ROCKFERRY DEBUT ALBUM IN-STORE IN UK SHIPPING OVER PLATINUM IN 1ST WEEK! U.S. RELEASE SET FOR MAY 13th ON NEW MERCURY RECORDS LABEL!
Young Welsh singer Duffy, whose debut album ROCKFERRY arrived in stores today in the UK only (already platinum), has captivated the nation with her current single “Mercy” now in its third week at #1 in the UK national chart. Amazingly, this was based on download sales only (which rose 33% in week two) as the physical single wasn’t issued there until last week. The song is also #1 on the airplay chart for the fourth week running and #1 on both Radio 1 and Radio 2 netting the biggest weekly audience of any record in the UK so far this year with spins with an audience of 77 million.
“The year’s brightest new talent,” raves Q magazine in England, “the pocket-sized Welsh girl with the voice of a ’60s soul diva.” Los Angeles-based media pundit and tastemaker Bob Lefsetz (The Lefsetz Letter) also caught on early: “[“Mercy”] is something completely different,” he posted online last month. “It sounds like it was cut in America in the midsixties, before the country had become completely infatuated with the U.K., before FM took over from AM. It sounds like a 45 you spun in the basement with the lights low as you inched your spiked shoes and sweater-encased chest up to the opposite sex, copping a cheap feel.”
ROCKFERRY was recorded in England with ex-Suede guitarist turned record producer Bernard Butler, Jimmy Hogarth and Steve Booker. Excerpts of “Mercy” and two other songs, “Rockferry” (the first UK single) and “Warwick Avenue,” are sampled on http://www.myspace.com/duffymyspace.
Guileless and beguiling at the same time, and blessed with effortless Motown and Stax chops, 23-year old Duffy’s homegrown style has taken her homeland by storm. From out of nowhere, she was tipped for success by 150 of the UK’s most knowledgeable and influential music critics and broadcasters, landing the number 2 spot in the BBC’s Top 10 Sound of 2008 poll. Journalists have unanimously compared her to the greatest British female pop singer who ever lived – as The Standard proclaimed, “Her once-heard-never-forgotten voice incorporates the aristocratic pain of Dusty Springfield.” Tastemakers on this side of the pond second that emotion – the Los Angeles Times calls Duffy “[the] female Otis Redding”; while SPIN magazine included her in its “One to Watch” issue (February).
From out of nowhere, Duffy has blown away London’s hype-driven music machinery like a gust of fresh air. She was born and raised in the tiny Welsh village of Nefyn (population 2,550 at last census) a place too remote to be driven by style wars or opposing music factions; the nearest record store was a bus ride away and only stocked the Top 40. Isolated, her musical muse was immaculately conceived and soulfully nurtured. Opting out of college, she worked as a waitress, sang in a bar, and cobbled out some demo recordings, some of which found their way to Jeanette Lee, noted founder and partner of the Rough Trade record label and manage-ment company. She recognized Duffy’s huge potential, encouraged her to write her own material, put her in the studio with like-minded co-writers/producers, and signed her to A&M/Polydor UK.