Thursday, June 12, 2014

Forget about the football and watch this

Fifteen minutes ago, I'd never heard of Irma, a young soul singer from France by way of Cameroon. Then, the always-excellent Loft 405 posted her new video with no text, no explanation, other than the headline "Must Watch: Irma premieres video for Save Me".

I couldn't have put it better myself.

Not only is Save Me a great song (think Lauryn Hill covering Sara Bareilles backed by the cast of Stomp) but the video takes the back projection technology from Beyonce's 2011 Billboard Awards performance and turns it up to 11, if not 11¾.

Irma - Save Me

It turns out the Beyonce comparison isn't unwarranted... Irma made her name in France by uploading covers to YouTube, one of which is a beautiful acoustic take on Single Ladies.

The singer-songwriter started taking piano lessons aged seven, when she was still living in Cameroon, and was writing her own material by the time she was 12.

Those YouTube covers (I love this Regina Spektor one) earned her a recording contract in 2011. Not long after, her debut album, Letter To The Lord, went platinum and she was nominated for MTV Europe's "best French act" award in 2012... But lost out to everyone's favourite Francophone experimental nu metal band Shaka Ponk (I'm not making this up).

Save Me comes from her second record, Faces, which dropped in France earlier this week. There's no UK release date yet - but you can get it on import from Amazon for the entirely reasonable price of £41.99.

If you need convincing before handing over that amount of cash, here's the album's first single, Hear Me Out - the most beautiful protest song you'll hear this side of Tuesday.

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