Indie Girl & Pop Boy

We Need A Little Edge With Our Electro Pop

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Q.B.O.Y. Is Just So Fly

Or so he says.

Thanks to Arjan Writes I've downloaded songs from Q-Boy's website. Q-Boy is truly unique. A gay hip hop artist. Openly unashamedley gay and yet openly unashamedley urban. And his songs are actually quite good.

Q-Boy has managed to create music to which "you leave ignorance at the door". His raps pastiche bubblepop gay culture and homophobic hip-hop culture together ("like Madonna's teeth you gotta fill in the gap!") and mashes together the dichotomies and fuses them into what is far from the middle ground.

In 'Q.B.O.Y.' he spits "being gay and urban is never a crime" and criticises both the homophobic hip-hop world and the anti-hip-hop gay world claiming that the prejudice and negativity of one scene is caused by the other. And, I have to admit he makes sense. He's a gay man in the hip-hop nation. Both communities want to be accepted but are unable to accept one another. The gays won't touch him because he's hip-hop and the hip-hop types won't touch him because he's gay. It's all about opening your mind, man.

His voice is unusual, as he raps in an English accent which occaissionally has an American twang to it. But he's much more English sounding than the likes of Kano or Roll Deep. He is set to release 'A Deal With God' an anti-bullying single that uses a sample of Kate Bush's 'Running Up That Hill'. Kate Bush + Gay Hip-hop = Potentially the most brilliant thing ever!

I'd love Q-Boy to be huge, but as I've only just discovered his 2003 EP 'Even The Women Like Him' that made about as much impact as a burp I doubt he'll ever be able to overcome his prejudices.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Pop Boy Writes...

Dear Mr Louis Walsh,

Having heard the brilliance of the Arctic Monkeys covering Girls Aloud's modern classic 'Love Machine' I have decided that you should get the girls to repay the favour and do a version of 'Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor'. Not only is it the polite thing to do, it would also have the potential to be the song of the year, uniting the hidden (often unrecognised) wonder of modern British pop music (more specifically Girls Aloud) and the genius of the modern indie music scene. Even if they only perform it once, I don't care, as long as I get to hear it.

Yours Sincerely,

Greg 'Pop Boy' Cotton

P.S. You were a proper cunt on X-Factor

P.P.S. 'Wild Horses' should be the next Girls Aloud single. Maybe 'Bet You Look Good' could be the B-Side?

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

More New Things

We are living in a material and I am a material Pop Boy. That's why I've been listening to these ace songs about the brilliance of material goods. And then some others.

Pay TV - I Want More Stuff
I only recently found this demo from Pay TV, our ambitiously shallow super-pop friends, on Catchy Tunes Of Sweden. It's, as they might say, off the hook. There appears to be some time kind of 80s Pac-Man/Space Invaders battle going on in the background as there are lots of cool whizzes, beeps and bleeps, which everyone should know, is like, THE most important component of any truly brilliant song.

I don't know who it was that made the rule that women can't and shan't be bought but I'm sure these girls would like to talk to them. Some might say that the sentiments of this song send feminism several decades back but I have to disagree. Pay TV are by no means 'giving in' to men. Sure, they're kept women, but hey, why the fuck shouldn't they be? It's not that they can't get a job of their own, they just don't want them. Spending other people's money is much more fun. The girls aren't ashamed to give you their requests, nay, demands. And if you can't afford them, then you should move onto cheap slag Jennifer Lopez, because you are a loser. And poor. And boring. Duh!

Also, Pay TV have an ace blog y'all should click onto.

The Pipettes - It Hurts To See You Dance So Well
The Pipettes are ace! And if it wasn't for a couple of other people, I might as bold to say that they will probably be my favourite act of 2006. This song is diddy, lasting just 1:06. But hey, what it lacks in quantity, it more than makes up for in quality. This song will make even the most moody indie boy or girl dance. Never before has jealously and bitterness sounded so darn jaunty.

Pipettes are producing 'indie' music so pop that the boundary between what is pop and what is indie is becoming more and more frayed. What will this all mean? Will indie music be forced to become underground and, well, indie(pendent) again? Will Eurovision be seen as more important than the fucking Brit Awards? Will people stop making good pop and get just as contrived as the schmindie bands of recent years? So many questions, so little time. Only the aceness of the Pipettes can decide.

Baxendale I Built This City
Edward O had this on Enthusiastic But Mediocre v2.0 a while back as one of his favourite singles of 2005. (Yes, it's from last year, how very unprogressive of me etc. ) But I can see why it was rated so highly. What I can't understand is how it managed to allude me for so long.

A kicking electro beat and a guitar lick that may or may not be deliberately intended to make me think of Pink Floyd's 'Another Brick In The Wall'. Falsetto vocals about high rises. Brilliant practically spoken English vocals. I assume this city is sort of metaphoric for the amount of devotion etc put into a relationship but I'm happy to dance along and believe that a man has actually made a city, with his bare hands. It should perhaps be a rule that all men should make cities for their partners and then buy them thigns to put in it. Why? Because Pay TV deserve it.

I dare you to listen and not have the chorus in your head all day. Go on, I dares you.

Nelly Furtado - Maneater
Nelly's new single 'I Am' has leaked, and that's a cracker, but it's nothing in comparison to this stomper. Nelly's back and better than ever for sure. This pisses all over 'Try', 'Powerless' and the like, and the last album was a good one! One problem I've always found with Ms Furtado is that I get constantly frustrated and can't help thinking she's missing something, her previous stuff has been great and you can tell there's a lot of talent and star quality there. But it's never seemed like she's been fulfilling her full potential. Until now. 'Maneater' is a writhing, sweaty, energetic pop song born to make you dance like a flydog from 1994.

If this is anything to go by, then the new album 'Loose' expected later this year is going to be wicked!

Words Don't Come Easily Like...


We haven't updated in ages. Feel free to kick our asses! In our defence, Pop Boy has had revision to do for his A-Levels (temporarily sidelining his Pop Superhero-ness for his career int he 'real' world - tsk! etc)

As for Indie Girl, she is poorly sicked and has spent most of the last week in bed feeling like shit. So I suppose we can excuse her from being her usual brilliant, indie self.

Thems be our alibis and we're sticking to them!

Let us assure you that had we have done single reviews we would have loved the following:

Arctic Monkeys - When The Sun Goes Down
Beyonce Ft Slim Thug - Check On It
Cat Power - Greatest [7” only]
Hi Tack - Say Say Say
Sunshine Underground - Commercial Breakdown
Tina Dico - Warm Sand
Will Young - All Time Love

Pop Mother always taught me that if I've got nothing nice to say, not to say anything at all, which is we didn't mention any of following releases from last week...

Belle & Sebastian - Funny Little Frog
Cheeky Girls - I’m Too Sexy
Mattafix - To & Fro
Notorious BIG - Nasty Girl
Son Of Dork - Eddie’s Song

Sunday, January 15, 2006

New Things

Lots of people like to make predictions about who will be big by the end of the year. I'd like to claim Joss Stone, Go! Team and KT Tunstall whom I was into months before any of you other suckers as my previous predictions. This isn't so much my predictions of whom will be or even could be big, this is a list of new pop acts that are really very good and deserve to be, but probably won't be, huge.

Leela James
I found a link to Leela James' site on a German music site whilst looking for information on Frank Popp. The streaming of her album sounds very good, like a maturer version of 'Soul Sessions'-era Joss Stone. Her best song 'Music' is a beautiful and soulful organ-led beg for mercy in a world where music is generic and it "ain't about tha song no mo'/s'all about the video". Half scathing-half begging Leela balances heartache and ecstasy perfectly, serving each and every song up with a loving spoonful of soul and undeniable vibrance. Her album 'A Change Is Gonna Come' was apparently released in June, which indicates that it's highly unlikely she's going to be big, but that makes her no less of a great find. And I can't be the only one impressed by Leela, as her album features production
appearances from big names Kanye West, Raphael Saadiq, Wyclef Jean and Comissioner Gordon.

West End Girls
Living in the shadows of both the Pet Shop Boys (well, duh) and the A*Teens (a great pop band originally formed as a tribute band of another even greater band) every pop blog seems to have mentioned this duo, so I thought it was about time I jumped on the band wagon. Now, only being born in 1988, you'll excuse me for not being the biggest Pet Shop Boys fan in the world, simply because they were before my time. Then add to that the fact that I don't 'get' Neil Tennant's voice and where I'm able to appreciate the genius of the Pet Shop Boys', I'm not a huge fan. Which is why this band is perfect. 1980s genius repackaged for the 2006 audience. West End Girls' 'Domino Dancing' is brilliant from start to finish, pure perfection. Plus, PSB were like the people who invented the whole new-wave electro thing and that's all the fashion nowadays, so surely a band so heavily influenced on the pioneers of a genre are sure to dominate it. And when they sound this good, why wouldn't they?

Friday, January 13, 2006

New Releases 9th January 2006

Sunblock - I'll Be Ready
IG: A summer dance anthem at the wrong time of year to sum up.

I think this could be real smash in July with some real airplay and everyone getting in the summer mood but thinking about people running in slo-mo along a beach is almost unthinkable in January.

The track itself it’s a bit predictable in that it’s pretty much the same all the way through, it’s very much like it’s predecessors in that it does have a market in the (chavvy) clubs but I don’t think it will have that much impact at this time of year.

PB: How ace is this? I’m probably the only one besides a group of aging chavs who appreciate the brilliance/awfulness of this. I hope I’m not, but I probably am. And let’s face it, it’s been a long time coming (a dance record sampling the Baywatch theme) and it was never going to make the charts quiver with fear, but, then that was never the intention. In my personal opinion they should’ve probably waited until the summer to release this, but then the charts are going on their post-Christmas slim line diet (which I suspect they’ll give up on next week looking at the releases) and I suppose any new music at all – even if it does use a tired 80s sample – is a good thing.

Richard Ashcroft - Break The Night With Colour
IG: The return of Richard Ashcroft. Slightly yawn enducing. This is kind of like, if Athlete were a solo artist… or perhaps really if The Verve were a solo artist.
I find this track quite nice in general but I get bored easily listening to it.. I expected something more gritty like Ashcroft’s previous work (ie: Bittersweet Symphony) but this is more like drivel for the “ooh guitars on it? I’ll take five” market. Better than Blunt though, slightly better than Blunt.

PB: The lead singer of the Verve makes his comeback in the quietest, most shittest period for singles (January) in an attempt, surely, to debut higher than he normally would or should. The single itself is typical Ashcroft, a slow drudging indie ‘anthem’ that thinks it’s more emotive than it is. With faux-inspirational lyrics this song clearly wishes it was ‘Bitter Sweet Symphony and Richard Ashcroft appears to be grasping at straws to replicate the success of that song and justify his undeserved status as indie-subgod.

Jose Gonzalez - Heartbeats
IG: A song that still sends shivers down my spine whenever I hear it. Such a simple track yet so affecting and wonderful to listen to. His voice haunts along to the subtle guitar playing in the background.

Oh, how I wish I hadn’t had to find out about this from a bloody advert! (a good advert at that though). Though I did feel a slight smugness when I was listening to everyone phone into Jo Whiley asking what that beautiful song was and she replied that it was Heartbeats. I had seen Pop Boy listening to this ages ago on msn and I’m sure he sent me it. How I regret not listening sooner.

It’s also a great cover of this track originally by The Knife and I can’t decide which I love more.

PB: Known by the meek and lowly as ‘that song off the Bravia adverts’. Known by me as the highlight of Acousti-Swede Jose Gonzalez’ all-in-all quite meh-ish album ‘Veneer’ and a cover of calypso-pop Swedes The Knife who at the very least, can be described as ‘kooky’. But on it’s own, regardless of the album, or the fact that’s it a cover, this song is wonderful. A subtle, gentle, beautiful and chillingly tingly story of… well, I’m not quite sure what. Is it a partner having an affair? Having an affair? Having a one-night fling? I don’t know, but the song has the aura of a dangerous sexual liaison. And now, it’s helped flog some TVs too.

Elvis - Heartbreak Hotel
IG: He’s still re-releasing, eh?

Well, it’s still a true classic and I would have more time for Elvis if I hadn’t been to Vegas and seen dozens of rubbish look-alikes trying to sing on the streets but anyway…

It’s such a simple but wonderfully thought-out tune and I guess that this must be nearing the end of Elvis’s re-releases so that’s a good thing. Now, all we have to look forward to is Michael Jackson releasing an old hit every week. Er, yay.

PB: Is Elvis still releasing all of his singles? Did this actually appear on the actual release schedule or just the one I looked at? So many questions, so much indifference, so little time. Anyway, let’s go on and talk about Elvis. ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ was Elvis’ first ever release and to be honest, I can’t really understand the hype. Perhaps that’s because hindsight is such a beautiful thing and I live in a world of Girls Aloud, Spice Girls and Arctic Monkeys and therefore general expectations are much higher than they were fifty years ago.

Best & Worst?
IG: Best - Jose, Worst - Richard Ashcroft
PB: Best - Jose, Worst - Richard Ashcroft

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Brit Awards Nominees

The awards for the best of Britain's worst and most boring were announced yesterday. Well, they're not all boring and bad but there is a painful lack of M.I.A. (best British breakthrough), Maximo Park (best British album), McFly (best pop), Goldfrapp (best pop act, best rock act) and Girls Aloud (best single for 'Biology' or 'Wake Me Up', best pop). Infact, Girls Aloud's omission from the best Pop Act category is really quite offensive (Westlife? James Blunt? Katie Melua?).

Anyway I've taken the liberty of writing in each category who I think WILL win and who I think SHOULD.

Antony & The Johnsons
Ian Brown
James Blunt
Robbie Williams (Will - PB)
Will Young (Should - PB)
(infact why they don't just re-name this the Robbie Williams Award for Predictablity I don't know)

Charlotte Church
Kate Bush (Should - PB)
Katie Melua
KT Tunstall (Will - PB)
Natasha Bedingfield

Franz Ferdinand
Gorillaz (Should - PB)
Kaiser Chiefs (Will - PB)

Coldplay - X&Y (Tie - PB)
Gorillaz - Demon Days
James Blunt - Back To Bedlam
Kaiser Chiefs - Employment (Tie - PB)
Kate Bush - Aerial (Should - PB)
(I can't decide. Kaisers will be this year's Darkness, but it wouldn't be the Brits if Coldplay didn't win)

Coldplay - Speed Of Sound
James Blunt - You're Beautiful (Will - PB)
Shayne Ward - That's My Goal
Sugababes - Push The Button
Tony Christie/Peter Kay - (Is This The Way To) Amarillo (Should - PB)

Arctic Monkeys (Should - PB)
James Blunt
Kaiser Chiefs (Will - PB)
KT Tunstall
The Magic Numbers

Craig David
Dizzee Rascal
Kano (Should - PB)
Ms Dynamite
(I don't know who will win but it makes a mockery of the British urban 'scene')

Franz Ferdinand (Should - PB)
Kaiser Chiefs (Will - PB)
Kasabian (who've done/released what this year?)

Franz Ferdinand (Tie - Should - PB)
Kaiser Chiefs (Tie - Should - PB)
KT Tunstall (Tie - Should - PB)
(All three of those that I've seen were the shit live. But as for who will win it, I couldn't call it actually)

James Blunt
Katie Melua
Kelly Clarkson (Will - PB)
Bonus 'Fun' Nominees:
Girls Aloud (Should - PB)

Bruce Springsteen
Jack Johnson
John Legend
Kanye West (Should & Will - PB)
(This is quite a strong category but Kanye should walk it)

Kelly Clarkson
Madonna (Should & Will - PB)
Mariah Carey
Missy Elliott

The Arcade Fire
The Black Eyed Peas
Green Day (Will - PB)
The White Stripes (Should - PB)

The Arcade Fire - Funeral
Green Day - American Idiot (Tie for both - PB)
Kanye West - Late Registration (Tie for both - PB)
Madonna - Confessions On A Dancefloor
U2 - How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb

The Arcade Fire
Daniel Powter
Jack Johnson
John Legend (Should -PB)
The Pussycat Dolls
(as for who will win, I couldn't call it but I suggest we just burn them all)

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Pop Boy's Album Of 2006

Yes I realise that five days in this is quite a claim. But believe me, this is good enough to steal it already. Let's hope this is a sign of things to come. It's The Frank Popp Ensemble. Frank Popp is a lovely German man who constructs brilliant pop songs that are little homages to the 1960s and early 70s but also manage to sound slightly like they come the 25th Century. If there's any justice in the world, this album will be meteoric, but in a world where Shayne Ward and Westlife are successful, that's highly unlikely. 'Love Is On Our Side' and 'Hips Teens Don't Wear Blue Jeans' (the ones I knew) both had me swinging my hips and tapping my feet like a crazy mad thing. Hurrah! Popp is alive and well in 2006!

Love Is On Our Side
The lead single (this time) and opening track sets the general tone. A trumpet-laden pop fest that would make even the most cold-hearted person dance like a robot from 1984. Well, actually they'd probably dance like they used to in the old days when the girls wore frilly polka dot skirts and the boys wore tight t-shirts and drove cadillacs. Dance like a teddy boy from 1954.

Mullet King
Brilliant title, even brillianter track. Another hip-swinging judderer. The lyrics talk about a "cold hearted lover" and it seems to be a song about ditching a dodgy boyfriend (with a mullet) which wouldn't strike me as being quite as merry as it appears here but really, she could be singing about anything and I'd dance just as hard.

You've Been Gone Too Long
This song opens will what I'm sure is a sample. You'll know what I mean on first listen, but I can't put my finger on it. I'm sure it's not taken from the original version of this song by Ann Sexton. Any help would be much appreciated. Lyrically this song is quite saddish, with singer Sam Leigh-Brown singing of moving on after neglect from a lover, but once again, she doesn't seem tremendously bothered.

This one is a bit darker and slower, with trumpets being replaced (only in parts) by violins. Here you can kind of understand Sam's anguish as the song does seem to want to be sad, but there is still a wonderful beat to dance along to in a slow click fingers shuffle. Or something. This whole mood should be everyone's new year's resolution: when you're happy - dance, when you're mad - dance, when you're in love - dance, when you're sad - dance a little slower but still dance.

Psychedelic Girl
We meet a male vocalist for the first time here who stands carelessly above the strutting piano and guitars. This is about meeting a girl, hitting it off with her, smoking a bit together, driving across town with her then asking her for her name. This blatent disregard for manners is what we like when it comes to pop music. This is surely a soundtrack to the sixties hippy culture forty years too late. Frank Popp really is from another time.

Touch & Go
Just when you felt a bit 'chilled' and 'relaxed' from the 'atmosphere' of 'Psychedelic Girl', 'Touch & Go' comes over to you and makes you dance again, even if you don't want to. The melody is hidden underneath the drums and general motown-ness of it all, but is quite woderful when you find it. The lyrics really do make no sense at all here, not that it matters.

Hip Teens Don't Wear Blue Jeans
The song that attracted me to these guys when it was posted on Into The Groove. Once again, the soundtrack to a forgotten time, but this time with all the sentiment of Regina George in Frank Popp's cliq-riddled fashionista society. And hey let's face it, when it sounds this good how can you not want to 'join their gang'? Easily one of the highlights of a sensational album. Also, apparently this was also the theme to a Coke advert, but that passed me by.

Hurry Up!
OK, this is crazy. Mainly instrumental spare a few bits with men talking. It has hand claps! Could hand claps be the horses of 2006? Tune in to find out! etc. Here, it almost seems as if the trumpets and kazoos (??) are the ones providing the vocals as their loops see them argue with one another. The title is strangely apt, as there is a sense of urgency of the whole thing with is .

Goo Goo Muck
"When the sun goes down and the moon goes up I turn into a teenage goo goo muck". It's like they've taken my life and turned it into a song. Even more ridiculous, highlarious and brilliant than 'Hips Teens'. A song about going man hunting at night. "You'd better duck when I show up, the goo goo muck!". Just fabulous.

The Thing Demands
'Goo Goo Muck' ends with the sounds of Scooby Doo monsters, which cross over into 'The Thing Demands'. Then the song trudges along like a zombie that does seem to want to take your brain, by hypnotising you. One of the worst tracks it must be said (although the competition it's up against is superb). I just don't think I 'get' 'it'.

The Catwalk
Move over Girls Aloud's 'Models', this is now the song for the catwalk divas. Fantastically strutting and commanding with brilliant lyrics and a turned-up-nose attitude. If you don't dance to this song,it will punch you in the face. Listen out for the weird "your rabbit's dead, boo hoo, shame shame, quack quack" bit, and the trumpet solo. This song knows it's better than you. Like a likeable 'Don't Cha' that's not trying to break up your relationship, just telling you it could at the click of a beautifully manicured finger. And you know it.

The final track, slighty more irratic and juddery than the previous eleven. As we all know, there can be no pop album with a female vocalist that doesn't have a 'girl power' song, and this is Frank Popp's ("She said 'enough is enough, I'm on the up and up'"). Despite being one of the more 'inspiring' and hopefully songs it strangely sounds one of the most sombre.

This is the pop album of 2006. Well it might not be in the long run but it is so far and it'll take a while for it to be beaten. Buy it and it'll make those dull January and February skies go away and it'll make you feel your most sunniest.

Ironically this is the most refreshing pop album I've heard in long time and yet 'Catwalk' is from a 1999 EP of the same name and 'Hip Teens' dates back to 2001 making this not exactly a debut, more of a definitive collection of his most essential most funkay (with an 'a') work so far.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Indie Girl and I would like to wish you a...

С новым годом
Feliz Ano Novo
Glad Ny År
Próspero Año Nuevo
Gelukkige Nieuwjaar
Anno Nuovo Felice
Glückliches Neujahr
Bonne Année

Happy New Year!

May 2006, which I'm renaming Lucky 6, be a year of opportunity, prosperity for all and great music for us to write about. Have a good'un!