Belgrade-born, New York-based Berklee grad Alma Micic has a voice rich as silk yet ruggedly supple as vintage leather polished to a high luster. There’s a shadowed gentleness to her sound that suggests the hushed majesty of a star-filled night, though when she chooses to soar she seems capable of touching the sun. Throughout much of her sophomore album it is, however, the heavens she’s reaching for.
In addition to the hushed beauty of two of her favorite spirituals, “Holy, Holy, Holy” and “Sweet, Sweet Spirit,” she speaks to her abiding faith in the potent “Threads” and shapes several of the album’s other originals around such noble themes as honesty, loyalty, generosity of spirit and selfless, eternal love. Still, not all of the disc’s paths point skyward. Her misty reading of “April in Paris” is intended to celebrate the Great American Songbook that initially lured her across the Atlantic. But it is “Long Way Home,” a bittersweet adieu to her grandmother based on the traditional folk song “No Dawn Yet,” that provides The Hours’ finest, most affecting moments.