Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Sounds of the Summer; "A New Lily Allen": Singer Katy Perry Has Already Had Her First US Number One

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Sounds of the Summer; "A New Lily Allen": Singer Katy Perry Has Already Had Her First US Number One

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVID SMYTH

WE ARE now in the thick of what passes for summer in this country, so our musical tastes must alter accordingly. Just as we are only interested in tennis for two weeks every June, when the sun comes out many of us discover a taste for frothy pop and novelty reggae that has lain dormant until that barbecue smell fills the air.

Thankfully, there is plenty of new music ready to scratch that itch. In a strange oversight by the record industry, some is not released until September, when thoughts of tyre swings and ice cream vans are fading, but with the miracle of MySpace you can still hear plenty of the sonic equivalent of a day at the beach.

Already out there are This Is Alphabeat (Charisma) by the exuberant Danish sextet Alphabeat, and We Started Nothing (Columbia) by No1 stars The Ting Tings. Both employ excitable boy-girl vocals and prize catchiness above all else.

Lily Allen gave us the sound of the summer of 2006 with Alright, Still, a debut of bubblegum ska so successful that the pressure is on for September's follow-up, Stuck on the Naughty Step (Regal). Four new demos can currently be heard at myspace.com/lilymusic, including the Madness-style piano pop of Guess Who Batman and the grammatically incorrect ballad Who'd of Known. Tabloid antagonism is such that the rest will have to be better to avoid a backlash, but Lily has the selfconfidence to survive.

The simultaneous arrival of two "new Lily Allens" from the US will also be a problem for her. Little Jackie is New York singer Imani Coppola, whose album, The Stoop (EMI, 1 September), has similar swaying horns and streetwise lyrics (myspace.com/ littlejackiemusic). More controversial will be former gospel singer Katy Perry, whose lesbian-lite anthem, I Kissed a Girl, has already been an American No1, sold more than a million copies and hits these shores on the same day.

Her album, One of the Boys (Virgin), follows on 15 September (myspace.com/katyperry).

Other future American pop stars include Solange, which is not a new cough sweet but Beyonce Knowles's younger sister. Her bouncy single, I Decided, is out on Polydor on 12 August (myspace. …

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