Tuesday, May 6, 2008

[Mixtape] The British (ladies) are coming!

I've noticed recently that the mainstream/Top 40/American airwaves have been invaded by British up and comer musicians, mostly female. I don't know why, but starting with the Amy Winehouse and Lily Allen invasion of last year, we're seeing more and more artists crossing over the Atlantic. I have a weird fascination with all things related to the British culture, so I'm having a field day with this one. Keep em coming, UK! So, here are some of the cool British artists that are in rotation on K-JEN 120.4, a.k.a. my iPod.

Leona Lewis - Better in Time
She won the UK version of American Idol, called the X-Factor, in 2006. Simon Cowell loves her; she's wowed Oprah. She's broken all kinds of records in her homeland, and starting to break records here in the U.S. She's been compared to Mariah and Whitney. Her first debut single, Bleeding Love, is getting very heavy play on TV and radio. Perhaps it's cause Bleeding Love is so played out now, but I like Better in Time so much more. It's pop at its best.

Duffy - Mercy
Retro is the word that comes to mind when I think of Duffy and this single. Like Amy Wineh
ouse before her, she effortlessly channels old school 70s music and artists as her inspiration. Mercy is a catchy, finger-snapping tune, which showcases her husky voice. Along with Adele (another artist on my mixtape), they are referred to by critics as the new-Amys, meaning they have enough talent to be the next Amy Winehouses. Hopefully they'll steer clear of the drug-ridden, self-destructive path though! Another impressive fact: Duffy is the first Welsh female to achieve a number one pop single on the British charts in the past 25 years.

Kate Nash - Merry Happy
I.Love.Her. She shot to fame when fellow British pop artist Lily Allen added her as a Top Friend on Myspace, and it helped her debut album, Made of Bricks, hit #1 on the British charts. I like to think of her as
a Lily Allen (fun, poppy beats) meets Fiona Apple (angry, angsty lyrics). Love the refrain on this catchy, sunny song- "I can be alone/I can watch a sunset/On my own/I can be alone/I can watch a sunset/On my own" (repeat a bazillion times, then try not to get it stuck in your head)

Adele - Chasing Pavements
I don't really know what chasing pavements means, but it sounds cool. I think I'll add it to my daily vernacular. Adele is a graduate of the Brit School, the same performing arts school attended by Amy, Kate Nash, and Leona Lewis. She released her debut album 19 in January, which was certified platinum within a month of its release. In March she signed onto Columbia Records in America, and her album will be released stateside in the summer.

Estelle - American Boy
I don't really know a lot about this artist, except that she's British, and this single featuring Kanye West is pretty dope. She approached Kanye with her music before he was a huge star, in his pre-College Dropout days, who in turn introduced her to John Legend, and they started writing songs together. Her recently released album Shine featu
res work by/with: West, Legend, Will.i.am, and Mark Ronson, to name a few.

Lily Allen - I Don't Know / I Could Say
I had to throw Lily on here. I HEART Lily. She's so fun. It's been more than
a year since Alright, Still, her debut album, was released, and she recently made me very happy by posting 2 new songs on her myspace page. Needless to say, I love both I Don't Know and I Could Say. She says she's moving in a 'new direction,' and she plans to release a mixtape to give fans a taste of the new Lily. Cannot wait.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the primer. Cheers!

Anonymous said...

I've must have been living in a cave. . . I didn't know anyone. This summer I will tune in to
K-JEN 120.4 FM?