Who says bedroom-muso dreams can’t come true? Certainly not Gareth Daley, a smooth-voiced Manchester, U.K., soul man who’s causing a stir under his surname alone. Endowed with a sweetly quavering tenor that could make the sternest skeptic weak in the knees, Daley got his first break when his single “Rainy Day” slipped into heavy rotation on BBC Radio 1Xtra. There it caught the ear of Britpop Renaissance man Damon Albarn, who enlisted Daley to sing on the Gorillaz track “Doncamatic (All Played Out)” in 2010.
The rest has been history in the making, from mixtape fame to a string of popular EPs; “Alone Together,” a gorgeous duet with Marsha Ambrosius; and recent collaborations with Estelle, Nelly and Jessie J. A promised full-length LP has yet to materialize, but two earworm singles have recently hit iTunes, the seductive “Looking Up” and the propulsive “Broken.” Give them a spin, and we reckon we’ll see you down front at one of these intimate NYC showcases.—Steve Smith
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