Friday, 9 March 2012

Jordan Herbert: the next big thing from Northamptonshire pop

A couple of weeks ago I told you that Billy Lockett is the guitar pop king of Northampton. Radio 1 playlisting, massive support from Fearne Cotton, literally on the verge of a major radio breakthrough with no one in the county making melodies this good. I was a massive fan when he was playing piano and melting hearts and now the more mainstream Billy Lockett is blowing people away. The bouncy strumming is excellent, carrying the track and giving even more energy to Lockett's already animated voice. The verses flow smoothly, picking up pace in the bridge to go into a chorus of exclusively upbeat guitar skills.

But Billy's got some competition on his hands for the singer/songwriter topspot. He's just an average kid - chinos, trainers, dark hair and dark eyes - but his voice has got power by the bucketload. Our challenger goes by the name Jordan Herbert and he first came onto the online radar with an EP he did late last December covering swing classics from Billy Paul, Louis Armstrong and Frank Sinatra, giving them a modern day Michael Buble-esque (which is never a bad thing) twist.

Versatility is key for any artist and as well as putting his spin on 30s jazz musicals Herbert is mastering the art of being a guitar singer/songwriter as well as a little bit of rap (Ed Sheeran much?) In fact, he's got an album coming out later this year. I have to say he's never going to conquer Billy Lockett if he still has to rely on Spoilt Bratz's Harlz Arnold to play his axe for him but this new Past Life song is just a nice helping of good, head-bopping fun that doesn't really take itself too seriously.

You could say that having a tennis table on its own with nothing in a five metre radius of it or a Samsung CO1 that happens to be set up in your living room a bit far fetched, even for music video standards. Nonetheless it's light, slightly cheesy and (yes, I'll say it) great pop and, when he's not taking my breath away with his funky RnB grooves, the cheeky chappy Herbert never goes amiss.

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