So this post has been a while in coming. I have had medical issues that precluded me from doing any reviews the way I wanted. Now it has grown to a super post with an album review, show review of Jennifer Hall's show at Lincoln Hall a few weeks ago and a preview of her album release show on Sat. Sept.3rd at Schubas.
Chicago's Jennifer Hall's debut album In This is a soulfully sung collection of songs that touch on everything from torch song with "Green and Blue" to straight ahead indie rock of "When We Were Good". Though the sound varies the constant of the album is Jennifer's heart felt vocals. In many ways Jennifer reminds me of Lissie with their gritty vocal delivery about every day life. Jennifer does this on "Like I Lie To You" where she laments and accosts, 'touch me like I wish you could... sing to me empty words like I lie to you let's go on pretending...go on fuck the truth.' That's about as succinct as vocals can get. I love it! My favorite track on In This is "Wash Away" which showcases Jennifer's range from whisper quiet to full out blues blast. There is an honesty in her songs and the way that she delivers them the makes her stand out from many who sing the same types of songs. No big strings flourishes or unnecessary sounds. Just a really tight band a pretty nice synergy between band and Jennifer on tracks like "Too Busy Dreaming" which also features some nice harmonies. You can pre-order by clicking on her Bandcamp link above and ordering In This there. She will also be selling vinyl of the album as well.
My wife and I caught her show a few weeks ago at Lincoln Hall and her stage banter had an ease that was a joy to watch. The night's highest point was her high notes that make you amazed such a big sound came from someone her size. Her band was tight and the overall sound was something to behold. I suggest you go see Jennifer Hall's 21 and over release show is at Schubas next Sat 9/3 and will also have Ben Joseph and The Mathematics, as well as Matthew Santos on the bill.