Friday, April 12, 2013

A*M*E follows up 100% and five other songs you may have missed

Good afternoon, Friday. Here's this week's round-up of songs you may have missed. Think of it as a tiny weekend playlist, or a brief radio programme with a skip button. Enjoy!

1) A*M*E - Heartless / 100% Skreamix
18-year-old pop princess Aminata Kabba, otherwise known as A*M*E, is currently at number one with Need U (100%) - and deservedly so. Her next solo single is called Heartless, and although the final radio mix has yet to be officially revealed, it doesn't really sound any different to the demo which has been circulating for a while. Think David Guetta and Sia covering Nicki Minaj's Starships and you get the idea. Something's missing right at the end - the climax doesn't quite... well, climax - but it's a decent summer singalong.

Meanwhile, if you haven't already bought 100%, you absolutely have to check out this 80s-tastic remix, which could be mistaken for a lost Control-era Janet Jackson track. It is seriously that good.

2) Thunderbird Gerard - Trouble
Gerard wasn't one of the better-known Thunderbirds. He mostly did the admin on Tracy Island - making sure they didn't run out of staples and teabags. But he's also an up-and-coming US rap artist, based in Berlin, who's been dubbed "the Kerouac of Hip-Hop" (because he's On The Road a lot - groan). "Interesting" naming conventions aside, his latest single Trouble is superb: A lolloping, irresistible piano groove, that's refreshingly low on bombast.

3) Rdgrngld - Million Fans
That's pronounced Red, Green, Gold. Another band harking back to the days of old-skool hip-hop, this makes me want to dig out all my old Jurassic Five albums and have a block party. The band hail from Washington DC, and they managed to get Dave Grohl to play all the drum loops on their debut album... But not this track, which uses an authentically dusty breakbeat sample. One to watch at this summer's festivals.

4) Paramore - Still Into You
"Interesting" fact: I can totally ace Paramore's Misery Business on Guitar Hero. Five stars every time, even on expert level wearing a blindfold, after half a bottle of port, with all my finger glued together so I have to play the notes with my eyelashes. I'll prove it to you one day.

Will I ever be as good at their new single Still Into You? Who knows, but one can live in hope. Hayley told the BBC the song was "a big love anthem". I say it's a bubbly punk-pop track that wouldn't sound out of place at the end of a pre-rehab Lindsay Lohan film. The video, by the way, is inspired by the fantastical technicolor photographs of British artist Tim Walker. You can read more about those on the New Yorker site.

5) The National - Don't Swallow The Cap
What exactly do you want from The National? Swirling atmospherics? Swelling strings? Heart-tugging vocals? An overwhelming sense of loneliness and anxiety? Then you're in luck! Don't Swallow The Cap, the second song to be released from their eagerly-anticipated new album Trouble Will Find Me. It's one of those songs that's totally miserable, but whose inherent beauty ends up making you feel at peace with the world. Lovely stuff.

6) CHVRCHES - Game Of Thrones
"Should we cover the Game of Thrones theme song?" asked CHVRCHES on their Twitter feed last Sunday. "I kinda feel like we should. I might be on my own here tho". Less than 24 hours later, this appeared on YouTube. I love how Lauren starts singing along 30" into the song - and how their arrangement basically turns the song into the theme from Knightmare.

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