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Jesse Palter

Paper Trail (Artistry Music)

Mack Avenue is a Michigan-based label specializing in jazz, but it has a handful of imprints that allow it to dip its toes into other genres. Based on Detroit-born/L.A.-based artist Jesse Palter’s Paper Trails, her full length debut album, the Artistry arm is there to allow Mack Avenue to delve into the pop world — maybe score some hits and make some money.

There’s nothing wrong with that, especially when the content is of this high a quality. The 10 songs are definitely “pop,” but not of the bubblegum variety. Pat Benatar-esque hard rock meets mainstream soul, and the two mesh seamlessly on songs such as the epic opener “Sever the Ties” and the heart-wrenching title track.

Palter takes us on a real journey — one minute she sounds like she’s wailing the title track to a Disney adventure that hasn’t been made yet, the next she could be sat alone in a coffee shop open house. That mix of majesty and intimacy makes for a winning formula.

“All of these songs are paving the way toward establishing myself as an artist and songwriter,” Palter said in a statement. “My approach throughout this project was to find a way to capture a full snapshot of my life and what I’ve been going through. This is the beginning of what I hope will be a long, fulfilling journey.”

One hopes that is indeed the case. Paper Trail displays enough maturity in the songwriting to be exciting already, but there’s also hints that she has the potential to grow and grow. Keep watching.

(Courtesy of Artistry Music)