-- if you don't like music(k), we don't like you --

Monday, 31 August 2009

New Musick Monday

It was Blur that once sang: "Bank Holiday comes with a six pack of beer...then it's back to work". Well, not for us. Our Bank Holiday was spent at work, having shifted the beer drinking forward a day to the Sabbath. We know, we know, may the Lord send down a thunder bolt or some such. Anywho, we must deal the hand that we have been dealt and get back to business. Last week we predicted big things for the Arctic Monkeys album, which wasn't exactly going out on a limb. It entered at no. 1, having outsold the rest of the top 5 put together. Needless to say the Fiery Furnaces album was nowhere to be seen and the Black Lips/Lumina single just missed out on the top spot thanks to about 75 other singles that all sold more. For this week, you should all be buying these things...


Kid A (Special Collectors Edition) by Radiohead

Radiohead are going to love this. Having ditched EMI in favour of releasing their last album via carrier pigeon, Radiohead upset their former paymasters to such a degree that they cobbled together a Greatest Hits package and started releasing all their albums again in various forms. These re-releases may not have been overseen by the band, but they are worth investigating not least this new version of Kid A, which not only features the incredible original album, but also a second CD of live versions and a DVD of a couple of TV performances. Amnesiac and Hail To The Thief have also been re-packaged with various b-sides and live tracks, but seeing as the original source is one of the best things ever released we're going with Kid A.


First Days of Spring by Noah & The Whale

May we, for a second, be crude? If we had split up with Laura Marling we would be pretty depressed too, for she is proper fit. Ahem. Charlie Fink, singer with twee-indie-also-rans Noah & The Whale, broke up with the lovely Marling recently and decided to write an entire album about how it made him feel and how he was going to get over it. The lyrics pretty much run the gamut of heartbreak cliche, but musically the band have expanded their sound to include strings, choirs and a bit of a go on the old kitchen sink to create a stirring second album.


'Get Sexy' by Sugababes

We could have gone for The Cribs new single, or that one by Jamie T, but you know what, we're stuck in an office on a sunny Bank Holiday and we're going to choose a fun little pop song that samples Right Said Fred and is not a patch on past glories but is good enough for now thank you very much. 'Get Sexy' sounds a bit too try-hard when you listen to it without the video, but somehow it improves when matched with all those bright lights and gyrating hips. Why don't you have a little look here.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Wet 'n Wild

Where The Wild Things Are may well be the best children's book ever written. We don't know, we've only really looked at the pictures. What we do know, however, is that Spike Jonze's film adaptation looks like it could be amazing on a scale not yet describable by mere mortals. Even better, Karen O from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs has worked on the soundtrack and this is a little example of what to expect:

It's called 'All Is Love' and features, dare we say it, a children's choir. BUT it's not as cloying as that sounds and the guitars are lovely. Expert opinion, as ever.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Michael Burke

It's all gone a bit X Factor 2008 crazy round these parts, so apologies in advance if you find the whole talent-show-pop-star-making-machine thing a bit tiresome. It did give us Leon Jackson, let's not forget that...

Last year's winner Alexandra Burke has been in the good old US of A for the past few months working on her debut album, to be released in late October. She's worked with just about every pop producer you can think of on the album and will no doubt perform on the X Factor live shows around the time her first single is about to 'drop'.

But what is the first single we hear you cry ('mutter')? It's called 'Bad Boys' and features rent-a-rapper Flo'Rida and is right here:

EDIT: This video's been taken down so click here instead.

It's not a ballad, let's put it that way. It's got sirens on it, some piano bits and a chorus you could easily label 'eurovision' (i.e. it seems to come from a different song and is annoyingly catchy after 30 seconds). It will no doubt be a pretty big hit all things considered.

Monday, 24 August 2009


Recently, Musick expanded it's portfolio, buying out an ailing paparazzi firm to supply us with photos to accompany all the EXCLUSIVES we're so used to snaffling. Well, this is the first installment of what will no doubt be a regular occurrence.

We can exclusively reveal that Aston from chart-topping boyband JLS drives a white Audi TT. Not only that but his number plate features the letters JLS and he doesn't always adhere to the rules of the road when it comes to giving enough space for motorbikes at traffic lights. He's also a big fan of R&B music.

This is what Aston's car looks like:

Obviously, this is a stock photo from Google images. Our paparazzi guy has since been fired for incompetence.

This photo makes us happy

That's Beck alongside a certain Charlotte Gainsbourg filming the video for her future single, 'Heaven Can Wait'. There's an album too, entitled MRI, which is due out in November.

Exciting news.

Fingers crossed Charlotte's recovered after that nasty turn with a pair of rusty scissors.

New Musick Monday

Last week we gave you three, yes three, album options. Given the current economic climate, factoring in the weather and the fact that we've no doubt you had a lot of presents to buy this month, we understand that sales weren't exactly brisk. We're happy to report though, that The xx outsold both Jay Reatard (he was nowhere, frankly) and Simian Mobile Disco, who snuck in at no. 39. So, where did these cherubic young scamps enter? No. 36. That's not bad given the state of radio these days. We went to see them play a gig in a shop the other week and one of Musick's closest friend said they reminded them of Faithless. That, dear reader, is what alcohol can do.


Humbug by Arctic Monkeys

The Arctic Monkey's have clearly decided they don't want to share fans with Oasis. This is all well and good, but that doesn't mean you have to grow your hair long, dress like Led Zeppelin and use a frankly abysmal picture as your album cover. BUT, everything else about this third album is very good indeed, from the innuendo of 'My Propeller' to the deceptively catchy 'Crying Lightning' to the career-high of 'Cornerstone'. Josh Homme doesn't mess with the sound too much, just gives them some muscle and and that sense of foreboding that QOTSA are so good at.


I'm Going Away by The Fiery Furnaces

We always get excited about a new Fiery Furnaces album coming out. Then we get it, listen to it once, maybe twice, then leave it to gather dust in a pile sandwiched between the first Arcade Fire album and a mix CD entitled 'Songs everyone says they love but don't actually listen to'. So it is with I'm Going Away, which despite being their best in a long while, is still too twitchy and frustrating to be really pleasurable.


'I'll Be With You' by Lumina

This is a cover of a Black Lips song that appears on the b-side to another Black Lips song. It's by Lumina who are Faris Badwan from The Horrors and Cherish Kaye who used to be in Ipso Facto. Unsurprisingly, it's an atmospheric, drip-feed dirge with Badwan taking the lead vocal and Kaye offering some haunting backing. Do not listen to this in a darkened room or at work. If, however, you're feeling quite chipper and are sure that nothing can dampen your spirits then click here.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Crazy paving

We received a very strange email this morning claiming that Beyoncé was set to release an album of maudlin covers of her own songs. The ten song set is to be called B-yond Sadness and this is the first fruit of her labour:

Very touching.

It is of course Antony & The Johnsons (it says so on the video) with their take on the pop classic. Having played it live a lot of the last few years, this studio recording is available as the b-side to recent single Aeon.

Tree hugging

We were supposed to do something on Taken By Trees a little while ago but what with all the upheaval it completely slipped our tiny minds. Then we heard 'Watch The Waves' and we knew right then and there that something must be done.

So here we go:

- Taken By Trees is the moniker of Victoria Bergsman
- Victoria Bergsman used to be in The Concretes
- She's also the woman singing on Peter, Bjorn and John's 'Young Folks' single
- Taken By Trees have a new album out in September entitled East of Eden and it's the follow-up to Open Field. 'Watch The Waves' is the first single.

Pretty amazing.

This is the album cover so you know what you're looking for come September:

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Annie old iron

Cast your minds back if you will to the summer of 2008. The sun was (probably not) shining, the bees were dancing upon a flower and the birds were flapping about as per usual. Musically, Norwegian starlet Annie was preparing to release her brand new single 'I Know Ur Girlfriend Hates Me', which would, in turn, herald a new album entitled Don't Stop. So excited were we that we did this.

Well, the album was hastily scrapped, Annie was dropped and it all ended rather horribly. We shed a tear or two and raised a Norwegian flag high above the office in memory of a once great pop star...but fear not, for Don't Stop has been resurrected and will now be released in October (a full year after it was pulled). To make matters that much better, Annie has decided to put new single 'Songs Remind Me Of You' on iTunes.

Here it is:

Here's a new photo of Annie:

Making it her own

Forget Radiohead dropping new songs left, right and center, the real delight comes when songs begin to leak from some of the years most anticipated pop albums. You can almost hear Simon Cowell's hands wringing around some poor studio assistant's neck. In two years, Leona Lewis has gone from 'receptionist with a dream' to one of the world's biggest superstars, selling records in every major territory (nice), despite being about as charismatic as Kate Thornton.

This new ditty is called 'Don't Let Me Down' and features Justin Timberlake and the production skills of a certain Mr Timbaland:

It's not exactly 'Maneater', but what did you expect. It's good to see that Leona's gone a bit street, starting a song with "fucking around". Oh, "fork in the road", that makes more sense.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

New Musick Monday

It's BACK BACK BACK! Plus, it's early. You can't get much better then that, right?

So, seeing as there wasn't a New Musick Monday last week, let's talk about what you guys have been up to? ...wow, sounds good...aha, yep, like it...really? With the guy from work?...Serious? Lord...We figured he probably was.


XX by The XX

Yep, them again. But it's worth all the hype and broadsheet column inches, believe us! Taking in everything from Timbaland-esque beats to spidery guitar lines somewhere between The Cure and Chris Isaak's 'Wicked Game' this is a debut that reeks of understated genius. There have been some pretty special debut albums in 2009 so far but this one might just take the biscuit (that's not a metaphor, we will be giving away some biscuits in our inaugural '2009 Musick Awards').


Temporary Pleasure by Simian Mobile Disco

This has been unfairly maligned in a lot of reviews we think. Perhaps James Ford - who makes up one half of SMD - has become too famous for his production credits (Florence, Arctic Monkeys, etc) and so people's anticipation for this album has sky-rocketed? Temporary Pleasure is a vast improvement on their patchy debut and features a stellar list of guests...and Beth Ditto*

* We went off Ditto after seeing the Gossip at a festival and despite possessing a voice that could slice through granite, we can't shake the feeling she's the physical manifestation of the Emperor's new clothes.


Watch Me Fall by Jay Reatard

Three albums you say? Isn't there a credit crunch on? We're making up for lost time. This is the first album proper Reatard has released on Matador and it's been described by its creator as "wimpy". What this means in real life is that the pace drops occasionally below 'really fucking fast' and that there are some instruments on it that aren't guitars or drums. Luckily, it's got some pretty amazing songs on it, including the new single 'It Ain't Gonna Save Me'.

Friday, 14 August 2009

Blank canvas

Who doesn't love it when music journalists describe a new act by saying x = a + b / c and then follow it with "in a blender"? Lord knows we do. So, this is Amanda Blank, who sounds like M.I.A + Santigold / Gwen Stefani "on acid". There you are, that's no reductive in anyway is it?

Amanda Blank is friends with all the cool producers who hang out in the all the coolest clubs and probably smoked behind the bike sheds at school. Blank's debut album, I Love You, features production by Diplo, Switch and XXXchange and despite this amazingly dreadful review is properly bangin' in a mindless, fun kind of way.

Here's the pretty terrible video for new single, 'Might Like You Better', which features the line "show you what I got in my sweater baby". Some oranges? A rolled up copy of Newsweek? A tiny bunny rabbit?

Altogether now: "Might like you better if we slept together"

Xxtra, xxtra, read all about it

You might get a bit sick of The xx by the time we're finished, because we love this band a lot. Their debut album, xx, is properly amazing in a way that a lot of other albums aren't. For one, you'll have the urge to listen to it more than once AND it gets better and better the more you listen to it.

'Basic Space' is the new single and it's majesty is only enhanced by this video:

Very pretty images don't you think? We like the fact that it looks simple to make and yet when we were at Uni we made a music video and it looked like it was made by a bunch of students trying to be arty...funny that.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

The gift that keeps on giving

Radiohead are a funny bunch aren't they? First they release the lovely Harry Patch tribute minus any fanfare and now another brand new song has miraculously appeared on a fan forum. Entitled 'These Are My Twisted Words', it finds the band in more sinister surroundings then the lush strings of last week. Thom mumbles like only he can, Jonny does a circular guitar riff he could seemingly knock out in his sleep and the whole thing ambles along quite nicely thank you very much.

Let's hope this is some kind of weekly endeavour- New Radiohead Musick Thursday anyone?

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Sorry seems to be the hardest word

We've been moving offices so apologies for the lack of new material. We have been inundated with emails asking where the 'excellent' New Musick Monday feature is and it pains us to say we might have to give it a miss this week.


Fingers crossed we'll all be up and running again soon and things can get back to normal.

Here's the new Florence & The Machine video to tide you over.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Ellie are you OK?

Whilst on twitter today we struck up a conversation with 'hot new singer/songwriter' Ellie Goulding. Did we talk about her amazing songs? The fact she's just signed to Polydor? Or, perhaps, we asked her about writing songs for Diana Vickers from last year's X Factor? No, we talked about Jordan and Peter Andre's marriage problems...BUT we did get to share the new Peter Andre video with her and for that she will always be thankful, right? Wrong.

This is Ellie:

A lot of her songs have been around for quite a while now, 'creating a buzz' and 'getting the blogosphere all hot under the collar'. As we never tire of stating, we like to remain at least three months behind the times, hence our EXCLUSIVE feature appearing in August.

This is a song called 'Starry Eyed', which reminds us a bit of Stina Nordenstam. It was produced by Starsmith, who is very talented and young so we dislike him already:

'Wish I Stayed' was produced by Frankmusik and sounds like this:

What a nice chorus. Well done Ellie and Vincent.

Tomorrow, Musick will be entering into a debate about the future of our banking system with Lee from Blue.

Pink Pound

When you wake up in the morning, do you:

a). Sit bolt up right, stretch, yawn and thank God you've woken to a brand new morning
b). Crawl out of bed slowly, scratch your arse and try desperately to be late for work
c). You don't go to sleep because sleeping is for wimps and people who don't go to art school. Instead, you push the supermodel away from your crotch, snort a line off her midriff and sign a record deal.

We're guessing The Big Pink are more of a c). kind of band, but we could be wrong. Having spent the best part of 2009 working on their forthcoming debut album, the band are set to release a new single, entitled 'Dominos'. Co-produced by Paul Epworth, it's a chugging, beat-driven slice of sleaze with a chorus the size of Columbia. Amusingly, one of the comments on youtube was just one word long - "SKINS". A bit harsh perhaps, but funny nonetheless.

The b-side, 'She's No Sense', features the not inconsiderable voice of Florence Welch from Florence & The Machine. Nice.

Something lovely for a Wednesday

Radiohead have made a new song available for download from their website. 'Harry Patch (In Memory of)' is in tribute to Britain's last surviving soldier to fight in the trenches during World War I.

It's a string-laden lament, recorded live in an abbey, with a typically lovely score from Jonny Greenwood. The song costs £1 to download from here and all profits go to the Royal British Legion.

Listen to it here.

Monday, 3 August 2009

New Musick Monday

Oh dear oh dear. Last week wasn't the qualified success many of us had hoped for. First of all, Cornershop missed the top 75 altogether, MSTRKRFT and John Legend entered at no. 50 on the singles chart and most miraculously of all, Sandi Thom's collection of her best work seems to have fallen on deaf ears. We're assuming this is some kind of clerical error and we'll be rectified soon, but until then why don't you all go off and listen to 'I Wish I Was A Punk Rocker' and wait with baited breath.

Let's get down to business shall we?


Complete Me by Frankmusik

Frankmusik, aka Vincent Frank, looks, how can we put this, like a bit of a bell-end. He looks like some kind of mutant creation, grown in a lab somewhere by a major label who added all the ingredients of a 'popstar' - the hair, the '80s influences, the dead-eyed stare - into a test tube and out popped Frankmusik. Luckily, his debut album negates his face and makes up for any urges the listener might have to give him a bit of a slap. '3 Little Words' and 'Better Off As Two' are stone-cold pop classics, 'Gotta Boyfriend?' is deliriously catchy and 'Done, Done' proves that when he wants to he can tackle a moody ballad. Co-produced by Stuart 'forgive me for The Killers' Price, Complete Me is the best album of 2009 to feature a man named Vincent.


Two Dancers by Wild Beasts

We haven't heard this album, but we have read a lot of good things about it. So, if you have it then please let us know what it's like. (We're well aware that we could listen to it on Spotify but we don't have it because it's new and everyone's going on about it which makes us uneasy).

EDIT: We have a copy now. Phew.


'Basic Space' by The XX

The XX's debut album, XX, is one of the best things we've heard all year. Most of it sounds like Timbaland remixing The Cure on half-speed. At this year's Latitude the band (all about 17 years old) seemed so shy they almost ground their way into the stage such was the awkward shuffling of feet. This particular track isn't necessarily the most obvious single (we would have gone for 'Islands'), but it's a strangely beautiful concoction with singers Oliver and Romy exchanging lovelorn lines like a drunk Romeo & Juliet over some sparse, percussive beats. You can hear it right here.

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Manna from Heaven

Anyone familiar with Musick will know that we're quite big fans of all things Scandinavian. From Robyn to Lykke Li to Fever Ray to Wildbirds & Peacedrums to Roxette to Ace of Base (ahem). Well, add to that ever growing list another name- Manna. She looks like this:

Born in Paris, but now living in Finland, Manna makes the kind of music that Scandinavians seem to create in their sleep. 'Some Girls/Some Boys' is deliciously catchy, cloaked in melody and carries that magnetic quality that Scando-pop (no? No.) must have. First listen you think it's pretty good, then it reveals itself even more second time around and by the third listen you want to track Manna down and marry her. It's what LadyHawke would sound like if she weren't always seemingly half asleep.

Manna isn't on youtube yet, so click on her myspace instead.

While we're at it, here's another Scandinavian pop star by the name of Erik Hassle from Sweden. 'Hurtful' has been described by 'friend of the blog' Marina from Marina & The Diamonds as "really heartfelt cringe-pop"*, which sounds about right and is in no way a bad thing:

It's nice to see the girl from Annie still getting work too.

*Well, she was actually quoting someone else, so it is in fact a quote of a quote of a quote, so doesn't accurately reflect the opinions of Marina per se. Glad we cleared that up.

Clips don't lie

"Shakira, Shakira"

Let's be honest, Shakira is as mad as a box of frogs who've been force fed Ecstasy tablets by a clown on roller skates. She's been away for too long, leaving the pop world a barren and less ridiculous place in her absence. Well, she's back now, with a video so awful that it's somehow one of the best things we've seen in the last decade.

First things first, that cave resembles a scene from Inner Space mixed with a '70s softcore porn film. The dancing is hilarious, like a strange mix of yoga and an anaphylactic shock. The bits on top of the building either represent the point where the money ran out (what did they spend it on!?), or it's some kind of statement on cheap horror films. Don't even get us started on what the shoulder popping malarkey is all about.

Nice to have you back Shakira (Shakira).