A lot of new music has been released this week, and one we absolutely adore is Dami Im’s brand new album, titled “I Hear A Song”. It is her fifth studio album overall, following on from 2015’s “Classic Carpenters”. A total of three promotional singles were released prior to the drop of the album, these were “Autumn Leaves“, “Feeling Good“, and title song “I Hear A Song“.
The album has a total of 14 tracks, which sees a collection of 12 cover songs and two originals. There’s a sign of female empowerment with the selection of the songs. Dami Im sure is bringing some girl power to the table. On paper, all these songs together should not work; yet, Dami Im has proved her ability to make songs her own, as when you listen to the album as a whole, it not only works but it outstands every single listener.
For those of you who are unaware of this crazy talented artist; Dami Im first made her name known for winning the fifth season of the Australian version of The X Factor. Run forward a couple of years and she ends up representing Australia at the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 with the song “Sound of Silence”; she placed second overall with Australia’s best result – 511 points. The song had moderate success internationally and she’s destined to become a global star – this fifth studio album really showcases her as an artist, even if most of the songs are covers. Here’s our review of “I Hear A Song”.
What a way to open this album up. “Feeling Good” is an iconic song that was made known by Nina Simone. It’s one of those songs that no one can quite do it justice because it has been covered over and over and over again; yet, Dami Im puts her own spin on it, makes it her own, and blows us away with this version. It’s still an ode to the original, whilst bringing us pure vocals and real passion throughout. Only the best singers in the world can sing this song and fully nail it, and here is Dami Im proving she belongs in that minute group. This sets up the whole album in every way.
I Hear A Song
We simply adore this track in every way. It’s an original from Dami Im, that follows up “Feeling Good” magically. It’s a full track that sounds like an instant classic, her vocals are on point, and once again she stuns us with her voice. What’s amazing about this track is that it has the classic feel of a jazz song, yet she’s sung it in a current and mainstream way. It’s just an instant hit amongst everyone who hears this; we can’t imagine anyone disliking this track, ever.
I Say A Little Prayer
Well, this is a surprise. We’ve never heard this song sung this way. It’s not easy to tackle a Dionne Warwick / Aretha Franklin song, let alone transform it into a jazz track which works so well. Dami Im brings it with some brilliant backing vocals too. It’s clear and crisp with a lot of heart flooding the song. It’s got this unrecognisable spin to it that makes it feel brand new and we love Dami Im for this.
This one is quite an old song, one many of her younger fans may not know. The song was written by DuBose Heyward, George Gershwin, and Ira Gershwin in 1935. Jazz fans may recognise it as it is known as a hit in the 60’s. “Summertime” was performed in English-language opera Porgy and Bess. The song has been covered by Billie Holiday, Sam Cooke, Billy Stewart, and Janis Joplin. In 1982, Fun Boy Three gave it its best charting position in the UK, at number 18.
Dami Im keeps it to the classic style bringing the track to a brand new audience, as previously stated, many of her fans may not recognise it. She truly shows that she deserved to win The X Factor, and fully brings it to the song, giving a chilled vibe to the album, which is much needed after her incredible previous tracks.
My Funny Valentine
Another classic jazz track that certainly allows Dami Im to bring it to the attention of new audiences; “My Funny Valentine” was from the musical Babes In Arms. Many have covered it including Ella Fitzgerald, Chet Baker, Boy George, and Chaka Khan. It perfectly follows “Summertime” and really puts the spotlight on Dami Im’s amazing vocals. The song does get quite lost considering the tracks before and after this one, but we can’t deny how beautiful Dami Im sounds and this would be the track we would love to hear live at one of her concerts.
Love On Top
A Beyoncé cover on a jazz album? Call us intrigued from the minute we saw this title amongst the track listing of the album. Who’d have thought that this Beyoncé song would work as a jazz song? Dami Im proves that it does. Slowed down with quite the groovy beat, Dami Im shines throughout as her vocals are pure perfection. To be fair, this is one of those songs that many oversing, and yet Dami Im brings quite a gentle side to the track and it just becomes blissful to listen to. It’s so adorable, lovely, and sweet; allowing every single listener to hear and understand the lyrics completely.
You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me
Here’s a Dusty Springfield cover which was also covered by Elvis Presley. We know it as a pop song, yet Dami Im brings a brand new style to this track that has been covered many times. It feels like it doesn’t quite fit 100%, yet Dami Im totally gets away with it as she brings flat-out perfect vocals and full-on emotion. She’s turned it into a massive power track, and it’s inspiring to see her taking risks.
Come Away With Me
We love that Dami Im is including old and new songs as well as her two originals in this cover album. This track is originally by Norah Jones, and we love what she has done with the song. She’s also made the lyrics much more crisp and clear and we can’t help but see how sweet and lovely this track truly is.
Cry Me A River
Whenever someone thinks of jazz, people either think of “Cry Me A River” or “Feeling Good”, so we’re not surprised to see Dami Im include both of these songs in her jazz album. We’re so used to this song being a power track, that it’s amazing to hear it sung in a relaxed way and yet still allowing Dami Im to showcase her vocal prowess. It’s another song that is not at all easy to sing and only a few artists can sing it superbly, and that’s exactly what Dami Im does.
I Can’t Make You Love Me
This song was originally recorded by Bonnie Raitt in 1991, but plenty of other artists have had hits with the song, including George Michael and Adele. Dami Im brings a soulful jazz version of the song that is flat-out gentle which gives it a brilliant heart-warming spin to the track.
God Bless The Child
Another throwback of a track, this one was originally sung by Billie Holiday in 1941 and, unsurprisingly, has been covered by many well-known singers, including Sam Cooke, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, Ella Fitzgerald, Eva Cassidy, and Jamie Cullum; however, no one has quite sung it recently. Well, here is Dami Im bringing it back like she has with many other previous tracks. It’s another brilliant vocal from her and she’s truly connected with the song. She hits us in our hearts with the song and we can tell she really means every single word.
This was the first promotional single from the album, and we completely fell in love with this song from the first listen. Dami Im fully shines in every way on this song and we are unsurprised that it was chosen as the first promotional release. As part of the album, it does fade in amongst the tracks; however, her vocals are completely outstanding in this cover and we can’t help but have a soft spot for this track.
Another classic song which is also known as “Round About Midnight”. It is a song by pianist Thelonious Monk back in 1944. Once again, it has been covered by a whole array of artists including Chaka Khan, Amy Winehouse, and Ella Fitzgerald. It suits Dami Im down to a tee, fully emphasising her vocal ability, all the while showing off her artistry. She showcases this track to her younger fans, who don’t know the song, and it’s total bliss to listen to.
Like A Cello
Last track on the album, and it’s a complete original, totally written by Dami Im, herself. It’s quite the risk ending the album on an original song, but we shouldn’t be surprised because Dami Im sure knows how to take risks that fully pay off; and, “Like A Cello” is certainly one of them. It’s a much more cheerful and loving track. It’s groovy and certainly a song that works well on the album. It has a mainstream twist to it, allowing Dami Im to prove that she belongs in the music industry. Once again, just like the previous original song “I Hear A Song”, this feels like a classic track she has refreshed – although she includes names of other artists such as Rihanna, who’d have thought that Rihanna’s name would pop up in a jazz song? – it’s a song we adore that we would certainly play on repeat for hours on end. What a way to end this album!
This album is everything we needed in our lives, and more, without even knowing it. Dami Im has enlightened many of her fanbase to tracks we may never have heard of if it wasn’t for her. She has a stunning vocal, a clear confidence in her singing, and an incredible ability to make old songs new and fresh. She’s a singer who deserves international success; failing that, she’ll certainly go down in history as a very versatile singer who takes risks that pay off. We love this album and we believe you will too.
“I Hear A Song” is available to download and stream right now through Sony Music Entertainment Australia. None of the songs have received an official single status; so, therefore, none have received a music video; however, we can continue to hope that title track “I Hear A Song” receives some sort of visual. We can’t wait to see what the future brings to this amazingly talented singer-songwriter.