mandag 16. juli 2012

Jessie Ware - Running

Sade for a new generation anyone? Here's Jessie Ware from South London, and at least that's what her single "Running" sounds like, a dead catchy song that is included on her forthcoming debut album Devotion, to be released on August 20th. "Running" is pure pop-jazz, sophisticated and classy, and apart from the electronically enhanced arrangement it actually sounds a lot like Sade. Fabulous!

Simple Plan feat. Sean Paul - Summer Paradise

It's summer and we need the music to go along with it. Canadian pop-punksters Simple Plan enlisted Sean Paul to replace K'Naan who sings on the original album version, when "Summer Paradise" was released as a single in February. It's a simple and carefree pop song that smells and sounds summer as if its life depended on it. Very nice indeed!

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Lianne La Havas feat. Willy Mason - No Room For Doubt

South Londoner Lianne La Havas has just released her first album, Is Your Love Big Enough? in the UK, and will probably be a worldwide phenomenon before long. Judging from only having heard a few songs, she's that good. The buzz is steadily building and I guess when the album is released in the rest of the world, things are bound to happen. Of the singles that have been released prior to the album, I've picked "No Room For Doubt", an absolutely gorgeous duet with Willy Mason, the prettiest little song you can imagine.

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søndag 15. juli 2012

The Be Good Tanyas - The Coo Coo Bird

Canadian folk group The Be Good Tanyas has released three fine albums to date, and on their 2000 debut Blue Horse they did the old folk song "The Coo Coo Bird". Originally an English folk song, "The Coo Coo Bird" or "The Cockoo" or any other variation thereof, has traveled far and wide, and among "newer" artists who have performed it are Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Richard Thompson, Laura Veirs, The Everly Brothers, Janis Joplin and many, many more. The Be Good Tanyas' version is gorgeous, laidback and a bit eerie with an especially beautiful violin.


Elton John vs. Pnau - Sad

One of the summer's most extraordinary albums is credited to Elton John vs. Pnau and is called Good Morning To The Night. Now, Pnau is an Australian dance duo that has made an entire album around what's basically lesser-known Elton John songs from the first half of the 1970's, sampling anything they like, with Sir Elton's blessing. The result is not bad at all, and the current single "Sad", constructed around the vocals from "Curtains" off the 1975 classic Captain Fantastic & The Brown Dirt Cowboy, is beautiful, catchy and utterly irresistable!

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Linda Ronstadt & Emmylou Harris - Across The Border

Happy birthday to Linda Ronstadt who's 66 today. She and her equally golden-voiced friend Emmylou Harris recorded an album called Western Wall: The Tucson Sessions in 1999, and it's from that record we find today's song. Romstadt is of course first and foremost an interpreter of other people's songs, and here's one by Bruce Springsteen. She sings an absolutely stunning version of "Across The Border", originally from Springsteen's The Ghost Of Tom Joad album (1995), with outstanding back-up vocals from Emmylou. Wow!


Mark Knopfler - So Far From The Clyde

"So Far From The Clyde" is a musical sibling to Dire Straits' classic "Brothers In Arms" that appeared on Mark Knopfler's latest fine solo album, Get Lucky (2009). Knopfler, originally from Glasgow but raised in his mother's hometown of Blyth, Northumberland in the north of England, has spent quite a lot of his songwriting skills to lament the decline of the British working class, the closed down mines, shipyards and such, as is also evident in "So Far From The Clyde", following a ship on its last journey before demolition. It's a fantastic song, and Knopfler's guitar playing is otherworldly.

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lørdag 14. juli 2012

The Smiths - Well I Wonder

Most The Smiths fans regard The Queen Is Dead (1986) as their finest album. Me, I'm not so sure. Meat Is Murder (1985) is to me a perfect record as well, and maybe, just maybe, it's even better than The Queen Is Dead. "Well I Wonder" is one of the album's nine faultless songs, a melancholy pop ballad of the kind that Morrissey and Johnny Marr really knew how to write. The sound of rain towards the song's end is the kicker, a really neat little studio trick.


Woody Guthrie - This Land Is Your Land

Woody Guthrie was born 100 years ago today. He may be the most important singer/songwriter America has ever produced, traveling around the United States during the Dust Bowl days of the Great Depression in the 1930's and its aftermath, writing about his experiences, and turning them into songs, poems and stories. He's influenced thousand of songwriters, among them of course Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen, and his legacy can't be underestimated. His most famous song is "This Land Is Your Land", written in 1940, but first recorded in 1944 and then published in 1945. The song was written as a critical response to Irving Berlin's "God Bless America", that Guthrie regarded as complacent and unrealistic. Happy birthday, Woody!

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Adam F feat. Tracey Thorn - The Tree Knows Everything

Not having released an album since 1999's Temperamental, husband and wife duo Everything But The Girl is on an indefinite hiatus, but Tracey Thorn is keeping busy making some very fine solo albums, and occasionally guesting on other people's records. Here she is in all her vocal glory on British drum and bass DJ Adam F's excellent song "The Tree Knows Everything", admittedly a song from the 1997 album Colours when EBTG still existed as an entity. Nevertheless, this is a great song, really beautiful.

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fredag 13. juli 2012

Soulsavers feat. Dave Gahan - Take Me Back Home

And here's the brand new Soulsavers video set to the song "Take Me Back Home". It's from the British electronica duo and production team's fourth album The Light The Dead See where they have enlisted the help of Depeche Mode singer Dave Gahan for vocals and lyrics. It's a wonderful album, the songs being mostly moody and very melodic pop songs full of atmosphere, and "Take Me Back Home" is simply a killer composition. The video is beautifully shot, a sad story video set in the American west.

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Saint Etienne - I've Got Your Music

Here's the brand new video for Saint Etienne's great new single "I've Got Your Music" from their equally great album Words And Music By Saint Etienne. The entire album is a tribute to music - or rather about the love for music - and so the band has asked fans to submit video clips of themselves showing off their favourite vinyl records. It's a fun exercise to see how many record covers you can identify. Many of them are very well known, but there are one or two obscurities here as well. Good show!

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Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody

"Mama, I just killed a man, put a gun against his head, pulled the trigger, now he's dead"... Queen's landmark 1975 single "Bohemian Rhapsody" is loaded with great lines like this one, and the three-part epic song is in itself something that still sounds unique, 37 years on. Is this one of the best songs ever recorded? Quite possibly, yes. I just love it!

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The four members of the band sit together in front of a sandy-coloured background wearing predominantly black clothing. Freddie Mercury appears to be the dominant figure, sat in front of the other three members. From left to right, John Deacon, Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor. All four individuals are looking directly at the camera with a neutral expression on their face. Above the band is some black text, printed in an elegant, italic font face. The word "Queen" followed by "Bohemian Rhapsody", the latter of which is positioned under the band name in the same format yet smaller font.

torsdag 12. juli 2012

Rumer - Sara Smile

"Sara Smile" is the second single to be released from Rumer's fine covers album Boys Don't Cry. The original of course belongs to Daryl Hall & John Oates self-titled fourth album from 1975, and Rumer sings it beautifully. The video is put together from footage shot during her last UK tour, scrapbook style.

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Flowers And Sea Creatures - Head First Then Heart

A beautiful brand new single from Flowers And Sea Creatures, the Canadian duo that released one of 2011's very best albums. Their new song is called "Head First Then Heart" and is a quiet, meditative piece of ambient pop music, with a wonderful acoustic guitar added for extra spice. Is this the prettiest song released so far in 2012? Quite possibly. I love these guys!


Tove Bøygard - Stille elv

Norwegian folk music from Tove Bøygard, who's also part of a duo with little sister Anita simply called Bøygard. In 2010 she released her first self-titled solo album which featured this beautiful song. "Stille elv" (Calm river) is one of those ballads, you know the ones that just grab you, captivates you completely and doesn't let go for a long time after the music has stopped. Apart from the intoxicating melody itself, attention has to go to the wonderful harding fiddle played by Olav Luksengård Mjelva that has a sound unlike anything else. Below you'll find a link to a simple live performance that renders the song as naked as can be and absolutely stunningly fine.

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onsdag 11. juli 2012

Tom Waits on Jimmy Fallon - Raised Right Men

For the second night running, Tom Waits appeared in an American TV show yesterday, performing music from his Bad As Me for the first time in public. Last night he visited Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, performing a raucous version of the bluesy "Raised Right Men". Absolutely fantastic stuff of course! And believe me, he also gave an interview - or should that be "interview"? Follow the link below and you'll get both.

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Wham! - Everything She Wants

"Everything She Wants" featured on Wham!'s second album, 1984's Make It Big, and it was also coupled with "Last Christmas" for a double A-side single. The Christmas song is of course the one of the two that really became a hit, but "Everything She Wants" stands out as one of the duo's best songs. The accompanying music video was shot live, and is interspersed with studio scenes showing George Michael singing to the camera. It's worth seeing for his haircut alone, it's as 80's as haircuts come - without being all Limahl or A Flock Of Seagulls, I mean.

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Theo Bleckmann - Running Up That Hill

Last year the German born jazz singer and composer Theo Bleckmann released an entire album of Kate Bush covers called Hello Earth! - The Music Of Kate Bush. To judge by his version of "Running Up That Hill" it should be a very interesting and possible quite good album. I love this version of what is and always will be a fantastic song. I'm pretty sure Kate Bush must be happy with it too.

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Hello Earth! The Music of Kate Bush

Frank Ocean with The Roots - Bad Religion

Frank Ocean is finally ready with his proper debut album in a few days after having enjoyed enormous success with his mixtape Nostalgia, Ultra. One of the best songs from the album that is called Channel Orange is the stripped down "Bad Religion". He performed the song with a little help from The Roots on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon two nights ago. This is mesmerizing stuff.

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Brand new Aerosmith song - Legendary Child

It's taken awhile, but finally Aerosmith is back with new music. "Legendary Child" is the first single from October's Music From Another Dimension album, their first since 2004's covers album Honkin' On Hobo. It's great riff rock, just like we're used to from these quarters. The video was directed by Casey Patick Tebo who's also directed the forthcoming concert film Aerosmith: Rock For The Rising Sun. Good song, good video, good to have them back.

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Brand new The Killers song - Runaways

The Killers will return with their fourth album proper in September, called Battle Born. Yesterday first single "Runaways" was made available, a big and bold song with more in common with their first two albums than their last one, Day & Age (2008), or with Brandon Flowers' 2010 solo album. The song also reminds me a great deal of The Cars and I guess it's a pretty obvious hit.


Tom Robinson Band - Bully For You

Tom Robinson Band is of course most famous for the 1977 single "2-4-6-8 Motorway", but on their two albums and one EP there were scores of great songs. "Bully For You" was the lead single on second album TRB Two (1979), co-written by Robinson (lyrics) and the one and only Peter Gabriel (music). Lost classic.


tirsdag 10. juli 2012

Tom Waits on Letterman - interview and "Chicago" performance

Last night Tom Waits visited Late Show with David Letterman, performing for the first time in public material from last year's Bad As Me album. Waits and his band, including son Casey on drums, performed a groovy version of album track "Chicago", and Waits was also visiting Letterman's guest chair, bringing with him a 19th century mouse trap - naturally. Very funny and entertaining conversation. Follow the link below to watch both.

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Mary J. Blige - I Am

The lady can sing! You can like her or not, but there's no denying the vocal abilities of Mary J. Blige. Coupled with a wonderful melody as in the Stargate-produced and co-written lead single off her 2009 album Stronger With Each Tear, "I Am" is a brilliant piece of modern R&B.

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mandag 9. juli 2012

Ødelagte menneska - Takk for maten

"Takk for maten" (Thanks for the food) is a track from Norwegian hip hop duo Ødelagte menneska (Damaged people). The two are Magnus from hitmakers Sirkus Eliassen and his friend Odrik, and the song is a minimalist hip hop track that simply is a thank you to the powers that be for being born in a part of the world where food is plentiful. Taken from their brand new debut EP Ingen regla (No rules).

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Susanna Hoffs - This Is The Place

Bangles' singer Susanna Hoffs is about to release her third solo record Someday, her first in 16 years. The lead single is a fantastic pop song called "This Is The Place", a song she's written specifically about South Walton, a 26 mile stretch of beautiful Florida beaches that she's apparantly fallen in love with. Resulting in songs as good as this, I say let's hear it for love! Also it has to be said that Susanna Hoffs is as pretty as ever! Wonder if the rest of the album is as fine.

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Soulsavers feat. Dave Gahan - The Longest Day

The British production team that call itself Soulsavers (Rich Machin and Ian Glover) has enlisted Depeche Mode singer Dave Gahan as lead singer and lyricist for their recently released fourth album with the brilliant title The Light The Dead See. The single "The Longest Day" is incredible, a gospelly song with a great build-up and Gahan in top vocal form. This sounds much better than the last few Depece albums actually.

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