I’m not sure who coined the phrase that radio DJ or a music journalist is simply a failed musician, but they couldn’t be more wrong. The music business has seen many cases where an established singer decided to have (some sort of) a career change and became a radio presenter. Let’s look at Lauren Laverne or Cerys Matthews, who after rocking the 90’s as a part of Kenickie and Catatonia respectively, joined the BBC 6 Music and are now two of their most popular DJ’s. Or Henry Rollins of the Black Flag, now being a respected voice of KCRW in California. There is also Marijne Van Der Vought, lead singer of Salad, that became a famous VJ for MTV Europe.
It’s very rarely the other way around – many of the biggest radio personalities wouldn’t be able to sing a tune even if their lives depended on it. Many tried and failed big time, like Howard Stern for example. Having a voice for the radio and for the stage are two different things, but we are lucky to discover a person whose voice is perfect for both. And she is part of our independent music scene – which couldn’t be better.
Bio: This last year has been a bit of a whirlwind for Laura Jayne. From setting up a small playlist, to becoming a radio show presenter on From The Holler Radio, to people realising she could sing and even write a half decent set of lyrics. Her first release, a collaboration with the amazing Sean (Mintball) Buckley was a dance/pop tune, but her own sound is more of an indie pop vibe, with songs that are heartfelt and relatable. So far Laura released two singles: “River” and “Kiss Me On A Friday Night”, with the latter receiving spins on national and independent radio stations. With rave reviews from the BBC Introducing, Laura Jayne is a force to be reckon with.
I don’t think there is an unsigned band in the UK who haven’t heard about Laura from From-The-Holler Radio. She is an undying supporter of the new music and one of the nicest people on the circuit. Yet, it was a bit of a surprise when we learnt that she will be releasing her newest single “Kiss Me On A Friday Night” in late April. We asked if we could listen to the song and immediately decided we wanted to review it on Indieterria. We know when we hear a great indie tune – and this is a real gem.
First thing, Laura Jayne has a fantastic voice. Strong, melodic, perfectly suited for the hard rock/classic rock type of music she performs. Second – she is a very good songwriter! Her bio jokingly says that she is able to write half decent lyrics, but “Kiss Me on A Friday Night” is a splendid song. Has it been released in the 80’s, it would have turned her into a house-hold name.
Despite paying homage to the 80’s, “Kiss Me” doesn’t sound archaic. On the contrary, it is surprisingly fresh. The hypnotic beat, harmonized choruses, tempo changes are perfectly measured. I have no idea what magic spell was used in the production, but it is one of the songs that physically push the listener onto the dancefloor, where one can forget all their troubles and dance the night away.
Several reviewers pointed out that “Kiss Me” reminds them of Joan Jett and Debbie Harry and I can add Heart (Ann and Nancy Wilson), Grace Slick of Starship Jefferson and Katrina Leskanich (Katrina and The Waves) to the list. I’m really happy that those names are starting to appear again in the indie music reviews alongside contemporary references. For a long while, female vocalists looked up only to Taylor Smith, Lizzy Hale or Hayley Williams of Paramore, putting the best vocalists of the 80’s on a side track, completely unnecessary. A bit of powerful, gritty, old fashioned hard rock never hurt anybody!
Laura Jayne can kiss us any day of the week and we cannot wait for her next single to come out!
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