Check Ahead: Kendra Morris, "Banshee"

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Kendra Morris certainly isn’t the first modern-day chanteuse to peddle a vintage R&B/soul sound -- a few especially well-known names like Adele and Amy Winehouse come to mind. But that's part of the appeal of the New York-based singer, whose debut full-length, Banshee, will be released on August 28. Rather than merely imitating the popular British style, Morris manages to pull together a collection of original and memorable songs that stand out from what is an intimidating female field. 

Banshee begins on a creepy note with a quavery minor chord that calls to mind the deathly creature from which the album takes its name. The supernatural is a recurring theme on the album; we hear mentions of voodoo and poison in the Lauryn Hill-esque track "Pow," and the wailing banshee herself appears at the end of the record on a song reminiscent of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins' "I Put a Spell On You." As Morris told Vibe Magazine in a video interview last month, "I was always interested in banshees.... You really can cast a spell with your voice and entrance people."

My favorite tracks from the album come back-to-back with the disco slow jam concoction "If You Didn’t Go," and the hip-hop tinged "Concrete Waves." You can stream Banshee in its entirety exclusively on our site until next Tuesday, August 28. Audio is no longer available for this feature.