For Fans Of: Adele, Annie Lennox, Brandi Carlile
Why You Should Pay Attention: After a jazzy debut on Blue Note, two years singing in Hancock's touring ensemble, and a four-day Detox session with Dre in L.A., Kristina Train put out the soul-baring tapestry Dark Black in the U.K. in late 2012. Her reward? Getting dropped from an impatient Mercury Records four months later. By Train's own admission, the material was dead in the water until the Boss heard her last year. He told NPR she's "very Dusty Springfield." Adding, "There's a song called 'Dark Black' that's fantastic. I love that." Equally evocative is Train's reimagining of the Jackie Wilson single "I'm Wandering" featured in a high-concept Lexus ad. Her cover of the Waterboys' "How Long Will I Love You" impressed the band's frontman, Mike Scott, so much that he invited her to sing on their new album. After bustling times in New York and London, Savannah-raised Train relocated to a farmhouse older than the state of Tennessee near Nashville, and is working on an Americana album called Root Down. "My best work is when I'm feeling uncomfortable," she says. "That's probably why I move around a lot."
She Says: Train has embraced her new Nashville digs. "I like going out on a Tuesday night and hearing Jim Oblon and Bucky Baxter play in a stinky, smoky bar on the far side of town, then hearing Buddy Miller and Emmylou Harris sing 'Love Hurts' in a tiny room called the Basement on Thursday," she says. "My first two albums seem like biopsies under a microscope of specific times or situations in my life. I never meant to be a confessional artist, but I guess life got in the way. I'm really looking forward to Root Down finally showing who I am as a whole. I can finally look forward and not back."
Hear for Yourself: Her cover of the 1990 Waterboys single "How Long Will I Love You" is like Chrissie Hynde in torch-song mode. By Reed Fischer