Before I forget to mention, these two have made what are among my favorite albums of this year. Mmm-hmm.
Violinist turned singer Joan Wasser aka Joan as Police Woman [pictured] recorded sessions with Antony and Rufus Wainright before releasing an album of her own called Real Life three years ago. She squashed any fears of a sophomore slump with To Survive, a record that plays with the same dramatic details as her debut and showcases her sharp voice and startling delivery. Especially of note are a pair of exceptional complementary love songs entitled, "To Be Loved" and "To Be Lonely."
Joan as Police Woman - To Be Loved
She's playing some U.S. dates (finally!) in the fall.
I've been a fan of Lizz Wright since hearing her Dreaming Wide Awake record. Wright's style is a rare commodity these days, at once rooted in gospel and sultry soul. She switches gears on her latest, The Orchard, cowriting most of the songs and leaning more towards ballads than southern spirituals. Inspired covers of Led Zeppelin's "Thank You" and Ike and Tina Turner's "I Idolize You" are the frosting on an already very yummy cake.
Here's a live performance of "Speak Your Heart" from Wright's visit to NPR World Cafe earlier this year: