Thursday, April 12, 2007

2007 so far, and my "want to listen to" list (Part 1)

Perhaps 2007 got off to a slow start, or maybe it was mere impatience on my part, but about a month ago it finally seemed to be getting in its stride. Now it is much like the M4 on a Friday evening - a huge queue, and getting longer by the minute, for which neither love nor money offers any possibility of a quick solution!
On a more positive front it is threatening a whole crop of wonderful prospects , which I think could be very interesting, that are naturally receiving far fewer column inches than the second albums by 'The Arctic Monkeys', 'Maxïmo Park' and 'YOURCODENAMEIS:MILO'. It is interesting that the last two are both bands from the North East [of England], which at least to me seems to have been rather under-represented in the last few years though 'Field Music' is another band very worthy of a mention.

Much of my "want to listen to list" is music from abroad but there also is plenty to be found in it that isn't. The problem is manifold - not only is it a very long list but is a quite disparate one; some of the items are already released and merely newly of interest to me, or at least they have a release date, while others are not and some of the artists don't even have a recording deal.
I won't generally mention any artist release that I have already covered in this blog (you can count them in by default) unless it is new since the last post on that artist. Here goes...

These first two I should have in my paws by early next week at the latest - possibly even tomorrow if Royal Mail is feeling well disposed toward me - and as soon as I have listened properly I'll be reviewing them here.

The Besnard Lakes - The Besnard Lakes Are The Dark Horse
CD and vinyl album, Canada, Jagjaguwar Records, 2007.

Birds of Wales - Fall of The 49 EP
CD EP, Canada, Invisible Hands Records, 2007.

There are also a few more electro-pop surprises in line for release fairly soon and, despite the so-so popularity of the genre in recent years (well about twenty-five years to be honest), there seems to be growing major-label interest .

Here are two, both released on 'Universal', that I certainly want to listen to:

  • Sophie Ellis Bextor - Trip The Light Fantastic (Universal) 21 May 2007
  • Dragonette - Galore (Universal) 16 July 2007
For those like me that can't wait that long, and also remain mystified why Annie - Anniemal was not a huge success (it is to be the next in my occasional series of reviews of 2005 albums that I still regularly listen to), I'm planning to get Robyn - Robyn (Konichiwa Records, 2007) ASAP. From the various descriptions of it that I have read it probably sounds like something that might have happened had Gwen Stefani and Annie (with possibly a little help from Goldfrapp) decided to gang up on Courtney Love and Pink but, before anything ugly happened, they all reconsidered the wisdom of a feud and melded into 'Robyn' instead. It just has to be worth a listen... and it is already released.

Another forthcoming release, again on a major label, is Siobhan Donaghy's second solo album, Ghosts, which is to be released on 25 June 2007 (Parlophone). Her first, Revolution In Me (WEA - London Records, 2003), arguably sounds even better now than it did then, but sold woefully at the time, not least because it was given next to no marketing push by the label.
Most of Europe unfortunately can't pronounce her name, or even recognise it when it comes on the radio, but few who have heard the blistering and slightly unhinged pop of the single 'Overload', which in 2000 catapulted 'Sugababes' to #1 in the UK singles chart and then to pop stardom, is likely to forget it.
She not only wrote this song (and many of the others on the album One Touch) but also sung most of the lead vocals, including those on 'Overload'. She then left the group quite suddenly, part way through their first tour of Japan, and shortly before super-stardom arrived. It is not hard to see why: in a 2003 radio interview she was asked what her favorite magazine is and and the answer, without any hesitation whatsoever, was New Scientist. To say the least this floored the interviewer good and proper. It also rings very true and celebrity is quite simply not what she is about but honesty is; they make poor travelling companions.

No comments: