In the Knowles family, Beyoncé grabs all the headlines. And why not? She's an international superstar who was ubiquitous before she could vote, is responsible for some of the decade's most memorable songs, is married to Jay-Z and has an acting and performance resumé to back up her singing chops. (She'll also be entertaining the country on Thanksgiving this year.)
But sister Solange has a knack for grabbing attention as well — but usually with an entirely different crowd. Though the 23-year-old singer has put out two albums that stick mostly with pop, dance music and old school R&B, she appears to be courting the indie rock audience. At the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, she dropped in on the Wale-lead house band to sing lead on a cover of Kings of Leon's "Use Somebody," and now she has gone even deeper into the well. Yesterday, she premiered a cover of "Stillness is the Move," a song by Brooklyn art-rockers the Dirty Projectors. She takes the original's trippy groove, lays in a sample of Sou Mann & the Brothers' "Bumpy's Lament" and throws her own smooth croon over it. The result is somehow simultaneously a futuristic exploration and a supercool throwback, full of smokey sexiness and after-hours pomp.
It's not surprising. Solange's woefully underrated and elaborately-named 2008 album Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams was an incredible blend of classic funk, Motown-inspired arrangements and present day cyber-grooves. If that blend doesn't work out for her, she certainly has a future remaking songs by critical indie darlings. Maybe she should take on something by Vampire Weekend next?