fredag 30. november 2012

Röyksopp feat. Susanne Sundfør - Running To The Sea

The excellent Norwegian TV show Lydverket has sadly been put to rest, and the music show aired for the very last time this Wednesday. To mark the occasion, several artists showed up to do something special, and electronica duo Röyksopp performed their brand new, as yet unreleased single "Running To The Sea", with Susanne Sundfør on guest vocals. It's like the 80's never stopped. A fantastic sonng!

Sirkus Eliassen - "Fullstendig feilfri" og "Verden skulle gå under"

At Sirkus Eliassen har markert seg kraftig i 2012 er det ingen tvil om. Singlen "Æ vil bare dans" har ikke vært til å unnslippe (men så er den heldigvis steike bra), og oppfølgeren "Før du går" var heller ikke snau. Nå har moroklumpene fra nord sluppet ikke en, men to nye singler. "Verden skulle gå under", tematisk en kombinasjon av mayakalenderens dystre spådom om verdens undergang og julesang, kom forrige fredag. I dag er turen kommet til "Fullstendig feilfri". Om de to låtene har en fellesnevner er det at de er dødscatchy. Jeg regner med at det kommer et debutalbum snart, og det skal bli spennende å se hvordan Sirkus Eliassen funker i det formatet. Som singlemakere/hitmakere er de iallfall veldig bra.

"Fullstendig feilfri"

"Verden skulle gå under"

Tracey Thorn - Sister Winter

The prize for this year's best new Christmas album goes to Tracey Thorn for her wonderful Tinsel And Lights. It's a fabulous collection of wintry and/or christmassy songs, written or made famous by, amongst others, Joni Mitchell, Jack White, Dolly Parton, Ron Sexsmith, Green Gartside and Sufjan Stevens, whose beautiful "Sister Winter" closes the album. Although the original is great, I think Tracey's version is even better. She's also written two new songs for the album, called "Joy" and "Tinsel And Lights".


The Housemartins - Happy Hour

The Housemartins, Hull's finest, released their most famous song "Happy Hour" as the third single from their excellent debut album London 0 Hull 4, and it hit number three on the UK charts in June 1986. It's an amazing two and a half minutes of perfect pop music, happy as the title suggests, filled with extraordinary harmonies, a melody to kill for, jolly (...) guitars and a subject matter most people can relate to.

Watch and listen

Jim Croce - I Got A Name

The soundtrack listing for Quentin Tarantino's upcoming movie Django Unchained was revealed yesterday, and among the vintage tracks featured is Jim Croce's wonderful 1973 single "I Got A Name" from the album of the same name. Written by Norman Gimbel and Charles Fox, it's a very 70's kind of song, reminiscent of the things Elton John did in those days. Good choice for a song to be featured in a movie, although it's not the first time. "I Got A Name" has also been present in the films The Ice Storm and Invincible. By the way, the soundtrack is released on December 18th, and the movie has a December 25th premiere.


torsdag 29. november 2012

Marina And The Diamonds - How To Be A Heartbreaker

Welsh singer/songwriter Marina Lambrini Diamandis, better known under her stage name Marina And The Diamonds, released her second album Electra Heart earlier this year. Then she wrote "How To Be A Heartbreaker" a week after finishing it, thus it was included on the US edition of the album, where it fits perfectly. It's an electro-pop masterpiece, co-produced by the American hitmaker Dr. Luke, instantly enjoyable and super catchy. Also, if you're into male models the accompanying music video should be perfect as it's got a shower full of them where Marina clearly enjoys herself. Pop music, you know...

Watch and listen

The 10 best Jessie Ware remixes

Jessie Ware's debut album Devotion was released to both public and critical acclaim this summer, spearheaded by the fabulous single "Running". By following the link below you'll access ten remixes of tracks from the album, most of which can be downloaded for free. Enjoy!

Listen and/or download

The Young Rascals - Groovin'

Happy birthday to Felix Cavaliere, keyboardist, singer and songwriter in The Young Rascals (later The Rascals), who turns 70 years old today! The band's classic songs are many, but if I should pick just one song of theirs that is a cut above the rest, it's got to be "Groovin'". This wonderful little tune was released in April 1967 and hit the Billboard Hot 100 number one spot, deservedly so. "Life would be ecstacy, you and me endlessly/Groovin'... on a Sunday afternoon" - one of the most famously happy lines in all of pop music.

Watch and listen

Kid Astray - The Mess and In The Dark (free download)

Kid Astray is a new Norwegian band from Bærum outside Oslo. The band is currently among NRK P3's "Urørt" artists, unsigned acts that are allowed to expose their music through the national broadcaster's website. The two songs you can listen to by following the link below are both excellent, "The Mess" being a super catchy pop song, "In The Dark" a more introspective little ditty, also with a strong melody. "The Mess", however, has all the hallmarks of becoming at least a minor hit. I love it!

Listen and/or download

R.E.M. - Blue and That Someone Is You

R.E.M. intended to make a broader film project to promote their final album, 2011's Collapse Into Now, enlisting different directors to make special music videos to each song. I don't know if all the films were actually made, but this month the two videos directed by actor James Franco finally surfaced. Some weeks ago "Blue", the album's final track and duet with Patti Smith appeared, and just yesterday we got the wonderful little "That Someone Is You". The former song is dark and brooding, set to grainy images from a grey and/or nocturnal L.A. interspersed with similar images from a photo shoot with Lindsey Lohan, creating an eerie effect, whereas the latter also is consistent with the actual song as it's a lot lighter in tone, replicating scenes from the Grease movie where Franco himself plays the role of Danny Zuko. Both videos are really nice, and is very R.E.M.-ish.


"That Someone Is You"

onsdag 28. november 2012

Phoenix - One Time Too Many (acoustic version)

Here's a wonderful acoustic version of Phoenix' "One Time Too Many" from their third album, It's Never Been Like That, released in 2006. The French band is currently working on their fifth album that hopefully will be released in the new year. This track should shorten the wait a little bit though.

Watch and listen

The Monroes - Sunday People

The Monroes was a Norwegian pop duo with several big hits in the 1980's. Lage Fosheim and Eivind Rølles were both in the band Broadway News, but it was with The Monroes they really experienced success. Debut single "Sunday People" is a shameless attempt to sound like Madness, and they do - with honours. It's a fabulous pop song, as good now as it was upon its 1983 release. The song was totally out of its time in a period where the expression "good to be Norwegian" was the best compliment you could give a struggling artist or a recording. This is actually a true Norwegian pop classic.

Watch and listen

Mason Ruffner - Gypsy Blood

Mason Ruffner should have been a lot more famous than he is. Although people like Bob Dylan and Carlos Santana are fans, he doesn't even have his own Wikipedia article. A shame! "Gypsy Blood" is in any case his most well-known song, a minor hit back in 1987, and the title track off his second album. This is energetic blues-rock at its very best, a hell of a good song.

Watch and listen

Cee Lo Green feat. The Muppets - All I Need Is Love

Who in their right mind do not love the Muppets? Kermit, Miss Piggy and a lot more Muppets join Cee Lo Green for his new video for the song "All I Need Is Love" from his new Christmas album, Cee Lo's Magic Moment. The video is of course exceptional fun, also featuring Craig Robinson from The Office as an eggnog-loving Santa Claus, and a muppet version of Cee Lo called Lo-Co. And by all means, don't quit watching when the actual song is over, there is a lot more fun to be seen during the video credits. If you're somehow in a sour mood, you won't be after watching this.

Watch and listen

Ke$ha feat. Iggy Pop - Dirty Love and Ke$ha - C'mon

Ke$ha is about to release her second album Warrior this weekend, and last night the track "Dirty Love" was leaked online. It's a duet with none other than Iggy Pop, a fun and a bit surprising rock'n'roll pastiche, where Ke$ha and Iggy trade lines like "Champagne tastes like piss to me/I just want your dirty love". Also, if you haven't heard the latest single "C'mon" yet, I put it up here as well. It's also pretty cool, I have to say.

"Dirty Love"


tirsdag 27. november 2012

Bruno Mars - Locked Out Of Heaven (TV performance)

Once again, now in a sort of "party version" from the Norwegian/Swedish TV show Skavlan, here's Bruno Mars with his genius new single "Locked Out Of Heaven". I'm saying only this: Watch. That. Band. Why don't more bands jump around on stage like this?

Watch and listen

Breaking news: New Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds album due in February

Woohoo! Finally a new Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds album is on its way! February 2013 sees the release of Push The Sky Away, the band's first new output since 2008's Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!! Below you'll find a link to a trailer featuring some clips from the recording studio and also to details about the different formats the album will be released in. First single "We No Who U R" is released on Monday, December 3rd. Hooray for that!


Homepage featuring pre-order details

Of Monsters And Men - Little Talks

The success of Icelandic group Of Monsters And Men (a pun on John Steinbeck's novel Of Mice And Men) has passed me by, but I've finally caught up and fallen completely in love with their single "Little Talks", a duet between band members Nanna Bryndis Hilmarsdóttir and Ragnar "Raggi" Þórhallsson that reminds me of The Beautiful South. With joyful horns, chanting and a good beat, it's a pop song of the absolutely timeless kind, instantly catchy and enjoyable. The video is fantastic as well, an animated little film showing the band members wandering around in a sinister adventureworld filled with, yes, monsters. The song has been a worldwide hit in 2012, after its initial Icelandic release in 2011, lifted from their debut album My Head Is An Animal.

Watch and listen

mandag 26. november 2012

The Roots feat. Cody ChesnuTT - The Seed (2.0)

The Roots' fab single "The Seed (2.0)" off their 2002 Phrenology album has been described as a hybrid mix of distorted rock, hip-hop and psychedelic soul, and I am not one to argue. It's also as cool as it is humanly possible for a pop song to be, partly thanks to the guest spot from Cody ChesnuTT on guitar and vocals. Is there anything at all that is remotely wrong with this song? Nope, it's perfect in every way.

Watch and listen

Beirut - Elephant Gun

Beirut, the band not the city, have so far released three albums and a bunch of EP's. Let's try not to categorize the music too much, as it's the weird and wonderful brainchild of Santa Fe native Zach Gordon, who obviously is not one for having labels stuck upon him. "Elephant Gun" featured on two 2007 EP's, one of which bore the title Elephant Gun, and sounds like Calexico on acid or something, an impression which is not at all diminshed by the strange video you'll see here. Anyway, please enjoy, this is such a feast!

Pet Shop Boys - New York City Boy

A few weeks ago I visited New York City for the first time, amazingly late considering I'm 46 years old, not to mention an experienced travel journalist. Oh well... it's just one of those things, I guess. Needless to say I had a fine time, and I was quick to understand what lies "where 7th Avenue meets Broadway" as Pet Shop Boys sing in their masterful hi-NRG song "New York City Boy" from 1999. That's where you find all the lights of Times Square, as seen in this video too. You gotta love it!

Watch and listen

søndag 25. november 2012

Georg Levin - Runaway

You can hear new music in the most unexpected of places, like hotel lobbies. The other day I was waiting for a taxi in the lobby of Andersen Hotel in Copenhagen, a very nice new hotel in a bad neighbourhood, and the song "Runaway" was playing. Using the MusicID app on my iPhone, I learnt that it was by one Georg Levin, a German guy, that apparently has released two albums. The soulful and melancholy-sounding "Runaway" was released in 2009 as the first single from the 2010 album Everything Must Change. A very nice song, especially if you like Avalon-era Roxy Music or Icehouse.

Watch and listen

fredag 23. november 2012

Michael Jackson - I Just Can't Stop Loving You

Michael Jackson is infamous for his many gross ballads, but a few of his slower songs are undeniably very good. "I Just Can't Stop Loving You" is a simple, well-written love song, far from turkeys like "Heal The World" or "Earth Song". It was the first single off 1987's Bad album, a surprising choice for first single, but of course as we know in hindsight it fared very well indeed. The female duet partner is Siedah Garrett, who co-wrote "Man In The Mirror" that also featured on Bad.


torsdag 22. november 2012

Sade - Cherish The Day

Sade is one of my very favourite artists, a singer whose voice is beautiful far beyond your ordinary pop star, with looks to match it. She's sort of unreal. "Cherish The Day" is taken from her fourth album, 1992's Love Deluxe, and as great as her songs come. The thing is, there are so many of them I can't really pick favourites, they just blend into a bigger body of work. Wonderful song, wonderful arrangement, laidback, elegant and very tasteful.

Watch and listen

Bangles - Some Dreams Come True

I just received the reissued edition of Bangles' third and, for many years, last album, 1988's Everything. Although I remembered it to be great, I have to admit I'd forgotten some absolutely brilliant songs on it. "Some Dreams Come True", co-written by drummer Debbi Peterson and one Walker Igleheart who's credited with keyboards and programming on the album, is a fab power pop song with some great hooks and Bangles' trademark, killer harmonies. Lovely!


Sophie Solomon feat. Richard Hawley - Burnt By The Sun

This I would at least call semi-obscure. Sophie Solomon is a British violinist of the decidedly versatile kind, that in 2006 recorded a beautiful almost-pop album called Poison Sweet Madeira. Among its many fine songs was "Burnt By The Sun" where she enlisted the one and only and very talented Richard Hawley to sing. The blend of Hawley's beautiful, beautiful voice, the wonderful melody, Solomon's gypsy violin and latin rhythms is simply fantastic.


50 synth pop classics

And the hits just keep on coming... here's my list of 50 synth pop classics from the colourful 1980's. Once again, it's made exclusively for streaming service WiMP. If you don't subscribe, you still get to listen to 30 second excerpts from each of the fabulous tracks, from Human League's "Don't You Want Me" to Orchestral Manoeuvers In The Dark's "Electricity". Fabulous stuff. The essay is of course in Norwegian, so let me suggest Google Translate if you're not fluent in my language. You never know what to expect then, do you?

Synthpop inn i himmelen

mandag 19. november 2012

HIT ALERT! Gabrielle Aplin - The Power Of Love

British singer/songwriter Gabrielle Aplin is a new talent who very probably will get some major recognition in 2013 when she releases her debut album.Upon the strength of a few EP's and a knack for doing great cover versions, she was recently commisioned by the British department store John Lewis to record a version of Frankie Goes To Hollywood's classic ballad "The Power Of Love" for a Christmas TV ad. Here's the full version, complete with a wintry and very atmospheric music video where Aplin's voice perfectly captures the mood of the song, that despite what many people think isn't a Christmas song. It was released as a single in November 1984, with a Godley & Creme-directed, nativity-themed music video, as well as a christmassy sleeve, thus it was turned into a Christmas hit. This new version is genuinely beautiful. Hope you like it.

Watch and listen

Vampire Weekend - Walcott

Brooklyn-based band Vampire Weekend's self-titled 2008 debut album produced several singles, including the fabulous "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa", but why "Walcott" was not among the single releases is beyond me. It's an absolute stunner of a pop song, a cross between Ben Folds Five and Undertones, with the former's sense of true musical ability and the latter's punk attitude and pop sensibility. Amazing!


søndag 18. november 2012

Tom Russell Band - U.S. Steel

"U.S. Steel" is lifted from the first album by Tom Russell Band, the 1987 classic The Road To Bayamon. The band went on to record two more fantastic albums - Poor Man's Dream (1989) and Hurricane Season (1991) before Russell went back to his solo career. These albums are among my all time favourite country or country-related albums, comprising some incredibly well-written songs throughout all three. "U.S. Steel" is just one small example.


Prefab Sprout - Faron Young

In 1985 British group Prefab Sprout released their masterpiece Steve McQueen. The opening track namechecked another American hero, the country singer Faron Young. The song "Faron Young" is not about him as such, but the chorus references one of his biggest hits, "It's Four In The Morning". But first and foremost "Faron Young" is an amazing pop song sounding like a train heading through the night towards a new dawn. And that's one way of seeing the album Steve McQueen, as the best day you've ever spent.


lørdag 17. november 2012

Londonbeat - I've Been Thinking About You

This is pretty much the opposite of the Foo Fighters clip I posted earlier. The American/British R&B band Londonbeat is slick as mud, but there's no denying that their 1990 hit "I've Been Thinking About You" is a killer dance/pop song. Besides, it's Satuday, and you may need something to get your feet moving. This could do the trick.

Watch and listen

Foo Fighters - Wheels

Foo Fighters' best song and the greatest song Tom Petty never wrote, "Wheels" was released as a single in 2009, recorded specifically for a greatest hits album. What can I say? This just rocks, and how!

Watch and listen

Latin Quarter - Radio Africa

Does anyone remember the British band Latin Quarter? They had a moderately big hit with "Radio Africa" in 1986 (it was first released in 1985) from the fine album Modern Times. Apparently they continued to play together throughout the 90's and are now reunited, according to Wikipedia. That may be, and they may still be good, I don't know. What I do know is that I dearly love this song, a political 80's classic, no less! It's still relevant too.

Watch and listen

Eagles - The Last Resort

"The Last Resort" is one of Don Henley's (co-written with Glenn Frey) finest moments. It's the last song on Eagles' classic 1976 album Hotel California, marking an incredible end to an incredible record. It's basically about how we as people ruin what we find beautiful, a seven and a half minute long ballad that slowly builds in intensity and power. Also, Henley sings the hell out of the song, sounding like he means every word. A stone cold classic!


fredag 16. november 2012

Paal Flaata - Wait By The Fire "trailer"

Norway's best (?) singer Paal Flaata releases his new album today, a collection of songs by the renowned American singer/songwriter Chip Taylor of "Wild Thing" and "Angel Of The Morning" fame. The album is called Wait By The Fire and comprises ten wonderful songs, one of them - "Graceland Souvenirs" - brand new, co-written with Flaata's producer Gøran Grini. Apart from "Angel Of The Morning", most likely you haven't heard any of the songs before, as Flaata and Grini have dug dip into the Taylor songbook. Taylor himself says that he has never liked a recording of any of his songs as good as Flaata's take on "Angel Of The Morning". Not bad, considering that Frank Sinatra, Willie Nelson, Aretha Franklin, Jackie DeShannon and Johnny Cash are among the people who have recorded his songs! Below you'll find a few samples from the album. I hope you like it and go onto to purchasing the album, as it's one hell of a good record.

Watch and listen

Pet Shop Boys - King's Cross

There's always time for some Pet Shop Boys. Here's a live version from Rio in 1994 of the 1987 classic "King's Cross", originally from the wonderful album Actually. I never tire of this perfect Pet Shop Boys melancholia, it's an absolutely gorgeous song.

Watch and listen

torsdag 15. november 2012

Mary Chapin Carpenter - I Feel Lucky

Mary Chapin Carpenter's honky tonk song "I Feel Lucky" off her 1992 album Come On Come On is by far the most fun song the otherwise seemingly serious singer/songwriter has written. What happens if you win 11 million dollars? Well... "Now, eleven minutes later I was sitting at the bar/I'd bought the house a double and the waitress a new car/Dwight Yoakam's in the corner, trying to catch my eye/Lyle Lovett's right beside me with his hand upon my thigh..." Fun video too!

Watch and listen

Led Zeppelin - Black Dog

Celebration Day fast approaches... on Monday Christmas comes early for all Led Zeppelin out there, and there are quite a few of us. Here's the version of "Black Dog" off their fourth album, released in 1971, that was played at the reunion show at the O2 arena in London in 2007, and it sounds pretty amazing. Massive in every way!

Watch and listen