The story behind Claude Fontaine’s album is that of an American artist putting down roots in the UK – but finding on a visit to Honest Jons records where her musical heart truly lies. That led via quite a long road to her recording this self-titled album, a document of music gloriously stuck in time. If you like the Trojan reggae sound then you’ll love the first few tracks here in particular, where Fontaine’s voice is perfectly suited to the loping grooves and scratchy accompaniment – analogue music at its best on songs like Love Street. As the album progresses a stronger Brazilian thread makes itself known, closing with the aching ‘Our Last Goodbye’. The starry guestlist of musicians reveals connections with Ziggy Marley, Sergio Mendes and Steel Pulse, and in truth fans of these and many more will find much to enjoy in the summer vibes this very talented vocalist can create. A slowly worked and lovingly made gem.
Ben Hogwood
4 out of 5

Claude Fontaine – "I'll Play The Fool" (Official Stream)