The soul of 50s swing is alive

New single from Emma Cole takes 50s obsession to new, fantastic levels.


When Metronomy really made a dent in mainstream radio in 2014, a big contributing factor was the 50s vibe of Love Letters. Likewise, when Robin Thicke began to rein in his big band, 50s-tinged stylings it resulted in controversy, legal disputes, marital breakdown and Blurred Lines.

The moral of the story is simple: the 50s sound is better for everyone.

This is good news for Emma Cole, who has just dropped the purest slice of 50s-inspired swing-soul pop of the 21st century. The single, entitled He Will, is so heavily influenced by the swing-esque pop of the 1950s that the only indication it wasn’t recorded during that period is the high production value. However, while the backing singers and horn sections are very retro, the lyrical content itself is pure contemporary empowerment.

Set against the social backdrop of the 1950s, its unlikely you would hear pop vocalists delivering such a cutting critique of male promiscuity or female empowerment. Yet Cole brings attitude, confidence, self-sufficiency and mild profanity to the track in a touch of unintended social commentary – highlighting just how much the accepted roles and power of women in society has changed in the past 70 years.

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