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Irit - Hello (Cowkat Records)
Graham Clark, Features Writer
Israeli born, London based singer songwriter Irit has just released this debut album. It seems that she has had quite a busy life so far. Her journey led her to become a soldier and a sniper, a stage actress in Israel's most prestigious theatre group, a TV talk show host, a documentary maker and also a comedienne.

She has toured with Caro Emerald too and it is to that audience she will mostly appeal to as the album draws on Latin Jazz mixed with soul.

The opening track Just Because is a summery affair that reminds me of Basia and Matt Bianca. It banishes away the winter blues and gives you hope for the warmer weather that is coming our way. Bright, breezy, innocent yet charming it could be the soundtrack to your spring.

The Latin flavour continues with the title track Hello which again will appeal to those who like Basia and to a lesser extent, Sade. That influence is shown again on the uplifting song, Shoes.

I'm not sure about the cover of the R.E.M. hit Shiny Happy People, yes, she does make it her own but it sounds different to the rest on offer her, however it comes with a string eastern edge to the track.

Also by Graham Clark...
Paul McCartney Returns Home To The North
Mariah Carey, Leeds Arena
Alexander's Christmas Menu, Skipton
Rita Ora - Phoenix (Atlantic Records)
James Come Home To The North
Throw Him Away is more of a ballad and shows her soulful side on a dramatic track. Irit's closing track An Honest Place lets her voice shine.

Jonathan Quarmby, producer of Benjamin Clementine's Mercury Prize winning album has produced the album and he has given her songs some good arrangements.

I can see her fitting in more to the music scene in countries such as Italy, Japan and mostly France where this type of music is appreciated more. If she got herself on the European summer Jazz Festival circuit this year as an opening act visiting places like Montreux, Nice, Juan les Pins etc she would go down a storm.

Perhaps then her European success would be a springboard to make British ears listen up more, for now though this is a strong debut with songs that will resonate and stick in your mind long after you have heard them.

I give it 4 out of 5

Irit - Hello (Cowkat Records), 9th March 2018, 8:41 AM