Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 04/21/2013
Support Women Artists Sunday: AlunaGeorge
AlunaGeorge, featuring chanteuse Aluna Francis, is quickly becoming one of the breakout bands of 2013. Consisting of Francis and producer George Reid, the electronica group combines intimate vocals with synthesized pop, house, R&B, and dub-step. Though already pretty big in the UK—the duo nabbed second in BBC’s Sound of 2013 contest—Francis’ voice will likely get way more air time in the US in the coming year.
Francis, who is half Indian and half Jamaican, worked as a reflexologist and previously sang for the band My Toys Like Me. She first met Reid when he remixed one of My Toys’ songs, and they paired up and released their first commercial single (“Your Drums, Your Love,” above) late last year. Though minimalist and futuristic, AlunaGeorge’s songs are made human by Francis’ …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 04/14/2013
Support Women Artists Sunday: Lake Street Drive
Hailing from such disparate locales as Tennessee (Price), Iowa (Kearney), Minneapolis (Olson), and Philadelphia (Calabrese), Lake Street Dive first gathered in a room together when they were students at Boston’s New England Conservatory. “Mr. McDuck assembled the four of us, said we were now Lake Street Dive, and we were a ‘free country’ band,” Bridget Kearney remembers. “He wrote this on a chalkboard in the ensemble room that we had our first rehearsal in. We intended to play country music in an improvised, avant-garde style – like Loretta Lynn meets Ornette Coleman. It sounded terrible! But the combination of people and personalities actually made a lot of sense and we had a great time being around each other and making music together.”
Lake Street Dive makes the most of pop …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 04/7/2013
Support Women Artists Sunday: Chloe Charles
Melancholic, charismatic, inspiring, and sincere – Toronto-based Chloe Charles breaks black female vocalist stereotypes right away as she arrives on stage with her classical guitar, accompanied by violin, double bass, or other unexpected twists and turns of her musical imagination. A singer-songwriter, drawing from many genres with hints of various ethnic inspirations, Charles’ uncategorizable canon postures an experimental pop sensibility, coupled with chamber folk and subtle flourishes of somber soul music. Chloe likes to express her genre as “Indie Art Folk,” and draws comparisons to Cat Power, Erykah Badu, Joanna Newsom, Etta James, and Bjork.
The 25 year old has been recording and performing music since 2005 while attending York University , influenced strongly by her childhood as a mixed-race person in a unique rural environment where she learned to …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 03/31/2013
Support Women Artists Sunday: Laura Mvula
Laura Mvula (née Douglas) is a British soul singer-songwriter from Birmingham. Her debut album Sing to the Moon, was released on March 4, 2013. Mvula grew up in the Birmingham suburbs of Selly Park and Kings Heath with two younger siblings, and was influenced by the girl band Eternal. She sang with Black Voices, an a capella group set up by her aunt. She graduated from the Birmingham Conservatoire with a degree in composition. While she was working as a supply teacher in a Birmingham secondary school, she started writing songs on her laptop. She was working as a receptionist when she sent out two demos to several people in the music industry. She is married to singer Themba Mvula. One person has described her music using a new term, …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 03/10/2013
Support Women Artists Sunday: Angel Haze
Raykeea Wilson (born 1991), better known by her stage name Angel Haze, is an African American , Native American rapper and lyricist signed to Universal Republic and Island. She was born in Detroit, Michigan and grew up in the Greater Apostolic Faith.
She released her EP Reservation online in July 2012. She is planning a collaboration with Azealia Banks. She lives in Springfield, Virginia. In 2012, she took part in the BET Hip-Hop Award’s Cypher. She was also featured on Funk Volume’s artist Dizzy Wright’s mixtape “SmokeOut Conversations” on the remix track for “Can’t Trust Em’.” The song also featured on the track now Funk Volume artist Jarren Benton. On Angel Haze’s 2012 mixtape Classick, she recorded a version of Eminem’s song, “Cleanin’ Out My Closet”. Earbuddy’s John Downey wrote …
Creative | Posted by Julie Z on 02/24/2013
Support Women Artists Sunday: Rebecca Ferguson
People used to tell Rebecca Ferguson her life was ruined. A teenage mother of two children, dreams of becoming a famous singer seemed far-fetched. Motivated to fulfill her lifelong wish, Rebecca signed up for the tenth season of the UK’s X Factor, and pushed through emotional breakdowns to perform almost every week. Adored quickly by harsh critic and judge Simon Cowell, Rebecca wound up being the show’s runner-up and began crafting songs for her debut album, Heaven, soon after. Coming from a struggling single-parent household, there wasn’t enough money for Rebecca to follow her passion for singing, so at 14 she got a job in a clothes shop to pay for singing lessons. Performing Arts college followed, despite her mother’s attempts to keep her from anything but Christian music. “I …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 02/10/2013
Support Women Artists Sunday: Claire’s Diary
Claire’s Diary was formed when Sophie Rae and Isadora Schappell (of Care Bears on fire), Joey Koneko, and Kiri Oliver were strolling through a meadow one day and found the diary of a girl named Claire at the foot of an oak tree. Taking this diary back to their Brooklyn home, they began to sift through the pages of this mysterious diary and translate their discoveries into words and sounds that bring to mind grunge, punk, and surf-rock. Claire’s Diary played their first show at Slutwalk NYC in October 2011 and released their first recorded track, the theme song for Rookie Magazine, ‘Suzy’s Alright’, in October 2011. Claire’s Diary released their double single “Girl Next Door” and “Build Me A Hero” in August 2012 and will be releasing their debut …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 02/3/2013
Support Women Artists Sunday: KALEN
Singer-songwriter Kalen’s six-song debut EP, Falling From The Sun, is rock noir. The bruised beauty of her lyrics, her dark and shimmering compositions, the haunting expressiveness of her singing, and her dynamically cinematic producing skills imbue the music with a visual layer of intrigue. It is a moody blend of blues, trip-hop and rock with bits of dub step and world beat that’s artfully accessible.
The New York-based singer first gained notoriety fronting the avant-funk band Ladybug Stingray, a band that combined performance art with abstract dance grooves. With that band she performed from coast to coast, from NYC’s Webster Hall, to Brooklyn’s The Knitting Factory, to LA’s Whiskey A-Go-Go. She also headlined The Wassaic Project’s summer festival twice. As a solo artist, she’s channeled the adventurousness, theatrics, and dynamics …