Thursday, June 20, 2013

this is my kind of music

Neil Tenant and Chris Lowe preview their forthcoming twelfth longplayer, with "Vocal". It's the second taste from "Electric" after they released the largely instrumental, Moroder-esque "Axis".

"Vocal" is classic PSB - subtle verses which harken back to early singles like "Rent" and "Love Comes Quickly" followed by an anthemic, ramped up chorus with lots of sparkly, buzzy synths which reminds me of their version of "It's Alright".

Actually, (Did you see what I did there?) - the song is devoid of the usual verse/chorus/repeat pattern and, instead, cycles the same melodic phrase several times over and ever increasing wall of drum sounds and sythy goodness. Also, it never devolves into a typical and tired EDM formula. Kudos to knob twiddler deluxe, Stuart Price, for keeping it fresh for very Boys.

There's also an accompanying video which was just dropped a few days ago. Featuring a collage of dance footage, it evokes memories of the rave era of the early 90s. It almost like dropping a visual tab of E. Almost.

Best PSB single since "Leaving" from their previous elpee, "Elysium". FYI, my favorite part is the wiggly, pitch bendy synth line that only appears three short times in the track. Brilliant!

Back to "Axis" for a moment. After some online discussion with my circle of discophile friends, I thought it would make sense to reference the more direct inspiration for the track. Take a listen to "Menergy" by Patrick Cowley. While "Axis" has more than a passing flash of Giorgio Moroder's Germanic inspiration within it, "Menergy" is the more direct link.

Chris and Neil really know how to needle drop the most interesting references in their songs. Plus, Mr. Cowley deserves a round of applause for his substantial contribution to dance music. Perhaps the coda to this entry will point people in the direction of his work if they aren't familiar with it.

shake it up

Everyone's favorite, Aussie pop rocket has returned with yet another stand alone single. After delivering "Timebomb" last year without it being attached to an album, Kylie does the same with "Skirt", a flashy, sexy, tribal workout that explodes into a sparkly pop gem when it reaches the chorus.

Actually, it sounds like two completely different songs stitched together rather hamfistedly, but Lady Minogue saves it from being too much of a mess with her patented Kylie coo™.

Rumor has it that "Skirt", along with "Timebomb", will appear on her forthcoming twelfth longplayer which is her first after leaving longtime manager, Terry Blamey, and hooking up with Jay-Z's Roc Nation.

My concern is that Kylie might be trying too hard to appeal to a younger audience rather than stick with pleasing her formidable fanbase. Some artists try to straddle both sides of the fence which tends to deliver an uneven album. "Aphrodite", Kylie's last longplayer of all new material, managed to be a solid platter stocked with a raft of potential singles. Wholly satisfying.

Let's see where she decides to go with her next elpee. A world of gay men are lying awake and wondering.

a sticky situation

The Duckworth Lewis Method, the cricket loving side job for Neil Hannon from The Divine Comedy and Thomas Walsh from Pugwash, return with "Sticky Wickets", their sophomore longplayer.

First single from the album is "It's Just Not Cricket" and it's a jolly romp through the many landmark sounds offered up from The Beatles through to ELO. It is, without question, quintessentially British.

Check out the video as the gents frolic around the cricket pitch with tongues firmly planted in cheeks. And there's more innuendo in the clip than you can shake a stick at. Ooh er, missus!

The following is the full tracklisting for "Sticky Wickets". The longplayer will hit the shops on July 1.

1. Sticky Wickets
2. Boom Boom Afridi
3. It's Just Not Cricket
4. The Umpire
5. Third Man
6. Chin Music
7. Out In The Middle
8. Line And Length
9. The Laughing Cavaliers
10. Judd's Paradox
11. Mystery Man
12. Nudging And Nurdling

Friday, June 14, 2013

tales to tell

The mighty Goldfrapp will return on September 9 with "Tales Of Us", their first new material since dropping their retrospective, "The Singles", early last year. It also marks a return to a sound more aligned with their debut, "Felt Mountain", and fourth longplayer, "Seventh Tree". Fret not, there are some electronic flourishes on the new elpee. However, don't expect the full on, stomp and synth of "Head First".

Thankfully, the good folks at Goldfrapp HQ have provided a handy trailer to hold us over until the summer months have passed. September seems like a long way to wait for an album. But it sounds like it will be worth it.

The official tracklisting for "Tales Of Us" will feature the following ten tunes. All single word titles, nine of them are the names of people. Surely, there must be a tale to tell with each one.

1. Jo
2. Annabel
3. Drew
4. Ulla
5. Alvar
6. Thea
7. Simone
8. Stranger
9. Laurel
10. Clay

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

hit and run

Suede and their signature, sinewy swagger are back with "Hit Me", the incendiary highlight and third single from their current longplayer, "Bloodsports".

The four-track, digital single features two non-album b-sides, "Falling Planes" and "What Violet Says" alongside a handy radio edit of the title track.

With previous single, "It Starts And Ends With You", the band chose to shoot a simple video featuring a studio performance of the track. This time, they've splashed a little cash on the clip for "Hit Me" which focuses on the dramatic and destructive exploits of two people (one man, one woman) as they chase each other through a museum.

There is a twist at the end. No spoilers here. But it does raise a question. "Is life really art or is it the other way around?" You decide.