Monday 3 January 2011

Clare Maguire - Ain't Nobody

This week, the BBC are announcing the top five SO2011 nominees in reverse order.  At number five, it's Clare Maguire.

And deservedly so - Maguire is certainly high up on my list.  The music is all about the voice: a deep, belting voice capable of epic and dramatic proportions.  At times it's haunting and vulnerable, at times it's powerful and almost operatic.  But it's certainly distinctive - comparisons with Florence Welch are unfounded.  Her image is dark and gothic, though this is slightly unintentional: "I always wanted the image to be more seductive and almost pin-up, rather than goth".  The video to this track doesn't help, set in a barren, dusty valley, hair and clothes floating around her, face shrouded in mystery.  It suits the song though and it's brilliantly produced - simple, but with powerful and beautiful imagery.

Ain't Nobody is her debut single.  The poetic, romantic lyrics border on obsession and are dressed up in slick production: deep, electro bass; pounding drums; emotive strings.  Together with the vocals, it's a unique and exciting sonority - Clare Maguire is an absolute marvel.  Bring on the album Light After Dark. 

Still not convinced?  Here's a live version for your delectation.  I can't recommend it enough.

Still not convinced?  Another excellent track, You're Electric, is currently the iTunes free single of the week (but finishes today!).  No excuses.