I spoke about my parents record collection before. What reminded me of it was reading about 21-year-old Nottingham singer Harleighblu. This smokey voiced sultry soulstress (I’ll stop there before I get involved in some ‘s’ rated alliteration record attempt) who was deeply influenced by her mother’s collection of soul gems. Using that as a starting point, Harleighblu went on to copy, then emulate the records. From there she was writing her own songs at the age of 7, recording at community projects and entering talent contests shortly afterwards. In contrast, my mother hardly had any records, The Everly Brothers and Gene Pitney aside, and my father had only a Frank Sinatra record and The Pirates of Penzance 2-LP set gracing the sideboard. With only that sliver of musical wealth in my early life, I missed out on the community recording projects and the contest and the……. oh well, it’s probably for the best. I can’t sing anyway.
Fast forward to the here and now, Hareighblu is fast gaining a level of expectation about her. Her debut album is due out in June and we’ve been given a little insight of what to expect with the release of Enough Now. It came out first on the Tru Thoughts Record Store release, a 12″ in which her record sat effortlessly against tracks from Alice Russell, Darondo, Hot 8 Brass Band and Natural Self. Catching on straight away was 1Extra’s Mister Jam, who played it do death (well, twice in one show) and has made it his ‘Jam Hot’ track of the week this last week.
The song itself exudes cool, and showcases Harlieghblu’s special voice. Soulful like label-mate Alice Russell, creaky like, well, err (tries to avoid the lazy comparison, and fails) Amy Winehouse. Strings sail over the chorus, giving it a real 50’s sheen, but the sort of dancehall backing gives it this real modern feel. And it infects your consciousness the more you listen. That’s what your parents record collection can do for you. Me, I can have a stab at I am the very model of a modern Major General. Sometimes.