Beth Jeans Houghton & The Hooves Of Destiny – Dodecahedron
In a post-Madonna, Gaga-saturated pop cultural landscape, a personality like Beth Jeans Houghton is bound to be forced into the mold of subversive, sexually empowered, feminized to a point of masculinization, starlet. But, if you try to paint BJH as just another incarnation of something familiar, you’re going to end up with a square-peg-round-hole situation on your hands. This twenty-one year old pop-folkist brings big personality to a genre that is usually defined by subtlety. She’s an extravert in a introvert’s arena–an artist, who at a staggeringly young age, seems to shun convention with an attitude that evokes a sense of maturity rather than rebellious youth. On the surface, “Dodecahedron” is going to remind a lot of listeners of Florence and the Machine, but the experimental vocal harmonies, combined with Houghton’s disarming confidence, make this track more than a manifestation of the success of artists like Florence Welch. In fact, you get the feeling that Houghton exists in a world of her own, unfazed by, or simply apathetic to, current or past generic models. It’s not that she’s sonically doing things that have not been done before–it’s that her music makes you feel that she may have happened upon these folk devices all on her own.