Hailed by Pitchfork as one of the “most exciting and skillful storytellers” working today, Jaime Wyatt is the kind of generational talent whose raw, honest lyricism is matched only by the power of her huge, unmistakable voice. A West Coast native, Wyatt first began turning heads with her breakout 2017 debut, Felony Blues, which chronicled her now much-publicized battle with addiction and transformative journey through the criminal justice system. Her 2020 follow-up, Neon Cross, tackled even more profoundly personal revelations and arrived to similar acclaim, with NPR praising Wyatt’s “remarkable voice” and Rolling Stone lauding her “lush, layered, and complex” performances. With Feel Good, her third and most ambitious album yet, Wyatt pushes her sound to new sonic and emotional heights, blurring the lines between classic roots, southern soul, and vintage R&B.
“I wanted to make music you could move to,” Wyatt explains, “but I still wanted it to have heart and integrity.”
Recorded with Black Pumas’ Adrian Quesada, the album is bold and ecstatic, built on tight, intoxicating grooves that belie the songs’ substantial emotional stakes. Wyatt’s writing is unguarded and intuitive here, tapping into the deep recesses of her subconscious as she reckons with grief and growth, and her delivery is visceral to match, cutting straight to the bone with equal parts sensitivity and swagger. Taken as a whole, the collection stands as a radical act of creative liberation from an artist already known for pushing limits, a genre-defying work of healing and self-love that tips its cap to everything from Al Green and Otis Redding to Waylon Jennings and Bobbie Gentry in its relentless pursuit of peace and pleasure.
“A lot of us grow up feeling like we have to hide who we are just to be accepted, but that comes from a place of fear and judgment,” Wyatt explains. “I wrote these songs as a way of letting go of all that, as permission to feel good.”
Eschewing the traditionally solitary process that begot her early work, Wyatt penned Feel Good in a series of collaborative, freewheeling writing sessions built around infectious drum and bass grooves. Working with different rhythm sections in LA (her former hometown) and Nashville (her current hometown), Wyatt began experimenting with stream-of-consciousness and improvisation in the rehearsal studio, allowing herself to trust her instincts (as well as those of close collaborator Joshy Soul) as she pulled lyrics and melodies from the ether