Thursday, 30 October 2014

The A to Z of Pop - Z is for Zombocalypse

The A to Z of Pop
by Jo Michelmore

Finally, here we are at the last letter in the A to Z of Pop and what have we learnt in the previous letters of the alphabet, dear readers? Amongst other things, we have learnt that Ed Sheeran is not very good, contrary to popular opinion the 90s had some bad bits as well as good bits, sometimes I can get a little political, personal and a little bit Cher, sometimes even I can make a Simpsons reference and sometimes being a blogger is really hard work, which is why I used the same idea twice. WTF?

We're going to end the A to Z with a little advice, because, well, we all know it's gonna happen sooner or later and my fellow bloggers, friends and I have a lot of theories about what we're going to do when it arrives. I figure since pop music can give us the answers as to how to mend a broken heart and how to party like it's 1999, it can give us the answers as to how we survive the impending zombocaplypse as well.

Surviving zombocalypse part one: if we take the advice of Robbie Williams, we simply dance in front of said zombie girls. We also have to strip. Not just our clothing. I'm not sure the advice of Robbie will help.

Surviving zombocalypse part two: If we take the advice of RIP Michael Jackson, we simply engage with said zombies and dance. With them. 'Cause they can't resist the catchy beats, apparently. I'm not sure the advice of RIP Michael will help.

Surviving zombocalypse part three: Ask our Korean friends what to do. I'm not 100% sure, but with a song called 'Lovey Dovey' I'm thinking T-ara would like us to seduce said zombies. Either that or we take them to a club and dance. I'm not sure the advice of T-ara will help.

Surving zombocalypse part four: Of course, how obvious. When all else fails, turn to Kanye. Do we offer Kanye as some kind of zombie sacrifice in order to save us all? Maybe. Sorry Kanye, but you know, zombocalypse and all. And the sacrifice of Kanye saves pop music in general. Well, I know at least one of my fellow bloggers who would agree. I'm not sure my advice will help.

Kanye sacrificed and that brings us to the end of the A to Z of Pop, but you know he'll appear somewhere else again, 'cause it's just the way things are around here. Thanks y'all for sticking with me through a whole heap of letters, a whole heap of pop and a whole lot of my ridiculous thoughts, opinions and words. Join me next year for another A to Z?

EP Review - Millar Jukes and The Bandits

by Millar Jukes and The Bandits

We were first introduced to the music of Millar Jukes in February when our good friend Lou did a review of the track 'Maryanne'. Lou loved the vintage party starting vibes and the, "sexy guitar and thumping drums." Now, I'm not the blues-iest of fellows, but I was definitely digging Jukes' voice and the music The Bandits as a whole were selling so when we were informed of the release of the Millar Jukes and The Bandits EP, I was keen to see what else this talented group of musicians could come up with. 

"I can't feel this heart of mine, left me reeling when you left me behind. I couldn't believe that you could do me wrong, I couldn't believe that you could up and gone." Let's start at the end, the last track 'You Ain't Mine.' This is one mighty fine alt-country ballad that provides the perfect showcase for the vocal talents of Scottish-born/now Melbourne's own, Millar Jukes. The story is suitably heartbreaking, a requirement for country music since it's the music of pain. While it might not exactly cover any new territory (love lost, love is now with another dude dang nabbit), Jukes' emotional performance, the subtle accompaniment and flashes of Jasmin Fiske's voice on back up makes 'You Ain't Mine' a song you won't soon forget. This would have to be a standout moment at one of the band's live shows. It's certainly the standout moment on the EP. 

It's not all about the ballad though. We've got four upbeat, energetic tracks on Millar Jukes and The Bandits as well; 'Love Me All Night', 'Maryanne', 'Be Mine' and 'Out of Time'. There's harmonica breakdowns courtesy of Jukes, some truly excellent guitar work from Matt Sandilands and there's just a whole lot of fun. Lou was completely right in describing Millar Jukes and The Bandits' music as exactly what you'd want playing when you're surrounded by a group of friends and a bottle or five of whiskey. I've adapted that, slightly, but you're picking up what I'm putting down.

Let's apply the five songs on the Millar Jukes and The Bandits EP to those five whiskey bottles at the party, shall we? 'Love Me All Night' is the excitement of the night beginning. Everyone arriving, first drinks poured and all the catch up conversations getting done and dusted early. Whiskey bottles consumed... 1. 'Maryanne' is when the music gets cranked up a whole lot louder and this means there will be dancing. It's all about the fun. Whiskey bottles consumed... 2. 'Be Mine' is when the very best of friends start reminiscing about all the good times from days gone by. There's a cute couple slow dancing because this is a pretty cute love song. Most of the group is sitting down and getting comfortable because they're beyond tipsy. Whiskey bottles consumed... 3. 'Out Of Time' is getting that second wind. Your house is suddenly hosting a hoedown. The dancing might be terrible, but no one cares. You're having too much fun again. Whiskey bottles consumed... 4. 'You Ain't Mine.' You're drunk. Go home. Your friends have heard your sad stories way too many times. No more whiskey for you. Whiskey bottles consumed... 5. 

Of course, you can't compress a whole night into 25 minutes. Nor should you and a small-ish group of friends drink five bottles of whiskey in such a short time. That's crazy talk. What you should do though, is give the Millar Jukes and The Bandits EP a listen. That's what we call not crazy talk. And you get to enjoy some great music too. 

Matt Bond gives Millar Jukes and The Bandits four Beatles heads out of five... 

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Video Review - Under The Tide

Under The Tide
by Chvrches
Album: The Bones Of What You Believe (available now)

Well, well, well, what do we have here then? This certainly wasn't expected this week. After the release of Chvrches newest single 'Get Away'; taken from the re-worked Drive score (yep, I'm not sure what that's about either, but it can't be denied that the song's quite good) and the announcement that they will be featured in the next Hunger Games soundtrack (which I predict will be yet another bland dose of Hollywood in the series of what I personally consider the most snore inducing films of all time....but that's another story), the last thing I thought I'd be writing about would be another piece of Chvrches brilliance, but I'm never going to complain about being forced to watch more of one of my favourite bands.

Directed by Sing J Lee, the same talent responsible for two other Chvrches clips in 'The Mother We Share' and 'Lies' (as well as a couple of clips from another of my fave UK electro babes; Avec Sans), the clip for 'Under The Tide' is a journey into an anime space inspired wonderland. This is somwhere I actually don't venture often, so the four and half minutes it takes to tell the story of two characters making their way through the stars, interspersed with shots of Martin Doherty singing his little heart out in his typically adorable button up shirt and cap uniform is the perfect amount of anime + band member + music + addictive lyrics to keep me interested. Combine that with one of my favourite tracks (but honestly, I love them all) from their 2013 release The Bones Of What You Believe and you have yourself another side of Chvrches, but then, every side of Chvrches career so far has been brilliant in my eyes, so this clip just adds to the list of brilliance.

Jo Michelmore gives 'Under The Tide' three and a half The xx heads out of five...

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Gig Review - Shihad

Live @ The HiFi, Brisbane (25 October 2014)
Words by Jo Michelmore
Pics by Cordell Sanders

It's kind of funny to think a band like Shihad have been playing their brand of rock for twenty-six years. Twenty-six years! 1988 was a lifetime ago, but in all those years, Shihad have faced some massive crowds, some ridiculous controversy (hello 'Pacifier'), some line up changes and a whole lot of rock related activities. All of those years and all of these things lead to a whole lot of experience which led to a whole lot of what was simply a goddamn good rock gig last Friday night.

At the Hi Fi in Brisbane, they played through tracks from all portions of their (so far) nine album career and while concentrating on some of the incredible tracks from their current release FVEY, they proved that this is a band with a lifetime of experience who are comfortable with their sound, confident in their ability to entertain and incredibly friendly with their fans. There was an impromptu marriage proposal by two die hard fans midway through the set (how romantic,  maybe?) and the packed venue was given the opportunity to meet the band members after the gig. That's dedication to fans and that's kind of awesome. There's no denying the rock in the room on Friday night, from a band that will hopefully be happy to still be rocking twenty-six years from now.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Top 25 - 26 October, 2014

Heeeeeey, ladies!

1. Hey Lady! - My Head, My Heart

2. Tkay Maidza - Switch Lanes

3. San Cisco - Run (NEW)

4. Dear Plastic - Epic Delay

5. Jessie Ware - Pieces

6. Little May - Bones

7. Foo Fighters - The Feast and The Famine (NEW)

8. Foo Fighters - Something From Nothing

9. Howling Bells - Original Sin (NEW)

10. Jack Ladder and The Dreamlanders - Her Hands

11. Fractures - It's Alright (NEW)

12. Tanzer - That's Why Darling

13. Marina and The Diamonds - Froot

14. Gwen Stefani - Baby Don't Lie (NEW)

15. Jasia - Safety

16. Son Lux ft. Faux Fix - No Fate Awaits Me (NEW)

17. Julia Why? - Just One Night

18. Chvrches - Get Away (NEW)

19. Cold Clinic Love - Bullet Youth

20. Sleater-Kinney - Bury Our Friends (NEW)

21. Lurch and Chief - Keep It Together

22. Iggy Azalea - Iggy SZN (NEW)

23. Lorde - Yellow Flicker Beat

24. Sean O'Neill - I Know You Worry

25. slacksmiths - Slotmachine

Thursday, 23 October 2014

The A to Z of Pop - Y is for #yolo

The A to Z of Pop
by Jo Michelmore

"I hate old people, why don't they all just f-off" was what one of my previous work colleagues used to say when dealing with anyone of an elderly demeanour. Unfortunately, I could never quite get my colleague to admit what they considered 'old' because whenever they said that sentence, I would always be busy thinking to myself; "well, I hope all your dreams come true and you don't get old then...." which was probably a little harsh, but whatever, paying jobs can sometimes do that to you.

Having had a birthday myself recently, it got me thinking about what 'old' is anyway. To a five year old, anyone over the age of five is old, right? And anyone under the age of five is a baby. Easy. These lines start to get blurred as time goes on. They're even more blurred in pop music, because what is age in pop? As I said way back at T, Madonna is old as something about 56 years old, but that doesn't mean you can take away her Queen of Pop crown. I've decided that pop music is ageless. Some pop is really good and some pop is really...average and some pop stars are super young and some pop stars are super old. For example, 5SOS are all under 21, but that doesn't make them musical geniuses, does it?

Perhaps you should decide that for yourself.

"I wish that I could wake up with amnesia and forget about the stupid little things" - you don't get to decide what you forget with amnesia, 5SOS. You forget the big things too. Oh well, at least someone told you how to spell amnesia, I guess. But wait, there's still hope for pop with people like one of my faves who released a new song this week.

Ms Gwen Stefani. She's 45. This week, she released a new song after eight long years. I like it. Lots. Someone I know (hey editor) said it sounded very Rihanna-ish. I agree, but Rihanna is 26 and Gwen is rocking a Rihanna sound better than Rihanna has in a little while. Where is that eighth album Rihanna? Which brings me to Pitbull, who is one that confuses me, because how old is he anyway?

He looks like he's 50, but apparently he's 33. I beg to differ. Old eyes are hiding behind those suits of his. Mr Bull just wishes he was more like someone else who's way older than him but seems way younger.

I know right? Jay Z is 44. All I can say is, thankfully he hasn't taken the advice of Pitbull's ol' mate Kesha (who by the way, is 27). And for the record, at 27, I don't want you to follow your own advice either, Kesha.

What have we learnt here boys and girls? Pop music and our mainstream media in general might be focused on the 'young', but pop music is good. At any age. You should just enjoy it, at any age, because after all; #yolo.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

It's My Kind Of Interview - Jessie Ware

As huge fans of Jessie Ware's Mercury Music Prize nominated debut, Devotion, we've been anticipating the release of the sophomore follow-up, Tough Love. A brilliant collection of soulful pop, Tough Love is out there in the world for your listening pleasure right now, featuring some of our favourite tracks of 2014 like 'Say You Love Me', 'Pieces' and the title track, 'Tough Love'. We'll be back with a full review of the album soon, but tonight we're thrilled to bring you a little chat with the insanely talented Jessie Ware. Enjoy!

Interview by Matt Bond

Jessie Ware, welcome to It's My Kind of Scene! How are you on this fine day? What's going on in your world?

Jessie Ware: I am alright thanks. I am hoping the sun will come out in Berlin today. Having my hair done, getting ready for television live singing later.

Tough Love has now been released! How excited are you to have it available for your fans? And what do you think separates Tough Love from its predecessor, Devotion?

Jessie: I am so relieved it is out now, and people can love it, hate it, but at least have an opinion! I think I have pushed my songwriting in Tough Love, it's a little more direct, has a few more 'pop' songs, in the best sense of the word!

You've worked with a wide range of artists like Miguel and Ed Sheeran. With Sheeran you wrote current single, 'Say You Love Me'. How did you find writing with another established act?

Jessie: We wrote it when I really thought we had the album done. It was a quick session, Ed popped over to my producer's apartment and we chilled, ate a salad and had a cup of tea and wrote it in like 45 minutes. It just came out. It was amazing seeing as Ed and I had never hung out properly and you just never know if writing with someone you respect will actually work. But it worked perfectly.

You're well known for your smooth blend of pop and soul and you certainly deliver throughout Tough Love. Who are the go-to artists that define soul music to you?

Jessie: Sade, Lauryn Hill, Dusty Springfield, Chaka Khan.

There are a lot of upcoming Jessie Ware tour dates scheduled for Europe and North America. Have you got any plans to come to Australia in the near future? Please say yes... pretty please?

Jessie: I want to so badly you don't even know! I bug my agent, my label, anyone about it. I had the best time at Laneway. It really was such fun. So please, tell everyone about me and then maybe I can come over. It's just so far :(

Speaking of live shows, have you made any big changes to your performances while incorporating the songs from Tough Love? While we're on the topic of gigs, what's your personal favourite show and why do you look back on it so fondly?

Jessie: I have a new pianist which is lovely! And we have lighting now. I have tried to make the show bigger and better, give the fans more you know? I loved Frank Ocean last year for the intimacy, but D'Angelo's show was so SPECIAL. The players, D'Angelo. It was magic.


If you weren't in the music industry you would be...
Jessie: ...a teacher, like Mr G.

The first album you ever bought was...
Jessie: Probably Take That.

A song you wish you had written is...
Jessie: 'Running Up That Hill'.

If there's one song that's guaranteed to get you on the dance floor it's...
Jessie: Chaka Khan - 'I Feel For You'.

What advice can you offer to emerging artists that aspire to have a career in the music industry like yours?

Jessie: Fucking enjoy it. It's so easy to stress and worry and if you worry too much you will miss all the fun bits.

When they air the Jessie Ware edition of MTV's 'Behind The Music' in approximately 37 years time, what will they say about you?

Jessie: Ha! If I am around then, they can say whatever they want!

An astronomically huge thank you to Jessie Ware for answering our questions! Australia loves Jessie Ware, so we hope to see her on our shores sooner than later. How can you help make this happen? Go get the exceptional new album, Tough Love... listen to it, love it, demand like a crazy person that you can hear it live in 'Straya! Want to listen to it now... there's a Streamy McAlbumStream below. Double enjoy! 

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Video Review - It's Alright

It's Alright
by Fractures
EP: Fractures (available now)


There are clips made for music and there are songs made for visuals and there are clips made purely to sell records and records made to sell clips, but every now and then, there are pieces of art. Visuals matched with sounds that move you in a way that only the greatest of creatives do. While telling one story, they manage to speak of so many more and all the while remain true to their craft. It's a skill easily lost, so when it works, it's something to be praised.

We've all been there, we've all visited this place. It's hard and it's somehow uplifting but it's horrible and it's life affirming and it hurts like hell but it's something we all do once in a while, it's somewhere we all find ourselves every now and then. That giant empty room, the broken windows and life strewn all over the floor, a staircase to nowhere and a space full of everyone and no one all at once. These are the places we fear and the places we desperately discover when we've hit a wall, when our hearts can take no more and these places, they are common to us all.

While the clip for 'It's Alright' by Fractures is actually the story of a man returning to his now abandoned hometown in the Ukraine, it's the combination of sights and slow keys, the gentle rolling beats accompanying Mark Zito's vocal "don't get dragged through, don't be's alright, it's alright" that grab your heart and pull the tears from your eyes. While we all haven't faced the exact horror that the heartbroken man in the clip has faced; having been forced to leave his hometown and returning so many years later to so many memories and so much nothing; the thing that makes this clip and this song such an experience is that we relate. We all have that same basic fear of loneliness, the need for compassion and the dread of the loss of love, no matter how big or small, whether it be one person, one place or an entire life. They are the basics that make us human and they're all represented in the images of director and cinematographer, Matthew Chuang and the sounds of Fractures.

There are clips made for music and there are songs made for visuals...and then there are minutes that you will see on some tiny screen somewhere that won't let you go. They will make their way around your mind, they will wrap themselves around your heart and they will haunt your moments. Those are the clips and these are the sounds that I love the most.

Jo Michelmore gives 'It's Alright' five Thom Yorke heads out of five...


Monday, 20 October 2014

Video Review - Missing Her

Missing Her
by Wilding

Ooh, see, about a little while ago I heard the sweet, cute sounds of Wilding singing a super sweet, cute song all about….missing her, whoever ‘her’ happens to be, hence the name of the song, I guess (never said I was a genius, just an observer). What I loved about that song was its sense of new/old, its complete sense of time warp, like it should have been written in the 60s, but then it somehow fit perfectly into the now. It was catchy, it was cute, it was melodies and swinging and tapping and everything I love about vintage inspired indie pop music. 

I thought I couldn’t love it anymore, but then this little clip landed on my laptop and made me so happy it wasn’t written in the 60s, because my laptop and youtube wouldn’t exist in the 60s and therefore how would I ever get to watch it over and over and over again? I’d be one of those (fabulously dressed) weirdos I see in TV shows, sitting in front of (a fabulously stylish) black and white television set waiting for my favourite song to come on and I’d be heartbroken if it didn’t. That actually happened, right? I’ve seen it on the telly, it must be true. Damn, I’m glad I don’t live in the 60s. Anyway, I digress, I live in 2014 and when I love a clip I get to watch it as many times as I want, which is exactly what I’ve been doing with the clip for ‘Missing Her’, while tapping my feet manically and singing along and wishing I lived somewhere before now, but simultaneously really glad I don’t. In fact, I’d like to live somewhere like this clip, where everything is a little bit 60s, but EFTPOS is available at the local store, trains are fast and covered in elaborate graffiti and hats are as stylish as Justin Wilding’s is. Where do I get me one of those hats?

Jo Michelmore gives the ‘Missing Her’ clip three and a half Beatles heads out of five…

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Top 25 - 19 October, 2014

Foo Fighters + Tkay Maidza!

1. Dear Plastic - Epic Delay (#1 for 3 weeks!)

2. Tkay Maidza - Switch Lanes (NEW)

3. Little May - Bones

4. Hey Lady - My Head, My Heart

5. Foo Fighters - Something From Nothing (NEW)

6. Tanzer - That's Why Darling

7. Julia Why? - Just One Night

8. Jack Ladder and The Dreamlanders - Her Hands (NEW)

9. Lurch and Chief - Keep It Together (NEW)


10. Cold Clinic Love - Bullet Youth

11. Pharrell Williams - Gust of Wind

12. Clare Maguire - Boomerang

13. Sean O'Neill - I Know You Worry (NEW)

14. Heyrocco - Mom Jeans

15. Lorde - Yellow Flicker Beat

16. Jessie Ware - Pieces (NEW)

17. Marina and The Diamonds - Froot

18. slacksmiths - Slotmachine

19. Lisa Mitchell -Wah-Ha

20. SAFIA - You Are The One

21. Jasia - Safety (NEW)

22. Kilter ft. Tkay Maidza- They Say

23. Tora - Admire

24. Pretty City - Flying

25. Megan Washington - My Heart Is A Wheel

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Album Review - The Thieves Are Babes

by Dear Plastic (out now)

"If you're gonna take a side, take mine." Music lovers who like to take a walk down darker electronic avenues are going to find it incredibly easy to jump right in and lose themselves in The Thieves Are Babes, the debut album from Melbourne 5-piece, Dear Plastic. We've been keeping up to date on the goings on of the group since the release of their Everything's Coming Up Roses EP last year and in that time Scarlette Baccini, Josh Moult, Danny Cox, Cory Mollison and Nathan Clark have done a most excellent job of establishing themselves as Australia's best kept alternative secret. I use alternative loosely because their music transcends many genres and fancy labels, but when you find yourself garnering comparisons to the likes of Bjork and Portishead, alternative kinda fits. And that whole best kept secret thing? Halfway through 'Memo', the first The Thieves Are Babes track, I was wondering how a group with a sound this unique to the current Australian music landscape could be kept a secret for long. The opener feels dangerous and sexy, with Baccini making an immediate impact with her entrace around the thirteen second mark on a performance Beth Gibbons would be proud of. 'Memo' provides that feeling you can only get from trip hop legends like Massive Attack, Tricky and the previously mentioned Portishead. The atmosphere the band creates with the music is both inviting and isolating and this is really exciting because it feels like something that's been lost for a long time in music is suddenly back. 

While you can throw out a lot of comparative or similar artists, Dear Plastic establish their own identity over the course of The Thieves Are Babes. A song like 'Antimatter' perfectly represents their quirky yet engaging style of storytelling. "And in that dark matter, no one could see it happen. Ah, but ever since then, I seem to have lost my nerve. My antimatter, my counterpart, do you think we'll ever fall in love." Fantastic sci-fi tale presented in the form of dark avant garde pop. Yes. A million times yes. Current single, 'Epic Delay', is one of the best songs of the year. Baccini's vocal performance is heartbreaking in the absolute defeat that's present throughout. The simple guitar line in the verses against the explosion of sound for the chorus when Baccini lets loose provides an outstanding contrast that sells the pain. "Where do we go? I won't fall asleep because there's no way to know." triple J... why y'all not all over this? 'Buck Up And The Reaper' steers Dear Plastic towards a more grungey alt-rock sound and there's a whole lot of spite and rage, both reserved and not-so-much-reserved. If there's a track that establishes who Scarlette Baccini is as a vocalist, this is it. We get to see her high and lows, guttural grows, wails and towards the end, an unrestrained force of nature. Not once do I find myself thinking... she sound so much like (insert random name to compare artist to here). Brilliant. 

There are two vocal-free interludes between the track 'Little Seeds', 'I' and 'II' that appear. Breathers to collect yourself perhaps? 'Dead Husband' is really fucking bleak. "I reach out, touch your face, find another man there instead. I don't know what he wants with me, but he isn't you and he doesn't love me. I see through the floor, I'm sorry I'm not here anymore." More compelling storytelling for sure, just super bleak. I feel I just had an Edgar Allen Poe story sung to me. Never fear, 'Bell Jar' and it's surprisingly funky brass-iness will prop you right back up. An electro-brass jam. That's certainly different and also very good. The Thieves Are Babes is closed out by 'Everything's Coming Up Roses', a track we've been loving for some time now and it looks like we'll be loving it for a lot longer. More of an electro-pop number than what has come before, it ends things on a endearingly positive note. After 'Dead Husband' it's nice to know that everything's coming up roses. Give it a listen, you'll understand. And seriously, give this album a listen. And then buy it. Dear Plastic have carved out their own space in the music world and if you're down with what they're selling, go and join them there... it's a nice place to hang out. If you're gonna take a side, take Dear Plastic's. They're amazing. 

Matt Bond gives The Thieves Are Babes four Shirley Manson heads out of five...

Friday, 17 October 2014

Song Review - Switch Lanes

Switch Lanes
by Tkay Maidza
EP: Switch Tape (available October 24, 2014. Yes!!!!)

It's not the first time it's happened to me. It's happened to all of us. You know it, you get yourself a new favourite artist and you hear a couple of songs and you think "damn, I really, really like this shit!" but you don't mean "shit" in a bad way, you mean it in a really, really good way, but a full grasp of the English language has left you because said "shit" is so good you can't even think of words other than "really", "good" and "shit" to describe it.  Then you and some of your friends who "really, really" like this "shit" get to see said artist live and everything you thought is confirmed, your mind is blown and you say it for sure. Yep, you declare yourself a fan. You know what this is about and you love it.

Then something happens. Another single is released and it's not at all what you expected. In fact, it's very different to what you expected. It's not the party jumping irreverent stomping feet anthem you have become such a fan of. What is it? It's smooth sounds and it's some sweet summer steel drums and it's soul and it's swinging and swaying and a little bit of a warm weather soundtrack. It's not at all what you thought it would be, but the best part? It's totally MIND BLOWINGLY GOOD. See? You just said blowingly. There's that loss of your grasp of the English language again. That's how good it is.

I can't remember the last artist who did this to me, but all of this is exactly what happened when I heard 'Switch Lanes'; the aptly titled and latest track from Tkay Maidza. Produced by Paces, it's a depature from her previous releases that those of us here at IMKOS have adored, but its release shows this is an artist that I predict has a massive career ahead of her. 'Switch Lanes' shows her ability to take her talent in various directions without alienating her fans and she's proven all of that even before the release of her debut EP. It seems I just can't get enough of whatever it is she has lined up and even though I now don't know what to expect next, I know to trust her talent, because let's just say it; her talent, her music and what I shall call "this shit" is really, really good.

Jo Michelmore gives Switch Lanes four Missy Elliot heads out of five...

Thursday, 16 October 2014

The A to Z of Pop - X is for X Factor

The A to Z of Pop
by Jo Michelmore

You thought X would be the one to screw me over, didn't you? Like in every childrens alphabet book, X stands for x-ray, so what was I going to write about? The bone structure of Katy Perry's face? Boy George always had excellent cheek bones...or that could have been the make up. Excellent make up. I could have chosen the xylophone and songs that feature said xylophone, but I thought that was a little obscure and to be honest, I'm very busy and important and didn't have time to research that (read: couldn't be bothered). X-rated? Get your mind out of the gutter (read: no, just no.)

The X in this A to Z of Pop stands for something I've not had a lot to do with, because I don't really like the TV much (shock and horror) but when one of my favourite things (read: music) combines with one of my least favourite things (read: TV) I have to get involved and therefore welcome to X in the A to Z of Pop: The X Factor.

Let's start with my local and a little quiz. The winner of The X Factor Australia 2010; Altiyan Childs. Do you remember what his winning song was? If you said yes I say no, you're wrong and probably lying because NO ONE remembers what his song was. Somewhere in the world tonight someone is trying to remember what that song was, but no one can remember - BECAUSE IT WAS AWFUL.

Let's see how the rest of the world does The X-Factor. Probably one of my favourite places in the world: Germany. Edita Abdieski won in 2010, with a song called 'I've Come To Life', but I beg to differ, because I see her youtube channel is merely full of her singing covers, which look like they've been shot on someones iphone. Shame Edita, you actually have a reasonable voice. If only you'd called your album something other than One it might have reached higher than number 32 on the German charts. Lesson X Factor contestants: don't reach too high, you won't be disappointed.

Alex and Sierra won America's version of The X Factor this year, so obviously we haven't seen their downfall yet. They're apparently a couple, but they look more like brother and sister (which makes me want to vomit) and they are SO SICKENINGLY SWEET (it makes me want to vomit). The good part about this is that anyone that sweet is sure to have a Miley style meltdown at some stage and that's something to really look forward to. 

And then I go to Denmark in the hope of finding some kind of Eurovision-esque type winner, full of glitter and pop and what I find is Chresten. Denmark, of course you do things this way, just that little bit different. I don't really know what's going on here, it's not even pop is it? But I know I didn't expect that voice out of an X Factor winner, exactly like the amusement I felt after walking for miles through Copenhagen to see The Little Mermaid and finding what I did. Ah, Denmark. That's twice you've let me down and twice you've surprised me. Oh Denmark, you're so xenodochial.