She describes it as “dirty shine.” One drop of her sultry voice and crafted rhythms, and you’ll be swimming.
ZZ Ward breaks through a crack somewhere between Amy Winehouse and Erykah Badu. Her voice is soulful and sexy while her rhythms meld the blues of her childhood with the hip hop of her teens. The boom in her vocals gathers you up in the narrative of her music.
I hear the rain on this old tin roof,
The rusty nails in the boards comin’ loose,
Spend my last two dollars on you,
You robbed me blind and you left no proof,
Poof, poof, mmm, disappear,
You should be sentenced for a thousand years,
You should pay me back for a thousand tears,
He’s just a criminal.”
Criminal, the title track of her EP, has the flow of hip hop, syncopated lyrics with the beat. She flows smoothly and powerfully with the simple piano chords, evoking the influences of Etta James and Big Mama. ZZ Ward will leave you craving more of her scornful melodies, so let the pleasure and pain wash over you.