- by Ian Johnston Release Date:2010-09-20 Label: Butterfly Records
Drawing upon classic hopped-up America roots music and injecting it with her own je ne sais quoi, Florence Joelle and her distinguished ensemble (featuring the notorious leftfield filmmaker Arthur I Walked With A Surrealist Lager on voodoo drums and Flaming Star stalwart Huck Whitney playing mercurial lead guitar) have fashioned a sound that is simultaneously timeless and yet entirely current. A neat trick if you can pull it off, and Florence Joelle's Kiss of Fire have done it with style to spare.
Whether on the inspired covers (early jazz/swing drummer Chick Webb's mary jane suffused 'When I Get Low I Get High' and the touchstone 1950s rhythm & blues opus 'Unchain My Heart') or Joelle's highly evocative original compositions (the Latin flavoured 'Watermelon Gin' and the yearning 'Stardust Merchant'), Florence Joelle's Kiss of Fire channel the contemporary resonance of figures such as Marc Ribot's Los Cubanos Postizos and Tom Waits with French chanson, vintage rock 'n' roll, loungecore and enduring jazz standards.
Perhaps even more importantly, Joelle's wonderfully fractured and totally unaffected emotive voice speaks of experience and of a life lived to the full. Florence Joelle is a very welcome antidote to the bland and airbrushed female vocals that currently infect the airwaves