Thursday, May 5, 2016

Janet Jackson - still got it

Janet Jackson is 49 and pregnant but, man, she's still got the moves.

Directed by Dave Meyers (Katy Perry's Firework, Missy Elliot's Lose Control), the video for Dammn Baby has a simple, performance-based set-up that allows Ms Jackson and her crew of dancers to show off the precision of Gil Duldulao's click-snap choreography.

Eagle-eyed viewers will spot a cameo from Kyndall Harris, 13, and Taylor Hatala, 12, who've been touring with Janet and recently created a viral video for Desiigner's US number one single Panda.

Associated Press went behind the scenes on the video, which is more interesting than it sounds.

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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Video: Radiohead - Burn The Witch

Staccato strings, a hint of a melody, the lyrics of a lifelong paranoiac: Radiohead's return has been dissected ad nauseam already, so I'm not going to add any more wood to the pyre.

Instead, here's what the internet has decided about their comeback track, Burn The Witch.

And here is the Trumpton-themed video. It's clever because they've taken a kids programme and made it sinister. Ooooooooooooooh.

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Alicia Keys is back, Back, BACK!

Hands up who remembers Alicia Keys? Soulful singer of song and number 33 on VH1's "50 Greatest Women of the Video Era" list.

She's been off having a family for a couple of years, but now that her 5-year-old son Egypt has started producing tracks for Kendrick Lamar, she's been able to return to the studio to work on her sixth studio album.

The first single appeared online last night. A slinky, subtle ballad called In Common, it's a world away from the torch songs she's known for (Fallin, Girl On Fire, No-One). The lyrics are intriguing too. We open in a bedroom at sunrise. It's not her own. Against her better judgement Alicia has stayed the night, and not for the first time. Her partner is an acquaintance from "when we were young and had no vows". In the midst of their tryst, she informs him: "If you could love somebody like me, you must be messed up too".

You can hear the song, produced by The Weeknd's collaborator-in-chief Illangelo, below.

Alicia will perform In Common for the first time on Saturday Night Live this weekend, and a new album is expected in the summer, "reflecting her roots in NYC and hip-hop culture while blending her perspective of the raw humanity of the world and who she is today as an activist, woman and artist" (according to the press release).

That is all.

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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Frances is trying to force all the water in your body out through your tear ducts

As if Frances' new single, Don't Worry About Me, wasn't enough of a tear-jerker she's just released a quietly devastating video that will make you weep buckets (of tears).

Set in a hospital... well, just look.

Talking about the lyrics earlier this year, the 22-year-old said: "I wrote this song about someone very close to me. It’s my way of saying that it’s my turn to be strong and brave for them now, just as they have been for me."

You can buy it now at the digital download store of your choice. In the meantime, here's Frances doing her stuff in the Live Lounge last week.

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Busted are all grown up now

When they reformed last year, Busted promised that their new material would be "different" to the airbrushed, sanitised teenrock of Air Hostess and You Said No and Year 3000. And the trio stayed true to their word: Their new single Coming Home is brooding and anthemic, like MGMT with a ring of Snow Patrol.

The lyrics "I'm coming home - I miss my family" will pluck at the heart strings of the band's indefatigable fan base; and, crucially if the band are to survive, it's going to sound great on Radio 2.

The only mis-step comes in the second verse. As crap lyrics go, "Went past the Taj Mahal / It's so fucking beautiful" is going to take some beating.

You can get the track in exchange for all of your personal data over on Busted's website.

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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Video: Tegan and Sara - Boyfriend

Tegan an Sara are best known in this country for the Lego Movie theme song Everything Is Awesome. Will that change with their upcoming ninth album Love You To Death? Probably not, if I'm completely honest. But for a certain brand of fan, they're synth-pop's best kept secret.

Their new single, Boyfriend, takes songs like Katy Perry's I Kissed A Girl or Demi Lovato's Cool For The Summer and tells the other side of sapphic experimentation.

In a recent Pitchfork interview, Sara explained that the track was written about the beginning of her current relationship. Her girlfriend had never dated a woman before, and was still involved with another guy.

"You turn me on, like you would your boyfriend," she sings. "But I don't wanna be your secret any more."

The video shows the sisters being forced into a series of music video clichés - confetti cannons, silhouetted dancers, green screen videos of zebras (?) - but eventually being allowed to be themselves. It's a metaphor for freedom of sexual expression, innit?

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