Caro Emerald came out, loads of bloggers raved about it and I wasn't convinced by the hype. One of Mr Robot's workmates lent it to him recently saying, “I think you'll like this, it's kind of bluesy.” Well, it wasn't bluesy but we both do like it.
Caro Emerald has a beautiful voice, simultaneously note-accurate and yet full of personality. A classic jazz voice, in other words. The songs are definitely modern. In many ways she reminds me of Amy Winehouse, though her voice is not like Amy's at all and her lyrics are more playful, less raw. It's just that amalgamation of vintage and modern. 'Liquid Lunch' may well be the best hangover song I've ever heard, while 'Coming Back as a Man' presents one way to crash through the glass ceiling. My favourite, though, is 'Pack Up The Louie', which is an earworm par excellence – after David Bowie passed away I had 'Ziggy Stardust' on the brain for ages, but 'Pack Up The Louie' kicked it out.
I'm not sure if 'The Shocking Miss Emerald' is classed as electroswing. If it is, it definitely balances more on the swing side than the electro, which is fine by me, as when I saw Caravan Palace live in Bath the electro-heavy stuff was what I liked least. In 'The Shocking Miss Emerald' there are bursts of gypsy guitar, trumpets, violins and clarinet, tango and swing rhythms, plus all sorts of pops and growls and scratches that I associate with modern music, though not being up on that sort of thing I couldn't begin to tell you what sort of 'beats' they are.
I'd really like to see Caro Emerald live off the back of this. It sounds like the sort of thing you'd want to hear in a modern, retro-styled nightclub, somewhere where you'd see ladies with pink hair and tattoos wearing 1930s satins, or well-suited chaps with natty moustaches and a dozen earrings. And that can hardly be a bad thing.
So, have you heard this album? And if you liked it, can you recommend me anything like it? (Aside from Caro's first album, that is.) My ears want something new!