Thursday night, I hauled my myself (and my heavy work bags) across town to see the divine Alice Smith perform at the Highline Ballroom in NYC.

I’d seen Alice once before at the Highline a couple years ago, and was blown away by her voice and stage presence. This time around, I had a little extra money in the bank, and treated myself to a second appearance in her audience. She definitely doesn’t disappoint, but the actual venue was a little awkward. This particular show was part of the annual Blue Note Jazz Festival, so instead of standing up, packed like sardines next to other eager fans, we were forced to sit swanky-style at a dinner table and see Alice from a distance. It is what it is. Alice stepped on stage in 5-inch Louboutins, and belted out old favorites and new jams. She fubbed a few song lyrics, and the fact that she was backed solely by a keyboardist made it a little difficult to hear the depth of some of her new material, but she’s today’s inspiration nevertheless.

She’s a new mom and soaring talent who can rock sold out shows without having released any new music since her 2006 debut For Lovers, Dreamers & Me. She’s a quirky girl whose music cannot completely be defined (Is it folk? Rock? Pop? I have no idea), and she pulls off both the retro look and the sexy style without missing a beat. On the tail end of a “bidding war” with former label, Epic Records, for unreleased music, she publicly handles her struggles with a sense of humor and keeps going. Alice Smith is totally unique, 100% genuine, and her voice is nothing short of phenomenal. I’ll definitely keep coming back for more.