Just when you think there’s little left of the ’90s electronic music scene to mine, along comes Real Lies, a hotly-tipped London trio who manages to tap into a less-referenced part of the ’90s. Comparisons so far include Mike Skinner (The Streets), Pet Shop Boys, Underworld. Their poppiest single to date is “World Peace,” which sounds like ‘normcore’ Hurts meet Unicorn Kid (RIP). It’s amazing how it sounds so fresh, considering it was first released in 2013!
“Seven Sisters” is their latest track, certainly one for a lads’ night out. It contains this great line: “No first kiss could explain love, in a decade with no name.”
It really feels like the band is on the cusp of something exciting. They make music that can appeal to both NME, tastemakers and pop bloggers; cool, but not at the expense of melodies. Real Lies are totally the type of band that can be key players in the next BBC Sound Of poll, but I don’t think we’ll have to wait that long for new music!
SUCH AN AUTUMN JAM.
Pre-order “FROOT,” out in April 2015.
Giorgio Moroder is the latest to join disco greats like Nile Rodgers and Cerrone to resurface after the renewed interest thanks to Daft Punk & Pharrell. The Italian legend lent his magic touch to Coldplay‘s recent single “Midnight” and turned it into a 9-minute intergalactic trip, complete with French-singing robot vocoders, violin strings and delicious synth sequencers. Leave it to the master to bring on good times.
STREAM: Coldplay – Midnight (Giorgio Moroder Remix)
You can check out the original, co-produced by Paul Epworth and Jon Hopkins, via its unintentionally hilarious video here.
Coldplay’s 6th album “Ghost Stories” drops on May 16.
So AlunaGeorge recommended this certain tune a while ago on Twitter, and since I trust their taste in music I followed through. And yup, total jam. “Stronger” is a hot garage throwback whose not-so-secret weapon is an instantly recognizable sample (spoiler alert: it’s Corinne Bailey-Rae‘s once-inescapable “Put Your Records On”). It’s very 2014, in the veins of Disclosure and the current wave of catchphrase-based UK house music.
Wilfred Giroux is the alias of Joshua Mooney, a 22-year-old London-based producer with a fast growing Internet following. Apparently Corinne has personally approved the sample so there should be no clearance issues. Next, with radio support, this will be huge.
And now I realize it’s perfectly acceptable to sample “Put Your Records On” because it’s been EIGHT years, and I just want to gaze into the blood moon and feel all kinds of feels.
STREAM: Wilfred Giroux – Stronger (Extended Mix)
Only Róisín Murphy can get away with making her first official solo material in 8 years a 6-track EP of Italian covers. “Mi Senti” (“I Feel” in English) is a collection of electronic renditions of 5 classic Italian tracks from the ’60s and ’70s by the likes of Mina, Patty Pravo, Lucio Battisti and Gino Paoli (nope, me neither), plus one original penned by the former Moloko star. The project is a joint effort with her partner and Milanese producer Sebastiano Properzi. You can now stream “Ancora Tu”, a laidback, moody post-Italo-disco number that might be indicative of the overall sound of the EP. I like the stylized ’80s vibe, but shall reserve my judgement ’til I hear the whole thing in context.
STREAM: Róisín Murphy – Ancora Tu
The EP drops May 28, digitally and physically on special gatefold double white vinyl, strictly limited to 1000 copies with the first 500 hand signed by Róisín herself. It will cost you £40 a pop. Let’s justify it as an investment.
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)
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.
Brooklyn-based trio Little Daylight is next on the list of synth-pop hopefuls, right beside my other faves like St. Lucia, CHVRCHES, Haerts, Ellie Goulding, and deservingly so. Initially cutting their teeth by doing remixes for the likes of Passion Pit, Niki & The Dove, Ra Ra Riot and The Neighbourhood, they moved on to producing originals and uploading them on Soundcloud. The band makes glossy, twinkly electronic pop with sticky hooks and toe-tapping beats, the type that would set blogs alight (and indeed they have in droves). Their current EP entitled “Tunnel Vision” is a great collection of danceable, infectious songs that fully showcase their potentials. “Restart”, “Glitter And Gold”, “Name In Lights” are among my favorites, but “Overdose” is the big one. Seriously, that one’s been in my head for days.
STREAM: Little Daylight – Overdose
I had the pleasure of seeing them live opening for Bastille last week and it was great fun. Lead singer Nikki put on a confident, flirty and playful performance, flicking through songs from their EP, as well as test-driving new tracks. One called “Mona Lisa” particularly stood out, I can’t wait to hear it again in studio form. Saving the best for last, they ended the impressive set with “Overdose” whose bassline really came alive. They have many shows coming up for CMJ so if you can make it, I highly recommend seeing them live.
STREAM: Little Daylight – Restart
Lately the music scene has witnessed the inevitable antithesis to EDM. A small wave of new acts makes music that is more likely to gently stroke a listener’s chin, rather than shout at one’s face threatening to ‘drop’. London Grammar are UK’s brightest new hope. Already scoring a #2 album across the pond, the band is making their way to America. A mix between The XX, Florence & The Machine and Sia, London Grammar’s sound is really as stately and deceptively modest as the name suggests. At times they also remind me of Trespassers William too.
I first got hooked on early single “Metal & Dust”, a gorgeous trip-hop throwback that knows when to hold and release. Follow-up single “Wasting My Young Years” is one of those ballads that might send a lump down your throat in an appropriate mood. It might actually rival the grandeur of Sia’s “Breathe Me”, and I don’t say that lightly. However, “Strong” is the one with mass appeal, landing them their first Top 20 single in Britain. The old-school drum-and-bass High Contrast remix confirms that they sound just as good over block rockin’ beats.
As nice as the electronic embellishment around their production is, it’s Hannah Reid’s powerhouse vocals that took center in every song. Her guest vocals on Disclosure’s “Help Me Lose My Mind” is a thing of sunset-in-Ibiza beauty. For such a new band, they’re really building up a solid discography.
STREAM: London Grammar – Metal & Dust
Check out their US tour dates after the jump.
Say hi to your new favorite emerging electro-pop starlet! Aussie Chela is attracting blog buzz left and right with her debut single “Romanticise” for reliably hip French label Kitsune Maison. “Romanticise” (English spelling and all) is a rollicking, electric ’80s pop number, in the tradition of CSS meets La Roux. Yes it’s a bit 2008, but who cares when it’s so damn catchy. Watch her throw some dance moves in the lo-fi video below.
Dancey guitary synth-pop is not her only mode though. She also showcased her softer side on midtempo nighttime ballad “Vegas Nights”. It’s chill and wistful in an ’80s adult-contemporary/quiet storm way, not unlike the output of Say Lou Lou. If you closed your eyes, you could almost see palm trees gently swaying by your windscreen. It really is quite lovely, not to mention it’s a freebie too!
FREE DOWNLOAD: Chela – Vegas Nights