Parra for Cuva

First came Waves, then Stolen Dance, then Am I Wrong, then Prayer in C – and now in this summer of songs that all have the same kind of sound yet remain amazing is this cover of Wicked Games.

Of course, this has actually been kicking about for ages and I assume the others have too, but what a gloriously chilled blissful song to bring summer to a close.
Parra for Cuva is German producer Nicholas Demuth and vocals come from the good surnamed Anna Naklab – a woman who looks absolutely nothing like the blonde lady on the cover.

Big in Belgium, it’s out here September 28th

Sheppard

Brisbane based brother and sister band Sheppard are about to launch in the UK with this brilliant debut single ‘Geronimo’ described by Lucien Grange as a ‘universal #1 waiting to happen.’

Amy (blue hair) and George (male singer) lead the group, but when I saw them last week they turned out to be a bit of a muddle. On one hand you’ve got some perky, cheesy pop like Geronimo, and then suddenly when Amy sings you’ve got a polished shiny, Katy Perry style popstar, blasting out some almost musical theatre numbers. Still they’re off to a good start – they’ve been signed up for management by Bieber / Rixton guru Scooter Braun, and signed in the UK to Decca. The latter is slightly weird because they’re a label that tend to focus on the classical, or much older Radio 2 vibe. Of course, overall it comes through Universal, but putting them on Decca certainly seems odd.

Also I liked them much more before I found out three of them were siblings. I know we have the incredible Haim now and that should solve those fears, BUT IT DOESN’T. I think there may be some crazy happy clappy Christianity going on behind closed doors (see : Bedingfields). Irrational.

Geronimo is out in the UK Sept 25.

Juce

In these post MKS days (seriously, who knows) CGC are your new favourite girl group waiting to happen. They are Cherish, Georgia and Chalin, known to their record label as Juce and the least ‘put together’ group of girls you’ll ever see. They say they met in a disco all singing along to early r&b and knew they were meant for each other.

Signed to Island Records they seem in very early stages, but have made an impact thanks to a couple of excellent 90s style videos and songs perfect for a hazy summer day. Keep looking for this lot.

Kiesza

A brand new artist with an incredible first single – meet Kiesza.

The revitalised Virgin Records in the UK is having an incredible run of brilliant dance tracks at the moment and Hideaway is the latest. Virgin have a #1 this week with My Love and this is sure to give them another when it comes out in April 12 as it’s already Shazam #1!

Kiesza is a trained ballerina – hence the ability to dance like a beast in this wicked one shot video. She’s Canadian but moved to London mid-January. Bring on the fun!

If I Could Change Your Mind

I’m seeing Haim tomorrow night at Brixton Academy and am so excited. Their debut album fast became my favourite from 2013 and their last London show at The Forum was pretty spectactular. Interestingly the crowd was very 30 something couples, not the Radio 1 audience I’d have originally predicted.

Anyway, despite it not being best song on the album ‘Days Are Gone’, their next single ‘If I Could Change Your Mind’ is a joy, thanks in no small party to the totally jubilant video. Their videos have always had a sense of fun, and US teen movie to them, but this one puts the girls themselves central with a dance routine choregraphed by Aaliyah’s team. Amazing.

Style of Eye

This is so good. It’s so Swedish sounding.

Style of Eye is (funnily enough) Swedish DJ and producer Linus Eklow. He co-wrote Icona Pop’s I Love It and had a massive hit in the dance world with ‘After Dark’. For Kids he’s teamed up with moody Swedish popstar Soso. Her cutting vocals sound happy but actually call are pretty dismissive calling out today’s ‘kids’.

I’m wondering what is up with kids nowadays
you’re all so deep, unique and interesting
suffering poets with a fashion sense
free hand tattoo with a misspelled name
everyone’s special the exact same way
you live your life on a Facebook page

Meow

Serebro

I don’t know what to do with this. It’s hideous and amazing all at once, just like the best European pop songs. A warning though, you will never be able to unhear it.

Serebro are a Russian girlgroup who were originally formed for Eurovision in 2007. That was the year I went but I have no recollection! They came third and were then signed. Late last year they released ‘Mi Mi Mi’ – their first international single complete with 24 million youtube views, thanks to the hot tub scenes above. It’s gathering a bit of momentum in Italy and Netherlands and sounds ripe for a summer smash hit to me.

A UK #1 for Summer 2014?

CLAIRE

I don’t think Germany is that well known for good pop music. The last German thing I can think of that I LOVED was Sarah Connor ‘Let’s Go Back To Bed Boy’ which is from FOREVER ago.

Claire are a five piece from Munich. Four boys and a girl, Josie Claire Burkle, on vocals – so it’s pretty obvious that I’m already going to love it. Here in the UK they’re signed to Capitol Records which is part of Universal and the bouncy ‘Games’ is their first UK single.

They’ve been on tour with Chvrches and Bastille in 2013 in Europe, but their first UK dates are next week – Tues @ Madame JoJo’s and Wed @ Hoxton BK at Golddust.

Games is out on 23 February – http://www.claireofficial.com/

Rather Be

I first banged on about Clean Bandit about a year ago. Since then they’ve had a Top Ten hit in one of those WHAT THE HELL underestimating the public moments with Mozart’s House and last week they unleashed their most mainstream effort to date – Rather Be. It’s a monster.

My first thought was actually – wow a cool Asian popstar, but as it transpires that’s just a character. The vocals come from Jess Glynne who is also working with Rudimental on new material and will certainly be someone to watch over the next year. In it’s crudest comparison Rather Be is very Katy B (well Katy B meets Vanessa Mae if we’re being facetious). It’s co-written by Jimmy Napes who helped write Latch and is part of the whole Disclosure / Rudimental / Sam Smith posse who are pretty much behind everything amazing in current pop music.

Rather Be is out on January 20th and should be the first big #1 of 2014.

All About She

All-About-She-620x412
All About She are the latest act to be signed to Tinie Tempah’s Atlantic Records imprint ‘Disturbing London’. I wouldn’t expect them to be a dance outfit from the name, for some reason it sounds emo-y! Sorry, backtrack to ‘dance outfit’, what an old fashioned phrase. They describe themselves as a unique production trio so let’s run with that instead.

Anyway semantics aside, All About She are Jon Clare, James Tadgell and Vanya Taylor. Between them they’ve previously written & sung on tracks for Tinie Tempah, Devlin and Scorcher and released a track featuring VV Brown earlier in the year. Now they’re working on their debut EP , but I think ‘Higher’ is their first single proper and is nicely timed to land in our brains for Sound of 2014. Perfect radio material, it’s a sweet singalong slice of euphoric garage that will keep summer vibes going just that little bit longer.

It’s out on November 17. *emoji hands in the air*