This weeks Somethingforyourears is an inspiration selection from rock singer/artist Dana Jade.
When she’s not lending her distinctive, Caribbean-lilted voice to the 22 strong alt-girl choir Gaggle, Dana Jade can be found coaxing out some mean blues-styled rock with her trusty Fender Strat, aided by producer/drummer Ian McKenzie.
Growing up amongst the soca and reggae of tropical Trinidad, Dana spent her summers soaking up the fuzzed out sounds of riot grrrl and grunge in New York. Having relocated to London a few years back, this raven-haired femme fatale is now putting her sultry vocals – part purr part growl – firmly centre stage with a style born from frustration with some current music currently filling our senses. “I get despondent when I watch music TV.” Dana explains. “I just don’t see or hear anything I can connect to”. Channelling the raucous thrills of 90’s is part of Dana’s power, but she’s equally forward thinking, as her first single Galang proves with the force of a freight train.
Expect PJ Harvey style guts and a whole lotta distortion-styled riffing from this up and coming artist, who’s been earning her spurs with her Gaggle sistren on the stages of Reading and Leeds, and carving out growing acclaim for her solo material, supporting the inimitable John Parish in the summer of last year at London’s Monto Water rats. She named one of her first song’s ‘Priestess‘, a title she’s adopted for her in-progress DIY record label. ‘Priestess’ represented something of a spiritual emancipation for Dana, a growing sense of frustration at how women were made subservient, even vilified, in orthodox religion.
Her debut LP is released later this year, and will be preceded by this (double A side) released via Dana’s own independent label, Priestess Records UK in April. A bright, bold and rhythmic cover of M.I.A’s ‘Galang’ delivered with reverence and suitable respect to the original. A swaggering cover guaranteed to command the attention of any M.I.A’s fan. Little Sister sees Dana Jade at her riffing best. A Placebo-esque pumping tune that is akin to taming a wild dog, snarling and dark but with friendly face to draw you in before bearing it’s teeth.
Whilst the electro-fused sounds toted by today’s female artists are undoubtedly forward thinking, audiences are missing that authentic rock siren who can merge classic, gritty power chords with steal-yr-heart charisma and simmering vocal prowess. Maybe the final word is best left with Dana herself…“Music or death” sums the singer’s ethic with a fierce simplicity. “People tend to recoil a little when they hear it, but I really have no interest in doing anything else”.