And now for more big talent from little New Zealand - & she goes by the name of Kimbra.
Kimbra Johnson is her name & "whimsical soul POP" is her game. She has all the ingredients of a sensation; Kimbra combines jazz chords with catchy pop hooks for a signature sound that is simultaneously timeless & fresh. Some comparisons have been made to Amy Winehouse and Florence Welsh, but I hear more of a female Pop Levi with a dash of experimental Emilie Simon & cutsie She + Him.
The best introduction to Kimbra's sound comes in her delightfully fun first single, Cameo Lover, my favorite song from the debut album. In her music video, the fresh-faced lady is peppy, poised, and palatable. But Kimbra is not only a performer - she is a writer. Kimbra's prodigious and intricate lyricism is evident on her third single, the suave & spirited Good Intent:
"Out to feed that habit when you've sowed that seed/
Nothing made you feel out of the ordinary/
But the air turns somber and the night took heed/
Took you on a waltz of hypocrisy."
Kimbra's debut album, Vows, deals with the themes of promises and interpersonal attachments. Her savory vocals stand out on Old Flame, a beautiful tune that any Nina Simone fan would love. Kimbra's voice is sultry and her content mature - quite striking for a girl who just hit her 20s.
Aside from Vows, Kimbra's work with other artists also put her on the map - notably on I Look To You, a collaboration with Australian indie POP group Miami Horror, and the chart-topping single Somebody That I Used to Know with Gotye. She is now based in Melbourne, Australia, and is focusing on touring. Head on over to her Facebook Page for more information - & if you are in Australia, maybe you can even catch a gig! In the meantime, check out Vows on iTunes.
Kimbra is teetering on the edge of an international breakthrough. Her music video for Settle Down was recently featured as iTunes Music Video of the Week in the US and she continually receives oodles of love all over the blogosphere. Her savory vocals, knack for melody, and ripe age of 21 assure her future musical success. She is not only "one to watch," she is one to grow up with.
Kimbra, you are most definitely a Kiwi Power POP artist - keep it coming!