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Master Of My Make BelieveSantigold is Santi White: an artist whose perseverance relies on invention, a champion who survives off her own skill and faith. She is a major muse watched by the inspired world, an in categorical performer who collapses time and genre with one hand guided by tradition, while the other hand carves out a shining future. Santigold is neither calm nor mayhem, but from her lungs burst every color in between.
After four years of hide and seek in which blogs blew up at the sudden release of any track with her name attached to it, Santigold returns in a moment of global aggression and vulnerability. Honing in on the hyper-media cult of personality, in her unmistakable voice she asks the listener: Into what fantasy do you hurl yourself as you gaze into the glow of your machine? The answer to this question is central to what drives Master of My Make-Believe, her latest work to be released this spring on Atlantic Records.
As an antidote against self-celebratory status updates in a climate where the focus on fame outweighs a days emotions, Master of My Make-Believe summons pop culture zombies back to life. This is sound proof of an artist on a diligent journey, measuring the power of individual mood against social clamor. Sifting through a wondrous wreckage of airplay, upload, and anguish, Santigolds talent lies in filtering reality through freakdom, to find in desire a timeless spark of raw magic.
Anyone caught referring to Master of My Make-Believe as a sophomore effort is only half right. Though relatively fresh as Santigold, Santi Whites history of writing, production, and performance stretch beyond the centurys flip. Her collaboration with the industrys most recognized and respected talent is something continuous and wide reaching, making her musical lineage all the much richer. Declared Best Breakthrough Artist by NME in 2008 and Pop Music Vanguard by ASCAP in 2009, the voice that defines Santigold is as complex as the faces that pack a subway car, as intimate and honest as conversation on a weathered stoop.
Through chopped pianos, the clink of glass bottles, and the peaking blast of motorcycle engines, Master of My Make-Believe accounts for 21st century details of life from the hearts center to the minds periphery. In her pen and in her voice, the breadth of substance presented in Santigolds newest songs is immediate and complex. There are valleys here wherein the drudge of daily living is met with caution and confronted by mortality, but underneath it all there is the celebration of each persons power and vision to fight toward what they believe. Consider this your invitation.1. GO!
2. Disparate Youth
3. God From The Machine
5. Freak Like Me
6. This Isn't Our Parade
7. The Riot's Gone
8. Pirate In The Water
9. The Keepers
10. Look At These Hoes
11. Big Mouth$21.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
SantigoldOn Santi White's debut album Santogold, the former music biz A&R and pop songwriter for hire is challenging stereotypes and playing fast and loose with genre, mashing up dub, punk and electronics to make an energetic, anger-fueled music. From the stirring new-wave pop of L.E.S Artistes to the ska-pop numbers You'll Find a Way and Say Aha, Santogold is a wildly eclectic affair that leaves you believing all the hype.
The future of music, now - Rolling Stone (10 Artists To Watch)
Next Big Thing - Spin1. L.E.S. Artistes
2. You'll Find A Way
3. Shove It (feat. Spankrock)
4. Say Aha
5. Creator (v Switch and Freq Nasty)
6. My Superman
7. Lights Out
10. I'm A Lady (feat. Trouble Andrew)
12. You'll Find A Way (Switch and Sinden Remix)$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
99 CentsClear-Colored Vinyl
I don't make music for myself, says Santigold, matter-of-factly. I pay a lot of attention to that -- making music that's liked by more people than just myself. In a scene driven by bravado, few musicians would ruminate on the Zen-like balance behind creating truly gratifying art. But exploring that intersection between integrity and intrigue has always been central to this idiosyncratic musician's appeal. That, in turn, has culminated in her latest release, '99¢', an often-playful satire on the singer's brand.
The '99¢' album cover features me shrink-wrapped among a cluttered mess of things -- my life in a bag, she explains. It is about how everything is a packaged product for sale: how we package ourselves, our lives, our relationships.
It took roughly eight months to manifest her new vision, with assists from a mix of collaborators with poppier visions such as producers Patrick Berger (Robyn, Icona Pop) and John Hill (Florence and the Machine, Charli XCX), alongside eclectic talents known more for globe-trotting sounds such as Vampire Weekend's Rostam Batmanglij and TV on the Radio's Dave Sitek. She went into the studio with them intending to make a fun record. My last record had a seriousness to it, she says. This time around, it's more playful -- but still a commentary.
Today, any of her dissents veer toward the contemplative. I wanted to write some songs that felt very personal, she says. Before Santigold, in my other band, I used to write songs like journal entries. And I tried to write a couple of songs on this record where it was really about me and my experience. Though, in true Santigold form, she balances the introspective moments with humorous ones in songs like Who Be Loving Me, a lighthearted boast about fan adoration, produced by Zeds Dead and featuring ILoveMakonnen.
You could go around being annoyed all the time, or you can go, 'This is crazy and actually funny.' Then you can play around with it, and make great art, she says. This album has required me to be more open, less of a perfectionist. Ironically, that's made the prismatic '99¢' her most ambitious album to date. I realize that my work is a collage, she says. And I can pretty much take that anywhere.1. Can't Get Enough Of Myself (feat. B.C)
2. Big Boss Big Time Business
4. Chasing Shadows
5. Walking In A Circle
6. Who Be Lovin Me (feat. ILOVEMAKONNEN)
7. Rendezvous Girl
8. Before The Fire
9. All I Got
10. Outside The War
11. Run The Races
12. Who I Thought You Were$21.99Colored Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
ALMOST EVERYDAYMATT and KIM's sixth studio album ALMOST EVERYDAY includes guest vocals from the band's friends including Mark Hoppus, Clairo, King Tuff, Flosstradamus, Santigold and more. Known for their infectious, beat-driven anthems and explosive live shows, this new album breaks the silence after a year-long break from touring and 2016's WE WERE THE WEIRDOS - a surprise 4-track EP produced during the week between the band's two performances at Coachella.1. Intro
3. Like I Used To Be
4. I'd Rather
5. Happy If You're Happy
6. On My Own
7. All In My Head
8. Youngest I Will Be
9. Glad I Tried
10. Where Do We Go From Here?$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
The Edge of Seventeen SoundtrackPressed On 180-Gram Audiophile Vinyl
First Pressing Of 750 Numbered Copies On Orange Vinyl, Black Vinyl Thereafter
Housed In A Gatefold Sleeve
Includes Exclusive Poster
PVC Protective Sleeve
OST Of The Brand New 2016 Movie, Featuring Hailee Steinfeld & Woody Harrelson
Great Tracks By Santigold, Anderson Paak, Two Door Cinema Club, Aimee Mann, Miike Snow, Handsome Poets, Phantogram, Angus & Julia Stone, Birdy A.O.
The Edge of Seventeen is a new coming-of-age movie in the vein of Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club - an honest, candid, often hilarious look at what it's like to grow up as a young woman in today's modern world.
Everyone knows that growing up is hard, and life is no easier for high school junior Nadine (Hailee Steinfeld), who is already at peak awkwardness when her all-star older brother Darian starts dating her best friend Krista. All at once, Nadine feels more alone than ever, until the unexpected friendship of a thoughtful boy gives her a glimmer of hope that things just might not be so terrible after all.
The Edge of Seventeen marks the feature directorial debut of writer-director Kelly Fremon Craig, and is produced by Academy Award® winner James L. Brooks - the filmmaker behind big-screen, character-driven classics such as Terms of Endearment, Broadcast News, Big, Say Anything, The Simpsons, Jerry Maguire and As Good as It Gets.
The film is getting plenty of comparisons to the John Hughes' The Breakfast Club, but it's mostly modern soundtrack helps set it apart from those 80s classics: Santigold's new rollicking Who I Thought You Were, a standout off this year's 99¢, opens the movie and a pivotal party scene is filled with tracks by festival favorites like Two Door Cinema Club and Anderson .Paak.
Furthermore the soundtrack of the film features a hearty and exciting mix of talents as diverse as Aimee Mann, Phantogram, Birdy, Handsome Poets, Miike Snow and others.LP 1
1. Who I Thought You Were - Santigold
2. Ballroom Blitz - The Struts
3. Am I Wrong - Anderson.Paak Ft. Schoolboy Q
4. Bad Decisions - Two Door Cinema Club
5. Psycho - A$ap Ferg Save Me - Aimee Mann
6. Genghis Khan - Miike Snow
7. Don't You Wait - Cloves
8. The D*head Song - Miles Betterman
1. Somebody Else - The 1975
2. When They Fight, They Fight - Generationals
3. Hard Luck - Black Pistol Fire
4. When I'm Small - Phantogram
5. Big Jet Plane - Angus & Julia Stone
6. To Build A Home - The Cinematic Orchestra
7. Sky On Fire (Eo17 Remix) - Handsome Poets
8. Ghost In The Wind - Birdy
9. Nadine's Theme - Atli Örvarsson
10. The Hug - Atli Örvarsson$40.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
No Mythologies To FollowNo Mythologies To Follow' is the debut album from Danish pop star Mo. The album packs together all of last year's punchy, no-prisoners singles - the swooning 'Never Wanna Know', the Diplo collaboration 'XXX 88' - and compresses them into a brash pop assault. Closer 'Glass' doesn't leave a second's pause. There's no breathing space, here. It's an abrupt, effective conclusion. It's an album full of electronic pop perfection fused with soulful synths and melodies. Think a mix of Grimes, Santigold and Lykke Li.1. Fire Rides
3. Never Wanna Know
4. Red in the Grey
6. Don't Wanna Dance
7. Waste of Time
8. Dust Is Gone
9. XXX 88 [ft. Diplo]
10. Walk This Way
11. Slow Love
13. No Mythologies to Follow
14. Dummy Head
15. The Sea
16. Gone and Found
17. Fire Rides (Night Version)
18. Dust Is Gone (Night Version)
19. Slow Love (Night Version)
20. The Sea (Night Version)$29.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
SongsThe takeover for English dubstep producer Rusko (aka Christopher Mercer) has only just begun! His 2010 debut, O.M.G!, replete with his signature bone-rattling bass and anthemic melodies, was a critical and commercial hit that cemented him as one of the most exciting artists on the modern dance music scene.
His peers have championed him and Diplo, Santigold and Switch have featured his tracks in DJ sets and mixes. His own productions and remixes include The Prodigy and Basement Jaxx and his live shows have been drawing rapturous crowds across the globe.
His new album and second overall, Songs, finds the dauntless artist at his absolute best with a set of tracks that will dominate festivals and dance-floors for the foreseeable future and beyond!1. Intro - Year 3000 Style
2. Somebody To Love
5. Love No More
7. Dirty Sexy
8. Be Free
10. Roll Da Beats (Old School Edition)
11. Mek More Green
12. Asda Car Park
13. Whistle Crew
14. M357$24.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
So It IsPreservation Hall Jazz Band have announced the release of their new album, So It Is, the septet's second release featuring all-new original music, releasing via Legacy Recordings. So It Is finds the classic PHJB sound invigorated by a number of fresh influences, not least among them the band's 2015 life-changing trip to Cuba.
In Cuba, all of a sudden we were face to face with our musical counterparts, says bandleader/composer/bassist Ben Jaffe. There's been a connection between Cuba and New Orleans since day one - we're family. A gigantic light bulb went off and we realized that New Orleans music is not just a thing by itself; it's part of something much bigger. It was almost like having a religious epiphany.
Producer David Sitek, a founder of art rock innovators TV on the Radio who has helmed projects by Kelis, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Santigold among others, offered both a keen modern perspective and a profound respect for the band's storied history. Upon arriving in New Orleans to meet with the band, Sitek recalls he and Jaffe accidentally stumbling into one of the city's famed second-line parades. I was struck by the visceral energy of the live music all around, this spontaneous joy, everything so immediate, he says. I knew I had to make sure that feeling came out of the studio. It needed to be alive. It needed to sound dangerous.
The music on So It Is, penned largely by Jaffe and 84 year-old saxophonist Charlie Gabriel in collaboration with the entire PHJB, stirs together that variety of influences like classic New Orleans cuisine. Longtime members Jaffe, Gabriel, Clint Maedgen and Ronell Johnson have been joined over the past 18 months by Walter Harris, Branden Lewis and Kyle Roussel, and the new blood has hastened the journey into new musical territory. Inspired by that journey and reinvigorated by the post-Katrina rebuilding of their beloved home city, PHJB are redefining what New Orleans music means in 2017 by tapping into a sonic continuum that stretches back to the city's Afro-Cuban roots, through its common ancestry with the Afrobeat of Fela Kuti and the Fire Music of Pharoah Sanders and John Coltrane, and forward to cutting-edge artists with whom the PHJB have shared festival stages from Coachella to Newport, including legends like Stevie Wonder, Elvis Costello and the Grateful Dead and modern giants like My Morning Jacket, Arcade Fire and the Black Keys.
Preservation Hall Jazz Band:
BEN JAFFE - Bass (upright), Tuba, Percussion
CHARLIE GABRIEL - Saxophone (tenor), Clarinet
CLINT MAEDGEN - Saxophone (tenor), Percussion
RONELL JOHNSON - Trombone
WALTER HARRIS - Drums, Percussion
KYLE ROUSSEL - Piano, Wurlitzer, Organ
BRANDEN LEWIS - Trumpet1. So It Is
4. La Malanga
6. One Hundred Fires
7. Mad$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Oh My MyOh My My is OneRepublic's fourth album and the follow-up to their multi-platinum best-selling album, Native. Oh My My includes the new single "Kids," the summer hit "Wherever I Go" and new collaborations with Peter Gabriel, Santigold, Cassius and more.LP 1
1. Let's Hurt Tonight
2. Future Looks Good
3. Oh My My (feat. Cassius)
7. A.I. (feat. Peter Gabriel)
4. Lift Me Up
5. NbHD (feat. Santigold)
6. Wherever I Go
7. All These Things
8. Heaven$29.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Hot Sauce Committee, Pt. TwoHot Sauce Committee Part Two is the eighth and final studio album by the American hip hopband Beastie Boys,
originally released on April 27, 2011. The album received critical acclaim upon its release and was also a moderate
commercial success, debuting at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 chart. The release was supported by four singles - Lee
Majors Come Again, Too Many Rappers featuring Nas, Make Some Noise, and Don't Play No Game That I
Can't Win featuring Santigold.LP 1
1. Make Some Noise
2. Nonstop Disco Powerpack
4. Too Many Rappers
5. Say It
6. The Bill Harper Collection
7. Don't Play No Game That I Can't Win
1. Long Burn The Fire
2. Funky Donkey
3. The Larry Routine
4. Tadlock's Glasses
5. Lee Majors Come Again
6. Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament
7. Here's A Little Something For Ya
8. Crazy Ass Shit
9. The Lisa Lisa / Full Force Routine$34.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
LONG.LIVE.A$AP (Deluxe Version) (Awaiting Repress)Prominent hip-hop rising star A$AP Rocky presents LONG.LIVE.A$AP. The album will feature the buzz worthy "Goldie" and the Noah "40" Shebib produced hit, "F**kin' Problems" featuring hip-hop elites Drake, 2 Chainz and Kendrick Lamar, which was recently most added at urban and rhythm radio and continues to dominate airwaves.
Executive produced by A$AP Rocky and A$AP Yams, the LONG.LIVE.A$AP release will also feature guest appearances by Schoolboy Q, Santigold, Joey Bada$$, Yelawolf, Danny Brown, Action Bronson and Big K.R.I.T. A$AP Rocky takes the reins as producer and co-producer on several tracks along with Danger Mouse, Jim Jonsin, Rico Love, Clams Casino, Skrillex, Hit-Boy and more.
This deluxe version of LONG.LIVE.A$AP contains the original version's 12 tracks, plus 4 additional tracks, including "I Come Apart" featuring Florence Welch and "Ghetto Symphony" featuring Gunplay & A$AP Ferg.LP 1
1. Long Live A$AP
3. PMW (All I Really Need) - feat. Schoolboy Q
5. Hell - feat. Santigold
6. Pain - feat. OverDoz
7. F**kin' Problems - feat. Drake, 2 Chainz & Kendrick Lamar
8. Wild For The Night - feat. Skrillex & Birdy Nam Nam
1. 1Train - feat. Kendrick Lamar, Joey Bada$$, Yelawolf, Danny Brown, Action Bronson & Big K.R.I.T.
2. Fashion Killa
6. Ghetto Symphony - feat. Gunplay & A$AP Ferg
8. I Come Apart - feat. Florence Welch$29.99Colored Vinyl LP - 2 LP Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
ManhattanWhen it came time to record their Warner Bros. debut, the band looked directly to its hometown for inspiration. MANHATTAN is more than an album -it's a statement of purpose and a portrait of life in New York City. We were all bartenders, so the songs are tales of experiences we had or saw, and other people who were characters in our life during the first year we were in this band, Cummings says. (And for the record, SKATERS chose their band name because it captures their young and fearless attitude.
The album kicks off with subway noises, Because that's the sound of our lives, Cummings says. The disc was even recorded by John Hill (Santigold, Wavves) in the API room at Greenwich Village's iconic Electric Lady Studios, named after its one-of-a-kind board.
MANHATTAN features other little pieces of the city, too, in the form of sounds and conversations Hubbard nabbed on an old-school handheld tape recorder. There's a cab ride in there, there's kids yelling in Brooklyn, girls talking in a cafÉ, Rubin says. It's like a book of short stories, Cummings adds, deadpanning, It's Salinger's Nine Stories but it's Eleven Stories by SKATERS. And the writing is much better.1. One Of Us
2. Miss Teen Massachusetts
5. To Be Young In NYC
8. Fear Of The Knife
9. I Wanna Dance (But I Don't Know How)
10. Nice Hat
11. This Much I Care$17.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
in.ter a.li.aPressed On 180-Gram Colored Vinyl
The music industry sees artists come and go on a regular basis. Plans change, life gets in the way and bands fade away. Occasionally we're lucky enough to see an important band return from their silence: enter At The Drive In. While At The Drive In was quiet, the members (Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, Cedric Bixler-Zavala, Tony Hajjar and Paul Hinojos) were incredibly busy, selling millions of albums, winning Grammys and putting out a lot of quality music with their other projects (The Mars Volta, Antemasque, Gone Is Gone and many more).
After a 15 year break, the band returned to the studio to create the follow-up to 2000's Relationship of Command. It's the moment fans have been waiting for since their return to the stage as 2012 Coachella and Lollapalooza headliners prepare for in·ter a·li·a. Produced by the band's own Omar Rodriguez-Lopez and Rich Costey (Muse, Sigur Rós, Santigold), in·ter a·li·a includes eleven songs that resonate the classic At The Drive In intensity that fans love, while breaking the band's 15-year drought with something fresh and exciting, that slides right into 2017.
Their impressive catalog has earned At The Drive In positions on the Billboard Top 200 chart, spots on various "Greatest Albums" lists, and performances on David Letterman, Jools Holland, Conan O'Brien and more. This album is sure to provide nothing less. The band will be touring throughout 2017 to support this release, as well as perform on late night television. The silence is finally broken resume transmission.1. No Wolf Like The Present
3. Tilting At The Univendor
4. Governed by Contagions
5. Pendulum In A Peasant Dress
6. Incurably Innocent
7. Call Broken Arrow
9. Torrentially Cutshaw
10. Ghost-Tape No. 9
11. Hostage Stamps
12. Call Broken Arrow
14. Torrentially Cutshaw
15. Ghost-Tape No. 9
16. Hostage Stamps$20.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Still RunStill Run is the new album from Brooklyn, NY based alternative band Wet, and is the follow up to the band's critically acclaimed debut album Don't You from 2016. Still Run shows Wet with a more upbeat and pop-driven sound than their debut. The band's new sound and outlook is informed by lead singer and songwriter Kelly Zutrau taking more creative control of the project. Much of Wet's shift stems from Zutrau's more forceful vocals, which allow her direct yet poetic lyrics to resonate more deeply - leaping out of the sunnier production.
Producers like Rostam (Haim, Solange), Andrew Sarlo (Big Thief), and John Hill (Santigold, M.I.A.) assisted primary producer and Wet band member Joe Valle, who brings a new comfort level to his production style, presenting dark lyrics in a brighter way that highlights their innate intensity and lets Zutrau's songwriting shine. There are a million ways to make a good song sound good, she says. But what matters to me most in the end are the vocal, and the songwriting, and whatever serves those best.
Wet is recognized for their deeply-hued emotional pop, well documented by the New York Times, Spin, and NPR among many others. Rolling Stone noted that Wet set themselves apart with music that combines the elegant ache of Nineties R&B with the raw honesty of indie pop.... Still Run is a testament to taking that control and pursuing one's artistic vision and it also shows how any hiccups that might crop up along the way can make the vision's eventual realization more satisfying.1. Still Run (feat. Starchild & The New Romantic)
2. There's a Reason
3. You're Not Wrong
6. 11 Hours
7. This Woman Loves You
8. Out of Tune
10. Love is Not Enough$20.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Afraid Of HeightsStraight from the dungeons of L.A., Wavves deliver Afraid Of Heights, their fourth album. Now a duo consisting of guitarist Nathan Williams and bassist Stephen Pope, they sound bigger, brasher, and shockingly more professional than ever on Afraid Of Heights which positions the band to take their rightful place amongst the pop-punk gods. You know the story by now. Bored dude in his parents' tool shed-turned-room with no insulation and a record stuck to a hole in the wall to keep the mice out turns on a four-track recorder, fucks around and ends up with two of the oddest, noisiest, and downright catchiest albums in recent memory.
The product of more than a year of writing and recording, Afraid Of Heights expands the Wavves sound while remaining true to the band's original vision - it was created with absolutely no label involvement, a specter that nearly derailed King Of The Beach. Working with producer John Hill (known for his work with M.I.A. and Santigold, as well as with hip-hop acts such as Nas and the Wu-Tang Clan), the band found a willing party in creating what they felt was the truest expression of what they wanted. As for the Afraid Of Heights sessions themselves, Williams paid for them out-of-pocket, explaining his reasoning with, In doing so, I had no one to answer to. We recorded the songs how and when we wanted without anybody interfering, and that's how it's supposed to be.
Lyrically, Williams took the focus less off of his own melancholy and out into the world, with songs that dealt with crooked preachers (Sail To The Sun), relationships (Dog) and killing cops (Cop). Even when he reaches outside his own damaged psyche, Williams is still making Wavves songs, saying, The general theme of the record is depression and anxiety, being death-obsessed and paranoid of impending doom. I feel like the narration is almost schizophrenic if you listen front to back; every word is important, even the constant contradictions and lack of self-worth. That's all a part of this record-questioning everything not because I'm curious, but because I'm paranoid. That paranoia manifests itself on many of the album's best tracks, such as the spacey drones and bummazoid vibes of the Weezer-referencing, getting-drunk-because-you-can't-bring-yourself-to-care-vibey Afraid Of Heights, or the string-aided I Can't Dream, which rounds the record out with the optimistic, I can finally sleep, before subverting itself with, But I can't dream. With their biggest and boldest-sounding record yet, Wavves might have finally come into their own, a fully-realized punk rock force in both sound and vision.1. Sail to the Sun
2. Demon to Lean On
4. Lunge Forward
6. Afraid of Heights
9. Beat Me Up
10. Everyhting Is My Fault
11. That's On Me
12. Gimme a Knife
13. I Can't Dream$22.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
True RomanceOver the past few years, Charli has released a series of singles and mixtapes, toured the globe supporting the likes of Coldplay, Santigold, Sleigh Bells and Justice and garnered champions from practically every tastemaker blog and magazine on both sides of the Atlantic. She's had 2.5 million views on YouTube, 470k views of new video for 'You (Ha Ha Ha)' (in one month) and over 630k total plays on Soundcloud. It's hard to believe someone so young could achieve so much. Through it all her main focus has always been on making the best possible album she could. This was made possible by working with some fantastic collaborators who helped hone her vision for a dark, emotional pop record including Ariel Rechtshaid (Usher, Major Lazer, Solange), Patrik Berger (Lana del Rey, Robyn) as well as hotly tipped blog favourites Blood Diamonds and J£zus Millions.
As well as being an artist in her own right, Charli has written and featured on one of the biggest global breakthrough hits of 2012 for Icona Pop. I Love It created an absolute frenzy stateside, having blown up all over the world.
True Romance shares its title with an unbelievably well-cast 1993 movie written by Quentin Tarantino, who was reassembling cultural detritus way before mash-ups and microblogging. Charli XCX's approach to pop is similarly postmodern (how 90s does that sound?), pulling from moody 80s synth-pop, sassy turn-of-the-millennium girl groups, and state-of-the-art contemporary producers to create something distinctive and immediately memorable. She clearly understands the internet, having shared two original mixtapes and two influences mixtapes before her official full-length, but this carefully pruned set is no data dump. And there you'll see a glimmer of True Romance's most throwback aspect: its evident pop ambition, an overriding sense of an imagined mass audience for music that's radio-ready yet outsider-friendly. It's almost like Napster-- and the filler-crammed album sales model that preceded it-- never happened.
In fact, by the time Charli XCX was a teenage electro-house devotee, illegal file-sharing's early free-for-all had already given way to iTunes and other legal download services. Robyn had already released her self-titled comeback album. So it might be only natural that Charli XCX would keep the pre-bubble faith that people will pay for emotionally direct, bubblegum-catchy, yet stubbornly left-of-center songs about falling in and out of love. But the generous hooks on the previously released singles here, such as the gospel-kissed prechorus of the yearning Stay Away or the Santigold-savvy lilt of love-and-the-bomb brooder Nuclear Seasons, are extraordinarily welcome just the same. Even better are newer singles such as the gorgeously bitter You (Ha Ha Ha), which inhabits its cloud-rappy Gold Panda sample like they were made for each other, and the almost-as-gorgeously blissful What I Like, which recounts a still-young relationship with the cheeky frankness of Lily Allen or the Streets, and the sing-songy near-rapping of the Spice Girls.
The several songs on True Romance that hadn't previously surfaced in videos or other releases aren't quite as strong, but they're effective enough to suggest Charli XCX's best work might still be ahead of her. The Todd Rundgren-sampling So Far Away, with the sun-dappled lushness of the Avalanches, is a clear highlight; Charli XCX's vocals are usually plain-spoken, but the anguished break-up plea Set Me Free proves she can reach for Jessie Ware-like dramatics when appropriate. The pitch-shifting no one is forever intro added at the start of opener Nuclear Seasons probably should've been given its own track-- and later on the album it is, when the same backing vocal forms the base of the cloudy, broken-hearted Grins. Elsewhere, the haunted confession How Can I, while solid enough, is a reminder that Charli XCX's lyrics so far tend to fall relatively flat; when, on swooning finale Lock You Up, she sings, It hits me like a ton of bricks, she leaves the clichÉ untweaked.
And then there's Cloud Aura, a lovelorn, engagingly laid-back bit of groove that lets Grimes' Genesis video co-star Brooke Candy rap horribly about Chris Brown. Candy's guest verse previously appeared on 2012's uneven Super Ultra mixtape, and it was near-universally panned. It isn't any better now. But in an era when too many up-and-comers are all too eager to please, this stubborn refusal to back down displays another quality in short supply: genuine irreverence. The songwriting and production credits on True Romance include Usher's Climax co-conspirator Ariel Rechtshaid and I Love It collaborator Patrick Berger, among others, who also share some credit (and blame). But like 90s pop stars turned 10s pop sophisticates Justin Timberlake and BeyoncÉ, Charli XCX stamps her personality across the entire project, and True Romance suggests she'll be worth following for a while.
- Marc Hogan, Pitchfork1. Nuclear Seasons
2. You (Ha Ha Ha)
3. Take My Hand
4. Stay Away
5. Set Me Free (Feel My Pain)
7. So Far Away
8. Cloud Aura
9. What I Like
10. Black Roses
11. You're the One
12. How Can I
13. Lock You Up$21.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Amadou & Mariam have long cultivated a spirit of openness that they often put into practice with musicians from all backgrounds and styles. Their journeys have allowed the couple to forge lasting friendships. M. and Vincent Segal were their guests, Keziah Jones and K'naan also interacted, the Lebanese trumpeter Ibrahim Maalouf and British guitarist Johnny Marr were invited to jam while Manu Chao and Damon Albarn produced them with skill. No doubt, the Malian couple's history is written in the plural suggestive of their affinities.
Their land, Mali, is currently one of the most attractive centers of globalized music. The couple still draws from their region's inspiration, a living spring they draw from beyond their region. Such is the strength of Folila, reflecting a growing openness to the world of music. The idea was to produce two albums: a crossover in New York, centered around meetings, and the other more roots in Bamako, with guests mainly African, says Marc-Antoine Moreau, their loyal manager and artistic director, with sound engineer Antoine Halet.
Stage one was recorded in three weeks at the Cooper Square Hotel, which accommodated multiple guests, including Santigold, who puts her voice on Dougou Badia. Tunde and Kyp, the two poets of the combo TV On The Radio, slide naturally on Wally Katasso, a ballad mixed by Keni Takamoto, the sound engineer for Danger Mouse. As for Theophilus London, the young poet prints a subtle flow of soul-jazz onto Nebe Meri, perfectly fitting with Amadou's blues accents.
Other esthete of great black music, Amp Fiddler brings some Detroit soul on Wari, before lending his keyboard lines onto Africa My Africa, boosted by Antibalas' section, the Afro-funk combo from Brooklyn, whose brass gleam here and there. As for Jake Shears, the soul of Scissor Sisters and a fan of the couple since a tour together in England, he served his high-pitched voice on the haunting disco blues of Metemya. Last but not least, Ebony Bones puts fire on C'est Pas Facile, a track that flirts with Congolese rumba and electro sounds.
During stage two of the process, it was back to Bamako, for another three-week session, this time in the studios of Manjul, a prominent rastaman installed in Mali. He has a clear idea: to use the same basic track, the same tempo, the same tones, but putting it into perspective with long-time friends, like the percussionist Boubacar DembelÉ and Yaho the totemic bassist, and guests.
Judge for yourself: Bassekou KouyatÉ and his ngoni, Idrissa Soumaoro on kamele ngoni, Toumani DiabatÉ on kora, Zu Tereta on monochord fiddle, Tuareg guitarist Abdallah Oumbadougou: all the best subtle strings of the universe are on this record. This album sounds at once organic and electronic, both roots and rock, both retro and futuristic, and totally unlike anything else.1. Dougou Badia (feat. Santigold)
2. Wily Kataso (feat. Tunde & Kyp of TV On The Radio)
3. Oh Amadou (feat. Bertrand Cantat)
4. Metemya (feat. Jake Shears of Scissor Sisters)
5. Africa Mon Afrique (feat. Bertrand Cantat)
6. C'est Pas Facile Pour Les Aigles (feat. Ebony Bones)
7. Wari (feat. Amp Fiddler)
8. Nebe Miri (feat. Theophilus London)
9. Another Way (feat. Bertrand Cantat)
10. Bagnale (feat. Abdallah Oumbadougou)
11. Mogo (feat. Bertrand Cantat)
12. Sans Toi
13. ChÉrie$32.99Vinyl LP w/ CD - Sealed Buy Now