Having spent nearly 10 years on the New York City scene, fronting an all-girl band before going solo, this Florida native is too poised and focused to warrant the “American Amy Winehouse” tag she’ll inevitably receive. That said, there are similarities. Like her late U.K. counterpart, Morris is a cool, tattooed retro-soul sister who came of age in the hip-hop era. On her debut, she links Billie Holiday to Gladys Knight to Lauryn Hill and Mary J. Blige, rooting herself in the funky R&B and blaxploitation of the ’70s. Credit producer Jeremy Page with fashioning a rich, milkshake-thick sound nasty enough for any rapper yet sensual enough to support Morris’ uncorked emotion.

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