Gravel & Wine
The New Zealand pop star Gin Wigmore is mostly unknown outside of her homeland, but there’s a good chance that her sophomore album, Gravel & Wine, will change all that. First released in 2011, it was picked up by Mercury Records in 2013. “Black Sheep” sets the tone with immediately catchy dance-pop punctuated by Wigmore’s unique vocals soulfully crooning through menacing melodies. Although her voice has been compared to Billie Holiday's, she inflects more like Macy Gray here and throughout Gravel & Wine. She sounds so gritty and seasoned in the bombastic “Man Like That” that her voice stands in stark contrast to her physical appearance; she's a petite blond with impossibly blue eyes. Should that particular song sound somewhat familiar compared with the other tunes, that could be because it's featured in the 2012 James Bond film Skyfall. Though, with its cinematic baritone guitar leads and acoustic Spanish-style rhythms, the catchier “Devil in Me” sounds more tailored for the silver screen. “Happy Ever After” also stands out with its “We Will Rock You”–style rhythm section.