Saturday 17 December 2011

Ren Harvieu - Through The Night

On December 5th the BBC announced the nominees for the BBC Sound of 2012, with the final shortlisted five being announced in early January. The Gizzle will be reviewing each of the fifteen longlisted nominees leading up to the final announcement.

Harvieu holds the place in this year's poll usually reserved for the likes of Claire Maguire, Adele and Duffy - the female artist with "the voice". 

Like fellow nominee Michael Kiwanuka, her music is cemented in the past.  Orchestral colours merge with mid-tempo soul sounds - Dusty Springfield is clearly a huge influence here.  Through The Night, her debut single, wafts past like a gentle summer breeze, her voice effortlessly floating alongside vocal harmonies, string textures and plucked double bass.  Vocally, Harvieu is soft, achingly lilting and well suited to smoky jazz bar performances.  However, this music is most likely to be heard on Radio 2 and unlikely to transcend into the mainstream.  Her most obvious contemporary is Rumer - both artists have lovely voices but lack that extra something.  Yet at just 21, Harvieu has a great future ahead of her to hone her craft.

Then again, she has some tough competition in the recent explosion of internet behemoth Lana Del Rey.  They may be akin in their retro influences, but Del Rey takes the prize for her darker, sexier interpretation.


Listen: Through The Night is released on 23rd January.

Watch: Harvieu will be supporting Benjamin Francis Leftwich on his UK tour in February.