Robert Palmer, the late, suave UK singer of resonant and elastic voice was bit of a Jekyll & Hyde when it came to his recorded output. Prior to his mega trashy and garish hit “Addicted to Love” he straddled the line between several genres, never landing completely on one in particular. He went from funky New Orleans Soul, to Pub Rock and then in 1980 took a peculiar left turn into an intriguing brand of electronic pop music (even going so far as to collaborate with Gary Numan, one of the true fathers of the genre). Tracks like “Johnny and Mary”, and “I Dream of Wires” from this electro period still sound as weird, and memorable as they did the day they were thrust into the world. Which brings us to Dan D’Lion’s spacey and gorgeous “Dislocate”. There are distinct traces of the aforementioned Palmer’s electro side as well as the tunefulness of early The-Dream within it…but make no mistake, Dan is his own man and this is as distinct and wonderfully insidious as any pop thing this year.
There’s some really clever arranging and handsome harmonizing happening within the chorus of Mt. Mura: it sounds like the progeny of The Monroes 1982 new wave classic “What Do All the People Know” though the sentiment is infinitely darker despite the positive beat ( the eternal damage of proselytizing upon youthful minds). It is really, really fine. With that in mind take a listen to their epic, over the top, prog-pop last single “Coma’ too, link below, because it is also pretty exceptional.
The video from which the screenshot above is taken, Billy Squier’s “Rock Me Tonite” circa 1984, is said to have singlehandedly killed his career ( especially according to Billy). Up until the point this video was released, he was something of a cool AOR rock god loved by girls and boys alike. The song itself was the biggest hit of his career and frankly, it still rules to this day. The “problem” revolved around Billy’s dance moves on display within the video which were seen as embarrassingly fey or inept or both depending on how cruel you were and the fact that he literally pranced, not danced, in a most brazen, uninhibited fashion. Full on hardcore, in your face prancing. It’s ridiculous, maybe even cringeworthy but it’s also totally lovable, I mean, I love it and it only enhanced Billy’s spirit in my eyes. Which is to say you can trust me to be brutally honest about everything here with no fear and tell you that this weeks latest Weekly New Wonders are all beautiful, wonderful and otherworldly pop songs. You can listen on Soundcloud or Spotify below. Rock me tonite.
“Let Me Show You” is sophisticated and fully formed retro-fine soul, marrying a seventies singer-songwriter vibe in the vein of Carole King or Roberta Flack, with some Stevie Wonder-esque instrumental flourishes, to the more modern day R & B excursions of Floetry and Marsha Ambrosius. It’s all tempo changes, melodic twists, real guitar, and spaced out keys and features a myriad of singular instrumental spotlight moments. It’s then topped with Lydia’s quietly powerful and supremely lovely vocal. It just works in every way.
Good lord. This song is absolutely insidious. It’s crafty. It’s electronic and warm. And once it’s set foot into your mind, it is nearly impossible to evict. It’s both simple and complex, a stream of consciousness nursery rhyme moving back and forth between descriptions of what someone is doing and what someone is thinking which is to say it perfectly mimics how the brain works every waking moment of the day. It’s like some glorious Pet Shop Boys deep cut and features words like “dappling”, “overborne”, “billowing” and “squinting” and is the devil in the best way.
As a kid I thought this was 1 serving as it said Hungry-Man, as in 1 singular human. In retrospect I see eating 1 whole pound of food is probably meant to be a shared a experience with another human no matter how hungry you are. But I definitely ate a few of these things solo. The latest Weekly New Wonders Playlist is equally full: hefty and fat with pop anthems and crying music: please enjoy !
As usual you can listen on Soundcloud or Spotify but please note playlists are slightly different ( 1-2 songs) as not every track is available in both places. Check ’em both out if you are a nerdy completist like me.
Listen on Soundcloud here:
Listen on Spotify here: