Lauren Pritchard - The Jackson Sessions EP
Saturday morning arrives like a bad dream and I’m feeling fragile. What I don’t need right now is some good ol’ redneck music so it’s with trepidation that I slip Lauren Pritchard’s debut EP The Jackson Sessions into the jaws of The Music Fix soundsystem. Well, lord have mercy, my prejudice has just been pricked and kicked into touch and I’m paying attention. Lauren may hail from Jackson but she’s had a hell of a journey in making this record; after hooking up with a reggae band and heading for LA she was on the point of quitting the business when Elvis’ daughter offered her a place to kip. She’s now writing tunes with Ed Harcourt and recording them with Mumford & Sons. It’s amazing then that such eclectic manoeuvres have resulted in such a cohesive and accomplished record. ‘When The Night Kills The Day’ leads the set and the trademark banjo arpeggios of Mumford & Sons are immediately identifiable, beautifully complementing Pritchard’s stately piano chords and rich, soulful vocal tones. She’s not afraid to cut loose though and the track eventually kicks up a gear, introducing some bombastic vocal pyrotechnics which recall Maria McKee’s Lone Justice. Elsewhere, ‘Stuck’ is the epitome of sweet soul music while ‘Wasted in Jackson’, the uplifting title track of Lauren’s forthcoming debut album, is reminiscent of the luscious, commercial pop which saw Corinne Bailey Rae catapulted into the forefront of the nation’s consciousness. It’s the ideal introduction to the work of a seriously talented young woman.