Posts Tagged ‘Yadi

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

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




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