With a remarkably fresh but mature delivery Florence’s enormous voice swoops and soars through an impressive vocal range taking inspiration and style from legendary vocalists such as Aretha Franklin, Eva Cassidy and Martha Reeves. On completing her A level exams Florence signed to Dramatico (Katie Melua, Marianne Faithfull, Carla Bruni, Gurrumul) and put those years of musical apprenticeship to good use recording, with Mike Batt, her debut album ‘A Fool In Love’. An impressive debut of authentic soul, raw grooves and rhythm & blues the album was described by Music Week as “a blend that could elevate her to the similar heady heights Melua enjoys. Classy stuff.” The cool, after-dark Motown feel of Florence Rawlings’ first single ‘Hard To Get’ serves as a perfect introduction to this charismatic singer and her debut album of gritty arrangements, soulful melodies and vibrant brass work complemented by gospel vocals and addictive rhythms that culminate in a blend of raw soul that has been off the airwaves for far too long. As well as singing a collection of powerful original songs penned by Mike Batt himself - including the gorgeous and moving ‘Love Can Be A Battlefield’, the cool, after-dark Motown feel of ‘Hard To Get’ and the debut single - Florence has discovered gems from days gone by and transformed them with her own charismatic soul style. No Gladys Knight fan would deny that Florence makes the song ‘Take Me In Your Arms And Love Me’ completely her own. Meanwhile Allen Toussaint’s long forgotten ‘Riverboat’ has been rescued from obscurity and reinvented with vigorous production, uplifting horns and sleek dark overtones that give the song a lavish, ominous edge.
Florence even performs a version of Chuck Berry’s ‘You Can’t Catch Me’ - following in the potentially daunting footsteps of The Rolling Stones and John Lennon she manages to make the song her own just as convincingly as rock and roll’s elite. Equally at home in the studio or in concert, the 20 year-old Londoner is a natural performer – as was evident when she took to the stage at this year’s Isle of Wight Festival and stunned the crowds when she performed her songs for the first time. Afterwards the festival’s promoter John Giddings declared “Florence Rawlings rocked the Big Top - a certain star of the future” and other festival promoters have been extraordinarily quick off the mark in booking the 20 year old South Londoner, before a note of music has even been released, for some key spots including the main stage at Guilfest and Tuborg Stage at O2 Wireless in Hyde Park. Little Richard’s description of his own sound sums up Florence’s electrifying style perfectly, “Rock n’ rollin’, rhythm & blues soulin’”. Florence Rawlings is set to be a modern soul star. In the words of the song - “jump on the wagon and join the dance.” Read more on Last.fm.
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