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Pop

Popforward: Real Lies

reallies

realliesJust 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!

Buy “Seven Sisters” on iTunes.
More on Real Lies.


ON ROTATION: Ruby Frost – Comeback Queen

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Sound the listicle klaxon! Here are six things you can learn about Kiwi songstress Ruby Frost today.

  1. Ruby Frost is a very good pop star name, I’m sure you agree.
  2. Back in 2012 she released a nice single called “Water To Ice.” It sounded like Florence & The Machine meets The Naked & Famous ie. shouty & catchy electro-pop.
  3. She was on the judging panel of the first season of X Factor NZ along with Melanie Blatt of All Saints fame. Girl power! etc.
  4. Frost’s back with a brand new single called “Comeback Queen,” a drum-and-bassy youth-pop number. It was co-produced by Harry Sommerdahl (Robyn, The Saturdays).
  5. “Hooked on love since 17, you could say I’m comeback queen” is a good pop lyric.
  6. This will sound especially good on the speakers of an H&M or Uniqlo.

Have a listen below via the (naturally) ’90s-styled music video.

Buy the single on iTunes (out in New Zealand only for now).
More on Ruby Frost.


ON ROTATION: Marina and the Diamonds – FROOT

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SUCH AN AUTUMN JAM.
🍎🍏🍊🍋🍒🍇🍉🍓🍑🍈🍌🍐🍍

Pre-order “FROOT,” out in April 2015.


Lana Del Rey’s “West Coast” Remixed By Four Tet & More

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Whoever has been commissioning remixes for Lana Del Rey deserves accolades. They always take risks and reach out to less obvious acts. The results don’t always pay off but when they do, they do! The latest coup is to get the holy Four Tet to remix her brand new single “West Coast”. Something about the drums on this one reminds me of Björk’s “Human Behaviour”. Très cool.

 

STREAM: Lana Del Rey – West Coast (Four Tet Remix)

 

Ten Ven has their eyes on the disco ball, William Carl Jr uses new vocals not in the original mix, and Camo & Krooked dreams up a more leftfield spectral soundscape. Definitely an interesting batch of remixes so far (you just know there will be more).

STREAM: Lana Del Rey – West Coast (Ten Ven Remix)

STREAM: Lana Del Rey – West Coast (William Carl Jr Remix)

STREAM: Lana Del Rey – West Coast (Camo & Krooked Remix)

Watch the music video.
Buy ‘West Coast’ on iTunes.
More on Lana Del Rey.


The Pierces Harmonize On Lorde’s “Team” Cover

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The Pierces have put their sisterly harmonizing powers to good use with a folked-up version of Lorde‘s commoner anthem “Team”. Absent are the glitches and pitch-shifted vocal samples, as the duo winds the song back four decades, when Fleetwood Mac reigned supreme. It’s a pretty acoustic cover that replaces teen angst with knowing wisdom. Check it out below.

 

STREAM: The Pierces – Team (Lorde Cover)

 

Pre-order their new album “Creation”, out May 30 in UK.
More on The Pierces.


LISTEN: Kimbra – 90’s Music

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Don’t be fooled by the title of Kimbra‘s new one. Yes, “90’s Music” does pay tribute to the ongoing ’90s nostalgia, shamelessly name-dropping Aaliyah, Nirvana, Mariah Carey, R. Kelly, Mary J. Blige and TLC all in the space of one verse. Sonically, it’s utterly bonkers. The future-funk production is courtesy of Kimbra herself and producer Rich Costey, and apparently Matt Bellamy (Muse) & Mark Foster (Foster The People) also snuck in on the track. On first listen it’s a madcap racket that sits comfortably alongside the output of alt-R&B greats like Erykah Badu, Little Dragon and Janelle Monae. Conveniently, Kimbra is having a joint Australian tour with Ms. Monae soon.

 

STREAM: Kimbra – 90’s Music

She’s wack and she knows it.
More on Kimbra.


LISTEN: Lana Del Rey – West Coast

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After a week of relentless teasing, this morning Lana Del Rey finally premiered “West Coast”, the lead single off her highly-anticipated sophomore album “Ultraviolence”. The multi-layered, slow-burning midtempo ballad is something of a departure for her. It’s not like she has gone trap or anything, but it’s still a fairly new territory for her, sound-wise. To be honest, I was hoping for something on the poppier side (à la “National Anthem”), still, as I let it marinate a bit more, here are a few keynotes:

  • It’s produced by The Black Keys‘ Dan Auerbach. So credible.
  • A video has been shot with director Vincent Haycock (Calvin Harris, Florence + The Machine). Expect it to be a serious narrative affair
  • I wonder if they deliberately sampled The Beatles’ “And I Love Her” opening bar? Listen to 1:04 and compare.
  • Hello, “Pure Shores” synth pads!
  • Basically it’s something you can swing from side to side to in the pale moonlight.
  • Perpetua tweeted that it sounds like “she merged Portishead and Mazzy Star”, which I can actually hear.

Have a listen below:

 

STREAM: Lana Del Rey – West Coast

What do you make of the ‘queen of Saigon”s new direction?

Buy ‘West Coast’ on iTunes.
More on Lana.


FOUNDSOUNDS: Plastic Plates – Stay In Love (feat. Sam Sparro)

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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)

 

Buy the song.
Catch up with Sam.
More on Plastic Plates.


REMIXED: Ellie Goulding – Beating Heart (Cahill Radio Edit)

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ellieg
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.

 


Buy “Beating Heart” on iTunes.

More on Ellie.
More on Cahill.


LISTEN: Foxes – Night Glo

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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

 

Pre-order the album on iTunes, out May 9 in the UK.
Foxes on Facebook.