The Drop: Jessie Ware's Gently Seductive '110%'

Aug 23, 2012
Originally published on January 14, 2013 4:25 pm

Over the past year, I've seen Jessie Ware's name pop up on my radar over and over again. She's a singer with plenty of sweetness in her tone, who's often set herself atop savory beats from electronic artists like SBTRKT and Julio Bashmore.

Ware's debut album, Devotion, dropped this week, and it cements the singer's status as a solo artist who can stand on her own. My favorite track on the album is "110%," produced by Julio Bashmore.

Bashmore resides at the top of my list of favorite dance-music makers at the moment: His productions are bullish, with ample amounts of low end. In "110%," his touch is a bit gentler than in those songs he's cut for the dance floor. Sparsely placed bass kicks are surrounded by faint stabs from a backing synthesizer, a regular high hat and sweeping background chords. The instrumental fits snugly around Ware's voice; she delivers the words, "still dancing on my own," with subtle rhythmic flair. As the percussion leaves the mix, Ware opens up: "We can play hard," she teases some significant other stuck on the dance-floor's sidelines.

Last year I got down to Bashmore's "Battle for Middle You" in countless DJ sets, and I'm sure I'll move to his new track "Au Seve" for many weekends to come. "110%" is a more delicate tune from the beatmaker, held together by Ware's voice, which is so pretty it's powerful.

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