Posts Tagged ‘Foe

01
Oct
10

THE RECOMMENDER – LEELOU

LEELOU

Today’s post feels like it could have simply been another update in a series of articles focussed on electro pop female solo artists on this blog.  Everyone knows that there’s been a lengthy queue of talented women carving out successful solo careers in the UK in recent years and Leelou fits so naturally into that family tree that her career could have been written on a napkin 12 months ago following the success of Marina & The Diamonds, Florence & The Machine, etc.  However, this is no contrived creation, like some Simon Cowell factory line, but more a natural evolution from the successes of pop’s recent past.  The path through this effeminate hierarchy takes us slightly off the electro end of pop when you reach The Good Natured, who took more cues from Bat For Lashes than Madonna, swiftly followed by Yadi, who added in a little percussion in place of the synths.  Most recently Recommendered on this avenue was FOE, who ditched the polish by bringing us elements of grunge, but with it an alluring sexuality and a gritty edge.  As we reach the latest junction we uncover Leelou, (aka Rebekah Dobbins), who has paired up with Paul Simm (Sugababes, Neneh Cherry, Amy Winehouse), and created the kind of pop that’s heavily dipped in a form of post punk that was first established in the late 1970s with Siouxsie & The Banshees.  If this influence turns out to be a sign of things to come then it would feel like the history of stylish, confident, female solo artists has come full circle.  How very tidy, but its way too early to make such neat suggestions.  Leelou’s music is often packed with brushed guitar riffs and driving drums, but there is a pop artist at its heart.  Consider it to perhaps be more a gothic version of  Kim Wilde, rather than a full-on Siouxsie Soux, especially with her striking looks, but even more so when you reach the sing-along choruses and (rather basic) lyrics, “We’ve made a fire, don’t put it out“.   Thankfully her edge is swiftly recovered by selecting some excellent people to collaborate with – firstly with Tessa Pollitt, of The Slits, whose addition provides an obvious grit to the inflected vocals.  Additionally, there’s a collaboration with different areas of the fashion and art worlds, pulling in favours for her video for Gasoline, (see below), from designers such as Atlanta Weller, Bordelle, Hannah Martin, House of Harlot, Tour de Force, with Ruth Crawford as art director.  The debut EP, Kiss. Death. Love. Come,  is out on 8th November on Deathless Records (pre-order it here). We have only one slightly worrying question after all this – if female solo artists are evolving at this rate and with this much dynamic quality, what’s happened to all the men!?  (MB)

Find her here:        Myspace

Hear her here:        LEELOU – GASOLINE

Here her here:       HOLLYWOOD, MON AMOUR ft LEELOU – DON’T YOU (FORGET ABOUT ME)

Hear her here:        LEELOU – BURN YOUR HOUSES DOWN

Here her here:        LEELOU – KISS LIKE CARNIVORES

16
Aug
10

THE RECOMMENDER – FOE

FOE

We’ve waited for the right time to give FOE a push on The Recommender, following her appearance on our fifth mixtape, back in May, with the thunderous hit-in-waiting, Charity Cases.  With all the slacker beauty of Elastica’s Justine Frieschmann at her most deadly, this 20 year old from Fleet will push all of your buttons at once.  In the UK we have a saturation of talented female solo alt-pop artists, so it’s going to take something special to break through and keep winning the inevitable comparisons.  FOE, real name Hannah Clark, has the musical craft, the killer looks, the swagger and the style that’s required.  Interestingly, she also reminds us of the period in time when all the female pop artists worked on matching the male artists for attitude, aggression and independence – the likes of P J Harvey, or Courtney Love, or Donita Sparks, were all empowered frontwomen during their respective periods in music and this has a genetic bloodline with Hannah’s music too.  She informed us that she’s inspired by the likes of Nirvana, Pixies, Sonic Youth and all those artists “that do whatever the fuck they want“.  This defiance appears throughout her music and that attitude aims its shots directly at the belly of grungeSub Pop would have snapped her up in an instant twenty years ago.  All that fuzzed and dirty distortion on the guitars and the alluring, can’t-be-bothered vocals are very much Seattle-born.  However, it’s a little unfair to suggest that her tracks are purely reflecting a time long gone, for even though she holds up a mirror to this period in music, there’s still a contemporary stare coming back at you from deep inside those irresistible, dark eyes.  On the track, A Handsome Stranger Called Death, she produces a theatrical, melodic vocal, over the styled, slower pace – something the likes of Nirvana deliberately rejected.  Also gone are the elements of thrash and punk, as each track is packed with new ideas.  She’s produced by her “partner in crime“, Adam Crisp, from Entrepreneurs, who you may know from his amazing remixes of the likes of Marina’s Mowglis Road, among many others.  Hannah’s provided vocals on his solo work too and told us that you will likely see them performing at each other’s live sets.  Like it or not, it’s perhaps what the industry will be looking for next, once the 80s obsession is over, and FOE brings us the perfect modern mixture of early 90s with a very contemporary twist.  You have been warned.  (MB)

Find her here:        Myspace

Hear her here:        FOE – CHARITY CASES

Hear her here:        FOE – TYRAN SONG

Hear her here:        FOE – TINY AMBULANCE

Hear her here:        FOE – A HANDSOME STRANGER CALLED DEATH (COM TRUISE REMIX)

Hear her here:        FOE – CHARITY CASES (IS TROPICAL REMIX)




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