Ones to Watch in 2011...Clare Maguire
Sometimes a voice comes along, so mesmerizing, so unique, so hauntingly beautiful, that you can't help but stop all that you're doing and listen. The last voice that captured me like that was Katie Melua. When I first heard "The Closest Thing To Crazy" back in 2003, there was something in her vocals that hooked me and made me an instant fan. While Melua's voice will always have a special place with me, I was recently left MESMERIZED by another singer's interesting voice - that of the beautiful Clare Maguire. Admittedly, I've seen her name floating around the internet but it wasn't until last week, when I watched fellow music blogger Arjan's (of ArjanWrites.com) segment on CNN talking about "Music You need To Hear" that I re-discovered her. Check out the music video for her current single, "Ain't Nobody" below and tell me this lady can't sing?
Maguire's voice is just so interesting, so bewitching. Listen to "Strangest Thing" (HERE) and you kind of hear a little Paula Cole. Listen to "Ain't Nobody" and there are hints of Florence Welsh (Florence + The Machine) and Marina Diamandis (Marina & The Diamonds). I even hear traces of Amy Lee (Evanescence) in her voice. The thing is, I don't think she's drawing influence from all of these artists...this is just how she sounds, this is Clare Maguire's sound and it seems to change with every song. It's easy, as a music fan, to read an interview with a singer, where that singer discusses other influential artists in their career, and then to here traces of those artists in the singer's own music. With Clare Maguire, that didn't happen. I didn't read any articles or interviews where she discussed her influences growing up. I just heard what I heard when I listened to her music. While there may be traces of other artists in her voice, there's no doubt in my mind that Clare Maguire is an original.
Need more proof? Take a listen to this HAUNTINGLY beautiful cover of "Hope There's Someone" originally done by Antony & The Johnsons.
Clare Maguire - Hope There's Someone (Antony & The Johnsons Cover) by Radar Maker
Completely different! While her vocal style in this particular number might not be everyone's cup of tea (it comes across a bit 'old lady in a church choir' with the warbly vibrato) you have to admit, Maguire has a versatile instrument. Listen to this live cover of Maguire doing Fleetwood Mac's "Big Love" for yet another out of left field AMAZING performance!
While we're waiting for Maguire's debut Mark Ronson-assisted debut album, Light After Dark, due February 28th in the UK via Polydor (later in the U.S.), you can download her debut single "Ain't Nobody" which is available as a single and in remix form on iTunes HERE. You can also download "Strangest Thing" for free on her website RIGHT HERE. Maguire's next single, "The Last Dance," will be available in the UK on February 20th. Check out a sneak preview of the video HERE.