Kyla La Grange, gig review: 'Easier to market than to love'
Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen, London
Wednesday 29 January 2014
As you watch Watford singer-songwriter Kyla La Grange pout and agonise in front of rows of bunting and Barbie dolls, you start to wonder, did Courtney Love lose her mind for this?
And yet the effigies are fitting; La Grange’s first album, 2012’s Ashes, though high on drama and emotion, drew criticism for its plastic nature, all watered-down Florence and washed-out Bat For Lashes in its production, with little in the way of individual voice.
She’s here to introduce the songs to its follow-up, and the likes of the glimmery ‘Maia’, which keeps the strong flavour of Kate Bush but adds a cool, slinky electronic atmosphere reminiscent of the gaseous, twilit sonic worlds of Telepathe or the xx. The title of ‘The Knife’ hints at other sources, and it’s likely The Knife’s Karin Dreijer Andersson’s Fever Ray project too is an influence on the rippling steel drum sounds and crisp beats.
If the result falls closer to Ellie Goulding thanks to La Grange’s perma-pouting delivery, the likes of slick, dark-R&B next single ‘Cut Your Teeth’, and ‘Cannibals’, with its clanking, subaqueous beats and eerily chirruping vocals finally subsumed in a rolling, crashing climax are classy stuff. Still easier to market than to love, though.
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 If I were Prime Minister: I'd give tax cuts to the rich, keep Trident, and get my football team wrong
- 2 Top Gear: Jodie Kidd, Philip Glenister and Guy Martin 'in advanced talks' to join show
- 3 General Election 2015: 14-year-old boy asks Nick Clegg – 'can you kill Katie Hopkins?'
- 4 University student in court for allegedly covering housemates' food in window cleaner and spit
- 5 Garland shooting: Isis claims attack on Prophet Mohamed cartoon contest in Texas as its first action on US soil
In defence of liberal democracy
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
Andy McSmith's Sketch: Feisty audience is the real star of an enlightening show