Up-and-Coming: X-Factor Winner Alexandra Burke

December 30, 2008 by Kimberlee Morrison  
Filed under Nelly Furtado

While I haven’t seen Simon Cowell’s X-Factor - the UK counterpart for American Idol - I do know that so far several very talent folks have gotten their big break from competing on the show. More specifically, pop phenomenon, Leona Lewis and now Alexandra Burke.

Unless you live under a rock you cannot escape the buzz of Burke’s record breaking debut. In fact, the young chanteuses’ first official single, a cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” has become the fastest selling single by a female vocalist in Europe, ever.

Hearing her sing, I was immediately enraptured with her brilliant voice and naked delivery. She may be new to the game, but she has already began to dominate the UK pop charts, knocking both Leona Lewis and Beyoné off of their pedestals.

Alexandra Burke is heading out on the X-Factor live tour in February and is set to release her debut LP (now available for pre-order) March 16, 2009. If you haven’t heard the single yet, check out the official video after the jump.

Alexandra Burke Official Video "Hallelujah"

Image: Amazon.uk

Girl in a Coma: “Their Cell”

November 25, 2008 by Kimberlee Morrison  
Filed under Girl in a Coma

A while back I wrote about the Texas trio Girl in a Coma. Hopefully you’ve been keeping an eye on them because in a rock landscape dominated by men and posers *cough Katy Perry cough* these girls are a refreshing return to rock roots.

Today Girl in a Coma has released an official video for “Their Sell,” the latest single from their debut album Both Before I’m Gone. Shot in a haunted prison, the video has the feeling of a slick 1980s coming of age movie. Its lovely and offers an apropos backdrop for the rather melancholy melody and lyrics.

And a lovely melody it is; uncanny and teetering on the edge of punk. Vox, Nina Diaz, slowly and deliberately slurs together the words in such a alluring manner. As the song goes on, the instrumentation grows more dissonant, but the focus is definitely Diaz’ beautiful voice. Befitting Cindy Lauper comparisons aside, Diaz has one of the richest voices of the current batch of up-and-coming rockers and Girl in a Coma is deserving of their impending break out.

Check out the video after the jump. It’s perfect for a lazy, mellow, yellow sort of day.

Image courtesy of Shore Fire Media.

It’s Official, I Love the Ting Tings

October 13, 2008 by Kimberlee Morrison  
Filed under Nelly Furtado

This morning while making the commute to my day job, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the up-and-coming UK indie duo The Ting Tings were visiting my boys on the Kevin & Bean morning show.

I talked previously about how The Ting Tings were growing on me and today’s radio interview sealed the deal for me. Their story of being signed and dropped from their label, starting out with another band, becoming fragmented and then performing in Islington Mill was quite intriguing.

So what was it that won me over? The pair did live studio performances of “Shut Up and Let Me Go” and “That’s Not My Name” and I was impressed with the crystalline quality of vocalist Katie voice. It was absolutely beautiful and sounded even better than on recordings.

The Ting Tings are playing the Wiltern Theater in Los Angeles tonight after which they’ll continue on to Las Vegas and other US tour destinations. Visit their MySpace page for more tour details.

Image via The Ting Tings MySpace

Up-And-Coming: Kid Sister

October 8, 2008 by Kimberlee Morrison  
Filed under New Artists

I’ll be honest, when I first heard Kid Sister’s debut single, “Pro-Nails,” I wrote it off as part of the stupid club rap music trend. Later I revisited the song and found that Kid Sister was actually quite clever with her rhyme and had a lyrical delivery like a whip.

What won me over was the two-minute reprise at the end of the song called “Switchboard.” It’s been a while since there was a woman with such a rapid flow. Combined with the fact that she didn’t rest on her feminine laurels, Kid Sister was added to my list of artists to watch.

Apparently, I’m not the only one keeping my eyes on this young up-and-coming hip hoper from Chitown. Kanye West has taken her under his wing as his protege, and was even featured in the “Pro-Nails” video.

Though she continues to work her day job selling children’s clothing, Kid Sister is gearing up for her sophomore release Dream Date, which hits shelves Nov. 25. Visit the Rolling Stone Breaking Blog to get the free download of the first single “Family Reunion.”

Image via Kid Sister MySpace.

Singled Out: Janelle Monaé "Sincerely Jane"

September 10, 2008 by Kimberlee Morrison  
Filed under Janelle Monáe, Uncategorized

A few weeks back I wrote about Janell Monaé, an up-and-coming soul artist from Atlanta. She had just released her debut EP, Metropolis: The Chase Suite, to rave reviews and was courted by the Purple One himself, after a recent show at the Viper Room in LA.

After listening to the album a bit more (who am I kidding, I haven’t taken it out of the CD player in my car since I bought it), I want to share one song in particular. I’ll preface by saying, it’s been a very long time since I’ve been genuinely excited about a new soul/r&b artist. So much of it is either boring, unoriginal or the person singing is lacking true vocal chops. Monaé though, her music is enthralling, her stage presence magnificent and her lyrics drenched in socio-political consciousness (I loves me some thinking music).

To wit, “Sincerely Jane” is perhaps one of the most jarring social commentaries on the EP. What I love is that although the album is cloaked in a futuristic concept, the message is acutely poignant. The city (”Metropolis”) has begun degenerating into lawlessness and the rogue android receives a letter from her mother warning her not to come back home. Read more

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