My new music tip this week is soul singer Lulu James. Originally from Newcastle, the feisty 21 year old has been slowly making waves under the radar. Her debut EP Rope Mirage was released last year and was received fantastically by critics and fans alike. She has an ingenious approach to soul, one of the most definitive music genres, yet this creative songstress is reinventing the sound by merging with electro and hip hop.
Early tracks such as ‘Halfway to Hell‘ are brilliantly constructed, with xx style bass and riffs and haunting vocals that open into a dark anthem. The tracks keep you so much more engaged than the generic ‘club classic’ that the likes of Rihanna and Minaj are releasing. This is intelligent and well crafted hip hop with a refreshing electro element. Rope Mirage adds a real 70s vibe with familiar backing singers whilst there is evidence of those trippy electro bars that Lulu is so apparently fond of. She notes both Beyonce and James Blake as inspiration, and musically she does sit somewhere between the two. Her vocal is stunning and versatile, strangely matching the tracks perfectly. Artists such as AlunaGeorge are capitalising on this gap in the market, and Lulu has the talent to do the same.
She is still considered under the radar, having been picked up by only a handful of critics. Her new single ‘Closer‘ failed to make a mark on the charts, yet has clocked up almost 300,000 YouTube views. I believe that James has an audience ready, it will just take people a while to adjust to her innovative and boundary pushing sound. I will be catching her perform live at Liverpool’s Sound City Festival next month which I am immensely excited for as I believe these tracks will be vibrant and atmospheric when performed live. Research this incredible musician and prepare for a debut album due this Autumn.