There are some artists who just make genreless music. Music which wanders the sonic landscape with no regard for the lines and boundaries marked on a map, one drawn up in a secret meeting of industry marketing men and music journalists. After all out here there is just the music, no neat boxes, no easy demarkations and whilst that might cause problems for the scribes and planners, it allows totally freedom to artists such as Jo Potter, an artist who, quite rightly, works in a place simply called music.
It is this blurring of lines and blending of sounds that allows her to build a personal musical identity, some of which is familiar but pieced together in a wonderfully unique way. Too slick to be pop, to soothing to be rock, it weaves soulfulness and jazz sophistication around a country heart, bluesy melancholic undercurrents and a gentle late night beauty.
At it’s most groovesome, such as on tracks like When Things Go Wrong you can hear the sound of Nashville glitz dancing with the smokey blues of an upmarket Chicago blues bar glamour, but what I love most about Saved is the more intimate moments. Indeed the title track itself is a song Norah Jones would be proud of and Something also sitting on that same jazz to country arc of her early albums.
Saved is a gorgeous album, not only blending the roots of Americana music into effortlessly cool and deftly built music for a modern and mature audience, but it showcases what a wonderfully classic voice Jo has, one which puts her on a line which runs back through the likes of the aforementioned Jones to Sade and beyond back to Ella Fitzgerald and Peggy Lee.
Nostalgia can be a comfort, especially in such turbulent times, but what is so great about Jo’s sophomore album is that whilst you can see where it is coming from, the musical references that she tips her hat to, what she has fashioned here is a collection of songs which at once sound fresh and modern yet could be a long lost recording by any number of musical greats. Sometimes you can sound familiar, sometimes you can sound forward thinking, there aren’t many artists able to do both at the same time.