The tip off for K H U S H I came in the form of an e-mail which simply linked to the Soundcloud in an approach which stretches the term ‘understated’ to the boundaries of laziness, but it was all that was needed. The London based singer-songwriter saturates his romantic odes with such understated passion that nothing else is needed. Add to that his silky, naturally melancholic voice that takes prominence in each of the heart-breaking four tracks currently available online, and you’ve suddenly got someone who’s worth keeping all your eyes on in 2013.
AND, as if that weren’t enough (and it is), factor in that the increasingly impressive talent behind K H U S H I is also responsible for the Jai-Paul-challenging Strong Asian Mothers project. Each artistic approach is as worth checking out as the other – K H U S H I for affecting folk, and Strong Asian Mothers for twisted electronic pop – we just can’t wait to see what he might come out with next.
As if we needed anymore unhinged pop brilliance in our lives, d’Eon has appeared recently in anticipation of his upcoming album, titled ‘LP’. He obviously spends all of his creative energies creating music. His eccentric, druggy jams are just about brilliant enough to warrant a description as a male parallel of Grimes, a comparison which is even more intriguing considering they released a split LP last year, and both hail from Montreal.
Musically, though, although Grimes and d’Eon are both treading the same inventive path, they do so whilst managing to sound completely accessible. “Al Qiyamah”, for example, is a reverential pursuit of spiritual fulfilment, but is never obtuse or obscure. Instead, d’Eon is taking the simplest of ideas and twisting them into his own warped musical creations. Spread over eight minutes, it’s an absolute epic of Lord-of-the-Rings-esq proportions, yet so many ideas are crammed in that the length doesn’t feel self-indulgent. “Transparency Pt II” is far more straightforward but just as inspiring, like a stuttering, R&B infused Jai Paul. The man is certainly doing his own thing, and you’ve got to respect that, at the very least.
Foreword: I’ve been out of education for so long that I think I’ve forgotten how to spell and those tricky little buggers like full stops and that so bear (bare? blurgh…) with me.
Well… I guess I sort of have to admit that I started writing this post as a reaction to the BBC’s Sound of 2011 longlist announcement, which was whenever that happened, most of the days have blended into one so I’m not too hot with months and weeks anymore which is equal parts liberating and cripplingly impractical for all of its romantic attraction. Most of the trouble is that I now live here and get paid this to do this, and clearly have been spending the rest of my time learning how to abuse wordpress to waste your time in mildly-amusing, vaguely off topic wanderings.
Speaking of abusing wordpress, if that wasn’t a satisfactory excuse then let me go for the sympathy vote – as always, always happens whenever I set foot outside of a trusty internet connection, wordpress detrousered itself and waved through a hacker of a moral-less, talentless capitalist from Slough (fair enough, he’s probably depressed). He (and we’re assuming it’s a he for stereotypical-villain convenience) thought that it would be a bright idea to trick people looking for new music on a web site into giving said music web-site their credit card details. If depressed Slough resident is reading: you could probably hack this site hundreds of times, but that is never going to work seeing as the success of music blogs is based on the fact that you can get music for free, so that plan is pretty fatally flawed from the start… Cheer up and get a job, or at least steal from the government instead of the general public. Is there no integrity left in thievery?
Anyway… Just to direct us slightly towards what this post was intending to say; yesterday the BBC shocked all in the world of music-dom by announcing the Brit-schooled woman with past chart success as a writer, and present chart success with her own song (which, as far as I can tell, is only popular because Stephen Fry made it so via twitter) as the “Sound of 2011”. Call me cynical, because I am, but… Becky who is 10 and from Milton Keynes and loves X Factor and Zac Efron could have done that for them. This gave me an opportunity to pretend that I had been waiting for the announcement to unleash my own list upon the world, but I think that that dishonesty would probably put me on a level with my friend from Slough, so, instead, have it for what it is; here is a list of artists, all of whom I love, some of whom I think are going to sell some records to Becky next year, and all of whom are well worth spending 3 minutes working out whether or not you like them. You don’t even have to put your card details in, trust me, it’s a brilliant deal.