Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Video: Bastille - Good Grief

You know how directors sometimes take one isolated lyric from a song, and use that as the basis for a video? Well, in the case of Bastille's new single, that line seems to have been: "You might have to excuse me, I've lost control of all my senses."

Seriously, what the heck is this all about?

Frontman Dan Smith tried to describe the above chaos in a press release, saying: "[It] takes a load of archetypal narrative scenarios and then twists and collides them together. We wanted to make something fun and chaotic and surreal that would serve as a fittingly odd accompaniment to the song."

He also described it as a "mad visual Rubik’s Cube," which sounds great but means nothing.

Nice tune, though.

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Friday, June 17, 2016

Rihanna in a box

Nice to see Rihanna being a proper pop star again in the (belated) video for her Calvin Harris collaboration, This Is What You Came For. No nudity, no murder, no tabloid-bating "controversy", no Drake. Just Rihanna being all smoky-eyed and enigmatic. In a box.

Also, lasers.

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Thursday, June 16, 2016

Hear the song blew Pharrell's socks off

... Not that he wears socks. But if he did, they would have been vapourised.

The singer was hosting a masterclass for music students at a New York university, when a student called Maggie Rogers was given the opportunity to play him one of her songs.
"I grew up as a banjo player and always loved folk music," she explained. "I came to school here to make folk music... very straight-ahead folk music. But I stopped making music for a couple of years in the middle of school. [I] went through some things and developed and learned some more about myself, and I studied abroad in France and had a really spiritual experience with dance music there.

"And suddenly this thing that had always been the most unnatural and the most artificial, I understood the release of it. That since there was a fire, people have been beating sticks together. So I just started making music again a couple of months ago, and I can't make enough. All I want to do is combine that folk imagery and harmony and natural samples that I've been picking up while hiking with the backbone and energy of dance music.

"We'll see if I'm successful..."

She then cued up her track, called Alaska, and sat squirming while Pharrell listened to it in the chair next to her. As the first chorus kicks in, his eyes grow wider and wider... The reaction is priceless.

"Wow," he says as it ends. "I have zero notes. Your whole story, I can hear it in the music."

Here's the video in full. Maggie's segment starts at 18'14".

The clip has slowly gone viral since it was uploaded to YouTube in March. Now Maggie has put the finished track up on her Soundcloud page. It really is worth three minutes of your time. Totally beautiful and utterly unique - a star is born.

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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Disclosure go back to the old-school on Moog For Love EP

"This is a clubby EP. It's back to the start," Disclosure told Radio 1.

But then, how many people remember "the start" - when Disclosure made mellow, sample-based house grooves like I Love... That You Know and Tenderly. To the uninitiated, this is going to sound like a whole new direction from the brothers' Howard.

The best track is the laid-back Feel Like I Do, which lifst the vocals from Al Green's classic ballad I'm Still In Love With You. When it was sent off for sample clearance, Green liked the song so much, he sent back the original a capella track to help Disclosure create a cleaner version of the song.

The rest of the "Moog For Love" EP shares the upbeat optimism of that track. BOSS has a brilliant vocal loop that declares: "She's the boss and I'm an old romantic doing favours, don't look good on paper", while the title track is a collaboration with Eats Everything.

These are going to sound great when Disclosure headline the Other Stage at Glastonbury next week.

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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Jones' new single is a must-have for your summer playlist

When she's not busy holding her precariously-balanced head on top of her neck, East London's Jones is a purveyor of incandescent soul music.

The singer - aka Cherie Jones - has been on my radar for a good few months now, thanks to two exceptional singles Hoops and Indulge, but her latest track is possibly her best yet.

Called Melt, it's a summer jam so mellow it could be prescribed as a beta blocker. "We got the heat / melt with me," Jones murmurs over the sun-bleached beat, which comes courtesy of British electro-soul duo Honne.

Exquisite stuff.

If you want to know more, there's a short interview with Jones over on Fader.

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Video: Nick Jonas - Under You

Nick Jonas continues to make above-average pop songs about all the sex he has had, is currently having and will continue to have in the future.

The latest entry in his softcore diary is called Under You and it finds the former boy-band star lamenting the end of a relationship - mostly because of a sudden lack of sex in his hitherto rumpo-filled life.

"I'll never get over getting under you," he sings, the romantic fool.

But in case you're worried about Nick returning to his formerly chaste ways, the video makes it explicitly clear that sex continues to be a major feature of his day-to-day activities. Although he starts the clip bereft amidst a room of broken furniture, things take a dramatic turn when he drives to his girlfriend's house, finds her crying on the floor, and considerately, compassionately soothes her pain with a fantastic bonk.

Don't watch this one in the office.

PS The video co-stars Shay Mitchell from US teen drama Pretty Little Liars. I thought you'd want to know.

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