After dropping out of school to, oh, y’know, no big deal, have a brief tenure as a member of The Slits and collaborations with a number of UK artists like Ian Brown, UK music sensation Hollie Cook is now doing her own thing. Although the blood of punk royalty flows through her veins, she’s making “Tropical Pop.” And although it’s been made long after the dawn of the iPhone, her sound is pure old school 70’s dub & reggae.
Although her music has a pleasant pop air and periodically bubbles with modern production flourishes, for the most part it sounds as if it had been locked in time capsule back before the days of digital Dancehall and MTV reggae artists.
Not as rugged and raw (or obviously masculine,) the touchstones here are productions by classic dub heavyweights like King Tubby or Lee “Scratch” Perry. Bubbly Hammond organs, reverb and echo settings, and skanky riddims are all right on point. Not just nostalgic for nostalgia’s sake, the charm of Cook’s sound is in it’s balance of an exquisitely analog musical quality which allows her crisply recorded voice to sit right on top of the music like the tasty foam on a Root Beer Float. In a clutch move, Cook’s hooked up with a similarly 70s riddim-obsessed producer whose very name recalls the classic era of the genre, Prince Fatty and together they’ve released her debut on Mr. Bongo records.
It’s sweet and they know so, so her first single is called, “Milk & Honey.”