Jessi Teich | Twisted Soul (Madame Freak)

cd jessi-teichBacked by an awesome jazz-oriented band, the material here is a breath of fresh air in a climate of electronic and synthesized music.



Singer/songwriter Jessi Teich bares all on her phenomenal debut full-length album. Entitled Twisted Soul, this is a solid and sultry crossover album worthy of the highest praises. Recorded live in Paris, Twisted Soul is a delicious fusion of acid-style jazz and pop, with a groove one can get lost in.

Hailing from Philadelphia, the 10-time International Songwriting Award winner has produced a 13-track opus, her first full-length album and follow-up to the Live and Unwrapped EP. This time around, the classically trained musician is backed by the Thierry Maillard Trio and famed French accordionist Laurent Derache. This made for an eclectic sound, and a gem of an album.

By combining her sultry, booming voice with a jazz arrangement and a pop delivery, Teich has created a distinct style all her own. While one will think of artists such as Sade with a soupçon of Ella Fitzgerald, Teich is in a class by herself. Backed by an awesome jazz-oriented band, the material here is a breath of fresh air in a climate of electronic and synthesized music. The production here is top notch. Produced by Teich and Jefferson Greene, the music is wrapped lovingly around the vocal, while being loose enough not to dominate the sound. With a dirty bass and a flawless rhythm section, the sometimes-sparse production allows each instrument to shine.

Vocally, Teich is captivating. Elegant, yet fierce in her delivery, she knows when to hold back and when to let loose. Having recently recovered from throat surgery, her voice is stronger than ever. The album follows the narrative of a modern-day relationship, and the trials thereof. Teich calls this a “poperatic” story of a cathartic metamorphosis.

Spotlight tracks here include “Carnival,” a smoky tune about life and relationship becoming chaos; “Diggin’ a Ditch,” a diatribe about ruining one’s reputation; and the title track, which oozes passion and emotion. The songs here ebb and flow nicely into one another, while still maintaining their individual need and meaning. With Teich penning 11 of the 13 tracks, it is no surprise that she had won so many awards. Also included here are covers of Tom Waits’ “Clap Hands” and the Justin Timberlake–penned “Cry Me a River,” both with new arrangements. Approachable, while not being predictable, Twisted Soul is a ride on the crossover rollercoaster, taking the listener to new depths and swirling heights. A highly enjoyable ride, indeed. A | Marc Farr

About Marc Farr 244 Articles
Marc Farr is the Live Music & Assignments Editor of PLAYBACK:stl. He's so invaluable to us, we've nicknamed him Mr. Music. Reach out if you have coverage ideas! "I know it's only rock and roll...but I like it!"
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