woensdag 5 februari 2014
She don't want to know (EP). Bon-Bon
Bon-Bon is singer-songwriter Sian King, a London based singer who released her first EP recently. Her online released demos led to quite a stir in the U.K., leading to a spot at the last Glastonbury festival. My first impression, listening to the single and title song of She don't want to know, was that I was listening to a new song by Lily Allen. This impression left me circa half way the song, when 'She don't want to know' opened up and expanded from a 00s like pop tune into something much more. This trick is repeated more often on this EP. Bon-Bon positions herself between pop and indie rock. A balancing act that sits well with me, but on the other hand may be too extreme for some listeners.
Coming back to 'She don't want to know'. The singing is the specific way Lily Allen sings. This set me off from really listening at first. On closer inspection I noticed that the guitar is almost rock and roll Stray Cats style, with an organ playing accents on the backbeat in my other ear. These accents make the song rougher than anything Lily Allen has made so far, turning 'She don't want to now' into a rock song all the way.
The single may get most of the attention, there are a few other songs that deserve attention as well. 'Animal' may seem to please a bit less; at first hearing the song. I found that I like it better. 'Animal' goes a bit deeper, is more direct and a true indie rock song. The 80s sounding keyboards, think China Crisis, may put the listener off track here, but listen to the guitars and you'll know we're in rock territory.
Opener 'Better than you do' is also a song that Bon-Bon can be proud of. This song makes a statement. Full of emotion, building a climax and a few hints at estrangement that show that the listener needs to pay attention. This is not a pop singer introducing herself. Starting with the sound of the guitar that is repeated as an echo. The voice is slightly distorted, the rhythm halted. A prick up my ears kind of song and the right sort of introduction to a new artist (for me). One that dares to go off the beaten path. The easy route would have been to follow, e.g. Lily Allen.
The ballad 'Be alright' that ends She don't wan to know convinces a bit less. Or to rephrase that, it takes a while before the song comes alive. The moment that it does, my opinion changed in favour of 'Be alright'. The band plays the song in a way that carries Sian King's voice all the way, so yes she'll be alright here. That only leaves 'Lois Lane' which just doesn't do much for me and has something in common with 'Billie Jean'. See if you can spot it also. Lois Lane is too light flavoured. It doesn't matter, as Bon-Bon already won me over.
It's too early to really form an opinion, as Bon-Bon's career is only five songs underway, but listening to the five songs on the EP She don't want to know, I have to conclude that here is a singer that may find her way into the spotlights. Looking forward to the full album. And is it me or does Sian King look like the 'Venus' era Mariska Veres? And what am I looking at on the cover? Do I want to know?
You can listen to 'She don't want to know' here.