Friday, 24 May 2019

New Music: Oscar Scheller - Interstellar Disco (featuring Pawws)


Imagine a decadent and seedy basement bar where the champagne and illegal drugs flow freely whilst half naked Swedish men pole dance for free for the baying clientele's pleasure. This is the club that I imagine that pop musicians nip off to when they disappear off our radar, never to be heard of again. 

Look around and there in one velvet draped corner you might find Duffy, doing vodka shots whilst regaling anyone who will listen about how she won 3 Brit awards in 2009 before metaphorically falling off a cliff. Somewhere else on the dancefloor, shaking her thing vigorously on her own you’ll see Tiffany – yes her from the 80s. Coming down in the elevator right now is Yazz; when she gets back in it after the club is over it will be her turn to sing THAT song one more time.

For a while I thought Pawws might also be in that club. You might remember her back from 2012-2014 when I featured her on the blog with a series of top-notch electronic booty wiggling jams. But after that it could have been easily assumed that she was hanging out with Duffy.

Except she wasn’t. Pawws has in fact been busy. Remember Dua Lipa’s Be The One? Pawws (real name Lucy Taylor) was one of the writers of that. Pawws knows how to do pop for sure.

And now here she is again alongside Oscar Scheller with a premier league tune called Interstellar Disco taken from Oscar’s forthcoming album HTTP404. And rather like my imagined club for retired / semi-retired pop stars, Interstellar Disco is about a fantasy club; a place where you can go and let loose with that friend who knows that sometimes sitting around talking about how life has thrown you one too many custard pies isn’t what you need. Sometimes, when everything seems to have gone wrong you just need to dance dance dance. This is truth. 

Grab your favourite friend and get moving to this - a prime piece of electronic pop.

Oscar Scheller - Interstellar Disco (featuring Pawws)




Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Introducing: Dua Saleh


First, we had Dua Lipa, but now there’s a second Dua to add to your catalogue of musical goodness. Although Dua Saleh’s music is very different from the mainstream pop of Ms Lipa.

This Dua’s cuts are far deeper, far more leftfield and arguably far more intriguing. Dua identifies as gender non-binary and goes by they/them pronouns. They released their debut EP Nūr (pronounced 'noor') which means ‘The Light’ in Arabic earlier this year through Bandcamp and after numerous listens I’ve concluded it’s pretty damn special.

Nūr is full of jams that touch on jazz, pop, hip-hop and the sort of ghostly r’n’b that FKA Twigs does so well. It’s wonderfully varied but the songs seem to co-exist in a harmonious union of difference. Dua’s vocals are forceful and snappy one moment, casually half-spoken and half-sung the next (on the track Kickflip), then on the atmospheric Albany, which comes complete with some birdsong samples, all shadowy and wispy.

Lyrically there’s plenty to devour. For example on the economical opener Sugar Mama you’ll find Saleh singing of halitosis, lobster and someone who has a “pussy melting like a glacier” as the person “wonders ‘bout my flavour, those chocolate coated layers.” Then on the track Survival (streaming below) you’ll find them intoning "I am not a lover, won't you fuck right off,” as Velvet Negroni adds some extra vocal touches to develop the track into something that the likes of Massive Attack or The Weeknd would probably be pretty proud of.

Below you’ll find that tune and another titled Warm Pants. Give them a listen but make sure you check out the whole EP which you can find by clicking here. Hopefully there’s more to come from Dua Saleh soon.

Dua Saleh - Survival (feat Velvet Negroni)



Dua Saleh - Warm Pants

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

New Music: whenyoung - The Others


YESTERDAY THE BEST GROUP OUT OF LIMERICK SINCE THE CRANBERRIES RELEASED A NEW VIDEO FOR THEIR INDIETASTIC GOOD SONG THE OTHERS. AS FAR AS I'M AWARE IT'S NOT ABOUT THE BAND THAT RELEASED THE SONG THIS IS FOR THE POOR SOMETIME IN THE EARLY NOUGHTIES, WHICH AT THE TIME SEEMED TO HAVE SOMETHING, BUT IN HINDSIGHT WAS PRETTY RUBBISH WASN'T IT? THE NME TRIED TO CLAIM THEIR DEBUT ALBUM WAS GOOD BUT THEY LIED. I BLAME THE LIBERTINES AND ALL THE DRUGS THAT THAT SCENE TOOK.

BUT I DIGRESS. THE OTHERS IS ONE OF whenyoung's BEST TRACKS TO DATE. BUT WHY OH WHY DOES THE BAND WRITE THEIR WHOLE NAME IN LOWER CASE LETTERS? IT MAKES THEM SEEM SOMEHOW SMALL AND INSIGNIFICANT - WHICH THEIR SONGS AREN’T. 

THERE’S A WHOLE BUNCH OF THEM COMING ON MAY 24TH WHEN THEY RELEASE THEIR DEBUT ALBUM REASONS TO DREAM. MAYBE THE SONG TITLES WILL ALL BE IN CAPITALS FOR CONTRAST? BECAUSE IT'S ALL ABOUT THE MUSIC ISN'T IT? 

TIME TO START SHOUTING ABOUT THEM. WATCH THE VIDEO FOR THE OTHERS BELOW AND DON'T BE LIKE THE OLD PEOPLE FEATURED. AND DON'T BOTHER WITH THE OTHER OTHERS. THEIR MUSIC WAS A RAMSHACKLE TURD.

whenyoung - THE OTHERS


New Music: Charli XCX - Blame It On Your Love (featuring Lizzo)


Over the last day or so Charli XCX and Lizzo have been teasing a track that they’ve recorded together. 'BOUT 2 SAVE POP MUSIC,' the sign in the picture proclaimed (see above).

At first Blame It On Your Love could seem like a disappointment; it’s a remix / rework of Track 10 - my favourite tune from Charli’s Pop 2 record. Why remix a great tune? It seems silly – it's like taking a Michelin starred restaurant meal and throwing some Nando's perri perri lemon & herb sauce over it - it might still taste OK, but the chances of improving things are very limited. But then music, like food, is all about taste.

And yes, this version isn't as spectacular as the original. However, the Stargate reggaeton / tropical house pop production on the track probably makes it a little more accessible to the masses. If there’s a non-sweary edit it could even get some radio play. After all the super-synthetic, apocalyptic, bonkers, build-to-ecstasy version on Pop 2 with it’s weird Aphex Twin style intro, harp, Charli’s processed vocals and PC Music production was pretty out there. 

However, Blame It On Your Love reminds us (as if we needed reminding) that Charli XCX knows how to write a hook, so be prepared to get fully pulled in by this one. As a bonus we also get Lizzo, although her appearance on the track is fleetingly short and seems a little bit phoned in: “Blame it on the juice, looking at my booty like you don’t know what to do,” she raps.

If I hadn’t heard Track 10 before this I’d have been claiming that it was time to grab a cocktail and jump into your neon coloured swimwear as this could be one of the party pop songs of the summer, instead I’ll say it could still be, but to turn up the heat even higher put on Track 10 and get well and truly burnt.

Other fun facts about Lizzo and Charli XCX: In the last couple of years they’ve both recorded songs called Boys. Both are very good although bizarrely Lizzo didn’t put hers on her album, although it can be found on the Deluxe edition, so play that instead.

Charli XCX - Blame It On Your Love (featuring Lizzo)