Friday, January 17, 2014

Charlotte Gainsbourg covers Hendrix and nine other songs you may have missed

A semi-regular round-up of music I haven't quite got round to writing about yet. Sometimes for very good reason, but not this week...

1) Charlotte Gainsbourg - Hey Joe
Charlotte Gainsbourg stars in Lars Von Trier's new, definitely-not-porn film Nymphomaniac. Her character is called Joe, and that prompted her to record a cover of Jimi Hendrix's finest moment. Produced by Beck, it's breathy, ominous and delicious.

2) MØ - Don't Wanna Dance
Danish singer MØ was cruelly omitted from the BBC's Sound Of list, but somehow I don't think it matters.

Don't Wanna Dance - a sort of alt-pop riposte to Whitney Houston's I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me) - was Zane Lowe's Hottest Record In The World last night, and MØ's forthcoming album No Mythologies To Follow looks set to be one of the year's strongest debuts.

3) Lily Allen - Air Balloon
"She's back, with her words" wrote the Guardian when this song "dropped" on Monday.

Honestly, I don't understand why the press insists on Lily Allen being a 21st Century Dorothy Parker. Her lyrics are consistently puerile. Case in point, her anti-Bush protest song 'Fuck You Very Much', which displays all the intellectual sophistication of a drunken Big Brother contestant.

Still, she makes exceedingly catchy pop songs and this is one of them.

4) Raleigh Ritchie - Stronger Than Ever
Raleigh Ritchie is probably best known as Grey Worm in TV nerdgasm Game Of Thrones. But the Bristolian has been making music since he was 14 and, in the tradition of Massive Attack and Portishead, he combines widescreen hip-hop with mournful soul melodies. If you ignore all the ACTING in this video, Stronger Than Ever is gorgeous.

5) Johnny Cash - She Used To Love Me A Lot
The 1980s weren't kind to Johnny Cash - he stooped so low as to record a novelty song about having his brain transplanted into a chicken - but this previously unreleased track is just gorgeous.

Johnny's son, John Carter Cash, told the BBC this week there's more where this came from. "There are some great recordings - but we don't want to release something unless it means something." Good lad.

6) Bombay Two Bicycle Club - Luna
Why do Bombay Bicycle Club and Two Door Cinema Club always release music at the same time? I have enough trouble telling them apart as it is...

Whichever one is responsible Luna, they've done a good job - starting off with a lilting tabla loop before settling comfortably into 80s indie, with gorgeous harmonies from Rae Morris.

7) Le Youth - Dance With Me
Following last year's C O O L, which sampled Cassie's minor R&B hit Me and U, Wes James's new single lifts its vocals from TLC's No Scrubs. The man's got taste.

8) Sam Smith - Money On My Mind
Unlike MØ, Sam Smith did make it onto the Sound of 2014 list. In fact, he won the blasted thing and this is his victory single.

Compared to last autumn's stunning, soulful Nirvana EP, it's a little screechy for my taste - but you can't deny he's got a stunning set of pipes. And a pretty good singing voice, too.

9)Charli XCX - Allergic To Love
The best song about sneezing since The Pop Singer's Fear Of The Pollen Count, Allergic To Love is a snappy burst of punk, recorded and released in the space of 24 hours.

Charli XCX is basically amazing, isn't she?

10) Pixie Lott - Nasty
Oh dear.

PHEW! That's all for this week... Have a splendiferous weekend.

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