James Blake: “Bills (Harmonimix)”
When I saw that James Blake had posted this I thought wouldn’t it be crazy if this was a remix of Destiny’s Child’s brilliant “Bills, Bills, Bills”.
When I saw that James Blake had posted this I thought wouldn’t it be crazy if this was a remix of Destiny’s Child’s brilliant “Bills, Bills, Bills”.
A week before you can get your grubby little mitts on it, NPR have a full stream of the soundtrack to one of the hotly tipped films of 2013. Curated by Jay-Z, snippets and previews of the soundtrack have been emerging all over the place but now we have it in full with songs from Hov himself, Beyonce, Florence Welch, The xx, Emeli Sande, Bryan Ferry, Lana Del Rey, Jack White, Sia and more.
Out May 7th.
I personally would skip forward to around 1.50 and go from there. I love Andre 3000 but I’m really not feeling his intro bit on this cover for The Great Gatsby soundtrack. Beyonce kills it though.
This is a radio rip from eastvillageradio.com (thats why it keeps saying it ALL THE TIME)
(via Pigeons and Planes)
I am very excited for the upcoming The Great Gatsby. Every trailer has knocked it out of the park with their music selection (“No Church In The Wild”, “Love Is Blindness”) and the soundtrack promises to be just as good. With executive producer Jay-Z on board, he’s brought together Beyonce, Andre 3000, will.i.am, Q-Tip, Lana Del Rey, Brian Ferry, Florence + The Machine, The xx, Sia, Gotye…and of course the ubiquitious Emeli Sande pops up (I kid…)
(thanks to dochliebchen letting me know about the “Love is Kindness/Blindness” error)
Holy shit, Queen Bey goes HARD.
Produced by Hit-Boy, Bey isn’t looking to go for the easy commerical banger, nah she gets her H-Town on and gets to business.
Bow down bitches, bey’s back.
First things first, go get spotify. Because I’m going to start making playlists and that’s how you’re going to be able to listen to them.
We’ve all done it. A big song comes on and suddenly you’re up crazy dancing around your room and you don’t want it to stop. Well now it won’t because here is…
ITYLTS’ tried and tested playlist of SONGS TO DANCE AROUND YOUR ROOM TO.
**(Guaranteed to get you up and dancing with AT LEAST ONE song)**
Thursday was a pretty good day for the nostalgic. Justin Timberlake hinted (FINALLY) at new material and Destiny’s Child announced a new album, even if it is a greatest hits, and a new song “Nuclear” (alongside promises of joining Queen Bey on stage at the Superbowl).
"Nuclear" starts off like you have no idea where it’s going, and then the 90s inspired new jack swing beat drops and everything’s okay. Produced by Pharrell Williams with co-writes from Cocaine 80s’ James Fauntleroy, ah yeah this is happening.
"Nuclear" is from the upcoming compilation album Love Story, a 14 track album of the group’s romantic songs from 1994 to 2004. Out Jan 29, Pre-order here.
So here comes another bit in my look at what rocked my world musically in 2011 (Check out the best songs of 2011 right here)
Anyway, Regular followers of the blog know that I do a feature called disCOVER where I post up covers that I like. I have always loved a good cover. I love finding new and different interpretations of songs I know really well, especially if they come way out of left field. There’s been some doozies over the year and again in no particular order, here are 20 of my favourites (with some extra bonus tracks that weren’t from 2011, but were bloody brilliant)
The Weeknd disCOVER double shot
The Weeknd had a huge year and you know you’re making it when already established artists are clambering to cover you stuff. There were some awesome covers knocking about this year but here are two of my favourites, from Brit Eliza Doolittle with a fantastically laid back stripped bare cover of The Morning and French Canadian Couer De Pirate bringing all her sweetness to Wicked Games
Quadron: “Ex-Factor” (Lauryn Hill Cover)
You kind of have to watch this one. Lauryn Hill is usually pretty untouchable, but Quadron has come pretty darn close with this one. It is so simple, so bare but so so beautiful.
Birdy- “1901” (Phoenix Cover)
I can’t bring myself to like Birdy’s take on Skinny Love, I’ve tried and I can’t. But this Phoenix cover has turned things around for me. Again this cover strips away and goes for the heart of the track, and she nails it.
Enna: "Michicant" (Bon Iver Cover)
While I couldn’t get behind Birdy’s cover, I could get behind Germany’s Enna who has made a beautiful cover of Bon Iver’s Michicant. Incredibly raw and stripped back, the arrangement replaces some of the louder tones of the original with softer woodwind, acoustic guitars and my favourite, the glockenspiel.
Trails and Ways: "Midnight City" (M83 Cover)
M83’s Midnight City was a highlight of the year for me, as was Trails and Ways folksy world music take on it. Taking away all the electro synthy-ness of it, Trails and Ways gave us a beautiful organic version of this massive track.
Oh Land: “Bloodbuzz Ohio” (The National Cover)
Oh Land had quite a year this time around with her original material, but she grabbed my attention with her cover of The National’s Bloodbuzz Ohio. Transforming the sombre of the original into a more optimistic message gives Oh Land’s interpretation a beautiful angle- while keeping its haunting undertones.
James Vincent McMorrow: “Wicked Games” (Chris Isaak Cover)”
McMorrow did two covers this year that people were interested in, one was of Willow Smith’s Whip My Hair and one was of Chris Isaak’s Wicked Games. Funnily enough, I’ve gone with McMorrow’s take on this 90s classic. JVMcM’s voice goes fantastically with this, how could it not?
Owl Eyes: “Pumped Up Kicks” (Foster The People)
As you may know, the love on ITYLTS for Foster The People’s knows no bounds, so a cover has to be pretty special to come close to the original. Owl eyes does it with this live cover on Aussie Triple J of Pumped Up Kicks. A lot of people when they first hear Pumped Up Kicks fail to pick up on the sinister message, a kid shooting up his school, behind the lyrics because it just sounds like the chillest, coolest, happiest summer track. Owl Eyes’ take on it brings that message a little more to the forefront…Oh and it has glockenspiel on it so you know its going to be good.
"I Can’t Make You Love Me" (Bonnie Raitt Cover)- Double Shot
Both Adele and Bon Iver had the best albums of the year and the both decided to cover Bonnie Raitt’s lament on an unrequited love I Can’t Make You Love Me. Both are beautiful as you’d expect, but I think out of the two, Bon Iver’s does it for me that little bit more. However, you know the Adele cover is ridiculously good too.
Tokyo Police Club: “All My Friends” (LCD Soundsystem)
Sadly LCD Soundsytem are no more, but thank god for covers for keeping the music alive. All My Friends in the original is a driving force of pianos, drums and is just perfect. Tokyo Police Club have come along and rocked it up, and it works.
The Vaccines: “Last Friday Night” (Katy Perry Cover)
The Vaccines have had a huge year so they came along and covered one of the biggest commercial tracks of the year, Katy Perry’s Last Friday Night. However, instead of the fun loving track, the indie band have infused it with something that sounds like it could have come from Joy Division or Echo & The Bunnymen…and it sounds great. The Vaccines - Last friday night (Katy Perry Cover) by bandalismo
Run Toto Run: “Sleepyhead” (Passion Pit Cover)
Oh the Glockenspiel strikes again. Run Toto Run strip back Passion Pit’s electro pop gem and replaces the synths with a beautifully played violin, glockenspiels, accordian, guitars and the good old fashioned handclap.
Barbara: “Pursuit Of Happiness” (Kid Cudi Cover)
Take a hardcore trancey/dancey/hip hop track take that all away and what do you have? Barbara’s beautiful version of Kid Cudi’s Pursuit of Happiness.
The Civil Wars: “Billie Jean” (Michael Jackson Cover)
Who hasn’t tried to cover MJ, its like a rite of passage (especially on big tv music talent shows). The Civil Wars performed this flawless cover of Michael Jackon’s Billie Jean at their second show. Yeah, I said second. Honky Tonk, MJ’s gone country.
Mike Posner: “Rolling In The Deep” (Adele Cover)
I love this cover. Some people didn’t, go figure. Posner’s cover of the ubiquitous Rolling In The Deep really plays up the melancholic loss that underlies this powerhouse track.
Winter Gloves: “True Blue” (Madonna Cover)
Paper Bag Records released a sampler of their artists covering Madonna and it was amazing. My favourite off the mix was Winter Gloves’ take on True Blue. While it may not have had a glockenspiel in it, it did have a saxophone solo and sometimes that’s even better.
Finally, here’s some that I discovered this year but have been around for a while…
Antony & The Johnsons: “Crazy In Love” (Beyonce Cover)
Beyonce’s Crazy In Love like you have NEVER heard it before. Hauntingly beautiful.
Mumford & Sons: “Not In Nottingham” (From Disney’s Robin Hood)
I couldn’t resist putting up the one with footage from the film. What a film, what a song.
Laura Marling ft. Mumford & Sons: “Jolene” (Dolly Parton Cover)
Mumford & Sons again, back when they were a live band supporting Laura Marling on this beautifully poignant cover of Dolly Parton’s Jolene.
Local Natives: “Cecilia” (Simon & Garfunkel Cover)
I had to put the video of this because the guy is playing drums ON A TREE! Amazing.
“Life just got REALLY good”
So if you haven’t heard, over the weekend, Jay-Z and Beyonce (and the rest of us) welcomed Blue Ivy Carter to the world. Being the super duper proud father that he is, Jay has already added to that creation with a song all for young’un Glory produced by The Neptunes and featuring little Blue Ivy herself on the vocals. It is seriously sweet and at the same heartbreaking as it hints at past miscarriages.
The dynasty continues.
Now a lot of musico peeps out there put out their countdowns in December. I’m putting mine out in January and my reasons are twofold 1) What if I had missed something that was absolutely amazing in the last week of December huh?? and 2) I’m only just getting round to it now. Two big factors, you decide which one had more influence on timing…
So here goes…
(I tried to narrow this down to 50…but couldn’t. They’re in no particular order either, they’re all just out there for you to peruse, discover, enjoy and love.)
Happy listenings my lovelies.
Here are the tracks that have helped make the soundtrack to 2011 for me…
Alexander- A Million Years
Alexander Ebert stepped out on his own this year away from the eclectic collective Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros. A Million Years isn’t too far away from what he has done with Ed Sharpe and the gang, a sweet plodding a long little ditty.
Beyonce- Party ft. Andre 3000
There was much to celebrate in 2011 for Bey (and in 2012 it looks like too, welcome to the world Blue Ivy). Mrs. Carter played a phenomenal headline set at Glastonbury, released 4 one of her finest albums to date and announced to the world she was expecting. With all that celebration going on thank god she had the perfect song to..erm…party with.
Childish Gambino- Freaks & Geeks
You may know him as Troy from NBC’s Community, as Donald Glover or as the rapper Childish Gambino. Whatever you want to call him, the dude has had a great year. With the release of Camp, his first full length studio album, Glover showed that he wasn’t an actor who dabbles in rap…he is a rapper AND an actor. Even though Camp was bonkers good, the highlight of the year for me was Freaks & Geeks, a near 4 minute rhyme with perfect delivery, hilarious wordplay and effortless style.
Theophilus London- Why Even Try ft. Sara Quinn
Now it was hard to choose between this and the beautiful Flying Overseas, but Why Even Try nosed ahead…just. I’d like to explain why but I can’t really, its a feeling. Either way as soon as I heard this track from TL I was hooked, from the 80s esque rnb funk to the beautiful guest vocals of Sara Quinn. London did something different with hip hop this year, keep doing it.
Little Tybee- Nero
One of the perks of being a music blogger is when you get emails from a band about their music and then you see the band start to get attention in their own right. Enter Little Tybee. With their beautiful folk sound and rich musical arrangements, Little Tybee are set to do big things in 2012 (did you see the video for Boxcar Fair?).
E-Dubble- Where We Are
E-Dubble had a banging 2011. From the Written Thursday mixtape to the stand alone tracks he keeps giving us for free, E-Dubble is on track for an even bigger 2012. I could have gone with a few E-Dubble joints in this list but I went for Where We Are as it never fails to get me ready for whatever the night will bring…everytime.
Work Drugs- Blue Steel
I first came across Work Drugs with their cover of Adele’s Rolling In The Deep, a very interesting and different cover. Then they started releasing some of their debut original material and it is just beautiful. On board with the chill wave genre, Work Drugs take everything about the genre and make it into something amazing, especially with Blue Steel.
The Rosebuds- Woods
There’s something so epic about the beginning of Woods like its the start of something big, at least thats what I always feel when I hear it. Then it launches into this anthemic chorus and then you know you’re onto a winner. I found them in their relationship with Bon Iver and if you got to see them on tour this year opening for Bon Iver, well you are very very lucky indeed.
Adele- Rumour Has It
Musically, 2011 belonged to Adele. No bones about it. You couldn’t go anywhere without hearing Rolling In The Deep or the universally adored Someone Like You. Both songs would have fitted nicely into my best of 2011 but I’ve gone for Rumour Has It simply for the sheer attitude and fun that comes along with listening to this slice of perfection.
Phantogram- Don’t Move
The NYC duo came back with their new material Don’t Move. With lots of samples and heavy beats, the track was everything and more that you come to expect from them.
The Weeknd- The Knowing
2011 belonged to Adele, but The Weeknd was close behind nipping at her heels, and he is in the running to owning 2012 as well. His mixtape trilogy of House of Balloons, Thursday and Echoes of Silence pretty much exploded apart the internet and made way for an exciting approach to getting, successfully, music out there. Along with Frank Ocean and others, The Weeknd’s Abel Tresfaye and his producer Illangelo are paving the way for how R&B will sound in the next couple of years. Tell me you’re not excited about this guy…and then I’ll know you’re lying.
GIVERS- Up, Up, Up
Paul Simon brought it to the mainstream with Graceland, Vampire Weekend made it hipster cool and GIVERS are carrying on the tradition. Ridiculously fun and infectious, GIVERS are making the kind of music that just puts a smile on your face and makes you get up and boogie, especially with Up, Up, Up.
M83- Midnight City
2011 was huge for M83 thanks to the absolutely amazing Midnight City (and maybe its use on Made In Chelsea…at least in the UK). As soon as those synths and drum beat kicks in you know you’re onto something incredibly special. The album Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming lives up to the promise of Midnight City, I’m just excited about what he’s going to do next!
Little Dragon- Ritual Union
As soon as I heard Ritual Union I had to get it. Little Dragon have been slogging it out for a while but have swung into the mainstream this year with that amazing tune (and a feature on SBTRKT’s Wildfire).
I think Husband is one of my favourite discoveries of the year. Ordinary had me as soon as the chorus came in, the rest of the EP just as much. I grabbed the chance to interview Mike (from Husband) straight away and I cannot wait to see what he’s going to do in 2012 and will be backing him all the way.
Beirut- East Harlem
Beirut’s 2011 album Rip Tides had some absolute gems on it and it was a toss up between Sante Fe and East Harlem as to which would make the list. East Harlem got it as it was one I had listened to most out of the two. Bringing balkan folk to trendy music type ears, Beirut did it with the lovely East Harlem.
Emeli Sande- Daddy
Another one that I will predict will have a big year in 2012. Heaven was everywhere last summer and her feature on Professor Green’s Read All About It made her a familiar name. Daddy showcased why she is a much sought after songwriter and her trip hop sound goes down a treat. Cannot wait to see what else comes a long from this medically trained singer/songwriter.
Metronomy- Everything Goes My Way
What more is there to say about Metronomy that hasn’t already been said by pretty much every music critic out there. From the mercury prize nominated album English Riviera, Everything Goes My Way is a laid back, some what European sounding, classic pop song. You can’t go wrong.
Frank Ocean- Novacane
If The Weeknd and Frank Ocean are the future of R&B, I’m not worried. Frank Ocean made big things happen for him when he released his mixtape Nostalgia, ULTRA for free via his tumblr. With two guest appearances on one of the most eagerly anticipated albums of the year, Ye’s and Jay’s Watch The Throne, the world is Frank Ocean’s oyster. Novacane was my favourite track off the mixtape, that beat…that beat.
Cults- Go Outside
Infectious unapologetic pop came out fighting this year and Cults were right at the heart of it. Go Outside is infectious fun right from the start, the albums not half bad either.
The National- Exile Vilify
The National had a relatively quiet year up until November when they released a few new tracks they had done live in session with indie golden child Justin Vernon. Back in April though, Exile Vilify was released alongside Portal 2, which it was featured in. It’s classic The National, what else is there to say?
Florence + The Machine- Shake It Out
Probably one of the most eagerly awaited albums of 2012 was the sophomore effort from Florence Welch. Shake It Out was exactly what fans were craving for, a big epic track with that big epic voice.
Bon Iver- Towers
Now this was tough, I could have pretty much picked the whole of Bon Iver, Bon Iver to put on this list but that would be unfair. Since its release back in June, my favourite track from the album has changed and right now it is Towers. A more countryfied affair, I just love the ‘drop’ of it. As always.
CSS- Red Alert ft. Ratatat
I hadn’t heard much from CSS since their Listen To Death From Above single a few years ago, to be fair I wasn’t actively looking. When this popped up on my radar I fell in love all over again with the Brazilian collective. Partnered with the amazing Ratatat, CSS deliver a sweet upbeat party track with Red Alert chocablock with the fun sexy innuendos they are known for.
San Cisco- Golden Revolver
Australia always seems to be good for new music and this summer Western Australia gave us San Cisco and the happy go lucky sun filled Golden Revolver. As soon as the song opens, the riff takes you way to the land down under of sun, sea and surf and lets you stay there for three minutes.
The Good Natured- Skeleton
Found The Good Natured on their feature on Adrian Lux’s massive tune Alive (coming up in a minute). After listening to a few more of their tracks, The Good Natured have gained a place in my best of the year with Skeleton. With quite an upbeat albeit eerie start, Skeleton really gets going when the chorus kicks in. For fans of Marina and The Diamonds (and I didn’t even really warm to them).
Drake- Over My Dead Body
Drake’s album Take Care was one of the best of the year, a great showcase of the direction that hip hop is going. For me, it was the albums opener Over My Dead Body that did it for me. The laid back keys, the chilled out vocals and OVO’s own’s flawless delivery. You cannot deny that attitude.
Future Islands- Balance
This was featured on HBO’s How To Make It In America. Sadly that has been cancelled now, but this show had some super cool music (M83, Summer Camp, Blood Orange to name a few). Balance is just good synthy chill wave goodness, trust me.
Rihanna- Drunk On Love
Now this might split some people down the middle. Rihanna came along on her new album Loud and sampled The xx, the amazing Intro. I personally think its a great use of it but I understand that it might not be everyone’s cup of tea.
Hello Goodbye- Finding Something To Do
Hello Goodbye hit the mainstream a few years ago with the electro poppy track In Your Arms. This year they came back with a new album and a new sound. Still upbeat, preppy and happy, they’ve gone into a more indie rock direction and its paid off. Finding Something To Do is a busy get going track right from the start and will have you singing along in no time.
Lana Del Rey- Video Games
I could have put Born To Die, Blue Jeans or Off To The Races up here. I am obsessed with the self proclaimed gangsta Nancy Sinatra. I didn’t catch onto Video Games straight away, but when I did that was it for me, I was hooked. Her album Born To Die is one of the ones I’m looking forward to most right now. If you haven’t heard Video Games (and its pretty hard to miss) it is a slow, sultry ballad that took the internet by storm in every single way it could.
Kites With Lights- Cosmonaughts
I haven’t heard that much more from Kites With Lights than Cosmonaughts but that track is good enough to tide me over with. Super busy with a high energy beat, 80s synths and catchy melodies, Cosmonaughts is a rare treat for the ears.
Matt and Kim- Block After Block
How can you not like these two. The energy they put into their tracks and videos transcend through the headphones to the muscles in your face and suddenly your smiling. Block After Block is no exception.
Big Harp- Everybody Pays
2011 has been a big year for the boy/girl duo with Angus and Julia Stone, The Civil Wars and The Belle Brigade doing great things. Big Harp joins these guys with Everybody Pays a sweet unassuming acoustic based track.
Summer Camp- Better Off Without You
2011 has been kind to Summer Camp. The release of Welcome To Condale made plenty of best of lists and their nostalgic chill wave take on John Hughes has earned them fans all over the place. Better Off Without You is the perfect slice of 80s infused indie pop and will get you going straight away with that footloose esque riff.
Telekinesis- Please Ask For Help
Another 80s infused indie pop slice from Telekinesis with Please Ask For Help. Perfect for the party or headphone listening, this track from the brain of drummer/singer Michael Lerner has a big beat and catchy melodies alongside a tip top guitar riff.
St. Lucia- The Old House Is Gone
2011 was all about chillwave, to be fair I’m still unsure about the ins and outs of the genre, but I know St. Lucia was a big part of it with his first release The Old House Is Gone. It sounds epic with that beat and synths, St. Lucia is going somewhere.
The Ravonettes- Forget That You’re Young
Forget That You’re Young is another great indie pop track with a bassline intro that takes me all way to Twin Peaks (whether or not that is a good or bad thing I’ll let you know when I’m there)
Adrian Lux- Alive ft. The Good Natured
One of my most played songs of this year was Adrian Lux’s beast of a track Teenage Crime. Back in Novemer, Adrian Lux came back big with Alive featuring vocals from The Good Natured. It is a massive track that has one of the best drops going, seriously when it hits those synths big things happen and it goes off crazy…as do i.
Elvyn- The Decline
Elvyn was one of the bands that emailed me this year and I’m so glad they did. The Decline is an awesome track that blends together 70s classic rock with the modern world. Look out for these guys, I’m seeing good things happening.
Death Cab For Cutie- You Are A Tourist
Death Cab For Cutie have been around for a while and in 2011 they released their latest album Codes and Keys. It was a great album and You Are A Tourist was an amazing track, as was the video.
James Blake- The Wilhelm Scream
James Blake had a helluva year but I only downloaded The Wilhelm Scream back in December. Late to the game. James Blake minimalist approach has paid off and though this sounds like something from a literature essay, it is what is not there that speaks volumes. He doesn’t clutter the track with anything that is not needed and made something truly original…despite it being a cover.
The Horrors- Still Life
The Horror’s latest album Skying brought these boys into the mainstream and Still Life is the highlight of the album. For me it brought around thoughts of The Cure and Echo & The Bunnymen, a hauntingly beautiful track.
Calvin Harris- Feel So Close
Calvin Harris was responsible for one of the biggest hits of the year, Rihanna’s We Found Love. Before this though was Feel So Close, a fun upbeat dance track that is classic Calvin Harris.
Blood Orange- Sutphin Boulevard
This track from Blood Orange is too cool for school. That baseline riff, the Japanese vocals and those silky smooth vocals…seriously, don’t read this just listen.
Foster The People- Call It What You Want
Anyone who has ever read this blog before knows I am a big champion of Foster The People. Having followed them from playing to a room of 60 max to seeing them pack the John Peel tent at this years Glastonbury, I have to say its been a helluva journey. I didn’t really appreciate Call It What You Want when I first heard it, but man that breakdown…It changed my mind.
Bombay Bicycle Club- Lights Out, Words Gone
This is beautiful. A slow and steady study in how to make a song, Bombay Bicycle Club got it right with Lights Out, Words Gone and then repeated that with Shuffle.
The Antlers- Rolled Together
After the massive critical acclaim that The Antlers received from their 2009 studio debut Hospice, they had to do something really special with the follow up Burst Apart. They did. They didn’t replicate Hospice but showed their evolution and their influences. Rolled Together is incredibly soulful and lopes along so nicely it will chill you out no end.
Slow Club- You, Earth or Ash
Another boy/girl duo, Slow Club released new album Paradise this year to much critical acclaim. You, Earth or Ash is a quiet song that pays off with that near hip hop beat.
The Head and The Heart- Down In The Valley
Seattle’s The Head and The Heart won me completely over with Down In The Valley, a beautiful folk track from this band. It’s been great to seem them go from strength to strength this year, and 2012 shouldn’t be any different.
Katy Perry- Last Friday Night
Whatever, I regret nothing. Katy Perry’s dedication to partying on a Friday night cannot help but get you excited for what’s to come. Don’t hate, have fun.
Its the video that got me, watch it but warning NSFW. Luckily DyE have the musical stones to back it up with this synth happy electro pop joint.
Some heralded Watch The Throne as an instant classic, others felt underwhelmed from theses two hip hop heavy weights. I was in the latter camp, yeah its good but I feel like it could have been so much greater. This was a toss up between No Church In The Wild and That’s My Bitch, but the thing with That’s My Bitch is that the hook doesn’t match the verse so for that reason No Church In The Wild is my pick from the album, and with that opening bassline how could you disagree.
Hoodie Allen- James Franco
I cannot wait for Hoodie Allen to make it big. Fun lyrics, clever wordplay and great beats give Hoodie everything he needs to make it. James Franco is the embodiment of all this and the video is hella fun too.