Jillian Horton Jillian Horton

With a silky smooth voice that echoes the late Eva Cassidy and a storytelling sensibility that takes cues from Joni Mitchell, the 30-year-old Horton hits all the right notes on her debut. The Brandon, Manitoba born cerebral singer is also a doctor, having recently completed medical school; she is currently interning in Winnipeg. She brings a doctor’s disciplined approach to her songwriting, which is evident on her first recording — a debut disc that perfectly captures her voice and piano-playing prowess. The ten songs are personal reflections of her journey, dealing with regrets, reinventions and revelations. Her prairie upbringing is also an underlying theme present throughout — this rural milieu provides the musical metaphor and inspiration behind songs such as "All the Pretty Horses” and "Dinosaur Park.” One of the disc’s most revealing songs is the love gone wrong song "Winnipeg” that chronicles Horton’s journey to Winnipeg following her graduation from medical school and in the process she makes the decision to leave a lover behind. Overall, a jazzy, gospel vibe marks this self-titled first record of a five-album deal with Marquis and it shows that this songwriter is in for a long career. (Marquis)