Alice Russell “To Dust [Tru Thoughts]”
Many times when reviewing an album by someone I have never heard before, especially when it comes to the female voice, I find it easiest to just compare that person to someone who is fairly well known. There are a number of female singers that I like to use as my go-to comparisons: Alanis, Tori Amos, Madonna and of course Billie Holiday.
For me, hearing Alice Russell for the first time is not too unlike hearing Billie Holiday for the first time, all those years ago. I never knew who to compare Billie Holiday to because she was truly original, but I knew I’d be comparing other artists to her and for many years I have. Alice Russell has that unique goodness to her voice, where you just know she’s not going to be written off as sounding like someone else, but rather in the future she’s going to become a point for comparison.
I can hear slight influences in the music of artists like Lauryn Hill, P!nk and, yes, even Bob Marley. The music is funky, and it has soul. It’s Motown with beats. It’s everything you’ve ever heard before but you’ve never heard it like this. And for the next however many years you’re alive, when people compare new artists to Alice Russell, including me, well, now you can say you remember listening to her back when. So start listening to her now.