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Naima Bock

A singer/songwriter who defies easy classification, Naima Bock writes songs influenced by folk and Brazilian music, but most of all by the communal nature of music itself. A former member of the South London band Goat Girl, Bock was already an expert at blending genres into something fresh, but the buoyant mix of jazz, electronic, acoustic, and classical influences on 2022's lush yet confiding debut album Giant Palm still marked new territory for her. Bock was born in Glastonbury to a Greek mother and Brazilian father. As a young child, she lived in Sao Paolo, Brazil and listened to artists such as Chico Buarque, Baden Powell, and Geraldo Vandre. When she was seven, her family moved back to England, settling in South London. Thanks to her stepfather, she fell in love with the folk of the 1930s, '40s, and '50s as collected by Alan Lomax. By the time she was a teenager, she was a part of the local music scene. She attended shows at venues including the Windmill Brixton, and when she was 15, she formed the band Goat Girl with her friends Lottie Pendlebury, Ellie Rose Davies, and Rosy Jones. Goat Girl's snarling mix of punk, country, and goth earned a strong following as well as critical acclaim, but not long after the release of the band's self-titled debut album in 2018, Bock amicably departed in search of new horizons. These included studying archaeology at University College London and working as a gardener, but her passion for music never wavered. Along with joining the South London folk collective Broadside Hacks, Bock continued to write songs -- teaching herself how to play guitar and violin along the way -- and perform the occasional solo show. She shared some of the music she'd written with her coworker Josh Cohen, who also runs the label Memorials of Distinction; he introduced her to producer/arranger Joel Burton, a former member of the band Viewfinder who had left indie behind in favor of classical and experimental improv music. Though Bock and Burton began refining her songs just before the COVID-19 global pandemic hit in early 2020, they were able to continue their work with the help of Speedy Wunderground's Dan Carey, who let them record in his studio free of charge, and with contributions from their friends in the music scene, who were unable to perform live (some of the songs they recorded featured more than 30 musicians). Though Bock completed her debut album in late 2020, it wasn't until a year later that Sub Pop released her debut single "30 Degrees." In December 2021, Bock issued a cover of the Brazilian classic "Berimbau." Her love of Brazilian music, as well as folk, informed Giant Palm, which appeared on Sub Pop in July 2022.
© Heather Phares /TiVo


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