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Black Pumas speak of the mysterious pacing of Peggy Lee's voice in 'Me and My Shadow'

5 Songs We Can't Stop Listening To is our chance to talk to artists we love about songs they love.

My guest today is Eric Burton, the lead singer of Black Pumas. We’ve been playing Black Pumas since the beginning on 88Nine. They actually borrowed a drum kit from one of those sets before they came in town once, and now they are up for Best New Artist at the Grammy Awards this Sunday. Back on the program we got Eric Burton lead singer of Black Pumas.

Listen to the whole segment below.
Black Pumas on Peggy Lee

What is the last song you couldn’t stop listening to?

Last song I couldn’t stop listening to is a song by Peggy Lee. Well actually I don’t know if it’s by Peggy Lee, but she sings a song called “Me and my Shadow.” The reason why I really dig it because has like this rhythmic execution in her vocal that is reflective of syncopation and jazz music. I really like the sparseness of the instrumentation of the song it starts off with a piano, it seems like it has this really dark presentation and then when the baseline comes in with the drum it gives it this kind of nice happy trot, so it got a perfect balance between light and darkness.

What is her voice doing?

She’s just waiting. She’s allowing for space between lines and words that isn’t so standard as pertains to pop music.

That can be difficult thing to have in a song is to give it space. I think the inclination is to fill every second, so to leave some hanging.

Totally, and just from that vocal delivery I really love this song because she has a lot of personality and the way she’s delivering those lyrics. I think that when you have that it’s not so hard to be yourself. You just feel the music and you allowing yourself to feel your own pace within time.

I love Peggy Lee so much when she leaves those spaces it’s like she’s devilishly looking at you. You can feel the gaze.

Maybe she knows something that we don’t know.