Review

Maya Spector’s debut album Honey and Heartache is a soulful celebration of contemporary jazz

Opening on syrupy vocals and future soul wanderings, Maya Spector’s debut album Honey and Heartache is an ode to contemporary jazz. As the album title suggests, there’s a duality to this record that spans multiple intensities to tell Spector’s very own love story – the sweetness of being in love, the tragic consequences of losing it, and finally, recovering from it.

Musical theatre specialist, singer and songwriter, Spector’s artistic roots are derived from global jazz sounds, which she pushes into a kind of sensational, blue-eyed soul. She has played a prominent role in the local and international theatre scene over the years, working on the likes of Rent! and performing at the esteemed Kennedy Centre in Washington D.C. It’s a background that gives her music a vivid quality, from the drama in her voice to the stories she writes and of course, the theatrical production of the tracks.

“Everytime” is maybe Spector at her most glamorous, her sultry vocals overtaking the entire song for the better, while “City Lights” is its rhythmic sister. Match these tracks with “Anchors Aweigh”, a softly vulnerable piano ballad, and “Goodnight Moon”, a Thula Baba lullaby melody, and you feel Spector’s two-tone talent – the honey and the heartache in all its forms.