Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Songs you may have missed: Making up for lost time edition

Hello, and apologies for the temporary hiatus - which was mostly self-enforced due to half term and the Oscars, and partly actually enforced by nasty bout of Norovirus.


1) Rihanna - Towards The Sun
Nice to hear a more optimistic Rihanna on this track - taken from the soundtrack to the DreamWorks animation Home (which seems like it might be Jim Parson's Aladdin).

Turn your face towards the sun," she sings. "Let the shadows fall behind you." It's a midtempo banger that's crying out for a dreamy Penguin Prison remix.

2) Ed Sheeran - Dirrrty (live lounge cover)
I will personally give Ed Sheeran £500 if he plays this at tomorrow night's Brits wearing Christina Aguilera's ass chaps.

3) George The Poet - Cat D
George The Poet has noticed something. Certain people are damaged - but you don't notice because they project an aura of confidence.

He's noticed something else, too. Some second hand cars aren't as good as they're made out to be. AND THAT'S A BIT LIKE PEOPLE, ISN'T IT?

At first, you think he's going to stretch this tortured metaphor to breaking point. Then he goes way beyond that. And then, somehow, it comes full circle and becomes rather touching. Odd, but brilliant.

4) Calvin Harris ft Haim - Pray To God
I am firmly of the belief that Haim can do no wrong.

5) Clare Maguire - Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?
I naturally recoil from anything recorded "especially for Burberry" - but, oh hell, Clare's voice on this could melt the icecaps. Astonishing work on the Carole King / Gerry Goffin classic.

And note that this is a live vocal. Fucking hell.

6) Blur - Go Out
Oh, I do wish Damon Albarn would stop singing in that "won't someone please just give me a hug" whine. But, hey, it's nice to hear his increasingly polite melodies being scuzzed up by Graham Coxon's deliberately atonal guitar lines, even if it's just for old times' sake.

This is from the band's first new album in 12 years, The Magic Whip, which is a great title.

7) Kanye West - Wolves (ft Sia and Vic Mensa)
Imagine if Kanye just turned up at the Brits, played this, then dropped a new album on iTunes. It won't happen. But imagine if it did. (It won't).

(But imagine).

8) Jess Glynne - Hold My Hand
I'm as much a fan of the handbag house revival as the next man, but it's nice to hear Jess Glynne drawing inspiration from Shanice's I Love Your Smile, too.

9) U2 - Every Breaking Wave
The one Noel Gallagher called "a fucking tune". The one you shouldn't have deleted from iTunes in a fit of pique because Bono is a twerp. The one that's about "the troubles".

The video is awesome, too: Shot by Belfast-born director Aoife McArdle, it video depicts a Catholic boy who falls in love with a Protestant girl at a punk show in 1980s Northern Ireland until (you guessed it) their burgeoning romance is torn apart by the realities of the troubles.

10) Hozier - Problem (Ariana Grande cover)
It's a cover that makes you realise how astonishing Ariana Grande's tonsils are... Nice switch into Warren G's Regulate at the end, too.

11) Lennon and Maisy - Boom Clap
Lennon and Maisy are the singing siblings who play Maddie and Daphne in country music soap opera Nashville. Their Charli XCX cover was uploaded to YouTube just before the show returned from a mid-season hiatus in the US - and the lush, folky harmonies give the song new life.

12) Ariana Grande - One Last Time
We're definitely in fourth single from a hit album territory here, but the apocalyptic video is something of a surprise.

13) Chvrches - Cry Me A River (live lounge cover)
Taking a break from recording their second album, Chvrches popped into Radio 1's Live Lounge to play their Drive: Rescored track "Get Away" and this masterful take on Justin Timberlake's breakout ballad. It somehow manages to be vulnerable and menacing at the same time - like one of those terrifying dolls in Toy Story.

Incidentally, an album of Chvrches cover versions would be a welcome thing. Remember this version of The Arctics' Do I Wanna Know last year?

Phew! Well done if you stuck around to the end (the Chvrches thing was your reward for not closing the tab as soon as I mentioned U2).

Normal service should return to the blog in the next couple of days once awards season dies down. I've missed you guys. All eight of you.

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