September 30, 2013

St. Lucia's love letter to New York

St Lucia's Elevate, if you'll remember, was one of my songs of summer. Finally we have the video and it's perfect. A truly lovely visualization of such an uplifting song. And a love letter to New York...

So much integrity in this band. They deserve all success - when you see them live, you get the sense  they truly care about music, first and foremost. The debut album, When The Night, hits October 8. My review will be over at Idolator that day.

Update: The plan has changed. I'll have a short review on Instinct's website soon!

Autumn Mix #4: Not A Bad Thing

Amid the bloated 2006-fest that is Justin Timberlake's second volume of The 20/20 Experience lies a pure gem. Not A Bad Thing would have been an ideal comeback track for N'Sync, with its 90's acoustic vibe and sumptuous harmonies. I absolutely love this - it's been on a constant loop.

For some reason, Justin's chosen a very dated way to present this song: an 11-minute "album only" file on iTunes that chains it to a  Stevie Wonder-esque ballad. I need to get it as a stand-alone.

September 24, 2013

Autumn Mix #3: You're Not The One

Sky Ferreira's been in the news this week for the wrong reasons, but let's hope she can keep it together. You're Not The One is her finest single and one of the best of 2013. The lyric is actually quite forlorn ("I won't even fight. You're not the one"), but the recording is all bite.

And the video. Holy fuck, it's flawless. Serious shades of Debbie Harry and Shirley Manson here. It's stacked with moments that add to her "iconography," like the flick of the hand at :50 (on the first chorus) or the way she struts into the vortex of lasers at the end (3:40).  Amazing.

Sky, giving us the rock chick in 2013. On iTunes NOW.

September 22, 2013

Autumn Mix #2: Man On A Wire

The scruffy, handsome Thomas Dybdahl is a 34 year old Norwegian singer/songwriter who's been releasing consistently strong music for the past decade. I discovered him on the advice of the brilliant folk pop musician Judie Tzuke, who worked with him on a Morcheeba album. Early hit Love Story is an achingly lovely (and sensual) introduction.

His new album, What's Left Is Forever, is - to my ears - his best and most consistent. It's produced by Larry Klein, ex Mr. Joni Mitchell, who's produced incredible albums for Shawn Colvin, Melody Gardot and of course, Joni. The latest single, Man On A Wire, is a perfect September song - it literally mentions rustling leaves - and a bit opaque in its subject matter. Is it about a man on his own again after a heartbreak? For me, it is.

If you're a fan of Ed Harcourt, Jeff Buckley, Shawn Colvin or Ryan Adams, definitely check this out. The album is released in the UK on October 7; if you like a truly grand orchestral ballad, pay attention to the album's stunning finale, This Next Wave is a Big One. And note that Thomas is doing live dates in Europe throughout October and November.

September 16, 2013

Autumn Mix #1: The Best Jewel Thief In The World

Prefab Sprout's Two Wheels Good - or Steve McQueen in the UK - is probably my favorite album of all time. That slot rotates between a few albums, like Hounds of Love and Amplified Heart. Paddy McAloon, the man behind Prefab, certainly has the richest male voice in pop. After years of producing flawless music, he retreated in the last decade due to health problems, releasing only one "lost" 1992 LP in 2008. Now he's back with the gorgeous Crimson /Red, out October 7. The first single, The Best Jewel Thief In The World, is a brilliant way to start my fall faves.. it even has harmonica!

The stream above has the DJs talking. Sorry about that. The album version chorus has a line, "What do those assholes know?," that's been edited to "What do those people know?" for radio.

September 10, 2013

Review: Goldfrapp's Tales of Us

I reviewed Goldfrapp's beautiful new record, Tales of Us, for Idolator. Here's a snippet...
(Alison) Goldfrapp herself has never sounded warmer. On Laurel she even reveals a new voice: sounding almost submerged underwater, her register dips low, as if she’s transmitting an inner blues. In recent interviews, Goldfrapp has said these songs are narratives inspired by fiction and film; her sometimes indecipherable vocals enhance the music’s impressionistic qualities.
More here

See also
: Alison Goldfrapp Discusses The Cinematic World She Created For ‘Tales Of Us’

September 9, 2013

Tesla Boy on Idolator

Rush over to Idolator to read my "Popping Up" piece on Tesla Boy. You can hear several tracks there, but here's a currrent fave, Stars.

September 1, 2013

Song of Summer #25: Back Together (Summer Version)

So we're at the "official" end of summer and I've LOVED doing this list of songs. It easy, quick and I've gotten a good reaction, so I plan to somehow continue it this fall. Goddesss bless Richard X for posting a new, shimmering remix of Annie's Back Together. Sonically, it reminds me a lot of his work with Will Young on the perfect Echoes. I don't need to say anything more... just listen.

This is actually from the vinyl version of the A&R EP, due out soon. Mine is ordered!