Saint Saviour, real name Becky Jones, has been known to many of you for some time. She was a member of the synth pop band The RGBs, but most of you will recall her vocals on the Groove Armada album, Black Light. She toured extensively with the latter around the globe, but having returned back to the UK, she’s now ready to push her solo career front and centre.
With all of this useful experience in the industry it should come as no surprise that she’s also spent time as a vocal coach, which in turn has allowed her to deliver something quite extraordinary – her voice. Upon these early solo compositions, it’s nothing short of astonishing. We know the likes of Florence & The Machine, or perhaps more recently, Clare Maguire, have shown us their special singing talents, particularly when seen live, but some talents are simply more special than others. Her ability is right up there with the likes of Annie Lennox or Kate Bush at their most glacial and majestic.
Much of Becky’s solo work to date has comprised of stripped-down ballads over a lonely piano, but things are set to breach fresh grounds with the new EP, ‘Anatomy‘. Up to now, if you were to head over to her Myspace, you can still hear these beautiful, stripped-down, narrative songs. The track ‘Fallen Trees‘ is an atmospheric, hollow song, which, although reminiscent of ‘I Hope There’s Someone‘ by Antony & The Johnsons, is a wonderful showcase of her vocal abilities, hitting pitches so high that even dogs probably can’t hear.
The other song currently listed on her Myspace, is the cover of Joy Division‘s ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart‘. This is regarded by many as one of the best songs ever written, so it takes a brave soul to even contemplate covering it. However, she not only makes it her own, but adds an entirely new and rather appropriate haunting atmosphere to it.
So as we turned to the new EP, we were met with it’s opener, ‘This Ain’t No Hymn‘, which immediately floored us with it’s dramatic scale, but also showed off a surprising introduction of new elements of her music. Electronic rumbles shudder behind her voice and thumping drums give the song a heartbeat.
Fans of IAmAmIWhoAmI or Fever Ray will adore the entire EP, as her heady concoction of icy climates and dramatic soundscapes are as accessible and attractive as it gets. The second track, ‘Birdsong‘, is one of the highlights, allowing her voice to be stretched over a song that fizzes throughout, reminding us of Kate Bush turned up to eleven. We have it available for you to hear as an exclusive below. It’s yet another example of her outstanding vocal skills, matched with big chords and a wall of sound so large the Chinese would be jealous.
You currently have a chance to catch her live, as she’s supporting Clare Maguire and Hurts at various venues around the UK. The Recommender saw her perform live this week and, rather satisfyingly, she looks utterly comfortable on stage and has a natural presence.
On top of spending up to ten hours a day honing her unique vocal talent and having performed alongside major artists at large arenas, she’s also a multi-instrumentalist! That’s not the whole of her CV either, as she’s also worked as a promoter at The Tramshed venue in Tooting, hosting the likes of Marina & The Diamonds.
With regards to what is already available, she had a single, ‘Woman Scorned‘, out last October and the new EP is scheduled to arrive on March 21st. We can’t wait, as we are now in the process of watching a butterfly emerge from the industry chrysalis here, so although we say thank you to Groove Armada, we also have to state that their loss is definitely our gain. (MB)
SAINT SAVIOUR – BIRDSONG
SAINT SAVIOUR – WOMAN SCORNED (THE SLIPS REMIX)
SAINT SAVIOUR – WHEN YOU SMILE