New Sinead!

I know I’m a diehard fan, but good God this is good. After an opening, rather urgent declaration of intent, it just EXPLODES into, ooh, probably one of the choruses of her career.

I particularly like what NPR had to say about it:

O’Connor may conclude that “I’m the only one I should adore,” but “Take Me to Church” isn’t a mere celebration of self. It’s a celebration of self-actualization; of making yourself happier by striving to make yourself better.

Love it. Love her (even if she does seem to have decided recently to model her look on Jessie J).

New The Heartbreaks!

Spillers with foolishly good memories may recall that I named “Delay, Delay” by The Heartbreaks as one of my top three tunes of 2012 (I think) in our annual round-up. Or, more likely, you’ll occasionally have stumbled across it on your iPod in the last 18 months and wondered how it got there.

Anyway, I’ve been keeping an ear out for them ever since, but nothing they’ve released has excited me as much… until now. Their new single, “Absolved”, is a spangly pop belter. Like a modern-day rewrite of The Love Affair’s “Everlasting Love”. With styling by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. Fun video too. Anyway, see what you think. If you fancy it.

They may well find their way onto my 2014 list at this rate…

New (old!) Antony, his Johnsons and someone I’d never heard of

While browsing around on youtube last night, I came across this version of “You Are My Sister”, taken from a live album recorded with Italian singer Franco Battiato and released at the end of last year. It’s not strictly essential in the Antony canon, what with the original Boy George duet version from “I Am A Bird Now” and the (gorgeous) solo live version from “Cut The World”, but I think Signor Battiato adds a rather touching, fragile dignity to the track, so I thought I’d share.

And Happy New Year – you’re all my sisters!

11 Songs That Shouldn’t Be On My iPod (But Are)

youve_got_to_be_kidding_me

Well, seeing as barbryn set the ball (re-)rolling… I thought I’d do one of these lists. I found it surprisingly hard to come up with songs I like that (I think) might surprise people. Perhaps because, rather arrogantly and doubtless inaccurately, I think of myself as having pretty catholic tastes. And because I’ve been around here and the Mothership long enough to have mentioned most of my favourite songs. And because most of the stuff on my iPod that isn’t very “me” has come via the Dropbox from you lot!

Anyway, here are 11 tracks, at least most of which are my own purchases. But that I think are more likely to have come from the record collections of DsD or chinny or Amy or Panth or tinny or… oh, anyone but me really! Some are ‘classics'; other less so.

Feel free to jettison one. Or all. Or suggest others that could have fitted better. Or tell me they’re all totally obvious bishpicks. Or ignore the whole business.

New Allman Brown!

“Who?”, I hear you cry. Oh fair enough, confession time: He’s a mate of mine. But he’s super-talented and has a beautiful voice (as does his duetting partner, Liz Lawrence). And if you like post-Damien Rice, post-Aqualung, post-The Cinematic Orchestra* sorts of things, this might be up your street. And it’s available from all good iTunes stores now for the bargain price of 79p (or £1.79 if you want a couple of B-sides besides)!

*Well, it reminds me of “To Build A Home” – no idea what their other stuff sounds like!

New Kitchens Of Distinction!

Oh. My. God. Oh my God. Ohmygodohmygodohmygod. I thought my mind was playing tricks on me when I spied the band’s name on Stereogum this morning as I sat sleepily on the DLR, scrolling through bookmarked Safari sites on my smartphone…

One of my favourite bands of the early 90s? Back back back?! First impressions are of a rather prosaic, over-articulated lyric, but the sound of it is (for me) a cosy, long-familiar aural duvet that I’m loving being wrapped up in again.

Welcome back, boys. It’s been too long.