Former Lone Justice leader turned solo artist returns with her first studio album in seven years

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Maria Mckee – High Dive

Getting out of the big corporate rat race, and taking a lengthy sabbatical, seems to have sharpened Maria McKee’s view of her craft. Always blessed with a vivid, exciting vocal power, she’s starting to mature into a kind of modern Jackie DeShannon, since High Dive is packed with big, epic pop, produced for full-on effect by husband and collaborator Jim Akin.

Standouts include a new take on “Life Is Sweet” and some audacious and complex ideas explored in “Non Religious Building” and the emotional range of “Love Doesn’t Love”.

She may look like a Carson McCullers character but McKee’s Southern gothic is still polished by the LA dream.