After getting a brand new record contract with Republic, Shontelle is back with the first single from her third album.
The song, titled ‘Reflection’ is a departure from the dance influenced Pop’n’B sound on her last record ‘No Gravity’. Shontelle take a more soulful approach to music, with the bluesy song reminding me of something Joss Stone would put out. It may not be the most commercial song, but with it’s lyrics about self confidence this song is definitely uplifting. Plus this new sound enables her to stand out among the current batch of females trying to make it big right now.
Give this track a spin, you might be pleasantly surprised.
Here’s Ed’s cover of Example’s ‘Last One Standing’. (How many apostrophe’s can I get in the sentence btw?!) It’s not often that you find a cover which is just so much better than the original. It’s not that I don’t like Example’s original, it’s just that Ed’s version is so good.
Ed turns the electrorap song into a ballad, accompanied only by a guitar and some drums. (Okay, I’m sure there’s some other instrument in there, but you get the point.) It’s a beautiful, soothing song - so give it a listen.
Get Me Burnin’ is the first official single from British girlgroup ‘RD’. The song has a real carnival sound to it with a slight drum ‘n’ bass element. I really think that this has the potential to be big, reminding me of something Sugababes 1.0 or Katy B would put out.
It’s no coincidence that Katy B actually co-wrote this track, as it really does have her signature sound on it. This is by far the coolest, and most original song I’ve heard a girlgroup put out in a long time. Give it a spin.
Weezy gets Drizzy on board for ‘She Will’, the fourth single to drop from ‘Tha Carter IV’ before it’s release. The dark, ominous sounding song’s verses are much better than it’s chorus, with Drake’s part being the highlight for me.
It’s a good song, but like a lot of Wayne’s latest material it doesn’t quite live up to ‘Tha Carter IV’ hype. Hopefully he’s saving the best for later, but until then you can enjoy this new one.
This song off Alicia’s 2001 debut ‘Songs In A Minor’ is just such a good, chilled R&B track. It’s the perfect track for when you just want to kick back, relax and forget all the troubles in your life.
Musically, this track with it’s almost neo-soul feel is everything that’s good about early 2000s R&B. The lyrics of the song are great too - give it a listen if you need to get rid of some tension in your life.
After years of waiting and numerous lineup changes Evanescence are finally back with their new single ‘What You Want’. Starting off with electronic blips and pouding drums the song is a departure for Evanescence. However, buzzing guitars accompany them soon enough giving a sense of familiarity.
Amy Lee definitely has reached her goal of not being quite as controlling, as the song, which is about freedom and letting go sounds a lot looser and more raw than anything they’ve done before. The string section of the song is a highlight, behind the pounding drums and Amy’s beautiful vocals.
This song with it’s catchy hook and soaring chorus sees the band back on form, so give the song a listen.
This song goes so hard. Yeezy & Jay spit over heavy bass and soaring synths, as well as a looped sample of Flux Pavillion’s ‘I Can’t Stop’. The drum loops in this song are crazy. In fact it all is, it’s just so good.
There’s some good verses over one of the best beats I’ve heard in a while on this song, so give it a listen.
Kanye West & Jay-Z // Made In America [Feat. Frank Ocean]
'Made In America' is track #11 on 'Watch The Throne' and features Frank Ocean on vocals. Lyrically, the song looks at Yeezy & Jay's past and future as Jay talks about his upbrining and Ye talks about his success, while both talk about their future children.
The instrumental of this track sounds like something Frank Ocean would do. It’s euphoric, yet simple as Frank soulfully sings over a piano loop and some synths. This reflective track is one of the many early highlights of the admittedly overwhelming album, so give it a listen.
Kanye West & Jay-Z // Why I Love You [Feat. Mr Hudson]
'Why I Love You' is the closing track for the standard version of 'Watch The Throne'. Featuring Mr Hudson, this song makes good use of the 'I <3 U So' sample in a song, which musically is where 'Young Forever' and 'All Of The Lights' met - and boy did they make something good.
This song is anthemic, I think I’m beginning to take for granted how amazing the instrumentation and production on this album. Give this a listen, it’s amazing.
I can’t describe how excited I am listening to ‘Watch The Throne’ at 5am right now. Track #2 ‘Lift Off’ features Beyoncé and is an orchestral led song which is nothing short of epic. I’ll give a proper review later, but Ye & Jay’s verses are on point, the production is amazing and Beyoncé’s vocals are so strong and smooth. Listen to this now.
Cassius // I <3 U So (Skream’s Made Zdar Feel Like He Was 20 Again Remix)
The Skream remix of Cassius’ ‘I <3 U So’ is one of my favourite tracks of the year. It’s just so much better than the original with it’s twinkly pianos, 90s dance style production and high pitched vocals.
The reason I posted this today is because it’s sampled on track 12 of Jay and Kanye’s ‘Watch The Throne’. So look out for this track on ‘Why I Love You’ featuring Mr Hudson.
But while you’re waiting for that listen to this. It’s a banger.
'Toes' is the first single from LIGHTS' second album 'Siberia', after buzz single 'Everybody Breaks A Glass'.
This electronic midtempo is more like the material from her debut than what we’ve heard from the album so far, albeit a little darker. Featuring LIGHTS’ vulnerable vocals against catchy synths and percussion this is a great song, although not quite her best.
Adele // Set Fire To The Rain (A Stupid Hole Bootleg)
I’ve always loved Adele, so it’s a pity that I’ve never been able to put much of her on one of my running playlists. Luckily Swedish duo Cazette have given us the best Adele remix since Jamie xx’s take on’Rolling In The Deep’ to give us a little more Adele to run to.
Filled with synths and breaks, this track just builds up towards sound explosions. The broken piano riff at the start, eventually becomes the normal ‘Set Fire To The Rain’ riff, backed with heavy bass and even a little dubstep. This remix is boss, so give it a spin.
A snippet of this song leaked before Avril released her latest album. Now finally, the whole song (minus about 15 seconds from the second verse) has leaked and the only question that leaves me is why on earth this album never made the album in the first place?
Yes, ‘Goodbye Lullaby’ is a great album, but this song is even better than much of material on it. With acoustic verses leading into a soaring guitar driven chorus, which really lets Avril’s vocals shine, this track has much of the charm which made her debut album so good.
Give this track a listen, you may be pleasantly surprised.
'Close To Your Heart' is the latest track from Essex Indie Rockers Morning Parade. Continuing their run of great songs 'Close To Your Heart' is an explosive rock number, which could have come straight out of the 90s. It gets all quiet about two thirds of the way in, with an ethereal synth moment which really makes the song.
I hope these guys give us a release date and tracklist for their debut album soon, but until then make sure you get this song as a free (legal!) download below.
'I Need' is the second single and follow up to the amazing 'Let Me Go' from Irish singer Maverick Sabre. You wouldn't guess that voice would come out that mouth, he just has so much soul, it really is incredible.
Singing over a simple guitar and bass instrumental, ‘I Need’ is a complete 360 turnaround from his previous single as Mav pours out heartfelt lyrics over the mellow backing track. As well as being the perfect chill out track, ‘I Need’ shows just how diverse of an artist Maverick is. While this is the version off his ‘Travelling Man’ mixtape, hopefully the single version isn’t too different.
I can’t wait to see this guy at Belsonic at the end of the month - give this a spin, you won’t be disappointed.
How this song ever missed the original version of Ellie’s album I have no idea. This song is just gorgeous - Ellie’s voice against the acoustic guitar and piano backdrop really accentuates the simplicity of this song as well as the lyrics. So give this a sleep listen before you try and get to sleep.
I just can’t get enough of this tune by New York post-punk/dance outfit The Rapture. ‘How Deep Is Your Love?’ is a foot stomping 6 minutes of pure awesomeness, combining a catchy piano riff with all sorts of percussion and the most amazing sax solo since……… well Katy Perry’s ‘Last Friday Night’, but still…
This song really grabbed me by surprise, so give it a spin.
'Hero' is the third single from British newbies SoundGirl. Following up their first two singles 'I'm The Fool' and 'Don't Know Why', 'Hero' is a mid tempo POP'N'B affair complete with a drum machine, synths and even a little guitar, making this a pretty well rounded song.
The rap before the final chorus gives this a little something extra, and even though it’s not as good as their previous single it’s still pretty good. Make sure to pick it up on September 12.
'Light Up The World' is a hot new leak from my favourite new artist of 2010/2011, Yasmin. After hearing her perform this at her excellent set at the Itunes festival I googled it and was amazed to see that a studio version with non other than Ms Dynamite tee hee had leaked.
If you’ve listened to Yasmin’s previous singles then you’ll be expecting alot from this. You can breathe now because this song is amazing. Produced by Shy FX, this song is influenced heavily by dub and drum’n’bass. Yes, that’s dub and drum’n’bass! The odd Caribbean feel of this track sounds so different to what’s out at the moment, yet I can see it fitting perfectly into Radio 1’s playlist.
The lyrics of this song are so relatable. There’s many a time when I’ve ‘needed a release for the moment’ , ‘to release all this tension’ and ‘light up the world’. Yasmin seems to be the queen of making songs relatable which aren’t about the popular subject of love.
Yasmin’s album isn’t out until January 2011, but she’d be mad not to release this tune at some point. Give it a listen. And then listen again. There’s just so much about this song I can’t put into words.
90s Flashback: The Prodigy // No Good (Start The Dance)
Thought I’d start doing some music flashbacks as there’s just so much good stuff from back in time. I’ll start with one of The Prodigy’s finest ‘No Good (Start The Dance)’.
I recently got into this song after hearing Yasmin perform a new song called ‘No Good For Me’ which uses the same Kelly Charles sample as this, causing me to put this in my latest running playlist. And boy does this song fit right into that playlist. It’s just timeless, with the oldskool jungle of my birth year fitting in among the drum’n’bass of 2011. You can’t say that about many songs released in 1994, which have dated terribly as opposed to sounding like they could be released right now.
The use of the Kelly Charles sample in this song is genius. So either get all nostalgic with this song or listen to it for the first time if you have never heard this - chances are you’ll recognise it when you hear it anyways…
I just can’t stop playing The Kooks current single right now. I was so disappointed when I heard ‘The Saboteur’, which was supposedly meant to be the second single - but thankfully that never got a release instead and they went with ‘Is It Me’ instead.
From it’s subdued 80s like verses, to it’s explosive free spirit chorus, this song is a tune. Even though the lyrics deal with questioning why a relationship never worked, this song is perfect for the summer. And yes, the lyrics are great with lines such as “I know you needed someone to guide you, and the world you should have owned.” Maybe the line about the pigs heart and a glass of wine isn’t so great though….
Be sure to give this a spin and pick up their 3rd album ‘Junk Of The Heart’ on September 12.
'Lucky Day' is the second single from Girls Aloud singer gone solo Nicola Roberts' upcoming debut album 'Cinderella's Eyes'.
After the bombastic Diplo produced ‘Beat Of My Drum’ Nicola is offering up another piece of pop that manages to be so effortlessly cool with ‘Lucky Day’. The song is a pop/dance affair with a house element, reminiscent of many of the ‘cooler’ pop songs from around 2002. With a fiery chorus this one is definitely going to stuck in your head after a few listens, and certifies that Nicola is the dark horse of the band as it turns out that she’s produced the best material.
So give this one a spin, hopefully it’ll lift you up just a little on this Monday morning afternoon.