Paloma Faith - 'New York'
Suddenly things begin to make a bit more sense. When Paloma's last single 'Stone Cold Sober' came out, it was hard to see through the layers of let's-pretend-we're-Amy-Winehouse and what-would-Duffy-do? to the person beneath. She'd been in St Trinians, she did a bit of burlesque, and she was making theatrical '60s soul records with a hip hop production, while wearing a bewildering array of vintage clothing (and let's not forget the metal umbrella dress)...
But beyond all of these instant media-friendly points of interest, and various spelunking expeditions into the dressing-up box, who exactly IS Paloma Faith? Can you hear her in the music? And if not, does it matter?
(Here's the video. Nice pins!)
What I can deduce, from listening to this, is that fans of confessional music which is based on actual human events will possibly want to stick to their Winehouse songs. This is a work of fiction. It's a song about a girl whose fella becomes mesmerised by New York...not a girl called New York, but New York itself. It has similar production values to the Mika song, and therefore bears the same relation to reality as the fairy-house I've just built on your head.
That's not a criticism, by the way. Fiction is amazing. And in a way it's really helpful that this is such a clearly made-up story in song form, it suits 'ol Pavlova Face's theatrical background, and it's easier to lose yourself in someone else's fantasy, without silly old actuality getting in the way.
(She's called her album 'Do You Want The Truth Or Something Beautiful?', by the way.)
A torch song this plush, with the gospel choir and the swirling, stirring strings, belongs to a world where no-one cares whether the singer is a glass-half-full or glass-half-empty sort of person, or if she prefers Ant to Dec, or how many cats she's got. All we care about is that she is prepared to appear in public with hair like a Mr Whippy ice-cream, and she's telling us a story about how her man has done left her for a new life with his floozy...who happens to be a city.