If any artist/band in the world want to know what a great marketing campaign looks like, they need look no further than Daft Punk and their Random Access Memories promo. Their comeback campaign has been airtight – from their ‘Get Lucky’ debut at Coachella, to the various promo trails, teasers and magazine spreads that have had virtually every music platform bussing e-nuts. Everything has been timed to perfection. Now ahead of it’s May 21st release, the French robots offer fans an advance stream of Random Access Memories in full via iTunes. To listen go here, click ‘view in iTunes’ and play via the cover artwork.
“False releases” aside, the only other name that’s been bouncing around on and offline no-end for the past week or so has been Daft Punk. Now in their 15th year, the faceless French duo have this week proven they remain as relevant today as they did when they released Homework back in 1997 – appearing on virtually every music outlet on the interwebs. Their new single ‘Get Lucky’ featuring Pharrell Williams and the legendary Nile Rodgers got it’s premiere at Coachella last week and since has seen more fake incarnations and faux-blog posts than any phantom Jai Paul LP ever could. But during the early hours of this morning the electronic juggernauts finally released the official version and as you’d expect, it doesn’t disappoint. Through their wizardry and the genius that is Nile Rodgers, they have potentially produced one of this summers biggest tunes… And I’m actually not sure I’ve ever heard Pharrell sound this great on a record before.
‘Llonydd’ is a beautiful new single from Welsh producer Ifan Dafydd featuring stunning vocals from singer Alys Williams. Dafydd’s journey into the haunting soundscape of ‘Llonydd’ is matched only by his intricate understanding of space and drama. Ifan’s quiet development over the past few years has placed him among the best electronic producers making music today – this is a prime example of why.
This image was just posted on Jay-Z’s Life+Times website with a simple message: “Roc Nation welcomes Timbaland to the family”.
I guess that can lead us to believe that Timbo has signed as a producer to work under the Roc Nation umbrella. So not only is Timbaland out to reclaim his crown as super-producer this year by producing Justin Timberlake’s soon-to-be-classic 3rd album, he’s also working with Missy Elliott and Beyonce for their new albums, and now he’s working under the guidance of Jay-Z & Co? Have the stars aligned? Could this be the return to form we’ve been waiting for? Let’s see…
As we reported yesterday Destiny’s Child are releasing a new compilation album of ballads amptly titled Love Songs which will feature their first new recording in 8 years. ‘Nuclear’, a new record produced by Pharrell Williams (who Beyonce has been working with on her new album) and was co-written by DC-3′s Michelle Williams. On first listen this may sound a little underwhelming to most and being brutally honest – it should have been better. But that said – I don’t hate it. Pharrell’s production could have been a lot stronger but even his simple drum loops sound better than most – I would have loved to hear more of those Neptunian chords that quietly pulsate in the back. Most of all though – I’m happy to be hearing DC-3 harmonies again – for now, that’ll do.
Continuing their run of incredible releases this year, London based record label PMR (currently celebrating a #5 chart position with Jessie Ware’s debut album), is also home to the likes of Two Inch Punch, Julio Bashmore and most recently this gentleman, T.Williams. Currently readying the release of his new EP Pain & Love, Williams discharges ‘Moving Fast’ – a full-on, high octane offering that draws heavily on his love for 90′s House/UKG. To the dance.
Heads up, new Summer party anthem. Pure BBQ circa ’93 vibrations in the place. Premiered for the first time on Annie Mac’s Radio 1 show a few days ago, this huge tune arrives in time for the last few weeks of a season it was destined to soundtrack. Feeling like young love blossoming around a red dusk, it’s lovingly crafted revivalist sentiments conjure up Soul II Soul and PM Dawn, set adrift on the same memory bliss.
Signed to PMR, the label who’s roster boasts Jessie Ware, Julio Bashmore, Javeon McCarthy, Two Inch Punch et al, this will be producer T.Williams‘ soulful House debut single for them. Less aggressive and more chilled than his work over the last few years, ‘Think of You’ features the sassy vox of his collaborator Tendai. Draw for something high-waisted and get your dance-to-dawn on. Out September 17th.
Brandy’s much anticipated comeback video has finally arrived, a whole 4 months after it first debuted. Directed by Hype Williams (the man behind her iconic ‘Sittin’ Up In My Room’ video) and choreographed by the guy responsible for Beyonce’s now famous ‘Single Ladies’ routine, it’s clear Brandy isn’t looking to mess about this time ’round.
Although the song, which also features Chris Brown, is far from her best – it has admittedly grown on me over the past few months. Far less edgier than her previous efforts, but still sassy enough to recognise that it’s Brandy behind it, her motives here are obvious: produce a record that will appease (or rather, not offend) the purists, but attract the mainstream (enter chart topper Breezy).
… At least she didn’t go Europop.
But regardless of anything else, Brandy’s voice still sets her eons apart from her nearest competitors – even on this record (I mean those harmonies are still outrageous). But lets hope her upcoming TwoEleven album features more progressive songs as well and not just radio friendly substitutions. And truthfully speaking, at this stage in her career, that balance is critical. Certainly looking forward to hearing that Frank Ocean penned track.
2-in-1 video action. Directed by Hype Williams, DJ Khaled releases the video for his Kanye West & Rick Ross featured single ‘I Wish You Would’. But sh*t really pops off when visuals for Kanye West’s ‘Way Too Cold’ follows – watch out for that ‘surprise’ cameo from his boo Kim K too.
Songstress Terri Walker returns doing what she’s been doing best in the last few years, even as one of the most renowned Brit soul voices of the last decade. Following on from the vibe of huge 2010 anthem ‘Heartbeat’ produced by neo-Funky champ T. Williams, that track feels like the stimulus of this summer-infused package, condensing her various collabos with other UK producers in the last couple of years. Including Garage legend Artful (of Dodger) and latter day guys like Brackles, it’s a well considered selection that reminds us how Walker knows where to apply her chops to the right dance riddim.
Despite all her Ski Beatz material we imagine still sitting on a fat hard drive waiting to see daylight, Matters Of The Heart re-emphasises her strengths on home soil with the twang and the sass. It’s a feel-good affair.