July 28, 2011

You Need This Song: Solid Shoulders

In a cosmic twist, it happens that exactly one year to the day after I fell in love with Judie Tzuke's gorgeous song If (When You Go), I crush hard on her new single, Solid Shoulders. If you are prone to high drama, walking around with massive strings orchestrating your every move, then this song is a tonic - or a catalyst - for you. Released with The Goodes (but all Judie on vocals), it pulses, bangs, dips and swoons... one of those urgent, string-laden epics that could collapse under its own weight, but never does. Needless to say, the topic is love. A bit of a spoiler: the "don't leave me hanging" ending is a moment of genius.

The Goodes ft Judie Tzuke by BigMoon

Judie's never been better than she is right now, nailing track after track. In a few weeks, Johnny Boy Would Love This, a tribute to John Martyn will be released. Judie's faithful version of Hurt In Your Heart is a major highlight (and a tearjerker).

Follow Judie on Twitter and at her website. Check your country's iTunes for Solid Shoulders. It is on US and UK for sure, as well as on Zune.

July 27, 2011

Gaga gets it right. Amen Fashion.

Every once in awhile Gaga removes the slime and meat and spikes and actually works a good look. This is one. Blond Shelley Duvall + 1975 Anjelica Houston + some hot bodyguard she should straddle = Success.

Their eyes were watching... Will Young's penis.

Will Young is going ALL OUT to sell his new single, Jealousy from the forthcumming album Nipples! Bulge! Leotard! Echoes. For more preview shots from the soon-to-revealed video, check Digital Spy.

Thanks to Paul for the alert!

July 26, 2011

Laura Marling amazes once more

The new Laura Marling single, Sophia. Starts as simple, measured folk and becomes something quite beyond that. Soaring!

July 25, 2011

Mixtape: All fired up

That image above was supposed to move. Bizzotch was supposed to be waving her hands in the air like she just don't care. And then she froze up.

Little bits:

Cute video of Beth Ditto losing her shit when she met George Michael last weekend at Lovebox in London.

Will Young, nipples, bulge, leotard! Holy Moly previews his new video.

Two blazing Adele remixes at Pop Labyrinth.

Bjork in Billboard talking about her new project. This app talk holds no interest for me - I don't have an iPad, nor am I a gamer.

Noel Gallagher's new single is called The Death of You And Me - is that about him and Liam? I like Noel's voice more than Liam's, but this one is a bit plonkety plonk for my tastes. Not a grand return with a new sound.

Speaking of plonkety plonk, I cannot listen to the new Feeling album. Sad days. The upcoming single, Leave Me Out Of It, is perfect, but the rest is meh. They needed a much firmer guiding hand in the studio. This is not 2006.

How about a new Wild Beasts song? New b-side Catherine Wheel. Verses are solid, chorus is not!

Beth Ditto again! She performed Vogue in her underwear
in Moscow. If that's not legendary, children, I don't know what is. AND THEN Guy Oseary tweeted that he'd showed the clip to Madonna - she thought it was great. A duet between M and Beth is beyond desired.

When I am looking for new music, I always always check Indie London's Singles Of the Week.

Look out for our girl Florrie in this segment with Xenomania from Helen Terry's BBC series Secrets of the Pop Song,

Speaking of which, the fact that Xenomania produced the only Saturdays song I can tolerate is no coincidence. All Fired Up.

OMD always had such great artwork, didn't they? More cool 80's art from the brill tumblr 80s Record Party.

Leslie Feist has a duet with country crooner Doug Paisley, of all people. It's called Don't Make Me Wait and you can stream it now. And of course, Feist is slowly launching her own new album, Metals, via her site.

D:Ream are giving away an all new (and vair vair good) version of their track Sleepy Head! Download it now for free.

Popjustice Twenty Quid Music Prize noms. Who do you pick? I choose Yamin's Finish Line.

Apparently Foster The People are very very good live.

Have you seen the live clip of The Nicola singing her new single, Lucky Day? This one sounds more commercially "viable." Love how she turns her back to the audience and hold out her arms with the thumbs up. Diva details...

The new track by Paul Weller, called Starlite, sounds like the return of The Style Council. Which is a good thing.

What Your favorite 80's band say about you... Mine is Culture Club: "You have woken up under someone who was dressed as a dark elf." True.

The stonkers new single is Fair Warning. "You know I'm just a man with needs / This is a typical disease."

You can stream the new M83 single, Midnight City, now. No big surprises, but the sax ribboned through it at the end is lush.

Do You Really Want To Hurt Me? Mark Ronson & The Business INTL featuring Boy George (of course) and Jonathan Pierce (the irritating one from The Drums):

Final thoughts: 1) Follow me on le twatter and 2) Hurry up Ladyhawke.

Fa la la la la

It is only 5 months until Christmas. Just sayin'

July 23, 2011

Amy Winehouse

Amy Winehouse looking great in London last week. I was musing then about what Amy should do with her hair. :(

The idea that I could sit here and type, "I never thought I'd be saying this" about the death of Amy Winehouse is absurd, given the reality of her life for the past 5 years. I always hoped that she would have a happy ending of earned wisdom, career or no career. Today's social media storm of news and commentary was as much a spectacle as her recent life. The poor judgment, in my opinion, of some tweeters was balanced by incredibly articulate comments about her and the trouble she faced. I don't have much to add except this...

All I can do is feel incredibly sad for those who loved her, be it family, friends or fans, of which I am one. I can only guess, given the pretty flagrant clues, that Amy Winehouse was deeply troubled. It makes sense that this pain - whatever spurred it - probably predates her fame. In fact, it may be what led her to express herself through music in the first place. And then those personal issues devoured her.

An online friend of mine who had met her told me that Amy was lovely, bright in person, never wanted fame and was scared of playing live. Characteristics you cannot glean from a photo of her weaving down a London street in dirty ballet slippers.
It's really easy to sit online and judge her and those around her, but life has taught me you cannot make someone change if they don't want to change.

As Popjustice did
, I played her music all day long.

And here is my favorite...

My review of Back To Black.
The lyrics on that album still astonish me: her spikey wit, elegance of phrase and strong sense of melancholy. She will be missed, but, as I already knew before today, I will never stop playing her music.

And this below, it's brilliant. Think of how the people with her - look at her tiny mom - feel now:

July 22, 2011

Starsmith, feel the thrill

Starsmith just released his new single and video, Lesson One, officially out on August 22nd from Vulture Music. The sound is a bit like S├ębastien Tellier: super chill, with a particularly sublime 80's synth section at 2:15. The video - which does not actually feature Starsmith himself (?) - is gorgeous, shot this May in Lulworth, on the Dorset coast of England. #swoon

Be chic and stream it at work...

Starsmith - Lesson One

Pre-order now from iTunes UK or iTunes US
. Follow Starsmith on Twitter.

July 19, 2011

Night music.... Jessica 6

Only New York can produce a group like Jessica 6. Their name has cool origins: it's Jenny Agutter's character in the wonky sci-fi classic Logan's Run. But the music also has a surprising source - if the impossibly cool lead singer Nomi Ruiz looks familiar, it's because she sang with Hercules and Love Affair. That band's fortunes have diminished after a weak new album, but this is solid city-pop.

Their debut album, See The Light, came out June 6. The title track, a favorite, is sweaty night music that builds over five minutes in a frenzied orgasm of sound. Pitchfork has a free MP3 of the group's collaboration with their old friend Antony Hegarty. It's called Prisoner of Love and it's blazingly cool, with the best layered montage of sound in its final two minutes since Pet Shop Boys and Dusty wailed over What Have I Done To Deserve This. There's even a smokey, 70's-esque ballad, Not Anymore, that begs for a glass of wine and a rainy window.

Prisoner Of Love:

See The Light:

Some videos to wet your lips...

A perfect album for summer. One that will have you marching around town, feeling fierce. Thanks to FredHystere for writing about Jessica 6 way back in April. Get See The Light on iTunes now.

Update: Russlan sent me to hear a new b-side, East West Funk. Check it.

July 18, 2011

Florrie: You had me hooked

Florrie's just released- on UK iTunes only! - her new EP of
I Took A Little Something
mixes. Check it, love it...

EDIT: The PROMOTIONAL USE ONLY watermark is a complete chafe. "Soz" as one says.

July 17, 2011

July 16, 2011

The one where Mel C's tune doesn't suck

14 years on, Sporty is a now a proper British lady

It's safe to say that I do not expect much from ex-Spice Girl Melanie Chisholm fifteen years into her musical career. Sporty contributed a few good solo songs to the pop pantheon - namely I Turn To You,, Go! and Northern Star (hear them)- but her output since then has been spotty at best. This spring's single, Rock Me (video), was utterly dire, so I am pleasantly aghast that her latest opus, the magically titled Think About It, is not a pile of wank. In fact, while the the track is a bit derivative, it has a pretty middle eight (at 2:24) and I like the why Mel's pleasingly nasal voice is mixed right up on top.

Popjustice would probably call this "very acceptable" or something...

The single is out on September 4th, along with the album, The Sea. She's been working with Andy Chatterley, known to some as Bright Lights Bright Lights' collaborator and Nerina Pallot's mister.

Tweety version of this post: Think About It is not Stink About It.

July 11, 2011

Will Young: It feels like jealousy

Will Young's new single Jealousy premiered on Bridddish radio today.

First thoughts: Solid track, if almost all chorus with potentially not enough wailing.
Favorite line: "And I’m on, down on my knees." Indeed, Willy. I need to let this sink in... deep. haw haw.

Update: this song is BLAZING. Full stop.

Be sure to read Popjustice today about Will's new album, in which Peter says of Jealousy:
The album version of the single is in fact a little bit better, partly simply because it goes on a little bit longer but also because the intro unfolds with more power.

July 10, 2011

Suego Faults is a just a dream that I'm waking up from now

Wolf Gang have been playing all over the UK in anticipation of their debut album, Suego Faults. Here is a live version of the new single, The King And All Of His Men:

Aside from the forthcoming Penguin Prison album, Suego Faults is the finest debut album since Florence + The Machine a few summers back. I have heard the final 10-track album and it lives up to its promise. The title track, about an elusive utopia, is colossal. We've heard three strong singles thus far, but the album has several previously unheard surprises, including the midtempo Where Are You Now and an Elton John-meets-Queen progrock ballad called Planets. The band (well, Max McElligot, with producer Dave Fridmann) took their time making the record and you can hear that in the richly detailed results.

Max is currently recording an acoustic version of the album (a la Frankmusik's Completely Me); I assume that will be available online. Until the proper album's release on July 25, here are some samples...

Suego Faults (30 sec)

Stay and Defend (30 sec)

Midnight Dancers (30 sec)

July 6, 2011

Cover Story: Two Men and a Legend

Where in the world is Wee Willy Young? I like this image, but I would like it more if 1) he was not about to get run over by a truck and 2) if he was in a discernible place like, you know, like the center of London or
where he belongs, maybe atop that column in Trafalgar Square. Or. atop. me.

Penguin Prison goes all arts and craftsy with this folky cover, which I actually like. I appreciate any artist who does not just follow the bizness suits and slap up a headshot because consumers are too thick to understand whose album this is.
Well done you, Double P.

None of the above applies to Miss Grace Jones, unless you prefer the previous (sub)version of this cover better. The Euro/UK image was creepy and consistent with her earlier work, while this US version mines the legend. Her Essential Divaness. Never stop the action.

July 4, 2011

New look Bjork doesn't look like Bjork

She's taken over that whole issue of Dazed And Confused!

Anyway, more importantly, Michael Cragg has heard the album and written about it on his blog, 3 Mins 30 Secs. Important quote:

The best of the bunch for me was Cosmogony, which has a lovely lift into the chorus and is as swooning and heart-bursting as Hyperballad or All Is Full Of Love.

Strong words, Michael, strong words!

July 3, 2011

Bright Light x2's Disco Moment

Another jewel from Bright Light Bright Light. For me, the unique power in Rod's songs often comes down to the way the music - in this case, galloping discopop - plays against his voice, which often sounds quite plaintive. Disco Moment, out on August 7th, is defined by a beautifully sad lyric...

Oh, you seem to change your mind in a heartbeat,

But still you try to keep your arms somewhere around me

Well, not like this, it's not how I operate...

I am open, I am open, but I might just close.

The video is fantastic... the actors look like they've been ripped from a fashion spread in an issue of The Face, from Rod's beloved 1990's.

More about Disco Moment in The Guardian