Have you ever pondered the future of pop music? Having all but lost the battle for creative control to the all-consuming conformity of the computer, will there ever be enough space for the voice of individuality to soar through the radio waves on an elliptic course towards our ears? Fortunately for us, there is still a voice out there that encompasses both the quirkiness of the genuine individual and the commercial sense needed to create songs that are memorable. That voice belongs to Gina Été.
So, whilst still essentially European, Gina Été manages, with the seven songs that make up “Oak Tree”, to walk the tightrope between being endearingly quirky and being, quite obviously an artist on a search for success. Not for her, however, the safety of samples and the heartless precision of the Melodyne enhanced loops. Instead she gives us songs that tilt at windmills yet can still stand proud in the wintry wind of the critical examination.
Listen to the positively indecent delicacy of “Im Rhy” and wonder if this is what Jim Jarmusch would sound like if he were a song. Likewise, “Mauern” goes for a walk on the jazz side of town but only because Gina Été can do that sort of style transformation without making her song sound like the result of pretension and, as for the lilting melancholy of “Windmill”, your ears and heart will unite in worship of this song.
Best song? Tough choice but I would go for “Im Rhy”.
The verdict? Springtime summer song meets musical maturity.