Bloc Party. This English indie band re-emerged in 2015 with a new rhythm section supporting vocalist Kele Okereke. The release of a pair of singles from a forthcoming album suggests that their creative engine is just fine.
|Bloc Party, left to right: Justin Harris, Louise Bartle, Kele Okereke & Russell Lissack|
MIKA. I often think of this Lebanese-born British singer as the pop offspring of Elton John and Freddie Mercury -- he's got a hearty theatrical inclination, a knack for writing freewheeling pop, and an impressive vocal range. In 2015, MIKA released his fourth album, No Place in Heaven, a satisfying marriage of mature themes with playful pop.
|MIKA (born Michael Holbrook Penniman, Jr.)|
Vanessa Carlton. In 2002, at the age of 21, Vanessa Carlton released "A Thousand Miles" to widespread worldwide success. It's catchy and charming and bursting with youthful exuberance. People expecting more of the same on subsequent albums were surely surprised to find that Carlton's songwriting took a more confessional tone with personal introspection way beyond the sweetly yearning lyrics of that big hit single. In 2010, Carlton came out as bisexual while performing at the Nashville Pride festival.
Volume one in this series is here.