Holly Taymar - Less Than Nothing (GenieCake Records)
By Nick Quantrill
Less Than Nothing is the debut release from York based record label GenieCake Records.
GenieCake Records is an ambitious new project created by sisters, Catherine Cowan
and Lisa-Marie Baker, with the intention of nurturing the talent in Yorkshire.
Writing, producing and promoting the album themselves, the label aims to nurture its artists
through offering a complete, tailored package.
Spotting the potential of Holly Taymar, an 18 year-old vocalist who is starting to make big waves on the York jazz scene, the label is set to go from strength to strength with this release.
Opening track, Less Than Nothing, showcases all that is good about this album in three
Holly's vocals are stunning and it's easy to see why Catherine and Louise were so excited
about putting this project together.
Backed by a tight band hand picked from around Europe, the track bounces along at a high tempo
with great brass and horn sections.
Whilst the album will undoubtedly appeal to the serious jazz fan, it's clearly produced with a
wider audience in mind and is all the more accessible for it.
The lyrics are sassy and amusing as Holly sings about how she's got no Gucci, no Jimmy Choos, I
aint been to Tiffanys and I don't own no jewels whilst on Don't Get Any Ideas, the backing
band kick-start a track that has a distinct hip hop beat before a more traditional jazz riff takes over.
Influences such as Norah Jones and Jamie Cullum is probably no bad thing as they have demonstrated how jazz music can be marketed to a wider audience. Although it sticks fairly rigidly to the jazz end of such influences, that's not to say that the album lacks variety.
Unpredictable is a classic piano-led ballad that allows Holly to really showcase her vocal
ability while the knockabout fun of swing number, Mr Made Up, has an energy that
the current faux-swingers like Westlife can't match.
The gentle acoustic, almost folk number and closing track, The Fairy Tale shows that Holly can
tackle different genres and is a beautifully fragile song to close the album with.
Less Than Nothing is one of those rare records that is able to put you in a relaxed Sunday morning, lazing in bed with the Sunday newspapers kind of mood, as well as being a record that you might wish to play on a Saturday night before heading off out of the house.
It's a record that can undoubtedly be enjoyed by a wide audience, whether you're a jazz aficionado or not.
As they say, they are only two kinds of music, good and bad.
Less Than Nothing definitely falls into the good category.
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