Your Ad Here

Thursday, December 10, 2009

What Happens When Personal Favorite Becomes the Next Big Thing?

I love it when an artist that I've heralded on this blog becomes a big success. It's happened a few times before, and looks to happen again with Hurts, who have been tipped by many in the media as the next big thing for 2010. But it didn't happen without a few changes.

I wrote about Hurts extensively back when they were called Daggers. In fact, their single Money was my number one song of 2008 (though technically it was released in late 07). I lamented when the group broke up, and still believe that they've got some of the best unreleased tracks ever recorded. I like to string them together to form an album-that-never-was. If it had been released, it would easily challenge this year's crop for the number one position on my countdown.

But enough about Daggers. Even though I don't want to believe it, they're gone--as is their brand of brash, glossy electro. Now we've got Hurts, which in name and sound seems to be a reaction to Daggers. A comedown, a morning after. From what I've heard so far (four songs and a remix), the tone is muted and subtle, the tempo is slowed, and the overall sound is more wistful and stately.

Exhibit A: Daggers - Death It Feels

Daggers - Death It Feels by alienhits

Exhibit B: Hurts - Unspoken

Hurts - Unspoken by alienhits

Both are obviously fantastic, but based on my tastes alone, I can't help but wish that it was Daggers that were receiving all of this exciting press, but we've yet to see exactly what Hurts will do. After all, the principle songwriters are still there. The wonderful vocals are intact. The songs are good (though too often not great) and I think they have a hit in Wonderful Life (the best of their output thus far). I just hope they remember what made them hurt in the first place.

What about you guys? Which of the two songs above do you prefer? I think both represent the sound of their respective band pretty accurately.

Hear two other songs performed on bbc radio (fast forward an hour and three minutes into the broadcast)

Wonderful Life video

Their (frustratingly cryptic) Myspace

Labels: ,

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Mini Viva - I'm Hooked

"Do you want to stay?"

I, along with almost every other pop-minded blogger out there, am very excited about Xenomania's Mini Viva. They have a specific sound that mixes Girls Aloud with something a little funkier. I've liked everything I've heard so far, though nothing quite touches the brilliant Left My Heart In Tokyo from this summer. I'm Hooked comes close, riding along on a disco beat with shimmering synths and a laid back groove that lets the melody and vocals shine. It becomes more and more impressive as it builds, and the chorus in particular really shines after a few listens.
On another note, I'm going to start using soundcloud rather than imeem for music, at least for now. Hope that works for everyone!

Mini Viva - I'm Hooked by alienhits

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists. Preorder the new single here. Follow me on twitter at nickajames)


Tuesday, December 08, 2009


Imeem, the website where I host my music, has abruptly closed down as they merge with myspace. Not sure how this is going to work. Hopefully all the music will be uploaded to a new link. Until that time, my links here are pretty much useless. I'll work on reuploading when I have time, but for now my highly enjoyable words will have to be enough. Although, most songs, if you're curious, can probably be found by searching youtube or google blogs.

Aldo Nova - Fantasy

"Give you love if the price is right"

It's time for a quick trip back to the 80's with a Canadian I only just discovered. Apparently Fantasy was something of a hit at the beginning of the decade, though I've never heard it before. You can't beat the opening, though. Ominous synths and helicopter blades. How dramatic. This guy's been credited as the first to do the whole 80's glam/hair rock made so popular by bands like Def Leppard and Poison. The synth work on this track is what really stood out to me initially, especially the blaring riff that opens the first verse. The melody's great as well, totally instant yet kinda sleazy at the same time. But out of everything, the video's the real standout--a campy, low-budget mess with a spotted catsuit. Epic.

Aldo Nova - Fantasy (imeem is currently moving to myspace (!) so here is the video link)

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists. Buy the album here. Follow me on twitter at nickajames)

Monday, December 07, 2009

Aura - I Will Love You Monday (365)

"Running around and going nowhere"

Aura Dione's been riding high on the charts in Denmark for some time now, but I haven't paid her much attention because her singles thus far were a little downtempo for me. Now, though, she's come out with I Will Love You Monday, a ridiculously catchy trifle that is deservedly finding much success in Europe. It's the type of song that could become annoying pretty quickly (and sounds like it should be in a commercial) but is absolutely irresistible at the same time. I'm not even sure how to describe it. It has that Winehouse/Duffy 60's sound to it, but it's much stranger than that, and certainly more frenetic. The "dum dum dee" parts are just inescapable, and although the song's a totally different beast, reminiscent of Miley Cyrus' Hoedown Throwdown. Seriously, though, there's nothing Disney about this.

Aura - I Will Love You Monday

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists. Buy the album here. Follow me on twitter at nickajames)