August 29, 2013
I'm traveling in some vehicle
I'm sitting in some cafe
A defector from the petty wars
That shell shock love away
There's comfort in melancholy
When there's no need to explain
It's just as natural as the weather
In this moody sky today
In our possessive coupling
So much could not be expressed
So now I'm returning to myself
These things that you and I suppressed
I see something of myself in everyone
Just at this moment of the world
As snow gathers like bolts of lace
Waltzing on a ballroom girl
- Joni Mitchell, Hejira
Photo from Hejira sessions by Norman Seefe
In 2000, I had the thrill of seeing Joni Mitchell live with an orchestra. I still cannot believe it happened... I am quite sure I cried my way through much of it. I've found that you can live your whole life with her songs guiding you. She's been somewhat off the scene for a few years - she deserves a break - but in June she reappeared and performed a track from Hejira...
She sounds and looks utterly amazing.
She sounds and looks utterly amazing.
August 24, 2013
My lovely friend Veruca made me a Tesla Boy convert. Primarily the project of Anton Sedidov, this Russian band is starting to make a big push into North America, having gained an indie following. I'll be doing more on them very soon.
The music could be as classified big, lush synthpop, often with a bass-line that gives it a meaty thrust. New single, Undetected, is built on a bed that sounds like a lost Jam and Lewis production, but this track, Dream Machine, is my current jam. It has an elegant, minute-long intro worthy of Madonna - I'm obsessed with those little stabs of strings.
Their second album, from which this is taken is called The Universe Made of Darkness. It's out now via iTunes. Follow them on Twitter.
August 19, 2013
I am the last person to expect a song by one of those Disney / Nickelodeon kids to bowl me over. Ariana Grande (can that name be real?) got her start on a kids show called Victorious. Despite this fact, she can sing and this track has true pop bona fides. Baby I was written and produced by Babyface; it screams Mariah Carey in 1990... you hear it?
This is late summer froth. Love it.
August 17, 2013
August 16, 2013
August 12, 2013
In the midst of some big-name single releases this week, the silent killer is VV Brown's The Apple. Brown's previous single, Samson, fell flat with me, but this one - produced with Pascal Gabriel - is an icy kiss-off that happens to bang hard. It's not just me (Popjustice) that's noticed the track has a certain Grace Jones quality on the verses. It's the best thing VV has ever done.
The Apple is out now on iTunes US, soon to follow elsewhere. The video is freaky.
August 10, 2013
Excited for the first HAIM album, Days Are Gone. What do you think of this new album cut, Let Me Go? This is another one that captures the harder edge of their live shows.
Still loving The Wire. The album is out Sept 30. Here's a brief piece from Rolling Stone about how long it took to pull together.
This is going to be MAJOR. Richard Corman, who photographed Madonna in her early years in New York, is releasing a book of those images - Madonna NYC 83 - on November 30, 2013.
Here is a short launch video with Richard...
and here's a peek at the book on the production line in Italy
I'll be covering this much more as we get closer to the release date.
August 2, 2013
La prima estate is the venerable Erlend Øye's first new solo single in ten years. As a member of Kings Of Convenience, he's been kicking around, recording gorgeous music, since 2001. His solo track Like Gold was a fave of 2003. But why not come back TEN years later with a fluttery - or flutey - continental jam? Amo l'Italia.
Update: we have a sweet video in which Erlend wears cute pants and has updated his nerd glasses...