Monday, June 10, 2013

The Girls of Summer: Lorde, Valerie June

Right now there are two young female artists in major rotation in the Bitchin' Granny Car™stereo ... one from the Deep South, and one from the Southern Hemisphere. Allow me to introduce you to ...


It's looking more and more like the song (or one of them) that's going to turn out to be this summer's smash is from New Zealand's teenage chart sensation, Lorde. Born Ella Yelich-O'Connor, she got signed at age 12 — and the payoff cometh with a song that spent 6 weeks at the top of the NZ charts. When Lightning 100, here in Nashville, started playing her song "Royals" about a month ago, radio listeners responded immediately. 

The commentary on the in-crowd, rapped over a minimal beat, obviously is striking a chord with the masses. “When I wrote Royals, I was listening to a lot of rap, but also a lot of Lana Del Rey, because she’s obviously really hip-hop influenced, but all those references to expensive alcohol, beautiful clothes and beautiful cars – I was thinking, ‘This is so opulent, but it’s also bulls**t.’”

How fast is she breaking? Last Thursday, a Google news search turned up a little over 400 results in the publications it monitors. Today that number is up over 1200. And here's something else that's turned up, on Lorde's Soundcloud account, of mighty interest to '80s alternative music fans:

Boom. Our teenage breakout turns out to be a Replacements fan. Or at least has someone in her camp who turned her on. Perhaps this could be the effective indie-hater block Del Ray could have used.

Valerie June

Wow. Damn. I received an advance of Valerie June's debut album last week and haven't been able to stop listening. 30 year old Valerie June Hockett was born and raised in Jackson, Tennessee and took a stop on the Memphis scene before landing in Brooklyn. In its own way, West Tennessee is as much a melting pot as NY, it's just the flavors that go in are a little different. On VJ's debut you can hear echoes of '60s girl groups & Nancy Sinatra, Stax/Volt, Link Wray, Howlin' Wolf, thrown in with bluegrass king Bill Monroe, Appalachian howlers.

The first single out got an assist from Black Key's Dan Auerbach ...

Very Memphis rave-up, but don't let its lightness fool you. This compelling album is chock full of deep blues, country soul and loneliness that will linger on your mind long after the party's over. Check out this heart-stopper:

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