Tracks to check out:
(all can be sampled on Hits From Another Planet)
Late of the Pier – “Space & The Woods”
Generally, I’m not the biggest fan of this “new-rave” sound coming out of the UK right now, even though it combines a lot of elements that I like. Late of the Pier have been lumped together with this movement, but they have both a greater pop sensibility and a glammier approach than most others in the genre. This song, especially, sounds like Cars era Gary Numan. It’s a mammoth single, and one that I can’t imagine failing to be a success. It’s just so darn catchy. Also, I heard this track in demo form a few months ago, and this full single release is about a million times better.
Plemo – “Flashlight”
“Flashlight”, by German singer Plemo begins with a high pitched introduction that I have completely given up trying to decipher. Luckily, it very quickly jumps into an insanely catchy, energetic synth workout. It has the same wild, strange energy that the Scissor Sisters used to have in their demo days, but with more of a dance/club edge. I could see this track simply lighting up the dance floor. Though it sounds like very little else you’ve heard, you’ll be singing along with whatever they’re saying before the first listen is even over.
Andrew Benon – “Rock & Roll Moves”
Andrew Benon has crafted a pitch perfect recreation of great 80’s pop with this track. From the Bowie-esque vocals to the screaming saxophone to the sparkling synths, “Rock And Roll Moves” deserves to be the summer anthem of convertible drivers everywhere. It almost sounds like it was written by Prince back in his eighties hey day, especially the flawless chorus. Best of all, Andrew Benon’s debut effort is full of this kind of stuff. Many artists (especially on this blog) draw from the eighties for their sound, but few have been as believable as Benon is. Lyrically, “Moves” is very clever as well, which is always a pleasant surprise in pop music.
King Midas – “West End Boys”
Back in February, Norway’s King Midas quietly released Sorry, their latest album, and what could end up being one of the best records of the year. I’ve heard their sound on Sorry compared to such artists as Roxy Music and the Human League, but with a more contemporary edge. “West End Boys” was the album’s first single, released in late 2006. It amazes me that a band can release a pop song this perfect and go practically unnoticed outside of their homeland. Despite being lyrically quite dark (about Nazi Germany, or something like that… I haven’t quite deciphered it), the pulsing beat, background chants and chiming bells add up to pure pop perfection.