by Paddy Kinsella
If Seraphina Simone’s first two singles are anything to go by, the London-via-California newcomer has us hook, line and sinker. A master of disguise, we take her bait every time. ‘Coat me in sugar and sip me down sweet,’ she beckoned on debut single, Cherry <8, and while we knew we shouldn’t, we simply couldn’t help ourselves. That single, which we heard courtesy of Get in Her Ears’ fantastic Hoxton FM show, alluded to the consumer culture that has us by the balls – ‘buy more, be richer, be prettier,’ it whispers. Personifying it, Simone sang, ‘I’m Cherry and I’ve got you on your knees.’
New single, Hollywood $$$, however, finds Simone turning her gaze on fame and the real price tag that comes with having all the money in the world. Her voice portrays a distinct villainy from the get-go – sauntering with the arrogance of a peacock. When stomping drums arrive, she truly has you on your back, rolling over for a belly tickle. This show of power is all in preparation for the irresistible chorus, where she flashes her Hollywood smile, knowing you’ll be seduced by its charm. Sung by someone without experience of that world, the temptation may prove too weak. However, as the daughter of musician, Terence Trent D’Arby, and the goddaughter of Prince, Miles Davis and Pete Townsend, Simone knows exactly what lies behind that Hollywood smile, translating it with ease. A sucker to her charms, Simone offers us another sweet on Hollywood $$$, and we swallow it whole. She has us by the leash, but just one question remains – where will she take us next?
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