Soul singer-songwriter Kendra Morris's new album "Nine Lives" will introduce the singer from New York. She's an artist who’s got the pipes to rattle a listener out of their daily malaise. The latest product of her 11-year bond with co-writer and producer Jeremy Page—a sound that recalls Mark Ronson and Salaam Remi’s success with Amy Winehouse, filtered through slickly-produced hip-hop soul—"Nine Lives" paints the portrait of a career survivor who’s still willing to take risks after all of the ups and downs. Consider the album’s title, referencing the well-known English proverb: “A cat has nine lives. For three, he plays, for three, he strays, and for the last three, he stays.” Morris’s career has followed a similarly cyclical trajectory. She started as a young signee to Wax Poetics but dropped the label when the magazine closed in 2018. Her next record was self-released; in the years that followed, she shifted her focus to visual art, making the odd guest appearance on albums here and there. Still, she never stopped writing, eventually making her way to Karma Chief's label, a subsidiary of modern soul institution Colemine. Nine Lives thrives in its resolute maturity; confidence won through years of experience. “Drag On” is a meaningful dedication to that perseverance, while “Who We Are” explores the infinite possibilities of human potential. These uplifting themes, combined with Morris’s strength and bravado as a singer, make the album’s power palpable and drive home the backbone of her craft: resilience, grit, experience, and one hell of a voice.
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