Dad always said – any day you don’t learn something new is a day wasted.
It seems that I’m constantly running across vocalists who blow me away. Vocalists who have been around for a number of years, who have never caught my attention.
And yet – once I’m aware of them, I see them everywhere.
I remarked a couple of weeks back about catching the group Lake Street Dive and their new album, “Bad Self Portraits” (Signature Sound Recordings, Released February 18, 2014) on the tail end of a Letterman show. I became smitten (musically speaking) with the lead singer – Rachael Price.
That meant, of course, that I needed to buy not only the Lake Street Dive compilation, but pretty much everything that Ms. Price has ever recorded. But more than that – once it’s on the radar, I notice them everywhere. On “Ellen” this week, and even as we watched “House of Cards” this weekend – I’m going “Oh, my – that’s her, singing the National Anthem at Camden Yard, while that scoundrel Frank Underwood gets ready to throw out the first pitch!
She sings Texas two-step, jazz, a little alt-something, and even gospel. Her work with the band runs from three chords and a hook pop to jazzy-funky-bluesy-soulful fun stuff. Point is – in a world where everything is starting to sound a little too Amy Winehouse-Adele-Alicia Keys, these guys are unique.
And taking a chance with that unique thing is what makes stars.
Ms. Price is easy to notice. She has an effortless sense of swing, and a unique vocal style that resembles another singer I’ve liked for a while – Sophie Milman. She’s also got an attitude, an edge that’s both innate, but also honed also by the original material she gets from her “Dive” band mate, bassist Bridget Kearney.
It’s all in heavy rotation on the personal radio. I may tire of this new musical infatuation, as I have from time to time with other artists. But that’s the fun part of new love, yes?
Check back in a few months. I’m pretty sure I’ll still be listening. My guess is that lots more people will be, too. This is some of the best stuff I’ve heard in some time, and should be the future of pop music.
You should see, though, what started it all for me…