Saturday, November 7, 2015

Songs you may have missed: Surprise Coldplay edition

Songs You May Have Missed is a semi-regular depository of music I've omitted to write about. This week kicks off with one of the world's biggest bands going heavy on the cowbell. The results are surprisingly good.

1) Coldplay - Adventure of a Lifetime
The colourful, upbeat Adventure of a Lifetime was stealth released on Friday morning, with the simultaneous announcement that Coldplay's new album A Head Full of Dreams was due in four weeks.

Even their biggest detractors surely have to admit that, seven records into their career, Coldplay are going to have an amazing greatest hits collection. This does nothing to detract from that.

2) Pia Mia - Touch
19-year-old singer-songwriter and model Pia Mia ditches Chris Brown for the follow-up to the worldwide smash Do It Again. A seductive serving of R&B, this features a pan pipe solo for some reason.

3) Lissie - Hero
The first taster of Lissie's third album, My Wild West, Hero is a languorous country-rock daydream. Not her strongest song... but the mariachi trumpets are a nice touch.

4) Adele - Hello (live)
A sneak peak at Adele's BBC One special, with footage of the first live performance of Hello. Apparently she'll do a full 45 minutes of material in the primetime show, which is due to broadcast on 20 December.

5) SNBRN - Beat The Sunrise (ft Andrew Watt)
LA-based house producer Kevin Chapman, aka SNBRN, has remixed everything from Sexual Healing to Need You (100%) but this original track is a sign of bigger ambitions. A sunset house groove with an excitable bassline, it'll make you nostalgic for August.

6) Dua Lipa - Be The One
London's Dua Lipa stands out from her contemporaries thanks to a smoky voice that's a world away from the thin and auto-tuned sound of most radio-bound pop. Whether that's a help or hindrance only time will tell - but I suspect we'll be hearing a lot from this 19-year-old once the new year rolls around.

7) Fleur East - Sax
A perfect reminder of what happened in the 1980s when British artists tried to copy the Minneapolis funk sound: It's overly fussy production makes it a pale imitation of the Prince's pared-down arrangements, but Fleur has just enough sass to stop it being embarrassing.

8) Rudimental - Lay It All On Me (Ft Ed Sheeran)
A grainy, experimental clip accompanies this uplifting Lean On Me-alike from Rudimental and an unknown newcomer called Ed Sheeran.

According to the press release, the video portrays some of the things the Rudimental boys experience on their path to fame - "freedom, peace, struggle, frustration, brotherhood, family, love and life."

And ballet.

9) Shura - Touch
I'm always nervous when artists I love make their TV debut on Later... With Jools. Can they cut it live in a room full of their peers - or are they studio creatures, totally devoid of charisma or charm?

Shura falls somewhere between the two extremes. She spends most of the performance hiding behind her fringe, but the music is captivating enough that you can forgive her... I think.

10) Sia - Alive
Sia's first video in a long time not to feature Maddie Ziegler is still pretty powerful - with a young martial artist matching the song's bombastic "I survived against the odds" narrative beat for beat.

11) Sia - Bird Set Free
As you may know, Alive was co-wrotten by with Adele and Tobias Jesso Jr. during sessions for Adele's 25. Earlier this week, Sia released another off-cut from those sessions, the stirringly dramatic Bird Set Free.

Despite rejecting (at least) two of Sia's songs, Adele has been effusive about working with the Australian singer-songwriter, telling Rolling Stone: "I actually enjoy the dynamic of us both being in there and just fucking being bossy. And it's all these male producers, and they're all fucking shitting themselves 'cause we're in there."

12) Blueyes - Ain't Gonna Love You
Blueyes is the brainchild of Belfast native Bronagh Monaghan, who's been messaging me about her music for a year or so, now. Her new track, Ain't Gonna Love You is the sort of flickering, late-night seduction jam you could imagine Jessie Ware finds herself singing when she sleepwalks. One to watch.

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