Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Astrid S - Breathe

I am fully disturbed to learn that I have no written a standalone post about Norwegian princess Astrid S since December 2015, back when I was full shooken by 'Hyde', which, by the way, is still by far my favourite song of hers. Astrid S put out her debut EP, a self-titled effort, last spring, which I must have covered in some respect last year and I feel as though it also made the long shortlist for my favourite EPs of the year list in December. Something else I'd like to touch upon before we get to the new single in question is how insanely precious Astrid S is. If you look on her Facebook page there is an abundance of real life footage from her European tour in the Autumn featuring events like buying pizza for everybody in the queue to her show, taking fans for crepes and literally paying for a girl's flight after she missed her flight to a show earlier in the tour. True royalty amongst us mere mortals.

I absolutely adore songs that sound like they're born from real life experience, and that's exactly what 'Breathe' sounds like. This really feels like Astrid S' first potential hit and I am living for it. Not only is this an excellent pop song, but all of the references to air and the actions of breathing are a really cool lyrical touch - my personal favourite being, "if I could just inhale some chill". I've seen a lot of people complaining about Astrid's pronunciation of "astronaut" but imagine English literally not being your first language though. I think both this song and its video combined are really the level of art we wanted and didn't get from Zara Larsson this month, and I'll happily say that Astrid does gold paint better than Zara did silver glitter - and I loved that look. Speaking of this, 'Breathe's video is truly iconic and Cherry Cobra have down a stellar job of it. It's a fun 70s inspired clip that stars Astrid as one half of a criminal duo, robbing banks and wielding pistols. It's at this point a contender for one of my favourite videos of 2017.

Astrid S plays London's Scala in May but Scala is a venue that I refuse to step foot inside so unfortunately I will not be attending, but don't let that stop you.

Portugal. The Man - Feel It Still

I know very little about Portugal. The Man, which is quite embarrassing considering they've been active since 2004 and still sound as good as they do. Portugal. The Man are a five piece from Alaska, and that's exciting in itself really because the only other band I can think of that hail from Alaska are 36 Crazyfists and well... they're worlds apart. I highly doubt I've been looking particularly hard but it's always super interesting hearing music from areas of the planet that aren't entirely over-saturared with bands/artists of similar genres. But also they're now based in Portland, Oregon so I guess this was all a bit pointless, just like my life, but oh well.

Back in 2014, Portugal. The Man started work on their eighth studio album but it was eventually scrapped before the band took the time to write a whole new record, now titled Woodstock, which is supposedly set for released in June this year. Woodstock's lead single is 'Feel It Still' and I wish that every band could opt for a comeback that goes this hard. It's the instant setting of pace and sense of urgency, long before the vocals or brass section arrive, that's enough to get anybody excited. Then this insanely infectious chorus hook appears and I honestly don't think I've ever heard anything more sync-worthy - advertising companies will be being pitched 'Feel It Still' for the rest of time.

If I had any desire to be a decent journalist type I would have done some research and what follows would likely be a very different narrative, but as it happens, I am me. I've never listened to a full Portugal. The Man album, so I'm not too sure what we can hope to expect from Woodstock given this first single but surely it would be insane to think it'll be a let down? What an album for summer too!

Monday, 27 March 2017

Loop - As If

March is almost over and honestly that's just a concept I'm not sure I can handle In light of this terrifying fact, I need to blitz through a load of tracks that I've had sitting in my own personal "blog pending" playlist for the majority of the month. It's off to a good start since I was supposed to schedule this for this morning. So this week's posts will be slightly more frequent but also probably a bit shorter. Wow, the extent to which you don't care is astronomical. Okay, let's do this.

This week's first track is from Loop, known outside of her pop persona as Georgia Buchanan. Loop does straight up no-nonsense pop music, and new single 'As If' shows a slightly edgier and sassier side to her than we heard on her previous singles. The crux of this, in my opinion, is the effective yet subtle swear in the second verse. I'm really picky about how I feel regarding often unnecessary swears in songs but this one really hits the spot. I think this is my favourite Loop song thus far, and I'm confident that this was the track I recall enjoying the most upon seeing Loop live. Originally I'd written something about how if previous form is anything to go by we could probably expect an 'As If' remix sometime soon but I just read that Loop is in fact releasing her debut EP next month which is far more exciting than a singular remix.