Originally published and still available on The Girls Are (08/08/14).
Jessie Ware, ‘Tough Love’, PMR Records
There is an almost effortless aura which cocoons soulful songstress Jessie Ware. The Londoner, who released her sophisticated debut Devotion in 2012 has primly survived the maelstrom that surrounded her first release despite a rigorous touring schedule, collaborations galore (includingSampha, Florence and the Machine, Katy B) and penning tracks for her recently announced second album.
‘Tough Love’ is the first song unveiled from her forthcoming album and is everything an audience has come to expect from Ware, but also so much more. Delicate beats are interwoven with subtle ripples of electronica to create a sound that is intrinsically intimate. The new single intensifies this to the point that one feels as though they have unwittingly interrupted a private encounter between two secret lovers. Dangerous liaisons aside, the song delves into a swamp of emotive murmurs with Ware revealing her innermost longings in her lyrics. Oscillating between high pitched yearnings of “‘Have you figured out all you wanted?” and whispers of “You’ll have me crying out for more”, she twines a tale of the emotional confusion of a significant other that ultimately results in heartache. It is within the track’s most simple moments, however, that the sultry singer succeeds in brushing aside any murkiness within the sentiment to expose its doleful core.
Whilst staying true to every factor that made her outshine female contemporaries of the past two years, the pop soul singer has succeeded in pushing her music into new territories. Ware has restrained her previously expansive and borderline cinematic sound to create an alluringly minimalist masterpiece that sends chills down the spine. In the best way possible.