Thursday, October 16, 2014

Songs you may have missed: Christmas release schedule special

This is the part where a dozen songs are gathered into a list and presented for your listening pleasure.

With Q4 in full swing, this week's selection is jam-packed with songs from major artists hoping to make you part ways with your Christmas pay packet. Starting with...

1) Taylor Swift - Out Of The Woods
"To all my wonderful UK fans, I realize that you are not able to get Out of the Woods due to a new strategy my record label is working on in the UK," said Taylor Swift on Tumblr, after her single was released in every other country except Britain.

Britain, coincidentally, was where she'd spent the previous week on a huge promotional tour, talking animatedly about the single she was releasing next week, suggesting the label hadn't bothered to explain their new strategy to her, and had simultaneously failed to mention that the new strategy was pulled from a big red folder called "how to entirely balls up your biggest artist's release schedule and piss everyone off in the process".

Still, thanks to the internet, you can hear it anyway. Well done, everyone.

2) Take That - These Days
The newly slimmed down Take That take a detour back to their boyband roots with this discoriffic Get Lucky tribute.

The best bit of this release was a knife-twisting Radio 2 interview where Howard brushed off the "tragic" loss of Jason Orange, saying: "Jason is the better break dancer, he's always been fantastic, but if I was gay I could never be his boyfriend because he's a bit annoying, and a bit too deep for me."


3) Calvin Harris - Slow Acid
A worrying sign that Calvin wants to be taken seriously. Luckily, this is only a pre-order wish fulfilment track and not an actual single. About as exciting as a damp flannel.

4) McBusted - Air Guitar
It's hard to hate a song that so clearly states: "Don't take me seriously, I'm just having a laugh" - but it's equally hard to love it.

That said, McBusted have turned in a solid fanbase pleaser that tips its hat to Crazy In Love (yay) and Brian May (hmm). Destined to enter the charts at number one and drop to 23 the next week, but in the best possible way.

5) David Bowie - Sue (Or In A Season Of Crime)
Indebted somewhat to Scott Walker, this seven minute epic is the first track (!) on Bowie's 89th greatest hits collection, which comes out in time for Christmas. If James Bond caught Ebola, this would play over the title sequence.

6) Alesso ft Tove Lo - Heroes (We Could Be)
It feels cruel to put a song called Heroes under the previous entry. Nothing is going to fare well by comparison to Zavid Bowie's masterpiece, but that's pop for you.

This song, an entirely perfunctory EDM track, is presumably the reason why Tove Lo's debut album has been delayed in the UK. Which is fair enough, I suppose. In all likelihood, this'll creep onto the Radio 1 playlist and give her profile a boost while she's off in the US doing promo.

But if 2015 isn't Tove Lo's year in the UK I am going miffed. Miffed, I tell you.

7) Mary J Blige and Disclosure - Right Here
As previously raved about on these very pages, this collaboration is an absolute belter.

It now comes with a video that makes a huge deal about Mary J Blige actually deigning to visit London. Come on, Mary, it's hardly Aleppo.

8) Jess Glynne - Real Love
While we're on the topic of Mary J Blige, Rather Be hitmaker covered one of Mary's oldest and best songs in the Live Lounge earlier this week. She's really giving it some welly in the YouTube player freeze-frame, isn't she?

9) Jessie Ware - 12
To celebrate the release of her brilliant, downbeat, second album this week, Jessie Ware gave everyone the gift of a free download. 12 is a demo, recorded with Rhye's Robin Hannibal, that didn't make Tough Love's final tracklisting.

"This is a song for my [husband] Sam and I hope you like it," she wrote. "Play it late and go kiss someone x"

10) Embody ft A*M*E - Give Me Your Love
Everybody's favourite asterisked artist pops up on this topical deep house track. OK, it's not as slap-you-in-the-face terrific as Need U (100%) but if you can't dance to this your soul is dead. Oh, and it's a free download.

11) Paperwhite - Pieces
Naming yourself after one of Amazon's Kindle devices isn't going to help your search engine results, but you really should delve deep into Google to hear more from this Brooklyn dream-pop act.

Brother and sister Katie and Ben Marshall sound like they've digested the first 20 volumes of Now... That's What I Call Music to conjure up this blissful 80s throwback anthem. That bubbling marimba line is lifted directly from Lionel Richie's All Night Long, and the chord changes and the harmonies sound like vintage Scritti Politti.

If you only listen to one of the songs on this list, make it this one.

12) and Jimmy Fallon - Ew!
There's a recurring segment on Jimmy Fallon's US chat show, in which he and a guest dress up as teenage girls and lists the things that make them sick. Fallon plays Sara ("and if you're wondering, that's S-A-R-A, with no H, because H's are ew!") while guest stars have included Michelle Obama, Taylor Swift and Lindsay Lohan.

It's ridiculously silly - the sort of thing Trev and Simon would have done on Going Live 20 years ago - but it's gained a Wayne's World-esque cult following. And so there is now a novelty single, produced by, the teenage alter-ego of Naturally, it's the best thing he's done for years.

BLIMEY - that was quite a list. Hope you found one new favourite in amongst there. More again next week.

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