TVocalizers: CD Review — There Will Come A Day by KOKUMO

| Nov 4, 2013
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KOKUMO has just released her first EP entitled There Will Come A Day. In last month’s interview, KOKUMO said while in college she studied voice and music theory. That type of formal training is highly evident in her approach to each of the projects’s four songs.

The EP begins with the a capella The Circle. The vocal presentation is more mid-range, with excellent control. She uses the old gospel hymn, Will The Circle Be Unbroken as a sort of pad for the overall song concept. Very interesting, and very confident, to place an a capella performance as the first track on a new project.

There Will Come A Day’s one cover tune is Mad World, the 1983 Tears For Fear hit, written by Gary Jules. KOKUMO’s version is slightly slower than the original, and is accompanied on piano by D.M. Stoermer. She uses this particular song as a very expressive, emotional moment. It’s an excellent choice for a cover, delivered with very tight vocal control.

Currents, the next tunes, is also accompanied by Stoermer. His playing gives the beginning a somewhat post-modern classical feel. KOKUMO settles into the song with a sort of skat/humming vocalization technique rather than actual singing. This creates a flowing sensation for the listener, which makes the title Currents appropriate. It’s a neat concept, although in order to fully accomplish the flowing currents feeling, perhaps more instrumentation than just piano could have been used. Nonetheless, she took a chance and it does work.

originalThe project’s title cut, There Will Come A Day, closes out the EP it’s the longest tune on the project at 6:28, and is very reminiscent of what you would hear in a very small but upscale piano bar. Lyrically, the song is about struggling with the fear of coming out to someone who you’re dating. In a way, though, it’s sort of a song of hope.

KOKUMO’s vocal training is evident throughout the project. However, she’s taken that training and wrapped it around her natural talent. She sometimes gets close to that place of wanting to “over sing,” but manages to pull back. That’s her balance of talent and training.

All in all, KOKUMO’s debut EP There Will Come A Day is a very pleasant listening experience. She takes some musical chances with some of the material, such as opening with a vocal only presentation, but in this case it works. Sometimes with music, as in life, taking chances is the only way to get where you want to go.

She currently has plans for a full-length project, although no real date has been mentioned regarding the project. It’s going to be interesting to hear what she does with more music and hopefully a decent recording budget. She’s an artist worth watching.

For more information, please check out her website. She’s also on Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and YouTube.)


Coco Peru

Coco Peru

Coco Peru

Coco will be doing shows at The Palm Cabaret and Bar in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, February 1st through the 13th.

Also, for one weekend by the end of February, Coco will be bring her show She’s Got Balls back to Hollywood. More information on this to come later, so please check out her website.

Georgie Jessup

Georgie Jessup will be hosting an open mic night on November 9th at Edith May’s Paradise (7711 Apple Ave., Jeppus, MD), featuring Jacob Panic. Other dates include Friday, November 15th, featuring Dirk Hamilton, and the Native American Month Celebration on November 23rd with Terry Strongheart, David Rose, and of course Georgie Jessup. (For more information visit Georgie’s website and follow Edith May’s Paradise on Facebook.)

Jennifer Leitham

Jennifer Leitham

Jennifer Leitham

By the time this is posted, Jennifer Leitham will have been awarded the 2014 Community Leader Angel Award, benefitting Children’s Hospital Los Angeles Division of Adolescent Medicine Center for Trans Youth Health and Development. She received the award at the 2013 Angels of Change event, held at Arena Nightclub, Los Angeles, on November 2nd. (For more information on Angels of Change, or to make a much needed donation, please contact Bamby Salcedo, 5000 Sunset Blvd., 4th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90027, 323-361-5983, or email. They’re also on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.)

More upcoming dates for Jennifer Leitham include Wednesday, November 13th, Upstairs at Vitello’s Jazz and Supper Club, 4349 Tujunga Ave., Studio City, CA (818-769-0905); and Sunday, November 17th at Vibrato, 2930 Beverly Glen Circle, Los Angeles, CA 213-225-7586). This is a benefit jazz jam for the L.A. School of the Arts. Email. Please check out Jennifer’s website and find her on Facebook.

Beth Isbell

Beth Isbell has recently posted several new videos on YouTube. Among these is a liver performance video from the Oklahoma State Fair, with beth and Holly Wood. Also, our next Perpetual Change column will feature a review of Beth’s new CD We Are The Gods.

CDcover-final2House Blend

As previously mentioned last month, House Blend is a newly released CD compilation fund raiser for the building fund of the Houston Transgender Center and Archives. Produced by J. D. Doyle, it features the music of 21 LGBT (but mostly transgender) artists. Acts such as The Shondes, Lipstick Conspiracy, Schmekel, The Kinsey Sicks, Namoli Brennet, and Rev. Yolanda, each of which have been featured in either our Transvocalizers column or the Perpetual Change column, over the years. There are also several contributions by well know gay and lesbian musicians.

A full review, as well as an interview with producer J.D. Doyle, will be posted soon. Until then, the CD is selling for $10, with all the profits going directly to the building fund. To purchase CDs, or for more information, please visit their website.


This_Is..._Icona_PopThis Is by Icona Pop

Sweden’s duo Icona Pop, comprised of Aino Jawo and Caroline Hjelt, has just released their new project This Is. The disc contains the duo’s breakout hit I Love It (featuring Charli XCX). I Love It has been featured on HBO’s Girls, and also on Glee and Dancing With The Stars. Icona Pop as artists have also appeared on Good Morning America, Today, and Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.

This Is contains 11 songs, and along with the hit I Love It, most of the tracks are of course dance related material. All Night, Ready For The Weekend (which is one of the heavier tunes on the project), Girlfriend (one of the better production moments), On A Roll, and the next single, Just Another Night, are all guaranteed dance floor fillers.

Two songs that are in more of a tech vein, We Got The World and In The Stars, stay close to the ubiquitous dance groove, but are a bit more musical overall.

Some real surprises on the project are two light rock/tech tunes — Hold On and Light Me Up — and the project closer, Then We Kiss. This last tune, Then We Kiss, along with I Love It, is the project’s other completely stand out track. It’s girl group material right out of the 1960s, great early rock, even closer to punk in a way. Definitely something I wasn’t expecting to hear.

Icona Pop worked with producers Patrick Berger, The Knocks, and Elof Loelv on this project. For more information, please check out the band’s website; also on Facebook and Twitter.)

D7893AAB-B89E-0A85-5631CB53367498C1It’s Happening Again by Che’Nelle

Che’Nelle is being presented as a somewhat unique blend of cultures and musical genres. She was born in Malaysia, raised in Australia, and now lives in L.A. She has reached a sort of cult status in Japan where her first album, 2007’s Things Happen For A Reason, won several awards and put her firmly in place as a J-pop artist to watch. Her third J-pop album is set for release there soon, but for now It’s Happening Again, the single and the remix disc, is her newest release. (On Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.)

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Category: Music

Pam Degroff

About the Author ()

Pamela DeGroff been writing for TGForum since the start of 1999. Her humor column, The Pamela Principle, ran until 2005. She started the Perpetual Change music column in May of 1999, and in 2008, Angela Gardner came up with the idea for the Transvocalizers column and put Pam to work on that. Pamela was a regular contributor to Transgender Community News until that magazine's demise. While part of a support group in Nashville called The Tennessee Vals she began writing for their newsletter, and also wrote for several local GLBT alternative newspapers in Tennessee. Pamela is currently a staff reporter for a small town daily paper in Indiana, and is also a working musician.

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