Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Two white kids and one black girl, all hailing from London. And if there's a naturally-haired black girl involved, you already know it's at least decent.
This band's sound caught my ear while working at CVS/pharmacy. Two of their songs are in the rotation, and both are reminiscent of '60s pop (Hell, I initially thought they were some obscure classic pop songs). However, something about this girl's voice and the instrumentals struck me as though there was more to them than 3 girls singing doo-wop.
Starting with the song that first caught my attention; 24 Hours has this great intro/hook that bleeds into your ears and echoes infectiously.
Okay, I'll chill out with the graphic descriptions.
After deciding to look into a live performance of the song, I found out they're extremely energetic in-person. Shingai Shoniwa is a great vocalist/bassist, and an even better performer, and does a great job embodying the band's attitude and approach to music. She'll prance around on stage barefoot while pulling falsettos from her throat like nobody's business. Like Karen O, except with less shit vocals and awful outfits. Yeah, I went there.
That, and her name probably confused all those white substitute teachers in grade school.
Shi...Shang...Shanghai? Shanghai Shonoone?
Anyway, there were 3 other songs that grabbed me as well:
1. Don't Upset the Rhythm: It's not all too original, and any UK readers would recognize this as that song that was popular like mid-last year (It reached no. 2 overall on the UK singles chart). It's like an odd cross between Rhianna and the better parts of Franz Ferdinand, but it's worth hearing.
2. Wild Young Hearts: The song is like a playful child who has an eerily mature approach to everything. The pianos during the chorus and throughout help to give this song a great brooding edge to its lovingly childish style. Also, doesn't it sound like a Christmas song? It's probably my personal favorite.
3. Sister Rosetta: A song I didn't expect the group to be capable of. It's fast, rambunctious (Let's agree to never use that word again by the way), and is an expectation breaker; a mark of a good band. It's the modern representation of classic rock 'n' roll. A song that if anyone hated, they're probably the Antichrist.
Also, on a more profound note, this one Youtube comment (I know; "Wtf youtube comment", but bare with me here) made a true point I didn't recognize:
"Where's the excessive dose of booty and thongs? The shiny jewelry and the leather outfits? The boring dance team moves? This one doesn't have these things, it's like this one is...authentic and artistic. Who goes for this kind of thing? :)"
If there's one reason to appreciate this band, it's that Shangai Shonoone isn't wearing awfully tight spandex with a five dollar weave doing a tired ass choreography with 3 other clones. It's pretty refreshing that a black female artist keeps her nappy hair and doesn't exploit her body as a reason to pay attention to her.
So why are you still reading this? Listen to them goddamnit.
Posted by MrIndieDay