12 Little Spells

12 Little Spells is jazz bassist and singer Esperanza Spalding’s seventh solo album—and in her classic style, it dives even deeper into a mysterious fusion of jazz and, well, something else. Is it soul? R&B? Neo-disco? I do not know; all I can say is that this album is unapologetically Esperanza Spalding. If you are the type of person that enjoys taking long, contemplative walks, you will find that Spalding’s searching vocals, lush instrumentation, and exquisitely wandering melodies are the perfect soundtrack. Conversely, if your preferred state is slathering yourself in honey and sliding across the floor on your back at 3 a.m. on a Wednesday, 12 Little Spells is equally suitable for such a moment. In fact, if you like jazz, hate jazz, or have had any thoughts about music at any point in your life, 12 Little Spells will not disappoint. It is hard to accurately describe such a musical enigma, but this strange collection of tunes is just that: weird, but in the best possible way. So crack open a one-serving sized package of your favorite snack food, find a bench outside, and just exist. I guarantee Esperanza Spalding’s music will heighten even the most mundane experience to cosmically bizarre, unashamedly jazzy levels. Tommy Batterman


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