Sometimes a breakthrough musician makes it especially easy for listeners to remember her. Duffy, the 23-year-old Welsh pop singer, already has a stage name that evokes her sonic inspiration, the late British soul queen Dusty Springfield. But it’s not just their names that sound similar: When Duffy sings, you’d swear she was directly channeling the husky tones of the “Look of Love” and “Son of a Preacher Man” siren.
On her debut album, Rockferry, Duffy’s aspirations to Dustyesque greatness are furthered by ambitious orchestrations modeled after Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound production style. But no amount of instrumentation could crowd out the sound of Duffy’s remarkable voice, as intimate and authentic as the tears she cries in her video for “Warwick Avenue.” Though there may be a glut of great new songstresses, if Duffy can just behave herself in public, the soul-queen crown is hers to lose.
This post is from Observer Short List—an email of three favorite things from people you want to know. Sign up to receive OSL here.