Julie Dexter Dexterity

While she’s currently based in Atlanta, vocalist Julie Dexter hails from Birmingham, England. She details this transatlantic journey explicitly on the brassy mid-tempo "Faith,” but this diasporic reality also manifests itself throughout the record. While it’s easy to lump Julie Dexter with other artists such as Donnie and India.Arie, who have risen from Atlanta’s underground soul scene, Dexter’s referencing of her West Indian background through a distinctive reggae influence sets her apart. Arresting brassy arrangements and ambling dub bass lines fuel strong entries like "How Can You Feel,” and "God Bless The Dub.” Dexter also has a penchant for jazzy lounge rhythms; a style pulled off well on "I Dream” and "What Do I Do,” but should have been curtailed on the noodly "How Long.” Given her physical and stylistic movements, it’s not surprising that thematically Dexter often focuses on progression as a theme and unashamed positivity is inherent in her songwriting, whether it’s addressing social ills or interpersonal relationships. Dexter’s uncomplicated approach can attract cynicism, but her well-meaning sentiments give her a pass. (Ketch A Vibe)