Chløë Black – “Cruel Intentions”

1 Apr

Chloe Black

A couple of weeks ago we had the absolute pleasure of seeing Chløë Black perform in Norwich. It was a shortish set, just the six songs, and featured a solo Chløë at the keys with an electronic ‘band in a box’ backing her. It was a great set and of the six songs, only two (“27 Club” and “Runaway”) have been shared online thus far. We mention this because a) you need to know she is great live so you don’t miss any future opportunity to see her perform, b) she yesterday posted a new track online that c) isn’t one of the four ‘new’ ones she played in Norwich.

Point C is especially important because the four new tunes she did play in Norwich were each fantastic, and “Cruel Intentions” is also fantastic (as is another one of her tunes that she sometimes plays live but didn’t in Norwich but we’ve heard it anyway so trust us). All of which, alongside point A, augurs very well for her future and helps us feel assured that we were right to include Chløë in our list of artists to listen out for in 2015.

“Cruel Intentions” is based on a film, though not the one you are probably thinking of. Nope, inspiration did not come Chløës way whilst watching Sarah Michelle Geller and Ryan Philippe make Glenn Close and John Malkovitch wish they were dead just so they could turn in their graves. Instead it came from Killing Zoe, the mid-nineties cult classic about a bank job gone wrong. ”It was never meant to go this way” and ”No one was supposed to get hurt” she sings but while stimulation may have come from the movie, the song’s meaning should be transposed to a relationship rather than a bank job that has gone awry.

It is dark and emotive, stirring and heartfelt as the sombre smoky beginnings escalate into a rousing chorus. The whole thing is begging for a grand performance, backed by an orchestra and gospel choir as Chløë stands centre stage, captivating her audience. That may be some time away yet but for now, solo Chløë is, like “Cruel Intentions” and those songs performed in Norwich, fantastic.

”Cruel Intentions” features on the forthcoming ’27 Club’ EP which is due out on 26 April and is available for pre-order here.

Stalk Chløë Black: Facebook / Twitter

Pleasures – “First Love”

31 Mar


We first heard “First Love” a few weeks ago when browsing Hype Machine and meant to post it that night. Being the colander headed boob that we are, we totally forgot and despite constantly thinking to ourselves, we must get round to posting that wonderful Pleasures track, we never got to it. Then, when we did sit down to write we went through that whole, ‘arrgh it’s been a couple of weeks now, will anyone still be interested / have we missed the boat on this?’ angst that bloggers get from time to time. After a few hours of internal wrangling we realised that we were getting nowhere fast and that we still had to get up for work in the morning so wasn’t it really time we went to bed so we lay there awake for a few hours worrying about what needed to be done in the office the next day.

Thankfully, the other night, we went back over songs we’d been planning to write about recently, re-listened to “First Love”, remembered how fantastic it is, remembered we don’t actually care how long after a song has been released its been before we write about it as long as we love it and remembered that actually, we’d been an idiot to even think about not posting.

So here we are, finally.

“First Love” is one of those cracking tunes that sets you up one way, then heads off in the opposite direction leaving you standing there like a lemon but you can’t help but smile. As she starts, LA Based Chelsea Morrisey gives the impression that this will be a sedate trickle of stark and emotive electronica, like a paired down MYPET or similar. It steps tentatively forward, the beat slow and considered before suddenly, ”the beat takes over like a drug”, and we have a soulful, R&B infused piece of retro electropop that will have you shimmying happily and will bring forth that smile we mentioned.

There’s a wonderfully sedate yet neon-y groove to it, a late night euphoria and vulnerability to it that we just adore. We won’t be waiting so long to post her next tune if she keeps them coming like this, that’s for sure.

Via: Kick Kick Snare.

Bang Bang Romeo – “Johannesburg”

30 Mar

Bang Bang Romeo

It’s been almost a year since we last wrote about Yorkshire’s Bang Bang Romeo when we featured the darkly cinematic four-piece’s magnificent ”Carnival”. Since then they’ve released an EP, had a lot of radio play on XFM, Radio1, 6Music and the like and now, they return with a re-working of an old demo and (rumour has it) a new EP on the way.

Where “Carnival” was instantly grandiose and epic, “Johannesburg” has more of a slow burn to it. There’s a gradual flicker of melodic flame waiting to catch and ignite while Anastasia Walker’s vocal builds dramatically. We said it before but Walker’s voice is incredible; it’s shake the foundations of a building powerful and Tony award winningly theatrical, full of brooding intensity. It’s a bond theme voice.

There’s soulfulness here as well. It’s less the psychedelic film noir of their past efforts, more a gritty rundown town with heart kind of feeling with horn led flourishes, jagged, wailing guitars and an arms thrown wide denouement. It’s great stuff from a very exciting but still remarkably under the radar new band.

Stalk Bang Bang Romeo: Website / Facebook / Twitter

Yumi Zouma – “Alena” (video)

28 Mar

Yumi Zouma Alena

With their stunning new EP now available to buy, enjoy and adore, blog favourites Yumi Zouma have returned with the sequel to their bewitching and mysterious ”Catastrophe” video. Set in the same area as before and featuring some of the same characters, “Alena” takes place at a different period (before, after, we don’t know) and focuses on the men of the town.

Directed by the same team, BANGS, as its predecessor, “Alena” is infuriatingly brilliant. Infuriating because it answers none of the questions from “Catastrophe”, what caused them all to fall asleep, what happened when they woke up, what is that mysterious telephone number (that we are yet to work up the gumption to call) all about? None of this is answered. It is utterly maddening, but that just makes “Catastrophe” and “Alena” all the more perfect.

Here we are taken to a self-help, support type, men anonymous group where who knows what is discussed (or not) and in the end movement and dance takes over and helps further the catharsis. But what are they meeting about? Is it to go over the mysterious events? Is it to mourn lost ones from what happened? We have no idea but again, it totally works.

Where the direction excels in particular is the juxtaposition of the slow-motion movement and the more up-tempo but soft and caressing melodies of Yumi Zouma. It is considered, enigmatic and beautiful, just like the Yumi’s themselves.

”Alena” is taken from Yumi Zouma’s ‘EP II’ which is out now on Cascine. You can order the 10″ vinyl here.

Stalk Yumi Zouma: Facebook / Twitter

Candy Darling – “Going Straight”

27 Mar

Candy Darling

For all our love of eletctropop, brooding, misty atmospherics and high octane synth explosions, regular readers will know that we also appreciate the darker and slightly twisted things in life. We like it when music gets a little noir, a little sordid perhaps and as if it was born and developed in the seedier underbelly of an otherwise happy and peaceful city life.

Step forward Candy Darling, the Bristol trio who appear set to fill that Vuvuvultures shaped hole in our heart. Not that they sound similar, but they both rouse that sneering, rebellious ‘fuck it all’ sensibility that lies dormant within us (all).

Of course, being the exemplars of great timing that we are, we bring this and them to your attention just after they shared a fairly downtempo and reflective tune but hey, nobody’s perfect. If you want to feel the sneer, to embrace the scuzziness and the grind, then go back and listen to their debut single, ”Money”. Before you do that though, take a listen to their latest offering, the soon to be released, “Going Straight”.

It may not quite sneer, but there is darkness abound to revel in. Imagine if White Lies had been brought up listening to The Pretenders, Queen and maybe even Joy Division. Emily Breeze’s vocal is contemplative, walking untouched down a street of slow motion mayhem, carnage and despair of a life gone wrong as the guitar cries out gently, a shouted whisper of emotion. The snare beat is stark and unrelenting, like the ticking of a clock counting down to our protagonist’s impending demise.

It’s really rather fantastic and for those of you who just can’t live without the sneer, B-side “Waves” has plenty.

”Going Straight” is due for release on 24 May.

Stalk: Candy Darling: Facebook / Twitter


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