The Great Escape festival is throwing out a lot of talented acts this week, and Norma Jean Martine is one that has quite a buzz surrounding her online.
Norma is a singer-song writer from New York, and her single “No Gold” is a classy, upbeat pop song that is dominated by her rich and luscious voice. Songs like this are made for radio: a big powerful chorus, a lively middle 8, and an even more powerful outro that sees her move away from her usual silky and sultry tone. She reminds me very much of Adele – which says ample about her quality and execution. Ok, so the style is a tried and tested formula, but here, it is the strength of her voice and the song writing itself that earns her a place on the tips of many-a-people’s tongue.
Norma is steadily gaining traction in the UK scene: performing a session with Huw Stephens last month, as well as slots at a number of UK music festivals this Summer. I predict we’ll be hearing a lot more of this gorgeous lady in the months to come
Jakil are an alternative five piece from Edinburgh (now living in London), managed by Sticky Lips Music.
From the looks of their Soundcloud and the first few pages of their Facebook, you would think that “Look Like Gold” is Jakil’s only release to date; but delve a bit deeper, and you’ll see that these guys have been writing for a good 4 years. No matter what the reason for this fresh start is, their latest single is an excellent combination of alternatives ideas and pop melodies, that was clearly written by musicians with a lot of experience under their belts. Subtle guitars and tom-heavy drums are the backdrop to soulful melodies, who’s upwards runs into falsetto are truly something special. I find it hard to pinpoint exactly what genre I would call this (which is a good thing in my books), but I’d say it sits somewhere around bands like Athlete, or a lighter version of Editors. The band are relatively secretive and ‘closed’ on their social media channels, so we can only hope that we’ll be rewarded with more great songs like this soon.
Recently picked up on by Tom Robinson from 6 Music, Jakil are performing a handful of gigs around London; if you can pin them down, that is.