JESSICA HERNANDEZ & THE DELTAS
Christened a “voice that speaks directly to us” by legendary Blondie and Richard Hell producer Richard Gottehrer, Detroit’s Jessica Hernandez is edgy, sassy and soulful. After being bounced by Blue Note when the fabled jazz label was devoured by the Universal Music Group borg, Hernandez and her five-piece Deltas found a home with Gottehrer’s Instant Records, where they nestle in the sweet spot between commercial-pop smarts and angsty retro-rock. Riffs from forgotten snot-nosed kids The Nuggets, plus bits of Gogol Bordello’s ethno-punk and Tom Waits’ perpetually dark carnival fuel the Deltas’ high octane garage rock ’n’ soul. Amid a swirl of recklessly woozy trombone, creepy Farfisa, spaghetti noir guitar and jazzy-yet-jack-hammering drums, Hernandez belts with the bluesy pop polish of the Noisettes’ Shingai Shoniwa and the hyper-dramatic brass of Shirley Bassey. Inevitable comparisons to Amy Winehouse miss Hernandez’s elemental appeal by a Motor City mile. Lake Street Dive diva Rachael Price’s retrofitted sophistication hits nearer the mark, but Hernandez rocks harder than Price and LSD, and the Deltas dig deeper into their cinematic grooves.