Monthly Archives: April 2012

An iamamiwhoami update

You’ve possibly (if you’re brilliantly cultured in a casual sort of way) been wondering what’s been going on with iamamiwhoami in the past month or so.

Well they’ve released this:

And this:

AND there’s an ACTUAL ALBUM called Kin finally coming out on June 11th. Granted we’ve heard most of the tracks already but it’s an actual release to get excited about, proving that this hasn’t all just been an en masse fever dream over the past 2 years. Here’s the tracklisting:

  1. Digital Version
    1. Sever (3:58)
    2. Drops (4:43)
    3. Good Worker (4:58)
    4. Play (5:15)
    5. In Due Order (3:24)
    6. Idle Talk (4:52)
    7. Rascal (Length currently unknown)
    8. TBA
    9. TBA

    Physical Version

    1. Sever (3:58)
    2. Drops (4:43)
    3. Good Worker (4:58)
    4. Play (5:15)
    5. In Due Order (3:24)
    6. Idle Talk (4:52)
    7. Rascal (Length currently unknown)
    8. TBA
    9. TBA

    Disc 2
    1. DVD

Oh and this is the artwork for upcoming new single ‘Rascal’, out on May 9th:

That’s yer lot.

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Cassie’s ‘King of Hearts’ gets the Richard X treatment…

….and BY GUM is it phwoarsome. Stop whatever frankly inferior thing you’re currently doing and have a listen:

Fucking flawless.

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New music videos (underbaked and overcompensated)

We’ve had Sam Sparro the sleek Wonky Pop idol with his first album and then we’ve had him return, apparently channelling a minor villain from Dallas. Well now he’s jumped back a few more decades and is reborn as a Deco gangster. It sort of works, which is more than can be said for the song itself. WE KNOW YOU CAN SING SPARRO, there’s really no need to dispense with the stellar production which blended so well with his voice on album no.1 in favour of stripped back, lukewarm R&B-soul. Here’s hoping new album Return To Paradise, released on May 11th contains at least a couple of nice surprises.

Rita Ora’s debut US single was originally going to be called ‘Party and Bullshit’ but presumably they retitled it like Kate Bush’s ‘Deal With God’/’Running Up That Hill’-gate to avoid upsetting Yank sensibilities. ‘How We Do (Party)’  itself is pretty bland and anonymous, raided from the bottom of Jessie J’s wig drawer, but it’ll DO as a palatable launchpad for the Billboard 100. The video itself has the same fun sense of abandon that ‘Just Dance’ had – and we all know where that led to…

Have a lovely weekend

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A chat with: Lectrolips

Everyone wants something for free, to the extent that today it’s practically common practice at the start of a major label artist’s career to drum up a bit of interest by giving away a free track or mixtape…when they have been carefully selected for marketability. There’s nothing spontaneous or genial about it – a bit like a dentist handing out rocks of crystal meth outside their surgery. So what makes Lectrolips so awesome is their complete lack of agenda. With no leviathan label pulling their strings you’d think they’d want every penny to count. In the case of  Ant and Leo it’s not about the money – it’s about music for its sake alone, which makes the mad electro their make together worth more than the entire “iTunes Essentials” back catalogue.

 As a duo, what irritates you most about the other?

Ant: Leo is such a perfectionist about everything, and when we produce music together he’s no different. I like things to sound a little rough around the edges but he’s often trying to smooth out our sound when I don’t think it needs it. He will spend hours perfecting a single drum fill, only to take the whole thing out the next day.

Leo: Haha! What a great opportunity for me to break some news to Ant…! Actually Ant is a very easy person to get on with and he doesn’t often annoy me. Sometimes he gets impatient and produces artwork and sets a release date for a song before it’s finished. That puts the pressure on and makes it harder to ‘pull the plug’ at the last minute if we decide not to go with a song. We have about 25-30 unreleased recordings at various stages of completion and there have been at least two occasions when we’ve announced a new song, only to scrap it at the eleventh hour.

Who are your musical heroes?

Ant: Madonna.

Leo: Oh, I have so many, and I admire anyone with talent in any genre. But I guess my all time greats would be Queen and The Carpenters.

Judging by your own lovely stuff, artwork is very important to you. Is this something you still see as very much part of the whole package, even in a digital age?

Ant: We are glad you like our pics! In the beginning we just wanted some cool artwork to go with our songs on our iPods and didn’t think about it too much. We have become more conscious of how we present ourselves as time has gone on and think it’s important to give people an idea of what we’re about. Our artwork is the only opportunity we have to give people something visual to go with the music because we haven’t gone out gigging or made any music videos yet and everything we do is ‘behind the scenes’ as it were. So in that respect I guess you could say our artwork is more important for us. Nowadays bands have the opportunity to not only create their own music at home but their artwork too – we couldn’t have done this all ourselves 15-20 years ago. The only downside is that we rarely get outside feedback, so it’s hard to tell what image we’re actually creating for ourselves.

I don’t think I’ve come across an act that has given away quite so much music for free in a while. How effective do you think it is at getting a following if you’re a new act?

Leo: That’s an interesting way of looking at it, because for us it’s more about asking ourselves “is this song good enough to charge people for?” rather than “will giving this song away for free get us a bigger following?”. Initially we didn’t have the equipment to make polished recordings so we honestly couldn’t justify charging people for our music. We have toyed with the idea in recent months but decided against it for the time being. If someone enjoys our music enough to download it, then that is almost payment in itself! All we ask is that if you download one of our songs you share it online somewhere or give a copy to one of your friends – whether they want it or not!

If you had to sum up your whole “THING” in just one word, what would you each pick?

Ant: Unapologetic

Leo: Oooh that’s a tough one! We were recently described as “robo-pop” – I like that.

Your latest freebie ‘Resurrection’ is very “dance like a twat at a rave in Ibiza”, isn’t it?

Ant: That’s a great way of describing it! It’s probably the most clubby track that we’ve released online.

Leo: That’s funny ‘coz Ant had a similar description for my dancing while we were recording it! I would be so made up if it actually did get played in Ibiza.

Do you have a personal favourite out of everything you’ve recorded so far?

Ant: My favourite has to be a track from our Exempt From Classification EP called ‘Glimmer’. It’s our most personal.

Leo: ‘What We Came For’ is my favourite track that we’ve released. I think it was the first time Ant and I really let go and just went for it!
What’s your favourite song by someone else you’ve heard this year?

Ant: Leo recently introduced me to Goyte. ‘Somebody That I Used To Know’ is my favourite song at the moment.

Leo: I would have to agree with Ant. I love the freshness of the arrangement and the way the vocals really soar in the chorus. Amazing voice.

You’re unsigned, it is your hope that a major label will snap you up and unleash you on the masses with a six figure marketing budget, or do you prefer things small and interesting as they are?

Ant: To be honest, we’ve been on the radio and had some of our music synched for TV but never been approached by any labels. There are benefits to being independent and unsigned, in that we have complete control over what we do and we set our own deadlines. But our resources and contacts within the industry are limited and, as I said before, we could benefit from some constructive outside input. We’ve noticed that some DIY artists dismiss the idea of signing with a major label because they think they’d be selling out, but it’s definitely not something we’d sniff at.

Any upcoming live performance dates everyone should *screeeeeech* about?

Leo: No. We have been approached to do some live shows but writing and recording takes up all of our time and we haven’t been able to fit any rehearsal time as yet. I expect we will at some point. We are planning on doing a music video soon though if we can get our shit together!

You can download ‘Resurrection’ and lots of other genius free gubbins by Lectrolips  from their Soundcloud page. While you’re at it, check out their blog, visit their Facebook page and if you’re on it follow them on The Twitter.

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AWOOOOOOOO. It’s just another brilliant song by Wolfette.

Wolfette has been one of my obsessions for the best part of a year, but unlike many of my new discoveries who quickly get forgotten in favour of something newer and shinier, she’s kept delivering the goods.

What I probably love so much about her is that while she’s a bit of badass, there’s nothing overbaked about her aggression. No petulant cliched lyrics about killing boys who broke her heart or daft spiky outfits that we’ve all seen before so often. A bit like Shirley Manson she’s just a bit of a grump, but an understated one.

After releasing several brilliant singles last year and giving us an emotive take on ‘Together In Electric Dreams’ for free a couple of months ago she’s gearing up for her first new single of 2012 – ‘Risk For You’ out on May 28th.

Not bad, huh?

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Another blast from The Past

The best single by the best British girlband who are THIRTY this year and still going strong (well, 2/3 anyway).

The 7 minute long 12″ version is even better, but the video itself is a hoot. Think of it as a prophetic warning to Simon Cowell.

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The curse of the girlband lingers on

In the past couple of weeks there have been several deaths:

RIP Soundgirl

It all started on such as promising note – three sassy young ladies with some amazing songwriters such as Karen Poole and Xenomania. So where did it go so horribly wrong? Giving their first single ‘I’m The Fool’ away for free after stalling its release can’t have helped. Their first official and last release ‘Don’t Know Why’  is an odd one. It’s nice enough but possibly the worst attempt at “HI WE’RE A NEW BAND” in music history. Sampling Carly Simon does not a smash make.  Charting at No.45 in June last year, it took until last week for what had long been expected to be formally announced. And already former Soundgirl-girl Little Nikki has announced her intentions to go solo with a video featuring her cavorting in Lidl with samplers of the shelved album Something to Dream About popping up on eBay. A better fate than being recycled by Little Mix, perhaps.

If in doubt of their doomed brilliance, listen to this sampler track.

RIP Belle Amie

As they proved when competing on The X Factor, the lasses of Belle Amie had some decent vocal chops between them. But add the worst girlband name since “Eden’s Crush” and a deranged “let’s hurl an entire wardrobe department and pray something sticks” sense of visual styling and you weren’t left with much.  Their only single ‘Girls Up’, released when the quartet had already been reduced to a trio sounded like the inside of David Guetta’s septic tank. Recently the following message was posted on the group’s Facebook page; “We’re really sorry to announce that Rebecca has decided to leave the group to pursue a solo career…. We’re really upset with the decision made as the future for Belle Amie was looking bright. We’re so grateful to all of our fans that have been dedicated to us and have supported us through everything. Your all so special to us and will always be so important to each one of us. Thank you belles your all amazing x” (sic) – so a Clea to Loveshy transition is hardly looking likely.

Basically, try to avoid joining a girlband right now if you can possibly avoid it. It has the same career stability as working behind the till at Game.

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This is a song by a lady called I am Harlequin…

…And you know what? I really like it. The video is a hodge-podge of silent classics interspersed with her lipsyncing along like something out of a GCSE Art student’s coursework project. But that’s part of its charm. In an age where Nicki Minaj’s wigs probably have their own entourage, a little bit of transparent amateurism is more than welcome. The song’s rather nice too.

Show her some love and discover her newer material on her Facebook page.

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Artwork yawn: Magic Hour by the Scissor Sisters

So this is the album cover for the new Scissor Sisters album, Magic Hour, which is released on May 28th:

They were probably aiming for this. I’m reminded of this. The generic Calvinharrisness of ‘Only The Horses’ along with the album’s involvement of Pharrell, Diplo and Azealia Banks is still worrying me that the best band named after a lesbian sex position are desperately trying to please their record label after their filthy underground homage Night Work didn’t shift nearly as many copies as it deserved to…

Oh well, here’s the tracklist:

1. “Baby Come Home”
2. “Keep Your Shoes On”
3. “Inevitable”
4. “Only The Horses”
5. “Year of Living Dangerously”
6. “Let’s Have a Kiki”
7. “Shady Love”
8. “San Luis Obispo”
9. “Self Control”
10. “Best in Me”
11. “Secret Life of Letters”
12. “Somewhere”
13. “Ms. Matronic’s Magic Message”
14. “F*** Yeah” (Bonus Track)
15. “Let’s Have a Kiki – DJ Nita Remix” (Bonus Track)
16. “F*** Yeah – Seamus Haji Remix” (Bonus Track)
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Get your week off to a SantiGOLDEN start…

…and buy the new Santigold album, which is out today.

Seriously, if you do ONE thing this week, buy Master of My Make-Believe. If in these economically precarious times you feel like being cautious and not taking my word for it, you can listen to it in full here first. Do the right thing.

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