By Mary Chang on Monday, 14th March 2011 at 10:00 am
Texas rockers White Denim are on a self-imposed hiatus. But don’t think they are just hanging around, twiddling their thumbs. No, apparently they’ve decided they want to go for a harder rock sound, and ‘Drug’ is evidence of this slight veer from their usual direction. You can stream and download the track below.
By Mary Chang on Friday, 11th March 2011 at 10:00 am
In the mood for something electronic to round off the end of your week? Let your ears loose on this track from London trio Three Trapped Tigers called ‘Cramm’. You can stream it for free but you can download it for the incredibly low price of exchanging your email.
The band’s debut album, ‘Route One or Die’, will be released on 30 May but can be preordered here.
By Mary Chang on Thursday, 10th March 2011 at 10:00 am
Danish duo the Raveonettes will be releasing their next album, ‘Raven in the Grave’, in early April. To talk it up prior to its release, the band are offering up the album track ‘Forget That You’re Young’ for free download. It’s a sweet yet crunchy piece of pop to sink your teeth into. Grab it below.
By Mary Chang on Wednesday, 9th March 2011 at 10:00 am
Matthew P is a new singer/songwriter I’ve just gotten wind of. He’s from Suffolk, and judging from the title track of his new EP, ‘The Breakfast Song’, he has a laidback, Jack Johnson kind of approach. But I get the feeling from his quirky lyrics – reminiscent of Darwin Deez, just less wacky – that he must be a completely disarming fellow, more boy next door.
Listen to / download ‘The Breakfast Song’ and watch the promo video for it below; I almost mistook the Asda where this was filmed for an American Costco warehouse supermarket. Here’s Matthew talking a bit about the video:
I woke up hungover in Lowestoft one morning and I had to go shopping for breakfast, so me and my mate Trigg swung into Asda and had a little shop whilst I mimed to the song. It was a really fun morning until the giant security guard cornered us and warned us he was gonna have to wipe all the footage!!! We were gutted but I showed him what we had done and the tune and he decided he liked it! So he let us back in, so we grabbed another trolley, and all we had left to get was the brown sauce. Good times.
‘The Breakfast EP’ will be released in April on Fiction Records.
You can also watch the new video for ‘Dancing with the Devil’ below (the original single to be released the 21st of March). Hmm. I wasn’t a fan of this song right away as I was with ‘Lions in Cages’, and to be honest, I like the hip hop remix better. This promo, in stark contrast to the video for ‘Lions in Cages’, is a performance video. In multiple senses of the term. You’ll see what I mean when you watch it below.
By Mary Chang on Tuesday, 1st March 2011 at 12:00 pm
The name Sparkadia may be familiar, but this line-up sure isn’t. Sparkadia before was an alt-pop four-piece from Australia that pulled up their roots and moved to London for fame and fortune. The band released ‘Postcards’, which charted in the top 25 albums chart in their home country in 2008. But Sparkadia today is one person, Alex Burnett, who has decided to soldier on solo in the pursuit of creating pop gems.
Ok, so I admit it: the name of the single, in all its two syllable, four character glory in its subject line, caught my eye. I know I’m very lucky to have a first name that has appeared in so many popular songs, but as a result, any new ones that come along must prove their worth. Enter the Alex Burnett-penned ‘Mary’. Whether intentional or not, there’s a American/Southern-style influence on the vocals, dripping with blue eyed soul. The song begins with sultry piano chords framing the almost desperate words from Burnett, “Mary / I don’t know what to do / Mary / ‘cos every time I look away from you / you’re all I see…” Let’s begin the analysis. Two words. He’s smitten.
Or is he? The song continues and it’s obvious there’s something deep, dark and sinister going on here, as anvils clank morosely in the background. He’s begging her to save him, to “be let go”, to be forgotten and taken out of her memory. He wishes the relationship he had with this Mary person was something that had a beginning and an end, presumably so both of them could have closure. In comfort. Whatever’s happened, it’s clear it was painful and is still paining this poor man. He’s pouring his heart out into this song.
The problem: it’s a bit overproduced, overorchestrated. It’s a bold attempt at the power ballad structure with female backing vocals and percussive elements to add drama like exclamation points. As a result, it’s got an old time, dusty feel, which is not necessarily a bad thing, it’s just not what’s on MTV these days. I foresee that it’s not going to be immediately popular with the kids, which means it probably won’t get a ton of radio airplay. Boo. ‘Mary’ has, however, appeared as a Q Track of the Day earlier this month, so with that I say to you: there is hope for popular music yet. Listen to the original and the dancified Royal Palms‘ remix of ‘Mary’ below – both are available as free downloads, how’s that for being forthcoming and thoughtful?
A limited edition 7″ version of ‘Mary’ was released on Valentine’s Day and is available now (however, note the label of limited edition and act quickly to avoid disappointment). It’s the first release of Gold Dust, by the people who put on the influential alternative pop night at London’s Hoxton Bar and Kitchen.