2011 has been one of the best year for introductions to incredible new music that I can recall. It probably surpasses the fruitful first year of my musical awakening in the mid-90s.
With that in my mind, here is one of my favourites of a fantastic 2011 for discovery so far, which, considering I am yet to even mention Laurel Halo, EMA and CVLTS is quite a ‘Bernholz’ accolade ‘iamamiwhoami’.
Whoever you are, I still haven’t figured that one out…
In Human Nature, Forkner’s arpeggiated synths and erratic rhythmic patterns are exchanged for something a little more refined, minimal and sassy. The melodies evoke quite a lot of memories of ’90s new jack swing, and of course Prince. The synths are sharp and precise rather than mesmerising and abstract, and it’s a brilliant exchange. But the most outstanding part of the video, and the element which brings it totally into its own, is Green’s uber-diva like performance. He’s “not ashamed, not afraid”, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a brilliant, high camp execution of male r’n’b before, an out and out deliverance from the chauvinistic, macho bravado some may have come to expect from the genre. The video downplays everything, and even exchanges swagger for a little bit of geeky-ness. It’s fun, and it is also very real without ever bragging about it.
I’m hooked on this, and everytime I watch it, it plants a huge smile on my face. It’s possibly my favourite track and video of the year so far. I can’t wait for more.