Published Feb 26, 2009Though it appears that Janelle Monae is finally set to reveal her long-awaited debut full-length, it appears another like-minded artist could beat the pint-sized, pompadoured entertainer to the punch and steal the show. From Northampton, England, VV Brown is an unlikely threat - y'know, being English and all - but there's so much zip and style within this six-foot-tall, 25-year-old multi-instrumentalist (she plays all the instruments on her record) that my excitement has quickly shifted in her favour. With a similar package to Monae that stresses elated performances, the latest throwback fashions (she rocks the houndstooth) and hotsteppin' pop tunes, she's in prime shape to turn heads with her debut album, Traveling Like The Light, expected in the UK on May 11.
Though she was once a backing singer for Pussycat Dolls, she earns her cred back by having toured with Ida Maria, Ladyhawke and the Ting Tings, as well as collaborating with Little Boots and Femi Kuti (by way of Damon Albarn), which leads me to believe she's also not aiming for the typical audiences either.
Inspired by '50s culture and electronic music, she's branded her music "doo wop indie," which judging by her first single isn't as silly as it sounds - and, no, TV On the Radio it is not. "Crying Blood" finds VV's infectious enthusiasm giving us a good old fashioned rave up, which is jump-started by a chorus that borrows its rhythm from "Monster Mash" and a perky backbeat that flirts briefly with Nintendo samples.
VV Brown "Crying Blood"