For my first report off the island of Manhattan, I find myself at Spaceland in LA’s Silver Lake neighborhood. I’m here for Grammy Week and my friend Arjan’s third SuperFraiche installment of super fresh pop music talent! Tonight is headliner is the stunning V.V. Brown and featuring Reni Lane, Love Grenades and Scott Simons.
Pianist/singer-songwriter Scott Simons, who performed at the premiere SuperFraiche in New York last year, got things started with a number of new songs that really resonated with me, including “Landmine,” and “Close Second.” He was followed by LA-based rockers Love Grenades, a favorite of Sam Sparro’s apparently. Frontwoman Liz Wright was half rocker chick Kelly Osbourne, half flirty pop chick Katy Perry. A lot of fun.
But Reni Lane was in my ears and in my mind. I met Reni at a SuperFraiche event in New York in November and she swept me away with her infectious songs and spirit. This time, I was lucky to get to chat with her before the show. She told me it’s her debut in LA and her first gig with a new band. Her first album drops in March, and she will “quietly” tour before going on a bigger tour in the Spring and Summer. So this is her tour band… Nice guys and rockier/grittier than her studio band. I’m looking forward to her new CD which will feature her burgeoning hits, “Place for Us” and “Runaway Train.” “Never Be Another You” is also one of my favorites.
Finally, V.V. Brown takes the stage. And with all due respect to the artists who performed before her, V.V. took this event to a whole new level. This British import blew me away. Defying category, she’s bee-bop, hip-hop, R&B and beach party all wrapped in one, and had me at “Leave!” Before I saw her U.S. debut at Spaceland, I had only seen videos of her on YouTube. She’s softer and prettier in person as her videos seem to frame her as edgier, Grace Jones-ier.
I got to meet her before the show and she’s a baby doll. Very nice, so excited to be living in LA (two weeks now!), and ready to conquer the states. She told me she’ll be on a 31-date tour this summer. I already plan to see her on President’s Day in Brooklyn and two days later at Hiro Ballroom in New York (stalking V.V. Brown, please!). Surrounded with all kinds of percussion instruments, gongs and a megaphone, she appears on stage wearing a Mardi Gras krewe mask and opens with “Leave!” then brought down the house with her new new single “Game Over” and sent everyone into the Spaceland stratosphere with her closer, and biggest hit to date, “Shark in the Water” (already No. 1 in UK and France!!). Could this be the U.S. 2010 song of the summer?
It’s January and V.V. Brown may already be one of my favorite new artists of 2010. Her debut CD, Traveling Like the Light, just dropped and is available on iTunes now. Watch out for her, and watch out for sharks in the water! Thanks again, Arjan, for another great night of super fresh pop music!