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J▲M: Wilfred Giroux – Stronger

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So AlunaGeorge recommended this certain tune a while ago on Twitter, and since I trust their taste in music I followed through. And yup, total jam. “Stronger” is a hot garage throwback whose not-so-secret weapon is an instantly recognizable sample (spoiler alert: it’s Corinne Bailey-Rae‘s once-inescapable “Put Your Records On”). It’s very 2014, in the veins of Disclosure and the current wave of catchphrase-based UK house music.
Wilfred Giroux is the alias of Joshua Mooney, a 22-year-old London-based producer with a fast growing Internet following. Apparently Corinne has personally approved the sample so there should be no clearance issues. Next, with radio support, this will be huge.
And now I realize it’s perfectly acceptable to sample “Put Your Records On” because it’s been EIGHT years, and I just want to gaze into the blood moon and feel all kinds of feels.

 

STREAM: Wilfred Giroux – Stronger (Extended Mix)

 

Buy the single right now on iTunes. It’s also available as a seriously cool T-shirt bundle (designed by Young & Sick) via Polkadot Recordings.
More on Wilfred Giroux.

LISTEN: Róisín Murphy – Ancora Tu

Roisin Murphy By Ami Barwell
Only Róisín Murphy can get away with making her first official solo material in 8 years a 6-track EP of Italian covers. “Mi Senti” (“I Feel” in English) is a collection of electronic renditions of 5 classic Italian tracks from the ’60s and ’70s by the likes of Mina, Patty Pravo, Lucio Battisti and Gino Paoli (nope, me neither), plus one original penned by the former Moloko star. The project is a joint effort with her partner and Milanese producer Sebastiano Properzi. You can now stream “Ancora Tu”, a laidback, moody post-Italo-disco number that might be indicative of the overall sound of the EP. I like the stylized ’80s vibe, but shall reserve my judgement ’til I hear the whole thing in context.

 

STREAM: Róisín Murphy – Ancora Tu

 

The EP drops May 28, digitally and physically on special gatefold double white vinyl, strictly limited to 1000 copies with the first 500 hand signed by Róisín herself. It will cost you £40 a pop. Let’s justify it as an investment.

Pre-order the limited-edition vinyl at VinylFactory.
Like Róisín on Facebook.

LISTEN: Lana Del Rey – West Coast

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After a week of relentless teasing, this morning Lana Del Rey finally premiered “West Coast”, the lead single off her highly-anticipated sophomore album “Ultraviolence”. The multi-layered, slow-burning midtempo ballad is something of a departure for her. It’s not like she has gone trap or anything, but it’s still a fairly new territory for her, sound-wise. To be honest, I was hoping for something on the poppier side (à la “National Anthem”), still, as I let it marinate a bit more, here are a few keynotes:

  • It’s produced by The Black Keys‘ Dan Auerbach. So credible.
  • A video has been shot with director Vincent Haycock (Calvin Harris, Florence + The Machine). Expect it to be a serious narrative affair
  • I wonder if they deliberately sampled The Beatles’ “And I Love Her” opening bar? Listen to 1:04 and compare.
  • Hello, “Pure Shores” synth pads!
  • Basically it’s something you can swing from side to side to in the pale moonlight.
  • Perpetua tweeted that it sounds like “she merged Portishead and Mazzy Star”, which I can actually hear.

Have a listen below:

 

STREAM: Lana Del Rey – West Coast

What do you make of the ‘queen of Saigon”s new direction?

Buy ‘West Coast’ on iTunes.
More on Lana.

ON ROTATION: Nina Persson – Animal Heart

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Nina Persson‘s debut solo album “Animal Heart” has been a Pop Labyrinth favorite since its release in February. Now that the sun is out, it feels like the right time to revisit the soaring title track. “Animal Heart” sees The Cardigans/A Camp frontwoman at her ’80s synth-pop new wave mode, and rest assured, it’s a fantastic song injected with wildlife metaphors, heartfelt melodies, and of course, her unmistakable voice. The one-shot music video filmed at her Harlem neighborhood features back-up dancers, confetti, and costume changes, all in one quick walk to grab some milk! It looks like great fun without appearing too rehearsed. And her belting at the last chorus – she’s still got me after all these years.

 

WATCH: Nina Persson – Animal Heart

 

Nina Persson is playing a show at Baby’s All Right in Brooklyn this Wednesday, 4/16, for which you can buy tickets here.

Buy the album, out now on The End Records.
More on Nina.

ON ROTATION: Oscar – Sometimes

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One year has passed since I raved about Oscar’s “Never Told You”, and the London-based bedroom pop artist is back with another perfect pop song. “Sometimes” is instant love at first play, generous with riff-laden hooks and the scruffy charm of the lo-fi indie pop ethos. Wearing its Blur-isms on its sleeves, the track harks back to the golden days of early-’90s Britpop. Oscar Scheller certainly has a way with catchy melodies, and he doesn’t hold them back. On a sunny spring day, I ask for nothing more. Irresistible.

 

STREAM: Oscar – Sometimes

 

Oscar is now signed to Smalltown Supersound’s new sub-label Brown Rice, and his debut EP “146b” drops next month.

Oscar on Soundcloud.
More on Oscar.

FOUNDSOUNDS: Plastic Plates – Stay In Love (feat. Sam Sparro)

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Here’s a name I bet you haven’t heard of for while: Sam Sparro. He was like the Sam Smith of 2008. Yes, it’s been 6 years since “Black and Gold”. Let that seep in.
I was just alerted to his recent collaboration with fellow Aussie Plastic Plates, a track called “Stay In Love”. It’s an on-trend laidback house number, and Sam’s soulful vocals go down easy. It was quietly released on iTunes back in February and managed to slip under my radar until now. A jam and a half, you may agree.

 

STREAM: Plastic Plates – Stay In Love (feat. Sam Sparro)

 

Buy the song.
Catch up with Sam.
More on Plastic Plates.

REMIXED: Ellie Goulding – Beating Heart (Cahill Radio Edit)

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Professional soundtrack botherer Ellie Goulding just premiered the video for her latest young adult blockbuster theme song “Beating Heart”. For those of you who prefer EDM Ellie, the Divergent tune also got a fresh club-friendly remix by the ever-reliable Cahill. If you’re up for some generic good fun, check out the dance radio edit below.

 

STREAM: Ellie Goulding – Beating Heart (Cahill Radio Edit)

 

You can watch Ellie having a nice walk in the woods below.

 


Buy “Beating Heart” on iTunes.

More on Ellie.
More on Cahill.

LISTEN: Foxes – Night Glo

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Foxes’ ascension to pop stardom has been a long time coming, but it looks like 2014 will be her year. January brought her a Grammy award for her Zedd collaboration “Clarity” (Best Dance Recording), February landed her a UK Top 10 single for “Let Go For Tonight”, and come May her debut album “Glorious” will finally drop.
“Night Glo” is one of the album tracks, and it presents a somewhat different side of the British pop star. The midtempo number is produced by Liam Howe (Lana Del Rey, Marina & The Diamonds, Ellie Goulding, FKA Twigs), with a piano intro that recalls a Studio Ghibli score. Over an atmospheric, swampy instrumental, Louisa sings: “When soldiers are calling, just run through the night glo.” The track already sounds ready-made for a young adult film adaptation soundtrack.

 

STREAM: Foxes – Night Glo

 

Pre-order the album on iTunes, out May 9 in the UK.
Foxes on Facebook.

Plastiscines Return With Covers EP, Reinterpret Lana Del Rey

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Does the name Plastiscines ring a bell to you?
Let me jog your memory: back in 2009, the all-girl French rock band became the first to sign to NYLON magazine’s record label, released their second album “About Love”, and even nabbed a guest spot on Gossip Girl. Since then, the group downsized to a trio, added synths to their sound and continued to release new music. Their most recent release is a covers EP sponsored by Paco Rabanne perfume Black XS. It’s an eclectic collection of slick and stylish reinterpretations of Lana Del Rey’s “Blue Jeans”, Air’s “Sexy Boy”, Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s “Murder On The Dancefloor”, Caroline Loeb’s ’80s hit “C’est la ouate”, and an acoustic version of Wham!’s “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go”. If you like your bands to consist of guitar-rocking ladies (The Like, The Donnas, HAIM etc.), you should dig into this pronto. You can’t go wrong with some fun rock n’ roll with a French accent.
Listen to their new-wave take of Lana Del Rey’s “Blue Jeans” below. Cowbells included!

 

STREAM: Plastiscines – Blue Jeans (Lana Del Rey Cover)

 

I also quite enjoy their 2013 French single – the groovy “Comment faire”, whose video is a fun retro homage to American ’70s cop shows à la Charlie’s Angels.

 

WATCH: Plastiscines – Comment Faire

 

Their new album “Back To The Start” drops April 14.
Buy Black XS: The Rock Cover EP on iTunes.
Check out their Soundcloud.

J▲M: Tame Impala – Stranger In Moscow (Michael Jackson Cover)

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Last weekend, Aussie psych-pop wizards Tame Impala casually chucked a cover of Michael Jackson‘s 1996 single “Stranger In Moscow” on Soundcloud. The track’s arrival might be unexpected, but its gorgeousness is no surprise. Generously doused with swirling psychedelia, comfy synth pads and layer upon layer of reverb, it’s an effortlessly superb re-imagining that sounds fresh and retro at once. Honestly, if they hadn’t put “MJ Cover” in (double) parentheses, I would have totally bought it as a new unreleased Tame Impala song.

 

STREAM: Tame Impala – Stranger In Moscow (Michael Jackson Cover)

 

Out of curiosity, I launched Youtube right after to check out the original, which turned out to be a beautiful ’90s relic. Then I ended up at the track’s Wiki page and found out UK duo Alpines also recorded another lovely version which was put up on their Myspace back in 2010. I’ve unearthed that and uploaded it for your convenience below. Have a listen while I lean back and congratulate myself for such a productive day.

 

STREAM: Alpines – Stranger In Moscow (Michael Jackson Cover)

 

More on Tame Impala.
More on Alpines.

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