Friday, May 16, 2014

Andrew Garfield joins Arcade Fire and 10 other songs you may have missed

A semi-regular round-up of songs I didn't quite get round to blogging over the last week... Lots of A-listers in this selection, plus a song about an elephant.

1) Arcade Fire - We Exist
We Exist contains one of the stand-out lyrics on Arcade Fire's Reflection - telling the story of a gay kid talking to his dad: "Daddy, it's true, I'm different from you. But tell me why they treat me like this?"

The video stars Spider-Man's Andrew Garfield as a victimised, alienated transvestite, who finally finds acceptance during Arcade Fire's set at Coachella earlier this year.

It's also got an amazing, Footloose-inspired "angry dance" sequence.

2) Michael Jackson ft Justin Timberlake - Love Never Felt So Good
The concept for this Michael Jackson video is: Michael Jackson is dead, so let's get a load of grinning imbeciles to dance around while we piss on his grave.

At least Justin Timberlake has the decency to look embarrassed by the whole thing.

3) Coldplay - Always In My Head
The songs on Coldplay's new album are the most direct and heartfelt they've recorded since their debut. Chris Martin sounds smaller and humbler, and the delicate arrangements frame his voice with negative space.

A case in point is the softly mesmerising album opener Always In My Head - which got a live outing on Jimmy Fallon's show earlier this week.

4) Charli XCX - Boom Boom Clap
I wrote about this song, from the soundtrack to The Fault In Our Stars, a couple of weeks ago. Now it now looks like it'll be set free from the movie and released as a single in its own right.

A video was shot in Amsterdam a week ago but, for now, we have to make do with the lyric video.

5) Iggy Azaelea ft Charli XCX - Fancy
Speaking of Charli XCX, she popped along to the Jimmy Kimmel's chat show this week to perform the teen rebel anthem Fancy with Leggy Azalea. I like how she sits out the verses on the steps, looking moody, instead of dancing around aimlessly.

6) Damon Albarn - Mr Tembo
The sole moment of levity on Damon's mid-life-crisis of a solo album, Mr Tembo is a song about an elephant he wrote for an unrealised children's album.

Apparently, the first time the elephant heard the song, it shit itself.

7) Nonono - Hungry Eyes
Nonono's industrially adhesive Pumpin' Blood never charted over here (partly due to the record label dicking around with the release date until everyone lost interest) - but their debut album is selling faster than pickled herring in Sweden.

Hence this remix, by fellow Swede Kleerup, which is something of a triumph.

8) Nero - Satisfy
It's four years since Nero's debut album but they've lost none of their power. With vocals from Alana Watson, Satisfy is more intense than two days in a human centrifuge.

9) Naomi Pilgrim - House of Dreams
Normally, I hate the continuous play function on Soundcloud... If I want to listen to another song, I will bloody well click on it myself, thank you very much.

But when this song by Naomi Pilgrim popped up after La Roux's new track earlier this week, I was transfixed. Swedish-Barbadian singer Naomi Pilgrim may have got her start singing backing vocals for Lykke Li, but her own music is an altogether sunnier affair.

"This is my palace, this is how I live. I'm staying here all day," she sings, in a soulful ode to duvet days. Beautiful.

10) Nick Mulvey - We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together
Shock news: An indie artist has played a minor-key cover of pop song in the Live Lounge. Still, this reworking of Taylor Swift's break-up anthem is a cut above the rest: Not least for the intricate fretboard work.

Nick will be on Jools Holland next week, if you like this sort of thing.

11) Gorgon City - Never Too Far (ft Laura Welsh)
Just added to Radio 1's playlist, this Gorgon City's follow-up to the excellent Ready For Your Love.

Lots of sub-bass here, as you might expect.

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