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)
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.
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
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
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.
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.