Friday, April 27, 2012

Two women sitting on a floor

Ren Harvieu sounds like a small village on the French coast, full of wrinkly old men in berets chomping on onions and playing p├ętanque.

But it turns out Ren Harvieu is actually a raven-haired 21-year-old singer from Salford with a right proper Northern accent. Her singing voice, on the other hand, is treacle-dark - sonorous and melancholy, and recorded with more reverb than the Grand Canyon.

Ren describes her music as "passionate, dramatic, intense, emotional". Accordingly, she has been compared to Dusty Springfield, Peggy Lee and The Walker Brothers. Or, as one writer put it, Ren is for people who "secretly like Rumer but think she's too mumsy".

I enjoyed her debut single, Through The Night, back in January (although not enough to write about it, natch). The follow-up is even better. The Train Song is a duet with former Mrs Jack White, Karen Elson, which fits neatly next to The Pierces on my playlist of female-fronted gothic rock close-harmony love ballads.

The video sees the two singers pulling their best Abba poses, while sitting resolutely still on the floor. But, given that Ren was nearly paralysed after breaking her back last year, you can fogive her for not doing a full-on George Sampson funky banjo dance.

Renm Harvieu and Karen Elson - The Train Song

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