Ever since sliding confidently onto hip-hop's radar with a few standout contributions to Eminem's Kamikaze, many were immediately taken by the impeccable voice of Jessie Reyez. Not unlike Nelly Furtado back in the day, there's an uninhibited flair to her delivery, a marriage of hypersexuality and intimacy few can conjure on a whim. In that sense, Jessie's music is fueled by personal experience, which makes her wholly--and refreshingly--relatable.
On her debut album Before Love Came To Kill Us, the many sides of Jessie Reyez are revealed; the playful seductress, the pained lover, the cavalier free-spirit. All roles deftly played through heartfelt lyricism and an emotive voice, and one of her biggest strengths as a songwriter is knowing which card to play and when. Standout tracks like the braggadocious "Ankles," "Dope," and "Roof" in particular find her toeing the line between rapping and singing, a scattershot style that suits her swagger well.
Yet that's not to say it's all style and no substance. At this point, the 6LACK-assisted "Imported" has won hearts as a simmering duet, encapsulating the passionate sincerity of an early relationship in the making. Introductory cut "Do You Love Her" finds Reyez pulling back and floating over a lush piano arrangement, allowing her falsetto to soar. Insofar as young vocalists, Jessie Reyez stands among the most promising -- if Before Love Came To Kill Us is any indication, expect big things to from the Canadian songwriter.