Flamboyant pop sprite Janelle Monáe could never be accused of lacking energy.
Monáe’s breakthrough LP The ArchAndroid sprinted from genre to genre at an alarming rate, oscillating from doo-wop to disco to folk pastiche at the drop of a hat. Her jubilant live performances also proved that she’s a dynamo in front of a crowd as well as a mixing desk.
As The Stool Pigeon report, her spirit of industry hasn’t waned. Monáe is currently working on two separate new albums, both of which she’s hoping to have done and dusted by the end of the year. The first evidence of her labours has now emerged in the shape of two live tracks, recorded at the Toronto Jazz Festival on Friday.
‘Electric Lady’ is an unabashed bit of classic soul, bolstered by organ fills, bongo rolls and resolutely goodtime lyrics. ‘Dorothy Dandridge Eyes’ (named after the first black recipient of the Best Actress Oscar), meanwhile, has a Shirley Bassey twinkle to it. It’s a pokerfaced ballad, entirely gutted of any of the loopy touches found on ArchAndroid cuts like ‘Cold War’. These early signs suggest Monáe might be reining in her more colourful influences – but then again, knowing Monáe, absolutely anything could turn up on the record.
‘Dorothy Dandridge Eyes’