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.
Moonlight Matters just keeps delivering the goods! After fantastic remixes for Lana Del Rey and Adele, the Belgian producer adds yet another cool female artist to his oeuvre. Check out his ’80s discofied take on Charlotte Gainsbourg‘s “Anna”, to be included on her new remix EP out April 3, alongside remixes by Tom Furse and Clock Opera. You can find the original version of “Anna” on her excellent new album “Stage Whisper”.
STREAM: Charlotte Gainsbourg – Anna (Moonlight Matters Remix)
“High & Low” is the latest single to be released by Sunday Girl. Casually chucked on iTunes UK this week, the song is featured on the StreetDance 2 soundtrack, which I assume is Britain’s own Step Up franchise. Succeeding “Love U More”, the Martin-Solveig-produced track is another dancefloor-friendly number, even though Jade can’t help her penchance for a bit of sadness in her beats. It’s sort of her own “Dancing On My Own” moment. At this point, I’m just glad she still releases a new single every now and then. She is certainly doing well for herself, with her cover of The Pixies’ “Where Is My Mind” featured on an ubiquitous Thomsons campaign, and her Solveig collaboration “Turn Up The Radio” ends up on Madonna’s new album MNDA. Hopefully, some concrete news about the album will surface soon, but I’m not holding my breath though.
STREAM: Sunday Girl – High & Low (StreetDance 2 Mix)
As a bonus, check out the lovely ASA mix of her previous single “Love U More”, an atmospheric downtempo folktronic take.
Tove Styrke proves that Swedish popstars are not above Western sales-boosting tactics, by adding a rapper feature for the single version of “Bad Time For A Good Time”. However, it’s one of the rare cases where the amped up version is actually an improvement on the original. Even though I never heard of this Gnucci Banana before and she gives me unpleasant Karmin vibes, she did a good job of giving more oomph to the track. Tove’s vocals on the album version sounds too polite to match the brattiness of the production. Is it me or is this more of an Icona Pop song? This suits them down to a tee, considering both Tove and Icona Pop share the same producer Patrik Berger. Check out the budget music video below, and stream the original version after the jump.
The Shoes’ “Crack My Bones” was one of the more underrated releases of 2011 that I didn’t get a chance to write about. For a band previously rooted in remix service for the blogs, the album was a pleasant surprise of catchy indie synth-pop of a contemplative, melancholy nature, with vocal contributions from all the hip British artists like CocknBullKid, Esser, Primary 1. Even though they are big in their home country France, it looks like they’re finally getting their due here, thanks to their controversial “Time To Dance” video.
Ultra-violent, intense and disturbing, the 8-minute video starred Jake Gyllenhaal as an unhinged serial killer, always on to the next victim. To be honest, the song’s not my most favorite on the album, as it feels like a poor man’s Justice’s “D.A.N.C.E.”, down to the spelling bee gimmick, but it will be the one to get people talking, especially after the release of its compelling video. Unfortunately, I think it’s one of those cases where the accompanying visuals are so strong they overpower the song, and the song’s kinda ruined for me now that it will forever be associated with Jake’s creepy-ass serial killer brows. Anyhow, check out the video below if you haven’t (not for the faint of heart obviously), then stream the new extended edit, and the SebastiAn remix which only pushed the Justice comparisons further.
STREAM: The Shoes – Time to Dance (Extended Video Edit)
STREAM: The Shoes – Time to Dance (SebastiAn Remix)
British pop star Marina Diamandis and her diamonds premiered the new single and video “Primadonna” yesterday, and once again she’s in it to win it. The song is pure pop confection, with Marina’s distinctive deep voice and her lyrics about self-identity and ambitions adding some bite and character to an otherwise business-as-usual production by Dr. Luke. It really is just hook after hook, with a gorgeous, wistful chorus as well. She continues to add her own unique spin on the commercial chart-pop sound, and I actually like this better than “Radioactive”.
And of course, it helps that the Casper Balslev-directed video is nothing short of stunning, with Marina doing her own Cindy Sherman editorial thing. My favorite moment is probably the rather poignant car wash scene.
STREAM: Marina & The Diamonds – Primadonna
And here’s another cut from the new album, “Homewrecker”:
STREAM: Marina & The Diamonds – Homewrecker
“Primadonna” is out April 16, while the new album “Electra Heart” drops April 30 in the UK, and May 8 in the US.
Meanwhile, you can grab a free download of album track “Homewrecker” here.
It’s not easy to keep up with all the side projects of Hot Chip. While the band’s new full-length “In Our Heads” is not set to drop until June, they still have time to pursue their other gigs. New Build is the new band of Al & Felix, and musically, it is very much in the same universe with Hot Chip, whose sounds I’d like to refer to as “graphic designer pop”. However, compared to Joe Goddard’s project The 2 Bears, this is more stoic and sedative. The new single “Your Love” is a typical indie electro affair with blokey vocals, dubstep flourishes and cowbells. Lyrically, they’re still proudly wearing their hearts on sleeve. The debut LP entitled “Yesterday Was Lived And Lost” is out now in the UK, and on April 3 in US. However, if you can’t wait, they have kindly made the entire album available for advance streaming below.
STREAM: New Build – Your Love (Radio Mix)
For some reasons, I always assumed Rebecca & Fiona‘s music to be more bubblegum/clubby, what with their collaboratons with the likes of Kaskade and Adrian Lux. With that said, I’m glad I gave their new single a chance, because “Dance” actually falls more on the side of Fever Ray or iamamiwhoami. It’s nocturnal electro-pop the way I like – with an insidious bassline, beautiful synthetic strings and a slow-burning atmosphere throughout. The restraint in execution here is quite masterful, ’cause it doesn’t have to be raved up all the time. The moodily-lit visuals are a great complement to the track, too. It does make you wanna stop the car in the middle of a desolate road at night and dance away to oblivion, which is not advisable though. Check out the video & the track below. And yes, they’re Swedes.
STREAM: Rebecca & Fiona – Dance
“Dance” is off their debut album “I Love You, Man”, released in 2011.
More on Rebecca & Fiona.
LA-based DJ Skeet Skeet just dropped this hot new remix of Oh Land’s “White Nights”, and the title could not be more accurate. It’s all chill, summery ’80s disco, I can almost picture a Miami Vice montage set to this. Apparently, he put this together while they were touring alongside on Katy Perry’s California Dreams tour. Grab a free download below and add it to your spring break/summer playlist!
The Lana Del Rey has officially announced her next single to be “Blue Jeans”, out April 8. A video has been shot by “Born To Die” director Yoann Lemoine, and the release will be supported with a set of remixes by D/R/U/G/S, Blood Orange, Kris Menace and RAC. You can now listen to the first of the bunch, a deep, pulsing take by German DJ Kris Menace.
STREAM: Lana Del Rey – Blue Jeans (Kris Menace Remix)
Having done a brilliant job on Adele’s “Set Fire On The Rain”, Belgian producer Moonlight Matters once again adds his magic disco touch to “Blue Jeans”. The track seems to fit this kind of rendering quite well, as evidenced by the excellent Penguin Prison mix I posted before.
STREAM: Lana Del Rey – Blue Jeans (Moonlight Matters Remix)
Last but not least is a brand new mix of “Video Games” by Dutch producer Joris Voorn. I have to say I adore his 7-minute minimal-tech edit, it sounds perfect for late night driving. Europe must really love her.
If you’re not totally sick of the remix overload yet, a new “Video Games” remix EP has just been added on iTunes US, with now-purchasable takes by Club Clique, Jakwob and Etherwood, White Lies, Jamie Woon and We Don’t Belong In Pacha. You can’t say Interscope doesn’t know how to keep milking it properly! Preview the whole set on Soundcloud.
Frida Hyvönen is known as the serious indie artist type, but for her comeback single “Terribly Dark”, the Swede singer/songwriter has decided to turn to intergalactic disco and ABBA for inspiration. The risk paid off, in the form of properly amazing Scandinavian pop. Somehow she managed to make the infamous Swedish winter sound so fun and effervescent. “It’s so terribly dark here. I’d put myself on fire if I find a spark,” she grimly sings, in contrast to the shoulder-shaking disco beats and vintage synths. The song starts off slow but trust me, by the time it’s over, that hook will NOT leave your head. The music video is a simple, Fever-Ray-ish black-and-white performance-based piece, and it looks like she’s channeling Madonna in “Nothing Really Matters” with those herky jerky moves!
STREAM: Frida Hyvönen – Terribly Dark (Radio Edit)
The single is out now in Sweden. The new album “To The Soul” drops April 18.
Ever since she arrived on the scene in 2006, Cassie Ventura, professionally known as Cassie, has unexpectedly garnered a cult online following. Beside her model looks, her glassy, detached voice is a producer’s dream, as its limit is just ripe for studio tweaking trickery. She’s gained so much goodwill on the strength of her only major hit to date, the stone cold classic “Me & U”, and a string of underperformed subsequent singles and leaks. After numerous delays and setbacks, the R&B ice princess is finally ready for a proper comeback. I hereby present you her new single “King Of Hearts” in its complete, official form.
STREAM: Cassie – King Of Hearts
At first listen, it sounds like a very current “club banger”, albeit with a fresh twist, and unconventional structure. She comes across as cool and edgy without trying too hard, and the frosty, frenzied electro-pop production laid atop just oozes class. “King Of Hearts” surely makes for a blazing reintroduction. Welcome back, Cassie.
The video and the song will be available to buy on Valentine’s Day next week.
What a delightful surprise! Indie-pop legend Saint Etienne premiered their brand new single “Tonight” today, taken from their first full-length album in 7 years, tentatively titled “Words And Music By Saint Etienne”. The effervescent tune is produced by Tim Powell (Xenomania) and mixed by Richard X – two of the best British contemporary electro-pop whizzes. According to Bob Stanley:
“Tonight is about the anticipation of going to see your favourite group. For some reason, I imagine this show is at the Forum in Kentish Town. The whole album is about the power of pop, how it affects and shapes your life.”
Well, that’s your new pre-concert soundtrack sorted out then.
STREAM: Saint Etienne – Tonight
You can also hear a sneak peek of another new track called “I’ve Got The Music” on Soundcloud (skip to the 1.16 mark). The prospect of a new St. Etienne album full of pop magic is rather exciting, isn’t it? Bob, Pete & Sarah, we are so glad to have you back.
That Lana Del Rey songs are quite tricky to remix doesn’t stop everyone from trying. A slew of mixes for her new single “Born To Die” came gatecrashing at once the other day, and I waded through the good and not-so-good to cherry pick a select few. What I like is that every remix from this package tries a different style. DJ Kris De Angelis‘ hard-edged club take is probably the most straightforward of the bunch. Gucci Vump‘s version utilizes the strings and vocal loops with some nice drumwork – it’s all about the 1:06 moment for me. Leo Zero went for an excessive balearic vibe, while Hackman (aka Jack Steadman of Bombay Bicycle Club) opted for a blog-baiting treatment with pitch shifts and those chunky house piano chords that are so in right now.
Nicola Roberts‘ new single “Yo-Yo” is officially out today in the UK, and those who pre-ordered can get their hands on an exclusive b-side – her solo version of Girls Aloud‘s poptastic b-side “Memory Of You”. It’s very nice of her to open up the vault and offer the fans what’s probably the closest thing to a Xenomania-produced Nicola track to date. Admittedly, although I used to expect and hope for this kind of sound for solo Nicola (ethereal, floaty, wistful disco-pop), I wouldn’t change a thing about “Cinderella’s Eyes” album campaign – from the consistently gorgeous artwork to the charmingly shoddy promo videos, and even her newfound fondness for caterwauling as well. It’s a shame the public didn’t quite latch on to her ginger brilliance, but “Cinderella’s Eyes” shall remain one of the most amazing underperformed gems of 2011. Check out the track below, and watch the video for “Yo-Yo” after the jump.
STREAM: Nicola Roberts – Memory of You
London-based AlunaGeorge is the latest on my list of favorite up-and-coming pop acts. Even though their new single has been knockning about since last summer, I only discovered it recently. “You Know You Like It” is a sexy, slinky piece of post-dubstep R&B, a firecracker loaded with infectious hooks that will get stuck in your head for days. Aluna Francis’ voice is a cool mixture between Santigold and Martina Topley-Bird, and to me they sound like a modern-day Moloko, which is always a good thing in my book. 2012 will see the release of their debut album, so hopefully they’ll have some more ace tunes up their sleeves. I highly recommend them if you like Little Dragon, Katy B… or have a thing for boy/girl electro duos. They’ve also been doing some high-profile remixing work, including one for Lana Del Rey which you can download right below.
STREAM: AlunaGeorge – You Know You Like It
As if the new Little Boots single “Shake” doesn’t sound like Saint Etienne enough, Crazy P has given it another reswizzle that totally reinforces that impression, albeit of their more organic side. If the original aims for the dancefloor, then this mix is for the ride back home, when you heart’s already been broken, but you carry on shaking anyway. Check it out.
I quite enjoy “Shake” in its full length, by the by. It’s no “Stuck On Repeat”, but it’s fairly enjoyable in its bubbly ’90s-house-lite way, with some catchy la-la’s to boot. And it’s not often that a pop single is out for purchase here at the same time as the UK, so props to Victoria for letting it happen.
STREAM: Little Boots – Shake
It’s been quite a busy year for French songstress Émilie Simon. Back in April, the now New-York-based chanteuse finally dropped her most recent album “The Big Machine” in the US after nearly two years of its original release. The album saw her leaving behind trip-hop soundscapes to explore ’80s electro-pop, and spawned two fantastic singles/visuals, namely “Dreamland” and “Rainbow”.
The project goes on as she just released a new US EP, “The Cycle”, featuring the album cut & new remixes. The remix by Midnight Sun (Midnight Magic, Jessica 6, Hercules & Love Affair) is quite something special. They transform the song into a throbbing ’80s disco affair. I rarely say this but I actually prefer it to the original! Download it for free, along with her own remix of “Rainbow”, and her cover of Bronski Beat’s “Smalltown Boy” below.
But wait! A brand new album is on its way very soon. Entitled “Franky Knight”, it’s the soundtrack to the new Audrey Tautou vehicle “La Delicatesse” (Delicacy). It’s not the first time Émilie does the soundtrack for film either, having scored the March of the Penguins documentary back in 2005. This time, she’s back to singing French on lead single “Mon Chevalier” (My Knight), which is dedicated to her fiance who passed away in September 2009 after catching the H1N1 flu :(. You can watch its music video right below.
The Good Natured have been on the verge of breaking through for quite some time now, and this week, they are back with not just one, but TWO brand new tunes. After premiering the video their collaboration with Swedish DJ Adrian Lux “Alive” a couple days, the previously Popforwarded band has now unleashed what’s possibly the best thing they’ve put their name to. I assure you that I’m not just tossing out hyperbole when I say that their new single “Video Voyeur” is INSANELY BRILLIANT.
Produced by Patrik Berger (Robyn, Tove Styrke, Those Dancing Days), it is pop at its finest. An adrenaline rush in song form, it embodies a tapestry of vocals and hooks after hooks, and then suddenly breathes out at the middle eight for a cascade of Kraftwerk-ian synths before one last big chorus. Clocking in just 3 minutes and 19 seconds, it is an slightly exhausting but thrilling listen. It’s maximalist pop with an unconventional structure, done properly with sharp energy. I simply can’t get enough of it.
The band has now skillfully carved a trademark sound: dark and intense electro goth pop, with a modern spin on ’80s influences instead of just plain mimicry. Watch the fairly straightforward peformance video below, and see if you agree with me.
To make it even better, the band is giving the track away as a free download! Amazing.
And here is their dance collab with Adrian Lux, “Alive”. Sarah McIntosh’s voice certainly gives some bite to what might be just another generic rave-pop tune without her.
STREAM: Adrian Lux ft. The Good Natured – Alive
2012 shall be an exciting year for The Good Natured. Watch them closely.
Another week, another new Lana Del Rey remix. She’s quite the blog magnet, isn’t she? And it’s about time “Blue Jeans” got some love too. Penguin Prison turned in a fantastic straight-up disco treatment. Have a listen below, then watch a cool live performance of the “Video Games” b-side below.
STREAM: Lana Del Rey – Blue Jeans (Penguin Prison Remix)
In other news, recently-leaked track “Driving in Cars with Boys” just became my third favorite song by her. One can never go wrong with that Ronettes beat.
Sam Frank proves that it’s still possible to maintain a mystique in the blog age. There’s barely a picture of him to be found, and I suppose his name is not exactly Google-friendly either. A look through his Discogs page reveals he’s largely a behind-the-scenes man, having produced and written for Sia, Mutya Buena, and more recently, Magnetic Man, Skream and Katy B. Based on that list of names, you might have certain expectations of what a track of his own would sound like. Well, throw them out. “My Number One”, currently the free track of the week on DJ Annie Mac’s blog (artwork above?), is the kind of tune that got just the right balance of bonkers and catchy factors that made it more than just a novelty standalone. Imagine a chirpy children’s show theme from another planet. Now listen.
MP3: Sam Frank – My Number One
Total earworm candy this is. Color me fascinated. I wonder what else he will come up with?
Nearly 8 months after releasing her last single “Stop Hey”, Sunday Girl is finally back with the follow-up. The fashionable pop star’s 4th single happens to be a cover of Sunscreem‘s 1992 trance hit “Love U More” (well there’s a Steps version, too, click at your own risk). While I’m not previously familiar with the original, her version is quite ravey, and definitely her most radio-friendly yet. I don’t mind a bit of chart-chasing action, as long as the album gets released soon! “Love U More” is out October 30.
Sunday Girl – Love U More (Sunscreem Cover)
After the jump, you can listen to her old but still delectable cover/remix of Everything Everything‘s “Photoshop Handsome”, and “Let’s Not Play Games”, her most recent collab with Martin Solveig for his new album “Smash”.
Of all the new girlbands popping up in UK lately, I found myself rooting for SoundGirl the most. There is just something fresh and likeable about the London-based trio that distinguishes them from the rest. Maybe it’s the girl-next-door appeal that’s part of the charm. Olivia, Izzy and Nicole appear to be just 3 teenage girls who are genuinely having fun, not at all concerned with building a hefty multimedia branding empire, or becoming overstyled tabloid figures just yet. Comparisons to Sugababes 1.0 are duly noted. Their debut single/free buzz download “I’m The Fool” was passable, but “Don’t Know Why” is the one that reveals their potential for me. While it’s not the first song to sample Carly Simon’s “Why”, the involvement of songwriter Miranda Cooper really gave it that fondly-missed Xenomania pop kick. The single might have come and gone in the charts with less recognition than expected, but it’s truly a fun summer hit that should have been. Check out the video below, and get a ’90s-styled remix after the jump.
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.
Ellie Goulding – Lights (Fernando Garibay Remix)