fredag 31. januar 2014

Simple Minds - back in Oslo

Yesterday, January 30th, Scottish synth-pop legends Simple Minds returned to Oslo and the Sentrum Scene venue, close to two year's after their last visit.

Foto: Per-Otto Oppi Christansen/GAFFA
That concert was part of the band's 5x5 tour, a concept where they played five songs from each of their five first albums. It was an idea that sounded better in theory than it turned out to be, mainly because their first two albums, Life In A Day and Real To Real Cacaphony, have no chance of turning up five good songs each. It is just barely possible to find five good songs among the two of them.

Still, the 5x5 show was not bad, but hopes were higher prior to what was billed as a "greatest hits" tour. That was not exactly the case as this current tour also relies heavily on non-hits, and quite a few songs most Simple Minds fans are not familiar with, such as "Broken Glass Park", "One Step Closer", "War Babies" and "Blood Diamonds".

To say that these and others distracted the audience last night would be an understatement. Once the show gained momentum after a so-so start (that did include the awesome "Waterfront") of a sudden it falters and stops as the (brilliant) band sets out on another unexpected journey into the confusing wilds of "not giving the fans what they came to hear". Throughout the show it started, stuttered, and in some instances collapsed, before they tried again and spirits soared anew.

It's a strange thing to witness as Jim Kerr and his cohorts are so experienced they should know far better. The absolute worst case of this strange and ill-thought behaviour came right towards the end. They dove into the encores with a roof-raising version of "New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84)", the title track off their 1982 masterpiece, then went on a similarly hair-raising and fun run through "Sanctify Yourself" that almost doubled the intensity as the audience whooped for joy and sang along, and then... pffffft... a song no-one knows called "Space" from their Silver Box of demos and unreleased obscurities. All the bobbing heads, raised and waving arms, dancing bodies and screaming and shouting voices doing their best to sing along with Jim Kerr all of a sudden came to a complete halt as the band started playing that song. I don't know if that's pretention, disregard for the audience or maybe even pure madness, but it ruined the momentum once and for all. Even though the band ended the show with a brilliant "Alive And Kicking", the air completely left the balloon, and there was, of course, no way to blow it up again.

At their best, Simple Minds were absolutely fantastic last night. To imagine what the show could have been if they had stuck to the greatest hits concept... a crying shame. As it was, it was worth the money, it was a good night out, but it could have been a lot more. I do hope they come to their senses at some point and embark on a true greatest hits tour. I won't be giving up on Simple Minds, but last night was, unfortunately, a bit of a disappointment.

Playlist in Spotify

Fever Kids - Holding Grass

How often do we hear new Greek pop music? Not very, so today is the exception. Fever Kids is a Greek duo of whom I know next to nothing, but their recent single "Holding Grass" is a wonderful dream pop song which immediately grabs your attention. Supposedly this is their first relase. I want more!



Frank Ocean - Swim Good

It's been a while since I heard Frank Ocean's "Swim Good", and what a song it is! A laid back R&B/hip hop track off his 2011 mixtape, Nostalgia, Ultra, it features additional vocals by Ocean's fellow Odd Future member Tyle, The Creator and remains one of his very best songs. Love it.

Watch and listen


Deafheaven - Dream House

It's pretty strange that I like metal band Deafheaven, but I really, really do. The dynamics within songs like "Dream House", the opening track off their recent album Sunbather, sets the band apart from a lot of other acts I would normally struggle with. Also, there's great beauty in this tortured song. It's impossible to hear anything at all of what George Clarke is "singing", but the guitar work and fabulous drumming recalls a lot of things that I can appreciate - Pornography-era The Cure, the mayhem of Jane's Addiction, the shoegaxing post-rock of My Bloody Valentine and other things. It's a fantastic song with enough energy to run a small town.



torsdag 30. januar 2014

Prince - If I Was Your Girlfriend

Certain songs mean so much to me that they only seem to get better with time. Prince' classic "If I Was Your Girlfriend" off his 1987 masterpiece Sign 'O' The Times is probably among my ten all-time favourite songs, and it's my favourite Prince song by a long shot. I started listening to it repeatedly again as I contributed a list of my five favourite Prince songs in the book Shockadelica (order here) that was published this week. It tells an ambiguous tale of unconditional love that is hard to beat, and coupled with the amazing musical content it's got all the best qualities of Prince fitted into one song. It's erotic, it's melancholic, it's joyful, and a lot of other things as well, but first and foremost, it's a masterpiece.

Listen in Spotify

Listen in WiMP


Sam Smith - Money On My Mind (Le Youth Remix)

One of 2014's hottest new acts, the incredibly gifted singer Sam Smith, has had his current single "Money On My Mind" remixed på electronica producer and DJ Le Youth, and it's almost as good as the original. Le Youth has taken the tempo down a few notches, but the voice and the melody retains their glory. Beautiful song!



Bright Light Bright Light & Ana Matronic - West End Girls

Pet Shop Boys' "West End Girls" is a true 80's classic, from their first excellent album Please (1986). Here's a fantastic cover, recorded by the Welsh synth pop artist Bright Light Bright Light (a.k.a. Rod Thomas) and Scissor Sisters singer Ana Matronic, a brand new collaboration. It's faithful to the original in every way, but of course updated and very current-sounding. Fab stuff!



mandag 27. januar 2014

Chvrches - Bela Lugosi's Dead

Wowweeeeee! My favourite Scottish synth-pop band Chvrches has recorded a version of the Bauhaus classic "Bela Lugosi's Dead" for an American film called Vampire Academy. They have exchanged the original's dark and moody atmosphere with a different kind of eerie sound, a naked, stripped-down version that echoes early Depeche Mode or Fad Gadget more than Bauhaus, and it works wonders. The song is as good as it ever was. Happy now!



Daft Punk feat. Pharrell Williams and Stevie Wonder - Get Lucky

Yesterday Daft Punk was awarded four Grammies, including the well-deserved Album of the year, just like it appeared on my own best of 2013 list. They also performed the hit single "Get Lucky" at the awards ceremony with Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers, with the added help of a certain Stevie Wonder. To watch the performance, and not least to watch the audience reaction with Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono, Steven Tyler, Beyonce and many more dancing and singing along, is a fantastic display, and they also incorporate elements from Chic's "Le Freak", Daft Punk's own "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" and Stevie Wonder's "Another Star". Wish I had been there!

Watch and listen


søndag 26. januar 2014

Tears For Fears - Advice For The Young At Heart

With their first three albums, Tears For Fears evolved from a "thinking man's" synth pop band to a stadium friendly monster that conquered America to a pop band with incredible, Beatlesque pop songs. The third of these albums is 1989's The Seeds Of Love from which "Advice For The Young At Heart" is taken. I had more or less forgotten how good this song is until I heard it on the iPod a few minutes ago. This is an elegant, easy-sounding West Coast type pop song that really should have become a bigger hit than it was. It deserves a far more prominent place in the duo's canon.

Watch and listen


lørdag 25. januar 2014

Dry The River - Shield Your Eyes

British folk rock band Dry The River is fronted by Peter Liddle, a man with an amazing voice, but he's got two excellent back-up singers in guitarist Matthew Taylor and bassist Scott Miller. The harmonies is what really raises the already excellent song "Shield Your Eyes" to the heavens. A beautiful, melancholic number, for fans of Midlake and Mercury Rev, lifted from the band's only album to date, 2012's Shallow Bed.



Stockhaus & Vilde Tuv - Svømmebasseng

Stockhaus og Vilde Tuv er for meg to helt ukjente navn, men det jeg umiddelbart får med meg er at de er bergensere og at "Svømmebasseng" er en sløy, utspekulert kul låt. Det er en elektronisk poplåt med et lydbilde av det klart nattlige slaget, stappfull av atmosfære og, unnskyld det platte uttrykket, "kule vibber", moderne klubbmusikk for de sene timer, på klingende og skarrende bergensdialekt. Stockhaus, med fornavn Kristian, er også del av bandet Ungdomskulen. Vilde Tuv vet jeg enda mindre om. Hun ga ut en single i fjor høst, og det er det jeg kan fortelle. Jeg må dog insistere på at flest mulig mennesker i hele verden hører denne dødsfete låta. Heia!

Se og hør


Jacob Banks - Worthy

The sound of young Britain, chapter "I don't know which"... There is so much talent strolling around the UK at the moment it's hard to believe. Jacob Banks is a 22 year old singer/songwriter from Birmingham doing the same rounds as those of Sam Smith, Ella Eyre, Sasha Keable, Emeli Sande and the like, a young man with a fantastic voice that could probably sing the phone book and come across as astounding. He's been singing songs for Chase & Status and Wretch 32, and "Worthy" is a fantastic song off his first EP, The Monologue. A major talent in the making!

Watch and listen


søndag 19. januar 2014

Kråkesølv - Sjalusien som driv dæ

Mens den nye singlen "Ikke rart vi bli sprø" gjør at vi gleder oss veldig til Kråkesølvs nye selvtitulerte fjerde plate som kommer 28. mars, kan vi alltids høre på litt gammelt gull. Unnskyld, sølv. "Sjalusien som driv dæ" er et høydepunkt fra bodøbandets forrige album, den strålende 2012-utgivelsen Alle gode ting. En fantastisk melankolsk poplåt man bare elske.

Se og hør


Gloria - This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody)

A few days ago I wrote about the Talking Heads classic "This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody)" from their 1983 album Speaking In Tongues and posted the live version from Jonathan Demme's 1984 concert film Stop Making Sense. It's a fantastic song, Talking Heads at their absolute best. A friend of mine then alerted me to this wonderful version by a Swedish band called Gloria from their 2003 album People Like You And Me. The band's singer Sara Isaksson has a beautiful voice which I have fallen completely in love with, and the band plays a faithful cover that takes on a life of its own. It was used for the soundtrack to a film by the Italian director Paolo Sorrentino from 2011, called This Must Be The Place, starring Sean Penn as an aging rock star.

In order to write this I looked the song up on Wikipedia and found this quote from David Byrne regarding the song's sweet lyrics which I just wanted to share as well. "That's a love song made up almost completely of non sequiturs, phrases that may have a strong emotional resonance but don't have any narrative qualities. It's a real honest kind of love song. I don't think I've ever done a real love song before. Mine always had a sort of reservation, or a twist. I tried to write one that wasn't corny, that didn't sound stupid or lame the way many do. I think I succeeded; I was pretty happy with that." So am I. Always have been, always will be, especially now that I have heard this awesome version.



2014 preview

2014 is gearing up to be an amazing year for good music. Already we've gotten great records from established artists like Rosanne Cash and Bruce Springsteen, and there is so much talent lurking that it's ridiculous. Already I've fallen head over heels in love with loads of new tracks, and although I have written about them already I thought I'd collect the earlier pieces here so it's easy to get a quick idea of what will be going on for the first few months - and beyond - of 2014.

Katy B - "Crying For No Reason"

Sasha Keable - "Careless Over You"

I Break Horses - "Faith"

Chlöe Howl - "No Strings" and more

Neonato - "Clouds Seen From Above"

Indiana - "Touch Me"

Ella Eyre - "Deeper"

James Vincent McMorrow - "Cavalier"

Snowbird - "Porcelain"

Shy For Shore - "Then The Heartbreak" and more

Lily Allen - "Air Balloon"

Sam Smith - "Money On My Mind"

Kråkesølv - "Ikke rart vi bli sprø"

Paloma Faith - "Can't Rely On You"

Wild Beasts - "Wanderlust"

Warpaint - "Love Is To Die"

Metronomy - "I'm Aquarius"

Vance Joy - "Riptide"

Banks - "Waiting Game"

Sivu - "Better Man Than He" (Thom Alt J Remix)

Sisyphus - "Calm It Down"


Sisyphus - Calm It Down

Here's another great new song. Sisyphus, formerly known as S / S / S, is made up of Chicago rapper Serengeti, New York-based post-rock and alternative hip hop musician (Thank you, Wikipedia!) and Detroit-born singer/songwriter Sufjan Stevens. They released an EP in 2012, but are now preparing their self-titled debut album for a March 17 release featuring this amazingly cool song. The album is  inspired by the work of the New York-based installation artist Jim Hodges, and if this song is anything to go by it should be fantastic.



The Beatles - I Wanna Be Your Man

Even though it's sung by Ringo Starr, "I Wanna Be Your Man" is one of the greatest early Beatles songs. Its primal sexual energy, accentuated by some serious guitar playing alongside the bashing of drums, serves as a steaming hot dish. In fact, it was first released by Rolling Stones who had a hit with the Lennon/McCartney-penned song. It was their second single, released on November 1, 1963, and then it appeared on the second Beatles album, With The Beatles, released three weeks later. Both versions are great, but here's The Beatles that sort of should be called the original.



Prefab Sprout - The Old Magician

Prefab Sprout made the second best album of 2013, the amazing Crimson/Red. It's an album where Paddy McAloon returns in furious creative mode, delivering a collection of songs that are simply astonishing. "The Old Magician" may or may not be regarded as autobiographical, and if so ironically at that, a tale of a washed-out magician, "a tired act that no-one loves, there was a time he produced doves"... This is Paddy McAloon, maybe the world's greatest living songwriter who started out as a recording artist after 1980 (that leaves Paul McCartney, Brian Wilson, Burt Bacharach and a few others unmolested and out of the loop) at his impressive best. To be honest, I was a bit surprised that Paddy had an album as incredibly good as Crimson/Red in him, even though I adore his writing, but it goes to show that some people really are a cut above the rest. Paddy still produces doves!


50 great Prefab Sprout tracks

lørdag 18. januar 2014

Sivu - Better Man Than He (Thom Alt J Remix)

This one I really like. Sivu is Cambridge-born, known to friends and family as James Page. I don't know much about him, but just listen to this wonderful remix of his song "Better Man Than He" and we can find out more later. It's really good, an atmospheric, downbeat song with a wonderful piano that brings both James Blake and Jon Hopkins to mind. Great stuff!



Eleanor McEvoy - Only A Woman's Heart

I just learned that the 1992 compilation A Woman's Heart is the biggest-selling album in Irish history. I had no idea, but it is a pretty album, and the title song, Eleanor McEvoy's "Only A Woman's Heart" is truly beautiful, a classic. The version below however, is from McEvoy's own eponymous debut album, released a year later. The former version also featured Mary Black, this one does not.



Banks - Waiting Game

Massive Attack meets Lana Del Rey meets Goldfrapp, that's as good as I'm able to categorize Banks and her song "Waiting Game", an eerie-sounding, dark and moody R&B song that sonically fits into a kind of Blair Witch landscape. But even though it's pretty sinister-sounding, it's also in a sense really beautiful. Jillian Banks is from California, but based in London and was recently number three in the BBC Sound of 2014 poll, finishing behind Sam Smith and Ella Eyre. Nothing to be ashamed of there then. "Waiting Game" is the lead song off her second EP, London.

Watch and listen


André Bratten - Be A Man You Ant

André Bratten is a Norwegian electronica musician who released his debut album Be A Man You Ant last year. I became aware of him in a news article two days ago when two members of the Spellemann jury - the Norwegian equivalent to the Grammies or what have you - pulled out of jury duty in the electronica genre because this album due to rigid rules is not allowed in the competition. A shame, as it's an awesome album, pretty much in the same league as what Todd Terje does. Anyway, just listen to the title track - or the entire album - below.


Spotify link to the album

WiMP link to the album


fredag 17. januar 2014

Spilleliste til Erna Solberg

I går var Erna Solberg gjest i P3 Morgen der den musikkglade statsministeren var invitert for å snakke om nettopp musikk. Da hun fortalte at hun brukte Spotify som verktøy for å oppdage ny musikk, slo det meg at vår egen statsminister nok burde benytte WiMP som tross alt er en norsk streamingtjeneste. Det var WiMP-redaktørene helt enige med meg i, så derfor har Erna et gratisabonnement liggende hvis hun er interessert. For å hjelpe henne litt i gang har jeg laget en fin-fin spilleliste med musikk av nyere dato til vår store leder, og skrevet et åpent brev til henne.

(Bare for å ha nevnt det: Ved å følge lenken under får du tilgang til 30 sekunders snutter av alle låtene, med mindre du er WiMP-bruker, selvfølgelig. I så fall åpner hele herligheten seg. I motsatt faller anbefales et abonnement.)

Les og lytt


HIT ALERT! Vance Joy - Riptide

Vance Joy (known to his friends and family as the slightly less memorable James Keogh) is a young Australian singer/songwriter who has released one EP, the brilliantly titled God Loves You When You're Dancing, from which he's enjoyed a huge hit with the totally irresistable "Riptide", a light and breezy pop song reminiscent of acts like Jason Mraz, Paolo Nutini, Jack Johnson and the like, coupled with the folk-pop antics of Mumford & Sons and The Lumineers. What these artists have in common is that they're good but rarely very exciting. Once in a while however, they deliver big, and "Riptide" is just such a song, sweet, funny and very catchy. This could quite possibly become a sleeper hit across the world in early 2014.

Watch and listen


torsdag 16. januar 2014

Feargal Sharkey - A Good Heart

Back to the 80's when former Undertones singer Feargal Sharkey set out to become a pop star - and succeeded. "A Good Heart" was his third solo single, released in 1985, and boy is it good! The song was actually written by Maria McKee, known at the time for being the lead singer of American country rock band Lone Justice, about her relationship with The Heartbreakers' keyboard player Benmont Tench. It was produced by Dave Stewart of Eurythmics and featured Boy George on backing vocals, so you can safely say this was a star-studded affair. The song became a number one hit in several countries and still sounds fantastic. Also, I could listen to that voice forever!

Watch and listen


Metronomy - I'm Aquarius

British electronica group Metronomy are preparing their fourth album Love Letters for a March 10 release. First single "I'm Aquarius" is led by an old-school drum machine sounding tinny and smallish, but a sinister bass synth soon lurks in the background before the sound gets richer and more detailed as the song develops. The melody however is there from the get-go, an infectious pop song with barbershop-style harmonies. A strange mix of influences that work really well together. Then there's the strange music video, apparently influence by the movie Gravity which I unfortunately haven't seen yet. It looks great though.

Watch and listen


Warpaint - Love Is To Die

Los Angeles' female rock group Warpaint release their second album, also called Warpaint, on Monday. First single "Love Is To Die" is an atmospheric, multi-textured song combining influences by Siouxsie & The Banshees, Cocteau Twins and The xx, to name a few that I can readily hear. It's a beautiful song, almost five minutes long, but it really leaves you begging for more. Love it!



Talking Heads - This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody)

From what may be the best concert film ever, Jonathan Demme's Stop Making Sense (1984), "This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody)" is an early highlight showing Talking Heads' strengths in simplistic performance art accompanying their music. One piece of advice only: Watch the lamp.

Watch and listen


onsdag 15. januar 2014

The Divine Comedy - Absent Friends

Today is a dark, dreary day for the Norwegian music industry. We have lost two dear friends, legendary music journalist Tor Milde and former record company executive and manager Per Eirik Johansen, who were pronounced dead today, 61 and 54 years old. As if that is not enough, the noted professor and author Jon Bing died as well, at 69. In their honour, I want to play The Divine Comedy's "Absent Friends", the title track for their (well, "his", as it's mostly Neil Hannon and an alias anyway) brilliant 2004 album. This is the song in which Hannon raises his glass to Steve McQueen, Oscar Wilde and others calling "Absent friends, here's to them". I will raise a glass as well tonight. Thanks for the ride, boys!

Watch and listen


Wild Beasts - Wanderlust

Wild Beasts are racking up album number four, Present Tense, at the end of February, and if first single "Wanderlust" is anything to judge by we're in for a real treat. 2011's album Smother was great, an atmospheric collection of pop songs that was even likened to classic Talk Talk by some critics. "Wanderlust" seems to take things a bit further, with its pulsating beat and very cool synth-bass pushing the song forward, and Hayden Thorpe's soothing voice on top of it all. Still, the instrumental textures are what really defines the song, and the voiceless bridge that starts at about 2:20 is exquisitely beautiful. When Thorpe then starts singing again it lifts the song another few notches. This is genius dream-pop, perfect for anyone who enjoys a bit of Arcade Fire, Midlake, Washed Out or John Grant.

Watch and listen


tirsdag 14. januar 2014

HIT ALERT! Paloma Faith - Can't Rely On You

I'm ashamed to say that the name Paloma Faith is among those that have just floated past me when I hear her brand new single "Can't Rely On You", an appetizer for her forthcoming third album, A Perfect Contradiction. With a knock-out voice that rivals Etta James or Aretha Franklin, she could eat Amy Winehouse or Duffy for breakfast. Also, this song is as funky as anything by George Clinton, Prince, Janelle Monáe, Rick James or the entire cast of Treme. It was produced by Pharrell Williams, so in other words, she is in very capable hit-producing hands. I really hope this makes Paloma Faith a superstar, it's just the song that could do it.

Watch and listen


John Hiatt - Tennessee Plates

For many years John Hiatt was mainly known for being a great songwriter, having written scores of songs picked up by the likes of Ry Cooder, Bonnie Raitt, Linda Ronstadt, Nick Lowe, Rodney Crowell, Emmylou Harris and many, many more. What fewer people seemed to concern themselves with was Hiatt's own records, but truth be told, the covers of his songs were most times way better than Hiatt's own versions. Then in 1987 he recorded the album Bring The Family, the start of a trilogy that made Hiatt one of the best roots rock artists in the late 80's and early 90's. The band on that particular album was stellar, featuring Nick Lowe, Ry Cooder and Jim Keltner in addition to Hiatt himself. These guys later reunited as Little Village and cut a surprisingly unsatisfactory album. Hiatt was on a run however, and Slow Turning came just a year after Bring The Family and became his biggest success to date, even without that extraordinary band. The guys that played on it were no slouches though, and Slow Turning is a great, great album. "Tennessee Plates" is among its best-known songs, a fierce blues-rock number with Sonny Landreth playing a fantastic slide guitar like it was going out of style. One hell of a song!



Phoenix - Love Like A Sunset Part I & II

Sounding like a mixture of Mike Oldfield, Pink Floyd and Tangerine Dream, it's evident that French pop band Phoenix had come a long way in quite a short time when you hear the track "Love Like A Sunset" from their 2009 album Wolfgang Amadeus Pheonix. From their 2000 debut album United until this one, three albums and nine years later, there had been a significant leap forward in terms of experimentation, ingenuity, creativity and skill. Last year's Banrupt! album took them even further, in other directions, but that's another story. For now, do enjoy this almost fully instrumental track (there are vocals in the shorter Part II) which sounds fantastic. And for the best effect, play it loud!



MS MR - Head Is Not My Home

A few days ago I posted the MS MR single "Fantasy" in all its awesomeness. Today I would like to play an album track, also of course from the New York duo's 2013 debut Secondhand Rapture, called "Head Is Not My Home". This one seems to encapsulate everything that MS MR is about - primal rhythms, 80's synth pop, 50's rockabilly - turned into a modern day phenomenon with great production and a big, big sound. Mesmerizing!



Lars Vaular - Legender

Bergensrapper Lars Vaular imponerer meg stadig mer. Jeg må innrømme en viss sløvhet i forhold til hans siste plate 1001 hjem som kom i fjor høst, men nå har jeg omsider forstått hvor bra den er. Vaular går enorme omveier rundt tradisjonelle rapklisjeer, og åpner opp et tekstunivers som er utforskende, nysgjerrig og spennende. Selv om historien i "Legender" om unge døde kan minne om noe du har hørt før, er den fortalt med empati og et meget godt ordforråd, og musikalsk er låta dempet, nøktern og "riktig" i forhold til det alvorlige temaet. Den musikalske variasjonen, lekelysten og oppfinnsomheten gjør da også 1001 hjem til en helt spesiell plate.

Se og hør


Girls In Hawaii - Switzerland

Thanks to brilliant singer/songwriter John Grant I discovered the Belgian band Girls In Hawaii today when he posted the song "Switzerland" on his Facebook wall. "Switzerland" is lifted from the band's third album Everest that was released last September, and is a beautiful song best (?) described as a blend of Midlake, Vienna-era Ultravox and possibly John Grant himself. A great discovery!

Watch and listen


Beastie Boys - Intergalactic

Beastie Boys' 1998 hit "Intergalactic" sounds exactly like my brain feels this morning after a lousy four hours or so of sleep. Not to say this is not a great song, because it really is, but with everything that goes on in it, it's complete mayhem and my brain finds itself just like that at the moment. Here's hoping it straightens itself out soon.

Watch and listen


mandag 13. januar 2014

Kråkesølv - Ikke rart vi bli sprø

Ytterst originale og helt herlige Kråkesølv fra Bodø er klare med sitt fjerde - selvtitulerte - album 28. mars. Mens vi venter kan vi nyte den strålende nye singlen "Ikke rart vi bli sprø". Dette er et jubelbrus av en låt, feiende flott, intenst melodisk og morsom, et overstyrt popmonster som tikker inn på litt over tre minutter. Det er en fin lengde på en poplåt, det! Tenk Mew på bodøværing, og du er i nærheten, men ingen låter som Kråkesølv, nå for øvrig med ny trommis, Jørgen Smådal Larsen (eks-Lukestar og The Spectacle).

Hør i Spotify.

Hør i WiMP


Sam Smith - Money On My Mind

Sam Smith, the amazing voice behind songs such as Disclosure's "Latch" and the best song of 2013, Naughty Boy's "La La La", is preparing his debut album In The Lonely Hour for a May 26 release. He's been in Las Vegas to shoot his first music video for the wonderful new single "Money On My Mind", an up-tempo R&B ballad that is a perfect showcase for his incredible singing capabilities and unbelievable falsetto. He never sings in a bragging way, it's just beautiful!

Watch and listen


Lily Allen - Air Balloon

Following her number one cover of Keane's "Somewhere Only We Know" and the "controversial" hit single "Hard Out Here" in which she criticized the objectification of women in today's music business, Lily Allen is back with a new single today, "Air Balloon". This one shouldn't cause too much fuzz, as it's mostly just a sweet, annoyingly catchy pop song about a trip in Lily Allen's air balloon through the clouds, in which she references Kurt Cobain and Elvis Presley. A charming, funny song.



søndag 12. januar 2014

MS MR - Fantasy

New York-based duo MS MR released their excellent debut album Secondhand Rapture last year. It's a record full of exciting textures and layers, great melodies and surprising arrangements, simply put, it's a record to lose yourself in and enjoy over time. "Fantasy" is one of the album's singles, a great one at that.

Watch and listen


MC Hammer - U Can't Touch This

MC Hammer's monster hit "U Can't Touch This" still sounds great. It was released in 1990, sampling Rick James' awesome "Super Freak", and became a phenomenon far beyond that of an ordinary pop song. To quote Wikipedia, the "lyrics (in particular "U can't touch this" and "Stop, Hammer time!") became pop cultural catchphrases", and you instantly recognize the song when you hear it. It still makes me smile and it still makes me wanna dance.

Watch and listen


Gluecifer - Easy Living

Gluecifer's "Easy Living" is one of my all-time favourite rock songs by a Norwegian band. It's got such a level of intensity, energy and adrenaline that it borders on the ridiculous. It's the highlight of their awesome 2002 album Basement Apes, a timeless piece of rock'n'roll that will never go out of style. To think that singer Biff Malibu (Frithjof Jacobsen) is a political columnist in one of Norway's biggest and most influential newspapers, VG, is pretty odd though. Rock'n'roll is not what it used to be, but it has to be said that Gluecifer is indeed, sadly, disbanded.

Watch and listen


Koda & Bijou - There

Koda is a South Carolinian electronic musician, Bijou I don't know anything about. Nevertheless they have collaborated on a couple of tunes, and "There" is an extraordinarily beautiful song. It almost sounds like an electronically arranged Nick Drake song, but not quite. It also reminds me a bit of Goldfrapp with its multilayered and atmospheric soundscapes, and the eerie singing. A fascinating and haunting song. Follow the link below to listen and, if you want, you can download the song for free.

Listen and/or download


Introducing... Shy For Shore

The Norwegian radio broadcaster NRK P3 each year have their Urørt competition where unsigned acts get to showcase themselves on a website, and a winner is announced in a finals heat each winter. This year's finals are approaching, and among the five candidates I have a special fondness for the pop duo Shy For Shore.

Oz Page and Mari Nordén are evidently in love with 80's synth-pop but their music, although drenched in that particular time, still sounds current. They are nominated for the Urørt award with the incredibly catchy "Then The Heartbreak", a pulsating song that steadily builds in intensity - a lovely melancholic pop dance-pop track.

Check out their Urørt page where you can listen to "Then The Heartbreak" and a few others songs. You can download all the songs here for free, and there is also a link to the page where you cast your vote, either for Shy For Shore or any of the other four finalists.


lørdag 11. januar 2014

Lambchop - The Petrified Florist

Lambchop's 2000 album Nixon is an everlasting source of fascination, a mindboggling blend of orchestrated alt-country, 70's Philly-soul and good old-fashioned songwriting, with lyrics full of mysterious and wondrous imagery. "The Petrified Florist" is a strange song, but one of beauty, a song I picked at random from an album that is perfect in every way.



Bastille feat. Ella Eyre - No Angels

"No Angels" is a very good mash-up of TLC's "No Scrubs" (1999) and The xx's "Angels" (2012), two great songs on their own that also work wonders together. It was made by Bastille on their 2012 mixtape Other People's Heartache, Pt. 2, and is performed as a duet by the band's lead singer Dan Smith and wonderful guest singer Ella Eyre, that I keep raving about. The melody and lyric of "No Scrubs" is in front most of the way, but underneath lies the beautiful melody line from "Angels". It's not only beautiful, but also very catchy.



Foals - My Number

"My Number" is a song that clearly shows how British indie rockers Foals owe a huge debt to acts like The B52's and Talking Heads, and especially Happy Mondays and The Stone Roses, bands that have excelled in combining dance music and rock. It's totally irresistable, a song that makes wanna you jump around and shout for joy, with a big, happy smile on your face. "My Number" was released as the second single from the band's third album, last year's Holy Fire, and became their biggest hit to date. The video is incredible too, showing the band on stage and people having a really good time. Woohoo!

Watch and listen


We Are Scientists - Dumb Luck

You probably know how it is. Some acts and band names just float around in your subconscious without you ever having heard them, and for me American rock band We Are Scientists is just such a name. Upon checking I have learnt that they have released four albums and are about to release the fifth in March. "Dumb Luck" is a fantastic song that appeared on the EP Business Casual that came out in October, and it sounds like a cross between Queens Of The Stone Age, Smash Mouth and Muse with a decidedly 60's pop sensibility. It's short, loud and a lot of fun!