V V Brown Debut Hyped
Instantly greeted by fans and cognoscenti as a new artist, composer and self-producer of true substance, effortless charisma and delicious musicianly caprice, Brown is busily playing summertime festivals, promoting the recent European release of the album and posting a series of videos, vlogs and acoustic performances online that confirm the most elaborate praises of the press, which greeted her album as "a perfect pop cocktail" (The Sun) and "Spector-ish pop as slick as her black pompadour, and her vocal shines through every track" (Elle).
The 25-year-old Brown, born in Northampton, England and based in London, wrote her first melody on the piano at age 5, with training in church, weekend jazz and classical piano lessons, and, of course, in her parents' record collection, which included Ruth Brown, The Rolling Stones, Aretha Franklin, Queen and Elvis Presley. Accordingly, the video clips populating her various websites and her special on-line unplugged performances display both the emotional honesty and the high musical standard of her songs: for example, an impressive surf-flavored performance of "Crying Blood" from the stage of Later With Jools Holland, launchpad for so many notable young UK talents; the perfectly-crafted yet boldly unconventional "LEAVE!"; the insanely hooky "Shark in the Water," and a moving, beautifully-arranged cover of the Killers' "Human." (Not to mention the irresistibly charming "Bottles," which manages to suggest, at once, "100 Bottles of Beer on the Wall," "The Twelve Days of Christmas" and "Children, Go Where I Send Thee.")
To call V V Brown a genre-bender is the both the understatement of the year, and also somewhat off the point -- because Brown's subtle use of vintage rock and soul rhythms and grooves is so organically and expressively unified with her melodies, lyrics and vocal dynamics that she becomes an object lesson in appreciating music for its own sake, as a timeless joy, free of labels or categories. "I can't remember a time when music was not a part of me," Brown told an interviewer. Describing a major-label deal in her late-teens that detoured her to Los Angeles earlier in the decade, she reflected afterward, "Artists that I love, connect with people...because they make music which reflects who they are. People can tell. The way you walk, talk, wear your hair and breathe. Everything that's happened in the last few years has taught me the value of knowing yourself and being yourself."
This summer, Brown has performed at a prestigious slate of festivals, in every gig living up to the impressed oohs and aahs of the press, and opening up for the like of The Ting Tings, Ladyhawke and Antony & the Johnsons. She has also made fashion appearances at supermodel Naomi Campbell's charity event, and at London Fashion Week, after being signed by the Select Agency after a chance meeting with a talent agent.
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