Nicole Boudreau's problems are her listeners' pleasure: The sunny-voiced singer leads the Royalty, an El Paso, Texas-based band that plays '60s-centric soul songs alive with heartbreak. Boudreau draws easy comparisons to Amy Winehouse, but with less vamp and more lamp, and like the late siren she wears her vulnerablities on her sleeve. Her verses sound like diary entries detailing a night out with her beau on the way to a bad end -- there's a smiling girl waiting outside to say hi to him after the show.

While Boudreau's vocals are morose, the rest of the band shimmers: Combine Vampire Weekend playing the 'Ed Sullivan Show,' an Instagram sockhop, and Gwen Stefani rocking AM radio. And though her music crosses eras, Boudreau is still forlorn: "I know I can't compete / she's got me beat, don't want to know," she confides, and, as the band swells into the chorus: "Please lie."

The gooey, melancholic track is the demo version of a cut off the Royalty's debut album, 'Lovers,' which dropped Tuesday, May 8, on Victory Records. Grab it on iTunes or Amazon, hum along with those girl-pop harmonies, and you might end up in tears -- though it might be hard to tell whether it's from joy or sadness, nostalgia or newness.
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