The recent success of artists like Adele and Mumford & Sons has created a lane for artists who have a classic sound but are a little off the beaten path, sound-wise. It apparently helps if they’re British, which should create a clear lane for Michael Kiwanuka to achieve success in the U.S. when his debut, Home Again, arrives later this spring.
If I’d compare Michael to anyone, I’d say he’s got a little bit of Bill Withers mixed with an Otis Redding/Sam Cooke vibe. Somewhat oddly, if I was to compare him to any popular current artist, it would probably be Ray LaMontagne. There are definite vocal similarities, and you can’t listen to Ray and say he hasn’t listened to his share of Otis and Sam, y’know?
Michael already has a series of EPs available digitally, and while you’re waiting for the full-length album to arrive (unless you want to spring for an import) you might wanna check those out in addition to the video for “I’m Getting Ready” below. You can easily tell why Adele picked him to open her ill-fated 2011 tour.