If Jessie J is the Sound Of 2011, should the rest of new music give up now?
The BBC’s yearly predictive polling of ‘tastemakers’ is increasingly states the bleeding obvious: naming an already hyped, industry-sponsored, stage-school-whelped, lung-bustin’, tabloid-shockin’, Lady Gaga-lite singer as the most likely success story of the coming year is no huge stretch of their collective imaginations.
Whilst not wishing to feed the flames of hyperbole with the oxygen of publicity any further, it’s worth highlighting the sad incestuous nature of Jessie J’s inexorable rise: as a Brit School attendee, she has had the concerted weight of a desperate industry behind her from the very start.
If a public service broadcaster puts their weight behind her too, how do bands that are struggling to do it all alone feel?
As far as I am aware, none of the members of Manchester’s Red Tides attended the Brit School, a non-attendance which accounts for their producing a single as genuinely plaintive and heartfelt as Housebound.
The song is as fragile as the sentiment behind it; limping with wounded pride, cracked resolve and yet still arcing smokily across grey skies. Some songs begin with intent and fade away, and other songs fade in, reaching a crescendo. This song lilts gently into existence, ponders, and leaves again just as stealthily.
Housebound is understated, quietly epic and craftily sentimental. It tugs imperceptibly at those nagging feelings of doubt, love and yearning that we all secretly house. I haven’t yet checked whether Jessie J‘s Do It Like A Dude covers the same ground.
NB: There’s a give-away of the single today: