8. AL SPX aka COLD SPECKS
Al Spx known also as Cold Specks but never by her real name (she was hiding her career from her parents for a while) is from Somalia and Canada but is based in the UK. Her sound is as hard to pin down as as her biography but she cites the Lomax Field recordings as musical inspiration, and though critics have compared her to Mahalia Jackson, her voice calls to mind Martha Wainwright‘s reedy raspyness. Her album, I Predict a Perfect Expulsion is full of half-told tales of uprootedness: nameless characters ‘pick up in the middle of the night’ and attempt to manoeuvre confused terrain, ‘every map is blank’. The arrangements leave a little to be desired, but Al Spx has really come into her voice and style. In the video for ‘Hector’ she’s a pregnant bride dragging the beheaded corpse of her husband around the English countryside. Keep an eye on this subtle, off-beat storyteller.