Needle on the Record: Craig David, Kylie Minogue, SOAK and more

Craig David releases ‘My Heart’s Been Waiting For You’

His new album 22 will be out later this year, it’ll be the eighth album of Craig David’s career. The title refers to the number of years since his debut record was released, and now we’ve got the second single from the record.

My Heart’s Been Waiting For You, is a dancefloor thumper based around the classic club bit of Show Me Love by Robin S, and bold well for the quality of the forthcoming album following on from the first single Who You Are which saw David collaborating with MNEK.

David’s had a career renaissance since his 2016 album Following My Institution saw him teaming up with top producers including including Kaytranada, Sigala, and Hardwell. His 2018 follow up The Time is Now continued the return to form.

Take a listen to the new tune and then rewind and listen again. 

SOAK offers lackadaisical indie rock with third album 

Soak | If I never know you like this again | ★ ★ ★ ★  

Bridie Monds-Watson who performs as SOAK is back with a third album of catchy indie rock songs. Opening up with Purgatory a slice of perfect laid back indie guitar pop, the familiar sound continues on Last July before things become more stripped back on Bleach. The songs are more personal than the artist’s previous work, intimate and largely about relationships. The album comprises  10 tracks and overall it’s filled with a mid-90’s sound, not that that’s a bad thing! While there’s nothing as catchy as some of their previous work, it’s all very pleasant and worthy of repeated listens.    

Fresh Tracks

Flash – Hypnotised this new track from a Brisbane-based producer has a classic tech-house sound, ready for the dancefloor Diana Ross & Tame Impala it’s an unexpected collaboration, but it’s produced a delightful slice of summer filled funk Rick Astley – It Would Take a Strong Strong Man (Matt’s Jazzy Guitar Mix) from the vaults, Rick Astley’s lesser known Balearic period Hot Chip – Down the first track from the band’s forthcoming eighth album is a quite the groover Metric – All Comes Crashing pleasant Marriane Rosenberg – Bite sag nicht goodbye just for your collection of disco classics in German Suede – She Still Leads Me On great new tune from the band’s forthcoming ninth album Mr Worthy – Feel It equal serves of euphoria and trepidation in the dreamlike house tune Heather Small – Proud okay you’ve heard this song a billion times, but she’s got a new version with an orchestra and it’s quite epic.

Perfume Genius delivers his most experimental work 

Perfume Genius| Ugly Season | ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 

Mike Hadreas, aka Perfume Genius, has been on an intriguing musical journey, his early albums were quiet, peaceful and angelic, while later works were filled with suppressed anger and released a powerful voice, and musical arrangements that were captivating, striding between genres.

This new work, that was made to accompany a dance work and subsequent film is Hadreas at his most experimental. At the beginning there is a distinct lack of vocals, just whispered words, but as we get into the second track Herem an angelic voice appears against the multi-layered music. The seven minute long track is a deep dive into an atmospheric word, it changes several times, moving through different phases and movements.

Teeth mixes a glockenspiel sound, with foreboding drums and sharp orchestral stabs, while a fraught vocal is delivered. Then suddenly the music stops only to recommence sounding much more condensed mixing a baroque style with serious jazz flourishes. This is music to really listen to, operatic, dramatic.

You have to smile with the dramatic shift in tone when Pop Song arrives, a slice of something lighter, but still intriguingly structured. There’s so many different sounds, unusual combinations, the music twists and turns unexpectantly, making Perfume Genius sound distinctly original.

Title track track Ugly Season is part western, part techno nightclub, it’s got a beat that would bring a Berlin club to life at 4am, but then it shifts, the beats get faster, the sounds phases out, did the drugs just kick in? We’re in a spin, unable to stop. Photograph brings us back down. Hellbent is well named, pulsating sounds with a spoken vocal, squealing guitars, it builds and builds a growing cacophony of competing sounds. The final song Cenote gives us a moment to breathe, it’s simple piano keys develop into a peaceful soundscape.

If you’re tired of all your music sounding the same, listen to this – it’s brilliant.

Peggy Gou gives a Kylie classic a makeover

Kylie Minogue’s massive hit Can’t Get You Out of My Head thanks to top DJ Peggy Gou. Her ‘Midnight Mix’ adds a whole bunch of new vibes to the song which is celebrating his 21st anniversary this year.

The new mix was released at a huge party held during the Cannes Film Festival, and is a collaboration with Magnum ice creams.

The song was written by Rob Davis and Cathy Dennis – who had her own career as a pop diva in the late 80’s and early 90s. Surprisingly the song was offered to both Sophie Ellis-Bextor and S Club 7 before it was recorded by Kylie. Later Kylie would turn down another song by the writing duo, Toxic would go on to become a huge hit for Britney Spears.

We eternally love the original version, but this new take gives it a subtle new sound, take a listen.

Syd’s second solo album has been worth the wait 

Syd| Broken Hearts Club | ★ ★ ★ ★ 

It’s five years since Syd (no longer Tha Kyd) released her debut album, not comes the follow up which documents the breakup of a relationship and it’s a woozy experience filled with slow funk and bass heavy grooves. The album opens up with CYBAH, an abbreviation for the question Could You Break A Heart? Teaming up with Lucky Date the track is filled with psychedelic swirls and heavily overlaid vocals.

The tunes are short and sweet and quickly work through the attraction, romance, break up and recovery. Fast Car is a slice of pop, with delectable lyrics like “Kiss me like you mean it girl”, Right Track a collaboration with Smino has a reggae vibe, Sweet is gorgeous filled with synths and cascading vocals, and Getting Late takes a darker turn and features an off-kilter vocal.

Kehlani appears on Out Loud a laid-back jam with an acoustic guitar and gospel flourishes, BMHWDY is another acronym titled tune “Break My Heart Why Don’t You” has a solid pounding beat and more of Syd’s sweet vocals, Goodbye My Love is super mellow. Album closer Missing Out is an intriguing number with an electronic droning sound, hard beats and a powerful vocals.

If you’ve followed Syd’s work through the Odd Future, The Internet and her solo work, you’ll lap up the next instalment in her musical journey.         

Harry Styles shines on third album ‘Harry’s House’  

Harry Styles | Harry’s House | ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 

Undeniably the breakout star of boyband One Direction, Harry Styles presents his third solo album and it cements his place of one of the most interesting pop artists of today. Sure he’s making movies, appearing on chat shows, touring the world, and donning magazine covers, but behind it all is some really good music.

Album opener Music for a Sushi Restaurant  kicks off the party, you’ve probably heard it on the TV add for Apple Music. Bright, shiny and upbeat the track inspire dancing and sing-a-longs. Late Night Talking is a joy, Grapejuice features a vocal reminiscent of early 80’s Paul McCartney, while the zippy lead single As It Was is pure pop perfection – a serious 80’s vibe.

The middle section of the album features some tunes that embody the feeling of a lazy summer afternoon, Little Freak and Matilda are perfect companions. The slow funk returns on Cinema, pulling us back to the dance floor, and the party is full swing by the time Daydreaming arrives. Featuring a sample from 70’s funk-disco legends The Brothers Johnson, it’s a celebration filled with horns, crisp piano and  powerful vocals.

Graeme Watson

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