Posts Tagged ‘Little Boots

06
Jul
10

THE RECOMMENDER – YADI

YADI

Far away from the X-Factor, Simon Cowell-induced coma that he calls music, it’s well worth noting that in recent years, in the UK, we’ve had a perfectly efficient factory line producing female pop stars of the future.  Bright, shiny new ones throughout each year.  Just take a look back at the BBC Sound Of 2010 Poll from January, in which this supposed barometer tipped it’s hat to the stars of the year ahead.  They predicted in first and second place two female solo pop artists in Marina & The Diamonds and Ellie Goulding, both of whom have gone on to further successes.  Look back yet another year and you will see Little Boots and La Roux, or back further for Adele and Duffy , all of which adorned their respective year’s lists of fancy soothsaying.  So year on year there is a hotbed of female talent in this country, but how does Hannah Yadi compare, for comparing is something any exciting new female talent will unfortunately get quite a lot of, especially if they’re actually any good.  Yadi is certainly a box of tricks and a delightfully talented one at that, having previously heard her in other capacities, with Will Betts in the band Hella Cholla, as well as her guest vocals with the dance duo Eskimo Twins.  Upon turning our ears to her solo work we first noticed that the standards were also reaching high with this project too.  There was an array of feathers on show, with her sound very much slotting into the pop cap, with piano-led tunes, twinkling synthetic beats and the vocals pushed front and centre.  Choruses are stomped through, whilst the verses show off her range of singing abilities, where comparisons to the likes of Alison Goldfrapp, Tahita Bulmer, or upon reflection a bit of Eddie Reader, will no doubt come to mind.  Utilising pop traditions is admirable, but is there anything that makes her stand out?  Her dark good looks steal your attention through the lens and clearly come from her Algerian heritage, but her love of warping out North African instruments and utilising a more percussive beat will be what gives her the required edge.  Sadly, this tribal tinkering she talks of still needs to find the foreground, but her blend of common pop and all it’s structural strengths, with this authentic, atypical ingredient certainly has potential. With each new demo that appears she seems to ride along more confidently and subsequently creates more intricate and attractive performances.  Like all of the truly special female pop artists, past or present, the comparisons with others off the lengthy production line is actually irrelevant, for we know they always break the mould when it comes to genuine talent.    (MB)

Find her here:         Myspace

Hear her here:         YADI – RUSSIAN LOVE

Hear her here:         YADI – GUILLOTINE

08
Apr
10

THE RECOMMENDER – NUMBER 83 – CLASS ACTRESS

CLASS ACTRESS

As the ripples from March’s SXSW festival continue to throw bands to this side of the pond we carry on holding out our net in the hope of catching onto some exciting discoveries.  Swimming into view (OK that’s enough water-based analogies – Ed) are this fresh trio from Brooklyn.  2010 is looking like it already belongs to this corner of New York, seeing as it’s pretty much single-handedly set about shaping it.  Could that Borough’s buzz get any louder!?  This latest band consist of two producers, Scott Rosenthal and Mark Richardson, fiddling with their knobs behind the vocal seductress that is Elizabeth Harper.  It seems the current set up has very much evolved from the efforts of Elizabeth, who worked as a solo artist prior to this trinity.  She continues to be the main creative element, writing the music and enjoying the front of stage.  The slow-paced electro pop sound will remind you of the disco-ballgames that The Golden Filter punted around over the last couple of years and Goldfrapp before them.  Thumping beats, handclaps and a whirlwind of synths are penetrated by the lush vocals, but it never gets too ostentatious, preferring to gently massage your neo cortex, rather than force it like some kind of buzzing vibrator to the brain.  Their five track EP, Journal Of Ardency, was out in February on Terrible Records, (the label recently started up by Chris Taylor from Grizzly Bear), and it contains the astonishing hit, Careful What You Say (listed below).  We also hand out the clunky, but still remarkable, Class Actress mashup that The Hood Internet created when they fused them with Dr Dre’s 1993 hit Nothin but a G Thang.  Mashups aren’t normally something we get into, but this made us smile broadly, so we wanted to share it.  Recently you may have seen Class Actress Stateside supporting the likes of Yeasayer, Little Boots and current Recommender favourites Phantogram.  We will try and get them to play the UK at some point this year, once they reach the front of the Recommender’s lengthy, Brooklyn-dominated queue.     (MB)

My Photos | photo by Bek Andersen | CLASS ACTRESS

Find them here:         Myspace

Hear them here:        CLASS ACTRESS – CAREFUL WHAT YOU SAY

Hear them here:         DR DRE vs CLASS ACTRESS – NUTHIN’ BUT A JOURNAL THANG

03
May
09

HOW GOOD IS THIS!!!??? – NUMBER 25

THE REMIXES – PART 4 – THE GOLDEN FILTER

As we look fondly back to the previous three editions of The Recommender’s Remix specials, which included Bloc Party, Soulwax and Discotech,we realise that it takes a box rammed full of quality chop-ups to attend this party. This time is no different and so we welcome you to The Golden Filter edition.

This Disco-Electro pair are a very mysterious group that have arrived on the blog’s scene with as much of a thump as Mohammed Ali with a run up. Although they’ve toured parts of the world, including supporting The Presets on their American tour, showcasing their magic throughout the last year or so, Golden Filter keep their identity well and truly out of the spotlight.

We caught up with them after a performance in our local city of Brighton a few months back and the passion for their music was what they wanted to stand proud. And boy did it tower. They have a distinctive and addictive beat and a love of all things Synth. Having produced a couple of instant self-penned disco classics, they started to put their hands to other peoples tunes.

The remix work that they produced only proved to further show up their true musical ability. They not only pick a wide range of tunes to put in the blender, but also bring a freshness to them, whilst still allowing the listener to pick out that it’s Golden Filter from a mile off. Cue the thumping, the pounding 4-beat and a twinkle of their gorgeously infectious, styled keys.

They recently informed us that following this batch of remixes they are now finally taking time away from them to re-focus on their own material, so here is their full remix selection in all its glory. It looks like this may be it for a while now so enjoy…

EMPIRE OF THE SUN –  WE ARE THE PEOPLE (The Golden Filter Remix)        (ysi)

LITTLE BOOTS
–  NEW IN TOWN (The Golden Filter Dub Mix)       (ysi)

CUT COPY
–  FAR AWAY (The Golden Filter Remix)         (ysi)

POLLY SCATTERGOOD
–  PLEASE DON’T TOUCH (The Golden Filter Vocal Remix)        (ysi)

PETER BJORN & JOHN
–  LAY IT DOWN (The Golden Filter Remix)        (ysi)

The 5th edition of ‘The Remixes’ has already been decided, so it will be posted up in due course. We’ve heard they are currently writing yet another one, so we think it best that we await that addition before we post about them. In true Golden Filter style we will keep it secret for now. Consider it yet another reason for you to keep one eye (or should that be ear?) on The Recommender…
Mike

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08
Mar
09

THE GIG LIST – NUMBER 23

We love our home city of Brighton, really we do. Here on The Recommender, we mostly cover music from any of the global scene’s around, but on occasion we have the chance to look no further than our pebble-covered shoreline to locate the buzz of exciting new music. And so it’s with a slightly different edition of The Gig List today that we proudly bring you…

THE GREAT ESCAPE FESTIVAL

That buzz is currently at ear-splitting levels with the recent announcement of the line ups and dates of our annual new music festival. Rightly touted as the UK’s version of the famous American SXSWFestival, with over 300 (mainly) new bands and acts. It runs over 3 days and at 34 venues across Brighton.  

We’ve perused the lengthy listings and taken it upon ourselves to point out what we think are the worthwhile highlights and we’ve been kind enough to include a little mp3 so you can hear them for yourselves. Aren’t we the helpful ones…

 

  
  
Kasabian.jpg kasabian picture by Mark18_2008   
  
  

An Experiment On A Bird In An Air Pump – Lights Out        (ysi)

The Big Pink – Too Young To Love       (ysi)

Fan Death – Veronica’s Veil       (ysi)

Casiokids – Fot I Hose       (ysi)

Dan Black – HYPNTZ       (ysi)

The Joy FormidableWhirring       (ysi)

KasabianClub Foot       (ysi)

Kissy Sell OutNightswimming(Kissy Remix)       (ysi)

Little BootsStuck On Repeat       (ysi)

MetronomyHeartbreaker (Kris Menace Remix)       (ysi)

Micachu & The ShapesThe Golden Phone        (ysi)

The MaccabeesNo Kind Words        (ysi)

Passion PitSleepyhead       (ysi)

The Temper TrapSweet Disposition       (ysi)

V V BrownCrying Blood       (ysi)

We Were Promised JetpacksShips With Holes Will Sink       (ysi)


COST
:                  £ 39.50  (allows access to all venues, subject to capacity)
DATES:                 14th, 15th and 16th May 2009
WEBSITE:             http://www.escapegreat.com

This annual city-wide party is just what the doctor ordered after a long winter. A festival that is growing in stature year on year, it is now rightly claimed as Europe’s leading festival for new music. Could it be any better for a Brighton-based new music blog like ours. We love our city of Brighton, really we do…

Mike

08
Feb
09

HOW GOOD IS THIS!!!??? – NUMBER 21

Photo by Rony Alwin

I simply had to post this track up. These two female solo artists are white-hot in the UK scenes right now. We totally adore them here at The Recommender, so it is with mucho pleasure that we can throw this dream collaboration out at you lovely people.

It’s a V V Brown tune, but remixed by none other than Little Boots. It’s less of the usual V V Brown Doo Wop swing and more of the darker Little Boots sound. What a team.

Photobucket 

Find out more about V V Brown in her listing on The Recommender 20 and here’s a Q & A with Little Boots from our archives, as well as our first post about her in The Recommender 18

V V BROWNLEAVE (Little Boots Remix)       (ysi)

We keep harping on about 2009 being the year of the female solo artist and this continues to be proved right at every turn. How very satisfying indeed…
Mike

27
Dec
08

THE RECOMMENDER – NUMBER 18

A cracking themed-post for you once again. We’ve got a Recommender all about the many strong women that have been chucking out some of the cooler than cool tunes in recent years. We want to ‘put em high’ for these superb ladies.

We have seen an array of superb female soloists over the last few years and as we look ahead to a new year in 2009 we predict the female line ups will be stronger than ever before.

Three of them listed below are proper, well-established scenesters and the last three have only arrived in 2008. All are, however, full of pop-tastic tunes of total brilliance.

So many strong female vocalists have come before them, from the perfect voice of Aretha Franklin, to the magic of Kate Bush, to the marriage with synthss that Annie Lennox took up, to the more modern taste-chasers like Ladyhawke, La Roux (see Recommender 17),  V V Brown (see future Recommenders), Lady Ga Ga and Alice Glass–  the list could go on and on –  Today we just wanted to pick out six that we totally adore and that I think truly stand out from the modern soundscape.

Here’s to the ‘Scene-Queens’ >>>

M.I.A
First, to the best established three artists we want to showcase today…This London super-scenester of Sri Lankan descent has been around your block, my block and definitely America’s block several times. Adored in the Dance scenes, lapped up by the Hip Hop scenes, versed in the Dancehall scenes and rooted in the Reggae scenes, this talented leading lady is quite like nobody else you know. As much an individual in her vibrant, colourful fashion as there is in her unique sound. She has that great quality of confidence that all great swaggering female solo artists do. Political and full of comment, she blows out lyrics that simultaneously sting and yet make you laugh. She composes truly great, unique tunes, packed with a mighty power. She’s planting seeds like carpet bomber. 

Find her here:    Myspace   Last.fm

Hear her here:    M.I.A – BOYZ    (ysi)
 

SANTOGOLD
Is there a genre that hasn’t influenced this brilliant New York artist?!? We particularly love the African and Reggae tastes she has flowing through her tunes showing up her musical roots. 2008 is a year that will perhaps go down as the year Santogold blew up in our stereos. She released her self-titled album earlier in 2008 and fulfilled all the promise that had been bleeding through from the excited blog world in the run up. Real name Santi White, she has an outstanding ear for a melody and a selection of chorus’ that make for some truly solid music. Lyrically brilliant and snappy with lines like “we think your a joke, shove your hope where it don’t shine…”. She ain’t one to mess with. Styled like nobody else this side of anywhere, she’s like the flavour of the future – our future. She stands out brilliantly from the scene.

Find her here:    Myspace    Last.fm

Hear her here:    SANTOGOLDSHOVE IT     (ysi)

UFFIE
We list below a tune from the irrepressable Uffie that perhaps sums up our rants about the Hip Hop / Electro blend better than any other. Listening to her usual crude, aggressive, empowered lyrics, such as “Is it Hip Hop, is it Electro, damn is she coming from hell?“, she says it better than we ever could. The American-born, Parisian resident from the Ed Banger label is yet another strong female front-person that can truly be called an individual, modern artist. Regularly on stage with Feadz and with link ups alongside some of the world’s hottest DJs she always impresses us. She’s sexy, confident and manages to chop up her tunes like nobody else. She even drops a new phrase to us – ”Webolution“. We all do our bit I guess…

Find her here:    Myspace    Last.fm

Hear her here:   UFFIEDISMISSED     (ysi)

GOLDIELOCKS
And so to the three newbies…Well, what do we have here then? A fresh face, a culture-shock sound and boy are we hooked. Calling her a female version of The Streets is way out, but yeah she’s raps over warped, wobbling bass with a cockney accent. Her vocals are brutal, occasionally political and sound like Kate Nash, were Kate packing more punch and hooked on crack living life on a sink estate. Her sweet melodies and South London style buzzes through her tunes. She also looks beautiful making her more deadly than you can possibly imagine and a sure fire explosive hit in the making. Her inventive, edgy and aggressive songs give her an irresistible weighty lure. If you don’t know her yet, you soon will. in what seems like a growing scene from her part of the world (with the likes of Master Shortie also recently arriving), this lady definitely deserves her listing here amongst these other killer ladies, as she has more balls than most guys on the scene. She’s very kindly emailed us her mp3 of the totally awesome ‘Kids‘, so sit up and take note…

Find her here:     Myspace    Last.fm

Hear her here:    GOLDIELOCKS –  KIDS      (ysi)

LITTLE BOOTS
A true pop star is in the ascendancy. Alongside Goldielocks and Thecocknbullkid she’s one of the freshest of our female recommendations today, she’s currently floating on a tide of interest and I’m pleased to say it looks well worth it. Having been frontwoman for the band Dead Disco, she’s now arrived with a truly modern twist. Showcasing her work by listing homemade videos on Youtube in her pyjamas playing on her home piano, (or now famous Tenori-on toy), she’s belted out her own melodic, electro-pop tunes, with the odd cover of the likes of Hot Chip, or Estelle. It’s been a regular show on Youtube for many episodes now, not because she’s pretentiously desperate for fame or chasing some sort of dream, really because she simply seems to enjoy it. It’s a raw and private viewing, bordering on a voyeuristic experience, watching her in this intimate show -particularly knowing what a star she is now becoming. She has a talent for a tune and her self-penned songs are strong and sung with beautiful vocals. She’s a big fan of the pop world and it shows. She may be pretty and impossibly cute, but her lack of a pretence is what really makes her irresistibly attractive.

 

Find her here:   Myspace   Last.fm

Hear her here:   LITTLE BOOTSSTUCK ON REPEAT     (ysi)

THECOCKANDBULLKID
Last of my favourite ladies is this Ghanain-Londoner, real name Anita Blay. She plays out an uplifting, smooth set of delightfully light, tuneful pop. Strings, slow one-two beats and simple builds drift over her sweet vocals. Layered, very, very lovely and provocative, she paints us a dreamscape that sits safely in your ears. Like all these highlighted female artists, she has a strong sense of individualism and a unique sound that’s not quite like any other. And we love it! We could have listed any of her songs and you would like them all. It’s delicate, but powerful stuff. It’s given us faith in the constructed pop tune again. Just like Little Boots, Anita is reassuringly and unashamedly re-selling us the world of pop, without the need for the inevitable Madonna or Kylie sex show thrown in as part of the package. Embrace your inner pop child….

Find her here:   Myspace    Last.fm

Hear her here:    THECOCKNBULLKID – ON MY OWN     (ysi)

We could have easily included the new La Roux, or the even fresher V V Brown, as they too are turning out exciting sounds, but they are only just out of the wrapping and so haven’t released quite as much as those above. That makes it harder to judge. Check Recommender 17 for La Roux. You will find V V Brown on a future Recommender for sure.

It’s great to have so many different scene’s and so many prominent, successful females fronting it. They undeniably have more musical talent in their little fingers than most artists out there. So this one’s for the ladies. They come highly recommended indeed…

Mike

24
Nov
08

Q & A – LITTLE BOOTS

Q & A – LITTLE BOOTS

 

To catch a star is no mean feat. Victoria Hesketh, better known as the delectable Little Boots, is one such star that’s truly in the ascendancy.

I first approached Little Boots for this Q & A a few months ago, but she’s blown up so much in the music press since that she’s been dragged across Europe, across America and back again, so she simply couldn’t grab any spare time for my Q’s.

It’s all totally understandable of course, as she ticks just about every box on the music media’s list –  creative musical talent, impossibly gorgeous looks that mean women want to be her and men want to be with her, bags of style and costume to hold any front page, true musical pedigree having fronted previous girl band Dead Disco, she even ticks the box that’s labelled ‘something different’ by holding intimate personal shows, in her own bedroom on Youtube – how ‘new media’ is that?!

It really is a powerful concoction. And we haven’t even elaborated on what she actually sounds like -namely a perfect pop craft of electro synths, pounding 4-beats, delicate Kate Bush styled vocals and sing-along chorus’. She will ride the charts as well as she will the underground, being found as easily on Hype.fm as Radio One and that’s a talent that surely deserves attention.

And so to the Q & A. Here is your Recommender introduction to Little Boots. Nothing too deep, I just ask for an overview and a little insight from them…


1)
You’ve been busy, so how are you and what have you been up to of recent?

I’m just on the way back from a gig in Newcastle, its snowing and we’re watching ‘Stop Making Sense’ , the Talking Heads documentary in the bus. We’re halfway through the Automatic Lovers Tour around the UK with an amazing band called Heartbreak, which we have planned with special disco guests in each city. We’re also doing a limited split 7″ single and merchandise you can only buy on the tour so its quite exciting to try and do something special like this.

2)You have many Youtube’s posted with you sitting at home playing your songs, giving the fans a real honest, fun, light-hearted, personable view of you as an artist. Are you the world’s first pop star that’s successfully utilised Youtube in such a way?
I have no idea, I don’t really pay much attention to other people’s Youtube channels! Its just something I started doing messing around one day and I seemed to really connect with people, that’s how I spend most of my time if I get days off just messing around making music in my t-shirt and pants in my room. I think it works because they are very raw. Usually just one take recorded on a web cam. I’ll have worked it out 5 minutes before so you get a sense of immediacy and honesty, as well as it exposing the process of making music.

3)What made you turn to showcasing yourself online in this fresh, modern format? Now you are breaking through, do you think you will ever return to it?
I still do them when I get a chance. I just have less time now, but whenever I get spare moments I will still do it.

4) Why do you think it’s grabbed so much attention?
Kind of answered this in 2 if thats ok.

5) You always had toys (I recall a regular slot for a golden cat and a unicorn), joining you as you played, so what’s with their appearances?
I dunno just a stupid joke thing, they were lying around so I put them in and then they kind of became good luck charms.

6)There’s a fair few singers/songwriters desperately trying to reach us through Youtube, but do you see it as a serious outlet for future artists or is your success a one-off?
Its the world’s number one website so its definitely a place where you can reach people and get ideas across, but I find unless another site or blog links to the videos they won’t really get that many views unless you get featured. Also there’s a lot of rubbish on Youtube which I don’t think everyone has the patience to trawl through so I doubt it will because it’s not as important for new bands as something like Myspace. You have to do something really original or genuine to stand out and get noticed.

7)In what other ways do you utilise the online communities to communicate with your fans?
I have a blog that I’m very active on and I post regularly, its very interactive and a lot of people comment and I reply, so is the forum. I also run a Myspace and coordinate all the designs and ideas on the page, I have a Facebook account too but don’t really use that one as much. There’s also a mailing list where I always try to do something different and give away some stuff.

8 ) For those readers new to Little Boots how would you describe your ‘sound’? Who are your main influences and favourite artists?
I would say its hopefully well written pop songs that everyone can enjoy, with interesting production mainly on synthesizers but a more warm and organic sound rather than the slick, cold kind of synthesized pop that’s popular. Some favourite artists are Kate Bush, David Bowie, Gary Numan, Cyndi Lauper, The Beach Boys and more recently Metronomy, Hot Chip, Heartbreak, Fan Death.

9) Where does the name ‘Little Boots’ come from? Do people call you this in person, or is it simply a ‘stage name’?
It was a nickname from a friend which comes from the Roman Emperor ‘Calligula‘ which is Latin for Little Boots. Most friends still call me Victoria, although a lot of people I work with have started calling me Boooooots or Bootsie!!

10) You’ve recently played a few live gigs, including in my local town of Brighton, so how have you been received?
Really well, we have played Brighton 4 times now which is more than anywhere else, and the last one was sold out. We recently sold out the ICA in London which was great, although sad that we had to turn so many people away including lots of friends. I have gained a lot of confidence from the early gigs where I was worrying too much about the technological side of things which is very complicated, and now I just really enjoy performing and interacting with the crowd.

11) Do you have enough tracks written for an album and what will your debut be called? Any heads up on who is producing for you? Is there any release date planned?
We have enough but I want to have more than enough to choose from so I am doing one more month in the studio in LA after we finish touring Europe in December, then it will hopefully be all tied up by the end of January. There are a few producers but mainly Greg Kurstin who produces Kylie, Lilly Allen, Peaches etc. and Joe Goddard from Hot Chip, as well as a track with Jas from Simian Mobile Disco and a few others. The release date is unknown yet but will be sometime 2009.

12)Just so you can become an honorary Recommender, do you know of any new bands/acts/DJ’s that have recently caught your eye that you’d like to recommend to us?
I mentioned them before in my influences but Heartbreak are brilliant, also I love Fan Death from New York. We had a guy play with us the other night called Anoraak from France who is also very good. And there’s a band called Pollyester and I liked what I heard.

13) What is next for Little Boots?
Touring UK… then Germany… then Italy… then maybe have a little time off with my boyfriend and family for Xmas, who knows?? Probably not knowing my luck! Then recording in LA, then finish album, shoot videos, do all that stuff… more touring… maybe festivals? maybe release some music???! would be good!. fingers crossed 2009.

Boots x

OK, I hope that helped you gain a little more from your dose of The Recommender. Got a ‘Best Of 2008’ list coming up in the next few days, so get yourselves back here for more from us real soon…
Mike

 




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PREVIOUS INTERVIEWS

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