Monday, October 12, 2015

Ciara gets dark on Rolling Stones cover

This is simply fantastic - Ciara ditches the bumping and grinding for a chilling, gothic interpretation of The Rolling Stones' Paint It, Black.

Taken from Vin Diesel's latest film The Last Witch Hunter (nb: it looks awful), the song is one of the best things Ciara's ever done - a slow-building, threatening soundtrack to the end of days.

Interestingly, the singer seems to share my opinion, telling Rolling Stone "I had never thought to cover this song. It was never on my radar... [but] I love what the producer Adrianne Gonzales did."

"The direction that she went in was actually a sound I've always wanted to play with, and it just didn't get any better than being able to cover a Rolling Stones song. I feel like it pushes the edge and the limit for me, in reference to what people probably expect from me. So this was so many cool things in one. It was a huge honour, and then creatively I just got to really have some fun that I don't usually do in my music."

Listen below.

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Demi Lovato gets punched in the face

Demi Lovato is pretty badass in her new video, but not as badass as Michelle Rodriguez. Nobody is as badass as Michelle Rodriguez.

The violence is part of an explosive video which sees Demi betray Rodriguez, before the duo realise they're puppets of a shady government organisation - and wreak revenge on their handlers. Or something, it's hard to be entirely sure what's happening.

Still, the film is a visual feast (it was directed by Sin City's Robert Rodriguez) and Demi looks fierce. What more do you want from a pop video?

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Friday, October 9, 2015

Everything Everything, caked in blood, perform their new single No Reptiles

Just in time to remind the Mercury Prize panel they exist, Everything Everything have released a video for their recent album's pivotal track.

No Reptiles got a lot of attention back in June for the line "I'm going to kill a stranger... so don't you be a stranger," sung by frontman Jonathan Higgs.

"It's almost a cry for help," said Higgs in an interview with The Line Of Best Fit - but it's also a threat: Don't go away, because I won't be responsible for my actions if you do.

The rest of the song discusses David Icke's theory that our politicians and business leaders are, in fact, blood-drinking, flesh-eating, shape-shifting extraterrestrial reptilian humanoids whose only objective is to enslave the human race. Incredibly, he decides this argument is somewhat implausible, opting for the (far more unsettling) view that the people in charge are just lazy and useless.

All that millennial angst comes out in the video, a straightforward performance clip that ends with the band haemorrhaging blood under the blinking lights of an abandoned car park.

Cheery stuff.

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Tinashe "up the duff" and 11 other songs you may have missed

A semi-regular round-up of songs I wanted to blog about until life got in the way.

This week's superstars include.

1) Tinashe - Player (ft Chris Brown)
Her early EPs were a major influence on the dark, brooding lasciviousness of Beyonce's Beyonce album. Now Tinashe is going for Queen B's crown with a straight-up, chrome-plated pop classic.

The first single from her forthcoming second album, Joyride, it suggests a major push for mainstream success. But one thing is niggling at me: The lyric websites all say she's singing "you got me all fucked up" in the chorus - but surely I'm not the only one who hears "you got me up the duff"?

2) Ellie Goulding - Something In The Way You Move
Simmering electropop from pop's huskiest songstress. Another indication that Delirious will be an album full of solid gold bangers.

3) Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson - Say Say Say (2015 remix)
A souped-up version of the 1983 duet, this swaps around Macca and Jacko's vocals, and is generally a funkier, more upbeat take on the original. Part of a reissue of McCartney's Pipes of Peace album, it has even been blessed with a new video.

Sadly, the single's b-side, Ode to a Koala Bear, has been left untouched.

4) KDA - Turn The Music Louder (ft Tinie Tempah & Katy B)
The backing track feels a little "my first sequencer" but Tinie and Katy lift this track way above the average. Fantastic video, too.

5) Eliza and the Bear - Lion's Heart
A spoonful of Mumford, a sprinkle of Coldplay, and a pinch of The Libertines. Mix it all together, throw in a trumpet and you have Eliza and the Bear's anthemic new single.

Just to reiterate every article that's ever been written about them: Eliza and the Bear are all boys, and none of them is called Eliza.

6) Foxes - Better Love
Windswept, widescreen pop. But even Rihanna would think twice about a music video where the star sits on a toilet (even if she's just painting her toenails).

7) Dua Lipa - New Love
Jessie Ware's silky melodies crossed with the percussive dissonance of Bjork - New Love is an epic introduction to 19-year-old Londoner Dua Lipa. It was produced by Emile Haynie (Lana Del Rey, FKA Twigs), and Andrew Wyatt (Miike Snow), in case that sort of thing matters to you.

8) Frances - Let It Out
Quiet, intense, fragile, beautiful. Frances is a shoo-in for next year's "ones to watch" lists.

9) Jones - Indulge
I missed this song when it came out in April, but it's become a firm favourite after London-born R&B singer Jones performed it on Jools Holland earlier this week. A dramatic, luxurious song about surrendering to love - I present both acoustic and studio versions, because I can't decide which I love most.

10) Bloc Party - The Love Within
Back from their second "hiatus" with a renewed energy, this song is a perfect balance between the shouty whirligig of Bloc Party's indie thrash and the throbbing electronica of Kele Okereke's solo material.

Petite Miller - Barbaric
This lolita-ish French singer is being talked about in all the right places - but I'm just not getting it. Can anyone enlighten me?

11) Olly Murs - Kiss Me
An interesting diversion into "not hateful" territory from pop's perennial hat-botherer and X Factor acolyte.

12) Janet Jackson - BurnItUp! (Ft Missy Elliot)
A lyric video, shot by the cast and crew of Janet's Unbreakable World Tour, this makes life on the road look like an absolute blast.

The tour pulls into the UK next March, fact fans.

And that's your lot... Enjoy the weekend!

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Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Bondax were dead... long live Bondax

People who trawl through music blogs (ie music journalists and PRs) might have a vague memory of British electronic duo Bondax, who were being tipped for big things three years ago.

But disaster struck when their entire debut album went missing, as their laptop disappeared somewhere between a Bulgarian music festival and the airport. "I’ve got to admit, on that flight back I thought Bondax was over. I thought we’d fucked it," the band told DIY magazine last year.

Instead, Lancashire-born Adam Kaye and George Townsend dusted themselves off, played a few festivals, and released a stopgap album - Bondax and Friends - combining new material, collaborations and remixes. Then they started making an even better debut, which is due out next year.

The first single premiered on Zane Lowe's Beats 1 show last night. It's called Temptation, it features Swedish hit-maker Erik Hassle, and it is an archetypal mid-tempo banger.

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Tuesday, October 6, 2015

New discovery: Lewis Del Mar - Waves(s)

They sound like a disappointing beach resort in the Canaries, but Lewis Del Mar are in fact an experimental indie duo from Brooklyn, New York.

So new that they don't have an official biography, the band have been building up a small but enthusiastic fanbase on Soundcloud - thanks to their sputtering alt-pop creations Loud(y) and Memories ("we laughed listened to Madonna, your hips were on my jawline, like the first heat of summer").

Yesterday, the band uploaded their third track and it exceeds expectations. Wave(s) is a sexually candid version of REM's Nightswimming ("I suck your feet in the empty beach, took off all your clothes"), set to a slow-burning electronic production.

Expect big things once the band emerge from the shadows.

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