If you like Britti, you’ll also enjoy: “Diana in ‘71, Dolly in ‘78, Sade in ‘86, Erykah in ‘97″... Cooler than an algorithm, it’s Dan Auerbach himself who delivers the listening recommendations. A man of taste, Black Keys chief Dan Auerbach produced “Hello I’m Britti,” the debut album from American darling Britti.
But who is Britti, about whom not much is known at present? A young singer from Louisiana, born Brittany Guerin, she was brought up on music by her mother and grandmother, with a renowned bassist uncle (Roland Guerin, accompanist to the likes of Marcus Roberts, Allen Toussaint, and Dr. John), who worked in a record shop dreaming of one day hitting the shelves.
And we don’t know much more than that. Apart from the fact that, for the past few years, she’s been recording little snippets of songs at home on her phone, which she broadcasts on the Internet - a few dozen seconds and a handful of views each time. Short and sweet snippets? Perhaps. But like a peppercorn, these miniatures are filled with a sour nectar, like a syrup with a taste of tears. Dan Auerbach saw one of Britti’s enchanting videos and instantly fell for it.
Dan Auerbach produced Britti’s debut album. Comparison is not the reason, but the references cited above are useful and well-thought-out for introducing and discovering this new artist. We could also add Macy Gray, Tracy Chapman, or Valerie June. With velvety tremolos and a lilt in her voice, Britti is part of a long line of Southern soul singers, a little country, no frills, retro but not too retro. The album, titled Hello, I’m Britti, is perhaps a nod to Hello, I’m Dolly, Dolly Parton’s debut album released in 1967. Or perhaps just a simple, honest way of introducing herself for the first time. In her little homemade videos, Britti often sang with her eyes closed, for herself, to make herself feel better - and you only had to look at her face to realize that it worked. Even with a band, resources, and professional recording, she retained that touching intimacy, that girl-next-door candour.
A summit of sensual soul and country lilt, caressed by a warm southern breeze, Hello, I’m Britti is definitely the album to fall in love with this month.