Thursday, December 11, 2014

Songs you may have missed: 2015 edition

After one of the most disappointing Christmas release schedules in living memory (was a U2 album really the best the music industry could come up with?) thoughts are turning to 2015

Rihanna's in the studio. Madonna's vampiring some of dance music's biggest names, and Katy Perry is undoubtedly planning something ridiculous for the SuperBowl.

But before all that, the record labels will use the January lull to sneak some new artists onto the radio, and to raise the profile of some established acts. And that is where this "songs you may have missed" begins...

1) Frank Ocean - Memrise
Hopefully a signifier of a follow-up to Channel Orange in 2015, this was given a low-key premiere on Frank Ocean's Tumblr over Thanksgiving.

It's so abstract it barely registers as a song, but you have to admire the levels of filth he crams into the all-too-brief 1'57" running time.

"I could fuck you all night long from a memory alone," Ocean croons. What on earth would his mother say?

2) Zara Larsson - Weak Heart
She's Swedish, she's gorgeous, she's riding a horse. What more could you ask for?

3) Ed Sheeran - Autumn Leaves (J-Kraken Remix)
Despite being rather heavy on the old bongos, this is a lovely re-tooling of Ed's Autumn Leaves. It even withstands the addition of pan pipes. Just.

4) Ronika - Marathon
Plucky pop archivist Ronika released her debut album, Selectadisc, earlier this year and it's still a pleasure to listen to when the mood for an 80s disco revival hits me.

Marathon isn't the strongest track on the record but the video's a lot of fun.

5) Kate Pierson - Mister Sister
Unbelievably Kate Pierson of the B-52s has never made a solo album UNTIL NOW. Believably, the album features "input" from definitely-not-spread-too-thin songwriting person Sia.

The first single is a spritely new wave "transgender anthem" called Mister Sister. The lyric video features Fred Armisen off of Portlandia doing some amusing business at a table.

6) Slow Knights - Without You
Slow Knights is a side-project of Scissor Sister Del Marquis. His new single has vocals from Rod Thomas, aka Bright Light Bright Light, and part-time actress Bridget Barkan.

It's a midtempo "my world would end without you" love ballad, which would make a really good track 12 on a mixtape.

7) Låpsley - Falling Short
Liverpudlian singer-songwriter Låpsley, aka Holly Fletcher, landed on the BBC Sound of 2015 longlist last week and it's easy to see why. A cross between London Grammar and the xx, she makes minimalism mesmerising.

8) Charli XCX - Breaking Up
I know Charli XCX is all lip curls and punk attitude these days but this song just reminds me of Shampoo.

9) Hippie Sabotage - Waiting Too Long
Fresh from the success of their Habits (Stay High) remix (which, despite being unofficial, broke Tove Lo in the UK and US) Hippie Sabotage have uploaded this song to Soundcloud.

Appropriately enough, it sounds like the comedown from Tove's narcotic advenures. Meandering, drowsy and melancholy - it suggests interesting things from the band in 2015.

10) Listenbee - Save Me
If you liked Waves or Prayer In C, this is going to be right up your street, into your driveway and peering through the kitchen window.

Listenbee is a new singer from NYC, signed to Kiesza's label, and that's about all I can tell you. She opened her Facebook and Twitter pages just 6 days ago. Before that... nothing. Mysterious.

11) Leo Kalyan - Full Circle
"With your eyes closed, the sounds are enough to make you feel like you’re flying," said influential pop blog Pigeons and Planes, and who am I to disagree?

12) K Michelle -">Something About The Night
This was recommended on Twitter by the one and only Nicola Roberts - aka the only member of Girls Aloud with a modicum of taste.

You may remember K Michelle for her Missy Elliot-featuring single Fakin' It in 2009 but, let's face it, you probably dont't. This song is head and shoulders above that formulaic number, though. And the video - a six-minute mini biopic of Billie Holliday - will take your breath away.

And that's all we have time for. Hope you found something you liked.

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