Norah Jones, Catherine Popper and Sasha Dobson this year reunited their side project Puss N Boots to release fun and feisty new album Sister. Norah has said the band are a chance for her to embrace ‘fearlessness’ and they all come to the project with an ‘eagerness to jump in’. That involves all three playing different instruments , bringing solo written songs to the project, writing together and doing covers.
The album begins with the leisurely Jamola – which yes just sounds like a group of friends having a jam as the title suggests. It’s a laid back start to the album, like your friends inviting you over for a casual glass of wine.
It’s Not Easy has Norah taking lead vocals and even though musically this project is a little rough and ready her voice remains as flawless as ever. It’s not easy to make these mistakes, she sings with the back up of her sisters. The album too sounds like a way to kind of muse on ideas about love and not be too tied down to ideas of perfection.
Nothing You Can Do has Sasha Dobson on lead and she is working out her frustrations, getting free of a relationship, the prison of her life. I wrote these words to see it through, she admits hoping for some courage through the song.
On ‘Lucky’ Catherine Popper takes us in a more country folk direction and the band have created a rich, lovely feel to the texture to their sound. The other solo write from Popper is The Razor Song – a perfect mix of harmony and edge. My other favourite song on the album is Same Old Bullshit, a reminder to just accept the lows of life with a shrug and a smile.
The covers on this album all sound fantastic from It’s A Wonderful Lie By Paul Westerberg, to Angel Dream by Tom Petty and The Grass is Blue by Dolly. That latter song actually reunited the band last year for the tribute to Dolly at Music Cares and so it is fitting they sing it together again for the album.
In some ways these songs sound like friends just working things out, jamming, enjoying themselves freed of burdens of their other projects. Such a loose collection might be easy to overlook, and in fact it took me a while to give it the attention it deserves, but come back to it again and you will find friends worth spending time with. Self soothing and self care with some sisters is what we all need right now.