If the vocal line on Fair, the debut song from Welsh newcomer Betsy, sounds like it’s taken from some big 90’s house tune, that’s probably not that surprising, after all she has already lent her mouth and lungs to tracks by Hot Chip’s Joe Goddard as well as Knife Party.
Yet dancing is the last thing you’d consider doing to Fair. This is a solitary sad moment, a beatless comedown, a piece of ambient soul music tempered with string flourishes from the handbook of Massive Attack. In fact Betsy’s magnificent vocals remind me a little of Shara Nelson’s work with the Bristol formed trip-hop collective. Listen to the way she sings “I know it ain’t right, I know it ain’t fair, to hold on to love, a love that’s no longer there,” right at the end of the song, her voice quivering softly with emotion against the sparse piano chords. It’s fantastic. Having a big voice is one thing, but using it to convey real emotion rather than something that is false, meaningless and doesn’t connect is another. Betsy gets it dead right with this great start. Oh, and impressive neckline bling in that photo as well.
Betsy - Fair