The below artists are precisely why we do this blog. A wide collection of sounds and fresh invention, brilliantly mixing up genres and continuing to slowly push music in the right direction – forwards.
Brixton has always been a mixed up place on London’s map. Although often mired in it’s working class roots, variety of sub-cultures and a chequered history involving riots and crime, it’s also produced some of the best musicians we’ve ever known. This has continued with the recent arrival of La Roux, but now it’s given us this new talent by the name of MPHO. Refreshingly she takes her influences from a very wide range of genres, clashing against the typical black music casts of Hip Hop and R&B. More in the mould of Santigold, or Outkast, with her bag full of samples, (listen to the excellent lick that’s plucked from Martha & The Muffins 80’s hit, ‘Echo Beach‘, for example). It’s packed full of grit and humour in equal measure, but alongside her killer looks, smiling confidence and giant backing in the form of the Wall Of Sound/Parlophone labels, she will be pushing forwards onto everyone’s radar before long. Her debut album, Pop Art, is due for a release this autumn. As The Recommender predicted, 2009 is rammed with very strong female characters, (Marina Diamondis, La Roux, V V Brown, Lady Gaga), fighting against the world of pigeon holes and typecasting, so this positive burst of originality and mixture of cultures continues to help carve out precisely the refreshing change that the Pop world continues to feed on.
Find her here: Myspace
VOLUNTARY BUTLER SCHEME
We’ve blogged a fair bit about Midlands artists of recent and here we go once again with a man by the name of Rob Jones who hails from Stourbridge, with a delightful show for you today. He single-handedly produces tunes tailor-made for your summertime, with influences that range from the kind of retro basslines that The Jackson 5 used to create, alongside Noah And The Whale’s style of breezy Pop hooks and melodic cheer. It’s the sort of hot sunshine that the Kinks’ Ray Davies used to happily bask in. He’s positively British and a guaranteed smile-making song machine. These Pop gems have a classic and timeless build quality, whilst being packed with imagination and creativity. The debut album is due out in late August, with the single officially released July 20th on Split Records. Whether the UK gets the predicted heatwave and sunny summer that we all long for, grabbing a slice of Rob’s productions will no doubt provide you the sunshine you’ve been missing.
Find them here: Myspace
The Recommender went to see these guys at the recent Scandalism launch party at Scala, London. Having witnessed a pair of awesome sets earlier in the evening from both Yes Giantess and Marina & The Diamonds it was always going to be tough for Plugs to stand out, but stand out they did. They started their set with their trademark ‘Opening Theme‘, designed to lure the listener into a false sense of security, with it’s Prog Rock size and building doom-laden acoustic guitar and keys that are straight out of a strange Air tune, circa ‘Takie Walkie‘. At it’s peak they burst into their more familiar and brilliant mix of grooved Indie-Pop. Up tempo and chopping basslines bounce over the beat and the flow is in full motion. Fronted by Does It Offend You Yeah singer, Morgan Quaintance, they prove to be a well polished act. It’s lively and the crowd duly respond. It’s a comforting site, watching a newly formed band that are so assured of a label signature, (if indeed this new project wants one?), that there must be an orderly queue of A&Rs outside their door. It’s Afro-Beat-Indie played and received with a broad smile. Always enjoyable, it’s intelligent and rammed with melodies and layered vocals. Get ready to catch them like a bout of Indie-Pop flu at any of their upcoming London gigs, as well as a V Festival appearance.
Find them here: Myspace
We just want to end by saying thanks to all The Recommender’s readers as the thousands and thousands of people that read this blog week on week continue to pass through in greater numbers. It only serves to give us more weight and respect in the music world. Each time we meet with a new band, promoter or label they seem to know the blog, which is a good sign that conditions here are healthy and expanding in the right direction – outwards.