Monday, December 2, 2013

Lady Gaga duets with Kermit and other songs you may have missed

Unusual to start the week with this feature - but everything goes topsy-turvy in the run-up to Christmas. Here's a selection of clips and cuts you might have passed over in recent days.

1) Lady Gaga and Kermit - Gypsy
Lady Gaga's Thanksgiving special with the Muppets was (sadly, predictably) a curate's egg. You'd think that Gaga, a woman who spends most of her life looking like a Muppet, would have better chemistry with her fuzzy friends - but the programme had as much fizz as a sherbet dip in the rain.

This moment was quite lovely, though - Kermit duetting with a frightwigged Gaga on Artpop highlight Gypsy. That frog has amazing harmonies. Who knew?

2) Jose Gonzalez - Step Out
Surprising, in a good way, Jose Gonzalez has gone RAWK for his new single. Written by Ryan Adams, and lifted from Ben Stiller's new movie The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty, it features a rollicking drum track and a children's choir. More like this, please.

3) Ella Eyre - Deeper
With that corkscrew curl, Ella Eyre is the most recognisable singer on the BBC's Sound Of 2014 longlist (which was unveiled this morning). You'll know her as the voice of Rudimental's Waiting All Night, and her debut single, which I first mentioned a couple of weeks back, now has a video. Think Strictly Ballroom set in the EastEnders cafe and you'll get the idea.

4) The Stepkids - Sweet Salvation
Spin magazine called The Stepkids' unique brand of music "Yacht-Funk Jazz". I don't know what that means, but I fell in love with this single the minute I heard it on Mary Ann Hobbs' 6 Music show this weekend.

Polyrhythmic and unpredictable, it's the sound of Metronomy covering Prince after a couple of glasses of Pear Cider. Lush.

5) Sophie Ellis Bextor - Young Blood
The more I hear this, the deeper it works its way into my brain. Such a gorgeous melody - I suspect this will become a lot of couples' "our song" in years to come.

6) Ulla Nova - Kid From London
I'm always a little nervous when a new act makes a big deal about being "mysterious" and "anonymous". What if it's Cliff Richard trying to get back on the Radio One playlist? But if the song is good enough, old jingle balls deserves it. And this is a great song.

The "artist" is Ulla Nova, a Londoner who wears big hats to disguise her face, and makes swooping synthpop that competes with all of Sweden for euphoric choruses. And if it is Sir Clifford, he's really changed his vocal style. Kudos.

How's that for a start to the week? Not bad, eh. And not a Christmas song amongst them. Bah, humbug, etc.

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