer to the fore in contemporary music during the Seventies with these albums, moving it from an effects-generating novelty to a bonafide musical instrument that would eventually challenge the electric guitar for primacy in contemporary music.

Wonder’s output has tapered off somewhat since those heady days of genius in full flush. Although the pace has slowed, Wonder remains a potent, if intermittent, force on the recording and performing fronts. Among other things, the Eighties found him recording a tribute to Bob Marley ("Master Blaster [Jammin’]") and an anthem to the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King ("Happy Birthday") that helped spearhead the movement to have his birthday recognized as a national holiday.

In 1995, Wonder released his 25th album for Motown, Conversation Peace. It would be a full ten years before he released another, the star-studded A Time 2 Love. By then, Wonder was firmly ensconced in the New Millennium as a soul-music legend and a primary inspiration for the neo-soul movement.


amazonitunestwitterfacebook

Corinne Bailey Rae

In 2006 Corinne Bailey Rae released her self-titled debut album, a record she had recorded on a shoestring budget while still unsigned. An early appearance on BBC2’s Later With Jools Holland and some intimate gigs around the UK had already started a word-of-mouth buzz leading her to be tipped as the next big thing. But the success of that album was instant and immense. Debuting at Number One in the UK, featuring hit singles such as ‘Put Your Records On’ and ‘Like A Star’, becoming a smash-hit around the world, and crashing straight into the Billboard Top 20 in the US – the first British female singer-songwriter to do so in decades – meant Bailey Rae gained a huge global audience within months.

And now, four years and four-million album sales later, comes the long-awaited second album. For the 30-year-old singer and songwriter from Leeds, this meant politely declining the suggestions that she work with this or that big-league producer in this or that big-money studio. It meant co-producing the album herself with friends and musicians she had worked with in the past to retain intimacy and control, shrugging off the huge, worldwide expectations engendered by the self-titled debut and refusing to be bedazzled by that album’s multiple Grammy and Brit Award nominations.

It also meant embracing the pain she’d experienced and finally, ultimately, this meant ‘The Sea’, a collection of songs about grief and hope, despair and inspiration, loss and love. “I wanted to be open,” explains Corinne. “I’m really aware that I can’t hide any of my feelings. With music I feel like it’s the one time when I don’t have to think and I don’t have to contrive anything. So that’s how this record turned out. It’s not contrived. It’s just open.”

It’s an album that will elevate Bailey Rae beyond her already-considerable achievements – Quincy Jones, Stevie Wonder and Arctic Monkeys are but some of luminaries who have been floored by the vocal and writing talents of this young woman. This fan of Curtis Mayfield and Donny Hathaway is way too unassuming to say it herself, but others can: ‘The Sea’ is an album that puts her up there with the all-time greats.

“All these songs have come from me,” says Bailey Rae, “and they’re all about capturing a performance with musicians I know and trust.” They were recorded mostly in Limefield Studios, a magical house in suburban Manchester co-owned by Steve Brown (who co-produced the tracks recorded there) which was once an old ballroom and has been converted into a recording space. Here, under the gaze of huge mirrors and a chandelier jostling for space amongst elegant, ageing furniture and a grand piano, Corinne and her band played the songs she had written. “I love making music there. It has an air of faded glamour and I’ve been to some great parties there. It seemed like the perfect place to record.”

Further recording took place in Bailey Rae’s own home in Leeds and with her other co-producer Steve Chrisanthou at his 600 Feet studio – literally 600 feet up a Yorkshire hillside. There was an excursion to Manchester, to record strings and horns at the Royal Northern College Of Music. And on a trip further afield to Los Angeles to contribute songs to ‘Lay It Down’, last year’s album by soul legend Al Green, Bailey Rae worked with drummer Ahmir ‘Questlove’ Thompson and keyboard player James Poyser of The Roots to create the trashy funk of ‘The Blackest Lily’.

She named the latter after The Black Lily, “a night that Ahmir used to run on Sundays,” she explains. “He’d get a chef to come to his house, and Jill Scott and Erykah Badu and the rest of The Roots would come along. All the Philadelphia scene would jam and hang out and have food. I thought, I’d love to be a part of a community like that. Am I part of a scene like that, or do I feel a bit on my own? And I just liked the image of the blackest lily.”

Corinne acknowledges now that since writing that track, “I really do feel part of a dynamic musical group now, an arts community,” and it is this group of musicians and friends that have been an integral part of ‘The Sea’, driving along the similarly rollicking jams of ‘Paris Nights / New York Mornings’ and ‘Paper Dolls’ amongst many others. For the latter, this most intuitive of songwriters came up with the “conversational” middle eight when she was walking to the post box. It’s Bailey Rae’s reflection on how people’s expectations, “force you into a certain shape, but also how you can get out of that too”, and based on her memories of being friends with “bad girls” at school, even though, she laughs, “I was really straight and nerdy”.

Even closer to home is the haunting title track, the first song Bailey Rae recorded for the album. “We recorded it in a barn near Scarborough in winter, very close to the sea itself. It was freezing cold, the wind was wild and the air was very different that night. And above us was an amazing sky full of stars as there were no street lights for miles. It’s a very special recording to me”.

A beautiful, elegiac end to the album – “Goodbye paradise,” sings Bailey Rae in a quiet husk as strings, autoharp, piano and celestial backing vocals crescendo – ‘The Sea’ is about a family tragedy: Bailey Rae’s maternal grandfather died in a boating accident. “It was a family story that I had grown up with and never asked much about, but I had never realised that my aunt had been there, on the beach, when it happened. She could see it unfolding but was powerless to do anything about it. It made me think about how that grief and sense of powerlessness can shape a person, watching something that’s going to change your life for ever? So really that song is about how that grief has affected her. And obviously it’s strange to me having lost Jason since then that I was thinking so much about grief.”

Jason Rae, a gifted saxophonist and Corinne Bailey Rae’s husband, died in March 2008. ‘I’d Do It All Again’, a sweeping, defiant but woozy song – and the first single – is one of the many songs written before this.

“It’s a love song, but a difficult love song – it’s about when things are really difficult, to the point where they’re actually hurting your pride. I wrote it after this big argument we had. And it just sorta came out of me as I was playing my guitar. It’s really special to me because of how it came about. It didn’t feel like it was a really conscious thing. It’s just a demonstration of my commitment. Despite what happens – you might get trampled or destroyed by it – it’s a love you can’t stop. And,” she adds, “I really like the way the song’s come off. It all builds to one chorus. I love playing it for that reason,” she smiles. “It’s the one shot.”

Similarly unbidden but also uninhibited is ‘Are You Here’, a song from the sessions that Bailey Rae resumed after a long period of grieving. Boldly, baldly, the song begins the album. “He’s a real live-wire, he’s the best of his kind,” Bailey Rae sings over delicately strummed guitar, “wait till you see those eyes…” On every level it’s devastatingly moving.

“That was another line that just came out,” she says quietly of the title. It is all, she admits, part of her coping with her loss. “I feel like I’ve been playing music and writing and using music to help me with all the different emotions that I’ve been feeling. When I started writing that I was thinking, I don’t really want this song to go into the world, ‘cause it’s so naked… But I had to. “

One of her favourite songs on the album is the jazz-flavoured lament ‘I Would Like To Call It Beauty’. She loves playing it live, loves the almost telepathic interplay she and her drummer enjoy. “I guess that song is about my experiences of late. It’s about grief and what it does and the things it makes you aware of.”

The title comes from a late-night conversation she had with Jason’s younger brother comparing their views of the world. Corinne was speaking about God and Jason’s brother said he believed in a force that binds everything, holds everything. He said, “I would like to call it… beauty”. She was flabbergasted. “What a thing to say! Really we were talking about the same thing…” So powerful was the sentiment that she took it for the song title, and duly credits her late husband’s brother as its co-writer.

“I have experienced a lot of beauty in the loss,” is her remarkable admission, “in the way that I’ve been able to survive. The way I feel like I’m being held - held up. I guess the song is about the amount of beauty that is in grief because of the way that people hold you up, and forces and nature, how they hold you up.”

Overall ‘The Sea’ is, she reflects, in part about the uniting bonds of grief, stretching from her aunt to herself and to all those around her. “All the bonds deepened. And all the dross is washed away as well. Only the purest things survive. That’s one really beautiful thing about it.”

Ultimately, though, ‘The Sea’ covers the waterfront of human emotion. Yes, the worst kind of heartbreak is in there. But so are the best kinds of love, plucked from deep within this most truthful, unflinching of artists. “Everything I do I just want to be real and honest,” Bailey Rae concludes. And this album is without a doubt one of the most honest works of recent years, and one of the most beautiful too.honest,” Bailey Rae concludes. And this album is without a doubt one of the most honest works of recent years, and one of the most beautiful too.

TOP