Lorde’s track Royals has been popular on 95bFM for the last few weeks. Slick, yet stark production highlighting a great vocal performance and lyrics that are worth listening to more than once. Very solid.
The rest of the Love Club EP is in a similar vein and is all excellent.
Lorde’s website doesn’t give much away, but she is apparently still at school (aged 16 or 17) and lives in the same suburb as me here in Auckland. When she’s world-famous I will therefore be able to invent memories of seeing her perform for tiny discerning audiences in hip underground venues. But till then, I’ll just go back and listen to the Love Club EP again.
This beautiful sparse epic rides a minimalist retro-synth wave, but thankfully opts for percussive wooden planks and slaps rather than tinny drum machines. The video is beautifully shot too, and features more tap-dancing than I’ve seen for years.
“Willy Moon sounds like a fist fight between Jack White and Elvis Presley on the set of a David Lynch film.” If I were a music writer I would probably say something like that. Thankfully I’m not, so I’ll just say that I love the combination of the raw, very old style and the witty modern flourishes. I also love the fact that Willy Moon favours short songs — he says that most songs only have two minutes’ worth of ideas anyway, so why bother going on longer?
There’s a Willy Moon interview on Radio NZ. He has a lot of perceptive things to say about pop music.
Willy Moon is originally from New Zealand. This track makes me think of a great NZ track from a few decades ago: Tex Pistol’s The Game of Love. That song could be a spiritual forebear to I Wanna Be Your Man.
“An upbeat and positive ukulele driven album about falling in love and being in love. Life is beautiful.”
Florence Nightingale is the song I heard on theaudience — I enjoyed the nice lyrics and performance (voice and piano). The rest of the album is good too, though more ukulele-oriented, which can only be a good thing. The vocal recording isn’t perfect, but maybe that adds to the charm. And this is a charming collection of songs.
Why do I feel tired at 22, like all my dreams fell through?
— Lydia Cole, Hibernate
Clearly 22 is a difficult age for young Kiwi women singers. But their quarter-life crises have resulted in a couple of great songs. Lydia’s is quiet, acoustic and vulnerable, Ruby’s is brash, electronic and loud, but they’ve both been running through my head for the last few weeks.
It’s a call to arms, a slap in the face of apathy. Aaradhna sounds like she really means it when she tells us to wake up and stop wasting time — her performance is just brilliant. I’ve been singing “Wake Up” for the last week, and now my children are singing it too. This song should be a smash hit. It already is for me.
Reviewers often say things like “this song sounds like Kate Bush with electronic backing”. But this song really does sound like that, exactly. Émilie is doing a perfect Kate impression. The tone of voice, the vocal inflections, the lyrics, the musical arc — it’s all perfect. The rising note of hysteria towards the end is very compelling. But all with a much more modern arrangement.
I always lamented the fact that Kate’s arrangements and production always seemed to be stuck in the ’80s, and I wondered how different things could be if she updated her musical palette. Well, Émilie Simon provides an answer here. It sounds great.
A barbershop version of the song is on the new Dudley Benson live album, which was reviewed by William Dart on a recent New Horizons show on Radio New Zealand. The Benson version is fragile and beautiful as expected, but young Patience & Prudence’s version from a bygone era is perhaps definitive. It’s just so catchy. I have been singing it non-stop for the last two days. If anything is going to make me learn more than three ukulele chords, it’ll be this.
This simple song manages to sound sweet and world-weary at the same time. Apparently Donna Muir has recorded some of her music in her apartment and even in her garage, and this song does have that lonely singer-songwriter at home vibe. “Only loneliness knows loneliness, and deep calls to deep.”
Nice metronome rhythm track too. It’s from her album Beauty in the Ashes.