Song of the Week: “(I Guess There’s) No Love” by Mable John

Sometimes a song happens to you and you can’t believe that song has been missing from your life up until that moment. Mable John’s “(I Guess There’s) No Love,” is one of those for me. I stumbled on it while streaming “Katy Radio” on Pandora last year. John’s low and mournful voice seems carved out of an ancient mountain range and carries a charged urgency despite the way she lingers on each note, drawing each one out as if it were the most important. The slow build of horns and piano pulses out a sultry downbeat rhythm joined by weeping strings that arch gently around her voice, a balance of a restrained yet utter sadness that somehow manages a tinge of glory. This is blues, yes, but it is also soul, it is early R & B in that slowly-getting-your-heart-ripped-out-and-still-managing-to-triumph sort of way.

-Katy Henriksen

Katy Henriksen is the music editor for The Rumpus. She also ran Cannibal Books and organized The Burning Chair Readings with her husband Matthew. When she’s not listening to music, reading, writing, tending to her 19-month-old daughter, or designing book jackets, she bakes pies. You can keep up with her random obsessions via Twitter or Tumblr.

Questions, compliments, (hopefully not) complaints? Contact Jackie Clark: jackie [at] coldfrontmag [dot] com.

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