Monday 14th October, 2013
‘Forget Me Not’, out now, is the debut album from Harleighblu, a truly distinctive 21-year-old singer who signed to Tru Thoughts in 2013 and is attracting a mass of tastemaker love, and a spiralling fanbase, for her deep and edgy hip hop-infused soul music.
The album is a collection of songs about love and life through the eyes of a young artist with, in her own words, an “old soul”. The incredible tonal range and depth in Harleighblu’s voice is out there from the spine-tingling groove of opener “Enough Now”; shades of Amy Winehouse’s influence show through in the bitter-sweet vocal tone of “Casanova”. The wide-eyed youthful idealism of “I Believe” could melt the most cynical old heart; while a cover of Eurythmics’ “Who’s That Girl” – which recently received its first airplay on Jo Whiley’s BBC Radio 2 show - highlights the maturity and class in Harleighblu’s armoury, as she flips this classic into a loping and funky, dub-tinged cut, galvanising the emotional suspense of the original in a truly singular vocal turn. Shimmering like the first flush of romance, “This Way” brings acrobatic harmonies, tinkling piano keys and heavenly strings, creating a head-in-the-clouds epic feel on the second half of the LP; “Sittin’ By The Window” is reminiscent of a young Lauryn Hill in the ambitious self-mythologising and boom bap beats paired with a gritty, energetic vocal flow.