Monday, 24 October 2016

King Deco - Read My Lips

I was casually and mindlessly scrolling through accounts I follow on Tumblr the other day and I happened to catch the words King Deco. The song I posted from King Deco way back in April 2014 was called 'One' and it was long before I even started writing anything on this blog. No idea what King Deco has been up to since but it's by the by really because we're living in the now.

I don't know much about actual King Deco. I don't even want to allude that her name may not be King Deco because what if it is? You just never really know, do you? Her new single is called 'Read My Lips' and it's a very good synth-pop ditty with an extremely sassy and matter-of-fact like chorus. "Maybe you should read my lips" feels like just the right amount of condescending I can get on board with. I can see King Deco right now, rolling her eyes and side-eyeing the (presumed) boy she's talking about in this song.

I held off posting this song for a few extra days so that I could include the video. A video which is in fact an artistic collage that literally no one was expecting. I can't confirm that. I have no idea who was and wasn't expecting the clip for 'Read My Lips' to be like this or to be like anything else. Either way, it's really different to your standard music video, and also features a snake and some interesting takes on some classic pieces of artwork. It's quite clever and intricate. I imagine it must have taken a lot of planning... and I almost shudder at the thought of how much planning was involved. Props to King Deco and her co-director Aaron Dean.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

How To Dress Well - Can't You Tell

How To Dress Well's fourth album Care was released almost a month ago so what better time to tell you how great my favourite song from the record is. I actually had to pull up ol' How To Dress Well's Wikipedia page because I honestly had no idea how many albums he had released. I think I first stumbled upon Tom Krell's alter ego around the release of his third album because I recall the track 'Repeat Pleasure'. Although, my favourite work of Krell's is his feature on RL Grime's 'Reminder' which was not only number 14 in my Top 25 Tracks of 2014 but also continues to be one of my favourite collaborations this blog has ever seen.

Back to the matter in hand, 'Can't You Tell'. Imagine the audacity you have to have as a musician to open an album with something as monstrous as this. Imagine. So unsuspecting in those opening few seconds and then Krell smacks you (very metaphorically) with a chorus of such immense gravitas it's enough to quick literally knock you off your feet. Obviously bearing in mind my extreme aversion to ballads, I do find some of How To Dress Well's tracks a little... boring but 'Can't You Tell' is quite honestly R&B/pop crossover perfection. I do strongly believe that Krell's vocals are some of the best in the game and I'd like to hope that more music types would pick up on that with the release of Care.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Allie X - That's So Us

I FINALLY LIKE AN ALLIE X SONG KLAXON! It has been such a long time coming and I am quite frankly relieved that this day is here. Allie X has been an artist for probably about a year, that a lot of humans who I respect within pop music have been standing behind and before now I didn't get it. It has taken some time. I am here. Do not worry.

'That's So Us' is real. This is a relatable song to all humans who have ever had a partner/friend who they hate but also love at the same time. There aren't enough songs that are this relatable for such a wide range of humans in general life. But what I really want to talk about is how amazing the video for 'That's So Us' could/would be because I have some serious visions.

Concept #1 - A mass polaroid slideshow of Allie X and partner (who the song is about obviously) doing various daily activities, having a nice time, having a not nice time, but then eventually having a nice time again by the end. This would work very well considering Allie X's current polaroid artwork aesthetic and I like this idea very much.

Concept #2 - Allie X is sitting around with... hold on, just came up with concept #3 and I think I like it better than concept #2, I may or may not come back to this one... (EDIT: I can't remember what this concept is/was... let's forget it.)

Concept #3 - Because we are suddenly in the 90s, Allie X and friends are all sitting around on a sofa having a nice time with wine and popcorn and the like watching actual VHS home video tapes of them all and the clips also feature clips of good and bad time with Allie's significant other. But as the clips go on, you see that there are far more good times than bad. At the end, the film watching has ceased and the significant other comes home/into the room and everybody lives happily ever after.

Monday, 10 October 2016

Loop - Losing My Mind

I've been meaning to post Loop for actual months and she keeps just slipping through my fingers through no one's fault bar mine, but the time for her to finally feature on WIIHAMB has come, I am sure that she is absolutely shook. I actually wish I knew when the video for this song was coming because posting that with this would be good... alas.

Story Time! So, Friday, friend of the blog Dan is like "yo, friend of life Simon is playing a show later, do you wanna come?" And obviously, I'm never busy so I'm like sure, let's go. Lo and behold, Simon just happens to play drums for ol' Loop here. So I'm like "oh shit, I am in fact familiar with this artiste by way of hits such as 'Looking At You' and new single 'Losing My Mind'." And with that a peculiar three degrees of separation was born.

Loop, real name Georgia Buchanan, is rather good at pop songs. Her latest pop song is the aforementioned 'Losing My Mind' and it's quite thoroughly enjoyable in every way, if I'm honest. I've decided that Loop doesn't show off the most amazing vocal range in her songs (or other various techy things like that) and that's absolutely fine, because her songs are so fun that you don't really notice. Every female pop artist at the moment is doing the same thing, that's a fact and it can definitely become tiresome, but there's something sassier and more forthcoming about Loop and her music. It all comes off quite well live too. She's opening a show for (long-term blog acquaintances) Close Up Promotions in London at the end of the month. If you're around you should probably go.

Joel Fletcher feat Bianca - Obsessed

Today's three posts were all going to be combined Three Become One but... then I realised I actually had things to say so now they're all separated like.

I keep wanting to call 'Joel Fletcher' Oliver or Olivia and neither of those are anything like Joel so I don't know why that is. I was originally going to post this song alongside Kattison's 'Up and Down' but that song shook me so hard I ended up writing an essay about it. Anyway, 'Obsessed' is also a very good dance/pop record but in quite a different vein.

'Obsessed' is straight out of Ministry Of Sound Australia and anyone who keeps up with my Twitter will know that Down Under is my current obsession. Apparently Mr Fletcher is actually a pretty big deal, although clearly I have absolutely no idea about his narrative, but I am quite enjoying the fact that at 23 (ish, I guess, that's the last given age on his Facebook bio) he still looks like an Australian/surfer version of Justin Bieber with added lip piercing. And that is no slight, you do you, man. I am obviously having a tough time trying to track down a human quite simply credited as 'Bianca' so that's pretty much the end of that. It's a shame really because it's always nice to know about vocalists when they're actually credited.

This is a really good dance track, essentially, and the vocal sampling in the chorus/that bit that's the chorus but not technically a chorus is really flawless. This would be a solid 1AM vibe if you were at one of those all night events at Brixton Academy or whatever. I guess it would probably also be pretty good if you'd taken an ample but moderated load of drugs, but that is genuinely something I know really little about so I can't be too sure. Could hear this on the radio though, like it's not too "heavy" for the daytime, but genuinely will probably never hear it anywhere ever this side of the planet, and that's a shame.

Friday, 7 October 2016

Sampha - Blood On Me

Sampha and I are having a tough time at the moment, specifically in terms of his live shows, which he's doing for the first time ever solo. The first actual one of those is next Wednesday, the day when everybody ever is playing a show in London and I am in fact going to see Mabel for the third time this year. Hopefully by the time you've read this I'll have a ticket for his show next Thursday. But he is also doing a run of shows sometime in November which I completely forgot about getting a ticket for and I am nothing but heartbroken. But it is what it is. Tickets are hard, man.

The real deal is that Sampha has released what kind of really, I guess, depending on how you look at it, his first proper single. It's called 'Blood On Me' and it is so fucking real. This proper launch of Sampha's solo career has been such a long time coming I almost forgot that it was something  that would eventually inevitably happen. But when you think about it, this is such a good time/era for 'Blood On Me', it just feels so right. I'm quite intrigued as to what this song is actually about. If I researched hard enough I could probably find out but I am so totally not about that life.

The video is absolutely stunning too. It's directed by Alex Lill and I really think I'm going to spend far more time looking into the people behind things because ultimately, they're actually pretty important.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

A Hot Take: Grimes x Hana - The AC!D Reign Chronicles

Before we go any further, I would like to state that I am nay a fan of Grimes nor Hana. But I thought the internet's going bananas for this shit right now, so let's make a fucking cash grab for it.  (NB: This blog has earned 17 pence so far this year.) I also decided that this is something that's probably best to "liveblog" than live tweet because let's face it, everybody hates me on Twitter anyway... follow me @WIIHAMB.

So I've been watching these Chorincles, I've just gone in with the Director's Cut for the ultimate laze because I am me, nothing has happened but I've been hit with the title screen: ACID REIGN CHRONICLES: THE WAR OF ART - A Trashique Adventure. I'm kind of already done here and there's another 38 minutes on the clock.

The pink outfit that Hana's wearing looks very nice visually in terms of colour and exposure or whatever it is that's making it pop so good. This song, though, is mixed really peculiarly before the bass comes in when the chorus happens. It kind of makes me feel on edge. This is just what Grimes' stuff is like though isn't it? I'm really hoping and also kind of expecting for all of these videos to look quite different but for the songs to all essentially sound pretty much the same. The "if you're looking for a dream girl" bit is quite good. Oh well shit that video ends abruptly doesn't it? Like no one really thought about it until it was too late and they went "well I guess we'll just have to stop it there, lads".

This don't half sound like a bloody ballad. Dammit. Hana sitting in this tree is definitely very nice visually but it's also very boring. She also looks very good strutting down this street in this black dress in front of unnamed grandiose building but unfortunately this song is whispy and dull and not exciting. Is all of her music like this? This is going to be a long 30 minutes.

There's not yet a title card but this sounds like it could be a "bop". Or is this just an interlude? I can't tell. Hana is very lovely looking. It's just an interlude. Disappointing.

World Princess II
This guy being all "oh my God, this shot, keep going" is very correct, that shot does indeed look very good. I actually really don't have any qualms for the visual aspects of this project at all thus far.  Grimes and Hana strutting across irrelevant London bridge with umbrellas is quite iconic actually. And all of these shots in the aeroplane also look quite fun. I'm just really not a fan of this song vocally at all. There are a few subtle quirks that I like but overall it's just so not for me I'm finding it hard to take. I guess the pre-chorus and chorus are cool but I'd still probably never listen to this whilst living my life. I do really appreciate the realness of capturing London (and the UK generally) in the rain.

Shot of the plane wing in flight is lovely. Current transition between songs is also quite good. Go on Hana, hit me with some realness.

Or bore me to sleep... either one really. The verses are definitely a lot more interesting than this whiney whispy chorus. Why are there BMXers in the background? This makes no sense. Oh right some of it is backwards? But why? This is definitely raising far more questions than it's answering. Hopefully it's time to move on soon. I'm so disinterested I'm just looking at my phone now. And I've yawned. That's the real test and I'm afraid this song failed miserably. The outro is kinda cool though, right? This vocal sampling and stuff.

These colours have immediately piqued my interest and I am now back in the game. Apart from I quite honestly have no idea who Aristophanes is or what she's about or which language she's "singing" in. [EDIT: She is Taiwanese, which is quite exciting actually] I do very much appreciate the subtitles below just as a concept but I literally haven't even read one line of them so do we really need them? That was all very odd. I also feel like it should have been longer. But it's over now.

We are back with Hana and could this be an interesting song because this is definitely a promising start and first verse. Pray for me... and Hana. This does obviously still err on the side of too ballad for me but I think it's actually the strongest song on this project. It has real structure and I really appreciate that. It also moves along as art should rather than just spiralling or plateauing. But in exchange for a better song, the video is far less interesting/entertaining. Can't have it all though, can you?

Interlude or start of song? Start of song.

Belly Of The Beast
Was I hasty in calling 'Avalanche' the best song on here because currently this sounds like it might edge it. Unforunately we're in the same hotel conference room as we were in for the last video so I'm not convinced. Also why is everybody wearing this same awful red jumpsuit thing? It's actually hideous, why is this happening? I'm happy to admit that my fashion taste can definitely often be safe but damn, this is too much. No, this song isn't as good as Avalanche by the way.

Anyway this song sounds like it's coming to an end and there are still another 6 minutes left on the clock so what's going on here? This is a new song... but there's no title, but this is a good song. Maybe this is my favourite? Or maybe I'm just willing this to be over so much that I think it's my favourite? No. I think this one is the best one yet. What is it? What is this? What's going on? I'm actually finding this situation quite stressful. I think I'm going to refer to this song as 'Easily'. [EDIT: I later discovered that this is an older Grimes song and is in fact called 'Easily'.]

Now what's going on? Just visuals alongside an orchestral track it would seem. Oh no, Grimes... or it could be Hana I guess, is doing some whailing over it now. It's the end. Some credits and then we're done. Has my life been elevated by these so called chronicles? No. Am I glad that I bothered to take some time out to watch them with my eyes? Yes, I think I am. Will I ever watch or listen to any of these videos or songs ever again? I highly doubt it.

Also the Directors Cut video on YouTube has comments disabled and that has triggered me.

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Kattison - Up and Down

In my humble opinion there are few things that are necessary to put together the perfect dance track, but with these elements you gotta make sure you nail 'em. Kattison, here, has done very much that and hit the nail slap bang on the head with every single aspect of this track, 'Up and Down'. I don't have a clue who Kattison is or where he's come from but I do not care because this song is quite simply excellent. Apparently it's been knocking around for like a month and a half but you're kidding yourself if you think this "new" music blog is "new" in any sense anymore.

So let's discuss the song first, a fade up hook. Yes, you've got me. Five seconds in and I and hooked, quite literally. Straight into the first verse and life is looking up, not down. Then that hook comes back in and life is glorious. What is so flawless about this is these vocals by insert uncredited vocalist here are fucking phenomenal. I'm going to find out the hard way in a week's time that this track just samples vocals from a song from the 90s, aren't I? I really hope not, because that would be the absolute worst. But for real this is such a serious nod to that kind of era. The kind of Armand Van Helden 'You Don't Know Me', Modjo's 'Lady (Hear Me Tonight)', and far more recently Tim Berg (aka Avicii, who you trying to fool man) 'Seek Bromance' type stuff. Those are the dance tracks of this generation and the forgotten gems we'll look back on in 30 years time.

You know what those latter two songs and 'Up and Down' also have in common? Rad as fuck adventure type music videos. Oh my God. Let us, please, take a moment. This is a hands down dance music video masterclass from Kattison, I literally could not have asked for more. It has such an amazing 90s feel with the video camera tying everything together so seemlessly. I don't know if this was the plan from day one, you know, when Kattison wrote this track, but God damn. I don't know what you want to call them, but the legit "professional" shots in this video are stunning too. The whole darn thing just makes you want to drop everything and go on holiday. Job well done Kattison you have well and truly smashed it.

Sunday, 2 October 2016

September Songs... and Albums

Blah blah blah, I barely posted in September because reasons (there are no reasons) but I've just spent the past two days listening to every mildly noteworthy release that came out last month and obviously I've picked out my favourite ones and put them all together in the image below.

Here's a playlist of (the best bits) of these releases and also some quite good bits from other releases from September too. Can you tell that the amount I care for writing is diminishing by the second?