In The Spotlight: Mura Masa – Deal Wiv It

First heard this a couple of weeks ago and just got instantly hooked to it, and it’s actually a really catchy track to listen to. Alex Crossan, better known by his stage-name Mura Masa.  Musically it’s in a similar vein to The Streets and Slaves. In fact, when I first heard this, I actually thought it was from one of them. Deal Wiv It is a good strong record and has an in-your-face rawness about it. The lyrics are somewhat edgy can carry raw emotion, not to mention bitter story telling. Further proof that occasionally writing and singing about one’s own life makes for stronger, catchier songs. The line ‘Deal Wiv It’ becomes a hook in how Mura tells both his peers and himself to deal with things. A bit of a ‘I don’t care what’s going on/what you think. Deal with it. Alex Crossan aka Mura Masa is definitely someone who the music scene’s been waiting for to give it a good shake-down. So far this is the only track I’ve heard from him an I already like him. What I enjoy about the track is the upfront raw, unapologetic, honesty of the lyrics behind the music itself.

The video is a raw as the song itself and it follows a person during a single day as he goes from his house/flat to outside onto the street. At the end of the video he’s in a vehicle with a guy. In terms of the creativity behind the video it’s very similar to the song, and music behind both The Streets and Slaves e.g. low-budget and writing songs about everyday life.

🙂

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F0uvt97Xn20

In The Spotlight: The Lumineers – Hey Ho

Perhaps one of their most infamous songs around to date, Hey-Ho, is best described as a folk, indie/rock type of song. It is very much an easy listening sort of song and one that you can just as easily sing along to. In terms of the musical structure of the track it is melodic, upbeat and a rather chirpy one. The song is taken from their self-titled debut album back in 2012 and is one of those sorts of tracks where you can never really tire of it no matter how many times you listen to it. The song itself was written by founding members, Wesley Shultz and Jeremy Fraites. As songwriters they are incredibly talented, even with instruments. Since I first heard this track, I immediately liked it, and if you like indie/folk/rock music you’ll see why. An absolute classic to listen to.

The video that accompanies this song features is a fairly basic one and just features members of the band walking down a corridor just singing and dancing. Now what is also interesting is that the hospital itself looks like it has been unused and there is no lighting except for the light pouring through the windows and outdoor light decorations adoring the corridor. During the video they are accompanied by a young woman then by several extras who are dressed similarly to the band themselves. The video ends with the duo giving a small performance to room full of extras whilst clapping in beat with the rhythm.

🙂

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvCBSSwgtg4

 

In The Spotlight: The Weeknd – The Hills

Literally just a few minutes long and from his second studio album, Beauty Behind The Madness and ironically also the second single by Canadian singer Abel Makkonen Tesfaye better known by his stage-name, The Weeknd, (minus a 3rd E). The Hills has quite a dark, intimate and sinister tone to it which seeps throughout the whole song, to me though, it has a somewhat apocalyptic feel to it. In some ways the darkness in the tone has a type of hook to it where you know that trouble or danger is literally just around the corner. Also, another thing I can’t help but notice is that there is also something quite seductive about the track. One of those where you after listening to the first few seconds you immediately want more. Now this a perfect example of The Weeknd’s talents as an artist as it shows what he is capable of when it comes to song writing.

One of the videos to this song begins with a car that’s been involved in an accident, The Weeknd crawls out of it and walks down a road. The car blows up behind him as he’s walking. He then enters a mansion, goes upstairs where he meets a small group of people where the video then blank. Both videos suit the mood and dark tones of the song as it does refer to deep subject matter in regards to both human behaviour and the human psyche especially as it deals with sex and drug abuse.

For your viewing pleasure.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzTuBuRdAyA

 

Graham Norton/Niall Horan

Former One Direction singer’s new single, Nice To Meet Ya, and I admit that it’s got a nice intro that’s worthy of Noel Gallagher and Alex from the Arctic Monkeys, and I don’t say that lightly. I admit that I’m not a huge fan of Niall, partly due to him being of boy-band stock, but even I have to admit this new song of his actually sounds pretty good. An entire dimension away from what I’m normally used to hearing. If Niall’s hoping to make the transition from boy-band to serious artists this is a good way to start it. It’s my type of music and is a decent mixture of Indie, electro and acoustic. If his new album, Flicker, sounds as good as Nice To Meet Ya  then I would be solely tempted to get a copy. His performance was really good and it was quite nice to see him play with a band, almost as if they record together, permanently. Now providing that he stays on this musical route there’s no reason why he can’t become a more serious indie/rock musician.

 

Also on the sofa were Helena Bonham Carter, Oliver Coleman, Chadwick Boseman, Lady Glennconnor and Richard Ayoade

In The Spotlight: Grimes & Hana – We Appreciate Power

This is an amazing song by Canadian singer and rapper, Grimes, and features vocals by American singer, Hana. Now what is quite intriguing about this duo is that both artists almost appear to sing at the same time, but either way it adds quite a bit of depth in regards to the song. The line, We Appreciate Power goes around like a catchy hook which you can quite easily sing to. I always found something quite dramatic about certain parts of the song in both the way that the music is arranged and combined with the lyrics. Overall this is good song for anyone who’s into electronic music and shows the best qualities of its two female singers. Why Hana and Grimes aren’t better known, or recognised, in the British music scene is beyond me.

I think there’s something just a bit eerie about the lyrics with some of its lines; Neanderthal to human being, Evolution, kill the gene, Biology is superficial, Intelligence is artificial, submit submit submit submit. In a way it’s almost like a sort of futurist referencing in regards to both evolution and A.I

The video to this is definitely worth a look at and has a sort of Tron/Manga look towards it. Neither Hana or Grimes are seen singing in it and the lyrics are seen in text in several languages. Throughout the video both singers are seen in various poses either holding props or holding each other. Also, there’s some CGI shots of earth in-between

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYG_4vJ4qNA 

 

In The Spotlight: Dave Stewart & Candy Dulfer – Lily Was Here

Recorded in 1989 and released back the following year in 1990, Lily Was Here is best described in some ways as a timeless masterpiece. It was made by Dave Stewart, one half of the electronic duo Eurythmics, along with Dutch Jazz saxophonist, Candy Dulfer. Now one of the things that is so iconic about it is that it doesn’t have any vocals on it at all, not even a backing vocalist or someone saying a couple of whispering words in the background. Just four minutes and thirty-odd seconds of uninterrupted music by a saxophone and guitar playing together. The song is both smooth, melodic and in some ways somewhat haunting.

The song is to the European/ Dutch film, Lily Was Here (De Kassiere). One of the videos accompanying the song is snippets of small clips of the film which mixed with clips of both Dave Stewart and Candy Dulfer playing the track along with the backing of a pull instrumental band. The film clips that are mixed in with it tell the story of a teenage girl who goes on the run after a traumatic event and then proceeds to go on a series of robberies.

Lily Was Here is one of those songs where, providing you are into jazz and instrumental songs with no vocals you cannot get tired of easily. It is in itself a timeless classic and truly fantastic work by two separate musicians from different musical genres, and one, no doubt where you won’t mind listening to on repeat.

Here’s two for your viewing pleasure, one contains footage of Dave and Candy performing together, have a watch and enjoy

https://vimeo.com/14212055

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xNS3zwlHHlU

Graham Norton/The Sugababes

After several years away from the lime light one of Britain’s best-known girl bands, The Sugababes, made a come back and it was with the original line-up; Mutya Buena, Keisha Buchanan and Siobhan Donaghy. They performed the late 90’s hit, ‘Flowers’, a garage classic originally performed by female duo, Sweet Female Attitude (SFA) with DJ Spoony. Now I remember the original line-up when they first emerged and it took me a while (and line-up change) to get into them. As much as I would have liked to have enjoyed their rendition of the garage classic sadly I just couldn’t get into it. Some of it may be because I’ve since grown up a bit since Sweet 7, the other might be because I’ve drifted away from that genre. Another reason why this girl band’s is that they are nickname as the time-lords of pop as every 1-2 albums there was a change in the line-up. Now I proudly call myself a fan in the past but sadly they weren’t doing anything for me this time.

Also on the sofa were Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Debbie Harry and Nadiya Hussain to discuss their upcoming projects as well as the upcoming film, Terminator: Dark Fate

In The Spotlight: Jess Glynne – Thursday

Taken from her second studio album, Always In Between, and just three minutes thirty-four seconds long the song sounds both heavily filled with emotion and intimate. Thursday is all about feeling beautiful and being able to overcome your personal insecurities and being able to love yourself. Very much like embracing your inner-beauty and being able to love yourself. I feel that this is one of those songs which speak on a personal level whilst carrying the encouragement of self-empowerment. The lyrics are so strong and emotional without being too in-your-face and there is a line in the lyrics where she says “And I just want to feel beautiful” just goes around and round and definitely strikes a chord with you. In another part of the song there’s a couple of lines where she says “Don’t want these tears inside my eyes, yeah, don’t wanna wake up and feel insecure”. What I find quite clever about the song is that its title, Thursday, only get said five times and that’s when she’s referencing accessories or make-up.

The video to this song is entirely in black and white which adds to the sombre tone and, in some ways, carries more meaning. Every so often she looks into the camera and there’s a few clips where is seen looking into a mirror.

I remember watching her perform this at an awards ceremony on TV ages. As part of the performance she was on-stage with other women, all various sizes. At the start of the song they’re all wearing make-up and throughout the performance they wipe it all off.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0v30jKH958

In The Spotlight: Friendly Fires – Love Like Waves

Taken from their third studio album, Inflorescent, Love Like Waves is the seventh single of the record and at only four and a half minutes long and it is undoubtedly a great song. It is definitely one of those type of songs for the summer playlist. As always Ed Macfarlane’s voice is both completely magnetic and smooth and just draws you right into the song, as always, a great listening pleasure. Love Like Waves is a great fusion of dance and pop with some electronic beats thrown into the mixture. Another one you can see yourself moving to on the dance-floor. Ed has one of those voices that fits into the dance music scene with hardly any effort at all and has a wide vocal range which he uses with complete confidence. The line, Love Like Waves, weaves in and out of the song in a smooth and melodic ease.

The video accompanying this song has that summer holiday feel to it as when it starts you are already in what appears to be like sunny Spain or the Mediterranean. It just has the look and feel. Throughout the video the see clips featuring various other people, including members of Friendly Fires reclining, enjoying the sunny weather mixed with the band doing a live gig with people dancing to the music. Now for a band that haven’t released any new material in over six years this is much anticipated welcome back to Friendly Fires and their music. Long may Ed and the gang continue.

🙂

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VEch9Nk1aqg