There's a quiet intensity to the latest from Belgian jazz artist Melanie De Biasio. The multi-instrumentalist has stated that new album Lilies, her fourth, is the result of a solitary retreat with just "Pro-Tools, my computer and my cheap Shure SM-58 microphone." The project comprises nine tracks of stark melodies, a groove-oriented sensibility and a smoky smolder.
De Biasio's atmospheric lyrics arrive wrapped in silky swagger and a noirish electronic pulse. Nina Simone is a clear influence, as seen on the sexy piano-driven title track, while the pump of "Gold Junkies" speaks to a tumultuous relationship, "Afro Blue" has a hypnotic pulse and the layered thrust of "All My Worlds" rides an after-hours organ sound to emotional effect. Less is more with Lilies — De Biasio goes big with a subdued sound, and the end result is luminous. (Le Label/PIAS)