Wednesday 13 February 2013, 15:09
The most rarely heard words in our house are these:
"Hey Dad! What's that? Turn it up... it's great."
Given that my wife and daughter have been force fed Future Of The Left, Klaus Kinski, Bastions and over a decade of much weirder skronk, it's no small wonder that a cup of tea hasn't accidentally been spilled into my amplifier; or a high heel hasn't punctured a speaker cone.
It's no surprise the neighbours don't speak to me.
However these were the words that floated unexpectedly up the stairs on Saturday. I thought I was hearing things, but no.
The piece of music that had managed to so successfully invert the usual, natural order of things came courtesy of a singer songwriter from Cardiff called Elkka. She's based in London now and collaborating with some of the people who work with Ellie Goulding and Foxes.
This track creeps in on a beautifully understated, bluesy piano; a breathy half cousin of Lauryn Hill's Doo Wop (That Thing). Elkka's vocal is perfectly pitched - a little reminiscent of Goulding's early recordings, in that it reaches out without melodrama or any tortuous X Factor mannerisms.
There's a genuine, blue-eyed soulfulness to Tick The Boxes, with a pop nous that fixes itself in the memory after a single listen. It also wears an urban credibility without affectation. The use of the Dead Prez sample is really clever and understated.
Elkka could end up Top 10 or singing with Quantic. Hell, in an ideal world she will do both. Fingers crossed.