Produced by Black Pumas' Adrian Quesada, Jaime Wyatt's Feel Good is her most ambitious album yet. On it, she flirts with classic roots, southern soul, and vintage R&B.
We were first introduced to Jaime Wyatt by her 2017 debut album, Felony Blues, a poignant chronicle of her widely publicized struggle with addiction and her transformative journey through the criminal justice system. The follow-up, 2020's Neon Cross, delved even deeper into profoundly personal revelations. Garnering praise from NPR for her "remarkable voice" and commendation from Rolling Stone for her "lush, layered, and complex" performances, Wyatt's musical prowess continued to captivate audiences.
"I wanted to make music that moved people," Wyatt articulates, "but it had to retain heart and integrity."
Her latest album, Feel Good, recorded alongside Black Pumas' Adrian Quesada, embodies boldness and ecstasy. Fueled by tight, infectious grooves that belie the songs' emotional depth, Wyatt's writing is unguarded, exploring the depths of her subconscious as she confronts grief and personal growth. Her delivery mirrors this emotional intensity, cutting straight to the core with a blend of sensitivity and swagger.
This collection stands as a radical expression of creative liberation from an artist known for pushing boundaries. It defies genres, encapsulating a journey of healing and self-love while paying homage to influences ranging from Al Green and Otis Redding to Waylon Jennings and Bobbie Gentry.
"A lot of us feel the need to conceal ourselves for acceptance, stemming from fear and judgment," Wyatt reflects. "These songs were my way of shedding those inhibitions, granting permission to feel good."
In a departure from her usual solitary creative process, Wyatt crafted the album through collaborative, improvisational writing sessions built around infectious drum and bass grooves. Embracing instinct and the guidance of collaborator Joshy Soul, she let lyrics and melodies flow freely from her subconscious.
"I learned to trust my instincts and live in the moment with these songs," Wyatt reveals. "I stopped overthinking, and everything started unfolding in an exhilarating manner."
Recording at Electric Deluxe Recorders in Austin, Wyatt and her band laid down most of the basic tracks and vocals live to tape. The resulting chemistry in these performances is palpable throughout the album.
The album's opening track, "World Worth Keeping," sets a powerful tone, a soulful meditation on finding beauty worth fighting for, even amidst hopelessness. The album, rooted in defiant optimism, celebrates simplicity in tracks like "Back To The Country," revels in self-acceptance in "Love Is A Place," and embraces pleasure as a fundamental need in the effervescent title track.
Wyatt's personal journey of self-acceptance threads through the album, acknowledging struggles with loneliness, loss, and heartbreak. Tracks like "Hold Me One More Time" confront the pain of parting, while "Jukebox Holiday" and "Moonlighter" reflect on yearning and the bittersweetness of solitude.
Even amidst these struggles, Wyatt finds room for belief and resilience. "Where The Damned" and "Fugitive" tackle larger societal issues, yet Wyatt infuses these narratives with a glimmer of hope and belief.