[dropcap]P[/dropcap]aloma Faith’s style evolution from Reebok Classics to fashion icon, and her exciting comeback lined up for the summer.
Aside from securing her place as a fashion icon and her venture into acting alongside Jude Law and Lily Cole in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, Paloma Faith has become one of the ultimate on-stage performers. Watching her on tour in 2010, she sang lines such as “Can you love me right, me and my cellulite?”, entertaining the audience between songs with her wicked sense of humour, her petite hourglass frame in an array of theatrical 1940’s inspired outfits. She returns to the stage this summer and wrote Fall To Grace with live performances in mind, including the closing night of the celebrated ‘Summer Series’ at London’s Somerset House this July.
Her fashion and music style have developed alongside each other; Paloma told The Guardian; “I grew up in London, and as a teenager I changed my look every four months. I was a hippy, then I started wearing Reebok Classics. Then came the hip-hop and ragga, a gold nose ring, and my hair done in little curls plastered to the side of my face. I got my souly voice when I was into UK garage, wearing Patrick Cox loafers and lots and lots of Morgan de Toi. I got heavily into Nubian culture, and wore beads and African-print headwraps. Then vintage, with Manish Arora and Zara thrown in. My wardrobe is full of costumes. I find it hard not to dress for show, but at home I’ll be in 40s men’s trousers and braces. The coal-miner look.”
Paloma brings us the next installation of her retro-reflected soul pop, with emotionally stripped-bare new album ‘Fall To Grace’. Featuring strings and gospel-choir backed single ‘Picking Up The Pieces’ (see video below), alongside the disco throb of ‘Blood, Sweat and Tears’ and the giddy dance pulse of ‘Agony’. On the twinkling pop of ’30 Minute Love Affair’, she recounts a true experience, a fleeting meeting with a busker in London’s Leicester Square when she was fourteen. “I asked him if he’d be there the next day and he said he would. When I went back he was gone and I’ve never forgotten it.” The album was created in 2011 with producers Nellee Hooper (Bjork) and Jake Gosling (Ed Sheeran) whilst Paloma was also hanging out with none other than Prince, who picked her to perform at the NPG Music and Arts Festival in Copenhagen last summer. “I wasn’t just supporting him, he was teaching me,” says Paloma. “He made me watch all the other acts and gave me little lessons. I was completely bowled over. It began as, let’s do a gig, and it turned into spending the weekend with Prince. That was a real turning point for me. I was in the middle of writing the new record and when I left for the festival I felt I’d got to the top of a certain ladder, but when I went home I felt like I was on the bottom of a new ladder. It was scary because I’m at the bottom of something, but I felt that with his encouragement, I could go out there and achieve something.”
Paloma’s next gig is at Ipswich Regent Theatre, tickets from Live Nation. ‘Fall To Grace’ is released May 28, preceded by the single ‘Picking Up The Pieces’ on May 20.