on a lazy sunday, look into the clouds…

Just a lazy, rainy Sunday here in Brooklyn… While I’m bored, I figured I’d try to brighten the day a little  bit for myself and share it with you. Here’s a recent single from The Sound Of Arrows called Into The Clouds.  Just further proof that no one uses the arpeggiator quite like the Swedes. Enjoy…


A great song and a great cause…

Please take the time out to help a worthy cause by feeding your insatiable appetite for quality music.

From Portishead:

Portishead sign to Amnesty

Portishead are releasing a brand new track, – “Chase the tear” for Amnesty International.

It will be available as an exclusive download single from 7 digital http://www.7digital.com/portisheadamnesty from December 10th with all earnings going towards Amnesty’s human rights work and all rights given to the organisation indefinitely.

A video of Portishead performing ”Chase the Tear” will also be available from 10 December at: http://www.amnesty.org.uk/portishead and at http://www.portishead.co.uk

International human rights day (10 December) marks the anniversary of the United Nation’s historic “Universal Declaration Of Human Rights” on 10 December 1948. The UDHR set out for the first time in a single document the fundamental rights to which everyone, everywhere is entitled – including the right to life, liberty, security, the freedoms of opinion, association and expression, and the right not to be subjected to torture or cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment.

For more information: http://www.amnesty.org.uk/udhr

cross my heart and hope to…fly…

It appears 2010 is going to be off to a smashing start just like 2009 appeared to. The Courteeners are back! Manchester’s new favourite sons following in the steps of the Smiths and the recently dearly departed Oasis are about to drop their long awaited second record entitled Falcon 22 February.  It’s a good thing too as I haven’t stopped playing the debut, 2008’s St. Jude since I first bought it.

With news of the record on the horizon, the first fruits of said record has come early in the form of what could very well be the first single Cross My Heart And Hope To Fly. A song darker in tone than what we heard previously but showcases a greater depth. Bigger drums and the use of strings certainly prove to be the highlight of the song along with Liam’s strong vocals.

Fall in love with the Courteeners all over again just like I did. Listen to your heart’s content.

The Courteeners on MySpace
The Courteeners on Facebook
The Courteeners on Twitter

“Cross My Heart And Hope To Fly” by The Courteeners. Taken from the forthcoming Polydor release “Falcon”

these new puritans ain’t your daddy’s pop music…

Look, I won’t lie to you. This is the new single We Want War by These New Puritans, taken from their forthcoming second record called Hidden out 18 January 2010 via Angular/Domino. The song is about seven and a half minutes long. If your attention span is the size of a pebble than I doubt you made it very far through the video. It’s a shame because the song is actually very good when you listen to it, not as a pop song, but as an actual piece of music.

Yeah, I know. Billy! This is a pop music blog. I come here for poptastic tune-age and not to be subjected to a music lecture. Music is to be enjoyed and not studied. Yes, I get that but every once in a while, it’s nice to get the navel-gazing going and listen to a track that shows depth and tries to push the boundaries of modern music.  We Want War makes a valiant attempt to do just that.  TNPS, to me, have always sounded like a band who took their cues from the likes of Cabaret Voltaire but flipped the script by adding hip-hop percussion to reveal a potential Massive Attack influence in there somewhere. To me, it’s all good and very different from what we’ve been hearing these days.

Booming drums with what sounds like a dance-hall prgression, meancing synths and chanted vocals courtesy of Jack Barnett that almost remind of Karl Hyde from Underworld intersperse throughout.  A symphony is in here somewhere just looking for room to breathe amidst the cacophony until 3.41 when we are treated to a chorus of angelic female voices to add a very interesting counterpoint.  All in all, it works and serves to illustrate the imagination the band seems to have in spades.  Me likey.

These New Puritans on MySpace
These New Puritans on Facebook
These New Puritans on Twitter

“We Want War” by These New Puritans. Taken from the forthcoming Angular/Domino release “Hidden”

the kinder, gentler kelis…

“Before you,
My whole life was acapella!
Now a symphony’s
The only song to sing
Before you,
My whole life was acapella!
Now a symphony’s
The only song to sing”


When we last saw Kelis, she was involved in a highly publicised divorce from her husband, the influential New York hip-hop icon, Nas. Two middling and transparent attempts to bother the pop charts in her native US and we find our heroine come to her senses and return to the margins where she seemed to draw his musical strength from and in turn present her best work. Her best work being found on her first two records, 1999’s Kaleidoscope and 2001’s Wanderland.

2010 will bring with it the arrival of a revived Kelis. A new label (Will.I.Am Music Group/Geffen), a new lease on the single life and now a new single. A very pretty and thumping single entitled Acapella. The song, produced by techno DJ/producer extraordinaire David Guetta, finds Kelis extolling the virtues that motherhood has brought to her life. Behind the pulsating drums and the minimalist synths, Kelis sings with such joy and contentment in a way I don’t think I’ve ever heard from her before.

It’s quite possible neither this single nor anything else off her forthcoming record will reach the charts quite like Milkshake or Bossy did but it’s good to see an artist back where she belongs and doing her thing. Welcome back, Ms. Rogers.

Kelis on MySpace
Kelis on Facebook
Kelis on Twitter

“Acapella” by Kelis. Taken from the forthcoming Will.I.Am Music/Geffen release

the editors us bound. finally…

January 19 will be the date. It will only be roughly four months from the UK release date but who’s counting. The Editors’ new record In This Light And On This Evening will finally reach our shores via the FADER label. Of course, there are those who decided to give the finger to the archaic territorial release date nonsense and downloaded it or bought it as an import…like me. Those who haven’t and decided to wait, let me simply tell you it is worth the wait. The record is solid as solid comes. Editors with an electro twist and the anthems are still abound!

What’s even better is the news that the band will come Stateside in February for a tour. Needless to say, it’s a show you don’t want to miss if they are in your town. Here are the dates!

Seattle, WA Showbox At The Market (February 5)

Vancouver, BC Commodore Ballroom (6)
San Francisco, CA The Warfield Theatre (8)
San Diego, CA House of Blues (9)
Los Angeles, CA The Wiltern (11)
Denver, CO Ogden Theatre (13)
Chicago, IL Victoria Theatre (15)
Toronto, ON Phoenix Concert Theatre (16)
Boston, MA House of Blues (18)
New York, NY Terminal 5 (19)
Philadelphia, PA Trocadero (20)
Washington, DC 9:30 Club (21)

Editors on MySpace
Editors on Facebook

all that’s left for you is doubt…

Not long ago, I featured a purely ferocious band out of Manchester called Delphic and their single Counterpoint with its beautiful arpeggios, bleeps and blips. It’s great to see that they’ve been getting a lot of attention recently. They’ve scored a pretty sweet gig as openers for fellow Mancunians, Doves, on their UK tour and now comes a brand spankin new single simply called Doubt.

Doubt is Delphic’s signature pop moment to date. Booming drums, an absolutely ridiculous bassline and a bangin’ chorus. One listen and you’d think you just heard a New Order track with a more melodic Kele Okereke from Bloc Party on vocals. The promotional film accompanying the single also further demonstrates Delphic’s run of striking videos. This is a band that truly understands the importance of the entire package. Sparkling electronic pop coupled with videos that are worth watching is quite the combination.

These guys are going places…

Delphic on Facebook
Delphic on MySpace
Delphic on Twitter

“Doubt” by Delphic. Taken from the forthcoming Polydor release, “Acolyte”