Matt James: There’s a cosy familiarity to Squeeze’s first single in too many years. It’s like bumping into an old school chum and deciding to go for “One cheeky pint” ‘cos you’re “Still crazy after all these years”. “Happy Days” feels authentically ‘Squeezey’ albeit one that’s a bit slower up the stairs these days ‘cos of the knees and gets to bed early ‘cos it’s got a busy day tomorrow. Sweet and summery enough, though one listen will ensure two subsequent events occur thereafter. One, you will immediately fire up Spotify, stick on “Cool for Cats”, “Up the Junction” and “Tempted” and sing along to the lines you remember whilst reminiscing your youthful scampery over a satisfying mug of herbal tea. Two, you will for the rest of said day be visited by visions of Arthur Fonzarelli and Ralph “Malph” whilst the vastly superior Happy Days theme tune bobs around your brainbox on an infinite loop. Just be prepared m’kay? [5/10]
Latest Blog Posts
Matt James: In an age where pop appears to be, depressingly, enjoying rifling through the “Dumb & Dumber Idiot Box” we must cherish musicians like Julia Holter. She’s smart and strange. Listening to Ekstasis or Loud City Song makes you wanna go drown yourself in, well, “Art” even if you haven’t a clue what the hell it’s all about. The plink-plonk stomp of “Sea Calls Me Home” sounds like Holter trying to bottle the spirit of the Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows” whilst tickling the hallucinatory haze of a week’s insomnia. At one point you can possibly hear pink, tutu-wearing, cartoon elephants polishing their saxophones in the apartment above. There’s also an ace nonchalant whistly bit for all fans of “Ace Nonchalant Whistly Bits”. At a trim three minutes it’s a little slim perhaps and not as swoonsome a serenade as recent canine cuddler “Feel You” but with Holter’s exemplary track record it still feels safe to follow her into the dreamy depths. [7/10]
Five years after the astounding album Penelope, the latest song cycle by composer Sarah Kirkland Snider takes its inspiration from the work of writer and artist Nathaniel Bellows, depicting a childhood upbringing in Massachusetts that veers between the beautiful, haunting, and surreal, where discoveries abound. Because that’s, in reality, what it’s actually like when you’re a kid.
Semi Precious is the brainchild of Southeast London musician Guy Baron, who released a well-received self-titled debut EP last year. He’s now following that up with When We Talk, a new collaboration with acclaimed producer Matthew Herbert that aims at creating short bedroom pop vignettes that explore the dreamier, more pop-oriented side of electronic music.
Annie Galvin: Jordy Asher, the erstwhile Blonds frontman currently known as Boots, emerged from a relatively shadowy corner of the music industry into a massive spotlight in 2013, thanks to his substantial writing and producing work on Beyoncé‘s self-titled album. The imprimatur he left on the Fifty Shades of Grey trailer, a slowed-down remix of Queen Bey’s “Crazy in Love”, further clarified Boots’s sonic hallmarks: minor-key melodies, R&B vocals contributed by the likes of Kelela and Sia, sludgy mixes punctuated by periodic face-slapping synths. “Acquaria”, the lead single for Boots’s upcoming début LP, gets a little spacey, building around a clapping trap beat, swirling vocals by Dirty Projectors singer Deradoorian, and some X-Files-esque high-pitched whirrs. The notable injunction “shake like a gamma ray” encapsulates the song’s intertwined thematic strands: a doomed booty call and some seriously apocalyptic concerns about planetary decay, sinking cities, and “lay[ing] pipe on Mars”. Time signatures tangle on the chorus and then fall back into place—a move that epitomizes Boots’s trademark balance between chaos and order that never borders on boring. [8/10]
"Which is better, Cher’s voice before or after Auto-Tune?READ the article