Sunday, March 31, 2013

Habits

Holy shit this is intense! Sweden's Tove Lo has essentially rewritten Ke$ha's "Tik Tok" from a much grittier, darker perspective. While Ke$ha seems happy to portray herself as a trashy skank who just wants to party, Lo is ready to admit that her self-destructing ways are the result of heartbreak and pain. Lyrics like "I eat my dinner in my bathtub, then I go to sex clubs watching freaky people getting it on" are not only better written, they are delivered in a much more honest way. As is the devastatingly sad, yet catchy, chorus: "You're gone and I gotta stay high all the time to keep you off my mind."

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Soundgirl

In my book, there's almost nothing that can compete with the girlband summer jam with melancholic tinges. Bananarama's "Cruel Summer" comes to mind as a prime example. "All That She Wants" (okay, not a girlband) was almost, but not quite, there. But now Soundgirl hit it out of the ballpark with their upcoming (technically, first) single "Don't Know Why". Featuring a subdued but effective electro bassline under a lo-fi reggae sample, this little gem penned by ex-Xenomaniac Miranda Cooper (is she back or what?) really, REALLY hits the spot. Just in time for the eagerly awaited summer that always seems to promise more than it delivers.
Update: It seems like they're going with a slightly tweaked new version featuring rapper Mann. It still sounds great, maybe even better. Now fingers crossed this isn't a massive flop.

Monday, February 09, 2009

It only takes a moment...

to fall in love with Saint Etienne. Don't believe me? Scroll down and press "play", listen to 15 seconds of glorious shiny synths and bells, press "pause". Not convinced? Please click "back" on your browser NOW, thank you for visiting. Want more? Of course you do! Go and press play again!

So "Method of Modern Love," Saint Etienne's new single, is out today. And it's the first one in a long time to sound like it should be on top of the charts until at least the end of the year. It's what Saint Etienne, IMHO, do best: catchy, lovely, straightforward dance-pop. No obscure movie samples, no Beach Boys electro-folk, no "avant-garde fist in velvet glove", as Simon Reynolds would describe them on his liner notes for "Sound Of Water." Of course, these are all things we expect and love from The Et; and they're good (usually, really good) at them. But when it comes to just pop, they put the competition to shame.



So why then? Why don't they give us more songs like this one? And more frustratingly, why, when they do, it almost seems like they try to hide them from the world? Case in point, today's release: no video, no promos, no interviews, no airplay (OK, that one isn't just their fault). How do they ever expect to have a hit? Are we, fans with blogs, supposed to do all the work? I guess we do.

Reader(s): If you live in the UK and read this post before Friday, would you please go to wherever you normally go (store or interwebs) and order, buy, or LEGALLY download this song. Pretty please?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Cry For You

I'd probably have a hard time defending last year's club hit Cry For You by September. It is completely derivative Euro-dance. It blatantly steals the synth riff from Bronski Beat's "Smalltown Boy" and it's certainly not the first song to recycle the "Can't Get You Out Of My Head" bassline/beat. The thing is, it also happens to be my kind of derivative Euro-dance. So there you go.

"Allô, allô"

I've realized the reason I've been away for so long is that I was starting to feel pressure to compete with other music blogs. I felt I had to be relevant, to find new, exciting acts -and interesting things to say about them- before others did. Now I realize it's pointless really; partly because I don't get to listen to a lot of new music these days, but mainly because I'm no music critic, nor should I try to be. So screw it, we're back to "This is the place where I tell you about the stuff I love, old and new, regardless of what's already been said elsewhere." Let's get to it.

Spain's Souvenir, have been around for a while (since 1999) but I didn't discover them until fairly recently in one of my myspacing (checking out 'friends' of artists I like) sessions. I listened to a couple of tracks from their early years and, to be honest, I wasn't exactly blown away. But the lead single (and video, see below) of their last album '64', I instantly loved. It just ticks all the right boxes: Cute ye-ye girl in a dress? Yes. French sung with a slight Spanish accent? Yes. The occasional twangy guitar? Yes. Electro-pop with twist of '60s retro a la Saint Etienne? Very yes, thank you!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

This IS Italo!

Hi there, it's me again. I hope no one is expecting me to explain why I was away for so long, because I can't really think of anything. I didn't stop liking music or getting excited about it. In fact, I didn't even stop writing; it's just that, for some reason, I didn't bother pressing the "Publish Post" button. So the only thing I can do now is apologize to whoever still visits this blog.

The one thing I know though, is what brought me back: I just couldn't' resist telling you about Sally Shapiro! She's from, erm, Sweden. I know, I know, it's getting a bit samey, but I promise I'll stop writing about Scandinavians as soon as they stop making ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL POP MUSIC. But for the time being that ain't happening so let's get back to Sally: She's a bit of a recluse; she uses a pseudonym (you probably already guessed that), won't do any interviews or play live. Well that's all a shame, but fortunately she doesn't seem to have a problem with putting out great records. Her first album, Disco Romance was released a month or two ago. It was produced by this guy called Johan Agebjörn (who I knew nothing about before) and it is amazing! ...or so they say; I haven't listened to it myself. But I have listened to (and many times) a couple of the songs that are available as free downloads at her website. So please do yourself a favor and go check them out now. I said go, stop reading! OK maybe you're back already. Anyway, these songs sound almost like lost Valerie Dore (here) classics from '83-'85. But that surely ain't a bad thing, cause it's all sweet, sad, catchy and wonderful music anyway!

Monday, July 24, 2006

Better late...

Today's post title applies for both, my prolonged absence from this blog (to which I have no excuse) and being about the penultimate person on the planet to join the Lily Allen hype. A lot has already been said about this 21 year old girl from London so I won't add much more, except maybe that the mellow, laidback ska-pop of her current single "Smile" is refusing to leave my head (in a good way) and that maybe you should check it out. You can do that for free at her (my)space, and maybe you'll even be interested in buying her new album Alright, Still which has recieved more or less the same amounts of praise and criticism from the music press.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Promiscuous

Mainstream pop (I mean really mainstream, chart-topping popular music) has the frustrating quality of being mostly terrible. I'm not denying I'm basically being a snobbish prick here, but I just can't help thinking most of the top selling acts (especially here in North America) are really boring. However, by using the word frustrating I'm actually trying to emphasize the mostly part; which is to say that I also think some mainstream pop is in fact very good, even excellent. I guess it's appropriate then, to name an example of what I consider exceptionally good commercial pop. "Promiscuous," Nelly Furtado's latest single is simply fantastic. In what's got to be one of the smartest career moves ever, Nelly has teamed up with hip-hop/r&b superproducer Timbaland and released this track which, along with "Maneater" (also excellent), will be included on her forthcoming album Loose. The verse (rapped) is peppered with a vibey loop that just won't leave your head. The chorus (sung) features a cheap, '80s-sounding synth and it's also catchy as hell. If something doesn't go horribly wrong (i.e. something probably will) this should be huge. No mp3 this time but here's a link to Nelly's page where you can watch the video, which isn't really that special, but at least it features -you guessed it- Nelly Furtado, and that can't be a bad thing.