Last night I witnessed Queen of Hearts glisten and sparkle on stage at Madame Jojo's. This was an arrival. Her music clearly symbolizes her statement which was 'let them eat pop and let that pop be fucking amazing.' Her crown? An amazing modern twist of the traditional Spanish peineta. Very nice. Her jewels? Absolutely stunning songs that hold within them the promise that her album will be one that thrusts into the most played lists on one's iTunes.
As the throbbing baseline of the first track rushes from the sound system and penetrates the ears, one instantly realizes that the court the Queen of Hearts confidently strides into has many contenders all vying for success and approval: electronic-synth pop. Observing the newbies are Kylie, Madonna and Britney, all nonchalantly fanning themselves as a crowned trinity of genre icons. Then the likes of Lady Gaga, Princess Robyn and Duchess Goldfrapp waving to their fans and in a strategic corner Gabriella Cilmi, Annie, La Roux and Little Boots taking notes and curtsying at all the right moments. This is the scene in the Ballroom into which the Queen of Hearts irrupted last night, cementing herself firmly in close proximity to the throne.
The lead off track Freestyle was a throbbing electronic number that began with sparse rhythms that slowly built. By its chorus, it was clear that this was the 2011 hybrid of Donna Summer's I Feel Love and the Scissor Sisters' vastly superior cover of Pink Floyd's Comfortably Numb. Resplendence personified in a high couture number by Kruszynska, Queen of Hearts clearly laid out her manifesto with Freestyle and its follow-up Overcome by the Rhythm, as a monarch relentlessly dedicated to neon beats, the mid-90's rave scene and the Dalston Superstore.
However just before the sovereign is lost to incredibly trendy electronica, she lobs out Premonition which not only screams MEGA HIT SINGLE! (hear the song and you'll understand its description require capitals) but also sees the Queen of Hearts loosen up and relax. This allows her subjects a chance to eat a rather yummy slice of the italo-disco cake she's provided. An apocryphal story tells of another Queen once tragically suggesting her angry population eat cake to resolve their lack of bread, their bitterness, the political problems and general dissatisfaction with the system. In a time of renewed austerity and terrible cutbacks it is nice to see this Queen eschew such unfairness and instead proffer up the feast that is Where Are You Now.
So. Where are You Now. What can I say about this song that hasn't already been said before? It was recently given a little tiara of its own when it was selected the record of the day. It engenders amazingness. What can I add? I'd like to say Where are you now...where have you been all my life? It blossoms like the most beautiful flower in one's ears and radiates sunshine. The minute it approaches its end, I press replay and it's become a habit I can't break. The Queen of Hearts truly must commission an extended mix. Surely that is within her powers of royal command? Love it.
Despite entering the ballroom drama of electronic pop music, Queen of Hearts does use her moment in the spotlight to mirror or clone other acts we've heard and seen before. She simply arrives. The Queen of Hearts is the Queen of Hearts. There is no competition. She just is. Whether it be the serious neon-blue tracks like Freestyle or No More, or the rather irresistible pop anthem Premonition, the Queen of Hearts is ready to provide an absolutely amazing first album and I for one can't wait to eat the cake this queen is about to supply!
Posted by Robpop at Thursday, April 07, 2011