Category Archives: Music

Why An Amy Winehouse Is A Pretty Good Idea

Councillors in London have, after much deliberation, decided to let plans for an Amy Winehouse statue in Camden go ahead, but I think there is one good reason why they gave the passion project the nod.

Whilst her dad Mitch probably plans for the statue to commemorate her music, but did she really do enough to warrant a permanent tribute? Yes, she was an extremely talented musician, but she only ever recorded two albums in her brief time on Earth, with only the latter of the two really cementing her as one of the leading lights in British music.

Whilst I’m sure she would have released more great music, it was five years after the release of ‘Back TO Black’ that she passed away. For years the only reports we’d had about her music was her increasing inability to play it live, a truly sad state of affairs.

Instead, any monument put up in her name should go out as a warning to any up and coming musicians that have taken her success as an inspiration. It should give them an idea of the dangers of excess in the music world and the dangers of being consumed by a damaging relationship. Her fall from grace should be the guiding light for all those wanting to make it in the music world.

Thoughts that a tribute to her would glorify her lifestyle are simply misguided, as this statue will do the absolute opposite and remind them of the talented artist taken from the world by her own vices.

It might not be as her father intends it to be, but this role as a warning might prove to be the best reason for a Winehouse monument in London. If reminding others of her sad death can help people avoid a similar fate, then it really is worthy of the effort.

The Joy Of New Music

The music world is now so enormous and has so many layers that if you even dig for the shortest time to discover someone new and interesting. Be it be YouTube, Spotify, Pandora, hearing it on the radio or just a mate telling you about them, finding a new artist that you instantly fall in love with is a pleasure that never gets tired.

Last year I went into a real Scandinavian bender, listening to scores of artists I’d never previously heard of in my sheltered little life. After discovery the joys of Agnes Obel, First Aid Kit and Tove Styrke, I knew that it was time very well spent.

I even had the delightful experience the sensation a couple of days ago after finding electronic artist Powerglove, the retro fuelled maestro behind the soundtrack for the utterly bonkers Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon videogame. Instantly, his Soundcloud page became the backdrop to my time in the office.

I didn’t care that I wasn’t the first person to have heard it and I couldn’t be all smug, simply the pleasure of discovering something I enjoyed was enough.

It doesn’t even have to be a new song, maybe just a totally new spin on a classic. I honestly couldn’t stop listening to the barbershop quartet version of The Beach Boy’s ‘God Only Knows’ when I first stumbled on it a month ago. For those yet to embrace it’s majesty  I’ve put it at the bottom of this, although I’m sure you will have already noticed that.

It’s a feeling that everyone can get countless times in their life and it’s a truly magical one that really should be experienced by everyone as often as they can. So go out there exploring. If you see a ‘suggested artist’ show up, give them a click, you never know what you might find.

Daft Punk Goes Folk

Daft Punk roared to the top of the charts this week in the UK with their comeback song ‘Get Lucky’, but the funky track has already been given a totally new lick of paint by Daughter.

The folk band were in the studio with Huw Stevens this weekend for Radio 1 and covered the chart topping track and made the disco track into something totally different. Although I don’t think you could ever think of Pharrell Williams and Daughter vocalist Elena Tonra as contemporaries.

Whilst it took me a couple of listens to really fall in love with the original (I still think there’s too much Pharrell in the track), this new version left me speechless from the first minute.  A haunting, wonderfully unique interpretation of the track, Daughter’s version can quite happily sit on my playlist next to the original.

I’ve got the track below for you though, so give it a listen and let me know what you think of it.

Why Radio 1 Must Play ‘Ding Dong’

‘Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead’ has suddenly become the eye of a media storm, due to a Facebook campaign celebrating the death of Margaret Thatcher urging it’s members to commeroate her passing through purchasing the song from the iconic film ‘The Wizard of Oz’.

While it’s perhaps a little tasteless, it once again shows the incredible power the internet has over the charts, with this 51 second recording outselling the majority of releases this week and becoming the shortest ever song to make it into the top ten of the charts.

The incredible success of the campaign though means that Radio 1 will be forced into the position where they must decide whether or not to play the track on Sunday evening. They face the decision to either offend some listeners or censor the chart.

Surely this is an open and shut case for the radio station. The chart has never had a political affiliation before and it shouldn’t start having one now. If the British public want the song in the charts, then they dang well deserve to hear it on the chart. The charts have never been subjective or political, they are simply an objective measure of sales. By this token, it shouldn’t matter what’s in the charts, in should still be played if it’s in the top ten.

If the charts start to become censored, where does that rabbit hole end? If it means that Chris Brown’s never allowed to be played then that’s fine by me, but it’s not a risk worth taking. For that reason and that reason alone, Radio 1 must bite the bullet and play the minute long track.

Chrvches Cover Game Of Thrones Theme

When two great things come together, they either have to potential to crash and burn or be brilliant. Thankfully, Chrvches covering the Game Of Thrones theme tune is the latter.

The Scottish electronic threesome are widely regarded as one of the hottest tickets around, but decided to have a little fun and do an electronic cover of the theme tune to the TV show Game Of Thrones.

While it doesn’t quite compete with the grandiose bombast of the TV show’s original, it definitely has a charm to it. If Game Of Thrones was going to release a retro video game, this is what we’d want as the theme.

We’ve got the video here for you though and at only a minute long, it’s a bite sized bit of Chvrches to see you through the day.

Daft Punk Reveal Second Collaborator Video

The anticipation for Daft Punk’s new album is growing as the release date draws closer and the fires have been stoked once again by the release of a second ‘Collaborators’ video.

These videos are interviews with the people coming in to help Daft Punk on ‘Random Access Memories’, with the first appeared last week featuring the great Italian electronic trailblazer Giorgio Moroder and this second talking to Todd Edwards.

The American producer, who has worked with Daft Punk before, talks about how he thinks that the new record is going to “intoxicate and infect everyone so that I’m not making music in a sterile world” and that the pair are “bringing soul back to music”.

I didn’t think I could be more excited about this record, but hearing Edwards talk like this makes me not want to have to wait a second longer to hear what Thomas and Guillaume have been up to.

Reaction To M83’s Full Oblivion Score

I’ve been more than a little excited about the release of the soundtrack for the latest Tom Cruise movie Oblivion, solely due to the fact that it’s been composed by M83’s Anthony Gonzalez , who finally realises his dreams of making original music for the silver screen.

With the full score now available to stream online, I of course plugged in my headphones and ave it my fullest attention and while it’s a good score, I have to say that I’m disappointed.

While Starwaves and the titular track Oblivion had both promised something a little more different and most definitely the product of M83, the final product itself is actually far more conventional and traditional, with only a few tracks that lean more into the electronic.

While comparing it to the Daft Punk soundtrack for Joseph Kosinski’s previous film Tron Legacy just isn’t fair (that film was set inside a computer of goodness sake), it’s hard not to be left wanting slightly more from such a creative artist as M83.

Wile it might not have been everything I was hoping it to be, it proves that M83’s Anthony Gonzalez can more than justify his big screen dreams and will provide an epic backdrop to the action of Oblivion.

M83 Release New Oblivion Track

M83 have released another song off of their upcoming soundtrack for the Tom Cruise blockbuster and while the film itself looks good enough, for me it’s just a way of delivering this potentially immense album to me.

While the French electronic maestros have previously put tracks towards other films, this is their first crack a full blown film soundtrack, and at the moment it sounds as if they’re blowing all expectations out of the water.

But while ‘StarWaves’ was a haunting and hair raising instrumental, the newly released titular track features the incredible vocal talents of Susanne Sundfør and makes for incredible combination that really needs to be listened to. So, take the six minutes out of your day, put in your best headphones and let the rest of the world melt away. You can thank me later.

The Power Of The Trailer

In a world where there is more music floating around online than ever before, getting that boost that takes you from getting by to millions of views on YouTube and gold plated jet skis is all the more important.

But while radio play used to be king, it seems that getting yourself featured on TV is becoming more important than ever before. The best way of all to get heard is getting yourself on a trailer for something big.

Take MsMr for example. The view count to their song ‘Bones’ was hovering at just over ten thousand views. Since the song was used by HBO for the Game Of Thrones trailer, the number has shot up to just under 750,000. That’s just on the one video. The rest of their music’s had a massive popularity spike too, giving them a massive shove forward in the right direction.

Plenty of other artists have had their careers take a massive hike thanks to their involvement on trailers. German rock legends Rammstein got a massive English language boost when their music featured in the trailer for superhero movie Hellboy 2. Imagine Dragons also got a rather nifty lift in popularity when their song ‘Radioactive’ was not only used in the adverts for the video game Assassins Creed 3, but also the trailer for movie ‘The Host’.

While you’ve got to making music striking and dynamic enough to be picked up by a music scout, by being able to snag yourself a spot on their lists, it cuts out all that nasty promo work.

We say goodbye to Girls Aloud at the final night of the Ten tour

Last night we waved goodbye to the beautiful ladies of Girls Aloud, as they continue upon their solo work and forget one of the best girl bands this country has ever seen.

They came to my home city of Liverpool for the last stop on their 12-tour date, with plenty of energy and love in their hearts.

They couldn’t thank us enough for being their the past 10 years and showed us this with their energetic, fun and brilliant performance.

Of course, they all got a little teary-eyed throughout the show, and it’s a surprise they made it through the final two songs of the evening, Stand By Me and The Promise.

Whilst they sung Stand By Me a montage of images from the beginning of Girls Aloud – the auditions for Popstars the Rivals – played on the stage – it’s surprising that I managed to hold it together and not start sobbing.

Last night was the perfect end to their ten years, and I can only hope that down the line some point they do another celebration tour. They’re songs are too catchy to forget.

Girls Aloud Ten 2
Sorry about the quality of the image, I was more interested in singing and dancing along.