Thursday, June 19, 2014

Tough Love - Jessie Ware

Song: Tough Love
Artist: Jessie Ware
Album: Tough Love

Tough Love

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Writing's on the Wall - OK Go

Song: Writing's on the Wall
Artist: OK Go
Album: Hungry Ghosts

Writing's on the Wall
Turn Up the Radio
Writing's on the Wall Video Behind the Scenes

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Embrace - Goldroom

Song: Embrace
Artist: Goldroom
Album: Embrace

Fifteen (feat. Chela)
Sweetness Alive (feat. Say Lou Lou)

Monday, June 16, 2014

Brooklyn Baby - Lana Del Rey

Song: Brooklyn Baby
Artist: Lana Del Rey
Album: Ultraviolence

Brooklyn Baby
Money Power Glory

Friday, June 13, 2014

What's in Your Bag - Ronika

Song: What's in Your Bag
Artist: Ronika
Album: Selectadisc

I discovered Ronika a bit late, just last year after the Nottingham DJ/Singer-Songwriter/Producer had been releasing singles and EPs on her own RecordShop label since 2010.  I loved her EP that contained the amazing "Automatic," which has a bassline from the Gods, and looked forward to her full-length debut.  It's been two years since that single was officially released, but what I didn't realize is that she was diagnosed with a life-threatening autoimmune disease, delaying the record.  This after one time being shot in the back of a taxi.  Dang girl.

Regardless, Ronika has released her debut Selectadisc, named after the record store of her refuge in her hometown and it's the 80s Electro/Nu-Disco bomb I was hoping for.  Get out your roller skates.

Past EP tracks like "Only Only" and "In the City" shine, as well as new tracks "What's in Your Bag" with it's infectious shouty chorus and "Shell Shocked" with it's soulful vocals and straight-up retro production that recalls early Madonna.

Selectadisc basically collects all of her previously released tracks yet I am dumbfounded why "Automatic" isn't included.  I'd argue it's her best track and certainly fits the sound of the album, kind of a head-scratcher.  That said, it's a great little retro album that's worth your time.  Check it out.


Only Only
In the City

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Crossfade - GusGus

Song: Crossfade
Artist: GusGus
Album: Mexico

Icelandic electronic band GusGus return with their ninth studio album Mexico on June 23rd.  The band continues to use more vocals than they ever have in the past, with the title track being the only instrumental on the new album.  It's still a throbbing, sexy listen that won't disappoint fans of their earlier work.

Listen to this one at night.

I've liked GusGus since their late-90s sophomore set Polydistortion, and also really dug their first album on Kompakt Records (which they've been on since) 2009's 24/7.  I've heard many say they loved 2011's Arabian Horse but I wasn't feeling it at the time.  I'm going back to it though as Mexico is hitting the spot right away.

"Crossfade" is the first single and it's a hypnotic winner.


Obnoxiously Sexual

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Rave - Blondie

Song: Rave
Artist: Blondie
Album: Ghosts of Download

It had seemed like longer, but now that Blondie's 10th album Ghosts of Download is out, I realize that it's a couple months shy of a year since they released the first single to the long-awaited album, the Beth Ditto duet "A Rose By Any Name" back in September of last year.  I liked that track, and love the band, and have had this record for almost a month but was really trying to figure out what I thought of it.  Funny enough, I sat down for a full listen through this AM, began grooving to a couple of the tracks which finally were taking hold, and noded along as I knew how I wanted to approach my "review."

Except I just went back and re-read my write up of their last album, 2011's Panic of Girls and... realized I feel the same about this record.  Yet in hindsight, I think of Panic as being largely forgettable, but in my words it had also just "clicked" with me, which is what I was about to write of Ghosts.

I'll just save all that and say that after repeated listens it's a pretty good record with some really nice standouts ("Rave," "I Want to Drag You Around," & "Make a Way") an ill advised  cover (Frankie Goes to Hollywood's "Relax") and a whole second disc of their re-recorded hits due to the fact that they don't own any of the music that made them famous.  The album has a semi-throughline of island-kissed electronica, Debbie still sounds great, and this is Blondie's 10th album, it's a touch too long.  There.

And I will always note in any mention of new Blondie music just how great and overlooked their 2003 album Curse of Blondie is.  Go listen to that record, it's great.  I'd link it... but it's not on Spotify.  Why?!?!


I Want to Drag You Around
Make a Way

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Frontin' (Disclosure Re-Work) - Pharrell (feat. Jay-Z)

Song: Frontin' (Disclosure Re-Work)
Artist: Pharrell (feat. Jay-Z)
Album: Frontin'

U.K. House upstarts Disclosure rework the Pharrell Williams/Neptunes 2003 single "Frontin'" featuring Jay-Z.  The brothers give the track their killer, trademark House makeover, and it's rather amazing.  Given Pharrell's past eighteen months, it's amazing to think back to this track and just how long the man's been in the game.

This track makes a nice pairing with Disclosure's 2012 Bootleg remix of the Janet Jackson track "Call on Me" featuring Nelly from the largely forgettable album 20 Y.O.  I've only recently heard that one as well, it's pretty amazing.  Take a listen below.

Disclosure have been rumored to be working with Madonna on her new album.  No word on any work following-up last years amazing Settle.


Frontin' (Disclosure Re-Work)
Call on Me (Disclosure Bootleg)

Monday, June 09, 2014

Crazy Stupid Love - Cheryl Cole

Song: Crazy Stupid Love
Artist: Cheryl Cole
Album: Crazy Stupid Love

It's a dreary, rainy day here in NYC... here's a dumb little pop song to make it a bit brighter.

Cheryl Cole is a singer-performer best known being one of the five reality-contestants-turned popstars of Girls Aloud, a UK phenomenon that I never could get into.  I did however love one of her fellow Girls Aloud mates' Nicola Roberts' debut album.  Cheryl is working on her fourth solo album which is due in November, "Crazy Stupid Love" is the first single feat. Tinie Tempah.

With Jason Derulo's "Talk Dirty," Ariana's "Problem," and now this, the sax is really making a comeback isn't it?  Some say it sounds out of tune in this song, I don't hear it.  The track is light, inoffensive, and respectfully infectious.  (Recommend a bit.)

I can't speak much in terms of Cheryl's single history as I don't know it very well, but I do proffer her last first-from-an-album single, "Call My Name" a Calvin Harris track.  The rest of the album didn't do much for me.


Crazy Stupid Love

Friday, June 06, 2014

Restart - Sam Smith

Song: Restart
Artist: Sam Smith
Album: In the Lonely Hour

Sam Smith is a British singer-songwriter who has taken the U.K. by storm and recently released his debut album In the Lonely Hour just last month.  He is probably best known as the soulful voice on U.K. House duo Disclosure's hit "Latch."  But he's doing quite well on his own, seeing both his second single "Money on My Mind" and third "Stay With Me" go straight to #1 on the U.K. charts.  The later has recently been remixed by Darkchild with Mary J. Blige, who is getting a nice resurgence with these young British Boys!

The album is mostly downtempo and really highlights Smith's impressive soulful voice.  I wish it had a couple more upbeat tracks, but it sounds very classic and will hit the spot for the right mood.  I'm sure it's been said before but male Adele and all that...

Oddly, and possibly to keep that mood for the album, Smith relegates a real corker, "Restart" as a bonus track on the album.  Reader Sean introduced me to the track and I absolutely love it.  Would really like him to go in this direction more.

Regardless, Smith is one to watch, take a listen.

On a personal note, I happened to run into Smith in a restroom a month ago while he was shooting in a studio that's on the floor I work on.  He gave me the once over twice and I wondered about him... and he just had a low key coming out via a recent interview.  Ha!  I knew it.  (Though I can't believe he's only 22.)


Stay With Me
Money on My Mind

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Grande Finale - Studio Killers

Song: Grande Finale
Artist: Studio Killers
Album: Grande Finale

Danish/Finish/English electro-pop "virtual" band Studio Killers took over two years to release a debut album after their 10x killer first singer "Ode to a Bouncer" appeared in 2011.  The self-titled debut came out in the Summer of last year and now just a year later they're releasing a new single, "Grande Finale."

There's no word if this is the first single from an upcoming record, given the title it might appear to be a swan song.  But the band have just launched a Kickstarter campaign to get funding to put on two live festival shows, so it seems they are not throwing in the towel just yet.

"Grande Finale" is another corker from the group, and I'm re-listening to their debut and wondering why they didn't get more exposure.  Maybe because they've never played live!  Check them out.


Grande Finale

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Just One of the Guys - Jenny Lewis

Song: Just One of the Guys
Artist: Jenny Lewis
Album: The Voyager

Singer-songwriter Jenny Lewis returns with her first album since 2010's I'm Having Fun Now with boyfriend Johnathan Rice under the name Jenny and Johnny, and her first solo album since 2008's Acid Tongue.  The Voyager, her third, will be released in July on Warner Brothers.

The album is preceded by the Jangle Pop/Girl Group-ish "Just One of the Guys."  It's a peppy, cute track that's deceptively sunny and "girlie" yet has some pointed lines about being female and identity in general.  Intrigued... and it's produced by Beck!


Just One of the Guys
Completely Not Me

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Johnny and Mary (feat. Bryan Ferry) - Todd Terje

Song: Johnny and Mary (feat. Bryan Ferry)
Artist: Todd Terje
Album: It's Album Time

I'm a couple months late for this one, but y'all should check this one out...

Todd Terje is a Norwegian DJ, songwriter, and record producer that has slowly made a name for himself with growing number of remixes in a particular style that mixes house-y disco with a slow-growing head-trippin' climax.  I honestly thought I had written about his amazing remix of Chic's "I Want Your Love" which is a must listen, and he's also done amazing things with classic tracks by M, Paul Simon, and Roxy Music, as well as recent work with Franz Ferdinand from their new album.  I didn't know this until just now but he also co-wrote Robbie Williams' single "Candy" from 2012.  Huh.

In April Terje released his eagerly awaited debut album It's Album Time, and it's really amazing.  It's a retro-yet-modern aural trip that could also be described as really hip elevator music.  That sounds awful, but you'll just have to take a listen to understand.

I listen to It's Album Time a lot at work.  It's mostly instrumental, and has the perfect amount of groove and laid back cool perfect for a Summer's day, early evening cocktail, tropical-set espionage, or yeah... work.

While it is mostly instrumental, Roxy Music's Bryan Ferry does make an appearance (most likely after his killer edit of "Love is the Drug") on "Johnny and Mary."  Impossibly cool.


Johnny and Mary
Delorean Dynamite