Remember when when Madonna was making classic, boundary pushing singles at every turn ? Big, fat pop records that you couldn’t get out of your head ? And then we hit the 2000’s and she wasn’t ? It’s still sad and disappointing….well, meet Baum, and allow her to redress the balance, and pull us into the pop future. She is bitchin’ and unapologetic. There’s a real raw depth, and assertiveness to her singing ( and songs for that matter) that kicks the asses of all the pop queens lurking in the top 10 these days. And with that, here are 2 shining stars to share. “Hot Water” is an infectious, sinewy, candy coated groover that gets bigger by the second. Then comes “First”, a ballad, featuring a world weary, sultry, I’m throwing up my hands vocal, within a tune that sounds like some long lost Prince ballad from the late 80’s, married to an early D’Angelo record, and I can’t think of a higher compliment to pay than that.
A heavenly widescreen hymn for staring at the sun, and wiping your brow to. The sparseness of “Count No Count” contradicts how positively epic it is, which is part of what makes it so compelling. How to describe it ? Well, simplest way would be imagine Hope Sandoval of Mazzy Star singing a gospel song… but the LA duo take it well beyond those confines, and it is a singularly beautiful beast.
He is Joseph of Mercury, and he is here to polarize you. “Angel” is completely earnest and romantically over the top. It’s a fifties soul ballad that seems to have gotten lost and found itself wandering around in 2017. It’s a scene where everyone is dressed in white and the stars are shining, and we are all bowing before Venus standing in her shell ( in the parking lot of a drive-in). Okay, will tell you straight : you will either love this or hate it. We recommend you just give in and succumb to it’s undeniable charm, and accept it’s bouquet because it really is pretty freakin’ swell.
This is a pretty nifty piece of post-punk here, with a tuneful, New Order-esque guitar line as the star, some understated whispery vocalizing following sweetly in it’s wake, plus some bonus dissonant twangs…subtle, memorable, and cool.
Ever imagine Kim and Kelly Deal collaborating with Neil Young on a song about that stuff that you do that you don’t want anyone to know you do (or did ) ? Now you don’t have to, because Partner have invented it. It’s a song, and an eternal truth, and epitomizes what Partner are about : chorus’s and self- flagellating truth telling…but fun, if that makes sense.
The debut album “In Search of Lost Time” is due out in September and judging by the tracks they’ve kicked out so far, it contains no bad songs : every one thus far has been a freakin’ diamond.
And hey do yourself a favor and check out another truly fine track off the forthcoming album ,”Play the Field”, a popped out, new wave diary of teenage lust, sports bras, and the sacrifice of dignity.
Bonus: Oh no, just had an 80’s flashback, and gonna attach this piece of pop absurdity that sounds like a distant forefather of “Play the Field”, and spontaneously popped into mind . It’s by MOR legend Gino Vannelli, it’s ridiculous and it kinda rules.
Here are August’s ( so far) Playlists ! Featuring some fine things that surfaced this month (and before that) , compiled neatly together, to bend an ear to. There are songs we haven’t talked about, and a few we have, and they are all mighty fine.
Below you will find links for both a Soundcloud and a Spotify playlist. Why both ? Well, some of the tracks on Soundcloud are not currently offered on Spotify, and we don’t want anything to fall through the cracks! In other words, it’s worth checking ’em both out so you don’t miss discovering something special. Go on now and introduce yourself…
Urgent, frantic, but also romantic in it’s exultation of the word ‘radio” as in the old school, “the radio is my lifeline” way, which is pretty damn romantic. Anyhow, this is a true power pop anthem, and could possibly make your heart explode.
An ecstatic Go-Go’s/Bangles/60’s girl group hybrid, set to a motorik-krautrock beat ( no really), this is pop of the highest order, and in a perfect world, at this very moment, it is blasting from a radio in a pink convertible rolling defiantly down the Pacific Coast Highway, and not looking back.
Beyonce is not my queen. “Love Deluxe” is an actual cult. And this is no ordinary love…
As musical terms go,”baby-making music”, is a particularly execrable one. Okay, we all know that every situation in life, can be, let me see, “enhanced” or “benefit”, from a finely tuned playlist…but throwing Sade onto “The Ultimate Babymaking Playlist” is actually the height of laziness…because while there’s soft focus love in some of the songs in her canon, like say “By Your Side”, the most common features of a typical Sade song are unadulterated pain, misery, and loss ( cumulatively known as “the good stuff”). Fact is apart from a handful of tracks spread over her 6 studio albums, she is the true embodiment of pop despair, the veritable Queen of Sad ( or as she once sang, and declared, the “King of Sorrow”). As emotionally distraught as Ian Curtis, Nico,or Kurt Cobain. Desperation, obsession, and complete mental unrest : those are the main features of the average Sade song. Not I’m so happy and in love, or do you take this man or woman. Nope. It’s don’t doubt me, I keep crying, the war is still raging inside of me. You can’t really put on the Love Deluxe album, and party. You can cry, drink too much, beg for another chance, or an actual chance, or contemplate earthly existence.That’s what Sade can provide the soundtrack for. She’s here to envelope you in glorious sadness, and you’re gonna like it.
One of the cooler things that’s happened over the past 10 years, is all the open faced praise and worship that’s been thrown at her emanating from the rock and indie universe…and for the contents of Love Deluxe in particular. The Rosebuds went so far as to cover the whole damn thing in 2012, and Iron & Wine, Pink, and Deftones are among the artists, who have done cover versions of tracks from it . What is it about Love Deluxe that so perfectly encapsulates what she’s about? It’s the sparseness, the melodies, the infinite space of the whole thing. It’s the way the way the guitar leads into the chorus of “No Ordinary Love”, which itself is 7 minutes of the most beautiful despair. It’s that 7 of the 9 songs are not happy ones. Sade is here to hold your hand and share war stories. It’s gonna be okay.
And so a communal bow to the queen of sad, poet of the rain, and all that. Ain’t nobody like her.
Here’s a handpicked playlist of Sade’s deepest and darkest if you feel emotionally up to it. Go get the headphones.
And here’s Love Deluxe on the Spotify :