WHO ARE THEY? The all-female, alt-country side-project supergroup formed by singer-songwriters Norah Jones, Sasha Dobson and Catherine Popper — who initially got together in 2008 so pianist Jones could learn to play guitar. Since then, the others have followed in her instrumental footsteps, with all three members switching between guitar, bass and drums as needed — while trading off lead vocals and harmonizing pretty much every chance they get.
WHAT IS THIS? The cheekily named trio’s winsome sophomore album, which arrives nearly six years after their 2014 debut No Fools, No Fun (but only a couple of months after their Christmas EP Dear Santa…). Like No Fools, this 14-song set is divided between originals (including a remake of Dear Santa’s Great Romancer) and covers of Tom Petty’s Angel Dream, Dolly Parton’s The Grass Is Blue, Paul Westerberg’s It’s a Wonderful Lie and Concrete Blonde’s Joey.
WHAT DOES IT SOUND LIKE? Three friends hanging out with some instruments, some basic home recording gear, a few drinks and a bunch of their favourite records. From the loose-limbed performances to the lovingly laid-back harmonies, this slice of urban Americana will win you over with its unvarnished charm and easygoing beauty.
WHAT SHOULD IT BE TITLED? Sweethearts of the Metro.
HOW SHOULD I LISTEN TO IT? At a downtown loft party with your hipster friends.
WHAT 10 WORDS SUM IT UP? Sweet, mellow, melodic, friendly, unfussy, homespun, sincere, cool, intimate, supportive.
WHAT ARE THE BEST SONGS? The defiantly scrappy Nothing You Can Do; the smoky twanger You and Me; the country-rocker Same Old Bullshit; their understated takes on It’s a Wonderful Lie and Joey.
WHAT WILL MY FRIENDS SAY? ‘If they sounded any better, they’d actually sound much, much worse — because they would be way less fun.’
HOW OFTEN WILL I LISTEN TO IT? Whenever you’re looking for a band that hits the sweet spot between Pistol Annies, Trio and The Highwomen.
IF THIS ALBUM WERE A CAT, WHAT WOULD IT BE? A personable, good-natured rescue that just wants to chill out all day.
SHOULD I BUY, STREAM OR STEAL IT? If you don’t dig Jones’ country-flavoured side, start with the stream and see how it goes.