Talented vocalist Shana Halligan cut her teeth as half of Los Angeles-based baroque trip-hop duo Bitter:Sweet (with producer Kiran Shahani). They released a pair of well-received albums in the mid-‘00s before Halligan struck out on her own. She opened some eyes with debut EP “Paper Buttlerfly” and 2012 full-length “Richmond Parade,” but really comes into her own on sophomore platter “Back to Me.”
Armed with her ridiculously good voice, Halligan makes captivating music that blends her trip-hop background, indie pop and electronic jazz. The only real drawback is that “Back to Me,” with 15 tracks clocking in at 58 minutes, is a little overstuffed. None of the tracks are out-and-out duds, but I think the record might have been more effective with two or three songs left on the cutting room floor.
That said, there is plenty to like about Halligan’s latest effort. The opening tandem of “Get Gone” and “Illuminate” lure listeners right into her sonic web and set the tone for what’s to come. Halligan also impresses on the title track (my favorite cut), “Can’t Live Without Your Love,” “Justified,” “Nothing Less” and “Glass Clouds.” Good stuff. (Jeffrey Sisk)