With the faux love fest (sorry about the cynicism) that is Valentine’s Day just around the corner (February 14th we believe), here @ SJF we’ve already pointed you old romantics towards a few new tunes that might impress your significant other half better that a cheap card with a red padded heart.

We can now add to our loving recommendations a whole EP’s worth of new, romantic soul songs that might do the trick in the romance stakes. The EP comes from US songbird CASTELLA (Cathy Rebecca Crowell-Thompson, who works out of Long Beach, California). She  impressed us all last year with her ‘So Glad I Met You’ the vocals on which betrayed her gospel background. That was followed by her cover of the 1977 Atlanta Rhythm Section song ‘So Into You’.

Well, those two recordings are at the core of her just-released love EP, ’Let Me Love You’ . The other songs on the mini album are ‘Let Me Love You’, ‘It’s On Right Now’, an extended mix of ‘So Glad I Met You’ (for those with stamina!) and a cover of the old standard ‘My Funny Valentine’. That one’s an obvious choice, I suppose, and though you’ll be familiar with dozens of versions, Castella does a great job – jazzy and soulful and, importantly, she doesn’t sound daunted or overwhelmed by the song’s history. Once again, her confident vocal attack shows her gospel apprenticeship!

CASTELLA; ’Let Me Love You’ EP out now via Castella Music