It's finally starting here - the change of seasons. Last night I sat an outdoor cafe that I love with my good friend and had a wonderful time. Seasonal affective disorder in reverse. Here are some songs I've been playing a lot in recent days... seek them out!
Passenger Four Horses Britpop
Their new album is a lullaby - really subtle and pretty. This soft track is part folk song, part spare-beat ballad. Do you think the line "Like a whisper in the dome of St. Paul" has something to do with my love of this song? Am I that transparent? Not out yet or here
Ari Gold Transport Me R'n'B Homopop
Ari's new CD is a celeberation of the sound of the 90's - and this song is very much an homage to the smooth mellow sound of Jam and Lewis ballads. The verses are very spare and the chorus opens into layers of hamrony a la Janet Jackson's Come Back To Me. Really subdued, which is not Gold's usual state. Despite some ill-placed spoken bits, the lyric is deeply personal - kind of a journey through self-love/self-hate. Arjan also loves the song, so read what he says. The whole thing wraps up with a drum'n'bassy coda punctuated by synth strings. Well played, Ari Gold. Get it at US iTunes or UK iTunes
Kanye West The Good Life Hip-pop
I knowwwww, bitches! I don't want to dig Kanye any more than I want to dig Fergie, but like her track Glamorous, this smug ode to wealth and fame makes me giddy. It has an unrecognizable Michael Jackson sample (PYT!) and a stupid Snakes On A Plane reference that makes me chuckle: Kanye, don't even try to tell us you are hung. Please, bitch! This shizzz is hot. Wear your sunglasses at night. Get it at US iTunes or UK iTunes.
The Jackson Five ABC (Freemasons Mix) Clubpop
That's how easy pop can be. Sounds like every Freemasons mix, but do we care? The original is a bubblegum classic with wee Michael at his most soulful (how old was he, like 10?). The slightly sped up vocals on this remix actually work. "I think I love you!" Thanks Toons!
Rilo Kiley Breaking Up Indie Soulpop
Ummmm, delish! It’s got clever lyrics (“It’s not as if New York City burnt down to the ground once you drove away.”) matched by a chunky bass, cheap Casio disco strings and the Waters Sisters providing backing vocals. It’s a real ass-shaker of a song; during the recent spate of swampy DC days, I boomed this song from my car stereo, driving around with my sunroof open. Get it at US iTunes or UK iTunes
Rilo Kiley (again!) Dreamworld California pop
Immediately, clearly an homage to 70’s Fleetwood Mac. This is like a rite of passage for guitar-based bands. Not only does the gauzy Dreamworld feature FM's chunky bass lines and trilling guitars, it also works Stevie Nick's lyrical trick of describing a relationship from an omniscient viewpoint (“she was the girl with... he was the boy who..." ). The vocals are lead by Blake Sennett doing a breathy (and quite sexy) Lindsey Buckingham imitation. Get it at US iTunes or UK iTunes
Finally, be sure to catch the Autumn songs of Tremble Clef (gorge Coldcut doing Nat King Cole) and Babs on Dan US.
Meanwhile, did you hear that Delays have a new CD out this fall? Yessss. Also, please note that for those who cannot use UK or US iTunes, these songs are probably floating around on the web. Above photo by Hedi Slimane.