Remember that atrocious Little Boots video for “New In Town”? Well, Cocknbullkid‘s video for her latest single “Asthma Attack” is like that, except not shit.
That was directed by Mike Baldwin, who also did Royksopp’s “The Girl And The Robot”. I quite like the blinking wreath she put on at the end. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was to be featured on the album cover.
“Asthma Attack”, a bittersweet love letter to her hometown London, ticked all the right boxes for what I look for in a great pop song. This is the third single in a row of hers that I thoroughly enjoyed. Hattrick! Anita Bay really has a knack for singsong choruses and lush harmonies, and I like the contrast between her warm voice, the uplifting melodies and the slightly cynical and morose quality of her lyrics. I guess she can be a bit hard for the public to grasp, but I’m totally on her team. Her long-awaited debut album “Adulthood” will finally see the light of day on May 23 in the UK. See the video for her previous single “Hold On To Your Misery” after the jump, and download an excellent balearic remix by Lissvik.
LA dream-pop duo The Bird And The Bee recently revamped their official site. To celebrate that, they made an amusingly geeky welcome video. However, the best part is they uploaded a bunch of rarities on Soundcloud! The highlight is an unreleased cover of Madonna’s “Material Girl”. It’s a fun ’80s take, complete with 8-bit synths and a talkbox! The reason for its existence is quite funny, in Inara’s words: “The reason why we covered this song is not very romantic. Greg thought our publishers had asked him to cover the song… but it turned out that he was mistaken.” Love that they goofed around for it because of a mistake in communication. A previously unreleased cut from the “Ray Guns Are Not Just The Future” session was also unveiled, a psychedelic space-pop track called “How Mean Am I”. Greg & Inara are working on a new album, and a clip of them in the studio hinted that it might be ’80s-influenced. I adore everything they do, as well as Greg’s pop production, so it’s exciting news. Stream the cover below.
The Bird And The Bee – Material Girl (Madonna Cover)
The Bird And The Bee – How Mean Am I (Unreleased)
My favorite rising UK act, Jamie Woon, went back to basics for his Live Lounge visit. With only a guitar, he performed his latest single “Lady Luck” and a cover of Adele‘s mega-hit “Someone Like You”. And what an incredible, soulful voice he has! It’s a fantastic cover, even if it kinda veered dangerously close to Jason Mraz territory. Woon’s debut, Mirrorwriting, drops April 18 in UK. No US release plans yet, but I seriously hope he will tour here this summer. If he learnt from his SXSW gigs and practiced more, his live show could be amazing. Stream/download the cover below. Grab an acoustic version & a cool remix of “Lady Luck” after the jump.
Katy B, UK’s rising pop star and dubstep poster girl, will be releasing her third single “Broken Record” on March 29. It’s a grower that gets better with every play and every time the drum-and-bass beats kick in. So far, everything I’ve heard from her has been so fresh and exciting, I will be majorly disappointed if the album’s anything less than amazing. The remix package is also very strong, especially the Jacques Greene version. It’s currently available as a freebie on Amazon UK, but you can also grab it here. It seems the ’90s electronic subgenre revival is well underway, what with quite a few throwback garage/jungle/dnb remixes popping up lately. Vertigo-inspired(?) video embedded below.
Last week, Mark Ronson & The Business Intl‘s member Rose Elinor Dougall mysteriously asked for Australian cover suggestions on Facebook. It turned out it was for Triple J’s “Like A Version” feature, and apparently rather than choosing a random SAW-era Kylie song “for the LOLZ”, the band took the cool route and covered Tame Impala’s “Solitude Is Bliss”, which by itself is a great swirling psych-pop jam. Rose and Andrew Wyatt (Miike Snow) took charge of the vocals. Listen to their take below, and get a bonus cover of Alicia Keys’ “Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart” featuring MNDR done for Live Lounge last year after the jump.
Oh, the misfortune of being a Sophie Ellis-Bextor fan. Last I heard, she was promising the new album would be out by May, but I’m taking it with a pinch of salt. For now, the UK pop ice queen has a new single out, “Not Giving Up On Love”, a collaboration with Dutch DJ Armin Van Buuren. I’m no fan of trance, but this is actually a beautiful, melancholic piece of trance-pop that’s a cut above your average generic Guetta hit, and deserves to be a summer anthem. Back in July 2010, she stopped by Dermot O’Leary’s show on BBC Radio 2 to do a live session promoting it (it was forward-thinking of her!). Not only did she deliver a great acoustic version with an extra verse, she also did a lovely cover of “Getting Away With It”, an old hit by ’80s supergroup Electronic, comprised of members of Pet Shop Boys and New Order and The Smiths. Under such stripped-down arrangements, her voice truly radiates. Now if she could finally get her fourth studio out this year, it might very well have the potential to be a pop gem of 2011. Perhaps to most, she’s just a remnant of the early noughties, but I do believe she’s still a real unique pop star worth rooting for. Hear the tracks and watch the Sophie-Muller-directed, filmed-in-Ibiza video after the jump.
Yesterday, UK pop songstress Ellie Goulding stopped by Radio 1’s Live Lounge to promote her ace new single “Lights”. Her two-song set consists of a lovely acoustic take of the song, and a surprise cover of The Knife’s “Heartbeats”, which is pure ear candy. A full-fledged acoustic album from Ellie in the future is almost a given now. I love both electro-Ellie & folk-Ellie, though, so I’m not ready to give up the former just yet. She seems so much more comfortable as a pop star now. Stream/download the live performances below.
The US edition of her stunning album “Lights” is out now. I highly recommend getting a copy if you still haven’t.
The new UK single “Lights” is also out now, with her previous Live Lounge cover, Rihanna’s “Only Girl”, as the b-side.
More on Ellie.
It’s not that often I become completely obsessed with a track I haven’t even heard in full yet. Such is the case with Yasmin‘s upcoming single “Finish Line”. I must have been listening to the snippet at least once a day since it was posted on her Youtube account, and it’s not even out until May 8! Every second of the 2-minute-long preview is laden with hooks. The Iranian/British singer’s pop sound is a breath of fresh air, taking inspirations from early 90’s electronica music from the likes of Massive Attack. It’s the right fusion of trippy beats, sweet vocals and addictively catchy melodies. Her debut single, “On My Own”, is a good introduction to her, though it lacks a bit of punch compared to the new one. I had my doubts, as she’s signed to Ministry of Sound, a label more known for its dance compilations, but Example is her labelmate and he had fair success last year, so hopefully, with a great video and good promotion, she too can make the jump to pop stardom. “Finish Line” has “hit” written all over it, and I can hardly wait to hear it in full. Hear the amazing teaser below, and check out a remix from the mighty Freemasons.
Finish Line (Preview):
Yasmin – Finish Line (Freemasons Pegasus Radio Edit)