Earlier this week when we heard nineteen year-old Mabel McVey's track, My Boy My Town, we were transported back to the year 2003 and more precisely to the first time we heard Sugababes' 'Too Lost in You' and to scribbling notes in double maths about what Chris said to us on MSN last night- basically to school, the leisure centre, to being sat in the back of our parents' cars, to siting in the chippie, to when girl bands were everything and pop music was brilliant… and to ever crush we've ever had.
You see, that's just what Mabel's slinky voice will do to a girl. Her music is an ode to all your favourite late nineties, early noughties front women: to Lauryn Hill and the whispering Alliyah, via Lumidee and Neneh Cherry- which makes sense, because, that's her mother.
Ok, so let's get this bit out of the way sharpish because it's already becoming cliched to talk about Mabel within the framework of her family. Mabel is Neneh Cherry and Massive Attack producer Cameron McVey’s daughter. She's also sister to BabyFace honey, the brilliant Tyson McVey, whom she cites as the person she most admires. What her upbringing did mean, was that Mabel was surrounded by music from a very young age and recalls a lot of time spent in the studio and the sound of deep base sending her to sleep still.
Nope she's not where she currently is because of any firmly pulled strings (she considered being a doctor just to buck the trend). In fact she's only been in London for a year, and didn't even fess up to having any interest in going into the family business until the grown age of sixteen. Before moving to London, Mabel had lived for ten years in Sweden where she went to music school and studied singing/songwriting and learnt everything from singing, performance and production.
One listen of her music confirms an adult and tender grasp on the arc of the romantic relationship that will speak to anyone who's ever been in love. Her silky voice and we-want-your-whole-wardrobe style has already garnered her an army of fan-girls (us included) and low-key boy ones too. The super sleek monochrome video for My Boy My Town drops next week and it's her first official foray into fully fledged songstress life. In the meantime we'll be performing acapella renditions of My Boy My Town on the 149, if anyone's interested.