Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Brandon Flowers is back and nine other songs you may have missed

So many good songs, so little time to write a blog. That's what the semi-regular "songs you may have missed" feature is all about...

In the words of Will Smith: "Here we go, here we go, here we here we go, yo."

1) Brandon Flowers - Can't Deny My Love
Working with Haim producer Ariel Rechtshaid, Brandon has produced a single that could have come from the soundtrack to St Elmo's Fire or Top Gun. It's that good.

2) Ed Sheeran and Rudimental - Bloodstream
In which Ray Liotta plays the washed-up frontman of hair metal band Black Glove (a nod to Spinal Tap's Smell The Glove?) He stumbles around his mansion, shooting bottles with a rifle, jumping off balconies and getting rather too friendly with his horse. It sounds more fun than it looks, unfortunately.

3) Charli XCX - Famous
Like Ed's video above, this was created for the YouTube Music Awards - which is odd, as it viciously rips into selfie-obsessed internet culture.

It starts innocently enough, with a Charli XCX wannabe dancing to Famous in her bedroom. But when her battery dies, she gets sucked into a nightmarish netherworld populated by grotesque, faded pop stars (including a scabbed-up version of Charli herself) all preening and posing into their phones.

It's like an episode of Black Mirror with a really perky soundtrack..

4) Florence + The Machine - St Jude
Florence's last video culminated with the singer crawling through the broken glass and twisted metal of a car wreck. This picks up the narrative, with Florence walking through the afterlife.

Musically, this is a much more subdued, hymnal track than we're used to from Ms Welch. I kind of prefer it to the empty bluster of the first single, What Kind Of Man.

5) Teleman - Strange Combinations
Teleman are a London three-piece that formed out of the ashes of indie band Pete and the Pirates, but don't hold that against them.
This song - recorded in one day as part of the Speedy Wunderground series, sounds like Alt-J have been eaten by Kraftwerk. It even has (what sounds like) a stylophone solo.

You can pre-order it on vinyl if that is your "scene".

6) Marian Hill - Lips / Wasted
This came via recommendation from Heat Radio's head honcho Talia Kraines, who saw the band at SXSW - a festival I am either too uncool or too nerdy to attend.

The upstart Philadelphia duo make the kind of twisted, harmonic R&B that made AlunaGeorge so exciting three years ago. I'm not sure these songs, from the band's new Sway EP, have a similar chart potential but they make a great listen.

7) Nero - The Thrill
When was dubstep the big new thing? Three years ago? Four? Now that every song incorporates its one signature sound ("wub-wub") that it was once fresh enough to be considered a genre of its own.

Anyway, here are prime wub-wub exponents Nero, who have wisely gone for an expansive, festival-friendly breakbeat banger to announce their comeback. Rave klaxons at the ready...

8) Shamir - Call It Off
Shamir's daffy On The Regular rightly earned him places on the various "Sound of 2015" polls at the start of the year. But I was intrigued to see how he'd follow it up... It was one of those records that was so unique, so individual that it whiffed of being a one-off.

Well, the whiff was wrong. Shamir's new single much less self-concious and a little more straightforward, without shedding the androgynous originality of his previous work. He also gets turned into a puppet for the video, for which he earns 10 extra points.

9) Rhodes - Turning Back Around
Because what the music industry is lacking right now is an earnest young man singing about his feelings.

Still, if that sort of thing is your bag, this is a really high-quality bag.

10) Sinkane - Young Trouble
I'd never really paid much attention to Sinkane - now on his third album - until this supple reggae track turned up on the 6 Music Playlist last week. Although it sits right in that Bob Marley groove, it also incorporates pedal steel guitar from Jonny Lam, making it sound fresh and dusty at the same time.

Very likeable and immensely listenable... I've just ordered his album.

And that's your lot for this week. Hope you found one new favourite in there.

As ever, send any tips to the email at the bottom of the screen, or track me down on Twitter.

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