Earl: Tongue Tied – pop-jazz flapper moving to a Charleston beat

Tongue Tied
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Artist: Earl
Genre: Pop
Label: BMG Records

While Tongue Tied is her debut album, Kate Earl, the Alaskan-born Londoner, has had a few incarnations over the years: gospel singer, indie act who once supported Damien Rice, and now, simply known as Earl, a pop-jazz enthusiast in full flapper glory. Sampling familiar trumpet lines from Al Bowlly's 1932 tune My Woman – White Town's Your Woman for some – on All That Glitters and Professor Bobo & and Bosko Slim's Disco Bob on the title track, this is jazz in its most digestible form, if a little too on the nose. Earl's voice softly curls around songs that follow a mild Charleston beat, but when she moves away from obvious jazz infusions, such as on I Love You and Travelling Heart, it strips away the schtick and we get a truer sense of the singer.