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BETTY BLACK: Gypsy Heart b/w Beautiful Lies (Vinyl 7″)

After years in the drum n bass, garage and pop wilderness under another identity, Betty Black finally turned up on the doorstep of her spiritual home of funk and soul two years ago. Her debut was a cover of torch song classic Cry Me A River in a funky Bond theme style that is itself a classic. An inspired sixties-ish soul cover of The Eurythmics’ Sweet Dreams followed and then without missing a beat, came the first Betty Black original, Lonely Man, a blistering uptempo mod-soul groover with Latin percussion. Which brings us to new single Gypsy Heart, an even more uptempo sixties-influenced R&B stomper that perfectly foregrounds the power of Black’s voice as she belts out lyrics about a restless existence. Could we be in the realms of metaphor? Is this a confessional about travelling from musical genre to musical genre and never finding a sense of belonging…until now! Either way, it’s a proper dancefloor heater. Flip it over though and damn if the B-side doesn’t challenge it for best cut. That’ll be Beautiful Lies which joins the dots between lates sixties funk, soul and Latin grooves as a tale of a manipulative lover and an innocent girl unfolds. If you’re not hip to the sound of the new queen of retro-soul, it’s time you pulled your finger out.
(Out now on Skyline Recordings)

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