Ellie Goulding‘s sophomore effort “Halcyon” is out this week, and you should probably have it already because it’s definitely one of the strongest pop releases this year. “Anything Could Happen” was a red herring, as the album is a big step forward – bold, experimental, and bombastic, without losing the pop charms of her debut. She shows real growth and progression as an artist. At the moment, I’m all about “Only You”, “My Blood” and the massive “Figure 8” (which has to be the next single).
Her cover of Active Child’s “Hanging On” got a wicked bass remix by London-based producer Ahadadream, which is only available on the Spotify edition. But you can now download it for free! Have a listen below.
UK future-pop duo AlunaGeorge just unleashed their next single “Your Drums, Your Love”, and oh my god is it brilliant! It instantly won me over upon first play, with its pre-millenial R&B vibes, pitch-shifted vocal samples, heavy bass and some chiiill rhodes. It’s actually not a world away from Ellie Goulding’s output, either. I notice they are now signed to Island, which is good news.
Love, love, love this. Now onto my nth listen.
STREAM: AlunaGeorge – Your Drums, Your Love
“Your Drums, Your Love” is out on October 7.
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)
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)
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)
Rising UK popstrel Delilah must be feeling quite charitable at the moment, for she is offering a free mixtape entitled “2 – 4am”, consisting of EIGHT new songs, in glorious 320 bit rate. If I were you, I would try to nab it asap, before she changes her mind! Get a preview with my favorite track from the lot, “The Gospel”, then download the whole shebang below.
MP3: Delilah – The Gospel
To be honest, I am still on the fence about Delilah and her music. While her two singles are 100% brilliant postdubstep pop/r&b, most of her other tracks tend to teeter on the side of MOR cheese, with occasionally naff lyrics. She’s undoubtedly got a great voice, but her sound’s still a work in progress at this point. To take more time to experiment and refine it is fine by me, though, no hurry.