Hatchie – ‘Without A Blush’.
Earlier this year Australian singer songwriter and musician Harriette Pilbeam aka Hatchie released her lead single Without A Blush from her forthcoming album Keepsake. With a little bit of everything, especially gritty guitars mixed up in a wonderful sonic soup, Hatchie wasn’t kidding when she said it would be “the perfect introduction to the feelings and sounds on the rest of the record.” Now that I have had the chance to listen to it, I can definitely hear the adventurous nature of her debut album. It has ‘80s and ‘90s influences with the confidence of today’s modern pop. I recommend you start with the songs Unwanted Guest and Obsessed and then circle back to the beginning of the album and enjoy the whole ride.
Two Door Cinema Club – ‘Once’.
Indie rock band Two Door Cinema Club today released their fourth album False Alarm. It is a welcome return for the Northern Irish lads and their attempt to try something different. Talking about the album prior to its release, singer Alex Trimble explained why they have embraced a new electronic pop sound: “I love the pop thing. I love experimenting and going to different places, I love doing things that are a little bit wonky and I love the idea of doing something we haven’t done before, why can’t we do all of those things at once?” Across the album’s ten tracks they tackle largely social issues such as our obsession with ‘likes’ and online ‘fame’. Standouts include Once, Talk, Nice To See You and the ‘off kitter’ synth pop stunner Satisfaction Guaranteed featuring Mokoomba.
Prince – ‘Manic Monday’.
Prince’s Originals featuring the demo versions of songs he originally recorded but ultimately gave away to other artists throughout his career. They include the bubbly Bangles hit Manic Monday, Sinead O’Connor’s Nothing Compares To You, Love… Thy Will Be Done, which was made famous by Martika in 1991 and The Glamourous Life, which Prince gave to Shelia E. back in 1984. It is an absolutely impressive collection of songs and just goes to show how prolific he was as a songwriter. The fact that he gave them away says a lot about his generosity but also his savvy business sense. As a posthumous release, I’m not so sure that if Prince was still alive that he would have released these songs to the world. I’d like to think you would have had more respect to the artists he gave the songs away to. But that’s just my own personal opinion. That said, I’m thrilled nonetheless to hear his version of some of the hits he wrote for other artists, especially Manic Monday.
The Raconteurs – ‘Help Me Stranger’.
Jack White, Brendan Benson, Jack Lawrence and Patrick Keeler are back together again as The Raconteurs!! It feels like an eternity since their last record and oh how sweet it is to hear new material, as they continue to push the boundaries of rock ‘n’ roll on Help Us Stranger. It’s fair to say, this is my album of the week with its bluesy overtones and funk and psychedelic undercurrents thrown in for good measure. Moreover, there are some wonder elements of piano balladry (Shine The Light On Me) that seem to round out this album nicely. All in all, Benson and White make a formidable songwriting team and it is evident here on this record for all to see on songs like Bored and Razed, Only Child and Help Me Stranger.