Thursday, August 20, 2015

Janet teases more new music

Janet Jackson's new album still doesn't have a release date but now we know (via the tweet below) that it's called Unbreakable - which sounds like the sort of thing her late brother would have chosen.

The tweet also includes a link to another new song, The Great Forever - a midtempo empowerment jam that confirms the suspicion she's back on form.

ABC also broadcast footage of the photoshoot for Janet's album this morning... Click on the image above to see the full-length portrait and ask yourself the question "has she not aged since 1993??"

You can read about the TV package here but, weirdly, it isn't available to watch.

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Lapsley's new single will stop you in your tracks

A few weeks ago, Låpsley shared Burn, the first track from her forthcoming double single.

Now she's back with the second tune and, without belittling what's gone before, Hurt Me is very definitely the A-Side.

Powered by her aching voice, a spine-tingling piano and chopped-up vocal samples, the 18-year-old digs into the pain of a past relationship. It's utterly distinctive, but if you absolutely need a comparison, try to imagine London Grammar remixed by Grimes.

"I've been in the studio for about a year now, trying out a lot of different sounds," the Southampton-born singer told Annie Mac last night, as she premiered the song. "This one seems a lot more pop than everything I've ever written – but it's still a very personal song, despite being maybe more upbeat."

Listen below.

Lapsley - Hurt Me

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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

New discovery: E^st

Say hello to 16-year-old Melissa, a singer from Australia who trades under the lexicographically improbable name of E^st.

She came to attention earlier this year when she uploaded a single, Old Age, to Triple J's Unearthed website - sparking a record label bidding war (or, at the very least, some very enthusiastic emails).

It's easy to see why. With her treacle-deep vocals and claustrophobic arranagements, she sounds like Lorde on steroids. Her new single, The Alley, is a case in point. Spooky and spiky with a series of rippling piano chords, it is going to sound fantastic as the autumn nights draw in.

The video, shot at four in the morning on a freezing cold street, should put you in the right frame of mind. Although I'd avoid the molotov cocktails if I were you.

E^st - The Alley

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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Songs you may have missed: Songs I may have missed edition

Oh lordy. Two weeks off and so much good music to catch up with. Here are some of the highlights, accompanied by a desultory 5-word review.

1) Lana Del Rey - High By The Beach
The template has been refined.

2) Chvrches - Leave A Trace
The creation of a star.

3) Hailee Steinfield - Love Myself
Amazing songs deserve better visuals.

4) Disclosure ft Kwabs - Willing & Able
One to sink into deeply.

5) Dmitri Vegas & Like Mike ft Ne-Yo - Higher Place
Luscious, lilting late night anthem.

6) Calvin Harris & Disciples - How Deep Is Your Love
Generic dance music video ahoy.

7) Duran Duran - You Kill Me
Spot the clunky Bowie reference

8) Krept & Konan - So Long
Samples SWV's Rain. Is good.

9) Robin Thicke - Back Together (ft Nicki Minaj)
He's still going? Sadly, yes.

10) FKA Twigs - In Time
Uncompromising but compelling but bonkers.

11) Odesza - Light (ft Little Dragon)
Wispy, hypnotic and bloody brilliant.

12) Little Mix - Black Magic (live on the Late Show)
Bring back TOTP. Tomorrow, preferably.

13) The Dead Weather - I Feel Love (Every Million Miles)
Potential new TOTP theme song.

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Friday, July 31, 2015

Four songs for Friday night

It's been a busy couple of days, so apologies for the gap in updates. To make up for it, here are four songs you should sample before the weekend is through...

1) Prince - Stare
Released exclusively on Spotify, just a couple of weeks after Prince pulled his music from every streaming service except Tidal? Well, if there's one thing Prince fans have come to expect it's a lack of consistency.

This starts brilliantly, with a killer bassline and a lyrical reference to Prince's Controversy-era breakthrough: "First things first, we like you to stare / We used to go on stage in our underwear". But it goes downhill quickly from there. This is very much Prince on funky autopilot.

2) One Direction - Drag me Down
"I got a river for a soul, and baby, you’re a boat."

To be honest, this is anonymous, if likeable, europop until the chorus makes an unexpected u-turn and breaks out the guitars. Designed for stadiums and, presumably, an imminent greatest hits collection.

3) Duke Dumont - Ocean Drive
Thankfully not a cover of the Lighthouse Family track, this is a return to form by Sir Duke after the underwhelming, underperforming The Giver.

Featuring legendary Chicago house vocalist Robert Owens, it's from the first in a series of 4-track EPs Dumont intends to release in lieu of what he calls "the old format of the LP" (ask your dad).

4) Alicia Keys - 28 Thousand Days
An intruiging mix of hard beats and hippy dippy optimism, heralding Alicia Keys' first album in five years.

"I'm back from hell, with my angel wings," sings Alicia, sounding more like she's just come back from Waitrose.

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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Weeknd has been set on fire

Don't worry, though, it's all in the name of art.

The Canadian singer - real name Abel Tesfaye - performs the stunt in the video for his slinky hit single Can't Feel My Face, which has been in the US top 10 all summer (but criminally ignored over here).

The clip, directed by Grant Singer, sees The Weeknd perform to a bar of disinterested punters, who yawn as they throw their drinks at him. When one decides to chuck a lighter at the stage, the alcohol is set alight and Tesfaye bursts into flames. After which, the audience can't get enough. The fickle world of showbiz, eh?

The striking video has debuted on Apple Music's Connect service - which they've finally made available to embed on external websites. Hello, 21st Century.

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