TRACK REVIEW: Jude Perl- Hungry & Horny

TRACK REVIEW:

 

Jude Perl

 

 

Hungry & Horny

 

9.6/10

 

 

Hungry & Horny is available at:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BtyGU1HUloA&feature=youtu.be

RELEASED:
19th April 2016

GENRES:
Pop; Comedy; Soul; Funk

ORIGIN:

Melbourne, Australia

The album, Modern Times, is available at:

https://soundcloud.com/judeperl/sets/modern-times

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FROM a sizzling-hot musician from Florida to a unique and stuns-a-minute…

artist from Melbourne- you cannot fault the diversity music mixes in. I have not long put the pen down from assessing Alexandra Amor: now to Australian Jill-of-all-trade, Jude Perl. Before I come to my featured artist, I wanted to look at Melbourne acts; musicians that mix genres and comedy together- those acts that are quirky and stand in the mind. Recently- and perhaps behind the curve- I have been listening to Courtney Barnett’s album, Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit. Throughout the 11-track album you get humour, honesty and passion: all from an artist that is relatively unknown. Given the fact we do not have international award shows in the U.K.- recognising music from around the world- we often miss out on other artists. Sure, there is the Brit Awards- a lame attempt at representing music at its best- but there is nothing else really. Apart from N.M.E. and Kerrang!– who, to be fair, have their award shows- where do the best of the rest get their just rewards? There are so many great musicians arriving from the U.S. and Australia; Canada and Spain: they seem to be limited to their home nations; nodded-to by their press and supporters. Radio stations do their best to bring diversity into the music- ‘Radio 6 Music among them- but there needs to be more (done). Melbourne is a city I have always longed to visit. In fact- behind London- it is my dream city. Maybe my exposure and affection for Neighbours– an untrue-to-life if escapable fantasy- has rather romanticised Australia, but I doubt it. Melbourne is voted as the most sought-after and best-quality-of-life cities around the globe. The communities and people are nice- in the most part- whilst there is culture, art and history. Bustling streets and a burgeoning music scene are only a few reasons why Melbourne is so revered- throw in the great weather and, well, beautiful women (sorry). It is the music- honest!- that attracts me most. Barnett’s album enforced just how terrific music is, there. The slice-of-life songs tackle environmental decline and suicidality: anti-heroes and strange trysts; keen observations and sly humour. Topped with great hooks and addictive melodies: Barnett is one of those musicians you need to keep an eye on. Apply that logic to a wider scene and you should definitely dig Melbourne. The Temper Trap, Nick Cave and The Avalanches (are just a trio) that call Melbourne home. Husky and The Cat Empire can be thrown in there. Lowlakes’ intense, of gloomy, brand of Dream-Pop has invigorated critics. Baro and Good Morning are two acts that were tipped last year: primed for success in 2016 (and making waves thus far). Catlips (A.K.A. Katie Campbell) permeates accessible Pop with hard beats: an artist who can switch to bass-heavy Dance and insatiable rapture. Fait and Ecca Vandal are another two (female) artists that are setting the Melbourne scene alight. Whilst- on paper- Jude Perl might not hang at the same parties as Fait and Catlips: that is not to say they are that different at all. If anything, Perl has an advantage and edge over her local contemporaries.

Given the buzz of her album (Modern Times) is receiving rapturous reviews and some rather red-hot praise. Before I continue my points; let me introduce Jude Perl to you:

Jude Perl has been performing professionally for the past 7 years as a singer and pianist and in the last year has branched out into stand up and music comedy. In 2013, her debut single ‘Girls & Boys’ received regular commercial radio airplay all over Australia (including Fox FM and 2Day FM). The following year, Jude starred in the critically acclaimed narrative concert ‘Let’s Get It On – The Life & Music of Marvin Gaye’ in Melbourne.

Often described as ‘funk-a-licious music’, Jude offers a collection of feel good funk/pop/soul tunes that will make you want to sing along. Named purposely after Charlie Chaplin’s famous film, her debut album provides a satirical window on the advertising world that we are living in : « Music and advertising are so intertwined, which to me seems so ludicrous, as they have such different goals. Music is supposed to elevate people and challenge people and advertising kind of does the opposite »

With that approach in mind, Jude promotes her new album with fake advertisements set in the 50s, 80s and present day, pretending to have sold her intellectual property and identity to a sugar company. In her fun new music video ‘Hungry and Horny’, Jude Perl impersonates an anonymous actress who tries to look good on camera to please the producer and sell whatever she’s told to sell. Her debut album ‘Modern Times’ is now available on Bandcamp and on iTunes Australia”.

I have arrived at Perl’s feet a little late, it seems. Seeing her social media pages: they are packed with glowing reviews and wonderful feedback. Critics are climbing over themselves to exclaim and promulgate the virtues of this Melbourne treasure. What strikes me-about the album, Modern Times– is how relevant and relatable the music is. Most artists tend to focus on love and their own lives: Perl looks outwards and assesses the modern world; issues and themes that affect more than her own concerns. There are sweet and quirky love songs- that infectious voice and turn-of-phrase is pure and delightful- but so much depth and maturity. Genres and sounds switch from Bubblegum-Pop to Dance smashes: driving Folk to something multi-layered and impossible-to-pin down. I shall delve into Modern Times later, but it seems, Perl is a previous and glimmering jewel. I love the U.K.’s best but find so much more variety and range in foreign sounds. Our scene is consistent and growing but we need to embrace other artists from abroad. Perl is someone I will be following closely. Knowing how fantastic Melbourne’s music scene is: I was not surprised to discover someone who produces music packed with memorability and standout lines. Perl mixes comedy and wit into her song; charming and cheeky lines: she is someone who has a songbook of unbeatable lines and thoughts. On the sunnier, sassier numbers; we have an artist that rides the music and has undeniable confidence. When more low-down and reflective: that intelligence and emotional revelation hits the soul, hard. Throughout Hungry & Horny I had a smile on my face. It is a song that is hard to ignore and a perfect introduction to one of music’s true originals.

Jude Perl has had a long and busy career- producing a series of singles and E.P.s. Modern Times is her most accomplished and impressive work to date. I can see her evolve and develop as the years progress. Songs 3am and Somewhere to Call Home packed plenty of quality, memorability and emotion. Somewhere to Call Home showed what a tender and beautiful voice (Perl had). 3am is more Jazz-based and laid-back. It has a coolness to it whilst still ensconced in avenues of love and romance. A lot of her earlier work worked within traditional frameworks- talking about relations and love- but were distinguished by stunning vocals and a real flair for lyrical importance. Her wordplay and story-telling raised her songs to rarified heights. Songs like Sorry and Pop Singer– released last year- showed that humour and wit. Not dispensing with love altogether- Our Love: A Power Ballad documents, if ironically, relationships- comedy and humour has come more to the fore. Perl has realised she is compelling when deep and soulful: equally spellbinding when light, less-than-serious and comedic. Sorry sees the heroine with stretch marks and worrying about her face- pieces of food stuck to it. A song within a song about a song: one that critiques itself and expectations in the modern scene. Apologising for the one-note chords; the lack of variation: Perl asks (with a slight caterwaul) whether a key change is in order. Is It Just Me? compares love to a watermelon- too many seeds- and shows a humorous side to serious themes. Modern Times brings together the debut work- the more-sensitive and traditional love songs- with the comedy and wit of last year’s efforts. In 2016, Perl has brought her multiple sides and talents together: she is at her peak of form. Having grown and developed as an artist- she is more complex, rich and assured than before- you can hear the confidence come through.

Hungry & Horny is Modern Times’ latest offering: a song that is setting social media ablaze. One of the finest moments (from the record) it demonstrates why Perl is so special. In the song; Perl acts as the spokesperson for Sugar Oh’s: a 1950s-style cereal brand that has been providing “great taste…great memories” for over 65 years. Committed to the bit- the sort of nauseating (usually American) voice you’d hear inanely ringing throughout the T.V.- you (almost) buy into the advert. Perl dresses the part: a lollipop-themes top and teeth white; that grin never fades. When we reach the segment about world peace- the cereal can make the world a better place- Perl snaps and loses her cool. Offering an expletive to the director- dropping the f-bomb- the mask has been ripped off; the façade exploded. Stax-themed, rousing beats ebb-and-flow with an imperious and straight-laced guitar lick. When combined, you get pizazz, stealth and funkiness: altogether in an intoxicating cocktail that takes Hungry & Horny into more ‘conventional’ territory. After the Spoken Word introduction: the introduction-after-the-introduction gets things racing and pulsating. Our heroine is being sucked in- “I’m hooked on you”- and one wonders what the “you” refers to. Maybe a boy or sweetheart: perhaps a sugar-filled treat or forbidden object- one assumes it is the former. Given the song’s themes and opening: one might be lead to ideas of corporate control and selling your soul for money. Unable to escape the grips of the song’s core- whether manmade or foodstuff- you start to transpose yourself in the song- picturing possibilities and stray avenues. The words resonate and hit, mind you. Perl is at her most direct and unfettered: her voice is sharp and gets down to business. Rebuking this “snake”- clearly, an unwanted attraction- traps are being set “all over the place”. In the music video- which follows the shoot of a cereal commercial- one-half of the mind might think of professional engagements and the lure for easy money. The song exists on two different plains: ideals of love and satisfaction; trying to refute someone who has a clear allure. Whilst, on paper, Hungry & Horny might sound like a very male dilemma: it is one that is causing stress for our heroine. Maybe (her man) teases and keeps her hungry: craving a touch and always at arm’s-length. Perhaps- the song’s messages- addresses advertising and lies being told.

How we are promised things and presented with false images: a certain craving that can never be satisfied and slaked. Maybe that is me looking into things too deeply. Whilst your mind tries to unpick the lyrics: your body is helpless to the sway and swagger of the composition. Perl’s voice is consistently fresh and unique: brash and bold yet underpinned by sweetness and  girlishness. She is reaching for that spoon- assessing love’s lust in food terms- and desperate to dig in and satisfy her appetites. Whomever is being ascribed- a current flame or someone from her past- you get caught in the sweat, steam and longing. The boy may want her “stupid and lonely” but- as our girl makes it clear- they have both had enough. An impasse has been reached and these day-to-day rituals need to end. As little slithers of Alanis Morissette come through- when rapturous; you get flecks of the Canadian- our Melbourne girl has reached the end. The guy has been playing her and she is through being exploited and teased. Caught in a miasma of confusion: Perl asks if we all feel this way; have to go through the turmoil of split and tug-of-war. The composition remains light- ensuring the entire song is not too dark and fatigued- which gives proceedings contradictions and dichotomy. Crafting an uplifted and sunshine chorus- one that will be chanted from the crowds- means Hungry & Horny is readymade for summer months. By the closing moments, you are fully brought into the song and siding with the heroine. Having been made to feel stupid and infantilised: she is striking back and not taking any more crap. Caught in the merriment and dizziness of the song: the vocal gets firmer and more spirited; displaying a tremendous amount of bravado and spirit. Perl is tired of feeling bad and begging for love: both parties need to call it off and go their separate ways. There is maturity and wisdom within the song’s humour and memorable lines- suggesting our heroine is ready to spend time by herself; maybe find someone new. Whatever your interpretation- and however you experience the song- you are left with a dopey smile and a shot of serotonin.  If the sunshine is out- or the clouds are not shaking- Hungry & Horny brings heat, warmth and feel-good sensations. An immaculate song from a musician that is unlikely to stay a local treasure for too much longer- she will belong to everyone.

Modern Times is a 16-track album that does not feel bloated and pretentious. Every track earns its place and shows a different side. From straight-ahead Punk to sugary-sounding Pop: there are so many different colours and styles experimented with. It all hangs together, due to the commitment, talent and charm of Jude Perl. Can’t Wait to See You packs a punchy beat and vocals that drip with raw emotion and passion. Looking at a fond sweetheart- someone she cannot wait to see time again- you buy into that dedication, commitment and lust. Sugar-Oh’s starts with mock commercials- something that could be taken from the ‘50s and ‘80s- that rots the teeth. Built around Sugar Oh’s– a fictitious company that have been providing sugar treats since 1951- they have now branched into music. A cross between a cartoon theme and a radio jingle: it is something you’d use to torture people into confessions. Yetta is one of the most urgent and hard-hitting tracks on the record. Addressing consumerism and profit-seeking: it is a song that has a social conscience and sense of nobility. Yetta is the name of a figure: a talisman or chattel that acts as an inspiration and spirit animal. Someone that could take you- in a fight- you start to picture a very vivid and heartbreaking woman. Hard-as-nail but gorgeous-as-sin: someone you wouldn’t mess with (as much as you’d like to). Poison Diet has plenty of Funk and kick, right from the off. Caught in confusion, toxicity and a harsh daily regime: this unwelcomed diet is creating stress, anxiety and anger. The rushing vocals give the song a nervous energy and dance-ability. Just Don’t Know contains a similarly groovy and smooth nature. One of the most Soul/Jazz-influenced tracks on record: it is also one of the most tender and romantic. Perl sheds any humour and cynicism: this is a pure love song that goes for the heart. Her man has left (his “empty kisses”  are being craved) and she is looking for answers.

Slaves has a Steely Dan-esque jive and drive to it. One of those songs that remind me of Courtney Barnett. The track casts its gaze to the streets and looks at society as a whole. A world that is mad and ever-moving: we do not often stand and appreciate all the things that live and breathe. Maybe uncaring or crowded in human stampede: how often do you stand still and reflect? There is no preachiness and electioneering: just an honest woman who wishes more people would love the world- rather than slowly destroy it. Baby ends Modern Times with reflectiveness and admiration. A tune that could fit into the ‘90s Dance scene: there are banging beats and a real look at music’s past. I was transported to a bygone (and finer) era for music: one where things were simpler and less complicated. Perl looks at a hero- a boy that she cannot get from her mind- and creates a song filled with purity, desire (of the tremulous kind) and love. It is a perfect swansong to a magnificent album. Blending so many genres and ideas into one L.P.: lesser artists would not be able to pull it off. Given Perl’s stunning abilities, musicianship and writing: she ensures it all hangs together; each song sticks in the memory. There is piano balladry and Disco-flecked stormers: to-the-bone Punk jams and elliptical Pop numbers. Jude Perl mixes pathos, humour and passion with unnerving ease and authority.

I have been absorbed in some rather dreamy and wonderful music, lately. The Cardigans’ Life is in my car- one of the finest from the legendary Swedish band. Their stunning, imaginative compositions are framed by the sweet and hypnotic voice of Nina Persson. Courtney Barnett is in my mind: it seems Jude Perl evokes the spirits of both artists. You get acerbic and direct songs; there are sweet and gorgeous Pop numbers: minor symphonies and polemics. When you drill down, there is no real end to Perl’s talents and nuance. Modern Times perfectly reflects the concerns and contradictions of today’s world. Among the political and observational are those universal love stories: songs that put their heart on sleeve; leave you lunging for the tissues. I implore every music lover to spend more time and attention in Melbourne. When I get to the city- hopefully not too long- I will spend so much time touring the clubs, bars and venues- investigating all the treasure and gems the city can provide. In a modern music world where the likes of Beyoncé are ruling the column inches: we need more acts like Jude Perl. Beyoncé’s new album (Lemonade)- although impressive and career-defining- was committee-written and possessed too many cooks. For a record that was, supposedly, about infidelity and personal heartache- why do so many writers need to be involved? The American is an accomplished songwriter and has her own vision- not sure why THAT many people needed to put their names to her songs?! Jude Perl is a woman who does not need an army of writers to make her sound good: she is a pure and proper songwriter, primed and armed. Hungry & Horny is a track that made me light up and smile; something that perfectly defines Perl’s sound and vision. Sponsored by Sugar-Oh’s: this Australian is happy to be ab advertising stooge. Whilst the cereal rots the teeth- and comes with cloying advertising and noxious jingles- the songs of Jude Perl provide nourishment, feast and banquet. If you have not pulled up a table- to nibble on the cornucopia and sweet meal- then you need to redress that. Jude Perl has worked in the local scene to make a name: the last decade has seen her established her reputation and gain a foothold. With Modern Times, one of music’s most assured and original musicians is about to go global. I hope she comes to the U.K.: we would love to see her over here! Haul your arses to Jude Perl’s pages and emboss yourself in a musician that make sounds for everyone. If you really think about it:

HOW many musicians do that?

 

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Follow Jude Perl

 

Official:

http://www.judeperl.com/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/judeperl/?fref=ts

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/jude_perl

Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/judeperl/

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Music

https://soundcloud.com/judeperl

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