Deep End – Iraina Mancini

It starts with a ruddy great overture. A Durrr Durrr Durrr! Classic rock opera cinematic overture. Very John Barry guitar tones decorate Iraina’s newest single and point to a feisty new element in her sound. It’s still best listened to in go-go boots and a bee-hive (Hey, don’t judge me Maaan) but this ones got it’s blood up.

“I’m bad, I know you’re gone and I’m out of control and I loose all my sense awake ’til the end”

Look I’ve done a metric ton of comparisons when describing Iraina’s previous singles. I’ve talked about luxury pop, 60’s swing, lounge, Serge, I’ve used the word Chanteuse (In no other context have I ever used the word chanteuse) and I’ve even invoked my beloved Paloma. I hope I haven’t given the impression we see her as JUST a retro funster. There’s a modernity to her takes on the days before rock and roll went over ground and grew out it’s hair.

“I try to hold back, I always follow the track so don’t roll your eyes, it’s no surprise, that all of the things I promised to you. I have managed to undo”

Sure, the big bass line on this new track screams …Definitely era Dusty Springfield but there’s an urgency and a tad of danger (fittingly) to Deep End. It’s the sort of song that would play well over a montage of an innocent protagonist having their eyes widened by the activities of the underworld. It belongs to basement bars, velvet drapes & places where you’re not sure where the light is actually coming from. Crucially though, this one would work with a rock crowd.

We are (by my count) four indie digital singles in at this stage. Undercover is still my favourite. It first grabbed me back in 2018. A heck of a calling card. A compendium of all the best things missing from the indie scene right now. Then the more robust Lovers In The Dark picked up the pace a little tune wise. Another killer track, but it was still one single a year. In late 2020 Irania made good on a 12″ singles worth of tracks with the “you could actually hear it on the radio” almost a hit that was Shotgun. At that stage I started begging for a whole album. Here we are, less than a fiscal quarter later with Deep End (now we have a DIY cover up of an EP at least). Another single. It’s safe to say the momentum is gathering. I’ve had this for less than 24 hours and it might be my favourite thing she’s done.

This latest release is going for it. The sleeve image tells us that. It’s a silhouette or Iraina standing over a dude she just shot as the sun sets behind her. This is an Outlaw Mancini. Holding a pistol looking down on a dark deed carried out. Damn, I hope they make a killer video for this track. It deserves a mini road movie. A Natural Born Killers meets Bonnie And Clyde but with a single heroine and her rhythm section on the run. The guitars loose fuzz line lets it stalk the tune while that tight as a ducks backing band hold down the big beat bass line, open snare beats and hand claps aplenty. I’d love to learn that Iraina’s Bass, Drums and Guitars are played by either three identikit widowed twin set and pearls garbed fembots or a chain gang of rockabilly convicts with tear drop tattoos and excellent quiffs.

Around the two minute mark there’s a proper ‘Get Down’ part. you could sample that and build a hit just out of the groove and the wooo ohhhs. If you were so inclined. But I don’t want you to (Get Behind Me Baz Luhrmann). Then that killer chorus comes around for the half dozenth pass. It’s irrefutable, irresistible, incandescent and a little bit indecent. Iraina is a grown up, sophisticated UK take on similar lines to the breakthrough era Lana Del Ray danger pop of Born To Die. Mancini has less focus on the sleaze and more focus on the groove though, and I respect the hell out of that. Classy and dangerous. Like James Bond.

If she’s not a proper pop star by Christmas you people are beyond my help.

EDIT: I was right. The video rocks.


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