The highly anticipated sophomore offering from Helen Connelly arrives next week – 25th October to be exact. Garden of Kisses, the follow-up to her acclaimed debut, Life Love and Lyricality, is a four-track EP heralded by the signature single, “Do You Remember”, that we previewed here back in June. It marks a maturing in Connelly’s style, melding together a selection of collaborations with industry-leading writers and producers who seem to be queuing up to work with this up-and-coming jazz-blues artist.
Opening the album, “Do You Remember” sets out Connelly as a singer-songwriter-performer to be reckoned with. No fancy production tricks, just Connelly’s unique vocal styling sitting atop beautifully building arrangements. “Do You Remember” is the product of a songwriting collaboration with producer Ian Post, which also resulted in “Deep Under Water”, an upbeat offering delivered with urgency. The song showcases a pop edge sitting alongside Connelly’s jazz-blues vibe. Both tracks were mixed by Grammy Award-winning producer Simon Gogerly, and the quality shines through.
Title track “Garden Of Kisses” takes it down to Connelly’s signature smoky jazz club sound. Sensuous and appealing, this is a further collaboration with Simon Gogerly, who joined Helen as co-writer/producer/mixer.
Bonus track “Set Me Free” closes the collection. Recorded with DA Music Group and Ian Post, here Connelly’s unique vocals are stripped back yet still powerful and intimate. There’s a ’60s thing going on, too, as she weaves a story of romance that’s bound to turn bad.
Garden of Kisses is a worthy addition to jazz-blues music collections everywhere. It’s a delight to hear a vocalist developing her style, especially through the delivery of original material. Garden of Kisses releases 25th October with pre-orders here.
And if you’re in the UK, why not head over to the Three Wise Monkeys in Colchester, Essex, for the EP launch party on 20th October? Details here.
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