Cinnamon Chasers – Luv Deluxe

I’ve mentioned it before, but Bug is a brilliant event at the BFI Southbank every month which showcases the very best in music videos under the comedic gaze of Adam Buxton. This video for Cinnamon Chasers’ ‘Luv Deluxe’ was my favourite from the November event.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8Y1MalRrDc[/youtube]

It’s like (500) Days of Summer gone badly wrong, seen through the eyes of someone reading a ‘choose your own adventure’ book. The video is directed by 23 year old Saman Keshavarz and seems to be one of his first videos, having previously made a short film in 2006 called ‘Drug of Choice’. The music comes from Russ Davies, known in this instance as Cinnamon Chasers and is a a gorgeously dreamy sound-scape of a melody that gradually feels more urgent. It also appears Russ is a little randomly the son of Kinks’ founder Dave Davies which is a good pop fact. Best of all on Last.FM we have a high compatibility. It seems he likes Madonna, CSS, Ladytron, Little Boots and Roisin Murphy. Well done him.

Hollywood Infected Your Brain

Earlier in the year I thought Marina & The Diamonds had somehow been left after the Sound of 2009 poll. Secretly everyone was gently taking their time to make sure the Sound of 2010 poll had her at the top or at very least the top 5. In the ever confusing world of buzz singles, limited release, digital only, the video for her FIRST SINGLE PROPER (i.e. the first single on a major label) seems to have just hit the web.

 [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n1VTcJfL7RE[/youtube]

Marina looks absolutely gorgeous but I’m hoping this isn’t another case of ‘loved by the critics (at first), written about to the point of boredom and then generally ignored by the public’ a la Little Boots. The chorus of this is much poppier than anything else we’ve heard from Marina before and it includes these outstanding lines that will quite easily make Adrian explode:

‘He said ‘OH MY GOD, You look like Shakira
No, no you’re Catherine Zeta
Actually my name’s Marina’

It’s like a 2010 answerback song to this that should be sent back in time ten (TEN!) years as a warning:

Whatever You Like

This gorgeous, breathy cover of TI’s gently epic¬† ‘Whatever You Like’ was featured on this week’s ‘controversial’ US episode of Gossip Girl.

Sung by San Diego singer-songwriter Anya Marina, it’s almost like a goofier version of something you might expect from Nouvelle Vague. She’s also got a song on the new Twilight soundtrack. Zeitgeist her face off.

Hurts

I thought I’d written about Hurts ages ago but seemingly not. Nevertheless this video, now from April, remains ridiculous & amazing:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kuwdw7KmGwA[/youtube]

They’re a Manchester band signed to Sony whose members used to be part of the slightly blogged up Daggers. They seem to have kept their fondness of black & white photos, Richard Stannard, tidy hair and italo disco. The only other song I’ve heard ‘Witnesses’ is a bit more bouncy and guittary, but essentially both songs make you want to walk through the rain in Manchester. Your life would be in black & white and you’d be on your way to work in a factory with a frown on your face, pretending you’re in a tragic music video, as Melanie Sykes walks past you dressed as a Scottish Widow. Sound of 2010 voters – this should be on your list!

Stephen Gately: 1976-2009

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-TejcZJSIy4[/youtube]

Growing up I was just the right age to be there in the heat of the Boyzone explosion. As it turns out I wasn’t that keen, mainly because at that time I was obsessed with hatred when one person did all the vocals and the rest of the group never being allowed to sing. Finally when Stephen Gately was allowed to bust a groove ‘No Matter What’ happened, was perhaps Boyzone’s biggest hit, went on to be one of the finest Andrew Lloyd Webber songs of the modern day, and is just an utterly brilliant pop song.

Hearing about the death of a famous person in 2009 has meant two things for me. First, you see the news break on twitter and aren’t sure whether to believe it or not. With MJ I was in Ghetto Brighton with some friends when the first reports of a heart attack came through, then lots of refreshing later Colin & I sat on the prom eating fish and chips as the first reports of a death washed in via twitter with no reliable source. This time round the shocking news came in the early hours from NOTW Showbiz Editor Dan Wootton who called it ‘the saddest story I have ever broken’ (and plugged his link a little too much, but I get – it’s his job!) On the other hand social media gives you almost too much access into the reaction of your friends or acquaintances. Seeing them make jokes about the death of a 33 year old moments after his death, just because they think he was in a ‘comical boyband’, leaves me with somewhat of a bad taste in my mouth.

Coming straight out of the glory days of pop that were the 1990s, I remember with a smile the numerous Smash Hits or Top Of The Pops magazine stories which back in the day tried to pair him up with Emma Bunton constantly – the two babies of the biggest group of the day. I can’t claim to be a massive fan, but the only time I saw him live was wonderful. He performed at a big charity gala Rocky Horror show performance at the Royal Court Theatre in London in 2005 and managed to turn my least favourite Rocky song ‘Once In A While’ into something brilliant. Boyzone might not be your cup of tea, but there’s no doubt Stephen was an excellent vocalist.

[Edit: Unfortunately the youtube video has a screengrab of Ronan looking a bit special]

Cheryl Cole ‘3 Words’ kind of review

cheryl_cole_three_words_cover_art

Earlier this week I made a complete meal of writing a proper Cheryl Cole ‘3 Words’ review, but here are the random notes I made during my first few listens. This is not exactly award winning writing, it’s just random thoughts I made while trying to figure out if it was amazing or rubbish. It was hard to disassociate my love for Cheryl’s shiny hair in her new L’Oreal adverts from the music and just before writing it she annoyed me a bit by kicking Ethan and Duane out of X Factor. I’m so easily swayed. It’s very girly, all about being in love and is pretty sad. There’s no Xenomania, there’s lots of Will.I.Am and it’s far, far away from a Girls Aloud album.

1. Three Words: Strange guitar opening, sounds a bit like Foals, before the bass builds up . Bizzaro. Will.i.Am/Cheryl co-write and Will.i.Am is all over it – it’s a duet! The three words are indeed ‘I Love You’. Very brave opening track. “It wasn’t complicated, wasn’t pre-meditated, to you I’m dedicated.” Anthem for Chuck & Blair.
2. Parachute: Awesome military drumming. Cheryl sounds sad. About a secret love ‘I won’t tell anyone your voice is my favourite sound’. Her love is the parachute that will catch her if she falls. Nice, strong 90s rnb chorus. Brilliant little pointing finger breakdown “I won’t fall out of love.”
3.Heaven: Another wibbly electro Will.I.Am song and he’s on it again. Most annoying bit is Cheryl totally aping his accent and singing ‘My heaven’s with you’ as ‘My heaven wit you’. No need. Best bit – Will I Am sounds like he’s telling Cheryl she’s immature at one point.
4. Fight For This Love: Best song on the album. The drums on this are amazing now. SOLDIER.
5. Rain On Me: Madonna-ish, teeters along before you have some very odd synthesised oboe (?!) sounds and it blows off into a big midtempo dance chorus. Tears in my eyes while raving kind of affair. Not a will i am track so no idea who is singing along in the chorus. Co-written by Livvi Franc!
6. Make Me Cry: Nice 70s Chic type of bassline. “Are you trying to make me cry?” Fierce, talk to the hand. Cheryl says shit! Doesn’t really go anywhere but pleasant.
7. Happy Hour: Ridiculous, yet adoreable analogies. Bad boy she needs a taste of, he’s an addiction. Co-written by Priscilla Renae, originally a Rihanna demo. Nice layering up of vocals without any Nadine style warbelling. Type of song I think Cheryl would sing along to in the shower. Middle Eastern vibes – K-Ci & Jojo esque piano topline. “Some days I can be sweet and some I’m sour, but I can’t help but drink you up cos you’re my happy hour.” 2nd best song.
8. Stand Up: The only upbeat song, only one that doesn’t sound like Cheryl is the saddest person ever. Taio Cruz penned and he features on it during a rap where he bigs up his advance and his bloody Rokstar shades. Makes me want to crouch to my knees and then fascinatingly ‘Stand Up’ in some kind of never before considered dance routine.
9. Don’t Talk About This Love: Cover of a Nikola Bedingfield song. CUT YOUR EARS OFF AWFUL.
10.Boy Like You: Opens with a sample of Fleetwood Mac ‘Little Lies’. Random. Another Will.i.Am track. Clapping / electro drumbeat. It’s a shoulder wiggler.
11.Heartbreaker: Identical to the single release, no Cheryl mix or anything. Is that FIVE Will.I.Am duets??\
12. Got To Be Real: Amaz-Oh no, this is Cheryl Lynn. Thanks iTunes!

Cheryl’s Hair: 10/10 ; Album 7/10

Mr Discopop’s heard it too.

Daft Punk Hero

Despite having turned them musically into 2 Many DJs, how ace is this?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0r38l7oNCQ[/youtube]

Gives me another chance to plug my documentary about Daft Punk if you’ve not already heard it – it’s here (will trade on this forever)

Introducing Dollface

dollface0909

This is Yulanda Lindsay aka Dollface aka today’s obsession. First springing into the lives of pop bloggers via her part in ‘girl group in development’ The Silhouettes, the band have recently split leaving Dollface to set up her own label and go solo.

An alumni of the Brit School, she’s moved away from The Silhouettes retro sound and moved towards electro-pop with demo standout ‘Miss Jamaica’ pulling together elements of Red One’s production and her own fiesty throwdowns. Couple that with elements of Calvin Harris in the blissfully repetitive but undeniably soulful girl put downs of ‘Who’s Laughing Now’ and we have ourselves a brand new popstar if these demos are anything to go by. Citing Grace Jones, Bowie, Rihanna and Daft Punk as references, this is a lady to keep our eyes on in 2010.

Have a listen over on her myspace.

The Big Pink

First came The Klaxons, then Friendly Fires, and now The Big Pink. Well actually, according to other more knowledgeable people, first came Spiritualized, My Bloody Valentine, Jesus & Mary Chain and Happy Mondays, but I know bugger all about those bands.

They went unnoticed by me earlier in the year despite appearing on the BBC Sound of 2009 poll but it’s probably only now that they’re about to break through into popular consciousness. ‘Too Young To Love’ showcased their dreamy side, particularly on The Living Eye remix while ‘Stop The World’ was a big old fashioned indie song that’s made just that bit more special with fuzzy electronics swooshing all over the bass. Now ‘Dominos’ is the track to break them, preceding their brilliantly named debut album ‘A Brief History Of Love’. It’s packed full of feedback and distortion but also a brilliant pop hook. Plus hot female drummers always earn a couple more points. You can download the track for free (FREE!) at their official site.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGnNlQ-KNv4[/youtube]

We Have Band

For the last couple of years I’ve been going to an event called Bug at London’s National Film Theatre, or to give it it’s new pointless name the BFI Southbank. Hosted by Adam Buxton, with whom I have since fallen in love, it’s a look through the latest exciting music videos with some youtube banter in between. It’s great, but the selection is always quite swayed to the trendy rather than anything very popular.

One of the videos last time round was for the suitably trendy We Have Band. Their single ‘We Came Out’ features the delightfully silly/scabby lyric ‘We went out, and we got wasted! You went home and turkey basted!” sung over and over again by the yelping Dede. Colin covered them in Attitude a few months ago and we caught them live at Latitude (best festival ever) a few weeks ago. They are right on the edge of being fun DIY and so trendy they infuriate. On the whole though, their basslines are quirky and bouncy and the repetition of lyrics mean you can start singing along within about 20s of each track. Why oh why they decided to cover Pet Shop Boys’ ‘West End Girls’ then is beyond me. Not only is it almost a straight cover but they’ve removed all the quirks and really zapped the energy levels.

Anyway here is the video for ‘We Went Out’:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtGJ1lD23-U[/youtube]

The video involved the band lying still for two days in a studio while 4,816 separate stills were taken to create the face-painting effect – you can see all the individual pictures over on flickr.