fredag 28. juni 2013

Summer fun - 30 great tracks

I've compiled a new playlist for streaming site WiMP, with 30 current songs. Now this is mostly pure pop music, dance-friendly, laidback and/or a bit sexy. Perfect songs for long summer evenings to be sure. You can access the playlist by following the link below, and if you're not a WiMP subscriber, you should become one. If by chance you live in a country where it's not possible to subscribe, you're still able to get 30 second snippets of each song. Enjoy!



Free download: Brand new Pixies song - Bagboy

The reformed Pixies announced two weeks ago that Kim Deal has left the band, but today they release their first new song in nine years, "Bagboy". Not only that, it's free. Go to the band's website (link below), enter your email adress and receive an immediate reply with a download link. Great!



Fatboy Slim & Riva Starr - Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat

Fatboy Slim's new single is really something else. This is how it came about:

Me and stef (riva starr) were out vinyl shopping in williamsburg, brooklyn earlier this year when we met this dude ranting in the street about some 3 day bender he had been on (and possibly still was....) we hooked him into our serato and chopped him up into a tune. I just wish we’d caught his full name.......
Norm x

"I don't remember fucking ANYTHING, man!"



Eric Hutchinson - Rock & Roll

There's not much rock'n'roll about Eric Hutchinson's 2008 single "Rock & Roll", but if like me you're in holiday mode, it doesn't get much better. It's a laidback, sunny sing-a-long pop song with an undeniable feelgood vibe. This is the kind of tune that makes you smile your biggest smile and reach out for a cold beer. Cheers!

Watch and listen


torsdag 27. juni 2013

Kathleen Edwards - I Make The Dough, You Get The Glory

Kathleen Edwards' third album Asking For Flowers was released in 2008, and the single "I Make The Dough, You Make The Glory" is partly based on the fate of Canadian ice hockey player Marty McSorley. He was found guilty of assault with a weapon after swinging his stick at another player and injuring him when there was two seconds left of a game between McSorley's team Boston Bruins and Vancouver Canucks in 2000. The verdict is controversial, and McSorley actually appears in the video for Edwards' song. The song itself is a fabulous country rock tune that shines bright as a beacon on its own.

Watch and listen


The Jesus And Mary Chain - Happy When It Rains

The Jesus And Mary Chain's gorgeous 1987 single "Happy When It Rains" suits the weather in Oslo today, although it's not really about a guy who's happy when it rains, more about a problematic relationship. But first and foremost, it's a fabulous pop song, wrapped in loud guitars, with TJAMC singer Jim Read's utterly cool vocal delivery.

Watch and listen


Maya Jane Coles feat. Karin Park - Everything

Maya Jane Coles is a British/Japansese writer, producer, engineer and DJ who is about to release her first proper album called Comfort. "Everything" is the fabulous lead single, a spooky tune with vocals by Swedish singer Karin Park. It sounds like Massive Attack going deep house, a perfect nocturnal type of club track, with a hypnotic bassline and monotonous beat that grabs you instantly. This is eerie music, with a pretty unpleasant music video to accompany it, showing Park in a dark room, first devoloping a portrait, and then dissecting a raven. It's not nice, but the tune is fantastic, and Maya Jane Coles is definitely someone to watch.

Watch and listen


onsdag 26. juni 2013

The B52's - Love Shack

Very few songs make me as happy as The B52's 1989 classic "Love Shack". It simply screams "good times" and is THE perfect party song. If people don't get off their butts when this comes on, they are most probably dead. The video too, it has to be said, is amazing. Fun all around.

Watch and listen


Sam Smith - Lay Me Down

You have heard Sam Smith's fantastic voice as guest singer for Naughty Boy on the current smash hit "La La La" and for Disclosure's single "Latch". Both great songs, and surely vehicles for a solo album that could be very interesting. In February he released what I think is his first single under his own name, "Lay Me Down", a wonderful soul ballad where his startlingly good voice comes out in full bloom. A gem of a song.



tirsdag 25. juni 2013

Pet Shop Boys - Inside A Dream

The excitement keeps building towards the new Pet Shop Boys album Electric. Here's the third song to be released from the nine track album, it's called "Inside A Dream", and it's another dance-friendly track from what I'm sure will be a killer record. July 15th is the release date, so put that down in your calendars. By following the link below, not only will you hear the new song, but you'll also be able to read a lengthy interview with Neil Tennant.

Listen and read


Washed Out - Don't Give Up

Another new single from Washed Out a.k.a. Ernest Greene, and a more instant pleasure than the first single off his forthcoming second album. Whereas "It All Feels Right" veered a bit in a new, poppier direction (it's very good, mind you), new single "Don't Give Up" is more of an unapologetic summer tune that gives you an immediate, breezy rush, and is slightly reminiscent of DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince's "Summertime", which is not at all a bad thing. This is "dream pop" as it should be, and you just know it goes down great with an ice cold beer in your hand, or maybe a mojito? Both songs also bode exceedingly well for the album Paracosm that is scheduled for an August 12th release.



Thomas Dybdahl - But We Did

Amazing! Norwegian singer/songwriter Thomas Dybdahl is back with a brand new single and video, taken from his upcoming sixth album, What's Left Is Forever (September 16th). "But We Did" is a stunning song, an atmospheric piece of introverted pop music that easily eclipses his best work. The video is high drama, with a storyline involving murder, joy and silent endurance, interspersed with clips in black and white of Dybdahl performing the song. If "But We Did" is anything to go by, I wouldn't be surprised to learn that the upcoming album will be his best to date. And he has already set the bar pretty high with some of his previous releases. Simply put, I'm thrilled!

Watch and listen


Hakan Markussen - Guys Like You And Me

Hakan Markussen is a very promising Norwegian singer/songwriter who recently released his debut album The Track. "Guys Like You And Me" is the second single from it, a brilliant slice of Americana not a million miles from what Henning Kvitnes used to sound like when he performed in English, and like Kvitnes, he's got a knack for good melodies. This is a very male song, with a video directed by the very talented Ronnie MAG Larsen, who's also a musician and an author. Multi-talented guy, yes indeed.

Watch and listen


The Vaccines - Melody Calling

Guitar pop heroes The Vaccines have recorded a new song called "Melody Calling" that's put up on Soundcloud. It's a fantastic summer song with a melody to die for and a gooey, grungy guitar solo that's in stark but effective contrast to the sweetness otherwise evoked. Three minutes worth of pure pop bliss, here you go:



Envy - One Song

Norwegian hip hop dup Envy are currently enjoying a hit with the wonderful "Am I Wrong", but how about giving their equally wonderful, two years old debut single "One Song" a spin as well? It's a laidback, feelgood reggae-flavoured summer song, that basically celebrates life, friendship, love and music, as evidenced also in the video that won the coveted Spelleman award for best music video of 2011. Good times!

Watch and listen


mandag 24. juni 2013

Paolo Nutini - Candy

I'm still slightly envious of Scottish singer/songwriter Paolo Nutini's hat in the video for his 2009 masterpiece "Candy". His ability to write a song as good as this however, I'll leave the professionals to envy. It's a pretty little song that instantly makes you feel good, and the video showing Nutini and band perform at a summer wedding only strengthens that feeling. I really don't think Nutini is a very exciting artist, but if you write only one song as good as this, you're my friend for life anyway.

Watch and listen


The The - Uncertain Smile

"Uncertain Smile", lead single off The The's 1983 album Soul Mining, was originally released in different form, but the album version includes an absolutely stunning piano solo by Jools Holland, part-time member of Squeeze and host of the brilliant TV show Later... with Jools Holland. For the last half of the song he plays the hell out of both the piano keys and all the other musicians in what is a true tour de force of brilliant musicianship. I can only imagine how thrilled Matt Johnson (who basically is The The) waswhen he heard what Holland came up with in the studio. It's the recording of a lifetime!



lørdag 22. juni 2013

Miley Cyrus - We Can't Stop

Say what you will about Miley Cyrus, but her transition from Disney starlet into... well, something else, seems complete. Becoming more of an "adult" performer, she has covered Bob Dylan with great results, joined Snopp Lion (formerly Dogg) for a killer song off his latest album, and had a run through some good ol' country tunes in what was called "The Backyard Sessions" that are sadly unreleased. She is currently preparing her fourth album, and the new single "We Can't Stop" is a killer summer song, with a video showing a "dangerous", "crazy" and/or "controversial" Cyrus in full bloom. I love the song, and I love the fact that she distances herself from the cutie-cute image of Hannah Montana. As she sings in "We Can't Stop": "It's our party, we can do what we want to." Go Miley!

Watch and listen


Robin Thicke feat. T.I. & Pharrell - Blurred Lines

"Blurred Lines" is the current UK number one single, deservedly so. The song struts and jumps and is decidedly very catchy, a killer pop song with a groove to die for. It's the title track and lead single off Thicke's sixth album and a co-write with rapper T.I. and singer/producer Pharrell. The video for "Blurred Lines" is also a lot of fun to watch, with the trio dancing around a group of pretty models while singing the song. There are also ice cream, a bicycle and a few other props involved. As many of you will know Pharrell is also enjoying immense success with Daft Punk at the moment, as he's the voice behind the monster feelgood hit "Get Lucky". Two of the best songs so far in 2013, for sure!

Watch and listen


fredag 21. juni 2013

Asle Beck - Grünerløkka

Asle Beck debuterte som plateartist med albumet Tanker fra i går i 2008, der spesielt singlen "Skur 55" gjorde vei i vellinga. I høst kommer omsider oppfølgeralbumet Gikk så stille forbi, og første single, "Grünerløkka", slippes for digitalt salg i dag. Det er en slentrende og koselig sommerlåt i et tradisjonelt, men effektivt pop/vise/country-landskap, en sånn type låt som bør få de fleste til å smile og få lyst på en iskald øl. Den er slett ikke ulik "Skur 55", men den var jo veldig bra, så skitt au. "Grünerløkka" er en super låt.

Se og hør


The Style Council - Long Hot Summer

We continue our occasional run through some of the best summer singles ever recorded, and today we're at "Long Hot Summer", The Style Council's third single, released in the summer of 1983. With a big fat bass riff, a slow, smooth beat, a groovy organ and Paul Weller's beautiful voice, this is the sound of summer distilled into just under four quality minutes. The song does however, also exist in a seven minute version released on the EP titled À Paris, and that's the one I always prefer. It's a song that should go on for a bit, just as the summer referred to in the title. Here are both, the short single version with video filmed on the river Cam, and the full version. Play whichever you like - or both.

Short video version

Full-length version


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, 38 years on. It's a musical masterpiece of a rare ingenuity, written by Freddie Mercury. Is this one of the best songs ever recorded? Quite possibly, yes. I love it!
Watch and listen


torsdag 20. juni 2013

Envy (Nico & Vinz) - Am I Wrong

Norwegian hip hop duo Envy are currently enjoying a hit with the wonderful, laidback summer tune "Am I Wrong", and today the music video was finally released. Shot on location in Botswana and Zimbabwe by director Kavar Singh it shows Nico Sereba and Vincent Dery travelling across the African plains and bushland, ending on a high note at the breathtaking Victoria Falls. A video as beautiful as the song.

Watch and listen


Dwight Yoakam - Honky-Tonk Man

"Honky-Tonk Man" is a classic country song, co-written and recorded by Johnny Horton in 1956. When it appeared as the opening track on Dwight Yoakam's groundbreaking debut album Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc. Etc. 30 years later it blew my mind. I was in no way a country fan at the time, but when Dwight's voice came out of my speakers, it was pretty much a revelation. I have not turned back since.

Watch and listen


Arctic Monkeys - Do I Wanna Know?

Brand new Arctic Monkeys single "Do I Wanna Know?" is once again a slight departure and once again a nice surprise. It's a slow, steadily building blues number that intensifies and gets stronger, bolder and sexier by each beat. The same can be said for the accompanying music video, a Yellow Submarine-type animation film that starts with a few lines jumping and bending and then turns into a fully coloured sequence filled with curvacious women, fast cars and animals. Fab song!

Watch and listen


Miles Kane - Don't Forget Who You Are

Miles Kane is known as the frontman of now disbanded The Rascals (not at all to be confused with the popular American 60's group The Young Rascals and later The Rascals, of course) and for the project The Last Shadow Puppets with Alex Turner of Arctic Monkeys fame and James Ford from Simian Mobile Disco. He's just released his second solo album called Don't Forget Who You Are, and here's the title track. As you'll see, Miles Kane is all mod steeped in the British 60's, but as you'll hear his music goes further. "Don't Forget Who You Are" is a catchy pop song with a very cool guitar riff and a great sing-a-long chorus. Fabulous stuff!

Watch and listen


Quarter Wolf - La Bandida

Loud and ballsy Norwegian/Australian duo Quarter Wolf still release a song for free each month, and the songs are still a lot of fun. As I've described the pair earlier, they're clearly influenced by "bands ranging from MC5 and Stooges, to Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, The White Stripes, Queens Of The Stone Age and Black Keys - and a lot of good stuff inbetween", and it's raunchy and sexy music with a lot of attitude. You should immediately go to their website to download June's free track, which is just under two minutes of energetic and dirty rock'n'roll. I mean, what's not to like about that?



onsdag 19. juni 2013

John Mayer - Paper Doll

I've never been a huge fan of John Mayer. Mostly I've just been indifferent to his music, although I do acknowledge that he's an excellent guitar player. His brand new single "Paper Doll" is absolutely irresistable though. It's an acoustic, Caribbean-flavoured little gem of a song, a perfect summer tune that is an obvious soundtrack to lazy days on the beach. A gorgeous song!

Below is the lyric video. Enjoy!



fredag 14. juni 2013

Chet Baker - Laura

One of the most beautiful jazz compositions of all time, David Raksin's "Laura" has been recorded by hundreds, if not thousands of performers. It's taken from the 1944 film Laura, and there also exists a vocal version with lyrics by David Mercer. This, however, is legendary Chet Baker at his instrumental best. Just listen to the sound of his lonesome trumpet. It gets me every time. I don't know when Baker recorded it, but who cares? This is just a wonderful piece of music, and that's what matters.



torsdag 13. juni 2013

Maria McKee - I've Forgotten What It Was In You (That Put The Need In Me)

The 1985 debut album by Los Angeles group Lone Justice remains one of the coolest records of the decade, with its potent blend of high octane rock'n'roll and slow country tunes, a classic in every respect. The 1986 follow-up album Shelter was a different beast entirely, basically a crap record where everything that once was right now was utterly wrong. Save for Ryan Hedgecock, it was an entirely different band, led by McKee and the awful guitarist/songwriter Shane Fontayne, who for some mysterious reason also has played both with Bruce Springsteen and Fleetwood Mac. That Shelter was the end of Lone Justice was both sad and good. But when McKee finally released her self-titled solo debut in 1989 it was another matter. It's a killer album, and its first track is the wonderful "I've Forgotten What It Was In You (That Put The Need In Me), which is more or less a country tune in a rock arrangement. The rest of the album is just as good, as was its rockier follow-up You Gotta Sin To Get Saved, released four years later. The 1996 album Life Is Sweet is the last McKee album to cause any ripples, unfortunately, but the fact remains that Maria McKee is a very good songwriter (she's also penned the Feargal Sharkey hit "A Good Heart") and her voice is one of the best voices ever to be heard in popular music.


Bronski Beat - Smalltown Boy

British trio Bronski Beat's 1984 debut single "Smalltown Boy" is one of the very best songs of the entire synth-pop era of the early to mid-80's. A pop song to kill for, it's also the tale of (yes) a smalltown boy who finds there is no room for him being homosexual in the town he's from. The accompanying music video is pure cliché with the hurt look of singer Jimmy Somerville, but it drives its point home and remains a classic that defies genres. And eras, for that matter. However dated you may find 80's synth-pop music this is first and foremost a fab pop song. Incredible stuff really.

Watch and listen


Naughty Boy feat. Emily Sandé - Wonder

In case you haven't noticed I love the current Naughty Boy single "La La La" featuring Sam Smith. But the British Pakistani songwriter, producer, musician and rapper's previous single is not at all bad either. "Wonder" features guest vocals from Scottish singer Emily Sandé, and is also a true joy to hear. It's a song as upbeat as they come, and you just gotta love it. Both these songs will be present on Naughty Boy's upcoming debut album, tentatively titled Hotel Cabana. Worth waiting for, I guess.

Watch and listen


Rainbow - All Night Long

And now for the kind of song I don't normally post on this blog, namely Rainbow's awesome 1979 hit "All Night Long", featuring the "I'll die trying" vocals of Graham Bonnet and the fab guitar work of Ritchie Blackmore. It's taken from the album Gone To Earth, and what a song this is! A rock song for the ages that is nowhere near taking itself seriously. Woohoo!

Watch and listen


Cliff Richard & The Shadows - Summer Holiday

50 years old and still one of the best summer songs ever to be recorded, Cliff Richard & The Shadows' "Summer Holiday" is the title track of a musical movie they starred in. 1963 was a time of innocence, when "the summer of love" was still four years away and the world was (apparently) a nice place, as the film clip below seems to project. We all know better now, but the youthful innocence of Cliff and the intoxicating and sweet melody still does the trick. This is just a very nice song, that's all, and it oozes of a good summer vibe. So there!

Watch and listen


onsdag 12. juni 2013

Bah Samba & The Fatback Band - Let The Drums Speak (Phil Asher remix)

The UK record label Hed Kandi has specialized in creating smooth, listener-friendly house/disco compilations that work across the board, both in a chillout fashion and a party fashion. The label also arrange club and party events across the world - to great success. "Let The Drums Speak" is an old funk number by The Fatback Band, who has received a shared credit with Bah Samba (a UK band I think) because of the heavy sampling on this "housed-up" version. And yes, I do prefer the house version. Listening to Bah Samba simply makes me happy. The song features on the Hed Kandi compilation Beach House 60, as well as on Bah Samba's own Beach Party Dance Mix Album. Eight minutes of summertime bliss, here you are:



Listen to the new Sigur Rós album in its entirety now

This coming Monday, June 17th, sees the release of the new Sigur Rós album Kveikur, just over a year after their previous effort, Valtari. Kveikur kan be streamed in its entirety on the band's website as of now, so what on earth are you waiting for? Follow the link below.



tirsdag 11. juni 2013

Disclosure feat. Sam Smith - Latch (live at Radio One's Future Festival)

"Latch" is one of many great tracks on Disclosure's recently released hit album Settle, and I have posted the music video earlier. This version however, was performed live in January, and it's fun to actually see the boys perform, especially when guest singer Sam Smith goes all castrato. He's got an impressive voice, as is also evident of course on his guest spot at Naughty Boy's hit single "La La La". And Disclosure? The sound of the future. Great stuff.

Watch and listen


Pet Shop Boys - Vocal

That Pet Shop Boys' forthcoming album Electric (July 15th) will be a dance-friendly one seems beyond doubt. "Vocal" is the second single to be released from it, hot on the heels of "Axis". They are both great examples of where the British duo's hearts lay, smack dab on the borderline between great pop music and equally great dance music. Electric is their twelfth studio album in 27 years, and in-between they have released four disco albums, a host of live albums and compilations, film music, a ballet score, a musical and more. And not only that, it's less than a year since their previous effort Elysium. I love their productivity almost as much as their music.



Erik Faber - Last Night's Boogie

Erik Faber is a singer/songwriter from the Norwegian city Kristiansand, who released three albums between 2002 and 2006. He had moderate success and garnered a few minor hit singles, but sadly there have been silence from these quarters since then. According to Wikipedia he has released a compilation album in Germany in 2011, but in Norway there has been nothing. I must admit that I underestimated Faber myself. He's a former model and I used to have a hard time taking him seriously because of that, which is pretty stupid. I've come to find that his music is very good and my favourite song of his is called "Last Night's Boogie", off his 2003 album Century. It's just a brilliant pop song, nothing more or nothing less, but brilliant pop songs are the fuel that keeps some of us going, so here's to Erik!



Washed Out - It All Feels Right

Washed Out's debut album Within And Without was among 2011's most interesting releases, a beautiful record filled with what was called chillwave or dreampop. Ernest Greene is the musician behind the electronic "band" and he's soon putting out his follow-up album, called Paracosm (August 12th). Today he's put out a lyric video on YouTube for first single "It All Feels Right", and it differs from the songs on the debut in that this is more of a straightforward pop song, but still both dreamlike and "chillouty".

Watch and listen


mandag 10. juni 2013

Don Henley - The Boys Of Summer

Another fantastic summer song, Don Henley's 1984 hit "The Boys Of Summer" is actually more about aging and the passing of time than summer itself. Still, it does fit perfectly into the category that is called summer songs, and I'm absolutely certain that I'll never tire of hearing it.

Watch and listen


Sly & The Family Stone - Hot Fun In The Summertime

Ah, summer! Few songs capture the mood and essence of summer like Sly & The Family Stone's wonderful "Hot Fun In The Summertime". It was recorded in 1969 and released after their legendary performance at Woodstock. The timing proved to be pretty good, and it reached number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. It still blows my mind whenever I hear it.



søndag 9. juni 2013

Weezer - Island In The Sun

Not many bands have a knack like Weezer for making pop songs that are truly intoxicating in their catchiness. "Island In The Sun" is nothing less than a perfect summer pop song, released in 2001, and just as good today. There exist two different music videos, and the one you'll see here is the Spike Jonze version featuring some seriously cute animals. Everything about "Island In The Sun" should put you in a good mood, and thoughts of summer will be everywhere. Classic!

Watch and listen


The xx - Fiction

Coexist, second album by the British electronica trio The xx, was one of last year's finest, and the record label still release singles from it. "Fiction" is the latest, with an accompanying music video shot in black and white, that really underlines the music's cinematic qualities. The word beautiful applies to everything here.

Watch and listen


Taylor Swift - 22

As good as Taylor Swift's latest album Red is, there is still one song that shines a cut above the rest. The joys and frustrations of being 22 years old is perfectly described in what is a killer dance pop song: "Yeah, we're happy, free, confused and lonely at the same time, it's miserable and magical, oh yeah." Co-written and produced by super-producers Max Martin and Shellback, it's one of those songs that make it hard to imagine Taylor Swift ever being a country singer. Then again, who cares?

Watch and listen


Sade - Feel No Pain

Sade's single "Feel No Pain" was released in 1992, but sadly it resonates stronger than ever before as the unemployment rates rise across southern Europe and other parts of the world. The song basically describes the despair of losing a job, not being able to support yourself and your family, and in turn, struggling to hold your head up and not losing hope. As is often the case with Sade, it's a call for people to care about and help each other, and it's more important than ever in the current economic climate. Also, "Feel No Pain" is a truly beautiful song, in every way classic Sade.

Watch and listen