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As The Sleeping One Beside Me opens with some softly softly sighed and effect-laden “Oh oh ohs” there are hints of Laurie Anderson, but from the moment young Jessica Venables opens her delectable mouth it is the image of a young Kate Bush that remains with you until the last words of We Need To Talk fade. That Jessica’s instruments of choice are the cello, piano and keyboards does nothing to lessen the feeling she may break into Wuthering Heights at any moment. That said, this young lass can write a song or two, classically trained but pop educated (if only Kate Bush hadn’t gotten there first) this debut has much charm with a voice that expresses intelligence beyond her years and tone that will only expand over time. Some Graceful Kind of Silence stands out as her voice sits over a lone guitar – perhaps setting her free from her instruments for a moment. While spending much of the time in the first person, contemplating love and longing, there is a detachment that holds Jessica Venables back, but from one so young there are many years and albums to advance this hopeful beginning.

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