Monday, July 7, 2014

Grimes is Go and 14 other songs you may have missed

After a week away and a major music festival, there's plenty of great music to catch up with in this edition of "songs you may have missed". 

I've included a few clips from Glastonbury, mixed up with songs that premiered during my self-imposed blog absence.

It all begins with the welcome return of the artist currently known to her parents as Claire Boucher.

1) Grimes - Go (ft Blood Dragon)
Written for (and rejected by) Rihanna, this is the most straightforward, bubbly pop song Grimes has ever released. She describes it as a "summer jam" and she's not wrong. It's available as a free download from her website right now.

2) Ellie Goulding - I Need Your Love (acoustic at Glastonbury)
Yes, she's a fully-fledged dance diva these days but I still maintain Ellie's voice is best suited to this sort of musical arrangement. Bring on the 2018 acoustic album.

3) Usher - Good Kisser (Disclosure remix)
Better than the original. Try not to think about the lyrics.

4) Craig David - Cold
Is it time for a Craig David revival? Are you missing the Flava? Are the crowd saying Bo Selecta? Who knows, but this song is 100% not shit.

5) Amy Milner - Have It All
Newcomer Amy Milner took my breath away with this luscious, dreamy piano ballad. It's simple - almost predictably so - but there's a moment where the backing vocals kick in that indicates a compositional genius at work.

Amy is unsigned right now but she's getting some support from BBC Intriducing in her native Sussex. One to watch.

6) Becky G - Shower
This sounds like a monster hit to me. Co-written by Dr Luke, it's got a "why did no-one think of this before" lyric ('you got me singing in the shower') and a "la-da-dee" vocal hook that will burrow into your grey matter and establish an independent republic. You have been warned.

7) Jurassic 5 - Improvise (live at Glastonbury)
Gutted I missed this one... Taking four MCs and make 'em sound like one.

8) Cate Le Bon - Sisters (live at Glastonbury)
Isn't it strange how the Welsh accent occasionally sounds French when you're singing?

9) Broods - LAF
It stands for "Loose As Fuck", and it contains a Spice Girls reference in the second verse. What's not to love?

10) Kelis - Friday Fish Fry (live at Glastonbury)
One of the few performances I actually got to see at Glastonbury this year was Kelis's feel-good, big band soul revue. A highlight in the sunlight.

11) Tiann - Devil's Touch
Subtle, melodious R&B that is - praise the lord - not at all dark and depressing. An refreshing antidote to the mopey soul of Banks and Drake and their "ilk".

12) Kiesza - Giant In My Heart
A companion piece to Arcade Fire's We Exist video, with a deep house soundtrack. Heartwarming.

13) Manic Street Preachers - Motorcycle Emptiness (live at Glastonbury)
This is magnificent. Why they were below Jake Bugg on the bill is a mystery and a crime.

14) Sam Smith - How Will I Know (Whitney Houston cover)
Thanks, Sam, for stripping every ounce of joy and vibrancy out of this song. Thanks a bundle.

15) Wolf Alice - Radio 1 Rocks, full set
London grunge-rock revivalists Wolf Alice recorded this blistering session for Radio 1's Rock week last month, but I've only just caught up with it.

All five songs in the set are magnificent but fast forward to the end for a brand new, untitled track which is a full-throated screamathon of brilliance.

PHEW! That was a lot to get through. Well done if you persevered to the bitter end!

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