Y’all know I listen to the BBC’s weekly countdown of the UK’s top 40 singles. It’s one of my favorite ways to discover music that either hasn’t made it to America or won’t be popular here for six more months. (Recently, though, I like to fantasize that Britain is listening to me. Because HAIM is in their top 40, y’all!)
A few years ago, the BBC countdown delivered Caro Emerald, a Dutch singer who lives somewhere between the 1940s and today. Her hottest songs—like “Back It Up” and “A Night Like This”—recall what Christina Aguilera did on her Back to Basics album, blending big-band influences with modern, drum-loop production. Emerald doesn’t have Xtina’s powerful voice, but her quirky sound—which reminds me of Nina Persson from the Cardigans—is a great fit for her cabana club style. This is music for the coolest cocktail party of the year.
Emerald has been a huge star in the Netherlands since 2010, and she broke through in England in 2011. Now, finally, she’s starting to seduce America, where radio stations are starting to play “Back It Up.” So let’s jump on that train! She’s got the goods, y’all!