Archive | January, 2021

S.F. Johnson – Sombre

31 Jan

This chap from Newcastle resides in Tokyo, so we are jealous from the get go. Japanese City Pop is a genre we are still exploring but it’s definitely percolated through to ‘Sombre’. We gather S.F. Johnson is a Roxy Music fan too and those lush, warm production values associated with Mr Ferry and co have been applied good and proper here. It’s such a luxurious listen and a 2021 take on the Sophistipop sound we adore but with a Northern grittiness inbuilt – hence the influence of both where he has been and where he finds himself now geographically speaking.

Soliterre – Sleight Of Hand

31 Jan

Adam Wazonek returns as his alter ego Soliterre and he’s back making power charged yacht pop with rich musicality by the bucketload. ‘Sleight Of Hand’ sounds like it comes from an era of classic Quincy Jones, Larry Klein and Arif Mardin production values, stadium and FM-radio ready. There’s a new 8 song collection called ‘Meet Me In a Dream’ up on his Bandcamp and we are about to dive in.

Droid Bishop – The Light (Luke Million Remix)

30 Jan

Droid Bishop’s ‘Music’ album was a favourite for many last year. In early 2021 the remixes are starting to flow. Luke Million takes ‘The Light’ into squelchy mid 80s electro funk territory – almost bursting into Rockwell’s ‘Somebody’s Watching Me’ at one point. Next up will be Sam Sparro who is sure to add a tonne of pop goodness to ‘The Outliers’ in a couple of weeks.

NINA – The Beginning

30 Jan

One of our biggest pop wishes for 2021 is that NINA and the legend that is Ricky Wilde might just cook up some more synthpop magic between them. Their musical partnership bore fruit with two of the best pop songs of 2020 in ‘Runaway’ and ‘Gave Up On Us’ so we are perched for where they might go next. In the meantime Aztec Records have brought together NINA’s early recordings on their ‘The Beginning’ compilation.

Those early tracks have aged remarkably well and sound like synthwave classics already. ‘My Mistake’, ‘We Are The Wild Ones’ (surely overdue a ‘We Are The Wilde Ones’ Ricky remix!) and ‘Dark Rider’ all gave us a hint of what was to follow with the double whammy of ‘Sleepwalking’ and ‘Synthian’. Those first videos similarly showed some serious star potential too – now just watch her fly in 2021.

LAU – Believer

30 Jan

In a fortnight LAU will release her solo album ‘Believer’. The title track suggests that the time spent in the studio with Ricky Wilde working on NINA’s ‘Synthian’ album was rather influential with some distinct Wilde-esque production moments on this one. There are a lot of products to choose from on LAU’s Bandcamp page with the deluxe album coming with a host of remixes and a HAIM cover for good measure too.

Röyksopp & Robyn – Monument (Olof Dreijer Remix)

30 Jan

Following up a clutch of 20th year anniversary celebrations for The Knife, Olof Dreijer keeps the momentum (er, is that an anagram of monument?) going with this remix of the Röyksopp & Robyn classic ‘Monument’. The percussion really bubbles away whilst the beats come thick and fast. Colourful visualizer from Martin Falk to accompany the release too.

GusGus – Stay The Ride (Cast A Light)

30 Jan

The newbie from those iconic Icelanders GusGus has some of the crispiest early 80s synths we’ve heard in a while. But we need at least five minutes to enjoy them – the track comes in at an unfathomably short two minutes. Let’s hope a full length album version is coming soon. We’ll play it on a loop until then.

Videoclub – Euphories/Suricate/What Are You So Afraid Of

30 Jan

French youngsters Videoclub just released their ‘Euphories’ album. Imagine Magdalena Bay going full on synth/retrowave with the charm of perfect French pop like Vanessa Paradis or Alizee. The artwork is bliss and the video for the title track is delightfully playful.

Sander van Doorn – Golden (featuring Blondfire)

30 Jan

Thankfully not a cringey rework of the title track from Kylie’s album of the same name, rather an unexpected turn for T&D faves Blondfire. This type of ‘Golden’ created with Sander van Doorn is classy electronic dance music with a euphoric build and perfect pop vocal.

Rebecca & Fiona – Another World (StoneBridge Remix)

30 Jan

Swedish DJ legend StoneBridge (remember ‘Put ‘Em High’ with Therese?) has just remixed his countrywomen Rebecca & Fiona’s recent single ‘Another World’. As you might expect, it’s a radio and club friendly piano-led house banger.