Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Happy birthday to the legendary Siouxsie Sioux!

The iconic post-punk legend Siouxsie Sioux celebrates her 57th birthday today, congratulations! Having been a force to be reckoned with in the music world for nearly 40 years, this high priestess of punk has recorded groundbreaking and uncompromisingly avant-garde records in four different decades, and has apparently been working on a follow-up to her 2007 solo debut Mantaray (a review of it is on its way this week). That's what she said three years ago, at least, so she's certainly taking her time. On the other hand, it took Grace Jones nineteen years to make a proper comeback but the comeback album Hurricane was simply so marvellous that it was worth the wait, so that's there.

She did make a critically acclaimed live comeback last summer in the sold-out Meltdown concerts, curated by none other than Yoko Ono. But after that, there's been no news whatsoever. I've read some rumours online but as put by Siouxsie herself: "I heard a rumour / It was just a rumour" so I'll keep on waiting for any official news with great enthusiasm. I do hope she doesn't keep us waiting for too long, though...

Anyway, it's her birthday now so that obviously calls for celebration - there's always a good reason for such! Me, I'm going to have a glass of wine but you can now for example find all the Siouxsie Sunday reviews put together conveniently in one singular tab - you can find it either next to the other tabs or just by clicking here. Also, for a Siouxsie and the Banshees -themed playlist, you can head over here. Yay, am I right? There's only one studio album left to be reviewed (her aforementioned solo album Mantaray) but I might write more stuff in there, such as reviews of her compilation albums etc. so do watch that space if you're interested. 

Thank you for the music, Ms. Sioux, and do come back soon - we miss you. Meanwhile though, here's the lead single from Mantaray, titled "Into A Swan". Enjoy!

Top image via Fame Magazine.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Now the Röyksopp & Robyn EP is up for listening as well!

What a day for EP news, eh? First Róisín Murphy's Mi Senti surfaces on Soundcloud in its entirety, and now Röyksopp & Robyn's collaborative EP Do It Again makes an appearance on Spotify. How brilliant is that?

I'll let the music do the talking this time so without further ado, here it is!

Róisín Murphy's Italian EP 'Mi Senti' is now streamable on Soundcloud

Róisín Murphy's forthcoming EP Mi Senti is now entirely streamable on The Vinyl Factory's Soundcloud page. The EP, sung in Italian, comprises six tracks, five of which are covers of classic Italian pop songs from the 1960s/1970s, with the sixth one being an original number. So, following the releases of "Ancora Tu" and "In Sintesi" (the only non-cover song), here's the whole EP in its sleeky, electronic glory - enjoy!

M.I.A.'s latest single 'Double Bubble Trouble' now comes with a music video

And it certainly is a peculiar one.

I mean, if 3D-printable handguns, flying peace-sign drones and epilepsy-inducing visuals are your thing, then you're going to love it. Others might be left a little bit confused. The clip is seemingly a commentary on the spreading of the 3D-printing and the effects it might have, and it opens with an advertisement-like line, like a twisted mock commercial: "What if you could make weapons like these in your own home, using what's called a three-dimensional printer? This sounds like science fiction but to some, it's not so far-fetched." Among the things that will be printable (or actually, are already printable) are different kinds of guns which is obviously a risk factor - anyone with the machine can go and print one. Or two. Or a dozen. And there's no control over those. I'm sure everyone can see the problem with that.

The setting of the clip is a ghetto where everybody and their mother seems to be wielding one. M.I.A. also makes references to George Orwell's dystopia novel 1984, but other than that, the message is drowned out by all her trademark hyperactiveness. The guy who blows strings of smoke rings and smoke bubbles is pretty impressive, though.

Anyway, it's an interesting (and moreover, scary) mind game, with M.I.A. delivering yet another controversial message (see her NSA-predicting song "The Message" or the music video for "Born Free", for example). The song itself has kind of grown on me (apart from the last 40 seconds or so), as has the album it's taken from, Matangi. You can check out my review of it over here. Unexpectedly, it has become one of my most-played albums of the year, and I could almost raise it to three stars (I originally gave it 2½ out of 5), but it does still have a fundamental problem: while there are some superb tracks on it, the album as whole is unfortunately rather flawed and uneven, now matter how amazing tracks like "Exodus", "Bad Girls" and "Know It Ain't Right" are. Too bad.

She also appeared on Late Night with Seth Meyers, with an equally bizarre performance:

And to listen to an alternative, Spotify-exclusive version of the song, head over here.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Basement Jaxx announce new album 'Junto'

So, Basement Jaxx have finally announced their long-awaited new album, their first one since 2009's Scars and Zephyr. The album is called Junto, which means "together" in Spanish and stems from "Jaxx's desire to unify people with their music". This is what Felix Buxton, one half of the eclectic duo, had to say about the forthcoming record: "With this album, we wanted to do something that felt more at one with the world"

But what does that exactly mean? Are there more 'world music' influences than before? More of a 'something for everybody' approach? That I don't know, but what I do know is that we will found out on August 25 - that's when the album will be released. 

Meanwhile though, the Spanish title could provide us with a hint. Spanish influences and guitar-tinged Latin music has often proved inspirational to the duo, with tracks like "Samba Magic" or the more recent "Mermaid of Salinas" in their back catalogue. Perhaps there will be more of that around this time? The mysterious logo has also been all over the place ever since the reveal of their latest single "Unicorn", and the intertwined lines likely represent the 'togetherness' of the album theme.

The tracklist is out as well:

"Power to the People"
"Never Say Never"
"We Are Not Alone"
"What's The News"
"Summer Dem"
"Rock This Road"
"Sneakin' Toronto"
"Something About You"
"Mermaid of Salinas"
"Love At Your Side"

Now, there's some noteworthy details within that tracklist. Most notably, it actually omits their two previous singles from this era, "Back 2 the Wild" and "What A Difference Your Love Makes". The former was kind of rubbish to begin with but I would've loved to see the latter receive a proper album release as well. Interestingly enough, the B-side of "What A Difference Your Love Makes", the aforementioned "Mermaid of Salinas", is included on the LP.

Songs like "We Are Not Alone" and "Power to the People" seem to mirror the overall theme, with the latter sounding like it could even carry a proper political message, Basement Jaxx style. I wonder if the song title was inspired by the UK's this year's Eurovision entry...?

(I also find it hilarious how this will be the third time they have an album opener named "Intro".)

However, the iTunes tracklist shows that the special edition features another 12 tracks, and these include "What A Difference Your Love Makes", alternative versions of album tracks "Never Say Never" and "Mermaid of Salinas", plus three remixes of "Back 2 the Wild".

So, three months to go! Meanwhile, you might as well want to check out the previously released tracks. Here's the Disclosure-esque house banger "Unicorn"...

...and here's the Latin-inspired "Mermaid of Salinas":

And to wrap it up, here's a nine-second album teaser. You won't get much out of it, though.

12 Eurovision songs have charted in the UK!

Okay, here's one more Eurovision-themed blog post. All of you who are suffering from post-Eurovision depression will surely be happy to know that a whooping 12 songs from this year's contest have charted on the UK singles chart, four of which even entered the top 40! How amazing is that? The highest-peaking song was the Netherlands' entry "Calm After The Storm" by The Common Linnets which made it to the top 10, peaking at #9. Phew! Conchita Wurst's winning anthem rose like a phoenix (sorry, too puntastic a song title to ignore) to #17, while the UK's own representative Molly charted at #23 with her song "Children Of The Universe". Last entry to chart among the top 40 was Sweden's Sanna Nielsen's "Undo", which finished 3rd in the contest.

Yet another eight songs made it to top 100, and they are as follows:

#46: Basim - "Cliché Love Song" (Denmark)
#70: Pollapönk - "No Prejudice" (Iceland)
#82: Firelight - "Coming Home" (Malta)
#85: Sebalter - "Hunter of Stars" (Switzerland)
#88: Aram MP3 - "Not Alone" (Armenia)
#89: Twin Twin - "Moustache" (France)
#93: Softengine - "Something Better" (Finland)
#97: Carl Espen - "Silent Storm" (Norway)

(On a side note, I'm very pleased to see that not only were all the Nordic entries among the top 15 in the Grand Final, but they've also all charted in the UK!)

Furthermore, "Rainmaker" by previous year's winner Emmelie de Forest (the theme song of Eurovision Song Contest 2014) charted at #73.

And that's not all: the winning song "Rise Like A Phoenix" has entered the iTunes charts in top 3 in 14 different countries, them being Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Luxembourg, Montenegro, Russia, Slovenia, Sweden and Switzerland, and made it to #9 worldwide!

Very nice, good job everybody - this certainly proves that the Eurovision is still every bit as relevant as ever! And here's the winning entry one last time:

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Röyksopp & Robyn share new music video for "Sayit"

Röyksopp and Robyn's collaborative EP Do It Again will be out in less than a week (the release date is May 26) and here's another song from the record, this one's called "Sayit". The glitchy, pulsating track is accompanied by a bizarre music video that mostly resembles a nightmare of a crystal meth addict - in a good way, I suppose. It's an odd track, barely even featuring Robyn's vocals, apart from the occasional monotonous chanting of the words "I. Want. You." so I hope there's more balance between the two artists on the other songs. It's quite creepy overall, in a strangely fascinating way though. It's not as infectious as "Do It Again" and the magical one-and-a-half minute snippet of "Monument" sounds infinitely better than this but it's still an interesting listen. The EP is shaping out to be a delightfully complex, almost kaleidoscopic take on cold and distorted Scandinavian melancholy, set to an electronic, synth-laden backdrop.

Here's also the lyric video for "Do It Again"...

...and here's the teaser for "Monument":

And don't forget, Röyksopp & Robyn are about to embark on a tour in Europe and North America so head over to their website to check out if they're coming anywhere near you!

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Eurovision Grand Final recap

Well, it took me a while to survive from my Eurovision hangover but now that that's done, let's do a bit of a recap - the Eurovision-themed article series wouldn't be complete without one! (For previous posts, click the following links: Semi-Final 1, Semi-Final 2, Grand Final.)

So, the dark horse of the contest (or more precisely, the dark horse number one) turned out indeed to be Austria's bearded drag queen, Conchita Wurst. Delivering the possibly most solid performance of the night, Wurst rightfully claimed the victory in this year's Eurovision Song Contest, held in Copenhagen. The Bond-esque number rose like a phoenix and conquered the hearts of Europe across geopolitical borders and cultural divisions, earning a grand total of 290 points, besting the runner-up by 52 points. Garnering votes even from Eastern Europe, the song "Rise Like A Phoenix" received points from 32 countries out of 36 and was awarded with the coveted 12 points a whooping 13 times, resulting in Austria's first win since 1966.

Most fundamentally, Wurst's success served as a powerful message of tolerance from Europe which definitely had an impact in the voting. This was fittingly reflected in Wurst's acceptance speech: "This night is dedicated to everyone who believes in a future of peace and freedom. You know who you are. We are unity, and we are unstoppable!" Would the song have still won even without the controversy? Perhaps, perhaps not. The song is powerful and dramatic enough to stand out on its own, but of course it wouldn't have done as well if sung by your average Eurovision crooner in a pretty dress. Nonetheless, the anthemic "Rise Like A Phoenix" is an amazing tune and still worthy of winning, delivering an important message as well.

Unsurprisingly, the winner caused an outcry among the more conservative Eurovision countries, especially in Russia, where the contest has been described as "a hotbed of sodomy" and "the end of Europe", while Wurst has been branded as "pervert". Russian politician Vitaly Milonov - the principal sponsor of Russia's anti-gay propaganda law - accused Wurst of turning the Eurovision into a "Sodom show", while more than 15,000 people have requested the Russian state broadcasting company RTR not to air the Eurovision anymore, claiming that "Russia is one of the only European countries that has managed to maintain normal and healthy family values based on love and mutual support between men and women." (Gender- and sexuality-related controversy is nothing new to Eurovision, though - 1998 winner Dana International was openly transsexual, while the Russians themselves were represented by the "lesbian" duo t.A.T.u in 2003.) Communist Party deputy Valery Rashkin stated that the contest's results "exhausted our patience" and went on to propose a "family-friendly" replacement for the Eurovision titled Putinvision Voice of Eurasia which would be held among the former Soviet countries. In other words, they'd be pulling a Turkey. Interestingly enough, the country still awarded the Austrian performance with five points, and the winning entry has topped the iTunes charts in seven European countries, including Russia and Belarus. Whaddya know.

Meanwhile, others have been more supporting towards Conchita, and she's been praised by the likes of Elton John and former Eurovision winner Lordi. Even ultimate pop diva Cher has expressed her fondness in a very typically Cher way over on Twitter:

"This is NOT SHADE *lightning bolt*"

The other definite dark horse was the Netherlands' representative, The Common Linnets. After qualifying for the final, they climbed the betting lists faster than you could say "hashtag Join Us", overthrowing previous winner favourites such as Armenia and Norway in a blink of an eye. Indeed, scoring 238 points, the duo earned their country's best place since 1975 when they won. I was highly skeptical of their chances but they proved me wrong - good job there. What really pleases me regarding this year's results is that the highest-placing entries garnered a surprisingly widespread vote, surpassing the traditional bloc voting. Also, I'm sure that the Netherlands' success with a very unusual ESC entry encourages other countries to send more varying songs next year which would bring more musical range to the contest, as opposed to a majority of the songs being very traditional Eurovision ballads or dance pop songs.

Personally I was also delighted to see the Nordic countries doing relatively well, all placing in the top 15 (Sweden #3, Norway #8, Denmark #9, Finland #11, Iceland #15). And all of this with an exceptionally low neighbour vote - only Denmark gave their 12 points to a fellow Nordic country (Sweden), while other recipients of the Nordic top points were Austria (from Finland and Sweden) and the Netherlands (from Norway and Iceland).

Sweden's Sanna Nielsen delivered her explosive "Undo" just as brilliantly as before, and although there was nothing new to the performance that we wouldn't have seen already, it was still a very solid rendition. A well-earned 3rd place.

Norway's "Silent Storm" sounded even more emotional and touching than before, and in my opinion, that was Carl Espen's best performance of the song we've seen. The build-up to the final climax was especially wonderful.

Denmark's "Cliché Love Song" was my least favourite Nordic entry this year, and even seeing it performed live a while ago couldn't make me warm up to it. Scuba-duba-dab-dab whatever, overly saccharine feel-good songs just aren't my thing. All the same, way to go Denmark - 9th place! I went to Copenhagen to see the final, and as you might imagine, this really got the crowd dancing in the centre where there were several big screens from which the people could watch the show. Alright, I might have been dancing as well. But I blame the atmosphere. And the beers I had. Oh what the hell, I blame nothing, it was fun! (Still don't like the song, though.)

GO FINLAND, GO SOFTENGINE!! I was so freaking proud of the boys as I'm sure the whole country was: young as they are, they earned us our best position since Lordi's victory back in 2006! Singer Topi Latukka's vocals were loads better than they were in the semi-final, and the band did a high-energy take on their song. Finland's success in the Eurovision Song Contest tends to be more on the modest side, but this year's 11th place was an exceptionally good placing and the country received votes from a total of 16 countries. Am I biased? Yes. Do I care? Nope. Excellent guys, just excellent. Let's see if the spotlight they had on them will serve as a springboard for a future career in the international scene of indie rock. Who knows.

And the final member of the Nordic Five, Iceland, also achieved a nice result, placing 15th with their colourful pro-tolerance sing-along number "No Prejudice". A pleasant surprise - before the semi-finals, I was initially expecting them to be eliminated straight away. Way to go!

Two other favourites of mine were Hungary and Italy. I was hoping for Hungary to win (which they obviously didn't do), but they did come 5th in the end so it's still an amazing result and their second best result of all time after their 1994 debut when they came 4th. Hungary's been sending rather good songs lately - songs like "Unsubstantial Blues (2007), "What About My Dreams?" (2011), "Sound Of Our Hearts" (2012) and "Kedvesem" (2013) have all been among the better entries of their respective years and at least some of my personal ESC favourites - and if they keep going like this, I have a feeling that it's only a matter of time before the ESC tourists will find themselves in Budapest.

Italy, however, didn't do quite as well. As a matter of fact, they came 21st which is their first non-top 10 placement since their return in 2011. Such a shame, I really did love the song. She had a great stage presence, although her live vocals were not as good as they could've been, truth be told. Still, it would've deserved a higher result than 21st. Unfortunately, I was right - it did indeed suffer the same fate than France did last year: an eccentric rock-influenced song sung by a fierce woman goes unappreciated by Europe. Too bad.

The Swiss entry "Hunter of Stars" also stealthily grew on me (despite his quite awkward English pronunciation) and I was happy to see it coming 13th.

In other news, the excessively hyped-up former winner favourite, Armenia's Aram MP3 came 4th, ultimately missing the top 3 by more than 40 points. I still find the song too repetitive and boring (outside of the build-up) but good for them, anyway. (Look at that clip's preview pic, though! Quite unflattering.)

Conchita's victory sent a meaningful message of togetherness, but the community didn't exactly practice what they preached. I was appalled by the horrible treatment that the Russian participants received: they were booed after their performance, they were booed whenever they got points, even the Russian spokesperson was greeted with booing. I do understand people's dissatisfaction with Russia's recent policies and I feel just the same way myself as well, but are the Tolmachevy Sisters really to blame? Imagine how it must've felt for them. Fire shouldn't be fought with fire, and seeing all these people (who elsewhere preach about love and unity) demonising the 17-year-old twins sickens me. Once again, I don't agree with the Russian government a bit, but in that moment I was so ashamed of the Eurovision fans' horrendous behaviour. Is this how you express that peaceful co-existing you so passionately call for? And no, you shouldn't tolerate intolerance but you shouldn't channel your anger into innocent people either. I'm so sad that these two had to serve as a lightning rod for anti-Putinism when they had done nothing wrong.

Furthermore, if we'd love to see a 'Westernised' or a more open-minded and tolerant Russia, I'm sure this is not the way to spread the message. To treat people disrespectfully just because they come from a certain country hardly represents tolerance, does it? On the contrary, that's racism. If you don't approve a country in Eurovision, just don't vote for it - we shouldn't forget our civilised manners that we're otherwise so proud of. Do you think this reaction made the Russians reconsider their stance on gay rights? I definitely don't - if anything, it only widened the rift between Russia and Europe. We can do better than this.

Anyway, in the end they came 7th, while Ukraine came 6th. You could clearly see the effect of the Crimean crisis in the results, as there was clear protest voting on both sides.

There were some surprise flops as well. The UK's Molly, while popular on betting predictions, had to settle for the 17th place...

...the usually successful Greece's club banger "Rise Up" failed to rise further than 20th, even despite the aid of a trampoline (this was actually an all-time low for them, alongside their 1998 result)...

...another all-time low came from Azerbaijan's Dilara Kazimova who came 22nd, resulting the country's first non-top 10 placement since their debut in 2008, and while the song is lovely, the live version was arguably a bit patchy...

(Interestingly enough, this occurred immediately after the EBU tightened measures to make sure the voting doesn't suffer from corruption after the voting scandal of 2013. Coincidental or not? Now, I don't want to make unjustified accusations or anything, I'm just throwing it out there. I do find it interesting.)

...but most hilariously, France flopped completely with their cringeworthy "Moustache", coming last for the first time with a mere 2 points. No douze points for France this year then, just... deux points. A bit awkward, isn't it. And how did the band celebrate it? Well, by appearing stark naked (save for the socks covering their privates) on national TV. How else.

And speaking of voting scandals, we did in fact have one this year: after having the exact same top 8, the Georgian jury vote was annulled and subsequently, Georgia's points were entirely determined by the televote. The 12 points were given to Armenia, while 10 and 8 points went to Austria and Russia, respectively.

Oh, and poor Valentina Monetta of San Marino came 23rd. Well, at least she (and her country) finally made it to the final. Still, "Maybe" was her most forgettable entry out of her three songs so far (yes, even that Facebook song was more rememberable in its horribleness). I do hope there's not going to be a fourth one. No offense, but perhaps it would be time to pass on the torch, maybe...?

Soooooo yeah, that's the Eurovision Song Contest 2014 all wrapped up then! It was a nice journey, there were great songs among the usual Eurovision fluff, and I had a lot of fun. I hope you did too! Now the Eurovision fever will subside for a year, only to rise again (like a phoenix) next year when the contest is held in (most likely) Vienna. Meanwhile, do stay tuned for other music-related stuff! Popheaval's Eurovision series over and out.

Top image via Eurovision.tv, © Sander Hesterman (EBU)

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Popheaval goes Eurovision: Grand Final

Ahhh this is so exciting! Now we've got the first and the second semi-finals behind us which means it's time for the Grand Final! As you might now, the so-called Big Five (France, Spain, Italy, Germany, the UK) qualifies automatically as does the winner of the previous contest (Denmark), and now, thanks to the semi-finals, we've got the rest of the finalists figured out as well. Some were foreseeable, some came as big surprises but hey, that's Eurovision for ya.

We have two first-time finalists this year: Montenegro and San Marino made it to the final for the first time since their respective debuts in 2007 and 2008 - congratulations! (In other news, is it just me or have the Armenian, Azerbaijani and Romanian ESC fans been disproportionately ubiquitous and all over the place this year, filling all the freaking comment sections with their spamming? It is highly irritating. If the Eurovision site posts a video or a photo of some specific entry, you don't want 80% of the comments to be people just spamming about their own countries, do you. That's not the way that it should be. Rant over.) Without further ado, let's sink our teeth into the 26 entries that have qualified!

Friday, 9 May 2014

Lana Del Rey shares music video for "West Coast", releases album tracklist

21st century pop crooner Lana Del Rey has shared the music video for her new single "West Coast", watch it below! The mostly black-and-white clip is traditionally Lana with L.A. beaches, palm trees, cigarettes and leather-jacketed lovers in slow-motion, but at least the song represents a new direction for her and I really like it. The song feels dark but in a different way than anything on her previous records.

Meanwhile, she has also revealed the tracklist for her forthcoming album Ultraviolence - a collaboration with The Black Keys frontman Dan Auerbach - and it is as follows:

"Cruel World"
"Shades of Cool"
"Brooklyn Baby"
"West Coast"
"Sad Girl"
"Pretty When You Cry"
"Money Power Glory"
"Fucked My Way Up to the Top"
"Old Money"
"The Other Woman"
"Black Beauty" (bonus track)
"Guns and Roses" (bonus track)
"Florida Kilos" (bonus track)

I sure hope the song "Fucked My Way Up to the Top" isn't autobiographical, though.

EDIT: Now the cover art's out there as well. Here you go:

Monday, 5 May 2014

Review: 'Nightclubbing' (2014 reissue) by Grace Jones

In 1981, Grace Jones released her fifth studio album Nightclubbing. Along with its predecessor, Warm Leatherette (1980), it represented a new musical direction for Jones: after her first three albums - the disco trilogy of Portfolio (1977), Fame (1978) and Muse (1979) - she reinvented herself as a new wave icon, known for her striking androgynous image and signature flattop hairstyle. The visual transformation was done with her then-boyfriend Jean-Paul Goude who started directing her music videos and designing the artwork for her albums. Music-wise, she teamed up with Sly & Robbie to create music that could be described as reggae-influenced new wave. In a sense, the reinvention can be seen as a return to her Jamaican roots after the disco years that represented the 'New York' side of her life.

Nightclubbing is the second album of her 'Compass Point trilogy', recorded at the Compass Point Studios in the Bahamas. Similarly to Warm Leatherette, the album consisted of various cover versions with reggae-influenced arrangements. However, there's more original material on Nightclubbing: three songs out of nine are co-written by Jones ("Pull Up To The Bumper", "Art Groupie", "Feel Up"), one by Marianne Faithfull and Grace Jones collaborator Barry Reynolds ("I've Done It Again"), and while the Sting-penned "Demolition Man" was later cover by his own band The Police, it premiered as a Grace Jones song on this record. Innovative and fresh-sounding, the LP went on to become perhaps the most iconic Grace Jones record to date, achieving a cult status in pop music, not least for its visual aspects.

Friday, 2 May 2014

Another song from Róisín Murphy's Italian EP surfaces

Following the release of "Ancora Tu", another song from Róisín Murphy's forthcoming EP Mi Senti - sung entirely in Italian - has made its way to Soundcloud. Unlike the other five tracks which are cover versions of '60s/'70s Italian pop classics, the new song "In Sintesi" is actually an original song that was written to compliment the rest of the EP. Here's what Róisín herself had to say about the song, according to FACT Magazine:
"'In Sintesi' came together very quickly and I think we all enjoyed the freedom of creating from scratch our own thing, after the weeks of work involved in getting the cover versions close to something we could be proud of."
Indeed, it must've been refreshing to be able to write original material for a change. Judging by the bits and pieces of the EP we've previously heard, "In Sintesi" will fit together seamlessly with the cover songs and their stylistically consistent arrangements. While also electronic in nature, Mi Senti is shaping out to be a much more chill and laid-back effort than her previous record, 2007's Overpowered and although I was initially reserved about the EP, I'm starting to warm up to it with "In Sintesi" - I especially love the last minute or so of the song.

Mi Senti will be released 28 May and can be preordered over here. Listen to "In Sintesi" below:

Basement Jaxx release new song 'Unicorn'

Two days ago, the British electro-dance maniacs Basement Jaxx uploaded a new song on their Soundcloud page. As the artwork above suggests, the song - titled "Unicorn" - represents a much more minimalist direction for the duo, previously renown for their more-is-more approach. The toned-down house number even brings Disclosure to mind which is not necessarily a bad thing at all.

While "Unicorn" is a nice listen (even if a bit surprising in its unweirdness), the most interesting thing about it is that the duo themselves describe it as "The first taste of the new Basement Jaxx album, coming this summer...". In other words, the previously released (and more typically Basement Jaxx-styled wacky) singles "Back 2 the Wild" and "What A Difference Your Love Makes" won't be featured on the forthcoming album after all. Will the whole album be minimal house music like the first released track would suggest? Have the two *gasp* abandoned their trademark eccentricity? Only time will tell. Fortunately, summer is just around the corner.

Meanwhile, though, why won't you check out the song in question? It's like you can already see the beach parties it will be played in!

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Popheaval goes Eurovision: Semi-Final 2

I hope you've checked out my comments on the first semi-final already (and if you haven't, do it here). So now that that's done, heeeere's Semi-Final 2!