BY MICHAEL TOLAND
Saundra Williams and Starr Duncan Lowe have spent the past seven years providing backup vocal support to the force of nature known as Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, but the pair’s work together goes back to the 1980s. That explains the duo’s chemistry and ability – there’s no mistaking the sound of artists who’ve essentially grown up singing together. It’s also no surprise that Look Closer sits in a similar wheelhouse as most Daptone projects, working a familiar vein of late ’60s/early ’70s soul.
Saun & Starr aren’t firebrand vocalists in Jones’ vein, however, giving the music a much smoother and sedate feel. That doesn’t mean it’s less soulful or heartfelt, of course – just more Al Green than Otis Redding. “Another Love Like Mine,” the ’50s-style ballad “In the Night” and the ungainly-titled but delightful “Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah” hit the soul spot nicely, but it’s the one-two punch of the 45s “Look Closer” and “Hot Shot” that really nails what this duo is all about. Look Closer sounds like a lost gem unearthed from a time when soul wasn’t produced within an inch of its life – in other words, another Daptone bullseye.
DOWNLOAD: “Hot Shot,” “Look Closer,” “Another Love Like Mine”