New EP ‘D2’ – Out April 2018
The patron saint of the British underground Notion
Saint Clair is starting to sound like the next big indie-pop act to come out of England Pigeons & Planes
Brings her slightly jazz-inflected, powerful vocals to combine with pulsating percussion and arpeggiated synths that ramp up the intensity DIY
Full of scintillating grooves and electronica-infused soul sounds, it’s an exciting glimpse into what the upcoming EP will have in store Wonderland
Both sultry and slow-burning Consequence of Sound
Four minutes of yearning, sinuous small-hours soul that showcases her extraordinary voice Sunday Times Culture
Saint Clair has aired ‘I’m Still Standing’, the latest track to emerge from her forthcoming ‘D2’ EP (due April 2018 via her own Dearly Beloved imprint), following singles ‘Human Touch’ and ‘Amnesiac’ (produced by Terrible Records signing Rahm). Listen here.
Self-producing and arranging for the very first time, Saint Clair takes Elton John’s fist-pumping, 80s smash and deftly spools it out into 4 minutes of quietly defiant, perfectly observed electronic soul. Speaking about her reimagining of the track, which pushes sparse guitar bursts and her resonant vocals to the fore, Saint Clair says; “I was touring in Australia last summer, and after exhausting almost every film on the long-haul flight home, stumbled across the Disney film ’Sing’. The gorilla performs a rip-roaring version of ‘I’m Still Standing’ which reminded me how much of a banger it was. So I got my laptop out and started playing around with how to approach it differently and ended up making it into a proper cover.”
Saint Clair – named after her mother’s Scottish ancestry – is the recording alias of French-speaking North Londoner, Emma Topolski. Having grown up surrounded by painters, actors, and journalists, Saint Clair became the first in her family to turn to music, pursuing a career trajectory that’s so far taken her on the road as a backing vocalist for long-time friend Laura Marling (in whose Reversal Of The Muse project she also participated, alongside HAIM, Dolly Parton and Marika Hackman), and seen her play keyboards and sing BVs for Ghostpoet. She has also supported Bastille on their most recent arena tour, as singer and bassist in emerging, Radio 1-supported rockers Childcare (recently appearing live in session for Huw Stephens).
Long before all this, Saint Clair began her musical life as a gigging jazz singer, as she puts it, “playing three or four times a week, getting ignored in the corner of a five-star hotel”. The experience now repays itself in Saint Clair’s easy integration of a love for old standards, soul (Stevie Wonder) and classic rock (The Beatles) with her affinity for the electronica-rooted modern soul of artists like Son Lux and James Blake. “I feel like at the heart of it, I’m a straightforward singer-songwriter” she explains. “The honesty of the lyrics found in jazz and delivered with such feeling by voices like Sarah Vaughn or Chet Baker taught me how to tell a story.” But with such an array of influences, typified by her extensive record collection (containing everything from Fleetwood Mac and Outkast to Thrice and Anderson .Paak), Saint Clair shows a strong tilt towards the more experimental underworlds of pop.
D2 EP Track Listing
2. Human Touch
3. I’ll Stay
4. I’m Still Standing
5. Human Touch (Seemore Beats Remix)