June 30, 2011

2011, Q2: With you, with you, with you




After a truly assy start to the year in pop - thank God for Adele - April through June are an embarrassment of riches. Here, in no order, are my favorite songs. The colored link will take you to youtube, where you can hear/see the tune.

Lady Gaga The Edge Of Glory
Nerina Pallot Put Your Hands Up
Florrie I Took A Little Something
Foster The People I Would Do Anything For You
Darren Hayes Talk Talk Talk
Wynter Gordon Still Getting Younger
The Feeling w/Sophie Ellis-Bextor Leave Me Out Of It
Patrick Wolf House
Stevie Nicks Moonlight
Holy Ghost! Jam For Jerry
D:Ream All Things To All Men
Beyonce Schoolin' Life
Katy B Power On Me
Lucie Silvas Roots
Jamie Woon Shoulda
Sophie Ellis-Bextor Synchronized
Wild Beasts Loop The Loop
Patrick Wolf Together
Friendly Fires Hurting

What are your favorites?
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Worthy albums from April to June: Foster The People, Patrick Wolf, Sophie Ellis-Bextor Lady Gaga, Nerina Pallot, Jamie Woon, Friendly Fires, Wild Beasts, Florrie (EP)

Coming Soon: albums by Will Young, Wolf Gang, Penguin Prison, Frankmusik, Sound Of Arrows

Disappointing: The Feeling's horrid album, Bjork, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Imogen Heap singles, Take That's new songs
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25 years of True Blue



True Blue was released 25 years ago today. At the time, it represented a huge stylistic leap for Madonna. When the first single, the monolithic Live To Tell, came out several months before the album, Madonna presented not only a more sophisticated image, but a voice we'd never heard before, far deeper and richer. She followed that with one of the most exciting singles of her career, Papa Don't Preach. The signature strings on that song have influenced countless other hits over the years.

The LP, which boasts one of her best cover images, was Madonna Goes To California. Bright and bold. The title track channeled doowop heaven and boasted one of her greatest middle eights ("noooo more sadness, I'll kiss it goodbye..."), while Open Your Heart, like the earlier Angel, remains one of her best lesser hits. There are moments on the record that sound dated (Love Makes The World Go Round, which she first premiered at Live Aid), but it remains one of her finest albums. To celebrate, I am taking a poll - no, not a pole, a p-o-l-l - on your favorites... feel free to comment too.



Madonna Live To Tell

June 28, 2011

Up in '11: Echoes return with Thousand Suns



Echoes is back with a celestial synth ballad, Thousands Suns. Download it now for free!

Echoes-Thousand Suns by Echoes Music

Unhappy with Crystalline



The first single from Bjork's Biophilia is called Crystalline and it's a disappointment.

I hear nothing original. She was doing glass musicboxes ten years ago, except this one is called a gameleste. This is that tinkly, childlike sound (decorating a thin melody) with the current dubstep trend slapped on. The artwork is overtly Bjorkian, like a a hybrid of earlier images.

I so want to like this, but I don't really need to play it again. Buy it and let me know how you feel! iTunes US / iTunes UK

Will Young: It begins

Will Young's new album, Echoes, will be released on August 22.



The album was produced by Richard X (= amazing) and these are the first images from it.



The single is coming any moment now...

June 25, 2011

Bombay Bicycle Club: Life's rich pageant...



Bombay Bicycle Club's Jack Steadman looks like he stumbled out of an episode of Foyle's War. A red-lipped British schoolboy forced to go to war, right?

I had zero reaction to the band's first album, other than liking its title, I Had The Blues But I Shook Them Loose. Their newest work has me excited though. Shuffle is the first single from A Different Kind of Fix, out August 29. It begins as a literally jaunty folkpop track, but electronic elements creep in. At the halfway point, the track reboots and builds in a fizzing summerpop jam. Dreamy.

Bombay Bicycle Club - Shuffle

A Different Kind Of Fix has twelve songs and a clever/creepy album cover. NME is already crushing on it with details from their preview.

1. How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep (from the Twilight soundtrack)
2. Bad Timing
3. Your Eyes
4. Lights Out, Words Gone
5. Take The Right One
6. Shuffle
7. Beggars
8. Leave It
9. Fracture
10. What You Want
11. Favourite Day
12. Still

Shuffle is available from iTunes UK now. The band is touring endlessly over the next few months. With Wild Beasts, Wolf Gang, Friendly Fires and now this, 2011 is turning out to be a grand year for British guitar pop.

June 23, 2011

Talk Talk Talk, the video



Look out for the moment at 2:25 when Darren has a George Michael Dance Moment.

My review of Talk Talk Talk is ovah here.
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Darren Hayes Talk Talk Talk
The single and b-side, Angel, are out now worldwide. Here are the deets on the various remixes of Talk Talk Talk, out July 31:

Digital Bundle 1
1. Talk Talk Talk (Extended mix) / 2. Talk Talk Talk (7th Heaven
mix) / 3. Talk Talk Talk (Club Junkies mix) / 4. Out Of Talk (Hall and Oates mix)

Digital Bundle 2
1. Talk Talk Talk (Album version) 2. Talk Talk Talk (Fred Falke Mix) /
3. Talk Talk Talk (Penguin Prison mix) / 4. Talk Talk Talk video

Limited edition purple 7” vinyl (available exclusively from (www.darrenhayes.com)
A) Talk Talk Talk (Album version) / B) Talk Talk Talk (Live In The Attic)

All four remixers are AMAZING.

Mixtape: Watch Me Now Edition

All videos for this mixtape...

Rufus Wainwright releases his 19-disc box set on July 18. It'll cost £160, so Universal UK has put together a video of what you'll be getting for your dineros. More info in this earlier post.



Note that Rufus has a five-night stand at the Royal Opera House in London from July 18th-23rd.
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Have you heard new British band Spector yet? Here is their debut single, Never Fade Away...




Kylie inspires men to propose to one another onstage. Sweet video:



Last week was probably hard for Lady Gaga: A major misfire with her weak Edge Of Glory video and Haus Of Gaga's Laurieann Gibson turning cruelly on fans via twitter. But Gaga again reveals [cliche drums!] the redemptive power of music with this appearance on Paul O'Grady:



Amazing.
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Patrick Wolf talks to Drowned In Sound about Lupercalia and presents this wanky promo video:



Catching up with Roisin Murphy:




Thanks to
The Hopeless Optimist, the best Roisin source. Which reminds me, Ro is on the new The Feeling album - a track called Dance To The Lights. Not my fave, but worth checking out.
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Stars have released a hilarious new video for We Don't Want Your Body. I love how you cannot tell which bodybuilders are man and which are women when they zoom in on their crotches at the end.

June 22, 2011

Ain't a doctor, but I can make ya feel better



SO! What douchebag chose the tracklist for Beyonce's tepid 4 album?

The Target special edition, which I like to call the We Hate The Gays Target Deluxe has three added songs and two of them, Schoolin' Life and Lay Up Under Me, are solid gold. The former is a sizzler reminiscent of Prince in about 1988 and the latter is pure Stephanie Mills, circa 1980 (think of Never Knew Love Like This Before).

I'd already leap ahead and say Schoolin' Life, in which Bey drops the F bomb, is one the summer's best jams.

Until I can put streams here, you can play the tracks at Def Pen Radio.

Florrie: I Took A Little Something

Today Florrie debuts her new video for I Took A Little Something, which I defy any other artists(s) to top as SONG OF SUMMER 2011. That slot always goes to an underdog: remember when always-a-bridesmaid Kelly Rowland released When Love Takes Over with David Guetta? Florrie's song is in a different, more melancholy zone, though the video is a lush stroll through Paris.



Oui, it was done in collaboration with Dolce and Gabbana, so it's tres belle. You might as well look great if you are alone and forlorn in Paris. M'accompagner au Ladurée maintenant!

Be sure to read my review of Florrie's flawless new EP, Experiments.

UPDATE: You can now order Experiments on vinyl or CD direct from Florrie.

June 21, 2011

Bon Anniversaire, LaFleuer!

Today is Brandon Flowers' 30th birthday. Today is his new teeth's 1st birthday.



To be honest, I prefer LaFluer when he has a little meat on the bone, capisce?

Red alert! New Laura Marling album



It is official: The Fanning sister of folkpop,
Laura Marling, has a new album, A Creature I Don't Know, out on September 12th. Once again produced by Ethan Johns, song titles include Night After Night and Sophia.

For those of you who don't know Marling or have only heard her name, now is the time to investigate her. Laura's 2010 album, I Speak Because I Can, is an instant classic. Passionate songs and production. Her voice will be around for a very long time.

Here is a strangely Almodovarian teaser for the new record:



Here are two 2010 videos- both brilliant songs...

Devil's Spoke



Rambling Man



It's funny how the first chords that you come to
Are the minor notes that come to serenade you
It's hard to accept yourself as someone
You don't desire
As someone you don't want to be

June 20, 2011

Interview: A music summit with Nerina Pallot



A few days back I wrote about Nerina Pallot's new album, Year Of The Wolf. It could be argued that it's this record, her fourth, that is Nerina's most self-realized, as if she has finally found her true place in pop music. What this says to me is important: that some of our best musicians need time to develop; that one single and one album do not predict how their music will stretch and mature over time. I am not the only one who loves this record: as I post this, it's just hit the UK Top 40.

Whenever I get the chance to talk to a musician, I think it's important to ask them very specifically about the music they love. Pay attention, because Nerina may lead you to some albums or artists you've never heard of or bothered with...


XO: I kept thinking about the classic singer/songwriters of the 70's when I heard your new album, Nerina. I mean artists like Joni Mitchell, Elton John, Laura Nyro, Linda Ronstadt and especially Bonnie Raitt. I can guess some of their albums are touchstones for you? Which ones?

Nerina: All of them have made really important albums for me. Funnily enough Bonnie Raitt's Nick of Time album is both a musical and psychological influence - she was a journeyman musician for so many years and people thought her A&R man at Capitol was mad signing her at such a (relatively) late age - and look what that album became for her. So as well as being a massive fan of her voice and guitar playing, she's one of those artists who serves as a beacon of just keeping on keeping on, doing your thing, and hopefully one day you build your audience to that level, just by being yourself.

I wear my Joni (Mitchell) influence on my sleeve - I guess Blue and Hissing of the Summer Lawns are the two that I listen to most. So many Elton John records I love, but Tumbleweed Connection and specifically Come Down In Time on that album have been constant musical references for me over the years. Laura Nyro's album with Labelle was one I can recall having a long chat/worship fest about with Bernard Butler while we were making the album [ed: hear a track from it, It's Gonna Take A Miracle].

So so glad you picked up on the Ronstadt. I met Peter Asher a few years ago and kind of surprised him with my obsession for the album of standards she made with Nelson Riddle that he produced. My mother's friend in Boston sent her that album, but it was I who listened to it religiously as a kid. I'm obsessed with Nelson Riddle, Billy May, Sinatra and Ella - that to me is the pinnacle of modern popular music, so the Ronstadt records are so dear to me. It was through them that I discovered orchestration. I dream of doing an album like that one day.


Elton John Come Down In Time:



Linda Ronstadt What'll I Do:



You mentioned your love of Joni. Court And Spark is, I think, the greatest and most unflinching album about searching for love.

Love Court and Spark. My radio plugger and I frequently refer to what he does as "stoking the starmaking machinery behind the popular song"! [ed: that line is from Free Man In Paris - hear it now]

History Boys is one of your finest songs ever. Ever. How did it come about? You tweeted that to me that you were sort of nervous to put it out into the world. Why? Criticism?

Wow, what a lovely thing to say. Thank you. It's a very painful song for me to sing, I have to hold it together when I play it. And I feel so strongly about the subject matter, even more so since I had my son. When I was younger, I was so angry about what was going in the Middle East - now it just makes me feel hopelessly sad. It's always young kids who come back in boxes - always the boys who are raised with a real sense of patriotism, who go out to do something so frightening and brave while leaders who have never seen action and would never dream of allowing their own sons to go to the front line - pretty much career politicians raising career politicians -make these decisions that have a fatal impact on so many young lives, both servicemen and civilians. And I was thinking of these mothers, who have held their sons in their arms, fretted over childhood fevers, first days at school, their first steps, all those things. And then to have to bury their kids? It's unnatural in the order of things. It fucking breaks my heart.

Here it is, History Boys...



On the last album, It Starts was really about finally finding the ONE [hear it now]. And now this album has Put Your Hands Up, which is so ebullient. That line, "I just see stars when I'm with you" - it's everyone's dream of love. Is writing about love hard - I mean the happy side of love? Was this song for anyone in particular? If anyone wrote a song like this for me, I'd literally need to go to the hospital. I'd pass out.

Ha ha! Put Your Hands Up really started off from reading Jean Rhys' Wide Sargasso Sea and the desperate, hopeless love Antoinette has for Mr. Rochester, to the point of voodoo potions and black magic. So the chorus is from the point of view from a slightly unhinged woman begging her man to love her. But the second verse - that's totally about my husband. I was incredibly lonely until I met him and he quite simply changed my life. So like It Starts, it's about the same man.

Thanks so much, Nerina. I have to take this chance to tell you this album is truly your best.

You're welcome... and thank you! I am so pleased you are enjoying the album. I had to make a decision after The Graduate whether I would go the whole hog down the poptastic route or just not think about it and make whatever came out of me without worrying about radio, etc. I think I've done the right thing. I just need Kylie* to keep making records so I can let my bubblegum pop alter ego loose every once in a while!

Nerina Pallot Put Your Hands Up...



*Nerina wrote two recent Kylie tracks,
Better Than Today and Aphrodite

June 17, 2011

Darren Hayes: Message received



10 Musical Thoughts on Talk Talk Talk, the new single by Darren Hayes.

1. The sample is a nice slice of the track, taken from the beginning. Gives you a bit of verse and chorus. Talk Talk Talk is built on a clubby foundation - reminiscent of Madonna's Get Together perhaps? - but it's proper pop. Lush.

2. The theme is lovers struggling to communicate: "Please hear me out, all I wanna do is just talk talk talk to you."

3. Though the lyric is officially talk to you throughout, there is a moment at 1:45... "When I'm walking out, all I wanna do is just talk talk talk at you." What do you hear? To or at?

4. The music at 1:55 is really gorgeous, when it goes a bit twilight with "sawing" strings before going big on the chorus. A Moment. "I know you wanna break through, but we're worlds apart."

5. The trick is that Talk Talk Talk manages to be a hybrid of everything he has ever done. It has the accessibility of Savage Garden but sounds like 2011.

6. Though it was written and recorded in Sweden with Carl Falk, who has worked with a lot of boy bands, there is nothing "boyband" about it. It's definitely Darren Hayes.

7. The song has massive potential for remixes. Stay tuned. The video snippet appears to be one of those mixes.



8. The end of the track is like the start to The Only One
.

9. I appreciate that it's not a black and white lyric: not simple love and not clear frustration. The more complex part in between: "I know you think we’re better alone / Sometimes all the words are unsaid/ but you listen to them argue every night in your head."

10. Years in the making, Talk Talk Talk does not disappoint. After repeated plays, the chill (or goose-bump) factor is high. Fans will love this. I do.
__________________________________

Talk Talk Talk is FINALLY out on June 24th worldwide.
The b-side is part of the Darren Does Madge series (see Dress You Up). It's one of my Top 5 Madonna songs: Angel

This is a story about control.

Black Room's new single Control is their best music since the brilliant Pop Noir album from 2009. You can buy it on itunes (worldwide) now.



Speaking of which, I asked band member
Pål Myran-Håland if they were doing a new album. "Yes, there is an album in progress! We're looking at an album release in autumn 2011."

But what about the brilliant and now missing-in-action Pop Noir, their first album? "We're currently working on getting it available worldwide. It's all about legal issues, but we're doing all that is in our power to get it out there to our fans."

And that's the story for now. Stay tuned. I'll at least figure out whether they are Black Room or Blackroom!

See also Black Room: What Is It That You Want

June 16, 2011

25 Years: Has the world changed, or have I changed?



25 years ago today, The Smiths released their finest proper studio album - there were only four! - The Queen Is Dead. In hono(u)r of the occasion, Andy Gill did a piece for The Independent in which he wrote:
If you were a teenager in 1986, no other record better reflected the febrile mixture of loneliness, contempt, self-pity, petulance, sexual confusion, juvenile intellectual superiority and general emotional turmoil that characterises most adolescents' experience of life.
Beautifully put. Of course, Morrissey carried that tradition on for many years. The voice of a sexually confused, whipsmart generation. Here is the full set of album lyrics and scans of the various pressings.

Xolondon's Top Ten Plus One Smiths Songs:

Asleep
Ask
There Is A Light That Never Goes Out
Please Please Please
The Boy With The Thorn In His Side
Oscillate Wildly
Back To The Hold House
Girlfriend In A Coma
I Know It's Over
A Rush And A Push
Panic

The titles in bold are on The Queen Is Dead

Smiths resources on the web:

Vulgar Picture (amazing Smiths discography site)
True To You (a Morrissey-approved site)
Morrissey Solo (definitive resource)
Some Dizzy Whore (Moz fan blog)
Extra Track and A Tacky Badge (for completists)
Passions Just Like Mine (lots of stuff, well done)

UPDATE: Second Disc has done a fantastic "Reissue Theory" post on what a proper Queen Is Dead reissue would look like.

June 15, 2011

Review: Nerina Pallot's Year Of The Wolf



On June 13, British songstrel Nerina Pallot released her fourth and finest album, Year Of The Wolf. With the assistance of producer Bernard Butler, she has finally found the perfect sound - one that combines elements of several great singer songwriters of the 70's. Although she is sublime with a melody, Wolf reminds me how important Nerina's lyrics are to her music. Here is a track by track from the notes I took the first time I heard it...

Put Your Hands Up. Nerina's masterpiece. The song is so ebullient... "I just see stars when I'm with you, oh this is my heart that I give you." The love that everyone dreams about.

Turn Me On Again has rock guitar at the start, but there are big strings and happy singalong vocals. "Got your fingers on my wrist now, accidentally on purpose." The chorus is kind of a chant that kids might sing. And a big rock guitar solo - thanks Bernard Butler - I suspect this will work well live, but it's not my favorite.

All Bets Are Off has verses reminiscent of classic Bonnie Raitt "woman singing in a bar" tunes, but the chorus is all swooning strings. It makes heartbreak sound sound like a glorious moment of freedom (and, dare I say, like a hit single?). The middle eight has an extended instrumental string section that is rare these days - Nerina lets this song stretch out languidly. The end is amazing: a hushed instrumental harp coda.

This Will Be Our Year is simpler, with the voice right up front and horns on the chorus. Much of this album sounds like a 1970's singer/songwriter record, like Joni Mitchell, Linda Ronstadt, Elton John. This could easily have been recorded in 1974.

If I Lost You Now is pure Norah Jones meets Adele. A concise guitar ballad.

Butterfly reminds me of Sheryl Crow. And this is not quite good news.

I Think is hilarious. The chorus - a bit chanty - is "Don't give me your shit, don't give me your shit / We both've got problems, we're living with it, living with it..." Drinking song!

Grace starts as a country tune, with guitar and voice. A cello appears on the chorus and it melts into a heartbreaker: "I just wanna love you, I just wanna try. Cuz life is so short and we're both gonna die... as long as we're here, we must try."

I Do Not Want What I Do Not Have
is not a Sinead O'Connor cover. It starts out spookily, but the beat threatens to turn it into a bar song. The chorus has a lot of "oooh oohhhs" Now is the time to say
that Bernard Butler does not really make Nerina sound like Duffy, thank God. I was worried about that he would Motown her to death.

Will You Still Love Me fits into a line of Nerina tunes that sound like standards (It Was Me is another). That kind of piano and strings ballad, but then it gets a bit more jaunty in the second half. The chorus is a keeper. Short and lovely at 2:51.

History Boys is the big ballad, with really high vocals. Reminiscent of a Rufus Wainwright song. "All these ghosts, sons of mothers..." "How will I hide the fear in my face?" A piano and cello/violin breakdown midway through. "How do you sleep with all that you've done? Sending somebody else's son to die?... saluting your own charade as we line up in this heartless parade." The end will give you chills.
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Year Of The Wolf is out now in England and Europe. There is no scheduled US date.

June 11, 2011

Florrie: If the cheeks don't shake...



Florrie: Yes I do, followed by my celebratory bootaaay dance! If the cheeks don't shake, the song is dropped.
What is not to love about that Twitter exchange?

Florrie releases her second EP, Experiments, on Tuesday, June 14, and it is a major step - or ass shake - forward. It's not that she hasn't been producing quality work from the start [see Call 911 and Give Me Your Love], but Experiments is deeper and richer pop, with a mix of buoyant summer singles and moodier - yes - experiments.

Every summer we look for tunes that can give us chills in the heat. I Took A Little Something is one of those gems. You will know why in the first few seconds... the track is built on a gorgeous circular rhythm. And you'll know it again at 0:47, when it lifts off into higher airspace. Like the best of Xenomania, the glisten of the music belies the sadness in the lyric: "I took a little something to figure it out / I need to know just one thing was never in doubt...We're happy ever after in my head"

Opening track Speed Of Light, despite some very current effects on the chorus vocals, opens and closes with a Moroderesque synth (see Berlin's The Metro). Everything in between surges. She Always Gets What She Wants is almost like a samba, but the pre-chorus stings add an unexpected shimmer. Her collaboration with a French string quartet, What You Doing This For?, is reminiscent of the way Neil Tennant brings a level of elegance to melodic pop that few else can.

Experimenting With Rugs (punny, that) flows from the same melancholy well that made Xenomania tracks like Call The Shots and The Loving Kind so beautiful. "My heart isn't big enough no more / And I start to wonder what I saw in you." I particularly love the New Order guitar moment; in winter, it's teardrops on the dancefloor; in summer, it's sadness on the sands. And previously released Begging Me is a perfect single, but it's the vocals in the final 30 seconds ("I - I - I won't lose the battle / Not in love, not in war") that slay me every time.

For more on Florrie's plan to make and sell her music in hostile economic times, read her recent blogpost on why she is doing it the way she is doing it. Her website is liberally stocked with free music, but she also appears on iTunes worldwide. Experiments is on iTunes all over the world. GET IT.

Stream Experiments now

I Took A Little Something (teaser)



Experimenting With Rugs



Begging Me


June 9, 2011

I came, I saw, I tweeted



If you enjoy reading this blog, I just wanted to let you know I tweet like hungry bird. Follow me! It's where I give my most immediate reaction to all things pop. AND I respond to people who tweet at me, unlike some snotty beeyotches and popstars. xo

The Return Of Britt Love



I am not alone in my prolonged handbag-clutching angst over the demise of Mini Viva, the Xenomania-backed group that released three perfect singles in 2009/10 before being swallowed by the perfect storm of fiscal drama that is now the Music Industry.

But now I/we can relax a little. Britt Love, one half of the legendary group, has released her first single. Come With Me. Hear it now.



Shimmery, moody, a groove, this track is a logical leap from Mini Viva. You can download it now for free by going to Britt's Facebook page and clicking Join on the band page.

June 7, 2011

Prince: A reason to turn purple



Today is the 53rd birthday of Prince. Let us remember him at his height (pun!) with the song above, which was one of the boldest and most innovative singles of its time. What I said last year still stands. Since that time, he released a truly awful record called 20Ten, which he had to give away in a truly shoddy British tabloid.

To quote me...

There was a time when every move Prince made was anticipated as a world event. Each album release was greeted with excitement and a knowledge that he would take you to a new place he (and you) hadn't been before. Now we've had more years of bad Prince albums than good... Prince is his own undoing.
Having said all that, I know that The Purple One still is blowing audiences away with his live shows, where he shows a limber vitality totally lost in his studio input.

June 6, 2011

Björk's Road To Crystalline

Her new website may be impossible to navigate, but Bjork continues to give us clues about her new album, Biophilia. The first official song out from the project, Crystalline will "appear" in late June.



Does not sound like a disco stormer, but the sound is so muddled. And her coat is typically whackadoodle, but at least it's not hatching. It remains unclear if the earlier youtube clips from "MrBiophilia" were a hoax or not.

June 2, 2011

Kings Cross: Wolf Gang vs Fred Falke



None other than Fred Falke has remixed the fucking massive new Wolf Gang single, The King And All Of His Men:



Here is the album mix, via the tense new video:



The album, Suego Faults, is out July 11. Order the CD via
Amazon UK or HMV. Before that, check out the NME track-by-track.

Follow Wolf Gang on Facebook and Twitter. Note that The King And All Of His Men is being released in a beautiful vinyl set. Check out the photos here. Gorgeous. You can order it from Vinyl Factory.

#anticipation!

June 1, 2011

Bouncey finally nails it



With Babyface writing the melody! A massive summer hit that will save the 4 album from potential Bionic-like disaster. The most brilliant line comes at the end of each chorus:


"It sucks to be you right now"

This song reminds me to post a question: Is there another female superstar who is so tuned into women? Beyonce's whole career is really about channeling female emotion, from sweetness to rage. Think about it...

Independent Women
Survivor
If I Were A Boy
Irreplaceable
Single Ladies
Girls Run The World
and, of course, her all-female band