Róisín Murphy is one of those rare artists that can seamlessly float between different styles and yet always sound distinct and still play to her musical strengths. From her early days in Moloko penning underground club hits like 'Sing It Back,' to her critically acclaimed electro pop masterpiece Overpowered, and more recently her Italo-pop/disco EP Mi Senti, her 20+ year career has earned her a loyal and rabid fan base.
Earlier this week, Murphy announced her first full-length album in 8 years, Hairless Toys, due out on May 11th. The lead single is 'Gone Fishing,' a dreamy and dynamic song inspired by Paris is Burning.
Murphy says "[t]his song was written after I watched the film, having read an article which referenced it in a discussion about House Music's origins in black, gay culture. I was deeply moved by this film.....the culture was a flamboyant reaction to persecution and disillusionment, the imagination and bravery of these kids is simply awe-inspiring. I envisioned 'Gone Fishing' almost as a song from a Broadway musical version of this story. The making of one's own world, a safer world and the creation of a new, better family in music or youth culture is a theme I touch upon elsewhere on my album Hairless Toys."
It's that time of the year again for those 'best of 2014' lists, and the three of us will all be sharing our top tracks from this past year over the next 3 weeks. It's been a great year for music, and hopefully you all have enjoyed the variety of disco, house, pop, and techno music we've shared in 2014.
10. Roisin Murphy - 'Ancora Ancora Ancora'
2014 marked the official return of Roisin Murphy, seven years after her last full release, the massive Overpowered LP. Her Italian language Mi Senti EP was comprised mostly of covers of Italian pop and disco songs, including 'Ancora Ancora Ancora.' Severino (of the famed Horsemeat Disco) and Nico de Ceglia remixed this into a beautiful piano-laden track that showcases Murphy's vocal chops. Supposedly, a new full length album is in the works for her in 2015.
i'm sorry to be on such a Jessie Warebingerecently but the truth of the matter is her latest album, Tough Love, is nothing short of amazing and more importantly she's not afraid to get experimental with some really fantastic producers on the disco and house scene when it comes to remixes.
Which brings me to why I'm showcasing her again today. Jessie Ware:Remixedis a collaboration between Ware and Red Bull Studios where five different producers in five different cities create five distinctive remixes for the Julio Bashmore-produced album track, 'Keep on Lying.' While all five are noteworthy, it's Preditah's garage influenced remix that stands out, possibly because it reminds me of another garage-influenced Ware remix, by Disclosure, which put both of those acts on the map way back in 2012.
The OXD Mirror is a weekly music column brought to you by the boys of OCCUPY THE DISCO (OXD), a New York City based movement created by three music lovers, Ru Bhatt, Josh Appelbaum, and Tadeu Magalhães, who want to share their love for disco, house and dance music with the world.
Ellie Goulding - Anything Could Happen
Although Ellie Goulding's debut album was released in the UK in 2010, the bonus single and title track, 'Lights,' is currently topping the charts in the United States. This is fortunate for her as her second album, Halcyon, is released this October. The lead single, 'Anything Could Happen,' produced by Kish Mauve, dives deeply into the synth-pop sound Goulding experimented with on Lights. The poignant lyrics, accented by Goulding's unique warble, give a refreshing, hopeful twist to what easily could have been a somber "breakup" song. The highlight of the track is clearly the bridge: Goulding's chant crescendos as the beat escalates, ending in a gutteral roar, a sound the audience certainly does not expect from someone so delicate.
Blood Diamonds (feat Grimes) - 'Phone Sex'
Armed with a bottle of gin, Blood Diamonds (Michael Diamond) teamed up with his close friend Grimes (Claire Boucher) on a late night endeavour to create "the perfect pop song." Known for his sun-drenched, luxurious productions, L.A.-based Diamond cites K-pop as an additional influence for this summer anthem. He combines calypso drums and Boucher's ethereal voice to give the song a dream-like quality while the catchy chorus reins you in with its flirtatious "hey daddy" refrain. Creating the perfect pop song may be considered a lofty goal but i commend the duo for aspiring to it. Whether they are successful is up to the listener but this is certainly a valiant attempt. I should note that the Lemonade rework complements the original nicely with a production that emphasizes the fantasy elements of the song. Listen to it on our website.
Please welcome Robbie Daw, who will be penning occasional music posts for us here on Towleroad! Robbie runs his own pop music site called Chart Rigger.
Kelis has been dropped from her contract with Jive Records, and is working on an album of dance tunes with Cee-Lo Green, current singer of Gnarls Barkley. The two have apparently already finished a pop album with British writer/producer Guy Chambers, who wrote many of Robbie Williams' original hits ("Angels," "Rock DJ," "Feel"). Williams himself is currently making a new album with Chambers after the two parted ways five years ago over creative differences following the singer's Escapology record.
If you haven't heard Kelis' 2006 album Kelis Was Here (and many likely haven't, as Billboard notes it's only sold 157,000 copies to date), you probably missed "Lil Star," her soulful, retro-sounding duet with Cee-Lo, which peaked at #3 earlier this year on the official U.K. singles chart.
Given the wide array of musical styles and producers used on Kelis Was Here and in her other work, she might have appeared to be a hard act to market for Jive. Last year's Top 20 single "Bossy" was the only song remotely close to her breakthrough hit "Milkshake."
Currently, Kelis, who is the wife of rapper Nas, can be heard on the Annie Lennox album Songs Of Mass Destruction, on the track "Sing" (although, good luck trying to pick her out, as she's one of 22 other female vocalists featured).
Maroon 5 singer Adam Levine (pictured left) goes the shirtless route in the band's video for "Wake Up Call." Perhaps it's an attempt to jump start the single -- currently at #19 on Billboard's Hot 100 after 11 weeks on the chart -- which is having a slower go than "Makes Me Wonder," which hit #1 in the spring.
Party like it's 1999! Bumped up two weeks from its original release date, Britney Spears' fifth studio album (and her first in four years) Blackout arrives. Also out is Unbreakable, by Britney's Jive labelmates, Backstreet Boys.
If you'd rather party like it's 1989, pick up head-bangers Avenged Sevenfold's self-titled new set.