Summer is here and summery Pop is invading the airwaves! This week we look at bright releases from the likes of Alphabeat, Studio Killers, Kimbra and Si*Se, as well as the latest tracks from Kylie and J-Lo. This is also my 20th column for GaySocialites.com, so a quick note of THANKS to everyone on the fab GS team!
“Goin’ In” – Jennifer Lopez feat. Flo Rida
We’re nowhere near done with J-Lo’s floor-shaking “Dance Again,” but her next release is already upon us. This time, she’s teamed up with Flo Rida for this track from the soundtrack of the upcoming Miami-set installment of the Step Up franchise. “Goin’ In” is a bit unbaked: the schizophrenic tempo alternates between a lazy church organ and a brassier hook right out of Havana Brown’s “We Run The Night.” It also takes any number of current dance record clichés (including an obligatory, uncredited guest appearance by Lil Jon), throws them in a blender and comes out with a fine, but generic result. What it does have going for it is a heavy bass that makes this play better in the club. And lest we judge too harshly, bonus points for the unexpected lyric about orangutans and bananas.
“Diddy Dum” – My Name Is Kay
For a much better lesson on how to blend truly diverse elements into a fabulous new sound, please turn your attention north. Just like current golden girl Carly Rae Jepsen, the upcoming Canadian songstress My Name Is Kay has her sights set on chart domination. The bad-ass blonde is a far cry from the fresh-scrubbed “Call Me Maybe” teeny-bopper, but Kay’s first U.S. release “Diddy Dum” is worthy of the kind of chart success Jepsen is currently enjoying. In her distinctive brand of what I call Hip-Pop, Kay raps, winks knowingly with playfully absurd rhymes (“stadium,” with “afraid-ium,” “shade-ium” and “lemonade-ium”) and beautifully melds stomping percussion, school bells, old school kick-drums, a whiff of accordion and even a didgeridoo! (Surely the wackiest dance break we’ll hear all year.) It’s a fascinating mix that conjures Beyonce’s recent flirtation with marching bands by way of the Ting-Tings. My Name Is Kay’s terrific self-titled 5-track EP is out on Interscope and the singer can also be heard on Cobra Starship’s latest single “#1Nite.”
“Vacation” – Alphabeat
“Every woman, every man, put your feet in the sand!” Yes, a perfect summer anthem has arrived thanks to Alphabeat, the Electro/80s pop outfit from Denmark. The new song is a worthy successor to the title track of the Go-Go’s album of the same name – which we can’t believe was released 30 years ago this summer! Alphabeat even provides a mini homage to Belinda and the girls with the reference to “Go-go-go!” While regularly topping the Danish charts with their own music, the 6-person Alphabeat is better known stateside for providing a memorable mix of Lady Gaga’s “Telephone,” which closed the singer’s The Remix project. (They also briefly served as the opening act for a leg of her Monster Ball World Tour.) The band’s sunny, cartoonish video for “Vacation,” featuring retro stewardesses and a nod to the opening credits of “The Brady Bunch” will have you packing your suitcases and shaking your maracas!
“Timebomb” – Kylie Minogue
And last but never least: that crafty Kylie! On Friday, the intrepid icon from Down Under snuck up and dropped a bomb on us all with the unexpected release of a brand-new single. The appropriately titled “Timebomb” was all the less expected since KM’s currently in the midst of promoting the upcoming The Best of Kylie Minogue, a greatest hits collection marking her 25 years in the music industry. And while “Timebomb” is being touted as part of a whole year of “25th Anniversary celebrations,” it isn’t even appearing on the Best Of package at all. (It’s instead slated for inclusion in a future studio album release.) This guitar-driven track about dancing with abandon will indeed make you wanna-wanna. And the cheeky video – featuring our girl in bootylicious denim cut-offs as she wreaks havoc on the street and goes hog wild on the back of a Harley – is a fabulous mix of Sex and Sass. Whoop!
BPM BITS: …Studio Killers, the international virtual band, follows up last year’s hilarious “Ode To The Bouncer” with the welcome if similar-sounding “Eros & Apollo.” The quirky video combines the group’s signature state-of-the-art animation with references to fabulously crude 80s videogames…Foster The People’s terrific album track “I Would Do Anything For You” gets a notable remix from LA-based DJ Feelgud…Speaking of Foster The People, if you sense an FTP vibe from the new solo song from Kimbra (the female vocalist on the Gotye smash “Somebody I Used To Know”), you’re not crazy. “Warrior” is a collaboration with the band’s Mark Foster (as well as Canadian DJ A-Trak) and one of several new songs added to the U.S. release of the New Zealand singer’s debut album Vows…A new EP from the NYC-based Electro/Disco group Si*Sé features the upbeat new single “Go,” with a video shot at NYC’s own Hiro Ballroom…. British singer Hazell Dean (whose Disco version of “Evergreen” is never too far from our turntable) is out with a remake of one of our favorite songs, the Dance classic “In the Name of Love” by the late, great Sharon Redd. It’s a somewhat generic re-do, but loving, with the Matt Pop Club Mix.
Foster The People:
Sharon Redd with the brilliant original:
Kat Graham tags us, claiming the top spot on this week’s TOP 20 DANCE CHART. Kylie explodes onto the list with the highest of this week’s six debuts, while the Disco-tinged David Morales/Roisin Murphy collaboration makes a golden leap from last week’s debut at #18 all the way into this week’s Top 10.
1) Put Your Graffiti On Me (Original & Moto Blanco Mixes) – Kat Graham (5) *
2) Dance Again (Extended Remix) – Jennifer Lopez feat. Pitbull (2) *
3) Call Me Maybe (Original & DJ Reidiculous Mixes) – Carly Rae Jepsen (1) *
4) Girl Gone Wild (Justin Cognito, Dave Aude & Offer Nissim Mixes) – Madonna (3) *
5) What Makes You Beautiful (Dave Aude Pop Rhythm Mix) – One Direction (6)
6) Call My Name – Cheryl Cole (7)
7) Timebomb – Kylie Minogue (DEBUT)
8) White Knuckle Ride (Penguin Prison Vocal Mix) – Jamiroquai (9)
9) Golden Era (David Morales Original & Disco Mixes) – David Morales & Roisin Murphy (18)
10)Scream – Usher (10)
11)Gang Bang (Adam Clarke Club Remix) – Madonna (4) *
http://www.madonnaradio.com/Classic.html [scroll down player list]
12)I Can Only Imagine (Extended Mix) – David Guetta feat. Chris Brown & Lil Wayne (DEBUT)
13)I Don’t Like You – Eva Simons (11)
14)Diddy Dum – My Name Is Kay (DEBUT)
15)Clever Lover (Spunky Ubetterdoitsir Remix) – Matthew Duffy (17)
16)Tchiki Tchiki Tchiki (Original & All Mixes)– Make The Girl Dance (DEBUT)
17)TYP – DISCO – The Young Professionals (15)
18)Perfect World (Seamus Haji Mix) – Gossip (20)
19)Don’t Wake Me Up (Benny Benassi Mix) – Chris Brown (DEBUT)
20)Goin’ In (Extended Mix) – Jennifer Lopez feat. Flo Rida (DEBUT)
Eros & Apollo – Studio Killers
Go – Si*Sé
Let It Go – Dragonette
Vacation – Alphabeat
*Indicates current/former #1s