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