Friday, April 26, 2013

The most frightening thing to come out of Korea this week + five more you may have missed

And here it is: Your sort of weekly round-up of songs that flew under the radar, until I recalibrated the radar. This issue's starlets are:

1) Psy - Gentleman (live performance)
Earlier this month, Psy performed Gentleman, his follow-up to / carbon copy of Gangnam Style, for 50,000 fans in South Korea. Judging by the footage, it was basically the Nuremberg Rally of novelty dance pop. Confusing and terrifying - much like the song's English translation.

2) Beyonce - Standing On The Sun
Beyonce is a mad genius. Why, she reckons, would you bother completing a song when the average attention span is only 90 seconds long. So we're just getting an album of snippets and excerpts, released online and paid for by H&M and Pepsi. It's modern, daring and risky. Beyonce's next release is called "Beep" and is just a recording of Beyonce saying "Beep" into a cup.

3) Armin Van Buuren feat Trevor Guthrie - This Is What It Feels Like
This sounded really good in the car with the sunroof down on Thursday morning. Listening to it again today, I'm worried it might be a little "Danny from The Script 'goes Ibiza'". What do you reckon?

4) Laura Marling - Once
"Once is enough to make you think twice / about laying your love out on the line." There's something beautiful about the simplicity of Laura Marling's lyrics. And this candid, unadorned performance from Jools Holland's show this week is the perfect complement. Heartbreaking.

5) Lana Del Rey - Young And Beautiful
At the other end of the scale is Lana Del Rey - arch, post-modern, difficult to pin down. Are we listening to the thoughts and fears of Lizzie McGuire or the gutter-dwelling Femme Fatale she's created? In the end, it doesn't matter: This song, taken from the Great Gatsby soundtrack, is every bit as devastating as Laura Marling's.

6) Hey Champ - Comet (ft BeuKes)
Chicago's Hey Champ describe themselves as "Pop Music For People Who Don't Like Pop Music" - a statement which basically screams, "we are preposterously stuck-up dickends". But if we jettisoned every pop star we found objectionable, the charts would be wall-to-wall Jessie Ware [wait a minute, you could be onto something here - Ed]. So, forget about the fact the band "met as outsiders at one of those tea and crumpet parties where everyone wears blazers and laughs through clenched teeth" and enjoy their Giogio Moroder-inspired Slow Disco classic in the making, Comet.

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