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
Cult discopopstar Sophie Ellis-Bextor has dusted off her rock-band-fronting persona for an unpredictable Arcade Fire cover, in the good name of charity. Recorded for a compilation album in aid of Samaritans, the cover is like a throwback to her theaudience days. Her version traded the quite cacophonous original for a more straightforward alt-rock arrangement. Of course, with this being Sophie, she couldn’t help but sneakily adding some synths at the end of the track. I have to say that I find her rendition really pleasant and tastefully done. Sophie has strongly hinted that her next album will be a departure from her usual sad disco flair, and if this is an implication of the change she’s got in mind, I can’t wait to hear more! Memo: more stuff like “Hello Hello” would be great.
As it’s for a good cause, I highly recommend purchasing it if you like what you hear.
STREAM: Sophie Ellis-Bextor – Rebellion (Lies) (Arcade Fire Cover)
Oh, the misfortune of being a Sophie Ellis-Bextor fan. Last I heard, she was promising the new album would be out by May, but I’m taking it with a pinch of salt. For now, the UK pop ice queen has a new single out, “Not Giving Up On Love”, a collaboration with Dutch DJ Armin Van Buuren. I’m no fan of trance, but this is actually a beautiful, melancholic piece of trance-pop that’s a cut above your average generic Guetta hit, and deserves to be a summer anthem. Back in July 2010, she stopped by Dermot O’Leary’s show on BBC Radio 2 to do a live session promoting it (it was forward-thinking of her!). Not only did she deliver a great acoustic version with an extra verse, she also did a lovely cover of “Getting Away With It”, an old hit by ’80s supergroup Electronic, comprised of members of Pet Shop Boys and New Order and The Smiths. Under such stripped-down arrangements, her voice truly radiates. Now if she could finally get her fourth studio out this year, it might very well have the potential to be a pop gem of 2011. Perhaps to most, she’s just a remnant of the early noughties, but I do believe she’s still a real unique pop star worth rooting for. Hear the tracks and watch the Sophie-Muller-directed, filmed-in-Ibiza video after the jump.