The Vaselines were persona non grata in the US when the late Kurt Cobain called them his favorite songwriters. Cult status was instantaneous, but the band had already dissolved. After a 20 year hiatus, the Scottish pop duo has reunited, though not remarried. On last weekend’s show, Eugene Kelly and Frances McKee told Kurt what brought them back together — and they played songs from their new album Sex With an X.
On her new album the Beninoise singer-songwriter hops back and forth between traditional West African tunes and western pop (she covers Curtis Mayfield’s “Move On Up” and James Brown’s “Cold Sweat,” among others). And while some listeners may prefer that she tighten her focus a bit, there’s no denying the joy and soulfulness of her fresh rhythms.
This week, V.V. Brown stopped by Studio 360 to chat with Kurt and play a few live songs with her band. Brown’s driving rhythms and retro-soul style are already topping the charts in Europe, and she’s set to begin a U.S. tour next month.
And if you like V.V. Brown, be sure to give a listen to another young English musician: Rox. She also fuses soul, jazz, and pop influences, but still manages to sound fresh and original. Maybe that’s because of something else they have in common: both Brown and Rox have a Jamaican parent, and both say they draw musical inspiration and confidence from their family traditions. Their songs are bouncy and upbeat, but don’t let that fool you. The lyrics and the music possess real depth. Watch Rox’s video for “My Baby Left Me” (the single officially drops March 15), and see for yourself: