Tuesday, February 28, 2012

armed and dangerous

Paul Weller returns with "That Dangerous Age", the first, fired up single from his forthcoming longplayer, "Sonik Kicks".

The track is all doo wop and 60s with a splash of Steeler's Wheel and The Kinks wrapped up in a psychedelic, Kraftwerk kaftan. Arguably, Mr. Weller's finest single in nearly fifteen years and a highlight in a career which spans five decades.

With one masterstroke of his guitar, "That Dangerous Age",manages to out-Blurred Blur. Damon and co. should take serious note of PW's latest and have a good think about the direction of their next album should they decide to reconvene in the studio.

Check out the colorful video which was unveiled today.

Interesting to note that previous single, "Starlite", which saw PW revisit some of the sonics he explored during his heyday as head of The Style Council, will not be included on "Sonik Kicks".

The elpee will hit the "shops" on March 19.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

thank you for the music

Today, the mighty Saint Etienne revealed the details of "Words And Music By Saint Etienne", their forthcoming, eighth, studio longplayer.

The album will be released on May 21 in four different flavors including a standard CD for the casual buyer, double CD deluxe edition for the more serious fan, an old school vinyl LP for the diehard lovers of warm crackle, and a special boxset version for the hardcore trainspotter types. I will be buying all four editions which makes me certifiably insane.

The tracklisting for the standard CD includes the following thirteen songs.

1. Over The Border
2. I've Got Your Music
3. Heading For the Fair
4. Last Days of Disco
5. Tonight
6. Answer Song
7. Record Doctor
8. Popular
9. 25 Years
10. DJ
11. When I Was Seventeen
12. I Threw it All Away
13. Haunted Jukebox

Bob, Pete and Sarah describe the theme of the album thusly: "It's more than how music affects and reflects your life. It's about believing in music and living your life by its rules." Words to live by, indeed!

Monday, February 20, 2012

lightning and listening

After a-ha called it a day at the end of their farewell tour, it was always understood that Morten Harket and his cheekbones would release a solo album, the first since "Letter From Egypt" in 2008. Now, the fruits of his labor, "Out Of My Hands", will be released on April 13.

On March 9, the first single to be lifted from the longplayer will be "Lightning".

The single will only be released in Norway. Here's a short preview of it.

The second single, "Scared Of Heights", will be released internationally. It will be available from all fine digital retailers from March 23.

Lastly, rumors have become fact. Pet Shop Boys have written a song especially for Morten entitled "Listening". Apparently, Mr. Harket approached Chris and Neil to write a song for his forthcoming longplayer and ver Boys whipped up a beautiful ballad for the project.

The full tracklisting for "Out Of My Hands" includes the following ten songs.

1. Scared Of Heights
2. Keep The Sun Away
3. Lightning
4. I'm The One
5. Quiet
6. Burn Money Burn
7. When I Reached The Moon
8. Listening
9. Just Believe it
10. Out Of My Hands

Friday, February 17, 2012

love is the dub

Following on from a series of hugely popular 12" remixes of Bryan Ferry tracks in 2011 comes an exclusive remix of "Love Is The Drug", an iconic slab of Roxy Music magic. It is exclusively available as a collectible, 180-gram heavweight, vinyl 12" single from The Vinyl Factory. If you're a digital aficionado, you can get your Google dirty fingers on the download from Beatport. Availability through other digital retailers should follow shortly.

Featuring an absolutely essential, epic remix by Todd Terje, his reswizzling of the 1975 classic gives it a contemporary club twist and is a must-have for anyone who snapped up his recent, gorgeous remix of Bryan Ferry's "Alphaville".

On the flipside is an equally essential version by dub disco diplomats Lindstrom and Prins Thomas, whose, hypnotic, Balearic-style reworking of "Avalon" has been bouncing around the interwebs for a couple of years.

And to top things off, Roxy Music HQ has just unleashed a video clip for Todd Terje's masterful, loved up dub. Voilà and viva!

nightlife in London

A little over a week since Saint Etienne premiered "Tonight", the first single from their forthcoming, eighth, studio longplayer, "Words And Music By Saint Etienne", the fearsome threesome from London town unleashed the stylish vid for their latest offering today.

Viva London! Numerous neon landmarks make their appearances in the clip which is an ode to the exhilaration of going out to see your favorite band.

"Tonight" will be released shortly on 7", 12" and digital download replete with requisite remixes and non-album b-sides. Hurrah!

And, if you're a lucky lad like me, you got yourself a ticket to see ver Et on their short jaunt across the UK in May. See you at the London Palladium on May 28!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

love is a losing game

Pouty mouthed Will Young is about to unleash "Losing Myself" as the third single from his current longplayer, "Echoes". It's another gleaming, pop track which has been produced under the watchful eyes of Richard X.

The melancholy melody line and Will's mournful vocal delivery are beautifully wrapped in a lush package of shiny synths, rubbery basslines and snappy percussion. The song seems to hint ever so slightly at "Smalltown Boy" by Bronksi Beat which is not unfamiliar territory for Mr. Young. He covered similar ground as guest vocalist on "History", a track on Groove Armada's previous longplayer, "Black Light".

Let's take a peek at the video Will recently lensed for his new single.

He certainly is looking fit and suitably stylish. He's thrown in a few sexy dance moves for good measure. Never a bad thing.

I'm convinced Will Young has taken a more adult turn with his latest elpee in an effort to grow as an artist not unlike George Michael did when he made the transition from 80s pop tartlet to serious songwriter and performer by the time "Faith" was released in 1988. Time will tell if this trajectory works for Will beyond his current album. We wonder. We watch. We wait.

Monday, February 13, 2012

on fire

Erasure return with "Fill Us With Fire", the third single from their latest longplayer, "Tomorrow's World".

Reswizzled for radio consumption, it's a frothy slice of melancholy adorned with yet another of their anthemic melody lines for which they've become known over a magnificent career that stretches back more than 25 years. It's classic Erasure with contemporary touches which brings their sound bang up to date.

"Fill Us With Fire" will hit the "shops" on March 12. It will be made available as a CD single for those into old school physical configurations, and a digital download if you're into file formats. Both configurations will feature eight tracks including "Shot To The Heart", a previously released track which was only made available to certain digital retailers.

The requisite mixes of main track have been loving crafted by a variety of producers including Liam Keegan, JRMX and longtime collaborator, Gareth Jones. Wayne G and Andy Allder turn in a reswizzled version of album highlight, "A Whole Lotta Love Run Riot", which will replace "Fill Us With Fire" as the third single in Germany. An additional mix of both "AWLLRR" and previous single, "Be With You", round out the package.

The tracklisting for the single includes the following.

1. Fill Us With Fire (Single Mix)
2. Shot To The Heart
3. Fill Us With Fire (Gareth Jones Extended "Fired Up" Remix)
4. A Whole Lotta Love Run Riot (Wayne G & Andy Allder Atlantis Anthem)
5. Fill Us With Fire (JRMX Remix)
6. A Whole Lotta Love Run Riot (XOQ Remix)
7. Fill Us With Fire (Liam Keegan Remix)
8. Be With You (Yiannis Unruly Remix)

As you can see from the image above, the single sleeve, once again, is designed by Tom Hingston using another of Kate McDowell's extraordinary sculptures.

And a video for the single has just surfaced which features the new mix of the track.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

beside the a-side

Pet Shop Boys pandemonium (Did you see what I did there?) continues as tomorrow marks the release of "Format", their second b-side retrospective. It follows the alternate history of PSB singles from the flipside of 1996 single, "Before", through "Did You See Me Coming?" which was issued in 2009.

Lavish packaging? Check. Interesting commentary? Check. An amazing cavalcade of pop history? Check. Neil and Chris rarely disappoint.

Ever wondered how the b-sides are written and chosen? Check out an intimate chinwag with PSB and take a peek behind their velvet curtain.

The interview was conducted while ver Boys (Hello, "Smash Hits" readers!) took a breather from recording their new longplayer in Los Angeles.

"Format" follows on from their first b-side collection, "Alternative", which was released in 1995.