Fickle Friends – ‘Velvet’ EP

Fickle Friends photographed for Billboard, 2015.
Fickle Friends photographed for Billboard, 2015.

On Monday one of my favourite new bands, Fickle Friends, released their debut EP ‘Velvet’ which includes their single ‘Could Be Wrong’. The EP is the follow up to hugely catchy singles ‘For You’ and ‘Swim’ which set music blogs alight last year. Since hearing ‘For You’ last October I have been hooked on their synth-pop sound.

The band played the BBC Introducing stage at Radio 1’s Big Weekend last weekend and have just began their first headline UK tour, playing a sold out show at London’s Barfly tonight. The ‘Velvet’ EP is full of catchy synth-pop sounds, from the summery and dance-y ‘I Could Be Wrong’ to the Jessie Ware-esque soothing and calm ‘Paris’. My personal favourite has to be the title track ‘Velvet’ though, with its evident 1980s influences and smooth beats. It reminded me slightly of College’s wonderful ‘A Real Hero’ with that slick crescendo of beats at the start. Overall, this is a thoroughly enjoyable EP that is well worth a listen and shows a great progression for the band. I can’t wait to hear more.

‘Velvet’ is available now on iTunes via Killing Moon Records.

You can listen to ‘I Could Be Wrong’ below.

OL

Cover Songs – Better Than The Original? (Vol. 2)

As I expressed in my first post about my favourite cover songs, they often have a beautiful ability to take a song into completely new and unexpected directions. This selection certainly demonstrates that.

Ben Howard recently did an absolutely gorgeous cover of Jessie Ware’s ‘Wildest Moments’ for the Radio 1 Live Lounge but nothing can beat this extraordinary cover he did of Carly Rae Jepsen’s ‘Call Me Maybe’, completely transforming a chirpy pop song into a dark and haunting track.

Next up is a great example of a cover track that is so different to the original that I didn’t realise straight away it was a cover. James Vincent McMorrow covered one of my favourite tracks from the 80s, Steve Winwood’s ‘Higher Love’. It is a truly beautiful reworking of the 1986 hit single.

The next cover is one of the most bonkers cover songs I have ever heard, completely unexpected but also quite brilliant. Nearly 40 years later this cover doesn’t seem any more normal, it’s still as way out as it probably seemed when it was released in 1977. Here is Devo with their unique cover of The Rolling Stones’ 1965 single ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’.

The last song I have chosen for this selection is from South African band Civil Twilight (who not enough people have heard of but their album ‘Human’ is amazing and you should all go and listen to it). This cover of ‘Come As You Are’ blew me away the first time I heard it and it just made me really happy when I stumbled across it. Civil Twilight are a band I fell in love with years ago and I got really into Nirvana in primary school after finding my Dad’s CD of theirs. The blend of the two just seems perfect somehow, both in terms of my own nostalgia but also because this is just a bloody good cover.

As always I hope you have enjoyed listening to these songs and I will post more of my favourites soon!

OL

Tracks Of The Week

Time for some fresh new music!

First up is a track that I’ve been listening to on repeat for the past two days. The Chemical Brothers are set to release their eighth album in the summer and I got pretty excited when I heard ‘Sometimes I Feel So Deserted’ last week. Now they have released ‘Go’ and, oh my goodness, I officially can’t wait for the album (released 17th July). Just to warn you the video is completely bonkers, but the song is so catchy! You will get addicted, at least I did.

Next up is the latest gem from Tame Impala. I know, what a surprise! Tame Impala included in the Tracks Of The Week? Haven’t all of their new singles been included? Well, yes, but I just had to include ‘Disciples’ as it’s another great example of their psychedelic sound. The only criticism is that it should be longer…

Shamir, whose quirky track ‘Call It Off’ I included as one of my tracks of the week a few weeks back, has now released a brand new stunning ballad. The opening to the song immediately intrigued me as it is a real step away from his usual electro-pop sound. ‘Darker’ highlights Shamir’s beautiful voice and it is refreshing to hear an artist whose musical style you cannot fit into a strict genre.

Finally, I stumbled across Samm Henshaw a few days ago and am so glad I did! He’s a singer-songwriter from London who is definitely one to watch. This track ‘Redemption’ was released a few weeks ago and is just so soulful and amazing. He has a gorgeous voice and I’m super excited to hear more from him. This is the wonderful live version of the track:

As always, I hope you have enjoyed this week’s mix.

OL