Celeste Griffin used to front Monarchs, a great Austin band that put out a couple of records that hinted at Griffin’s Birmingham, Alabama upbringing. With her Dusty Springfield-inspired voice, Monarchs did the whole soul-pop thing a lot better than most. Intent on a fresh start, Griffin moved to New York a few years. She based her new songs on her dance training, focusing on the beat before building up the melody.
After crafting a mixtape from her voice and some choice J Dilla beats, Griffin teamed up with producer Louis Sherman. Her EP More Please–released under the moniker Celeste last fall–shows her new direction, matching electronic textures to crackly hip-hop beats. Like a lot of musicians, she’s constantly pitched between commerce and art. “Music ain’t a living it’s a miracle,” she sings on “Why I Write,” before revealing she wants more than to be just thankful. Download the song below.