It really doesn't feel like Alice Jemima is just about to release her debut - we've been tracking her career for a few years and her recent EP, Liquorice, set out a her stall in such a way that her debut album was clearly going to be a must-buy. Then she released the sexy, sultry take on Blackstreet's 'No Diggity' which demonstrated a huge depth.
Her self-titled debut album does absorb the tracks that made up her earlier EP and that brings with it a sense of familiarity and when the rest of what's on offer excites us as much as this album does it's no criticism. Sharp as a pin, switching from angelic to sharp without taking a breath, Jemima clearly has a huge amount of command over her voice. Pop with some dance influence she just manages to stay on the right side of sugary sweet. 'Dodged a Bullet' probably the most reflective of her as an artist, but the segue into 'No More' shows a more sultry side that we'd previously seen in the cover mentioned earlier.
Liquorice is great fun but low-key piano and rough percussion with a dusky delivery shows another side to her vocal talents. Moments in 'Fall Out Of Love' remind of the playful instrumental experimentation heard in MALKA's last album. There're also hints of Lenka and Lorde and 'When You Dance' has echoes of Nina Persson, artists from opposite ends of the spectrum which shows the breadth on display.
In fact, there is so much here that at times it feels like Alice Jemima could almost be straying too far and wide, but there's a restraint that demonstrates an unexpected and welcome maturity. There's a core brilliance to her sound and discipline that show a huge amount of ability and depth in such a beautiful sounding package. If Alice Jemima is indicative of the county's music talent then maybe we need to discover more Devon-dwelling musicians.