Even if you didn't realize it before, chances are you know Tal Wilkenfeld.
Having worked with and for the likes of Jeff Beck, Mick Jagger, Eric Clapton and Herbie Hancock, there's a good chance you've seen her signature blonde lion's mane grooving with the drums behind some of music's greats.
Wilkenfeld's new album, Love Remains (available now), is her vocal debut, but there's nothing about the record that suggests it's the work of a musician exploring singing and songwriting for the first time.
While Wilkenfeld's professional life has been primarily spent as a bassist, she started writing songs the same time she started playing the guitar, at age 14. When she moved from her native Australia to America a few years later, she was hell bent on learning the guitar and then the bass guitar inside and out.
"I became mono-focused on my instrument, and I didn't want to split my focus," she says of putting singing on the backburner. "And then before I knew it, I started playing gigs as a bass player and had a career. But I eventually decided it was time to go back to my roots as a singer/songwriter. Although the music now is definitely influenced by everything that I've done in my career over the past 10 years, playing with a variety of people."
Those influences are part of what makes Love Remains such a triumph. By the end of the album's lead track, "Corner Painter," it's clear Wilkenfeld has been taking notes on song craft during her various gigs.
Wilkenfeld's satiny vocals and instrumental virtuosity give Love Remains a hard-to-categorize feel, uniquely her own. The album rocks steady with uncommon lyrical depth and an innate improvised feel, thanks to Wilkenfeld's background in jazz.
Watch Tal Wilkenfeld and her band perform the song "Killing Me" from the new album: