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The Guardian ****
22 Sep 2009

Sarah Gillespie, a young British singer-songwriter who has spent a lot of her life in the US, doesn’t seem to have heard the news that jazz-inclined female vocalists nowadays are supposed to sing in a whisper. Gillespie is loud, defiant, and the opposite of world-weary, in which respect she closely matches the approach of her inspirational producer and principal accompanist, Gilad Atzmon. The jazz on Stalking Juliet mainly comes from him, and the synthesised soul-horns riff on the title track is wonderful. Gillespie sometimes sings with a punkish ferocity, sometimes with rap’s percussive phrasing, and often with a faintly mannered mix of Tom Waits’s growl and Bob Dylan’s drawl. But she’s an incandescent new presence who matches her imposing delivery with superior lyrics: “You’re the only one that I can breathe through” is a cut above the average singer-songwriter confessional whimsy.

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