Friday, October 4, 2013

Gary Barlow goes Mumford and six other songs you may have missed

This has been a pretty good week for music - we had a polished video from a re-energised Britney, a mini-movie from The Arcade Fire and a tear-jerker from John Legend, not to mention (great) new albums from Justin Timberlake and Haim. So this week's strays and leftovers are pretty high quality. Have a gander...

1) Gary Barlow - Let Me Go
Gaz breaks out the banjos for his first solo record in 14 years. Let Me Go, basically a speeded-up Hey There Delilah, is precision-targetted at Radio 2 mums.

That's not a dig, by the way - Gary knows his market. He's even booked an advertising space on the bus stop in Coronation Street. Clever boy.

2) Goldfrapp - Annabel (live on Jools Holland)
Looking like Bad Romance-era Lady Gaga, singing like a fallen angel, Alison Goldfrapp graces Later... with her tranquil beauty.

3) Honeyblood - Bud
I picked out this catchy indie-pop gem a last week, and now it's been given a green-fingered video, shot in a stately garden near Herefordshire. It's no Ground Force, though, having been based on the influential, surrealist Czech movie Daisies (which you can watch in full here).

4) Lupa - The Creature
Move over, Lorde, here's a new antipodean singer in town, and this one's only 15.

Lupa is the stage name of Imogen Jones, a classically-trained violinist who's branched out into pop. Her home demos, published on Soundcloud two weeks ago, have already been picked up by influential Aussie radio station Triple J. And rightly so - Lupa's electronically-scored harmonies have a subtlety and sophistication beyond her years.

5) JLS - Billion Lights
The title of JLS's farewell single makes you think it'll be a weepie uber-ballad - but no! Billion Lights thumps like a Hitler's fist on a sturdy lectern.

The video is a three-minute potted history of everyone's favourite colour-coded boyband - their X Factor audition, their first number one, their first arena tour. You'll feel nostalgic, then you'll remember you never really liked them after Beat Again.

6) Wardell - Opossum
OK - this one's two years old, but you should keep your eye on Wardell. Otherwise known as Stasha and Stephen Spielberg, their dad is literally the man who made ET; and Jay-Z has just signed them to Roc Nation.

There's no indication of what their new material sounds like, but this 2011 track, Opossum, has a pleasing bluegrass vibe that reminds me of the Edward Sharpe song on those Peugeot adverts (the one that goes "Alabama, Arkansas - I do love my Ma & Pa").

7) Sampha - Indecision
You've probably heard this all over the radio recently - it's the one with the chorus that goes "let it all work out" over a glitchy, melancholy piano sample.

Sampha is best known for his work with Jessie Ware and SBTRKT, and has just appeared on the new Drake album. This track is from his solo EP Dual, which came out in July. It wears its complexity lightly, letting Sampha's gorgeous voice draw you into its mournful tale of shattered hearts.

Hope those tracks tide you over for the weekend... I'll be back with more on Monday morning.

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