Ten Artists for the British Bit

North By Northwestern

Those of you who know me know that I love British culture. As an excuse to share that love with other people and to get bit of a byline, I started a weekly column called “The British Bit” in my school’s online magazine last spring. I took a break from in the fall while I was off campus on an internship, but I’m back at it this quarter and I’m very excited for my first column of 2012: Brit bandwagon: artists you should listen to now. It’s about ten British musicians who are under the radar in America — five who released albums in 2011 and five who might just blow up in 2012. Rather than rehash what I wrote there, I’ll let you go read the column for yourself…

http://northbynorthwestern.com/story/the-british-bit-under-the-radar/

Sound Snack: Alphabet Backwards

I came across Alphabet Backwards on BritScene last night and “Taller” hooked me. The lyrics sound like they come from the mouth of child trying to grow up too fast. Set to the such a cheery melody, I find lines like “if I was taller/just a little bit taller” endearingly bittersweet.

Happy Halloween

Here’s a short playlist for Halloween.

1. ZOMBIES — It’s not Halloween without “Thriller”

2. ALIENS — Katy Perry’s “E.T.” but sung by Pentatonix on The Sing Off.

3. WITCHES — “I Put a Spell On You” by Screamin Jay Hawkins – such a creepy and delicious classic.

4. WEREWOLVES — “Heads Will Roll” is basically the only song by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs that I actually like.

5.GHOSTS — Words cannot express how much I love “Ghostbusters.” It’s even a ringtone on my phone — thank you Catherine Tate.

Sound Snack: Charlene Soraia

So there’s this new Twinings commercial that features a cover of The Calling‘s “Wherever You Will Go.” I’m just going to come out and say that I kind of hate that song. But as I was watching the commercial for the first time, I’m really digging it, not recognizing it. And then I realize what it is and I can’t believe how beautiful and nuanced it is. There are actually several songs that I prefer covers of to their original counterparts, but I think it’s pretty cool that a reinterpretation can cut through my prejudice against a song and show me that it’s actually a good song.

Anyway, the artist covering it is British singer Charlene Soraia and I can’t wait to check out more of her work. Her full-length debut Moonchild will be out (I’m assuming only in the UK) in early November.

Sound Snack: Nicola Roberts

Nicola Roberts, a member of the popular British girl group Girls Aloud, released her debut solo album Cinderella’s Eyes in September. I haven’t heard it yet, but I did just stumble across her first two singles on YouTube.

I quite like Nicola. Mostly because she’s the ginger one. But also because I like her voice and she has such a sweet face. It’s that face that really does it for me in her “Lucky Day” video. The song is very catchy, but her video lends it certain cheekiness that makes it more fun. I do wish she would put on some jeans, though. Or at least some shorts?


 
I’m still undecided about her other single “Beat of My Drum.” It felt a little too monochromatic in the beginning and the “oh don’t it make your heart go wow” lead-in to the chorus sounds like sandpaper on skin, but the chorus totally pops. It reminds me of the Ting Tings but with more actual singing than talk-singing (and at least Nicola’s talk-singing is better than Ke$ha’s. But I repeat, does this girl not own any trousers?


 

New Coldplay Album “Mylo Xyloto”

Coldplay has finally finished their fifth album and announced its release. Called Mylo Xyloto (pronounced “MY-lo ZY-letoe”), the new album will be released on October 24, 2011 (except in North America, where it will release Oct. 25).

Following “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall”, the next single from the album is called “Paradise” and will be out September 12.

Coldplay hasn’t released the tracklisting for Mylo Xyloto yet, but for my guesses, check out my earlier post entitled Possible Tracks of Coldplay’s Fifth Album.

Sound Snack: Hurts

I’m done trying to be ambitious with this blog, so only expect a handful of posts per month instead of the daily that I would love to provide…

Anyway, here’s a song I’m obsessed with right now. You Europeans will have heard it, but you Americans may not have. It’s “Stay” by Hurts. OB-SESSED