Songs to the Siren

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How Not To Drown

Chvrches ft. Robert Smith

Single (2nd June 2021), LP (due 27th August 2021)

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This is my second 2021 collab offering - like the previous one, this features two very different voices that combine so well.

Here, Chvrches work with Robert Smith of The Cure to produce a track that is greater than the sum of its parts - even though its parts are great alone.

This is definitely one of my favourite tracks of the year so far.

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Time Is Hardcore

High Contrast ft. Kae Tempest and Anita Blay

12th August 2020 (single), 13th November 2020 (LP)

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High Contrast (aka Lincoln Barrett) is a Welsh electronic music producer and DJ.

For his 2020 track Time is Hardcore, he teams up with Kae Tempest, who contributes spoken word and rap - and by singer Anita Blay (formerly CocknBullKid) who provides the chorus vocal.

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Idoru

Grimes

21st February 2020

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There arenโ€™t many new tracks on this blog because the premise is that itโ€™s about songs Iโ€™ve lived with long enough to know Iโ€™ll always love them. But I want to introduce a few from 2020, starting with Idoru, the final track from Miss Anthropocene, the 2020 LP by Grimes.

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Are โ€˜Friendsโ€™ Electric?

Tubeway Army

4th May 1979 (single), 4th April 1979 (LP)

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As the dying embers of punk faded, this new sound seemed like something weโ€™d been waiting for - the next phase for pop/rock...

A big leap forwards while still being rooted in the present.

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Pump Up The Volume

M/A/R/R/S

3rd August 1987

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Shortly after sample-heavy Hot Doggie by Colourbox appeared on the 4AD Compilation โ€œLonely Is An Eyesoreโ€, the label released a collaborative single between Colourbox and label-mates AR Kane as a Double A-Side. The result was less of a collaboration than intended. One side was nearly all AR Kane, the other side was nearly all Colourbox. It was the latter side that got the airplay, and that took the song to the top of the UK Charts.

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Ablaze

School of Seven Bells

12th February 2016 (LP)

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The fourth and final LP from School of Seven Bells was completed without main songwriter Benjamin Curtis, who sadly died young in 2013. But itโ€™s a fine record, and the opening track, Ablaze, is a highlight from 2016 - a year of many highlights.

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Karen

Chew Lips

25th January 2010 (LP), 28th March 2010 (Single)

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Chew Lips looked like they could be on their way to stardom at one point, but sadly it wasnโ€™t to be. One critically acclaimed album and a few singles are all we have, which is a great loss for all of us.

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White Love (Radio Mix)

One Dove

19th October 1993 (LP)

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The third track featuring Dot Allison on vocals. Here she is with her electronic trio One Dove on a record produced by Andy Weatherall and remixed by Stephen Hague.

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Message Personnel

Dot Allison

6th October 1999 (LP)

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The second of three tracks featuring vocals by Dot Allison - this time a track from her first dรฉbut LP, 1999s Afterglow.

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Film Burn

Yppah (feat. Anomie Belle)

11th February 2012

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The third in a trio of songs by a pair of my favourite artists of recent years. Following Salt Spring by Anomie Belle, and Gumball Machine Weekend by Yppah, this track sees them working together on Film Burn, one of several collaborations between the pair on the 2012 Yppah record Eighty One.

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Gumball Machine Weekend

Yppah

18th May 2009

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The second in a trio of songs by a pair of my favourite artists of recent years. Following Salt Spring by Anomie Belle, we have Gumball Machine Weekend by Yppah, from his 2009 LP โ€œThey Know What Ghost Knowโ€.

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Salt Spring

Anomie Belle

26th August 2016

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This is the first in a trio of songs by a pair of my favourite artists of recent years. First up is singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Anomie Belle, with Salt Spring from her 2016 LP Flux.

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Olympians

Fuck Buttons

14th October 2009

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The second in a trio of songs by bands who couldnโ€™t resist getting a bit sweary in their names, this is a powerful, uplifting, instrumental that fitted in perfectly when used in the 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony.

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Nautilus

Anna Meredith

4th March 2016

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Scot composer and musician Anna Meredith combines electronica with classical instruments to produce music that has connections to past yet which still sounds fresh and modern.

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Amser

Gwenno

27th October 2014 (Peski Records), 24th July 2015 (Heavenly re-release)

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Gwenno Saunders came to relatively wide public awareness as a member of The Pipettes, but has forged a successful solo career since. In 2018 she released an album in the Cornish language, but here Iโ€™m highlighting Amser - the Cornish-language track of her otherwise-mostly-Welsh 2014 LP Y Dydd Olaf.

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Deceptacon

Le Tigre

25th October 1999

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An absolute banger from Le Tigre, a punky electronic three-piece featuring Kathleen Hanna, formerly of the legendary Bikini Kill.

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Clearest Blue

Chvrches

10th September 2015 (single), 25th September 2015 (album), 2016 (Gryffin remix)

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A glorious uplifting pop tune from the Scotlandโ€™s three-piece Chvrches.

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