Songs of the Week: Leddra Chapman, Artful, Kat Dahlia, James Watts

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Leddra Chapman – Beauty With Heart

Let’s be honest, most charity singles are a bit rubbish.  Some can be iconic, seminal even, however once we lose the dreamy glaze of doing something good, we generally re-assess the musical value of  The Saturdays Just Can’t Get Enough and look at the songs quite differently…

…Leddra’s track, in association with The Body Shop and in aid of The Teenage Cancer Trust, is a different fair altogether.  It is genuinely uplifting, put a smile on my face and a glow in my heart.  Beautiful and empowering at the same time, it does make you reflect.

The only problem with it is nothing to do with the music and more to do with how it is being distributed.  They have chosen to use Fairshare and a fixed price of 99p.  In my opinion, a better step would have been to use the Bandcamp method of pay at least 99p but you can donate more if you like.  I definitely would have, however the thought of purchasing the same song 5x or donating in a different transaction on a different website is when the best intentions turn in to a failed promise (if I do bump into a Teenage Charity Trust chugger I have a fiver sitting in my pocket for you though).

Great charity song and it’ll also do wonders for The Body Shop’s marketing department, “Will I start to feel pretty by trying hard to be skinny / oh please, serve your beauty with some heart” – it has the beginnings of a cloned version of Dove’s campaign for real beauty written all over it, guess we know where their marketing strategy is heading for the next 6-12 months!

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Artful feat. Cairo – Architect

I love 2-step, so Artful’s re-entrance to the music scene over the last few years has been a welcome joy.  He continues the exceptionally high standard with this blissfully happy track.  Makes me wanna just jump up, spin around and pull out all the old moves.  Bouncy with great vocals, it is everything we loved about the scene at the turn of the century.

In the midst of this 2-step revival I am still dreaming about a collaboration between Artful and KCAT which I think would be rather special.  A new EP is planned from Artful, which may mean a new album, All About The Stragglers 2 is a sequel I think every garage fan, old or new, would greatly appreciate!

SOTW - LEDDRA2013

Kat Dahlia – Gangsta

For all the joy, gaiety and empowerment of the first two records we need something a little more introspective and generally grim.  Please step up Kat Dahlia.   The song is all about the first two verses, tales of family and the economy are told against a hypnotic piano riff, broody accompaniment and spectral strings.  Great record full of mystery and drama, sure we will be hearing a lot more from this lady during 2013.

SOTW - JAMESWATTS

James Watts – Endtroduction

What happens when you try your hardest?  When you invest your heart and soul in to something you love and do not get the rewards or recognition you feel your efforts deserve?  You’ve reached the point where both giving up and carrying on seem ridiculous and gospel at the same time.  What do you do?

Well if you James Watts you make arguably your best music.  This tale of ambition, success, hard-work, failure, disappointment, love and the consequence of chasing your dreams wholeheartedly will touch so many people in different ways.  We have all been there, at those crossroads, do we continue, do we stop and look back at what we achieved?  An excellent record which leaves the answer to all these questions very much open!

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