Eliza Doolittle


And so Ellie Goulding is the Sound of 2010. I like Ellie but not enough to really care much at the moment – she seems nice enough. Both Ellie and Marina were always going to come at the top of the poll having been knocking about since the beginning of the year and taking time to leak songs, play gigs, in Ellie’s case play Jools, release limited edition singles and set the blogosphere all in a tizz while making sure they didn’t chart in the top 20 and break the conditions of being in the Sound of … poll. The model of the Little Boots winning path was watched and just repeated last year. My votes this year were for 1. Hurts 2. Dollface 3. Jessie Malakouti. I’d have voted for Marina as well but thought she would get enough.

Anyway a couple of the labels were less on the ball about the sound of and sent out I Blame Coco + Eliza Doolittle tracks the week after it shut. I’d have probably have voted for them both otherwise. Eliza was knocking about in development for a lot of 2009 but only released her first E.P. at the end of November. Let’s just hope that wasn’t the first in an attempt to be the Sound of 2011.

If you can get over the name confusion (people should really start thinking about google), Eliza makes toe-tappy jangle pop. It’s not big, bold with massive production; in fact it’s even a little Jack Johnson (wait… come back!) She looks like a more natural version of Miley Cyrus, lyrically there’s shades of Lily with her straight talking tales dresses her age and is distinctly Norf Laaandan. Her age seems to be a bit of a mystery. I think she looks about 17, but her label replied saying they weren’t sure but they thought about 22.

Her videos all have a strong visual identity. This is her first single proper ‘Skinny Genes’, joining the ranks of Ain’t What You Do, Young Folks and er, Blow My Whistle Bitch, as songs with a whistle designed to get inside your head.


Alternatively listen to her EP on Spotify which contains the furiously catchy Moneybox, the trippy Police Car and chirpy Rollerskates.

Momma’s Place

In my mind I’ve dramatically taken against Roisin Murphy for getting pregnant and having a baby. It just seemed like a weird thing to do at this time, but whatevs. Who cares when it’s made her throw out this banging new track. Previous leak ‘Orally Fixated’ was a bit rubbish but this is a full out dancefloor stomp complete with eurorave piano and drums from 1992. It’s so good probably because it’s just a big massive tune, the lyrics might be fancy but sonically it’s not trying to be cold and arty. It just likes going bang, bang, bang. BANG.

Listen on loop for an hour. Cry at being unable to scrobble it.


2009: Songs of the Year

I’d love to have the energy to make end of year lists as wonderfully detailed as the mighty XO London. Unfortunately I’m full of a stinker of a cold and generally distracted by everything else. This year I’ve been a little rubbish at listening to as much music as I should do. There’s a whole back-up of albums in my LISTEN TO ME folder on spotify, so this may well be missing some corkers. Like I’m sure Fever Ray and Metric would be likely candidates for my favourite albums had I actually listened to them more than once or twice. I need to catch up pronto.

Anyway my favourite songs of the year:


1. Black Eyed Peas – I Gotta Feeling
Simply for packing as much joy and celebration as possible into just under 5 minutes. It’s utterly infectious and I’m even more convinced this is my song of the year after feeling just how amazing it was to both play it and watch others enjoying it at Popstarz NYE last night.

2. Daniel Merriweather – Water & A Flame
I’m not entirely sure what I think about Daniel Merriweather but his album surprised me. Red grew on it to a manic extent but this later released single is without doubt the heart-achingly gorgeous highlight. It’s one of those moments that could make me cry so hard I start to feel sick (see De-lovely, last 10 minutes of ‘Doomsday’, Mr Shue & Emma on Glee etc.)

3. Lady Gaga – Bad Romance
It was tough to choose between this and Pokerface, but again Popstarz last night tipped this one as best. It was as if I could have played it on repeat for 4 hours solid and no one would have minded. Paparazzi was my favourite video of hers this year, but the first 2 seconds even of Bad Romance absolutely smash it. The decade’s most exciting popstar.

4. Royksopp – The Girl and The Robot
A bleak surprise song from Robyn. I interviewed the band earlier say everything I could possibly need to (600 words worth) over here.

5. God Help The Girl – Musician Take Heed
I’d not heard of this album until Colin stuck his iPod on loudspeaker at a late summer BBQ and the brilliant God Help The Girl album came out. It’s a teaming up of Stuart Murdoch from Belle & Sebastian with various female vocalists. Just pipping Perfection As A Helper, this song showcases why I love the album, full of gorgeous, melancholic harmonies.

6. Cheryl Cole – Fight For This Love
I know some people (hello Naomi) fully despise Cheryl, but I’m happy to be swept away with the hype of loving her. Hooray for her pipping Nadine to a solo album. FFTL was unexpected and provided the opportunity for a wide range of new, fascinating dance with your fist type moves from the Talia camp.

7. Jack Penate – Be The One
When Jack released his first album I wasn’t particularly interested in the jingly-jangly nature of it all. Who knows what happened before the release of album #2 (a long holiday in Ibiza?) but it’s euphoric, Balearic sounds were the surprise of the year. A blissfully uplifting song that featured the best use of trumpets since Mark Ronson got his hands on the instrument, and provided a brilliant moment at Wireless in Hyde Park.

8. Shirley Bassey – Apartment
I have absolutely no idea what this song is about. Written by Rufus Wainwright for the latest Shirley Bassey album, it’s entirely nonsensical. That said, the spanish guitars and a roaring vocal make it a quirky and utterly memorable oddity.

9. Rumble Strips – Daniel
I think I should have listened to the latest Rumble Strips album more but this is the song that stuck with me the most. That’s probably because I have a friend called Daniel and when we’re talking about him I like to belt this out. I feel like I want to sing it while standing on a windswept bridge in the rain. Dramatic and dastardly.

10. Lily Allen – Not Fair
A funny, silly, even stupid little song that captures everything we first loved about Lils. It causes a regular barn dance each week at Popstarz and provided a very odd moment with a bride and groom dancing and singing it to each other when I, retrospectively inappropriately, played it at a friend’s wedding.

Special outside the top 10 loving goes to Never Forget You, Bulletproof, Flashback, Empire State of Mind, Battlefield, Warm in The Shadows & Heads Will Roll.