September 27, 2012

Who is Foxes?

I quite like Foxes - the nom de pop of Louisa Rose Allen - she's like what would happen if one of the cast of Girls decided to make a pop album. Her new single and video Echo are big budget affairs, or at least sound and look like it...

In May 2012, Foxes released an EP called Warriors and promoted it with free downloads on Neon Gold and Facebook. You can hear more on Soundcloud...

September 25, 2012

Review: No Doubt's Push And Shove

This week I review No Doubt's new album, Push And Shove, for Idolator. Check it out. Like last week, my favorite part is just a little addendum at the end:

Best Listened To While… Touching up your platinum blond roots (boys too!) or engaging in illicit activity involving rolling papers.
Update: Looooka there, the review was quoted in The Hollywood Reporter, who think I am gushing...

September 23, 2012

Review: Dragonette's Bodyparts

Dragonette’s sassy lead singer Martina Sorbara is like a supercool big sister to pop’s nerdy discolettes. Bodyparts is the Dragonette we’ve come to love:  wicked funny (My Legs Go Out Late), dangerously horny (the amazing Untouchable) and a bit bad girlfriend-y (My Ghost). The latter track displays a rare - and welcome - melancholy. There is, however, a soul-tapping sense on this, their third album, that Dragonette is capable of even more. We love the strong girls best when they show us that they really can break, just like we do.

This review first appeared in the September 2012 issue of Instinct.

September 18, 2012

Review: The Killers' Battle Born

I reviewed The Killers new album, Battle Born, for Idolator. Check it out.

My favorite part is just a little addendum at the end:
We think Flowers imagines us [listening to the album] in a ’70s Mustang, speeding down a highway into the Nevada desert. We’re more likely playing it while stuck in traffic in our mopey 2000 Civic.

You'll be my night light, watching over me

I played this song more than any other this summer... Jessie Ware: Night Light.

Night Light, soon to be remixed by Hot Chip's Joe Goddard, is big, big tune that allows Ware to cut loose vocally. It's sonically adventurous, with cello and cascading electric guitars. The middle eight delivers a song within a song and an erotic come-on: "Tell me where to follow, I'm happy to be told.I'm happy to be told." This is goosebump territory.

September 13, 2012

This Chatty Thing We Made

I did a chat/interview hybrid thingy with The Darren Hayes recently. Here's a snippet:

I am FASCINATED by celeb twitpics. Like “This is my breakfast.” But I look at their china or the stuff in the background we are not supposed to look at. When I saw your album “making of “ videos, I looked at the shelves and, like, flooring! lol

DARREN: See, isn’t it funny - you would be shocked how much I hide from the world though in terms of my home, my private life - the intimate bits. It’s always the same room and very restricted angles that I show people.
STEPHEN: No one can see that large nude statue in your sitting room…
DARREN: Oh that? That’s just Richard

Read on, read on...

September 11, 2012

Dragonette tease their Bodyparts

UPDATE: Hype Machine is now streaming
the full Bodyparts album

Bodyparts album sampler. My review of it is in the new Instinct Magazine in the US and will be on my blog soon. My favorites are Untouchable, Lay Low, My Ghost (the ballad) and My Legs Go Out.

Let the seasons come and go

Bright Light Bright Light just
announced his new single - my favorite track off the album - Feel It, out October 29. Extra great news that my boy Vinny Vero has done a remix for it AND that the b-side is the album worthy Good Times, the first song I ever heard by Rod.


1. Feel It (single edit)
2. Good Times
3. Feel It (12" Version)
4. Feel It (Vinny Vero & Steve Migliore Remix)

When I interviewed Rod for Idolator in late May, here's what he said about Feel It:

[Co-producer] Jon Shave and I wanted to do something with more club euphoria, so we made ‘Feel It’. I’d heard
Mykal Kilgore, the [wailing diva] voice on it, singing on a track [Scissor Sisters member] Del Marquis had played me, so I wrote some diva vocal lines and Mykal stepped in and added 3000% of fierce to the mix. The production has a little more tongue in cheek — like the opening piano riff nodding directly to early ’90s production — before it goes a bit darker and more clublike. So C+C, Technotronic, the darker sides of Behaviour by Pet Shop Boys and Funky Green Dogs‘ ‘Fired Up’ were the kind of energies we wanted to channel with the track.

September 5, 2012

All Summer Single: A mix

photo by artskooldamage

Summer is an enigma. You never know what it will bring. Kicky clothes, cool drinks, weddings, natural catastrophes, sex... and a broken heart that won't. quite. mend. This playlist is a selection of songs that work really well to tell the story of Summer 2012. My story, anyway. Like the Pet Shop Boys say, happy/sad in the sunshine. If you click on the song title, you can hear it. LOCK THE DOORS TIGHT!

Elton John vs PNAU Sad

From the very first second, the most lush track of summer. Elton's gorgeous young voice in a swirling, modern arrangement. My joy and sorrow-oh-oh-oh-oh

Van She Jamaica
Little dancing tequila bottles.

Two Door Cinema Club
The World Is Watching
not online yet.
Irony free, blissful love song. And that vocal just swoons.

No Doubt Settle Down
I love how weird this is: a six minute single with orchestrals and a dubby breakdown.

Untouchable not online yet.
Martina in her dangerously horny mode, trying to nail a holy man.

Summer Camp Better Off Without You
Peppy! Bitchy! "He doesn't want you, can't you see?"

Sam Sparro Hearts Like Us short sample
For me this was all about the lovely middle eight: "You are not alone" repeated over and over.

Azealia Banks 212
Happy dappy filth. "You do like to slumber, don't yew?"

Usher Numb
Very of the moment in sound, but soaring.

Chris Brown Don't Wake Me Up (Free School/ William Orbit Mix)
*ducks flying shoes* Everything from 2:00 onward nulls the effect of the db singing it.

Hold On When You Get Love and Let Go When You Give It
Song of the year. It speaks for itself on every level.

Passion Pit Love Is Greed
Glorious - and sick - song.

Hot Chip Don't Deny Your Heart
The poppiest Hot Chip song! "If you wanna step, I'll step with you."

Bright Light Bright Light Feel It
Amazing (and remixes out in October!) "Just open up your lips and say you love me"

Niki & The Dove Somebody
The best Prince song Prince never recorded... maybe with Stevie Nicks on vox? Sounds blazing at night in the city.

Jessie Ware Wildest Moments
"Are you thinking what if... what if we ruin it all? My wrecking ball..."

Perseus Seychelles (Original Mix)

She sells seashells at the Seychelles? Slippery disco eleganza-ness.

Pet Shop Boys Winner (Andrew Dawson Extended Happy Sad Mix)
The one in which a disappointing song becomes, simply, a thing of sad wonder.

Cause And Effect Happiness Is An Alien (Ecotek & James Egbert Club Mix)
Random 80's band makes random comeback. Best played in the company of naked men.

Billy Idol To Be A Lover

An oldie that sounded amazing in the heat of 2012.

Florrie Shot You Down
Deceptively simple, this track is Florrie's most grandiose and gritty.

Jimmy Somerville Taken Away (Fred Falke Mix)
A massive comeback for Jimmy. That whipping percussion set against his ageless wailing. "It was good when I loved you, yes I did."

Scissor Sisters Let's Have A Kiki
End with a bang. This kiki is mahvelous.

September 4, 2012

No Doubt samples on iTunes Australia

No Doubt's new LP Push and Shove is previewed now only on iTunes Australia. Sounds like a killer, more in keeping with the variety of Gwen's solo albums than the dancehall-lite sound of Settle Down (which I love)
. One More Summer screams hit single. It's also more ballad heavy than expected.