Friday, 31 August 2012

Song of the Day: "Murda Bizness" - Iggy Azalea

Iggy Azalea seems to constantly be releasing her own singles or featuring on tracks by  other rappers and producers. This little gem, which dropped at the end of July, initially didn't dazzle me. Then I don't know what happened - one day I just couldn't get its intro hook out of my head and it's officially song of the day today.

For those who don't know, Iggy's a rapper from Australia who became a Tupac fanatic as an adolescent and moved to the USA as a teen. Fast forward a few years later and her home-video freestyles garnered enough attention to get her a major label deal, studio time with her mentor/producer T.I, and a modelling contract with Wilhelmina Models. Not too shabby.

She's currently on the Closer to My Dreams tour with Tyga and a bunch of guys I've never heard of, then should be heading back to the UK for some dates towards the end of the year. If you're in America and are already a fan of her stuff, the tour promoters are giving away a pair of tickets to each and every show, via this trivia app on the tour's Facebook page. 'Like' it to find out more and enter.

Head here to download Iggy's Glory EP, from which "Murda Bizness" is the lead single. In the meantime, I'll be body-rolling to this jam. I love the video, even with the awkward child actor moments where they don't quite get their comic timing right.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Album Stream: Cat Power - Sun

Here's Chan Marshall's latest full length offering, which sounds like it was made in the aftermath of her getting over a shit-ton of heartbreak and emotional baggage. Check out her recent interviews in this last Sunday's New York Times and the Observer's music section from the week before.

Then, of course, listen to the album if you're keen to hear what she's been up to for the last couple of years. It's going down pretty well on a first listen for me.

UPDATE: We're back in business. As you were, please. (August 28th, 16:12pm, EST)

UPDATE: For reasons I don't yet understand, this stream seems to have broken (as of 12:31pm EST). I'll try to get it up and running for later. In the meantime, NPR have been streaming the album since Monday too.

Watch: The Flaming Lips and Amanda Palmer - The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face (NSFW)

So in case you missed all the drama almost three months ago, The Flaming Lips had originally recorded this beautiful song with Erykah Badu for their Record Store Day 'Heady Fwends' release (FYI: that album is awesome and you should find ways to own it).

However, things quickly turned sour when the band shared a draft version of the (also NSFW) video with Pitchfork. It features Erykah and her sister Nayrok nude in two separate bathtubs. Nayrok gets splashed and sprayed with everything from glitter and corn starch to what I can only hope was imitation blood and semen. In short, it makes a statement.

When the video was leaked, Badu was clearly not impressed though, calling out Wayne Coyne and co on Twitter for exploiting her sister and their working relationship by 'selfishly' releasing the video. And hey, now it looks like they've just decided to replace her altogether. The new version is a whole lot more calm but in my opinion doesn't vocally compare. I mean, Badu's voice all reverby and whatnot compared to Palmer's? It's a no-brainer.

I will say that Palmer pulls it together at the end, when she really kicks into her chest voice and opens up. You can compare the two versions for yourself though, by watching the original below.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Song of the Day: "New Love" - Southern Shores

There's nothing quite like a Balearic-tinged late summer track to help me pretend I'm chilling on a beach somewhere and not grinding my own ass into a fine powder during Columbia Journalism School boot camp. Between the sprained ankle and one hour journey to my neighbourhood 'beat' in Queens (welcome to the world of journo jargon, make yourself right at home) any other activities are being side-lined.

Sadly this means I'm almost never online to listen to awesome new music any more. As in I literally only got round to listening to the Passion Pit album like four days ago: this backlog is straight-up stupid. But, as is always the case, another Cascine gem slid its way into my speakers and again confirms how strong their roster is shaping up to be with every release.

Southern Shores are Jamie Townsend and Ben Dalton, the Toronto two-piece behind this breathy, smooth and almost yacht rock-like single. It's due to come off their upcoming New World EP on October 2nd and will likely please all the fans of Keep Shelly In Athens, Ditt Inre and Grimes who were two young to do the real deal Balearic clubbing in the 90s. Enjoy, and um I'll probably blog again in about three and a half weeks since I apparently don't have enough time for the internet any longer. 

(That makes me sad).

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Reviewed: Wild Nothing - Nocturne

Although this album isn't out in the UK and US until Tuesday August 28th (via Bella Union Records and Captured Tracks, respectively) I got so into it that my review's already up on Addict Music. Multi-instrumentalist and singer Jack Tatum plays on this record under the Wild Nothing moniker, adding new dimensions to the fairly on-trend and aptly lo-fi songs his Golden Haze EP initially served us.

Now it sounds like he's all grow'd up, layering luscious guitar refrains over vocals with less whimsy and more lyrical prowess. While building on his post-punk roots, he's pulled together an album that slots in with the best of his contemporaries (Twin Sister, Beach Fossils, Toro Y Moi et al) and proves he's more than a one-trick pony. I'm pretty sure somewhere in the review I refer to the album as a 'swathe of gossamer-like indie' so, um, read on for the justification of such unabashed self-indulgence.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Q & A with Icona Pop

A few months ago I posted some photos I snapped of the two lovely ladies of Icona Pop, when we hung out  in Hoxton at the start of the summer.

Since then they've jetted all over Europe and are currently in the US (and blogging here, where you can keep up with their updates). Both Caroline (right) and Aino (on the left) are sweet, affable and engaging; over drinks we chatted about everything from the inherent sexism in DJ culture to what still makes Paris such a magical city. The full interview's running in this fortnight's edition of Don't Panic Online magazine, so head over there to read the full spiel. 

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

NYC-Induced Hiatus (#Sorry)

So it's commonplace to find when you move from one major city to another, some things tend to get left behind. In my case, those things include all my CDs and records (boo), one of my favourite backpacks (double boo), and this blog.

I've been in Hamilton Heights for the last week now, living a life sans internet yet suddenly filled with all the madness of living on that teeny island we call Manhattan. Normal posting should resume soon, though I've just started orientation for my Master's at the Columbia Journalism School so um, that'll be time permitting.

Big apologies go out to anyone who might've happened upon the site over the last few weeks and wondered where the hell its author had disappeared to: I feel like a bad mother or something. In consolation I offer up the gift of a listen to South London producer and multi-instrumentalist Halls' latest single, coming from LP Ark (out on No Pain In Pop Records in October). It's called "White Chalk" and is quite the beauty. Enjoy, and please continue to send me songs and pretty things that inspire you to this inbox.

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