We blame Coco for helping to make teeny tiny red shorts, yesterday’s eye make-up and ox-blood DM’s ubiquitous with this summer’s teen style. It’s just a shame we can’t all rock this look as effortlessly as she does. Ok, so we at Twin were as sceptical as the next lady about Sumner’s rock progeny roots – but her nonchalant attitude, husky vocal timbre and clever hook-up with Robyn on the sensational track ‘Caeser’ have won us over. If you can’t wait for Coco’s forthcoming debut album, ‘The Constant’ – then check out her re-working of Neil Young’s, ‘Only Love Can Break Your Heart’. Put together with Fyfe Dangerfield of the Guillemots, here Sumner follows in the footsteps of Saint Etienne who covered the classic brilliantly in 1990.
Coco’s own limited release is due out any moment now on the Luv Luv Luv label. Watch it here… Or better still, see her in the flesh – I Blame Coco are playing tonight at The Flowerpot in London.
It’s hard to imagine luminous skinned, flame-haired beauty Karen Elson being bullied at school. But now the model, and mother of White Stripes Jack White’s children, is having the last laugh. The title of her brilliant blues-inspired new album stems from her school time nickname, ‘The Ghost Who Walks’. Haunting and atmospheric – with a lyrical dexterity that’s comparable to a fledgling Nick Cave – Elson shows the vocal strength and timbre of Cat Power, or an Americana PJ Harvey, as she moves between murder ballad to lonesome lament.
Her transition from model to musician is definitely a family affair – produced by her husband, her band mates include The Dead Weather’s Jack Lawrence and Meg White’s husband, Jackson Smith (son of Patti). It’s not far from the circus-like vaudeville group, Citizens Band that she was once a part of. Ultimately, there’s no doubt that Elson is both beautiful and talented – for which we love and salute her – but she’s also so incredibly lucky. What other musician could hope to launch their music career post-thirty? The people of Oldham must be dead proud.
The heart of London’s design community beats faster than ever this week, as Clerkenwell hosts its own dedicated design festival. The first ever Clerkenwell Design Week, although actually only three days, packs in big names like Paul Smith, Tom Dixon and Tord Boontje as well as big ideas – like how to make clouds, snow ice-cream and the Chairless seat.
Look out for product designer Bethan Laura-Wood, and jewellery artist Wendy Ramshaw’s metre high brass and aluminium towers. Plus shoe designer Tracey Neuls has made two pairs of heels using Patricia Urquiloa and Tord Boontje fabrics that will be auctioned off. With new talents, ideas, exhibitions, food and pop-up shops – design junkies will be tripping out across the streets of EC1 in all directions.
One woman’s trash is another woman’s treasure – so the saying goes – and for 26-year-old artist Erika Iris Simmons, recycling has become an art form. Using discarded tapes and forgotten old film reels she creates portraits of music and film icons; the results end up in galleries, rather than at landfill.
It started when, lacking cash for art supplies Simmons was forced to get creative with her materials. “I went through the house tearing up what I could,” she says. “That’s when I stumbled on the cassette tapes. I pulled out the ribbon and it reminded me of Jimi Hendrix’s hair, so that was the first thing I made.”
There’s now a wish-list on her website where people can donate their used objects, and wait to see what Simmons re-fashions them into. Topping her list at the moment are an old butterfly net, graduation tassels and vintage lace. We’re intrigued.
Hailed as folk music’s answer to Lady Gaga, 19-year-old Geordie songstress Beth Jeans Houghton usually performs wearing a peroxide wig and a metallic bra. As the story goes, three years ago she emerged from the crowd at Green Man festival after Devendra Banhart asked for a member of the audience to get up and sing a song. Since then, Houghton has been fine tuning her sweet, breathy vocals on winsome tunes such as, I Will Return, I Promise.
An album is now on its way, and Houghton has already supported Bon Iver, Mystery Jets and King Creosote. This month she takes centre stage, touring the UK with her band, Hooves of Destiny. While her look maybe brash and glam, don’t be fooled. Behind the quirky facade lurks a well of gentle folk tunes full of mandolin and magic.
There are plenty of reasons to like model and NME TV presenter Naomi Shimada…Her blog, which charts her antics from Dalston to Miami, is called Hip Hop Lollipop. She has a Mariah-meets-Mad Men body. She speaks four languages. Plus, she’s just shared her top five summer tracks with us:
1. Mala – Alicia
2. Big Boi – Shutterbug
3. Nicki Minaj ft Sean Garrett – Massive Attack
4. Aaliyah – Are you that somebody (Brenmar Windy City mix)
5. LCD Soundsystem – All I Want