As an old soul myself, I appreciate an artist who’s contemporary but is a throwback too. Paloma Faith is one of those artists. I was fortunate to see her two years ago when she was supporting her sophomore album Fall To Grace. Now she’s getting ready to launch A Perfect Contradiction here in the U.S. and she’s sold out Highline Ballroom, one of my favorite venues.
She’s evolved from ’50s pin-up girl (always impeccably clothed mind you) on her first album, to contemporary soul and pop on her second an now more bluesy pop in her new material. Singles ‘Only Love Can Hurt Like This,’ penned by Diane Warren, the up-tempo barn burner ‘Trouble With My Baby’ and Pharrell Williams-produced ‘Can’t Rely On You’ all dabble in the blues but are lifted with Paloma’s unmistakable vocal gift.
She fancies herself a stand-up comedienne and enjoys chatting between songs and uses it as a vehicle to knock what she’s displeased with (don’t usually play small venues, sound tech issues, her label’s frugality). She likes to draw comparisons between British and American cultures and I think she’s smarting because Letterman didn’t let her speak. Yammering on TV then singing a song or two is apparently the norm in England. I suppose we Americans just want their Paloma Faith as a musician. ‘Just Be,’ if you will. Ironically it’s the title of her best song.