Sometimes as human beings, we enjoy indulging in the melancholic. Looking out over a grey London town with Jessie Ware’s new record Glasshouse for company, it feels enhanced by the sulking skies. The South London songwriter has built a career on emphasised emotion, heart-wrenching early singles ‘Night Light’ and ‘Sweet Talk’ offered a new perspective on the age old topic of love and relations; her silky tones more reminiscent of artists such as Sade or Neneh Cherry than the conventionally polished vocals associated with chart pop.

This alternative spirit that lead to collaborations with the likes of SBTRKT and Julio Bashmore early on has waned in line with Jessie’s personal life. Our leading lady is now a wife and mother and throughout Glasshouse emotion often spills over. Mid-album number ‘Hearts’ is a prime example of this, Jessie’s desperation overcoming her composure, crooning “hearts aren’t supposed to hurt like that/ they’re not supposed to break so fast.” It’s ‘Pieces’ pt. II, Ware once again taking sentiments of absolute intimacy and magnifying them to cinema-style proportions. ‘Finish What We Started’ follows suit, gushing lyricism on the subject of Sam, Jessie’s husband. Synth lifted straight from a Phil Collins LP open this mini-epic as we are served some of the simplest melodies to date “are we gonna finish what we started?/ Only one thing left here to do.” The emotion softens any sort of edge, her voice remaining the distinguishing feature.

It is blatant the love Ware has for her family and partner means the style of music feels much more vital, these are songs she needed to write to fully express and realise her own emotions. She commented that lead single ‘Alone’, produced by Kid Harpoon, is about navigating the tribulations of introducing a baby into a long-term relationship. The skill of this songstress is taking experiences that are incredibly personal to her and presenting them in a way that appeals and is applicable to the masses. Swelling tracks including ‘Thinking About You’ are assured to increase the commercial appeal of Jessie, its crescendo screaming to soundtrack dramatic BBC season previews. In stark contrast, the album closer ‘Sam’ is easily the most honest thing she has penned. There’s no attempt at adding glossy production techniques and excess metaphor, Ware’s words landing like soft kisses as she talks openly about her parental apprehensions and the endless love she has for her husband.

It would be unfair to compare Glasshouse to previous albums in Ware’s discography. This album feels reflective of Jessie’s present, a person balancing beautifully between artist, mother and lover. ‘First Time’ name checks her debut Devotion, an intelligent collection of alt-R&B that still informs heavy-hitting singles such as this. There is still sophistication in structure, a lounge quality that yearns for darkness and intimacy that few vocalists can truly achieve. Tracks such as ‘Your Domino’ are not Ware’s most complex lyrical work to date “blow me a kiss/ give me a look so powerful,” but they still achieve the magical nocturnal atmosphere of her last two records.

Opening single ‘Midnight’ expertly combines the qualities of the record. The sparse soundscape opening onto glorious high notes, confessions of unbearable adoration before our chorus reaches pictorial grandeur. She once again becomes a singer in a smoky room, decorated all in art deco, delivering powerful performance with an undeniable air of seduction.