August 16, 2010

Playlist: If I tell you I've watched you...

Morrissey Lost this week's oldie
That's the East Sussex town of Hastings in the photograph above. This is the kind of picture that sends me into fits of whydoIlivehere. Anyway, a few weeks ago Chartrigger sent me Lost, an ironically titled Morrissey b-side from his 1997 single Roy's Keen - the one with the brilliant CD cover - and I was utterly floored. It's so sweeping and so everything you want from Morrissey that it's a Pop Injustice of the highest order to find it buried on a lesser single. This could easily be a leftover from his epic Viva Hate. It has the kind of melancholia and "faded seaside glamour" (hence Hastings above) that only Moz can deliver... "If I see you and I tell you I've watched you, don't make of fun of me later, 'cause I'm just lost." Download Lost while you can at Achtung Baby

Ben Folds with lyrics by Nick Hornby From Above
This collaboration took me by surprise - it is a brilliant idea and it has gone from what was intended as a "side project" to what may be Ben Folds best album. If you look at the history of pop, Ben should be a relic of the 90s, but every few years he whips out a genius, listenable (and singable) record, the last being his 2005 album, Songs For Silverman. This track sounds lovely, all layered and harmonic, but be sure to pay attention to the lyric by Nick Hornby - it's incredibly wistful. Hear it via myspace or buy it on US iTunes now.

Sophie Ellis Bextor and Armin Van Buren Not Giving Up
I had given up, truly. Being a Bex fan is brutal business, watching singles fail and album release dates come and go. So pardon my cynicism when I heard this was coming. I didn't expect a tear-stained epic like this from a dance producer, particularly an actual song that put Sophie front and center. But Van Buren plays up the knife's edge in her voice that makes her unique. The lyrics are occasionally makeshift, but the emotion seals the deal. She's singing the words I'm not giving up, but everything else about the song suggests she is, and that's what makes it so great. Listen to it here

Samuel Still Here
Samuel is a 22yo New York artist connected with the excellent Neon Gold label that launched Ellie Golding and Marina Diamonds (and soon, Penguin Prison). There is clearly some money behind Samuel - he's like a Brooklyn indie kid plopped down in George Michael's recording studio (with Mika's producer, Greg Wells). Still Here is lush pop/disco- this one a twirly, string-laden uptempo. I love the song, but have a minor quibble with the vocals that I cannot pinpoint. I'm not sure if it's something about his range or just a technical issue - the voice is a bit low in the mix. Whatever, the singalong middle eight is gorgeous and the song works. The solid 3-track EP on iTunes US, but you can hear this via Samuel's myspace

Give Me Your Love
I am going to be honest about Florrie: I am not convinced there is anything remotely unique about her. What we know: She looks like and sings a bit like Annie, works with Xenomania and Fred Falke, drums, is kind to her fans and is building a web community. About the latter though, there is a tendency now in the Twitter/blog world to avoid applying criticism to artists you communicate with. Everything they release becomes brilliant and amazing when it's clearly not. Obviously this is all subjective, but sometimes you need to distinguish the between the person and their work. This could apply to any artist - it's not unique to Florrie. All of that said, Give Me Your Love is an elegant groove. It's subtle, with with a little bit of hipster cool and a lot of Florrie's drumming. The album could be amazing, but I am not giving away the love easily. Yet. Download it now for free


Paul said...

Hadn't heard the Bex single until you directed me in this post. It's glorious. I'm very smitten with it. sigh. I live in terror that it won't be a massive success :(

samuel - i've been charmed by his I Heart NY song but hadn't checked out the EP (criminally). It's very enjoyable indeed. I need more.

Florrie - what you say about florrie (or rather web communities) is indeed very true. And something I am guilty of to a degree. But now I find it hard to write about acts i've become friendly with - some I genuinely do like all their current output but live in fear of having to be honest when the time comes that they put out a song I don't like. Hopefully, they will feel that I have earned the right to be constructively critical with them, but I've tried that before with someone and got a very frosty reception! So i'll just end up writing nothing about them if that's the case :/ It's a conundrum and I guess I'm a people person at heart. (This isn't asking you for a solution, just thinking out loud really)...

D'luv said...

"Lost" was definitely the Moz song that stood out when I picked up Rhino's Best Of Morrissey in 2001. It doesn't happen often, but occasionally you find those songs which have been relegated to B-side or left on a shelf that leave you scratching your head, wondering how they weren't a single!