Songs You May Have Missed #459

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Nellie McKay: “David” (2004)

 

Nellie McKay’s debut was a genre-skipping jubilee bursting with fresh sounds and attitude. For a minute there, I thought this young lady might just take over the world.

It hasn’t happened, of course. But while the Ke$has and Gagas pull the Rolling Stone magazine covers and headlines for their weird behavior, artists like McKay go on making intelligent, inventive and classy art pop.

See also: https://edcyphers.com/2012/12/19/songs-you-may-have-missed-262/

Songs You May Have Missed #262

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Nellie McKay: “The Big One” (2006)

 

Nellie McKay is a songwriter of many styles and moods. She’s clearly in a pissed off mood here.

McKay’s Geoff Emerick-produced 2004 double-disc debut, Get Away From Me (a play on Norah Jones’ Come Away With Me) was a breath of fresh air. Her Doris Day look and pose on the cover seemed at odds with the Parental Advisory sticker below her picture.

McKay is said to be the first woman to release a double album as her first release. Originally, her contract with Columbia called for 13 songs, but McKay aggressively lobbied her label for a double album, including bottles of wine, a PowerPoint slide show, and a mock photo of her threatening Emerick with a gun. (Allmusic).

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“The Big One” is from Pretty Little Head, her second album, released on her own label. It too was a double and included a 44-page color booklet. McKay bounces cheerfully between crooner jazz, reggae, rap, and songs that sound like full-fledged Broadway-style production numbers. Stylistic diversity, ambitious arrangements and intelligent lyrics are hallmarks of her work.

Truly one of the brightest lights in pop music, McKay seems to have a long road ahead of her as an artist. Given that she seems to enjoy careening her music career like a bumper car, it should be fun for everyone.

See also: https://edcyphers.com/2013/08/11/songs-you-may-have-missed-459/

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