Lianne La Havas is a new name on the Ironbath’s radar, but as always there is a back story behind every over night success. She wrote her first song at 11, became more seriously involved in music at 18, became a backing singer for Paloma Faith, then signed to Warner Brothers at 20. They developed her music for a couple of years without releasing it, then she appeared on the influencial ‘Later’ with Jools Holland before being named in the BBC’s ‘Sound of 2012’ poll. And in July she is finally releasing her first album, ‘Is Your Love Big Enough’.
Her sound is that of a soulful jazz songstress. Much along the lines of Norah Jones and Rumer (who also have new albums released for the summer). This is a delightfully feminine sound that reflects the 1970’s Easy Listening musical style, developed not least by Karen Carpenter and Carole King. It is the genre of music that can go and sell multi-million copies, mainly to the people whose only contact with music is to receive a CD each birthday or Christmas.
This is not to devalue the music in any way. Simply because it is commercially attractive does not make it any less valuble. On the contrary music like this helps keep the album charts and pop radio healthier. For every CD sold by Lianne (or Rumer or Norah) there is one less CD of pre-packaged pop pap sold. The challenge for the music companies is to find a way to get people who do not regularly buy music, or even recognise songs that they hear on the radio, to become familiar enough with Lianne’s music to add it to their birthday list.
Lianne La Havas | ‘Tease Me’ (Live at the Servants Jazz Quarters)
Lianne La Havas with Willy Mason ‘No Room For Doubt’ – A soft sullen melodic duet between Lianne and Willy.
You can download a free copy of her Live in LA EP from her website. Although the Ironbath does wonder about the mental state of the person at the record company who thought that this image of Lianne being humped by a soft toy dog would be perfect for the album cover.