For the past five years, Brighton-based songwriter Charley Bickers has been slowly recording his debut album, backed with an all-star cast of musicians including members of The Verve, The Guillemots, Saint Saviour and Goldfrapp. The first single to be lifted from the project, “Built To Last” is a sweeping guitar ballad that reflects on lost childhood and the inevitable passing of time. It’s been produced by Nick McCabe from The Verve and delivers a tender introduction to the album, hinting at the expansive vision behind Bickers’ collaborative spirit.
Here at The Music Ninja, we love a bit of Björk, so it gives us great pleasure to bring you a stunning reworking of her track “Hidden Place”. Genre-hopping San Franciscan producer Blackbird Blackbird has taken Björk’s trademark intense vocals and chopped them up, adding a textured beat to the mix for good measure, creating a more fragmented and haunting ode to the secret place that lovers have.
Here’s the thing – we know pretty much nothing about Sr. Sly. There have been guesses as to who they are or where they come from (Indieshuffle have some theories), but nothing conclusive. And while it can make writing articles about them difficult, there’s nothing we love more than a mysterious band. “Ghost” is the first offering from the group, and it’s a deeply melancholic slice of electro, with some kick-ass basslines throughout, making this a potential indie club banger. Hopefully we’ll hear more from Sr. Sly soon, so watch this space for new music from this elusive band.
Yeah, so, um, wait a second … last night Radio 1 welcomed the return of Everything Everything as they unveiled their comeback single “Cough Cough” on Zane Lowe’s Radio 1 show. A triumphant return to form, “Cough Cough” is a powerful, genre-defying introduction to the Manchester band’s second album that goes a long way to answering any questions regarding a possible sophomore slump. The single is accompanied with a black and white video which was shot by Jonathan, Everything Everything’s multi-talented lead singer.
As they embark on a tour together (dates here), Twin Shadow has given Niki & The Dove’s “DJ, Ease My Mind” the remixing of a lifetime. Taking the Swedish electropop trio’s bombastic hit and dialling it down a few notches, Twin Shadow gives the song added heartbreak and poignancy, as a slowly strummed guitar and strings replace synths and powerful percussion. Hands down, this is one of the remixes of the year, and will hopefully be massive. Fingers crossed we get to see Niki collaborate with Twin Shadow on stage during what is set to be an incredible tour.
The original version of “DJ, Ease My Mind” is featured on Instinct, out now. Twin Shadow’s latest album, Confess, is also out now.
Niki & The Dove DJ, Ease My Mind (Twin Shadow Remix)
One can’t help but get excited when first hearing about a new “supergroup”. This is exactly what happened when I discovered the indie outfit Divine Fits. Comprised of Spoon frontman Britt Daniels, Dan Boeckner of Wolf Parade and Handsome Furs, and Sam Brown from New Bomb Turks, Divine Fits is a band certainly riding on high expectations for their first collaboration, entitled A Thing Called Divine Fits.
The album mostly draws from the alt-rock genre with some electronics thrown in here and there. In “Would That Not Be Nice,” the album’s single, Daniels wails over growling electric guitar with a sound that could almost be mistaken for a Spoon track. However, this is not the theme of the entire album. “For Your Heart” is almost completely electronic with a sound reminiscent of M83. “Civilian Stripes” breaks up the distorted electric guitar with acoustic guitar, piano, and harmonized vocals. But, even with the genre changes from track to track, the album itself flows seamlessly. The songs are catchy enough to demand replay and hey, how can you go wrong with Britt Daniels?
Experimental hip-hop collective WHY? are gearing up to drop Mumps, Etc later this year, so they’ve treated us to this choice cut from their record. “Jonathan’s Hope” actually references mumps and graphic T-shirts among other things, all wrapped up in minimal instrumentals. A short but perfect chorus will pull you in, making “Jonathans Hope” an unlikely earworm.
The Mumps, Etc LP is out on October 9 via Anticon, so stay tuned for more from WHY?.