The video for the Basement Jaxx track Never Say Never is six-minute mockumentary about a twerking robot called TW3RK-BOT 1.0.
Sam Smith is continuing promotion on his new album In The Lonely Hour with the release of his latest single, I’m Not The Only One, featuring A$AP Rocky.
The rapper kicks off the remix of the In the Lonely Hour single with a verse laced with Beyoncé references: “Like Beyoncé, to getting by or to ‘Get Embodied’/ So Sasha Fierce/ A whole lot of tears/ Rolling down her cheeks/ Crying till she’s sound asleep/ Preach/ Pray that today is not a lonely one/ You got to know you’re not the only one.” After Sam Smith pulls at our heartstrings with his original lyrics, A$AP comes back with his second verse, with a flow and line reminicsent to Kanye West on “Gold Digger”: “My mama said that we need love/ ‘Till I found out life’s a bitch with no prenup/ You on your own.”
A$AP Rocky unfurls a few heartache-driven lines before Smith’s signature crooning kicks in.
Added to my collection: Common - Nobody’s Smiling
Recently added to my CD collection: Common - Nobody’s Smiling (2014).
The album’s closer, “Rewind That”, is one of Common’s most personal records in quite some time, reflecting on the ups and downs of his relationship with No I.D. and meditating on the loss of J Dilla. He addresses his own conflicted decision to leave the city and people that so greatly shaped some of his best music. Truth is complex, and the popular manichean tensions don’t map out so predictably atop “conscious” and “gangster”. That’s true for street rappers themselves, who have to navigate an ever-increasing divide between their lives and those of the communities who propelled them to fame. And it’s true for Common, too, who had to leave his home to continue his career, and for whom—nearly two decades later—finds that the decision still weighs upon him. Nobody’s Smiling is driven by the search for this common denominator.
If the bittersweet memory-lane stroll he takes on Rewind That doesn’t move you even a little, you might be heartless.
Jens Lekman has shared WWJD, a 33-minute mixtape that features unreleased songs woven in with song fragments and tracks from other artists.
While travelling through midwest America some time ago I stopped at a gasstation and bought a WWJD bracelet for $1.99 and insisted that it stood for ‘What Would Jens Do?’. I would look at it when I felt indecisive, think about what Jens really would do and then do the opposite of that. I thought that would be a good way to find some new paths in life, and to get away from the paths I kept taking that didn’t lead me anywhere good. WWJD is a song about regrets, learning from your mistakes, and bettering yourself. I wrote it last year, recorded it quickly and felt it didn’t fit in with most of the other songs I was writing. Together with ‘What’s That Perfume That You Wear?’ and ‘I Remember’ they weren’t adhering to the rules I had set up for my next album but they were also too good to forget. So I weaved them in exclusively on this mixtape where they are stations on a longer journey, where loops and smaller fragments, ideas for songs and favourite songs by others swoosh by outside the window. Feel free to open that window and feel the breeze in your hair.
Hear all three new Lekman songs, which continue to push his signature sound into soft-rock territory, by streaming WWJD below.
Added to my collection: Richard Thompson - Acoustic Classics
Recently added to my CD collection: Richard Thompson - Acoustic Classics (2014).
The album is full of interesting guitar flourishes and rhythms which bring an imaginative touch to classics such as as Beeswing and 1952 Vincent Black Lightning. Down Where the Drunkards Roll sounds even more mournful in the hands of a wise old bird of 65. If (oh dear) you haven’t got a Richard Thompson album in your collection, then this is a great way to get to know a truly inspired songwriter. But even if you know his work inside out, then you will still find much to enjoy listening to a master re-touch some of his best works.
A bravura performance.
Brighton band Fickle Friends have a great habit of releasing extremely catch songs. They set the blogs on fire earlier with their singles Swim, Play, now this one is For You.
If you took a dash of Two Door Cinema Club, threw some CHVRCHES in there for good measure, and had one of the sweetest-sounding choruses I’ve heard in a while, you’d have their new song ‘For You’. They’re masters of crafting joyful pop tunes with darker messages, though, as vocalist Natti Shiner explained in a press release. ‘For You’ is about “realising a relationship isn’t ever going to go anywhere, despite how sad it feels & how much you really want it to work.”
It’s an infectious pop number that’s surely to get you floating high up in the clouds dreaming of bubbly love.
Added to my collection: Damon Albarn - Everyday Robots
Recently added to my CD collection: Damon Albarn - Everyday Robots (2014).
Albarn has often been compared to English writers like Ray Davies but has always seemed more like Paul Simon, a heavy-hearted and moody person who nevertheless manages to bring a room together. A lot of pressure rests on an album like this but it would seem out of character for him to rise to it. Robots is decidedly lowercase music, more a piece of his puzzle than a picture on its own.
Albarn pulls you close and whispers the codes of his life into your ear. Switch settings to ‘decipher’.
In anticipation of her debut album, Aquarius, Tinashe gifts fans with her new single Pretend featuring A$AP Rocky.
Tinashe’s biggest hit so far, the DJ Mustard-produced “2 On,” featured Schoolboy Q, and the rising R&B singer’s latest single from debut album Aquarius features Q’s buddy A$AP Rocky. “Pretend,” built on a gorgeous beat by “Drunk In Love” producer Detail, is a warm, spacious slow jam about suddenly falling into bed with somebody you thought was just a friend. “Let’s pretend I ain’t your friend/ So we can get it on again” goes the instantly ingratiating hook. Rocky shows up to do Rocky things near the end, but Tinashe’s performance is the showstopper here. If you haven’t already, get very excited for Aquarius starting now.
The result is a much warmer ballad, a bit of a departure from the singer’s earlier club-oriented single, and more in line with her mixtape work.