Sunday, August 24, 2008

Something's bound to happen

With the recent obsession with girl-power neo-soul from across the pond (see Amy Winehouse, Duffy, Adele), I thought we should give some credit to the American born, neo-soul-influenced phenomenon that is MoZella.

Born Maureen McDonald in Detroit (what are they putting in the water in Detroit lately? - there are so many talented and beautiful people coming from Motor City!), Mozella started gigging around coffeehouses when she was just 15. Her debut album, I Will, came out in 2006, shortly after Mercedes-Benz used one of her songs in their ambitious "Framed Portraits" ad campaign. Her songs have since been used in TV shows and more recently she has toured on the Hotel Cafe tour.

She has the jazz-tinged vocal quality of Nikka Costa blended with Norah Jones and the white-girl soul of Duffy thrown in. The songs are catchy and contemplative at the same time, and the overall sound blends soulful singer-songwriter with just a touch of electro-pop for a sound that is very fresh. Sadly, it appears she was recently let go from her record contract at Maverick/Warner, but you can keep up with her new stuff via her MySpace page - hopefully another label will snatch her up soon!

In the meantime, check out this live performance of one of my favorite songs on the album, "Killing Time," performed at one of the ubiquitous Coffee Beans in LA in January 2007:

Bonus: Because you know I can't resist Beyonce, listen to MoZella cover "Irreplacable" and then check out the rest of her YouTube series entitled "Under the Covers" for covers of Weezer, the White Stripes, U2 and the Fray, among others.

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