DeQn Sue – Juggernaut (The Pink Donut Shop)
|DeQn Sue - Juggernaut|
Release Date: Out Now
Generally speaking, 2016 sucked as a year and we lost a load of brilliant, shining musical lights which left some sizeable holes in the creative world. One of those holes was the exact size and shape of Prince which, although small, was a particularly strangely shaped hole which nobody has been able to fill to date. Cue the uniquely talented DeQn Sue with a brilliant debut album and a sack full of ideas that Prince would thoroughly approve of.
‘Juggernaut’ opens with the gorgeous piano riff of ‘Delivery Girl’ and a simple tale of wanting to be recognised as a human being even though, heaven forbid, you work in the service industry. Straight away, Sue opens with a catchy, alt-pop anthem for the masses without a hint of aggression but plenty of ideas, shovel loads of soul and an 80s inspired middle-eight break down. ‘Hello Neighbour’ follows on and although it loses some of the opener’s momentum it is still a beautiful piano based ballad that mirrors Beyonce and Kelis in its feel but with the intimacy turned up to 11 as you hear every lip-smack and breath in between the carefully selected lyrics.
On ‘Hunny’ the wonky synth melody and uber-perky rhythm belies the sad lyrics and you can’t help but imagine a sad Manga rabbit singing this as she walks around Tokyo looking for a lost love (well, I can’t at least). Conversely, recent single ‘Jack’ has a more sinister, night time feel as the vocals creep in insidiously between the rhythmic cricket croaks sparse synth melody. The absolute nailed on banger comes in the form of ‘Melanin’ which deserves a large scale flash-mob themed video to go with the racial equality focused lyrics set to stomping disco-funk tune – the anthem that all generation needs. ‘Messy’ returns us to the wonky synths and sprinkling of vocal interjections and melodious showers in between the rainbows but again the lyrics are the chalk to the melody’s cheese. This is sweet and sour in musical form and it is so, so more-ish. Luckily we’re only at the half way point of this debut long player so let’s keep on trucking, yeah?
The fabulously title ‘Pinata No Rap’ is a particularly edgy and twitchy piece with the droned lyric “I heard a shot fired, it was meant for me but it just missed me by an inch” which sets a dark tone that Missy Elliott would be pleased with. Latest single ‘Shook Up’ shows off our heroine’s more experimental side again with dramatic string stabs and an almost Latino sway building up to a full on RnB chorus but not before an almost religious, choral vocal gets smashed out of the park by those huge beats. ‘Starter Adult’ is my personal favourite on the album, partly because it uses a classic funk bass line that just makes me want to dance but mainly because it tells the story of so many people I know who tried the ‘normal’ life route before realising that it just made them miserable and now they’re happy doing what they love. It’s pretty inspirational.
The album closes out with ‘Unicorn’, a perky ode to individualism and uniqueness that fuses Katy Perry’s pop chops with Kimbra’s sense of quirk to make a song that should be played every pre-teen the world over to make sure they know that they’re doing just fine no matter what their differences. DeQn Sue is a singular talent who has the ability to take her career in any number of directions which is exciting but this is just the kick off, a starter for ten if you will. Hugely enjoyable and thoroughly recommended.
More information: https://www.facebook.com/DEQNSUE/
25th September – Gallery 5, Richmond w/Elizabeth Owens + Zooanzoo