Sitting upright in the furthest corner of the Bench on Marietta Blvd., Brittany Bosco posed a striking figure amid the rambunctious crowd in attendance at the indoor/outdoor Atlanta Indie Festival nearly two years ago. I'd arrived too late to catch her set, but was intrigued nonetheless. One of the few female acts on the local hip-hop-heavy bill that night, she was new to town a Savannah native attending SCAD in Atlanta while laying the groundwork for her career launch. When I finally caught wind of her EP Spectrum, it simmered with the same jazzy electricity she'd radiated that night at the Bench.
So imagine my surprise the first time I actually caught her live onstage. She was loud and raucous and crunk and everything I hadn't expected after being introduced to her smoldering, bluesy vocal tone on such EP tracks as "Black and White." The difference between her recorded sound and her live energy was like night and day. Like a lot of young artists, Brittany Bosco was still in the midst of discovering her true, artistic self.
But with the release of a new song this week, she sounds all the way found.
"Ragdoll" is a two-minute and 55-second tease-of-a-single from her upcoming debut LP Black. On the song, she trades in Spectrum's electro-soul glow for something more naked, raw and retro-rock. It kicks off with a lo-fi, bluesy guitar riff a la Muddy Waters or Bo Diddley, and when she starts to sing ("I'm gonna find me...a little country boy") you can practically hear the phlegm screaming from the back of her throat.
Not only has she replaced her smoother delivery with a full-throated sound, she's dropped the first name, too. Usually when artists decide to rename themselves midstream it reeks with about as much pretension as New Coke; another glossy media makeover that has little to do with artistic evolution and everything to do with revamping the brand for targeted commercial appeal. But with Brittany BOSCO, the move seems fitting a symbol of her new, stripped-down studio sound.
After spending a big chunk of last year on the road including a tour of Europe BOSCO has returned home with a seasoned sense of self. Her Saturday show offers Atlanta fans the first chance to see her perform a full set in months, as well as a sneak peek inside her scheduled summer full-length. It should be a romp.
BOSCO w/the 54. $8 - $10. 10 p.m. 529, 529 Flat Shoals Ave. 404-228-6769. www.529atl.com.
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