Of all the extraordinary things setting Jordana Talsky apart — the stylistic breadth of her music, her dexterity with originals and covers, the zigzagging career path that brought her to a musician’s life — it’s her voice that dazzles most. Exquisite, elastic, expressive beyond words but buoyed by them, Talsky’s singing is that rarest of things: utterly unique yet instantly accessible.
And it’s why Neither of Either, Talsky’s brilliant second album and most assured artistic statement to date, can easily be slotted into pop, jazz, adult contemporary, alternative or some electrifying amalgamation of all four.
Whether she’s fearlessly chronicling a tattered relationship, as she does in the candlelit, lump-in-throat ballad “Bitter Sweet Heart,” clenching her proverbial fist in the fierce and staccato “Sick” or conjuring a supper-club vibe in the slinky, harmony-propelled a cappella “Run,” Talsky brings the heat… and the heart. That the Toronto-based singer/songwriter characterizes music as her form of journaling makes her vivid lyrics even more resonant.
It also explains why the highly in-demand Justin Abedin, who netted multiple Juno Awards with ace former band jackSOUL, stepped up to produce Neither of Either, adding guitar and drum programming. Abedin knew instinctively what the world will soon discover: Jordana Talsky is a towering talent, one far too versatile to fit neatly into a single categorical box.
“There’s so many different styles on the album, and there were many discussions about whether these songs could live together,” Talsky says, namechecking her esteemed co-writing partners, Canuck-born, L.A.-based wunderkinds Justin Gray and Don Breithaupt (see Mariah Carey, John Legend, Joss Stone, Patricia O’Callaghan) who worked on one track each.
Talsky continues: “‘Bitter Sweet Heart’ has a pop/electronic leaning. ‘Don’t Know’ has a triphop feel courtesy of Davide di Renzo’s drumming.