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ALBUM REVIEW: Kristina Train - Dark Black

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Image © Mercury Records, 2012

A haunting tale of love and loss, Kristina Train's forthcoming album, Dark Black, features Train's dreamy, intense and intoxicating Southern American vocals throughout - if Norah Jones and Dusty Springfield had a lovechild, this is what it would sound like. The New York-born and Savannah, Georgia-raised singer cites Gladys Knight, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Otis Redding and James Brown among her musical inspirations, so she's got my vote in the good taste awards already.

The album itself is imbued with mesmerising melodies and lyrics full of passion and emotion, such as the fragile Don't Leave Me Here Alone and this Summer's radio airplay favourite, Dream of Me - taking you on a journey through life's ups and downs and affairs of the heart. There's also a beautiful take on the Band of Horses track, No One's Gonna Love You - basically you'll need a box of tissues handy when you listen to this album, and if you're in the midst of heartbreak, perhaps don't listen to it at all!

Train co-wrote the 12-track LP with producer and songwriter Martin Craft; singer-songwriter Ed Harcourt, and Justin Parker, who co-wrote Lana Del Rey's Video Games. Production was by Dave Kosten (Bat for Lashes) and Danton Supple, who produced and mixed Coldplay's X &Y album.

Train spent her early years performing in various school and church choirs, and orchestras, and by her 20's she had signed to renowned jazz and blues label, Blue Note Records. She opened for Chris Issak during a performance in 2009 and has also toured with legendary jazz musician, Herbie Hancock.

Dark Black is the follow up to her 2009 debut album, Spilt Milk, and my favourite track, which also happens to be the album's title track and opener, features the lump-in-throat line, 'Now the sky's are darkened, the white clouds turn to grey, what a way to break a heart, you took all the colours away'. Watch the official video for the single below. If you aren't in love with Train's voice by the end of this song, there is something seriously wrong with your ears.

Dark Black is released on November 5th, and you can catch Kristina live in the UK as she's supporting Amy Macdonald on six dates of her UK tour, which kicks off on October 27.