August 16, 2014


Today the Queen is 56 years old. And we are this close to a new album! Because I learned from Madonna how to be opportunistic, check out my Idolator pieces on Erotica and Ray of Light.

August 13, 2014

August 9, 2014

Song of Summer #8: Come Friday

I didn't see this one coming. Eliot Sumner - aka Coco Sumner/I Blame Coco - is back after a few years distance from her not entirely successful 2009 debut, The Constant. That record's best elements, Eliot's powerful voice and forthright delivery, suggested that she just hadn't found her sonic niche.

She's done that with her new EP, Information, and this amazing rager of a song. They say guitar pop is dead,  slaughtered by relentless EDM, but Come Friday pounds that storyline flat. You have a proper melody, lyric and performance and suddenly guitar pop is resurrected in the hands of a strange-in-a-good-way young woman who makes the music SHE wants.

"For England's sake I will stay cold / And will not show this hate I've grown"

This song is The Shit. Really good.

August 6, 2014

Song of Summer #7: You There

I've had a stressful week and playing Aquilo's serene You There (and the duo's eponymous EP) has gotten me through it. Their bio simply says "Ben and Tom from the Lake District" - we don't really need to know more as long as they continue to make such strong music. They've been in the studio recently with producer/artist Sohn, whose own Artifice was a fave in the spring), so there's more to come.

I suppose we could thank the success of London Grammar for ushering in a new kind of sound. Like that band and Arthur Beatrice, Aquilo doesn't need to hammer it to make their point, a statement in itself in the age of EDM. And yes, the voice on this.

Get Aqulo's EP now on iTunes and a great free track, Calling Me, from their Facebook.

August 2, 2014

Song of Summer #6: Sanctuary

"Let's fill these walls with happy times, gonna fill these rooms with peace of mind."

Jody Watley's new single is stone brilliant. A smoooooth jam. If you heard 2006's The Makeover, you know that this Watley era is all about mid-tempo beauty. Sanctuary slides in beside her cover of Madonna's Borderline or even her 1987 Patrick Leonard collaboration, Most Of All.  This is the return of quiet storm.

Above is the radio mix, but her new mini LP, Paradise, has a mellow 6:28 mix that allows the song to stretch out as it's meant to do.

August 1, 2014

Song of Summer #5: Coming Home

Out of the blue comes a perfect summer night soundtrack, Coming Home by London duo Pacific State. I know virtually nothing about them, other than comparisons to Morcheeba and perhaps a bit of Shara Nelson-era Massive Attack. I'd throw in the great Helicopter Girl as well.

Coming Home is a collage of melody, big soul vocals and strings. There are two versions of the track, a 3-minute radio mix and this extended version, which really builds on the Glen Campbell sample.

This post is for Michael Walter. You made my day!

Pop treasures

"An extra track and a tacky badge," Morrissey once sang. These are not tacky, they're treasures! A bit of my archives, most purchased between 1982 and 84. Do you have any buttons or badges, as they're called in the UK?