Portland based singer-songwriter Sara Jackson-Holman might be a classically trained pianist, but it’s clear she has the innate ability to craft intricate pop melodies as represented on her sophomore album Cardiology (July 24).
Cardiology takes the listener on a journey of love and loss as experienced by the young singer over the course of this last year with the passing of her grandfather. Jackson-Holman’s voice is enchanting and it’s hard not to liken her tone to a cross between Adele and Amy Winehouse on the album’s somber second cut “Can’t Take My Love.” While piano-driven, there’s an incredible slinky groove to it, which builds into a haunting climax complete with choir.
On the chill-inducing “Freight Train,” Jackson-Holman works through being grief-stricken by looking back on profound moments that stuck with her as a means of comfort. “Break My Heart” has a twinge of R&B that could easily be compared to a sound that made Alicia Keys popular among the Top 40 crowd.
But it’s on cuts like “For Albert,” an ode to her deceased grandfather, where she is at her best. The song is a derivative of the classic “Für Elise” and showcases this talented songwriter’s ability to meld her classical roots with contemporary pop and immensely personal lyrics in a very authentic way.
Sara Jackson-Holman’s sophomore album, Cardiology, will be available starting July 24th.
Standout Tracks: “Freight Train,” “Can’t Take My Love,” and “My Biggest Mistake.”