Among the treasures in @BrightLightx2’s new album Fun City is “Good At Goodbyes”, a potent duet with @Erasureinfo’s Andy Bell

BRIGHT LIGHT BRIGHT LIGHT and ANDY BELL, “Good At Goodbyes”

A week ago, Bright Light Bright Light’s fourth album Fun City was released, and today it ranked as the #1 album on the UK Dance Chart. Despite its title, and while the album has ‘fun’ at its core, with several upbeat dance tracks, there are also a number of learned-life stories, as one can often expect from the unique perspectives of Rod Thomas. Having toured with Erasure in the past few years, it’s still incredible to hear the amazing Andy Bell in duet with Rod on “Good At Goodbyes”. Whether his voice is intended to be that of a past lover or an inner-conscience, Andy’s vocal offsets Rod’s lead story-teller just beautifully. The song keeps you on edge about a guy who’s trying to be strong after a relationship has ended, while resigning himself to his memories and sadness with lack of closure. Fun City has many other glorious collaborations including those with Sam Sparro, Brendan Maclean, Jake Shears, KAYE and several others who you should get to know. It also includes the previous diverse singles “This Was My House” (which reached #5 on my personal chart), “Sensation”, “I Used To Be Cool”, and “It’s Alright, It’s OK”.

“Heaven In The Heartbreak” is an impressive, emotional dance club track by Norway’s @Dunisco and British singer/songwriter Richard Judge @RJudgeofficial

DUNISCO and RICHARD JUDGE, “Heaven In The Heartbreak”

Primarily known as a remixer, Norway’s Dunisco (aka Mats Gulbrandsen) returns with his first new music in two years with the guitar-flavoured house track “Heaven In The Heartbreak”. Its vibrancy is carried by a classic song structure and melody, and the song was co-written by its singer, England’s Richard Judge. You’ll recognize his voice immediately from Robin Schulz’s huge European hit “Show Me Love”, and since then he’s been a go-to for dance records by Sam Feldt, Kungs, Benny Benassi, among others. The tight production, the winning story and vocals make “Heaven In The Heartbreak” a must for dance music fans who will only imagine how powerful the song will sound in clubs once they reopen.

Published in: on September 24, 2020 at 11:25 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Get to know the many faces of UK singer/songwriter @iamLeFil with “Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is”

LE FIL, “Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is”

UK singer/songwriter Le Fil is definitely one to watch for many reasons thanks to his intriguing new single and video for “Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is”. Le Fil is of Chinese descent and grew up in a small town in the UK, which obviously had its limitations for this massively creative queer artist. He has channeled that into an optimistic and fun presentation which is sometimes in contrast to the pointed lyrics of “Money”. The appealing music in “Money” is surely inspired by a few pages from the mid-60’s songbook, where you can almost visualize the go-go- dancers. The voice of Le Fil makes you think of 50’s idols like Frankie Avalon on one hand, combined with the soulfulness of Boy George on the other. And the outstanding video is a home production made during the current lockdown in Le Fil’s kitchen through green-screen – colourful, entertaining and flamboyant, and you can enjoy it and his many interesting characterizations up top.

Published in: on September 7, 2020 at 10:49 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Listen to @SeanSmithsolo’s admirable take on @RichardMarx’s 90’s well-remembered hit “Hazard”

SEAN SMITH, “Hazard”

One of the big surprises in UK singer/songwriter Sean Smith’s album called Solo is the presence of a few cover versions.  I’m not big on covers as regular readers of this blog know well.  But Sean’s vocal is so suited for “Hazard” that his rendition ends up being a rather faithful version, even if the arrangement is missing some of the mystique and intrigue of the original.  Like with Richard Marx’s original, Sean’s gentle and convincing vocal is in stark contrast to the creepy subject matter, which made “Hazard” one of the more fascinating hits of 1992.  It’s definitely worth your attention, and do check out the other cover in Solo, which is of “Human” by The Killers.

Published in: on August 16, 2020 at 9:16 pm  Leave a Comment  
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UK whiz kid @AlfieTempleman knows his way around a catchy pop song with “Happiness In Liquid Form”

 

ALFIE TEMPLEMAN, “Happiness In Liquid Form”

I first encountered music by UK singer/songwriter Alfie Templeman in a department store earlier this year, where I heard “Circles”, and was taken by such a clean burst of danceable power-pop.  He continues with his catchy EP which includes the quirky title song “Happiness In Liquid Form”.  It’s amazing what can be done as an indie bedroom producer these days, and “Happiness” is as infectious as they come.  There’s a bit of 80’s UK retro appeal in the song, reminiscent sometimes of styles from the new wave tunes by the likes of Kajagoogoo or Altered Images.  Whether or not, at only 17 years old, the multi-instrumentalist has any connection to that era of music remains to be seen, though I never put anything past artists for what might inspire them.  And to think from his bio that being a vocalist never was really first and foremost – his bright, uncharacteristic tones are a big highlight of his songs for me.  You’ll be hearing a lot more of Alfie Templeman as his music continues to evolve. So far, over 10 million Spotify streams can’t be wrong.

UK singer/songwriter @BenedictCork tries to sing “One Last Song” gracefully, which makes it hard to move on

BENEDICT CORK, “One Last Song”

“One Last Song” is a recent release by UK singer/songwriter Benedict Cork, one of many performers who has taken advantage of the shutdown to perform and celebrate his songs online for his fans and make tighter connections.  Although this one isn’t an immediate grabber, with repeated listens you appreciate the grace and honesty in the story about moving on, knowing that the other person in the relationship will always be part of your life, through song or otherwise, long after you say “the end”.  Benedict taps into a smooth and sometimes soulful vocal that often leaves you hanging on each verse.  Benedict has more new music coming (including this week) and continues to grow with his many talents with each release.

Published in: on August 2, 2020 at 2:11 pm  Leave a Comment  
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In “New Girlfriend” is better to be the bigger person, according to UK singer/songwriter @JazzMino

JAZZ MINO, “New Girlfriend”

While I’m still immensely enjoying her last single, “Like A Drunk Girl”, British singer/songwriter Jazz Mino has followed it up quickly with “New Girlfriend”.  Always stepping outside the situation to take an objective observer stance, Jazz Mino writes and sings about how to be the bigger person when a relation ends.  So instead of creating gossip and a toxic environment, don’t divulge a lot of crap to the new person in your ex’s life.  There’s certainly nothing wrong with thinking about what you might like to do (and there are plenty of songs about that!), but you’ll only serve yourself better to separate yourself from the situation.  There’s no doubt that love and relationships can be an emotional battleground.  Jazz Mino puts forward friendly but direct ideas along with a great vocal and well-balanced production. That all makes “New Girlfriend” well worth adding on your playlist next to those new songs by Taylor Swift and Ellie Goulding.

Published in: on August 2, 2020 at 2:11 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“The Reason” is sophisticated deep house from Atlanta’s @we_are_Halogen featuring vocalist/co-writer @KelliLeighuk

HALOGEN and KELLI-LEIGH, “The Reason”

It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from Atlanta producers Halogen, but they’ve returned quite strong with the sophisticated deep house of “The Reason”.  Halogen was in an unexpected conundrum of sorts when their song “U Got That” unexpectedly went viral and has now acquired over 100 million streams.  “The Reason” steps quite far away from the bass house and deep vocal of “U Got That” in favour of a song tailored for the nightlife.  Vocalist Kelli-Leigh (who also co-wrote the song) has sang on tour with Adele and featured on two UK #1 hits, the Grammy-nominated “I Got U” by Duke Dumont, and “I Wanna Feel” by Second City.  Her effortless vocal carries the song and will have your mind on dancing in the clouds rather than whatever it is you might currently be doing.  “The Reason” is a strong dance record that should bring in big returns for both artists.

Published in: on July 25, 2020 at 9:47 pm  Leave a Comment  
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UK singer/songwriter @SeanSmithsolo helps us bask and dance through “Summertime”

SEAN SMITH, “Summertime”

Sean Smith always surprises in some way or form when he releases a new song, and “Summertime” is no exception to that.  The UK singer/songwriter has crafted with producer Andy Sikorski a delightful ode to basking in and enjoying the summer through a past reminiscence.  “Summertime” also shows off Sean’s high vocal range much more extensively than other songs in the past, and it’s the highlight of the song.  “Summertime” is culled from Sean’s brand new album for Energise Records called Solo, which features past singles that I’ve written about such as “Magic”, “Fire”, and that smashing and memorable duet with Australia’s Peter Wilson, “Verona”, so I’ll look forward to hearing the rest!

Published in: on July 25, 2020 at 9:47 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Solid partnerships: Actor/DJ/Producer @IdrisElba creates new music with both @KevinSaunderson & Inner City (“We All Move Together”) and @TheKnocks and @TiggsDaAuthor (“One Fine Day”)

INNER CITY and IDRIS ELBA, “We All Move Together”

IDRIS ELBA & THE KNOCKS and TIGGS DA AUTHOR, “One Fine Day”

After establishing himself as a force in the electronic producer/DJ world over the last decade, actor Idris Elba (after conquering COVID-19 no less) finds himself as part of no less than two new dynamic dance music releases.

The first is “We All Move Together”, the title song from the most recent album by Inner City as led by influential house legend Kevin Saunderson.  Kevin brought back the highly regarded Inner City moniker last year after an almost 30 year absence with the album Inner City Presents Need Your Love, with the new Inner City featuring Kevin’s son Danitez.  “We All Move Together” is a fresh experience, with a two minute spoken-word lead-in from Idris that name-drops every Inner City smash that dance music fans like me adore so much.  It’s this Faithless-like flourish that leads in to a song that blends in classic house and more experimental, techno-styled rhythms that you would hear more on a Chemical Brothers track than one by Inner City.  It works seamlessly, and I’m looking forward to listening to the rest of the album.

NYC dance music mainstay production duo The Knocks bring us “One Fine Day” in conjunction with producer Idris (rather than vocalist Idris – those duties are carried admirably by Tanzania’s Tiggs Da Author).  It’s a complex, rhythmic track that continues where last year’s Summer Series songs by The Knocks like “Awa Ni” left off.  “One Fine Day” is one slamming track and full of positive vibes, about seeing those dreams through until you make your own successes.  All proceeds for “One Fine Day” go to further develop England’s Black Cultural Archives heritage centre.