Buzz babes

The new "It" girls
By VICTORIA WELCH  |  January 14, 2008
INSIDEDOWNLOAD_KateNash_300
Kate Nash

Lily Allen is making way for a baby and a new album; Amy Winehouse is giving Britney Spears a run for her money in a breakdown race; and Leslie Feist is resting as her iPod residuals roll in. With so many of 2007’s “It” girls out of the picture for now, a new crop of songstresses is generating the buzz. Among the top contenders early on: a mom setting the tone of a teen-pregnancy flick; a young Brit with brassy lyrics but no tabloid drama (yet); the voice behind that last Six Feet Under sequence; and half of what might be the best co-ed indie pairing since Jenny and Blake. Here’s some of what they have to offer. . .

Kimya Dawson, “Loose Lips”

Washington-based mom/musician Kimya Dawson has released five solo albums in addition to her work as part of the Moldy Peaches. But it’s her turn on the soundtrack to indie darling Juno (Rhino) that’s hooked listeners on her forceful yet quiet folkie style. One of six songs (seven, if you count Moldy Peaches’ “Anyone Else But You”) included on the 19-song disc, “Loose Lips” allows Dawson to deliver rapid-fire lyrics, tell President Bush to fuck off, and sound terribly sweet at the same time. It’s hard to imagine Juno’s sparkplug of a title character wandering cinematic sidewalks in Chuck Taylors to anyone else.

Kate Nash, “Pumpkin Soup”

Nash is 20, British, and saucy. And why Interscope waited till last week to release her debut, which has already conquered the UK, is anyone’s guess. The pop-funk “Pumpkin Soup” layers short, snappy lyrics over Motown-style brass and piano; it’s a tune ready for dance floors and the airwaves. If Nash can keep herself on the straight and narrow, she should be sitting pretty.

Sia, “The Girl You Lost to Cocaine”

When Sia Furler’s broken-voiced “Breathe Me” closed out Showtime’s Six Feet Under, the Australian singer was calling out in desperation for a friend. She certainly didn’t seem the type to tell a lover she was annoyed, let alone kick him to the curb. But on “The Girl You Lost to Cocaine,” Sia proclaims her strength — “See, I’ll never get laid while I’m running your life” — as powerfully as she whispered on “Breathe Me.” It’s a cheeky, smart-ass sendoff that signals the bolder style dominating her seventh release, Some People Have Real Problems (Hear Music).

Beach House, “Gila”
On this track from the forthcoming Devotion (Car Park), Victoria Legrand sounds like Chan Marshall and Jenny Lewis got together to sing along to some Mama Cass harmonies. Throaty and rich, Legrand’s vocals (coupled with Alex Scally’s instrumentation) suggest that this follow-up album will reflect a lusher approach than the Baltimore duo’s 2006 homonymous debut, but the result will be just as engrossing, maybe more.
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