Kimbra & Janelle Monáe – Rock Steady

kimbra and janelle monae

Early in February, Kimbra posted the exciting news that her second album was finally finished. Unfortunately for us eager fans, no release date was given. The announcement added to the build-up (coincidentally, “The Build Up” was the last song on her debut album, Vows) which has been growing steadily with big names being dropped as guest appearances. Most recently, Muse’s Matt Bellamy has been reported to be featuring on the album’s first single. In addition to Bellamy, other big names include Mark Foster, John Legend, Van Dyke Parks, Thundercat, Bilal, and members of Dillinger Escape Plan, Queens of the Stone Age, and Unknown Mortal Orchestra. Branching out from her modest roots, Kimbra’s gone from recording her first album in a small North Richmond studio to the big lights in LA, from solo star to collaboration queen.

Now that all the recording is over, Kimbra is coming back to Australia and New Zealand with Janelle Monáe for “The Golden Electric Tour”. The tour kicks off in May with tickets on sale now. To help announce the tour, the ladies have produced an energetic and downright groovy collaboration titled “Rock Steady”. The track is a mash-up of Aretha Franklin’s “Rock Steady” and Michael Jackson’s “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’”, craftily blending the soul of the early 70s with the post-disco vibes of the early 80s. When the tune hit our shores last Friday, it was pouring with rain and I was stuck in peak hour traffic, yet the song is so funky and so upbeat that it might as well have been a summery, carefree day. Dance-inducing music at its best, this is a song you can listen to over and over again.

The accompanying video clip is even more fun than the song itself, showing the chemistry between the two artists and giving a first look of how good they’ll be on the road. Even the guitarist in the background is getting his groove on and clearly having a good time. Assuming the aim was to create hype for the upcoming tour (and not just an excuse for Kimbra and Monáe to have a bit of fun), they’ve certainly succeeded. The buzz for the shows, as well as Kimbra’s second album, is rapidly increasing so make sure you’re quick if you want to secure your tickets.

THE BREAKDOWN:

Hometown: Hamilton, New Zealand
Upcoming Album: TBA but hopefully we’ll start getting single releases soon!
Sounds like: Gotye, Elizabeth Rose
Say what? Far from conservative with her fashion choices, Kimbra recently got up on stage in a cape made out of shopping bags.

Huggett out.

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