Thecocknbullkid…Black girls do Indie too!!!
As an unofficial third member of the trinity of black female musicians coming out of London, Thecocknbullkid, along with The Real Heat and Ebony Bones, is trying to do what most music lovers thought was unlikely- bringing something organically original to the current lackluster indie band scene.
Although TCBK’s lead singer Anita Blay might look the part of typical R&B singer, she cites alternative influences such as Morrissey, Kelis, and The Cure for her brand of lo-fi electro pop. “People always assume I’m a R&B singer from the way I look. Once I was in a club and a stranger came up and said, ‘You’ve got soul’, just because I was looking well black.”
Her recent single release On My Own starts off with an eerie church organ sound, accented with electronic string beats produced by electro purists Metronomy. As Blay begins her softly spoken crooning, one might get the impression that this is a tear-jerking love song. A few bars in, we realize that this is Blay’s version of Beyonce’s man-bashing ode Irreplaceable. It’s all about being better off on your own because that guy you were with is no good.
On the B-side, Metronomy’s technical brilliance shines through. A slightly more dance floor friendly tune than OMO, Shake blends the elements of minimal electro with a marketable sound that is easily approachable- it’s a cleaner, stripped down sound that finds its roots planted firmly in a 80’s Kraftwerk style. The message here remains the same, empowerment without apology. “It’s all about outgrowing someone. It’s completely natural and I don’t think anybody should feel bad about that.” Although Blay’s agenda is caustically clear, and this is by far the better of the two tracks, the impression is that Blay might be a one-trick pony with nothing more to say than how she’s managed to overcome yet another failed relationship. Luckily for her, producer/friend Joseph Mount is the preferred re-mixer of the moment, and can probably give Shake that much needed tweak.
Thecocknbullkid might have a notable name, a few good tracks, and carry the fleeting honor as one of the most promising bands of 2008, but all this potential could be lost in uninspiring translation. Blay clearly has a passion for music and making her mark, but if she can’t find a more clever way to transcribe what’s in her head lyrically into her songs, she might end up just another DIY Myspace Music wannabe with nothing but boring Logic beats to bring to the table and a lot of collected friends…it’s fun to look at, but ultimately unnecessary.
“On My Own” single now available on ITunes