Diplo is full of surprises isn’t he? Responsible for the most unexpectedly brilliant mainstream R&B song this year, the producer adds a new touch to Usher‘s blissed-out “Climax” with a subtle but “bouncier” alternate mix. It’s sounding especially awesome for this rainy Sunday afternoon. Who’d have thought that a collaboration between Usher, Diplo, and Nico Muhly would be possible, let alone so utterly inspired? “Radiohead quiet soul”, indeed.
STREAM: Usher – Climax (Diplo Bouncier Climactic Remix)
If you want to bring the tears to the dancefloor, check out the Flosstradamus & Diplo remix below.
STREAM: Usher – Climax (Flosstradamus and Diplo Remix)
If you happen to subscribe to Mojo Magazine, the latest issue comes with a free CD of “Pet Sounds” covers in celebration of the 50th anniversary of The Beach Boys. Saint Etienne contributed their part with a lovely version of the iconic track one “Wouldn’t It Be Nice”. It starts with a lush a cappella intro, then merges into a mellow bossa nova summer groove. It’s definitely something nice to tide me over while waiting impatiently for the new album to come out. It’s not the first time Saint Etienne covered a Beach Boys song, having done “Stevie” for another tribute compilation before.
STREAM: Saint Etienne – Wouldn’t It Be Nice (The Beach Boys Cover)
New anthem alert! Spector has unleashed their fifth single “Celestine”, and it is HUGE! Produced by Trevor Horn, it’s an epic arena-sized monster without any pretense of what it’s set out to be: an epic arena-sized monster. Now that I found a proper audio version to replace the Zane Lowe radio rip, my obsession will only grow stronger. Seriously, this is so glorious I don’t know whether to fist pump or cry, or both. I picture a sea of thousands of hands in the air and the crowd chanting along as the drums drop out on the last chorus. It’s safe to say “Celestine” has eclipsed “Grey Shirt & Tie” as their best track to date, and right now it is very much a strong contender for song of the year. Spector has proved themselves to be the most exciting new guitar band in a while. The Vaccines who?
STREAM: Spector – Celestine
Celestine is out May 21 in UK on Fiction. If this couldn’t score a number one, I’d be livid.
For her new single, British songstress Delilah goes back to the beginning with “Breathe”, a track previously given away as a free download last year, and now gets a revamp for its single status. At first I wasn’t sure about this single choice, since both “Go” & “Love You So” were so brilliant, but the new mix added the bells & whistles while still keeping the subtleties of the original demo. The demo sounded like Zero 7 to my ears, but this new version is closer to the Portishead school of hopelessly sombre and bleak night music. Those haunting strings at the end are just masterful.
The suitably moody video reflects the urban decay in the song. And is it only me who never noticed the scar on her left cheek before?
I kept half-expecting the song to drop into a drum & bass breakdown. Thankfully, the Sub Zero remix does just that while maintaining the atmostphere. There are few cases where I prefer a remix over the original but this might be one.
STREAM: Delilah – Breathe (Sub Zero Remix)
And if you prefer to put a womp on it, there’s Emalkay dubstep take, which you can download for free below.
MP3: Delilah – Breathe (Emalkay Remix)
A fan of duets? There’s one with fellow Chase & Status collaborator Liam Bailey. She really covers all bases, doesn’t she?
STREAM: Delilah – Breathe (Duet Version feat. Liam Bailey)
Marina & The Diamonds‘ new single “Primadonna” is out this week on iTunes UK, and you should buy it and support an amazing pop star already. Need more incentive? Marina’s team has put all the remixes up for streaming on her Soundcloud. The most blog-friendly of the bunch is by rising British producer Evian Christ. For what’s possibly his first official remix, he deconstructs a dance-pop track and builds it from scratch with vocal samples and loops.
STREAM: Marina and the Diamonds – Primadonna (Evian Christ Remix)
I’ve been a bit obsessed with Queen Of Hearts‘ latest offering “Neon”. A continuance on the Londoner’s one-producer-per-song thing, the John-Myers-produced track is creamy, smooth electro-pop with sweet vocals and hooks in all the right places. This is what I imagine a Rachel Stevens single would sound like in 2012, and that’s high praise! There’s also a hint of Supernature-era Goldfrapp as well. Basically it’s the best thing she put her name to. Hurrah!
STREAM: Queen Of Hearts – Neon
You can also grab a free download of the Daft-Punk-esque Lightwaves remix here.
I can’t wait to hear the other new track, the Sound-Of-Arrows-produced “Tears In The Rain” – all the signs point to another potential pop beauty.
For some reasons, I am not too fussed about the new Scissor Sisters single “Only The Horses”. The band roped in producer-of-the-moment Calvin Harris for the collaboration, and his signature sound is all over it but Scissor’s. This could have been a Mika track even! I don’t know if this is their attempt to conquer the (UK) chart again, or just the safe for-the-masses one to pave the album sales the way “Fire With Fire” was? Maybe some extra bits and bobs from the extended mix may sway your opinion?
STREAM: Scissor Sisters – Only The Horses (Calvin Harris Extended Mix)
For the record, I think “Shady Love” was the better one. It was different, but still fun & silly.
STREAM: Scissor Sisters vs Krystal Pepsy – Shady Love (Extended Mix)
“Only The Horses” is out May 13.
Little Boots is readying a new single just in time for Record Store Day. Out on April 23 as a free download and on limited 12” vinyl, “Every Night I Say A Prayer” is produced by Andy Butler of Hercules & Love Affair. Earlier today, the Tensnake mix got its first play on Pete Tong’s Radio 1 show. It was claimed to be an exclusive premiere, but in fact Victoria did give away a sneak peek a month ago on her free “Into The Future” mixtape. Sneaky Boots! I’m digging the futuristic electro-funk vibes of the remix, and definitely looking forward to hearing the original in full. Check out the untagged preview below.
STREAM: Little Boots – Every Night I Say A Prayer (Tensnake Remix)
Someone has also kindly uploaded a fuller rip on Soundcloud.
UPDATE: You can now stream & download the full mix on her Soundcloud.
Sometimes, it is best to listen to new music point-blank, without any expectations, and that’s exactly how you should listen to the track below.
STREAM: Violet – Y.O.U.
That was well lovely, wasn’t it? It’s languid, laidback, nostalgic and lovey dovey dream-pop, reminiscent of ’90s Mazzy Star, and Beach House, for a more modern reference. It’s appropriately springtime soundtrack for a lakeside picnic.
I checked Violet out with no other information other than they’re the latest signing to cool British indie label Luv Luv Luv, and I liked it so much I had to google to find out more. Much to my surprise, it turned out Violet is in fact fronted by Pixie Geldof, whom I have only known of as an infamous socialite and tabloid fixture. I definitely didn’t see this coming! It’s easy to forget that she is technically music royalty after all. Suffice to say, I’m glad I got to hear this without my preconceptions getting in the way, because “Y.O.U.” is indeed an impressive preview of things to come.
“Y.O.U./I Come Undone” will be released as a limited 7″ on May 7 by Luv Luv Luv.
The latest Lana Del Rey remix comes from Alpines, the moody pop duo previously responsible for this great Emeli Sande remix. Their rework of her new single “Blue Jeans” follows a similar palette, with postdubstep beats and some nice piano bits. They are quite good at this remixing thing, aren’t they?
STREAM: Lana Del Rey – Blue Jeans (Alpines Remix)
Even though the Alpines one is not on the forthcoming remix EP (outrage!), Blood Orange‘s is and can be streamed in full now. I would describe it as something to soundtrack an ’80s movie montage.
STREAM: Lana Del Rey – Blue Jeans (Blood Orange Remix)