We always love getting to check out new music, especially when an artist presents themselves as Ashley Wilson does. Wilson is billed as an artist who is reminiscent of Norah Jones, and that was enough to peak our interest. So how does her debut Paint The Sky– which arrives March 1st hold up?
The album opens with “Once In A While,” and stylistically it’s immediately clear why Wilson garnered comparisons to Jones. There’s a definite jazz sound to the song that fans of Jones will immediately find themselves bopping their heads along to. Wilson’s voice- while a bit less husky than Jones’s- is clearly pretty from the opening number. We also enjoyed the tongue-in-cheek lyrics, especially when Wilson sang, “We’ll have this back and forth duel, where sometimes the bed is hot then cool.”
“Paint The Sky,” which is the title track, reminded us almost of an imaginary collaboration between Norah Jones and Sara Bareilles immediately- and this is a good thing, as it works well. The song is definitely easy listening, but draws the listener in by the story it has to tell.
“Now Or Never,” a track that appears later, is a definite standout for us, as there’s a simple musical arrangement that forces you to listen to an almost uneasy story from the get go of someone giving Wilson an ultimatum that she’s not ready for. “Now or never seems absurd in a way to give an ultimatum when we just met,” Wilson sings, noting that, “I’m a slow kind of gal who likes to look before I leap.” She also croons in the song that “now or never is not the only way,” and that’s such a thoughtful and simple response to a romantic ultimatum.
“I Knew,” which closes out the album, is a great number in that it shows off Wilsons’s vocal range perfectly.
Other numbers on the album include the jazzy “Sweet Temptation” and the beautiful “Holding Out Hope.”
With her debut album, Wilson has given fans of jazz/folk music a lot to love. While Norah Jones has big shoes to fill if an artist is going to be compared to them, it’s clear from her debut that Wilson is definitely ready to step into them.
Head here to check out the title track from Wilson’s’ album and be sure to pick up a copy on release day. You definitely won’t regret it.