Nashville storyteller’s permission to let go.
Since her debut release back in 2017 with ‘Felony Blues’, Jaime Wyatt has made a big impression with her honesty and lyrical wit in her infectious music. Her third album is a further demonstration of how she’s developing into a bold and important musician and songwriter. She decided to recruit Black Pumas’ Adrian Quesada for production duties and they manage to produce an amazing mix of her well-known alt-country sound with elements of classic soul and R&B. And what a glorious sound they’ve managed to generate.
She says: “a lot of us grow up feeling like we have to hide who we are just to be accepted, but that comes from a place of fear and judgement – I wrote these songs as a way of letting go of all that, as permission to feel good”. Wyatt has had a fascinating life and all of these experiences imbue much of her music – she’s battled with addiction, been involved in crime and she’s part Cherokee where her family moved from Oklahoma to California and played in a band to support themselves. She also feels this album is the closest thing she’s done in her life story so far – “it’s about falling in love, while also moving and trying to get more free”.
Album opener ‘World Worth Keeping’ is a fierce and powerful meditation on the beauty worth fighting for and lays the ground for the core theme of the album of refusing to allow cynicism to take over us. Wonderfully thumping drum work is augmented by some powerful guitar playing. The title track is a smooth laid-back piece with a lovely upbeat feel and some fantastic bass work. ‘Back To The Country‘ is a beautiful slice of soul-pop and is a retrospective look on her wild life and the impact of a journey around Nashville with a fan-turned-friend. There’s some quite superb guitar and piano on this – it’s a joyous listen. There’s a wonderful cover of The Grateful Dead’s ‘Althea’ as a way to connect with her late father and reflect on the numerous gigs she saw with her father of the band. Truly soulful and sultry, it’s majestic stuff.
There’s a real swagger to this record. Jaime Wyatt is an artist growing in stature, and that confidence makes for a superb collection of songs.