‘Sticks & Stones’ Won’t Break Arlissa

You may have names like The Weeknd, AlunaGeorge and Laura Mvula pop out at you while grazing the long list of BBC's Sound of 2013, but take a little closer look and you'll see Arlissa right there among other fine up-and-comers from across the pond, and she has every right to be there. The South Londoner first came to attention by singing the refrains on Nas' "Hard To Love Somebody" and with her being signed to the diverse Roc Nation label she has been put further on watch. Yet don't be fooled by the label's notoriously pop and electronic roster as Arlissa's sound is much broader than what is assumed. It's unmistakable from the frantic and big percussive show that introduces her debut track "Sticks & Stones" that Arlissa has gathered influence for fellow Brit acts like Florence + The Machine and Bat For Lashes. Yet, due to her silky vocals, the soulful touches are clearly there making her a play cousin to Delilah, and impressive it is. She continues to make a good impression with her video debut and her coasting along Louisiana's Honey Island Swamp, the marshlands that were brought to life in this year's Oscar-nominated flick Beasts Of The Southern Wild, is intriguing to the eye. So yes, I'm a little easy to please, but consider me convinced so far of what Arlissa is delivering, and if "Sticks & Stones" is any indication, we might be hearing even more from her as the year progresses.

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