Francesca Belmonte | Stole
Martina Topley-Bird. Neneh Cherry. Bjork. Alanis Morissette. Alison Goldfrapp. Alison Moyet. PJ Harvey. Fifi Rong. Francesca Belmonte (aka Franky Riley). Those are just a few of the female artists I could think of that have worked with Tricky over the years. Not only is he a wonderful musician in his own right, but clearly he’s got a great ear for musical talent too. Women seem to work well within Tricky’s style. On the one hand, their vocals lend a softness that runs counter to his gruff spoken-word poetics. They’re the melody to Tricky’s brooding discord. But female vocals often blend into Tricky’s dark grooves too, accentuating the sensual, mysterious, and smokey edge of his songs. Lately, his partner in music making is Irish-Italian singer-songwriting beauty Belmonte (who appears on songs on “Mixed Race” and 2013’s “False Idols” — including the stunner “Does It”). She seems to be prepping listeners to expect solo music in the future. She’s started by posting three tracks on soundcloud under the header “An Introduction”, which you can download for free. She begins with a song called “Hiding in the Rushes” and ends with a unique cover of Bob Dylan’s “It Ain’t Me Babe”. But my favorite is the track sandwiched between, “Stole”. The beat is wonderfully sexy, the vocal humming is like a black spiritual, and there’s power behind its incantation. It’s about time we had a song about a woman who leaves the man in her wake: “Won’t be imprisoned by judgments and wisdom / Come to my lap and be a man / I’m off the breast and I’m learning to hunt.” Amen. Note: Lyrics are unofficial. Follow Belmonte at facebook and twitter. — David D. Robbins Jr.