Friday, July 9, 2010

New music: Caro Emerald

Caro Emerald's debut album, Deleted Scenes from the Cutting Room FloorBoutique record label Dramatico is fast becoming one of my favourite sources of new music.

This year, they've given us Sarah Blasko's fantastic As Day Follows Night, the celestial acoustic meditations of blind Aboriginal singer Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu, and that extraordinary Katie Melua remix I wrote about yesterday.

Their latest signing is Dutch pop star Caro Emerald. She's been at number one for 20 weeks in Holland with her debut album Scenes From The Cutting Room Floor, a breathy union of jazz, hip-hop, mambo, swing and pop.

At this point, you're probably thinking: "Oh great, just what the world needs now - another Paloma Faith". It doesn't help that Caro also spends most of her time wearing feathery cocktail hats and fascinators at impossibly jaunty angles, as if she's Clara Bow or something.

Paloma Faith Caro Emerald

But there the comparison ends. Caro is quirkier, and more soulful, than her British counterpart. She's backed by a live band of "proper" jazz musicians, who give her material more sass and bite. Her songs, meanwhile, are insanely catchy.

Her first UK single is Back It Up, a xylophone-powered swing that will have you tapping out rhythms on your steering wheel. Great video, too.

Caro Emerald - Back It Up

Caro has proved handy with the old cover versions, too, as these smoky cabaret interpretations of Mama Do and (inevitably) Bad Romance prove.

Caro Emerald - Mama Do

Caro Emerald - Bad Romance

Back It Up is out on 23rd August, release-date fans.

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