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Hot New Talent Alert: Ivy Levan Premieres 'Hot Damn' Video, Releases Debut EP

Ivy Cream Video

It's not easy to put a label on Ivy Levan's unique style of music. And that's a good thing. Levan is not the kind of dame who can be cornered, boxed in and shelved next to other hotly-tipped pop things du jour. Her timeless sound, performance and artistic point of view warrants a different approach. When quizzed, Levan prefers to describe her music to new listeners as "swamp hop," which is a fitting reference to her Southern roots, and yes, a darn good way to sum up her stomping brand of retro-styled and cheeky soul-pop.

Music insiders have been buzzing about Ivy Levan for months and this week the rest of the world will find out what this deliciously fierce creature is all about. Today, the fine purveyors of pop at Cherrytree Records release her highly-anticipated debut EP, aptly titled "Introducing The Dame," that unveils Levan's refreshing new sound.

Made in collaboration with her writing partners in the L.A.-based Blood Money Inc., "Introducing The Dame" was inspired by a range of different musical influences and inspirations. "When I was a kid, I adored Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson," Levan explains in a press release. "And then in my preteen and teen years I got into a lot of darker stuff, like black metal and Portishead and Siouxsie & The Banshees."

Levan points to Stevie Nicks as an artist who deeply inspired her as a songwriter and encouraged her to channel raw emotion into her music. "I just try to write honestly about what’s going on in my life,” she says. "When I started writing as a kid, my songs were about boys and heartache and sadness. Now they’re more likely to be about killing boys, but it just depends on whatever I’m feeling at any given moment." (Killing them softly, of course.)

Her raw, uncompromising lyricism shines through loud and clear on "Introducing The Dame."  Whether it's delivering an ode to the almighty dollar ("Money"), a harmony-kissed hangover anthem ("Don’t Wanna Wake Up"), a heart-on-sleeve serenade ("Hang Forever") or a growling come-on that name-drops the Son of Sam on the single Hot Damn," the EP perfectly demonstrates Levan's brilliant roughneck wit as a pop lyricist.

"Introducing The Dame" is by no means a flash in the pan effort. In fact, the EP is the culmination of years of Levan's hard work and perseverance in an industry that initially tried to change her tune. When she was 16-years-old, Ivy Levan moved from to Los Angeles to pursue a career in music. After a few false starts, Levan finally landed on a sound and purpose that turned her into the rapidly-rising star she is now. "I was always fighting who I really am," she explains. "But now I'm embracing it and being 100 percent me. This is the music I was born to sing." (Click here to listen to Ivy Levan "Introducing The Dame.")

June 4, 2013 | Permalink