La Femme – Où Va Le Monde (2016)

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Clara Luciani, Clémence Quelennec, Marlon Magnée, Noé Delmas, Sacha Got and Sam Lefèvre are La Femme. Last year, they produced a Gallic slice of surf music, ‘Où Va Le Monde’. Their modern take on a French affinity for cold wave, the track would not be out of place on a Tarantino soundtrack. 

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The Kinks – Strangers (1970)

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Beloved by diehard Kinks fans, ‘Strangers’ featured on their 1970 LP Lola Versus Powerman And The Moneygoround, Part One, but was never released as a single. The Dave Davies line “If I live too long, I’m afraid I’ll die” was inspired by his old school friend George Harris. They were going to start a band, but Harris succumbed to bad habits and eventually died of a meth overdose. “Strangers on this road we are on/we are not two we are one.”

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The Jam – Going Underground (1980)

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Good morning! Released in March 1980, ‘Going Underground’ was the first UK chart-topping single by The Jam. Such was the buzz about the band, it went straight to number one as part of a double A-side with ‘Dreams of Children’. Still, it came as a surprise to the band. They were caught on the hop in the US and had to cancel their tour immediately, flying back on concorde to do their promo work in Blighty. The song was released as a single, but not as part of the band’s six studio albums.

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Delegation ‎- Oh Honey (1976)

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As I start to think about the soundtrack to summer, I bring you the lounging groove of Delegation. Ricky Bailey, Ray Patterson, Len Coley were doing their thing at the tail end of the 1970s. They never surpassed the magic of ‘Oh Honey’, which deftly cutting a path between the dominant sounds of Earth Wind & Fire and Fleetwood Mac. On YouTube, I feature Majestic Casuals’s suitably named Poolside Edit. Have a great weekend.

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Burial – Come Down To Us (2013)

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In 2013, the mysterious and reclusive William Bevan released his EP Rival Dealer. Burial had had already gained a reputation for standing a head above his electronic peers and this release did nothing to dowse the excitement. The 13-minute closer ‘Come Down To Us’ manages to be both funereal, layered, spacious and upbeat.

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Tom Misch – Sunshine (2015)

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Singer-songwriter, producer and DJ, Tom Misch is on an upward trajectory. The London native has an ear for a chilled-out beat. Released in 2015, ‘Sunshine’ features the type of filtered horns and dancefloor-loops that would make a Frenchman smile. Dr Electronic.

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The Hives – Walk Idiot Walk (2004)

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Now for some garage-rock from Fagersta, Sweden. The Hives 2004 release Tyrannosaurus Hives, was their tricky third album. But no confidence had dissipated with the unstoppable single ‘Walk Idiot Walk’ leading the charge. Ever since they hit the UK scene with their immense call to arms ‘Hate To Say I Told You So’ in 2000, The Hives helped write the book on how to deliver rock ‘n’ roll in the noughties. If you like your sounds fast, loud and thrilling…

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Beirut – Elephant Gun (2007)

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Ten years ago, Beirut were in their pomp. Originally a musical project of Santa Fe native Zach Condon, the band’s first performance was in New York in May 2006, to support the release of their debut album, Gulag Orkestar. By January 2007,  they carried their critical acclaim into the release of their first EP Lon Gisland. Its opening track ‘Elephant Gun’ again combined elements of indie rock and world music so successfully. Prodigious stuff; Condon was still only 20. Have a great week.

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Clarence Carter – Patches (1970)

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He’s had a long career, but I am not too familiar with Clarence Carter’s canon. However, the title track off his 1970 album Patches is a classic. Have a great weekend.

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Nick Drake – River Man (1969)

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‘River Man’ is the second song from Nick Drake’s 1969 album Five Leaves Left. Listen, absorb, cry. “Gonna see the river man/Gonna tell him all I can/About the plan/For lilac time.”

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Princess Chelsea – The Cigarette Duet (2011)

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Continuing the unusually fey electropop this week, it’s Auckland’s Chelsea Nikkel. On ‘The Cigarette Duet’, the Princess sings alongside fellow singer-songwriter  Jonathan Bree for her debut studio album Lil’ Golden Book.

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Le Couleur – Femme (2013)

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Canadian band Le Couleur channel a vintage form of electro-pop for the song ‘Femme’ off their 2013 Voyage Love EP. Laurence Giroux-Do, Patrick Gosselin and Steeven Chouinard had approached French producer French Fox to produce a nostalgic, welcome view of glamour and Twiggy. It feels like being in a French discoclub in 1982.

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Kelly Lee Owens – Anxi (2017)

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Good morning. The Welsh singer-producer Kelly Lee Owens draws on dream pop and ambient house for ‘Anxi’, the title song off her 2017 debut album. The track is a collaboration with a Norwegian musician, singer-songwriter Jenny Hval, who provides the moody vocals, Have a great week.

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SPEAK – Peaks (2014)

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“Smoke your first cigarette/Scream as loud as you want/Scream as loud as you need/That’s what the 90’s were for.”
“We don’t need cheering up/We don’t need any more/We don’t need what we want/That’s what the 80’s were for.”
More than a touch of 1980’s synthpop the Austin band SPEAK. The band consists of the wonderfully names Troupe Gammage, Nick Hurt, Joey Delahoussaye and Jake Stewart. ‘Peaks’ featured on their sophomore album Pedals in 2014. Have a great weekend.

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Parcels – Overnight (2017)

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It’s not hard to hear that Parcels’ new single ‘Overnight’ is produced by Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo. Choppy guitars and disco handclaps, the Aussie-French combo is uplifting, easy listening and pressed on the Kitsuné label.

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