Stylistically, Joy Ike has been compared at times to Norah Jones, Sarah McLachlan and Fiona Apple.

The second offering in two years for Squirrel Hill-based singer and pianist Joy Ike marks changes in her career. For one thing, her fundraising among fans made the recording of this CD possible. And she’s now become a full-time touring performer. Meanwhile, readers of Pittsburgh’s City Paper have twice named her the annual “Best Solo Artist.”

In an agreeable, often over-dubbed voice, Ike lends keyboard support in New Age-sounding style with sometimes-lyrical playing added by South Hills cellist Elliot Anderson or Pittsburgh-based group The Freya String Quartet.

Ike’s Nigerian roots also get a nod from time to time in suggestions of African percussive rhythms. Stylistically, she’s been compared at times to Norah Jones, Sarah McLachlan and Fiona Apple.

Ike says that songs on this album may sound “poppier” and are “a lot more raw and very earthy” in comparison to her 2008 session, Good Morning. Nonetheless she has serious intentions when it comes to her lyrics, saying that many of her lyrics, such as those on the inside cover, have to do “with the human condition and a search for God.” inspired by, among others, Martin Luther King Jr., The Bible, “ … loneliness, community and the pursuit of happiness.”

She tries to spread that message on college campuses where she’s recently been giving performances. These and other frequently personal intimations come across in original, intricate and distinctive words. No surprise: She has a B.A. in communications from the University of Pittsburgh.

For more info, visit joyike.com.

Categories: Arts & Entertainment