Like each year I’m happy to share my music selection for this summer! I hope you will enjoy these tracks, albums and new artists. And of course don’t hesitate to leave a message or a comment! Although this summer has started with a lot of samba and Brazilian tunes, I propose to (re)discover artists like Lana Del Rey, GusGus and to listen to newcomer bands like Highasakite or even some rap music. So plug your ear buds and be ready for some good tunes!

Ultraviolence by Lana del Rey

All the ingredients of typical Lana’s songs like aerial choruses, epic passages, sad and explicit lyrics are included in her new album named “Ultraviolence”. The atmosphere seems a little bit darker than” Born to Die”, but we clearly hear a positive progression in the way the tracks are mastered and how Lana is singing. If you are looking for a “Born to die 2” you will get what you expect and this is rather positive, because often newcomer’s second albums are disappointing and completely different to their first ones.

To listen Lana’s new album you must be set in a special atmosphere or mood: just imagine yourself in an old bar in the 30’s during the big depression, filled with smoke and in one of the back-rooms, a sad female singer is standing still in front of a red curtain lasciviously whispering a lamentation, while holding a microphone in her fragile hands. No I’m not describing Moe’s bar, but the world of Lana Del Rey. If you are in this “trip” you are in good condition to listen to the whole album!

So this album is a “Born To Die 2” (even better): there are more vocal performances, actually Lana sings more and shows off more her talent than in her first opus, in which I had the feeling that it was really designed for radio stations and to setup the personage. Here everything sounds more powerful mainly due to a strong orchestral composition. Unfortunately – and this is something I don’t understand – you will also have garbage tracks like “Guns & Roses” or “Florida Kilos” which are pulling down the whole level. She’s certainly doing her own thing, but now I think she has reached a certain maturity to stop to play with her pseudo-starlet image, so it would have been better if she had left these pop-kitsch tracks on the side.

Here are of my feelings and impressions while listening to “Ultraviolence”:

The song “Cruel World” is a subtle cocktail between “Blue Jeans” and “Summer Sadness”. Indeed you only need to change a few passages and you will get the whole melody and ambience of this beautiful track. With “Shades of Cool” you will directly plunge into a pure spy film atmosphere. This track would be perfect for a James Bond original soundtrack, especially the chorus which is really eargasmic.

With “Brooklyn Baby” the soup between “Blue Jeans” and “Video games” is perfect again 😉 and it continues with “Sad Girl”: the refrain or better said the second part is sublime.

Money Glory Power” forms a superb ode to capitalism. Lana’s voice is going very high with the choirs which turns this track even into a mystical incantation while an electric guitar progressively highs up the emotion. The backing track or better said the bass in the background reminds me of London Grammar. In the end the track sounds like a prayer.

F*** my way up to the top” : Starting with some piano chords, this song starts slowly and ends into a firework of slightly saturated voices and enchanting melody. My favorite track of the whole album with “Money Glory Power”.

Old Money”: If you carefully listen you will even notice that the second part of the track sounds a little bit like an Enya track with a very mystical atmosphere.

Guns & Roses”: Here the whole song is about the repetition of one sentence “[…] he Loves “Guns & roses” with an electric guitar whining in the background. Not completely sure if this track had its place on this album.

Florida Kilos” is an UFO on this album. The first time I’ve heard it, I thought my iPod has accidentally skipped on Paris Hilton’s 2006 flop album so much this track has a curious touch: Lana is singing with that bitchy and slutty girly / half drunken style voice. Certainly the most curious track of the whole album and absolutely the weakest one – a little bit like “Lolita” in “Born to Die”.

To sum up Lana’s style hasn’t changed and her second album is an excellent one. Unfortunately the summer time is not the best time to release melancholic and sad tracks, this might explain the rather low number of albums sold by the singer, compared to her first opus.

Highasakite

I’ve discovered this band while watching ARTE (http://concert.arte.tv/fr/introducing-highasakite) late at night and was really captivated by this Norwegian band. If you like London Grammar and powerful lyrics backed by ambient music, sometimes with trumpets, electronic samples, 70’s organs, bells and even traditional instruments Highasakite is for your ears!

It would be kind of exaggerated to say that you feel the cold and the Nordic folk influence in their tracks, but some small “adlib” passages and variations in their tracks are revealing where they come from even if the Jodel-passage in “Iran” will somehow confuse some listeners.

I really appreciate the vocal performance of the band singer Ingrid Helene Håvik and the backing choirs. The second album of this promising band “Silent Treatment” was released earlier this year. So if you have the opportunity to see them during one the summer’s festival go and support them, you won’t be disappointed! For me the newcomer band of this summer!

 

 

 

 

Poom

Poom? Poom? Poom ? Last year we had Daft Punk to represent the French touch in the whole world. Earlier this year we had the electro pop duo Faul & Wad Ad with their smashing hit “Changes” – although this track is a little bit older, Gran Turismo 5 fans will recognize the music from the pre-race loading screens of the game – and now this summer we will (re)discover another French duo named Poom (actually formed by Camille and Siegfried). Poom is not completely new they did some confidential remixes of Kavinsky and cover of Boris Vian songs. But thanks to YouTube these small masterpieces – especially Big Bang – are still watchable and available. They haven’t produced a complete full LP, but just listen to their newest hit called “Les voiles” and even if you don’t understand the French lyrics, be honest you won’t resist to nod your head, and the sample will remind you of “Get lucky” ;-). Here are the videos – Justice-fan and French Touch lovers will like this group!


https://www.facebook.com/Poomband

 

Mexico – GusGus

GusGus is always a good reference when you are looking for perfect and a little bit awkward electronic music tracks. The group comes from the cold Reykjavík, Iceland and has produced since their first albums “Gus Gus” (1995) and “Polydistorsion” (1997) seven other albums. After “Arabian Horse” was released in 2011, this year the group releases “Mexico”, an LP full loaded with ready to dance tunes. A must have for all Nordic electro fans!

 

Do It Again – Royksopp & Robyn

If you have watched MTV Germany and bought an Apple with Mac OS Tiger in the late 2000’s you will definitely know Royksopp and their planetary hit “Epple”. And if you have played Fifa 2008 you will also know Robyn and her well-recognizable voice. Put both artists and their powerful music together and you will get a new smashing hit: “Do it Again” which is integrated in a self-called mini-album. The eponym mini-album contains 5 other songs by the new formed duo, prefiguring the release of a common album due to the end of this year. So stay tuned, “Do It Again” is a good track to dance on this summer.

 

Jungle – Jamie N Commons and the X Ambassadors

I finish my list with a more aggressive track that you might have heard during the TV ad for the Beats by Dre headphones. A very powerful crossover track with a typical dirty south rhythm along with over-saturated / distorted guitars and voices. In my opinion, a great track although the distorted sounds are a little bit too noisy for a pure rap song, hiding a little bit the lyrics.