talks about the latest releases in the music world

Chart Chat Edition 808 – W/C 21.06.15

Chart Chat Edition 808 – Week Commencing 21st June 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.

So what have we been discussing in the Chart Chat offices this week?

Amy Studt – Different Colour Pills (Single)

It’s been twelve years since the singer / songwriter Amy Studt burst onto the music scene with her debut album ‘False Smiles’. It quickly established her in the charts, reaching the top twenty and yielding the top ten hits ‘Misfit’ and ‘Under The Thumb’. However things after that became much more difficult and her 2008 album ‘My Paper Made Men’ failed to make any inroads into the charts. This week sees the release of her new single ‘Different Colour Pills’, a track which was inspired by a pill given to her by a doctor. It is a far cry (in a good way) from her early material, and shows a depth and maturity absent when she first appeared at 17 years old. The music industry is a harsh place to be and I fear this being overlooked by the mainstream radio stations. However fans wishing to hear more of her new material can catch her playing live at The Islington in London on the 2rd July.

Bleachers – ‘Strange Desire’ (Album)

Next up is Bleachers AKA Jack Antonoff, the guitarist from the American trio Fun. He releases his debut album ‘Strange Desire’ on the 6th July, and that is preceeded by the single ‘I Wanna Get Better’ a week earlier. The album could chart well as it will take advantage of the short week which exists to transition the chart compilation day to Friday. It reached no.11 when released in the US last year and there is every chance that he could repeat that success over here. The single has been receiving plenty of airplay, and the video has received just under 4m views since it was uploaded to his Vevo account back in March 2014. He is set to do a joint tour of the US with British singer Charli XCX although they will not appear in the UK together. We will soon see exactly how he is received this side of the Atlantic when this single and album are made available.

Duke Dumont – ‘The Giver (Reprise)’ (Single)

DJ and Deep House producer Duke Dumont has had a great start to his chart career with his first two singles ‘Need U (100 Percent)’ and ‘I Got U’ reaching no.1 while the follow up ‘Won’t Look Back’ made no.2. Now this week sees the release of his brand new single ‘The Giver (Reprise)’ which is available as a single track download and an EP of remixes. New mixes to be found on the EP include the Mark Ronson Remix, the Fono Remix, the Wave Racer Remix, the Dimension Remix and the Kiwi Remix. The video to the track was uploaded on 21st May and it has already received more than 1m views. In addition to his work as an artist he has also remixed tracks by Missy Elliot, Lily Allen, Skunk Anansie and Donna Summer. I think this will certainly find itself in contention for a top ten placing next Sunday but I don’t think it will do quite enough to become his fourth top three hit.

Duran Duran featuring Janelle Monae & Nile Rodgers – ‘Pressure On’ (Single)

It has been over ten years since we last found Duran Duran on the singles chart, although their 2011 album ‘All You Need Is Now’ did make no.11. Now in 2015 they have enlisted the help of singer Janelle Monae and the legendary producer Nile Rodgers for their new single ‘Pressure Off’. It marks the first release from their forthcoming new album ‘Paper Gods’ which is pencilled in for a September release and it doesn’t disappoint as it is an uptempo pop single in the tradition of their biggest hits, but with a distinctive Nile Rodgers twist. You can hear his trademark guitar strumming in the background while Janelle’s vocals add some weight to the chorus. I can see this picking up airplay on some of the commercial stations and that can only help to promote the track still further. They have fourteen top ten hits to their name already and with a loyal fanbase behind them this could yet add to that tally.

Eliza & The Bear – ‘Make It On My Own’ (EP)

London based five piece Eliza & The Bear release their new EP ‘Make It On My Own’ this week. The title track comes complete with an eye catching video which has been viewed over 90k times since it was first uploaded to their Vevo account at the end of April. Other tracks which feature on the EP are ‘Love Don’t Play Fair’, the RITUAL Remix of ‘Make It On My Own’ and an acoustic version of ‘Talk’. The band doesn’t contain anyone called Eliza (nor does it feature a bear…) and in fact were named after a collection of poems by Eleanor Rees! Sometimes they have been labelled by journalists as Indie Rock, but that is a lazy tag as in fact their sound is much more polished than that. They are set to tour the UK in October when they will play seven dates across the country. They have been very busy in the recording studio of late and we can expect a full length album from them in the not too distant future.

Iron Maiden – ‘Body Of Souls’ (Album)

News of a new Iron Maiden album will be greeted with both excitement and relief by fans who waited patiently to hear the outcome of singer Bruce Dickinson’s battle with cancer. He now has the all clear and is slowly building his strength back up ahead of the bands return to the stage in 2016. The album lasts for over 90 minutes and spans two discs with the band members sharing songwriting duties. The shortest track ‘Tears Of A Clown’ is only one second under five minutes while ‘Empire Of The Clouds’ is the longest ever recorded by the band with a running time of over eighteen minutes. It has been over five years since ‘The Final Frontier’ became their fourth no.1 album and so it will be great to hear some new material from the band. There is no news yet on a single release as they are well overdue a top forty appearance, their last coming with ‘A Different World’ at the start of 2007.

The Jam – ‘About The Young Idea : The Very Best Of’ (Album)

The number of compilations by The Jam that have charted already is quite staggering, yet this week sees the release of yet another one! In 1983 we had the original compilation ‘Snap!’ which peaked at no.2, and that was followed by ‘Greatest Hits’ eight years later also peaking at no.2. The extensive box set ‘Direction Reaction Creation’ made no.7 in 1997 followed by ‘The Very Best Of’ later that year which reached no.9. ‘Snap!’ then returned to the top ten in 2006 and now some nine years later comes ‘About The Young Idea : The Very Best Of’. It encompasses an impressive 47 tracks for less than £10, but fans will have most of these tracks already. It does present a reasonable introduction to the band for any newcomers, but surely those will be in the minority. However it is a tribute to the bands longevity that a compliation released over thirty years after their split can attract so much interest.

Marc Almond – ‘Pleasures Wherever You Are’

Earlier this year saw Marc Almond return with his latest album ‘The Velvet Trail’. It contains a series of different songs arranged over three acts, and notably includes a fantastic duet with Beth Ditto on ‘When The Comet Comes’. He had previously indicated that his 2010 long player ‘Variete’ was to be his last album containing original material but after forging a writing partnership with Chris Braide he decided to change his mind. He has been playing live throughout June but fans will have another chance to catch him in July when he appears as a guest on the Jools Holland tour. Although he hasn’t had a hit single since ‘Adored and Explored’ his live shows continue to draw large crowds and his albums still sell across Europe. I would strongly recommend that anyone who enjoys this track gives ‘The Velvet Trail’ a listen as it is best heard in its entirety rather than via standalone singles.

Vix & Her MsChiefs – ‘Music & Mischief’ (EP)

Americana band Vix and her MsChiefs are about to release their second EP ‘Music & Mischief’ which follows on from their debut release ‘Live at Magic Garden’.  Their track ‘Fame Is Your Driver’ recently received it’s own video starring a number of their fans who in turn are helping the band with their PledgeMusic campaign which should secure a full release for the new EP very soon. Their sound is refreshingly different – very few bands can boast a double bass player and a violinist! They are lead by Vix, who formerly headed up Fuzzbox while producer Gavin Monaghan rules the mixing desk having previously worked with a number of big name acts including Editors, Robert Plant, Ryan Adams and Paolo Nutini. The band will play live at the Kinver Music Festival next month along with L Fest which takes place at Uttoxeter Racecourse.

Next Time…

Other artists releasing singles over the coming weeks include Don Broco, Eminem, Shayne Ward, Shift K3y and Fuse ODG while album releases are set to come from  Neil Young, Tina Turner, Lucy Rose and Asian Dub Foundation.  We will be back soon with more reviews so don’t forget to keep an eye on our Twitter account and main website

Ian Anderson

21 June, 2015 Posted by | ChartChat | Leave a comment

Chart Chat Edition 807 – W/C 07.06.15

Chart Chat Edition 807 – Week Commencing 7th June 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.

So what have we been discussing in the Chart Chat offices this week?

Kathryn Williams – ‘Hypoxia’ (Album)

After seventeen years North-east songwriter Kathryn Williams is ready to release her twelfth album. It was inspired by ‘The Bell Jar’ by Slyvia Plath and gets its full release on the One Little Indian record label next week. Ed Harcourt has been on duty as producer and the duo wrote the track ‘Cuckoo’ together which has been made available to download prior to the full release of the album. Opening track ‘Electric’ is stripped back and acoustic, showing the true beauty of Kathryn’s voice while ‘Mirrors’ is more dark and brooding with the vocals distorted. This week sees her play intimate gigs in London, Liverpool and Durham with further concerts planned for early July. To date four of her albums have charted, but none peaked higher than ‘Old Low Light’ in 2002 which reached no.56. I’m not sure that this record will beat that, but she continues to deliver and her fans will be keen to hear the results of her labour.

Leon Bridges – ‘Better Man’ (Single)

The hugely talented soul and gospel singer Leon Bridges is back in action next week with his latest single ‘Better Man’.  It is a stunning track which manages to capture a real 1960’s feel to it, and it could so easily have been sung by someone like Sam Cooke. It is musically rich, boasting a full band and a genuine saxophonist.  His debut album is set for release a week later (on the 22nd June) and that looks set to establish him as a force to be reckoned with. The title track was released back in March and captures a similar old school soul vibe. UK fans wishing to catch him live need to be aware that he is making an appearance at Glastonbury later this month before moving on to play a short series of UK concerts during July. I can’t promise that this single will end up becoming a top forty hit, but he is an artist who looks destined for significant success during the remainder of 2015.

Matt Redman – ‘Unbroken Praise’ (Album)

Brighton based singer songwriter Matt Redman returns this week with his twelfth album ‘Unbroken Praise’ this week. Recorded live at the famous Abbey Road studios in London, it features eleven tracks and for me the highlight has to be his soaring and powerful version of ‘It Is Well With My Soul’. The track has an anthemic power about it, while ‘King Of My Soul’ has more of a modern day chart feel to it. Other highlights on the album include ‘Abide With Me’ and the title track itself. For those unaware of Matt, he is a Christian worship leader and author who enjoyed a top twenty hit when he guested on the track ‘Twenty Seven Million’ by another Christian act LS7. He currently has five concerts planned in the US and will hopefully make an appearance in the UK later this year. Matt certainly gets his message across in a powerful way and this album is sure to be well received by his army of fans around the world.

Misty Miller – ‘Happy’ (Single)

London based singer Misty Miller released her brand new single ‘Happy’ this week. It’s a fantastic loud and proud track which will get you singing along after a couple of listens. It follows on from the slightly less frantic ‘Next To You’ which was released earlier this year and comes four years after her self titled debut album.  Her hair may now be darker than when she started out but she is still knows a good tune when she hears one. She is signed to the Relentless Records label where she shares a roster with chart acts Chris Malinchak and Julio Bashmore. She is set to appear live at the Brixton Fightback for Social Housing this week where she will support Alabama 3 and Fat White Family before putting in an appearance at the Bushstock Festival. Of course if there was any justice this would be in the top forty for weeks but with the major labels dominating proceedings this may have to settle for Indie chart glory.

Robin Schulz featuring Jasmine Thompson – ‘Sun Goes Down’ (Single)

German electronic DJ and producer Robin Schulz managed to make his LILLYWOOD collaboration ‘Prayer In C’ as one of the biggest tracks last Summer and he is aiming for similar success with his brand new single ‘Sun Goes Down’. This time around he has teamed up with London based singer songwriter Jasmine Thompson and I have to say that it was one of those tracks that when I first heard it on the radio and I just had to find out who it was by. Jasmine is only 15 years old but has already reached the top forty with her acoustic cover of Rufus & Chaka Khan’s ‘Ain’t Nobody’ following its use in a supermarket advert. The video to this track first appeared as long ago as October last year and it has been viewed over 75m times since then. The track has already gone on to reach the top three in Austria, Germany and Switzerland so there is no reason to expect anything other than a monster hit in the UK.

Sam Duckworth – ‘Amazing Grace’ (Album)

Having recorded five albums under the monicker Get Cape, Wear Cape, Fly we now find Sam Duckworth releasing his latest long player under his own name.  Entitled ‘Amazing Grace’ it is released next week and follows on from a tough year for the 27 year old who freely admits that he came close to giving up music at some points. Instead he chose to go into the recording studio with his friend Jay, and he admits that the resulting process was “fun” and describes how much he enjoyed spending time with his friends doing exactly what he loves to do. Fans have been able to listen to a rough mix of ‘Only A Fool’ online, and in it’s basic guise it makes for an impressive listen. It is simple but well constructed, in the same way that Jason Pierce works his magic with Spiritualized. He will be playing some live shows in Liverpool and Manchester later this month and it will be interesting to hear his new material in a live environment.

Samantha Harvey – ‘Dance With My Father’ (Single)

Samantha enjoyed her first taste of chart action last year with her debut single ‘Angel’, a cover of the Sarah McLachlan track. It was released to raise funds for the charity Cancer Research UK and it received thousands of views on YouTube. Now she is aiming to go one better and reach the top forty with the follow up single which is a cover of the Luther Vandross track ‘Dance With My Father’. Those already familiar with the song will know how emotional the lyrics are, and Samantha’s vocals certainly bring them to life. Her Facebook page has over 90k Likes and her YouTube channel has seen well over 60k views of her performing this track. Fans of Samantha will already know that she has also performed covers of ‘All Of Me’ (John Legend), ‘Earned It’ (The Weeknd) and ‘Thinking Out Loud’ (Ed Sheeran) to name but three. She is slowly building a loyal fan base and could well be one to watch out for over the coming months.

The Twilight Sad – ‘It Never Was The Same’ (Single)

Scottish post punk band The Twilight Sad release their new double a sided single this week. Available on 7″ vinyl and as a download it features ‘It Never Was The Same’ which is taken from their fourth studio album ‘Nobody Wants To Leave & Nobody Wants To Be Here’ but there is equal interest in the flip side which contains a cover of ‘There’s A Girl In The Corner’ performed by Robert Smith of The Cure. The album has been their most successful release so far and it peaked at no.51 last year. They have yet to make an appearance on the singles chart, and I suspect this release will do little to change that. The band will be making three festival appearances next month; T In The Park in Balado, the 2000Trees Festival in Cheltenham and the Latitude Festival in Cheltenham. Hopefully it won’t be too long before we hear a fifth album from them, and a few more UK dates would not go amiss.

UB40 – TBC (Album)

Those who haven’t been keeping up with events may be confused by the two different versions of UB40 which are currently in existence. One version perform as UB40 featuring Ali Campbell, Astro & Mickey Virtue while the remaining original members simply perform as UB40. It is the latter who are currently working on a new album, and have signed up with PledgeMusic to help fund the release and also to increase interaction with their fans. The album is set for release early next year, but fans signing up to the campaign now can receive a limited edition CD of dub mixes once the album sees the light of day. They are set to play a series of gigs during May before returning later this year for another set of concerts in October. Whether they can recapture their original success remains to be seen but there will be no shortage of fans queueing up to see them on tour and signing up for their next album.

Next Week…

Other artists releasing singles in the remainder of June include Fall Out Boy, Alesha Dixon, Don Broco and Maverick Sabre while album releases are set to include Giorgio Moroder, Indigo Girls, Everything Everything, The Orb and Bill Wyman. We will be back soon with more reviews so don’t forget to keep an eye on our Twitter account and our main website

Ian Anderson

7 June, 2015 Posted by | ChartChat | Leave a comment

Chart Chat Edition 806 – W/C 01.06.15

Chart Chat Edition 806 – Week Commencing 1st June 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.

So what have we been discussing in the Chart Chat offices this week?

Gaz Coombes – ‘The Girl Who Fell To Earth’ (Single)

Although it was used in a television commercial, ‘This Time Tomorrow’ was arguably the best song from Gaz Coombes solo career so far. This month sees the release of his latest single ‘The Girl Who Fell To Earth’ which is taken from his impressive ‘Matador’ album. It is a simple but effective laid back acoustic track with Gaz waxing lyrical about a girl and it features such poetic lines as “you wear your elastic heart on your chewed up sleeve’ and “you’re like a circle cut in half”. It is unlikely to trouble the top forty it is still a great track. Fans will be able to catch him live at the Field Day Festival in London early this month and also as support to The Who in Hyde Park later this month. It would be great to see Supergrass reunite for another studio album but while we wait in the hope that that might happen Gaz is more than capable of keeping us all entertained.

Gilbert O’Sullivan – ‘Latin Ala G’ (Album)

It has been thirty five years since Gilbert O’Sullivan achieved a top forty single, but in the ten years prior to that he enjoyed a run of fourteen hits.  He has periodically achieved success with ‘Best Of’ compilation albums with his 2012 collection seeing him back inside the top twenty. Now he is back in action with his new album ‘Latin Ala G’ which stems from his love of Latin Music in the early 1960’s. The title is based on two albums released by Peggy Lee; one was entitled ‘Latin Ala Lee’ and the other was ‘Ole Ala Lee’. Fans have already been able to access the opening track ‘Made In Love’ and this is confirmed as classic O’Sullivan, conjuring memories of his big 1970’s hits while still achieving a slightly modern feel. Gilbert has recently postponed his UK tour but will be rescheduling those dates for later on this year. For now though fans new and old are bound to be delighted with the release of this album.

Holly Johnson – ‘Dancing With No Fear’ (Single)

Later on this month sees the release of the latest single by Holly Johnson. Entitled ‘Dancing With No Fear’, it is a very uplifting club music influenced track and is said by Holly to describe a time when “nothing is wrong, just for a moment, and you can lose yourself in the music”. It is taken from his recent critically acclaimed ‘Europa’ album which has already featured the singles ‘Follow Your Heart’ and ‘In And Out Of Love’. The single is released across two digital EP’s which include a series of interesting mixes most notably from former ZTT label mates Propaganda. He is set to play short series of UK shows during the month of June that will see him take in London, St Albans and his home city of Liverpool. In a recent interview he refused to rule out ever returning to Frankie Goes To Hollywood, but on this showing he should be just as happy to continue with his existing solo career.

The Jive Aces – Spread A Little Happiness (Album)

The Jive Aces are back this week with another fun album entitled ‘Spread A Little Happiness’.  It features a range of tracks, some of which are more well known than others. Few would fail to recognise their fantastic cover of Disney’s ‘Bare Necessities’ but they show another side to their character on their version of the touching and poignant ‘Smile’. Elsewhere we find their take on ‘Get Me To The Church On Time’ from the famous stage show ‘My Fair Lady’ while the title track is one which will be instantly recognisable to most listeners. The definitive version of ‘Boogie Woogie Girl’ for me was by Big Joe Turner, but the Aces give it a good shot, and ‘Simple Things’ is perhaps my favourite track on here. It’s easy to see why the band are so popular, and how they reached the semi finals of Britains Got Talent back in 2012. They have no live shows in the calendar at present but I’m sure it won’t be too long before we see them back on the road.

Nicki French – ‘Eurovision’ (Single / EP)

Nicki first tasted chart success back in 1994 with her cover of Bonnie Tyler’s ‘Total Eclipse Of The Heart’ which reached the top five. Some six years later she was selected to represent the UK at Eurovision where she performed ‘Don’t Play That Song Again’ receiving 28 points and finishing in 16th position. It also gave her a second top forty hit, peaking at no.34. Her new EP is entitled ‘Eurovision’ and features the Andy Haldane mix of that track alongside Matt Pop’s Golden Anniversary mix with both serving to give it a modern dance feel. The Andy Haldane version clocks in at under three minutes long and so still packs a punch as a pop single. The EP also contains covers of ‘Hold Me Now’ (originally by Johnny Logan), ‘Ding-A-Dong’ (originally by Teach In) and ‘One Step Further’ (originally by Bardo).  This is a great fun collection of tracks and reminds us of a time when the UK were much more of a force in the competition.

Rolling Stones – ‘Sticky Fingers (Deluxe)’

While it was originally released back in 1971, this week sees the classic Rolling Stones album ‘Sticky Fingers’ get a repackaged reissue. Their reissue of ‘Exile On Main Street’ topped the charts in 2010, and in doing so gave them their first no.1 hit since 1994. This new update includes the classic tracks such as ‘Brown Sugar’, ‘Sway’ and ‘Bitch’ but also offers a second disc of bonus recordings. Treasures featured on that include a version of ‘Brown Sugar’ which features Eric Clapton, an acoustic take on ‘Wild Horses, alternate versions of ‘Dead Flowers’ and ‘Can’t You Hear Me Knocking’ along with a series of tracks recorded at The Roundhouse in 1971. Dedicated fans may also be interested in the Super Deluxe format which also contains recordings from a concert at The University Of Leeds back in 1971. If rumours are to be believed then we can expect a new Stones album before too long but until then this will have to keep everyone going.

Sarah Cracknell featuring Nicky Wire – ‘Nothing To Talk About’ (Single)

St Etienne singer Sarah Cracknell has teamed up with Manic Street Preachers guitarist for her forthcoming single ‘Nothing To Talk About’. It is a musically rich track, boasting Sarah’s distinctive vocals over an acoustic based backing which is interspersed with country and western style guitar sounds. Nicky is an interesting choice as co-vocalist as aside from a brief solo career he hasn’t really been known for his vocal talents, and he usually leaves the Manics vocals to James Dean Bradfield. It is taken from her forthcoming second studio album ‘Red Kite’ which is due for release on the Cherry Red Records label on the 15th June. So far her only solo top forty hit has been with ‘Anymore’ although she did get credited on Mark Brown’s 2008 hit ‘The Story Continues’ which reached no.11. She is set to undertake a short six date tour of the UK to promote the album, and it is great to see her back in her own right experimenting with this new record.

Sinead Harnett – ‘She Ain’t Me’ (Single)

British singer and songwriter Sinead Harnett is back on the 15th June with her brand new single ‘She Ain’t Me’.  She has been a regular contributor to other artists work including Disclosure, MNEK, Rudimental and Wiley but it is now time for her to take centre stage. The digital release includes new track ‘Anywhere But Here’ alongside three new mixes; the N3GUS Remix, the Chloe Martini Refix and the Falcons Remix. The  musical backdrop to this is kept nice and simple and this shows of Sinead’s vocals perfectly. I could certainly imagine this being played in a late night club as it has that kind of feel to it. She has slowly been building her following having toured with Gorgon City at the end of last year and Sigma back in April. As we say so often on here if this can pick up a decent amount of airplay then there is no reason why this couldn’t give her a debut appearance inside the top forty.

The Selecter – ‘Subculture’

The last one of The Selecter’s hits came in 1980 when ‘The Whisper’ peaked at no.36 although they did feature on the ‘2 Tone EP’ which reached the top thirty in 1993. They are set to release their new album ‘Subculture in mid June with the Huffington Post already declaring it to be the “Soundtrack of the Summer”. The opening track ‘Box Fresh’ finds vocalist Pauline Black on fine form evoking memories of the band in their prime while ‘Karma’ is another moment of magic and could easily have found its way on to any of their earlier albums. Pauline is joining fellow band member Gaps Hendrickson for a Q&A session on Facebook this Friday (5th June) and fans will also have a chance to catch them live via one of their numerous festival appearances over the Summer. Some bands keep going when they should really give up but this finds the band on top form and sounding as fresh as ever.

Next Time…

We are now just a few weeks away from the change in new release date from a Monday to a Friday. From 10th July all new music will be released on that day of the week and artists who are releasing new material that day includes Aston Merrygold, Little Mix and Nick Jonas while albums are due out on that day from Little Boots, Owl City and Frankie & The Heartstrings. We will continue to keep an eye out for albums and singles of note but we will also be keen to see if this change in date really does make a difference. So it’s goodbye until next time, and we very much hope that we will see you back here again very soon.

Ian Anderson

2 June, 2015 Posted by | ChartChat | Leave a comment