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ZZ Ward – Criminal

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,
Insulting,

He’s just a criminal.”

Criminalthe 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.

ZZ Ward – Criminal

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Music

ZZ Ward – Cinnamon Stix (feat. Nathan Santos)

It’s a scorcher out there today. I can see the heat rising off the roofs from my little air-conditioned East-Village apartment. While the temperature inside is cooling down, this song is turning up the heat as it blasts through my speakers. ZZ Ward brings us a song that’s dripping in sex and cool. If the new Bond flick wasn’t in post-production already, I’d be begging the producers to use this track for their forever hedonistic opening credits. It balances on the threshold between class and dingy, raunchy and suave. Ward‘s husky drawl goes down like a bottle of smooth, ice cold beer. This track is hands-down sexy.

Knock that sun down from this amber sky
Shake the stars ’cause I’m gonna change your mind.”

The duet with Nathan Santos emphasizes the sexual tension of this song. Ward is maneater and Santos is her prey for the night. Turn this track up as evening sets in and the temperature outside hopefully goes down. It’s an acoustic lap dance that strips you of your inhibitions. This isn’t some laid-back relaxing night music. This is a dirty brash seduction song with a little bit of sleaze and a lot of flirtation.

I’ll take a shot of Ward‘s confidence any day and any night. She’s a woman on a mission and sonically we’re her target. I want to be at whatever dive bar Ward is at tonight.

ZZ Ward – Cinnamon Stix (feat. Nathan Santos)