From what sounds like the crackle of a vinyl player emerges the soulful yet snappy piano chords that set the tone for Girl Called Johnny’s debut single ‘Heaven Knows’. This song acts as an appropriate medium for Karen Anne (who previously fronted the minimally successful punk outfit ‘Ramona’) to divulge the listener in her tragic relationship woes. It’s a subject that has been covered time and time again by artists and whilst she croons about being ‘unable to live without you’, it is done in a way that is a homage to 90s radio pop.
Laced with multiple ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’, a plodding bass line and some well arranged guitar hooks, it’s both an upbeat and a foot-tapping take on a relatively melancholy topic. Karen Anne’s vocals float pleasantly over all of this and although a subtle Londoner’s accent can be heard throughout the track, it never becomes too overwhelming. Fortunately this means that she avoids falling in to an ‘annoying Kate Nash-esque’ shaped hole. However, whilst this track is something I welcome with open arms on to the current pop scene, I can’t help but feel that it holds the essence of a karaoke classic rather than a pioneering record worth getting excited about. I dunno, perhaps it’s just a little too ‘Gossip Girl’ friendly for me.
Words: George Hemmati