"...ultra-cool, martini-sipping, diamond-wearing swing pop. Think Playboy Club in Vegas in 1962"
- The Ripple Effect
If you're looking for a reason to rock... keep looking, pal.
This is cool, classy pop music with just a touch of jazz. The kind of music you hear when you stop in at the lounge on the corner with the guys from work. You're standing at the bar when you hear a gentle voice, as smooth as the fine cognac in your glass, coming from the back room. A dirty-blonde beehive peeks out from behind the piano. You come closer and take a look at the creature whose hands are caressing the ivories; she's dressed in sparkling attire worthy of Christina Hendricks and crooning songs that sound directly lifted from the swinging 60's. Suddenly, you can't stop staring at the drop-dead gorgeous girl with her lips pressed against the microphone. Best to pick up your drink, loosen up your tie, and stop the conversation for a while. If you want to really hear Normandie's soft, smoky alto voice and witty lyrics, you'll have to listen closely.
She's frequently compared to modern-day sirens (Inara George, of Bird and the Bee) and vintage classics (Burt Bacharach, Dionne Warwick). Normandie got her start as an accompanist for a choir, quickly learning jazz standards/show tunes and adding her own flourishes. "I always had a hard time singing loud, and that used to be a big problem for me. It wasn't until I heard singers like Dionne Warwick, Karen Carpenter, and Astrud Gilberto that I became comfortable with my own voice," says Normandie.
Normandie's sound will fall sweetly on the ears of fans of classic 60's pop, lounge, bossa nova, and modern piano whisperers like Regina Spektor. Since 2006, she has played piano/marimba with San Diego-based indie-mariachi band Red Pony Clock. She cites the perfect pop music by Brian Wilson and Burt Bacharach as her primary influences, as well as songwriters like Antonio Carlos Jobim, Cole Porter, Carole King, Lieber & Stoller, and Holland/Dozier/Holland as influences, along with many unnamed instrumental pop records taken from the 10-cent bin at the thrift store. "I spent almost every day with my grandparents growing up," she says. "I think the only person I've met who has my taste in music is my 84-year old grandma."
So grab a martini, a Mai Tai, or a Gimlet. Kick off your shoes and put the needle on the record. Relax and luxuriate in the luscious, groovy pop sounds of Miss Normandie Wilson. Sing along if you like, or dance the night away with the date of your choice. One request: keep it classy.