Monday, July 03, 2023

Corinne Bailey Rae - New York Transit Queen

So we were casually looking at Spotify's punk playlist the other day and noticed it included a new track by Corinne Bailey Rae, the Leeds neo-soul singer who nearly became about as big as any British soul talent could. Weird algorithm glitch, right? Well... before falling into the local soul scene and being spotted she was in a band called Helen, which she has said was inspired by Veruca Salt and L7 and nearly got signed to Roadrunner Records, and covered Belly's Low Red Moon on her 2011 covers EP The Love. Her forthcoming fourth album, Black Rainbows, her first in seven years (out September 15th), is inspired by the archive of the Chicago installation artist and Black urban communities specialist Theaster Gates and seems like it will be a genre hopping exercise using her usual sound as a springboard. New York Transit Queen, taking after Thelma Potter, who in 1947 became the first African-American to win the Miss Subways competition in NYC, is sub-two minutes of handclaps, vocal cadence like a schoolyard chant and a big hook riff, all like something that might have been heard in a subterranean dive in Portland or Olympia, Washington around 1990, or indeed the Highbury Garage around 1997 (see posts passim). I f this ends up as a one-off stylistically it's a spectacular one.

Blur - St Charles Square
Furrowed Brow - Outdoors Man
Das Koolies - A Ride
Sunshine Frisbee Laserbeam - Apocalypse
LYR - Paradise Lost
Good News - Kishki
DAAY – Top Heavy
Rachael Lavelle - Let Me Unlock Your Full Potential
Trips And Falls - Wandering Thoughts
The Hazmats - Skewed View