Label: Tru Thoughts
For the past decade, Alice Russell's grainy, husky voice has drawn admirers as well as favorable comparisons to Dusty Springfield. She's in her comfort zone with longtime producer TM Juke on To Dust, mixing classic funk and soul with occasional forays into synthesized R&B like "For a While." She emotes painfully over the bumping drum kit of "Heartbreaker," declaims forcefully on "Hard & Strong," and exhorts her "Citizens" to push "beyond these walls" of consumerism and superficiality. While her songwriting can't compare to that terrific voice, she's a magnetic presence here.