talks about the latest releases in the music world

Chart Chat Edition 801 – W/C 05.04.2015

Chart Chat Edition 801 – Week Commencing Sunday 5th April 2015


For those reading this for the first time, Chart Chat has been in existence for over 15 years. We completed eight hundred editions reviewing the weeks charts and new releases before deciding it was time for a change of format.  Now we will be looking at new music ahead of its release, and it won’t always feature tracks released as singles. I have learned in recent years that the best music does not always make the charts, and to renew my love of music I have had to look to broader horizons.

Anyway here are this weeks list of new singles, albums and EPs to draw to your attention. They should all find themselves released very soon, if they are not available already.

Alexandra Burke – ‘Renegade’

Although her second album ‘Heartbreak On Hold’ failed to repeat the commercial success of her first outing ‘Outcome’, Alexandra has continued to carve out a successful career with her performances in the stage version of The Bodyguard receiving complimentary reviews. ‘Renegade’ is the lead track from her new EP of the same name which is released as a free download from her website on 27th April, but a clean edit of the track can be downloaded now via her Soundcloud page. It builds nicely to a dramatic chorus, and the vocals are in keeping with Alexandra’s recent declarataion that she is back with “my music, my rules”. The EP promises a selection of tracks including ‘Ain’t That Right’, ‘Don’t Make It Easy’ and a collaboration with Shakka entitled ‘Get Down’. On this showing it will be well worth a listen, and if it’s free to download you have no excuse not to do just that!

Aron Chupa – ‘I’m An Albatraoz’

We have been waiting for this to be released for quite some time, but the latest estimates show that this should be out in the UK on the 19th April.  This has been a monster hit around Europe, and the video has received over 120m views since it was first uploaded back in October last year. It has topped the charts in Sweden and Denmark while reaching the top five in Australia, Austria, Netherlands and New Zealand. It is a very simple track lasting just over two minutes, but the title of the track will soon stick in your head. It starts off with a simple piano before launching into a full on dance track, and although some of the lyrics might need to be censored for the radio it should still become a big success. It is sung by Aron’s sister Nora Ekberg who also appears in the song’s video and I think that overall it achieves Aron’s desire to mix old fashioned1920’s swing music with a modern club beat.

Blow Monkeys – ‘OK! Have It Your Way’

Dr Robert and the band are back with a brand new album ‘If Not Now, When?’, the follow up to their 2013 release ‘Feels Like A New Morning’. Those who remember the band from their mid 1980’s hits ‘Digging Your Scene’ and ‘It Doesn’t Have To Be That Way’ may be surprised by the sound of their latest material. ‘OK! Have It Your Way’ was one of the first tracks to appear, and it sounds more like ‘Nutbush City Limits’ than anything from their extensive back catalogue. The band are about to undertake a tour of the UK which concludes at the Under The Bridge club in London on 25th April. It seems somewhat frustrating that a band whose current output is this good can be defined by a handful of hit singles, but hopefully their new album will do enough to remind existing fans just how exciting they can still be while giving a nudge to some of the older fans that they are still going strong.

Faith No More – ‘Superhero’

You would have to trace back to 1997 to find the last time Faith No More appeared on the chart, or released any original material. They formally split in 1998 but reformed again eleven years later. Initially that reformation was just for a reunion tour, but eventually rumours surfaced that they would be writing and producing new material. Fast forward to 2015 and we now have a brand new album entitled ‘Sol Invictus’ which sees the light of day in mid May. For fans who can’t wait until then there are two tracks which can be downloaded from the album, one being ‘Mother******’ and the other being ‘Superhero’. The latter has been played almost half a million times and has also been released as a limited edition 7″ vinyl single. The sound of these new songs can be linked back to their earlier material and fans can be very confident of the long player which lays ahead.

Lucy Spraggan – ‘Unsinkable’

Lucy released her first album ‘Top Room At The Zoo’ back in 2011, and following her success on X Factor the record made no.22. After she left the competition she released her major label debut ‘Join The Club’ and that secured her a place in the album chart top ten. Since that release in 2013 she has been working on her latest long player ‘We Are…’ and the first single to come from it will be ‘Unsinkable’ next week. It is a simple, well produced pop song with a real band and interesting lyrics. She has lost none of her appeal since first appearing on TV, and has done well to stay true to her original artistry. The big question this time around will be whether she can still sell records, or whether she will still be linked back to simply being a “former X Factor contestant”. She is actually so much more and I only hope that she will be able to continue to make music like this.

Outros – ‘No Shade In Shadow (Demo)’

Kristin Hersh is known to most people through either her work with her band Throwing Muses, or via her solo output. She has also released music as part of 50 Foot Wave and their drummer Rob Ahlers has combined with her to form the new trio Outros along with Chris Brady from Audio Learning Center. Subscribers to her Cash music project were rewarded this week with the first taste of the bands output, an unmixed version of ‘No Shade In Shadow’. The good news is that it is a strong track, with the Ahlers contribution on the drums very noticeable. It is midpaced, with the title being repeated through the chorus and it will have you nodding your head in approval. The band have recorded further tracks which should see the light of day soon while a new solo album and a 50 Foot Wave EP are also due for release in 2015 so a busy year lays ahead.

The Proclaimers – ‘You Built Me Up’

If it wasn’t for their distinctive Scottish vocals, you couldn’t tell this was a Proclaimers song. It’s short (two minutes and twenty five seconds), and decidedly uptempo and rocky.  It is the first taste of what we might be able to expect from their new album ‘Let’s Hear It For The Dogs’ which is released at the end of the month. It marks their first new album since their 2012 outing ‘Like Comedy’ which peaked at no.31. The band are touring the UK during May and June before they make a series of festival appearances at Carfest North, the Wickham Festival and the V Festival. I can forsee the album doing well for them although I don’t think it will give them their first top ten appearance since ‘Hit The Highway’ back in 1994. They have clearly not lost their ability to write catchy pop songs and 2015 will be all the better for having them back in action once more.

Stacey Solomon – ‘Shy’

Her giggly personality and run of appearances on mainstream TV shows may have distracted people from just what a spectacular voice Stacey Solomon has.  Most recently she appeared on The Jump, and before that she presented Love Machine with Chris Moyles, Sing If You Can with Keith Lemon and was most famously the winner of I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here. It is to her credit that she has taken her time to ensure that her forthcoming album ‘Shy’ is not just a collection of cover versions but instead a showcase of impressive tracks. Stacey has written most of the material on the album herself but can also boast contributions from both Rita Ora and Lily Allen. Both the album and its title track are scheduled for release on the 19th April, and it is already appearing on the Radio 2 playlist. It has a laid back jazzy feel to it, and could quite easily have been a standard recorded many years earlier. The video to the track was uploaded to her Vevo account on the 5th March and managed to pick up 75k views during its first month. I’m not sure if will be a standalone hit, but the album should do well for her.

They Might Be Giants – ‘Underwater Woman’

This year saw the American alternative rock duo They Might Be Giants reactivate their Dial-A-Song service which saw them promise to release a new song every week during 2015. The original incarnation of this service is thought to have featured over 500 different songs and mixes between the years 1985 and 2008. This month sees them collect the first set of the new songs for the album ‘Glean’, and ‘Underwater Woman’ was the twelfth of those to be released.  It comes complete with a simple animated video and with a running time of two and a half minutes it could fit on any of the bands previous albums. They know how to deliver short, punchy, catchy pop songs and this is no exception. We are barely one third of the way through the year so we can expect more new material in the coming weeks and months. The band are currently on a tour of the US with twenty five dates planned during the course of April and May. I’m sure that this won’t be the last time we review them as part of our site.

Next Time…

There is no shortage of new albums coming over the next few weeks including ‘Blind Faith’ by Black, ‘The Magic Whip’ by Blur, ‘Saturn’s Pattern’ by Paul Weller, ‘Sol Invictus’ by Faith No More, ‘Sub-Lingual Tablet’ by The Fall and a new deluxe update of Rolling Stones ‘Sticky Fingers’. So don’t forget to stay in touch via our Twitter feed @ChartChatUK  and we will be releasing edition 802 very soon.

Ian Anderson

5 April, 2015 - Posted by | ChartChat

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