While I tend to avoid RnB as a genre I simply don’t know enough about I’m happy to give some space today to Leah Holm partly because she’s a determined young lady, doing all her own PR, partly because her style is being slightly adapted now to incorporate jazz influences and mainly because she’s producing some pretty good stuff.
She’s a singer, songwriter and dancer, influenced by the likes of Ariana Grande (in some photos she actually looks like Boca Raton’s finest), and more recently Amy Winehouse; originally from Norway but latterly living in London, which is where that style adaptation has taken place.
‘Blacklisted’ is an unusual song in that you wouldn’t usually expect a singer to tell of being barred from the Oslo nightlife just because she broke up with some popular guy in the music scene there but it seems that is what happened, prompting the move to London, where all blokes are gentlemen who throw down their cloaks over puddles so ladies don’t step in them, of course.
Now if I was Perez Hilton, I’d be poking around to try to find out who this guy is but I’m not so let’s just leave him as Mr Oh So Vain, as Carly would have put it.
There’s a great jazzy trumpet opening to the song that could have been recorded at some sleezy dive on Bourbon Street in New Orleans or in Rick’s Café in Casablanca, and which sets the scene perfectly for someone being ‘blacklisted’ or ‘blackballed’.
Then a distinctly Winehouse-like vocal cuts in but you never heard Amy sounding as seductive as this. You have to wonder what this guy was doing not to hang on to her like his life depended on it. Or is there another side to the story that will come out in future singles? By her or him.
There’s a brilliant, cutting line, “Never trust a man who knows the waitresses by name” – Ouch! – and another about being able to sell a line with a smile like his, while “stupid, stupid boy, running round breaking hearts for joy” evokes Christina Perry’s ‘Jar of Hearts.’ Clever stuff.
Yep, I like this. But a word of caution, Leah. Drop the swearing. You don’t need it; you can express yourself articulately and you can be bitter without insulting. Hold the moral high ground. You’ll be hard pressed to get the radio coverage you deserve without a radio edit at least and it doesn’t support the image you’re creating.
Having said that, I’m looking forward to whatever you come up with next.
‘Blacklisted’ is available now on the Norwegian label Diamond Club.
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