Nneka, The Heavy

I gotta blog more. I do hear a fair amount of stuff i like, but do you really need me to tell you to go listen to the new Vampire Weekend (do that, by the way…the new Spoon, not so much). Anyway, let’s talk briefly about Nigerian singer Nneka.


She’s been performing since 2003 (she’s 28) but it’s her third album, Concrete Jungle, which has caught my attention. She cites Lauryn Hill as an influence, but I and others hear more Erykah Badu.  Check out Heartbeat, which has already reached #9 in Portugal, #20 in UK, and #49 in Germany (she’s half German and lives part time in Hamburg).

More good info at her website and her MySpace page. The video’s nice as well:

If you’re like me (a little slow, that is), you first heard The Heavy during the Super Bowl, on a Kia commercial with a cute sock monkey, and you assumed it was a James Brown sample. Well, man am I happy to be wrong about that! Much as I love the Godfather of Soul, it’s much better to have a new band that rocks!

The Heavy

Their second album, The House That Dirt Built, came out in October 2009 and the song “How You Like Me Now?” was used on the show Entourage, which I do watch, but I musta missed it. I even missed their insanely great appearance on Letterman a month ago, but I’ve seen the video. They appear to be Dave’s new favorite band, as he seemed spellbound by them and said “play it again!!”, which they did. Their MySpace page shows them as a four piece, but there are five of them in the photo above, and a good dirty dozen showed up for Letterman. This, my friends, is (finally) the male version of the Amy Winehouse phenomenon, whereby classic sixties R&B-flavored rock and roll get’s the 21st Century upgraded experience. Vocalist Kelvin Swaby brings it in a way that, for me, Eli “Paperboy” Reed or James Hunter never have. The video plays automatically when you go to their website, or you can see it here:

What you really gotta see, though, is the Letterman performance:


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