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Review: Spend a lazy afternoon with Jessie Baylin

By Chris Talbott

Associated Press

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 18 2012 2:05 p.m. MST

In this CD cover image released by Blonde Rat/Thirty Tigers, the latest release by Jessie Baylin, "Little Spark," is shown.

Thirty Tigers, AP Photo/Blonde Rat

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Jessie Baylin, "Little Spark" (Thirty Tigers)

Lana Del Rey has sucked the air out the pop chanteuse genre this month, but we'd like to point out Jessie Baylin for your listening consideration.

The Nashville-based singer-songwriter's third album "Little Spark" offers a similar kind of promise — lush, thoughtful pop music in a post-Adele era where everyone's looking for just that kind of thing.

Baylin's got a pretty good backstory. The wife of Kings of Leon drummer Nathan Followill, she opted out of her major label record deal because she wanted to chart her own path, and went indie, founding her own label and teaming with Thirty Tigers on the release.

She enlisted Richard Swift to oversee the moody vibe and hired producer Kevin Augunas, whose credits include Cold War Kids, Delta Spirit and Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeroes. He brought in The Watson Twins for harmony, Jim Keltner on drums, Greg Leisz on pedal steel and guitarist Waddy Wachtel.

The 11-track album that emerges plays on the mind like late afternoon sunshine filtered through layers of gauze. It kicks off with the sophisticated California pop of "Hurry Hurry" and "Love is Wasted on Lovers," strings and harps and chimes and loaded looks across crowded rooms. "I Feel That Too" is a lazy day spent swinging in the hammock, "Yuma" is a languid dream and "Dancer" bounces along on a breezy piano line.

Add in a video for "Hurry Hurry" directed by childhood pal Scarlett Johansson, and there's plenty of buzz to hold you over.

CHECK THIS TRACK OUT: While the Followills fingerprints aren't really evident here — beyond Nathan's lead role in the love songs — we love the way "The Wind" unfolds like those really good KOL songs. A night ride in a really fast convertible.

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