The two singers characterized the essence of urban musics (r’n’b and dance musics) : soft and powerful voices. Let me describe you their universes and their arts.
I first heard of Etta Bond circa the end of 2017 and the beginning of 2018. As a foreign student in England who just came back, I collected a lot of British artists in my head such as Mahalia or Camody that I discovered during a musical platform with the rapper Jelani Blackman whom I already knew. Etta is from London and she is a different kind of singer. She expresses her feelings and emotions with sensuality and trueness. Not a typical « r’n’b girl », she goes beyond the good singer. She emphasizes the music and takes it to an another level. I first listened to her singles « Surface » and « Let Me It », to understand her musical identity. Etta with her short blonde hair and her tattoos, presents us a unique character. Strong but delicate, she has no barriers when it comes to showing her true self to her audience. She is passionate and determined. I personally love the fact that she affirms her sexuality, with the single « I kiss my girlfriend », she just loves freely, with no restrictions. And this is how we sense her music and her energy : she is bright and bold.
Her album « He’s not mine » (2019) is an hymn to love and its realities. She demonstrates us how she battles and fights for her affectivity respect and comprehension, by the person that she loves and tends to get love from. On the cover, we can see Etta sitting on a bed. The room is messy, maybe a visual representation of her feelings that she can’t organized. My favorite songs of the project are « Back Now » and « Love Myself », two songs that completely sum up the theme of the project. The disappointment and the uplift of self love after we can’t entirely have someone. As the name of the project is « He’s not mine », we can feel that she is incomplete without this man, who can’t realize the love Etta has for him.
2 weeks after the released of the album « He’s not Mine », Etta gave us an another project called « He’s mine » (2019). She seemed to have won the battle over her feelings or maybe the guy she was internally fighting for. On the cover we can see that the room is clear. She is laying on the same bed but she has now a man sitting next to her, on the floor. A tender atmosphere is sensible. The presence of this man seems to have dimmed her doubts away. The titles of the songs project show us that she tends to open herself to this new man and to this love. On the song « Love Songs about You » Etta lets herself go and brings down the walls that she has built around her heart. My crush of the album is « Surface ». On this ballade accompanied by a silky guitar, Etta is claiming her man to the world, but she has difficulties to penetrate his mind and his heart and to finally let herself show up. The song clearly has a « this boy is mind » energy. Etta‘s songs are eternal and universal lessons about love : it’s uncertain, it’s crazy and it’s frightening, for anybody. Thanks to her love for soul and r’n’b, Etta is to me a gem of the British urban scene. Underappreciated, she shines with her own voice.
I have to say that Roses Gabor is one of my first discover of 2020. One of her songs appeared on my Spotify weekly discovers in January and I instantly became a fan. Roses is a complete singer. Roses has lend her voice to a lot of famous and talented artists as Gorillaz or SBTRKT. Her album « Fantasy & Facts » (2019) sweeten the end of the last winter. The project is eclectic and rich. Between a 808 tempo with « Fuck Up the Bass » and the digital song « Turkish Delight », Roses reveals her musical atmosphere, full of discretion and mystery. The song « Turkish Delight » is my favorite. Seeing black artists re-appropriating house and techno music always bring me joy. And Roses send the sound to an alternative dimension. Her duet with the phenomenal and discreet artist Sampha is a solar ball. The two artists merge into a new entity. The graphic and industrial beats magnify their voices. But one of the marvels of the project is certainly « Interlude : Awkward desire ». The instrumental is maybe a salute to the 90’s with its thwart beat and most of all, a blink to garage music. The song makes me think of Moby beats. Roses carries the song with a ghostly voice, which is near and away.
At this point, Roses Gabor doesn’t seem to have a straight musical world. She reunites all she knows that animates her and she works perfectly with all this abundant musical material. Each song of « Fantasy & facts » got its particularism, which confers to the project its own aura. The penultimate song of the project is the amazing « Perfect Magnitude », divided between pop-rock and garage, the song gives off a chaotic energy, it feels like a charm. It’s dangerous and delightful at the same time. To finish, the main theme of Roses songs is also love but she is talking about it as a mermaid, storyteller.
Etta Bond and Roses Gabor are resurrecting the r’n’b and alternative scenes of Great Britain. Totally different, they seem to tend to a same goal, which is powerful voices, rich musics and a total control of what they deliver to us. They are giving me a hope in this linear industry. Like Lily Allen or Estelle, the two women spread away the expectations and shine on their own.
I strongly recommend you to listen to them and remember their names.
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