Album review: Gin Wigmore - Gravel & Wine

Stonking, sassy pop and accomplished emotive songwriting in evidence on this sophomore album - great stuff.

Making waves on the other side of the planet with her debut Holy Smoke, Wigmore’s accomplished follow-up is aimed squarely at world domination.

From the off this New Zealander grabs both your ears with her distinct voice; lightly gravelly, high-pitched and slightly nasal notes that could be a ranting Paloma Faith or strung out Duffy.

Not everyone’s cup of tea, but Wigmore puts it to good use on the stomping pyro-pop of opener Black Sheep.

‘Everybody’s doin’ it so why the hell should I?’ she croaks with an intense petulance not matched again.

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Man Like That is impeccable pop, taking a funky drum signature, handclaps, jazz trumpet, organ and electric guitar for a full-blooded, super-sassy update on Caro Emerald’s basement club cool.

And when she threatens to tear apart the antagonist on the Rocky Horror adventure Kill Of The Night you wouldn’t put it past her. A sudden lull into some nice-but-forgettable balladry is mercifully cracked with the beautifully sad piano-and-violin ballad Saturday Smile, followed by the rollicking country-western duet Sweet Hell, far more fun than it has any right to be, and revealing Wigmore as a versatile, punchy artist. Varied and virile.

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4 stars

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