Karen  – Grace Monaco (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

Somewhere between the infectious but empty sounds of modern chart pop and the lyrically interesting but over-earnest musings of the modern indie troubadour is a small cross-over point. It is in this section of the musical Venn diagram where the commercial nature of the former mingles with the cultish vibe of the later that you find Grace Monaco (cool name) and her latest release, Karen (cool song).

A sassy, upbeat minimalist pop groove is tempered by spaciousness and dream state indie vibes but it is the vocal delivery that is the real charm of the song. Not just the actually delivery, though she does have a voice which is somehow both young and innocent yet world-weary and lived in…a neat trick if you can do it, but what is being said too. As a slice of social comment it is glorious, perhaps a more honest take on Britain today than you will ever get from any newspaper or political TV pundit, done so in the language of the everyday and with a twinkle in the eye.

Pop doesn’t have to be a dirty word, pop can be smart, relevant, humorous and still be cool enough to appeal to the masses. But the really clever thing is that whilst capturing the hearts of the modern chart fixated pop-picker Karen will also appeal to the heads of the underground movers and shakers too. How cool is that?

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