All Keyed Up
Things happen when you’re 13 ” first kisses, first cigarettes, first piercings ” and, if you’re like Jes Hudak, first albums. Maybe it’s a little precocious for a 9th grader to drop a record on her classmates and hit the local open mic night, but getting a head start can pay off. Now well into her 20s, the LA ingenue has already been a contestant on American Idol and Rock Star: INXS, toured with Enrique Iglesias, Maroon 5 and Howie Day, sung both the National Anthem at Giants Stadium and a Tom Jones cover for a Pantene commercial, and picked up her fair share of music awards along the way. Here’s what the fuss is about: Hudak’s limber voice and gift for writing insistent little piano melodies that won’t let you soon forget them. National Holiday is blissed-out piano pop, while No One in the World is sexier terrain, where a chorus of cooing Hudaks and the squiggle of electric guitar raise the temperature. High school boys, eat your heart out.