Every now and then, a song comes along and I can't stop playing it. The past few weeks - more than I care to mention - I have been hammering the new Jessie Ware album track Keep On Lying. It's not obviously a banging hit, it's not even a tear inducing ballad, it's just a gentle, lulling, calypso-kinda-bossanova-kinda-keyboard-demo sounding pop song. It's simple and I can't explain why I keep listening to it in such a grotesquely obsessive way.
I'll be honest, I didn't get Jessie Ware before. I didn't really listen to her first album, and snootily dismissed her as hipster fodder. When certain people start swooning at new artists I instinctively, snobbishly have a knee-jerk reaction and decide that I can't possibly like them THAT much. I didn't give her a chance. I gave her new album a review spin - that is I put it on in the background while I picked up the dirty laundry off my bedroom floor, put a wash on, made some coffee and popped outside to collect the post. But I stopped what I was doing when this track was on and sat watching the uninformative interface of Play MPE.
Fellow journalists will shudder at the mention of this notoriously tricky music streaming service, personally I don't think it's that bad - even though I've had to keep skipping to the end of the album to listen to Keep On Lying. I would be ashamed to know the statistics of how many listens I've had. I always check out listening figures when I get sent a private link to a new album on Soundcloud, just to see if there are any obvious spikes in listening habits. Usually they just dwindle towards the end of an album as people/music journalists clearly lose interest and have already made their minds up about a record. I'm certainly guilty of doing that. Time is short. Rihanna has a new single coming out. Slow songs don't get the time of day.
Which makes my obsession with this ONE SONG even more baffling. I wish I could share it with you now, but it will creep online soon enough. The album is pretty good too, once (if) I get sick of this song, I'm sure that'll get my full attention too. I've listened to Champagne Kisses quite a lot too (similarly brilliant, if in a higher register and lacking the melancholy), just by the Play MPE default of not being able to have a track on repeat. Don't be put off by the black and white serious singer songwriter posing. Jessie Ware is a - what, treasure? dreamy? - I don't know. A friend of mine jokes that he can tell I'm on autopilot when I've written a review and used the word 'addictive'. But I'd say I'm hooked.