Saturday, March 10, 2007

London calling

Haven't heard too much on the music side of things that's really grabbed me lately but there are some good things coming from some female artists in the UK that might be of interest to some.

Although best known over here for the 1994 dance hit, Missing (as the vocal half of Everything But The Girl with husband Ben Watt), Tracey Thorn is just out with a solo album this week, Out of The Woods. KCRW has been hammering the single Grand Canyon the last month or so, another haunting dance stomper in the vein of Missing. Glowing reviews indicate other songs in the jazz/pop style of EBTG's pre-house work as well. For fans like me who didn't always follow Tracey and Ben on their diversions down the drum n bass side roads, it sounds like an awaited return to form. Meanwhile, Ben continues to mine the fertile London club scene with his Buzzin' Fly label and occasional d.j. gigs.

Also on the jazzy tip is Amy Winehouse, the young chanteuse from Camden Town. Somewhere between Lady Day and Shirley Bassey, Winehouse's voice is unforgettable. With a timeless quality that is enhanced by the traditional cabaret arrangments on singles like You Know I'm No Good. But also up-to-the-minute with subject matter like the Rehab that is so hard for other pop stars to apparently stay in of late.

London is also currently home to Claudia Brucken, former lead singer for the German '80s synthpop group, Propaganda. Claudia put out one fabulous solo album in 1991, Love and A Million Other Things (long out of print, sadly). Her new collaboration is Onetwo, with Paul Humphreys, formerly of British '80s synthpop group, OMD. The results I've heard so far are a little more ambient and dreamy than the dancy pop stuff the two had done in their previous incarnations, but still worth checking out (import only on CD but available for download digitally).


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