Sunday, March 8, 2015

30 seconds of Rihanna and 12 other songs you may have missed

Here it is: A semi-regular round-up of songs I haven't managed to blog about, from pop powerhouses to rejuvenated indie icons, And ending with two chancers who can't believe their luck.

1) Rihanna - American Oxygen
Rihanna's latest song was teased in a promo for the new basketball season (obviously) which you can see below. It's a meagre 30 seconds, but we'll take what we're given from the Bajan pop queen.

2) Carly Rae Jepsen - I Really, Really Like You
Look, if Tom Hanks agrees to appear in your video, you don't say "no". Even if he insists on "being you". Even if he doesn't really understand how to lip-sync. Even if the climactic dance number is borderline humiliating. Just roll with the punches. It's Hollywood, baby.

3) Marina and the Diamonds - Forget
Congratulations to the hair stylist on this video. Marina looks incredible.

And in "good news" news, the release date of Marina's third album FROOT has been moved forward to 16th March. That's 10 days, people!

4) Madonna - Ghosttown (live)
The best song on Madonna's new album is also her best song in a decade. Easily.

Even the slightly wobbly vocal on this live performance can't rob it of its charm.

5) MIA - Can See Can Do
"Some people see planes, some people see drones" - a typically provocative lyric from MIA, who's back for the first time after 2013's Matangi.

There's no word on whether this is a single or just something she's knocked off in the studio, but it sounds like filler to me.

6) Everything Everything - Distant Past
There's a bit in the mid 8 where this threatens to turn into the Crossroads theme tune - and, what with this being an Everything Everything single, I half suspect it's deliberate.

Otherwise, it's business as usual. Ridiculous falsetto, polyrhythmic drum lines and lyrics like: "Two thumbs, I cross the Rubicon".

It's nice to have them back.

7) The Violent Femmes - Love Love Love Love Love
It's 15 years since the Violent Femmes released new material - and 32 since their ode to onanism Blister In The Sun - but they sound undiminished on their return. And is that an oboe solo??

Recorded on New Year’s Eve in Hobart, Tasmania, its the lead track on a 4-track EP that's coming out on Record Stay.

8) Conor Maynard - Talking About
Let's face it, Conor Maynard is a shit pop star. But if this came on the radio, and someone told you it was the new one from Disclosure, you'd probably be quite impressed.

Well played, sir.

9) Alabama Shakes - Don't Wanna Fight (live on SNL)
The new Alabama Shakes single has been compared to Bob Marley's Could You Be Loved and James Brown's Cold Sweat - which is pretty impressive company - but frontwoman Brittany Howard hinted at another inspiration on SNL, wearing a pair of earrings bearing Prince's lovely face.

Now, where can I get a pair of those?

10) The Staves - Make It Holy
I've run out of ways to gush about The Staves, so let's just accept I like this a lot without any further adjectives.

11) Joywave - Somebody New
Coming out of Rochester, Joywave are making uplifting indie-pop in the vein of Friendly Fires and Passion Pit.

Their new video will please anyone who used to play Tony Hawk games on the PS2, although what it has to do with the song is beyond me.

12) Kid Cudi - Love (ft Ratatat)
Things have been quiet on the Kid Cudi front for quite some time now, so this upload caught fans by surprise on Tuesday night.

An unreleased track from last year's Satellite Flight album, it's an uplifting hug of a record, as Cudi sings: "Don't be so down, come on young homie / You'll be OK, you'll find real love".

Writing on Soundcloud, Cudi says: "Hope it brings you some peace if you have a lonely heart out there. byeeeee :)"

13) Electro Velvet - Still In Love With You
The UK's Eurovision for 2015 is by a Mick Jagger impersonator and a woman who couldn't convince a single person to turn their chair around on The Voice. So that augurs well.

The song itself is an odd fish... basically's Bang Bang without the production values. It seems content to repeat its derivative four-bar hook a dozen times without any modulation or progression - which isn't necessarily a bad tactic when you're trying to make a lasting impression in three minutes. But you're left with the overwhelming feeling of "is that really it?"

And that's this week's supplement. Tune in for more tomorrow.

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