Saturday, March 07, 2009

Five Of The Best - March 2009

Sorry for the lack of updates. Things will return to normal after all the Mardi Gras madness is out of the way. I'm trying to chillax in preparation for tonight and thought I'd do a quick round up of the new-ish music I've been obsessing over lately. The first track is probably the best thing I've heard in 2009 thus far. Chances are, you've already heard of England's much hyped Bat For Lashes (real name, Natasha Khan). To be honest, I purposely ignored her 2006 debut album - putting her in the same trying WAY too hard basket as Róisín Murphy and Lykke Li. I won't be making that mistake again. BFL's new single "Daniel" is one of the most extraordinarily beautiful pop songs I've ever heard. It's a hauntingly poetic lullaby soaked in gorgeous 80s synths and ominous strings. Natasha says she was listening to a lot of Fleetwood Mac when she recorded the track and it's hard to overlook the influence of "Tango In The Night". There will be the inevitable comparisons with Ladyhawke but as much as I love the Kiwi diva, there's nothing on her brilliant album that matches the greatness of "Daniel". Give the song a listen here and then download it from Australian iTunes. Believe me, you'll want this on your Ipod. Bat For Lashes second album, "Two Suns", is released on the 6th of April.

Another song that is really floating my boat this month comes from Japanese superstar Utada. The plucky diva hasn't let the dismal failure of her last English language album (2004's underrated "Exodus") stop her from trying again. This time around Utada has roped in the hottest producers in urban music to crack the American market. Christopher "Tricky" Stewart and The-Dream feature on the soon to be released album "This Is The One", while Norwegian production house Stargate (best known for their work with Rihanna and Beyoncé) contributes the first single "Come Back To Me".

I was underwhelmed when the song first leaked a couple of months ago but it has really grown on me. Utada's voice sounds amazing and the production is crisp and typically slick. The video has just been released (above) and it's pretty good. I don't know why they've dressed Utada like a 45 year old desperate housewife but the guy is really sexy and it's suitably moody. However, make sure you check out the insanely HOT Seamus Haji & Paul Emanuel remix here. Going with this version in Australia and the UK would be very wise indeed.

The next essential pop track for March comes from Canadian electro duo Woodhands. "Dancer" was an underground hit for them last year but it's only just been released in Australia this week and I highly recommend downloading the poptastic DJ Rexford remix from iTunes. I like the original version but this fluffy little edit is adorable. The synths are dreamy, the perky female guest vocalist is cute without being too painful and the crazy sound effects really crack me up. I haven't heard anything this vocoder-tastic since the glory days of Cher in the late 90s! Unfortunately, you'll have to take my word on this one because it's not on youtube or streaming on their Myspace. I'm going to have to hunt down their album even though I sneakingly suspect that there's nothing this irreverent and fun on it.

Ok, calm down. I know Evermore is the last local act you would ever expect to see on Pop Trash Addicts but I can't help it if I'm completely hypnotised their latest single. "Hey Boys And Girls (Truth Of The World Pt. 2)" - I wonder what happened to part one! - is the best example of a rock band discovering synths since The Killers became bearable on their latest album. In fact, this wouldn't sound out of place on "Day & Age". I love the mix of guitars, synths and hand claps. Throw in a sing-a-long chorus and some very retro "woahs" and you have one of the highlights of early 2009. Check out the classy video here. Annoyingly, they use the radio edit in the clip. Check out the five and a half minute album version for full effect.

Last but most certainly not least is my very own theme song! Well, not quite but I like to pretend that "Pop Trash" by Detox Cute & The Beauty Junkies shares some kind of cosmic connection with my blog. In any case, this gorgeous little tune sums up my entire musical philosophy its opening line - "only pop music can save us now". Amen to that! I love everything about this track. The chorus is utterly infectious and the gloriously irreverent lyrics are the perfect antidote to the pretentious rubbish currently polluting the radio. Imagine The Carpenters singing an Adam Ant tribute album to get some idea of what these Brighton based pop revolutionaries sound like. Make sure you check out the video (below). With any luck, bigger and better things lie just around the corner for this fabulous duo.


The Prophet said...

Utada sucks! 5 best of the month is heartbreaker by John Legend and MSTKRFT or whatever theyre called, Teairra Mari.. Um who else are my girls? Keri hilson.. I dont know, just all the hip hop honeys!

John said...

I actually liked some of the first Bat For Lashes CD, but it got to be a bit much for me. I'll check the new stuff out. Utada...meh. Sounds like so much of the female pop/R&B sludge out there right now, but maybe it will grow on me.

Paul said...

loving DAniel by Bat For Lashes. Loving the Pop Trash song too. Both very brilliant but for very different reasons!

Tommy said...

Great selections! Bat For Lashes is amazing! Totally going to have to check out Woodhands.. Aside from that, Utada's "Come Back To Me" is suprisingly convicing R&B and "Pop Trash" is pretty cute too.. Reminds me of early Blondie a little bit..

tommie said...

Stanktada is the most boring bitch in the game! BoA's where the party's at!