Coming a long way from the small town of her birth place, Opelika, Alabama, and the myriad of Sothwestern and Western U.S. Coastal towns Sylvia was shuffled around during her upbringing, multi-talented singer/songwriter/musician/performer/producer and femme fatale SYLVIA GORDON/ ‘SYLVIA BLACK’ may be once best known as the voice of New York’s fiery electronic pop-rock trio KUDU, but is increasingly in demand as a songwriter/collaborator with other artists.
Most currently Sylvia has started yet another project in New York to help quell her jazz background and theatrical side. ‘Betty Black’s Blue Lounge’ is a live lounge act utilizing live vibraphones, upright bass, synth, jazz drums, and sometimes horns to turn Rock n Roll songs ( think The Ramones, Blondie, The Buzzcocks, Psychdelic Furs ), Not-so-standard jazz standards, blues, and originals into easy, lounge, blue lit, music with a David Lynchian aesthetic.
It’s not surprising that the group has become the darlings of New York’s underground music scene, attracting critical acclaim, a loyal cult following, and enormous respect among fellow artists including MOBY, ME’SHELL N’DEGEOCELLO, SADE, BASEMENT JAXX, NEW ORDER bassist PETER HOOK, THE MARS VOLTA, JOHN CALE and seminal New York post-punk/industrial outfit GRAY (JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT’S former band featuring VINCENT GALLO). Their seismic sophomore album ‘DEATH OF THE PARTY’ was released in 2006, followed by the acclaimed remix album ‘BACK FOR MORE’ in 2008, which featured the cream of international dance and electronic talent including SINDEN, TOMMIE SUNSHINE, ARMAND VAN HELDEN, KING BRITT, HESS IS MORE, DROP THE LIME and many others.
Working under her alias, BETTY BLACK, the dynamic chanteuse delves deep into her cobwebbed subconscious for her past and future releases to summon a chilling collection of slow-burning, southern gothic murder ballads that unravel into unflinchingly heartfelt narratives floating on languid melodies somewhere between NICK CAVE and PJ HARVEY, CAROL KING and PATSY CLINE, BOB DYLAN and LEE HAZELWOOD, DOLLY PARTON and NINA SIMONE. The result is a rich sonic tapestry that is harrowingly intimate, hopelessly romantic and hauntingly tender, and occasionally waxes nostalgic for the early ‘80s post-punk era (ingeniously reinventing new wave, alt rock and pop classics from the likes of MADONNA, BLONDIE, and BUZZCOCKS as incandescent psychodramas).