Jessy Wilson honed her showbiz chops early. She started with Broadway and New York club gigs and did R&B backup vocals before relocating to Nashville and striking a countrified Southern soul compromise in the duo Muddy Magnolias. But she had a more worldly, rock-informed vision for her subsequent solo work, and enlisted The Black Keys' Patrick Carney to produce Phase, which he outfitted with burly, syncopated drum beats. They did quite a bit of cowriting, generating slyly arch post-blues melodies that Wilson delivers with sensual mystique and subtle command (which you can hear on “cold in the south,” “Oh, Baby!” and “moving through your mind”). Her city soul influences are evident too. During “waiting on...,” her falsetto echoes Curtis Mayfield, and she displays a bit of languid Sade-style sophistication during “stay cool.”

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