Andra Day walks the line between reverence and revelation, using both to her advantage. The soul, jazz and R&B singer cultivates an aesthetic with clear reference points in the past, but she tells stories firmly rooted in her present. It's a jarring and compelling combination.
Day's singing has much in common with instantly recognizable voices: She's got Eartha Kitt's unflappable confidence, Amy Winehouse's effortless grasp of classic jazz, Billie Holiday's access to raw emotion and Adele's range and pop sensibility. And yet there is never any doubt that what Andra Day is presenting comes straight from Andra Day.
In the case of this video, Day's ownership is apparent in her choice of very personal subject matter. As she describes it in the video's introduction, "Gold" is the story of Day coming to terms with her own past infidelity after having a new partner be unfaithful to her. It's a song with a not terribly flattering light for its singer to stand in.
This is a young singer on what could be a quick and bright rise, so a song this revealing this early in her career is both promising and deeply refreshing. Songs like this could eventually position Day as an inspiration for the next young singer with style and stories to tell.
Andra Day's debut album Cheers To The Fall comes out Aug. 28 on Warner Bros.