For the first single off his third album, Irish singer-songwriter Fionn Regan went back to basics. “For A Nightingale” is a stirring acoustic love song, with a no-frills but sublime simplicity very much akin to my favorite song of his, “Be Good Or Be Gone” (the latter’s video is a must-watch by the way). A suitably lovely tune for a mellow Sunday.
Fionn Regan – For A Nightingale
“100 Acres of Sycamore”, his forthcoming third album, is out on August 15.
I found “Best Thing I Ever Had”, second single off Beyoncé’s “4″, to be a reliably good, if a bit MOR ballad from her. That was until I heard the original version, put up online yesterday by one of the songwriters, Patrick “j.Que” Smith. It is labelled as the “’90s Mix”, and oh boy does it live up to that name. It’s an endearing throwback to the R&B radio sound over a decade ago. It really brought out a whole new side of the song, one that is much livelier and brighter. It’s understandable why she and the label didn’t choose to go with this, but I do hope that they will consider including it in the inevitable re-release. I hereby officially declare this to be the superior version.
Beyoncé – Best Thing I Never Had (’90s Mix)
Fresh off the oven, here is Robyn‘s cover of Coldplay’s “Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall”, which just aired on Radio 1′s Live Lounge with Fearne Cotton today. At first I thought it was an odd choice, as I think the original is not quite one of Coldplay’s finest moments, but I really do like Robyn’s synthy take of it. Then again, like Coldplay, she has always proudly worn her heart on sleeve. You see, it’s a good thing tears never show in a pouring waterfall… (okay that needs a bit work). I have ripped both the cover and the live performance of “Call Your Girlfriend” for your convenience. Download away!
I’m glad Radio 1 is supporting the new single, she deserves another bonafide hit. Have you seen the Greg James parody of the video yet? Good viral promotion!
As a bonus, I’ll throw in her earlier Live Lounge acoustic performance of “Dancing On My Own”. It’s a shame it wasn’t included on Body Talk to complete the acoustic trilogy. You can find it on the Live Lounge Vol. 5 comp, though.
Robyn is currently on tour with Katy Perry in the US.
Have you wondered how an Ellie Goulding track of her electro-folk variety would sound like with the production of Lady Gaga? Well, wonder no more, for the pop behemoth’s producer, Fernando Garibay, has done exactly that. In fact, his remix of “Lights”, with his familiar glam club beats, wouldn’t exactly sound out of place on the current US top-40 radios. It is certainly an interesting listen, and should put comparisons between the two artists to rest. Stream the new mix below, and check out more mixes, as well as her ongoing US tour dates after the jump.
Sometimes great visuals can enhance a song to another level. Such is the case with Canadian/NYC-based duo New Look‘s “The Ballad”. Is it just me or both the song and the video are quite David Lynch-ian? It helps that singer Sarah Ruba looks a bit like Milla Jollovich, too. The stark, clinical beats and synths contrasts against her voice and the lyrics, which are like a gentle, consoling pat on the back, though distant, awash, and weary. I highly recommend watching the video first, as it sets up and maintains the mood suitably.
Their dark, atmospheric synth-pop sound is probably too chilling for July, but it will soundtrack grey days and rainy nights perfectly. An album is due this fall on German label !K7. Hopefully there will be more of the same ilk to come.
The video uses a shorter edit, which keeps the song condensed enough. Personally, I prefer it to the full version, which adds 2 extra minutes.
New Look – The Ballad
MP3: New Look – Numbers
Let me preface this post by admitting that even though I appreciate what he does, Patrick Wolf just happens to be one of those artists I couldn’t quite get into, not for lack of trying. I thought this would change, as he calmed down a bit now and went new romantic on his new album, but I still haven’t become a full-time supporter just yet. With that said, I do believe that “Time Of My Life” is easily one of the best things he’s put his name to. It’s a truly heartfelt declaration of happiness, with a sumptuous arrangement consisting of swirling strings, blissful guitar strums and handclaps. An exquisite piece of work it really is, which is why I’m glad it will be re-released as the next single off “Lupercalia”. The previously vinyl-only single will now come with an upcoming music video, and also this brand new remix by Hurts. The duo gave a pulsating rework of the song, which remained celebratory, albeit with more of an edge. Download the remix, and stream the original below.
Patrick Wolf – Time Of My Life
Scottish newcomer Emeli Sandé is the latest to join the pop division of the ’90s electronica revival current. While she has only stepped into the spotlight recently, Emeli is actually no stranger on the UK urban pop scene, having featured on tracks of Professor Green, Tinie Tempah, Wiley, and written for Cheryl Cole, Alesha Dixon and Susan Boyle! Quite an impressive CV, don’t you think? Since I’m not really familiar with her previous urban collabs, “Heaven”, her debut single, is the first song I heard from her. And it’s the perfect introduction to her sound, with old-school drum-n-bass beats and a powerful, emotive vocal delivery. The girl can belt out! The music video, directed by Jake Nava (Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies”), took the ’90s vibe even further, complete with vague “broken Britain” imagery. If you’re a fan of Katy B, Yasmin, or Jess Mills, then Emeli Sandé will definitely be to your liking. Only time will tell whether she’s not just a new Leona with a trendy haircut, but “Heaven” is indeed a bloody good start. Watch the video, and stream the radio edit below.
Emeli Sandé – Heaven (Radio Edit)
“Heaven” the single is out on August 14 in the UK. Pre-order now on iTunes.
P.S. I was planning this post before I knew of yesterday’s heartbreaking news, and I couldn’t help but feel that this song’s lyrics made a rather fitting tribute to her. It was such a tragic end to a massive talent and tortured soul. Let’s face it, we all saw this coming, but that didn’t make this devastating loss any easier to cope with. I was always hoping she could fight the demons, get herself together and make another brilliant album… She is truly an icon, and there will never be another one like her. RIP Amy Winehouse, may you find peace at last…
What could be better than a wailing diva? A wailing disco diva, of course.
Check out this amazing Moonlight Matters remix of Adele‘s current single “Set Fire To The Rain”, complete with funky bassline AND dramatic strings. Who knows her pipes can also own the dancefloor! The track is yours to keep for free below.
Adele – Set Fire To The Rain (Moonlight Matters Remix)
And while we’re at it, here’s an older, but equally amazing & over-the-top remix of “Rolling In The Deep” by Villa, whom Moonlight Matters (aka Seba) was previously a part of. This guy is becoming an expert in remixing Adele right.
Adele – Rolling In The Deep (Villa Remix)
Expect to see her name on the Mercury Prize Shortlist tomorrow. She is inescapable nowadays, isn’t she? 2011 is truly her year, and deservingly so.
Danish songstress Fallulah stopped by Dermot O’Leary’s show on BBC Radio 2 yesterday to perform a live session, which included a special folky rendition of Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ “Gold Lion”. I never thought about how the song would sound like with banjos and accordions, but she and the band did a splendid job covering it! Apparently, her debut UK single is “I Lay My Head”, out in late August, and the album “The Black Cat Neighbourhood” should follow by next year, even though it’s been out in Denmark for a while now. She said she’s not even signed in Britain yet, but I suppose this will be rectified soon. Stream/download the cover below, and check out two of her latest videos after the jump.