Category Archives: Pop

Dexys Midnight Runners ‎- Geno (1980)

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Kevin Rowland and Kevin “Al” Archer were both members of Birmingham punk band the Killjoys before they decided to form Dexys Midnight Runners. Fans of Northern Soul, the duo sought a horn-driven soul sound and stumbled across a very successful formula. Non more so than on the chart-topping ‘Geno’, a tribute to soul singer Geno Washington.

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Tom Misch feat. Loyle Carner – Water Baby (2018)

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Opening with a sample of The Crusaders’s ‘My Lady’, I was always going to like ‘Water Baby’. It’s the latest breezy number from Tom Misch and this time the London singer-songwriter had the very sensible idea to feature Mercury Prize-nominated Loyle Carner. A purveyor of cool meets zeitgeist, the single is off the forthcoming album Geography. Have a great week.

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Jacques Dutronc – Il Est Cinq Heures, Paris S’Éveille (1968)

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This gentleman is the epitome of cool. In the 1960s, the cigar-chomping Jacques Dutronc was the embodiment of French pop chic. In 1967/1968, he had a string of hits including “It’s five o’clock, Paris is waking”. An early contemporary of Johnny Hallyday, married to Françoise Hardy and a drinking buddy of Serge Gainsbourg… his is a Gallic life lived en plein.

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Pet Shop Boys – What Have I Done To Deserve This? (1987)

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One of my guilty pleasures today… what have you done to deserve this? This duet with Dusty Springfield featured on the Pet Shop Boys 1987 long player Actually, with that album cover.

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Klaxons – It’s Not Over Yet (2007)

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10 years ago, many were were enjoying the heady days of nu rave. Klaxons were at the centre of the scene, whether they wanted it or not; the genre had been coined by their record company to advertise their first gig and then adopted by everyone else who wanted to wear neon, all of a sudden. Aptly, they released a cover of Grace’s mid-1990s dance track ‘Not Over Yet’ as a single off their debut album, Myths of the Near Future. Electro pop, It’s Not Over Yet’.

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Lenny Kravitz ‎- It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over (1991)

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I heard this song earlier this week for the first time in a while. Lenny Kravitz released his album Mama Said in 1991 at a time of his break up with Lisa Bonet. He was cool, but he was hurting. ‘It Ain’t Over ’till It’s Over’. Have a good weekend.

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9 of the best – sounds of 2017

Samuelsounds begins a short hiatus this festive season. I leave you with my favourite sounds of 2017 in no particular order. See you in the new year.

Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile – Over Everything

Dan Auerbach – King Of A One Horse Town

Dornik – God Knows

LCD Soundsystem – Call The Police

Future Islands – Ran

Father John Misty – Total Entertainment Forever

Arcade Fire – Everything Now

The National – The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness

Kamasi Washington – Truth

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Honourable mentions also go to: Real Estate for ‘Darling‘; Foxygen for ‘On Lankershim‘; Mac DeMarco for ‘This Old Dog‘; John Mayer for ‘Moving On and Getting Over‘; Big Thief for ‘Shark Smile‘; Kevin Morby for ‘Come To Me Now‘; St. Vincent for ‘New York‘; Rex Orange County for ‘Edition‘; Public Service Broadcasting for ‘Progress‘; Lorde for ‘Green Light‘; and alt- J for’3WW‘.

 

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Lorde – Green Light (2017)

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Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O’Connor is better known as Lorde. The Kiwi singer exploded onto the pop music scene at the age of sixteen with the release of the single ‘Royals’. Five years later and she’s released this banger. A pop queen. Have a good week.

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The Verve – Bitter Sweet Symphony (1997)

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What can you say about the The Verve’s ‘Bitter Sweet Symphony’ that has not already been said before. The song was ubiquitous in 1997/98.  Richard Ashcroft had taken Andrew Oldham Orchestra’s strings cover of The Rolling Stones ‘Last Time’ and realised its potential by writing those sublime lyrics. The bitter sweet would follow when the Stones’ former manager Allen Klein reneged on an agreement they had with Decca and demanded 100% of the song’s royalties, stripping the Verve of their undoubted achievement.

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Alvvays – Dreams Tonite (2017)

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Toronto-based indie pop band Alvvays released their sophomore album Antisocialites this year. The second track is ‘Dreams Tonite’ with its dreamy 1980s pop sound. Think Chromatics. Think Beach House. Think Cocteau Twins.

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Beck – Up All Night (2017)

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Last month, Beck released ‘Up All Night’ his new single from his new LP, Colors.  “Just wanna stay up all night with you / There’s nothing that I wouldn’t rather do”. Okay, the lyrics are a little trite, but he’s definitely rediscovered his mainstream pop.

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Rex Orange County – Edition (2017)

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19-year-old Alex O’Connor is also known by his stage name Rex Orange County. The singer-songwriter was born in Haslemere, a-far-from-gritty corner of Surrey. From there, he took the influences and Thundercat, Toro Y Moi and Frank Ocean and divined his path. This white man has found his jazzy R&B chi; Surrey’s answer to Jon Bellion.

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Daryl Hall & John Oates – I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do) (1981)

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Well, I will do Hall & Oates the justice of posting their 1981 single ‘I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)’ and not giving into my tendency to reach for De La Soul’s sample ‘Say No Go’. Give these blue-eyed soul boys credit, where credit is due. Michael Jackson once confessed that the song heavily influenced his delivery of ‘Billie Jean’.

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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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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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