After adding “bad girl” to their CV with “Notorious” and making the party super naughty on the hot, hot, hot “All Fired Up,” the lovely ladies known collectively as The Saturdays have decided to take the BPM down a few notches with “My Heart Takes Over,” the third single from their upcoming studio album.
The Sats’ latest is a surging power ballad, not at all unlike your standard Leona Lewis/Ryan Tedder production circa 3 years ago (a la “Bleeding Love”). “‘Cause if there’s a chance we might have missed / And if there’s a ray of light in this / Baby you should know that this is where my heart takes over,” the girl powerfully chant during the chorus.
Overall it’s a good song–a fine song even, if not largely unadventurous (especially when compared to the edgier past two single offerings from this era.) Still, as an incredibly radio-friendly production, “My Heart Takes Over” nearly guarantees that the girls are about to have another smash hit single on their hands when released on November 14.
In the meantime, the video for the song will be shot later this week…in Iceland. Perhaps we can expect some Björkian undertones? Probably not, but I can always hold out hope to see Una dancing with a cat one day.
Also released today? The long-awaited details about the Sats’ upcoming third studio album, which has been titled On Your Radar: The album is out on November 21, and will feature production by Space Cowboy, Steve Mac, David Eriksen, Brian Higgins (Xenomania), as well as a feature by Travie McCoy. Yum, yum!
“My Heart Takes Over” will be released on November 14. (iTunes)
…and to no one’s surprise in particular, it is literally 100% perfect.
Biophilia will be released on September 26. The Biophilia App is now available. (iTunes)
The long-awaited clip for “Crystalline,” the lead single from Björk‘s upcoming science-and-sonic-minded album Biophilia, has finally arrived! And in news that will be surprising to literally no one, it’s fucking weird.
Directed by longtime collaborator Michel Gondry (“Human Behaviour,” “Hyperballad,” Declare Independence”), the space-age clip for the Icelandic empress of all things alternative is positively dripping in 1993-tastic stop-motion animation, looking like a deleted scene left on the cutting room floor from Beetlejuice or Land of the Lost.
Watch as the almighty Björkmoon oversees some colorful doodles/synapses/the shit Gary Busey sees in his dreams while down below, ice crystals, lasers and strange volcanoes erupt in all their full clay-mation glory, rippling and shimmering across some a dark planet of sorts.
By the time the Icelandic songstress takes a leave from her orb for a brief hoppity-hop around the planet’s glass orbs during the song’s sick drum ‘n’ bass breakdown, you’ll be making like Taio Cruz and throwing your hands up in the air (sometimes) screaming “Ay-yo! This bitch is cray cray!”
And that is right. Because she is. And I love it.
“Crystalline” was released on June 27. (iTunes)
Ellie Goulding is an unlikely pop star.
Her public image is subdued, even self-effacing; her voice is a gorgeous, fragile wisp that would sound more at home at a coffee shop than layered over a bouncing synth track; her lyrics are imbued with an aching vulnerability that most singer-songwriters would kill for. But like some other sonic greats who have paired distinctive vocals with dance beats — like Björk or Siobhan Donaghy — Ellie’s music derives much of its power from its pop sound. Likable, accessible, and danceable, her work with producers like Starsmith, Biff Stannard, and Frankmusik makes her poetry radio-friendly.
Since bursting onto the scene with her debut single, “Under the Sheets” — released via uber-hip singles label Neon Gold — Ellie was the top breakthrough act in the BBC’s Sound of 2010 poll and won the Critics’ Choice Award at the BRITs, a feat previously managed only by Adele. Her debut album, Lights, was released to commercial and critical acclaim, cementing Ellie’s position in the English cultural consciousness. But the re-release, Bright Lights, was even better, containing her sharpest work to date — collaborations with Fred Falke and Ben Lovett of Mumford & Sons took her glistening folk-dance to dramatic extremes.
Ellie has toured in the U.S. more than most English artists — we don’t usually get so lucky here in the States — and she’s just kicked off her latest stateside tour. Her evolution as a live artist has been an exhilarating thing to watch, as she’s become the kind of pop performer who genuinely lights up the stage with a rare ferocity. If she’s coming to your town, don’t miss her.
It’s a reg’lar Björk-a-palooza over here!
In an attempt to consolidate all of the new information pouring in from press releases (okay, mostly just one whopper of a press release), I’ve put together all of the latest information on Björk’s forthcoming album, Biophilia.
To begin, the Biophilia campaign will roll out in five pieces:
(A) The album, a 10-track collection which will be released later this year in physical and digital form.
(B) The apps, a set of 10 individual apps to be released in July that were created by the industry’s leading developers (including the guy behind Sim City!) for users to individually manipulate every Biophilia track for “educational and game purposes.”
Since I couldn’t possibly summarize this, please enjoy this in-depth explanation of each of the apps:
Every app has its own theme (in connection with its corresponding song) and combines a natural element with a musicological feature. The layers of content in each app include: an interactive game based on the song’s scientific and musical subject matter, a musical animation of the song, an animated score, lyrics, and an academic essay. The game enables the user to interact with musical elements of the song and to learn about different musical features while creating their own version; the musical animation and animated music score bring together conventional and innovative ways of representing music visually; and the academic essay explores the ideas behind each song and app and how they are realized musically.
The Biophilia Apps have been developed with a team chosen by Björk, comprising ten of the most groundbreaking and commercially successful app developers working today. The team is lead by Scott Snibbe Studio, creator of the bestselling apps Gravilux and Bubble Harp, and includes the creator of Sim City, TouchPress (pioneering designers behind the two top grossing apps Elements and Solar System), and a host of award winning designers, animators and leading experts in coding and encryption.
(C) The live performances, which will carry out as “a three-year world tour of six-week residencies in eight different cities” (!!!) in which the Icelandic superstar performs Biophilia in its entirety twice a week to a crowd of less than 2,000 per venue (which will be “specially chosen spaces and museums, rather than traditional music venues”).
The performances will employ such custom-made new instruments as “a 10-foot pin barrel harp called the Sharpsichord, a midi-controlled pipe organ and celeste (re-fitted with bronze gamelan bars), twin musical tesla coils, a hang player and an award-winning 24-piece Icelandic female choir.” When she’s not performing, she’ll be giving regular educational workshops at local schools.
Above is the aforementioned “midi-controlled pipe organ,” The Gameleste, which will be used during the upcoming live shows. I’m also nearly positive this is the crystal-like instrument being used on lead single, “Crystalline.”
From the video’s description:
Björk commissioned several custom instruments for the shows surrounding the release of ‘Biophilia’ – one is a hybrid gamelan celeste; the original steel bars of a vintage orchestral celeste were replaced with bronze tonebars hand-made by UK cymbalsmith Matt Nolan, and the instrument was rebuilt and MIDIfied by Iceland’s top organ-maker, Björgvin Tòmasson.
(D) The documentary, a 90-minute feature that will track the creative process and evolution of the Biophilia era is due to air later into the campaign.
(E) The new official website, which has been designed as “a unique immersive 3D galaxy with versions that can be enjoyed on almost all devices.”
The campaign’s lead single “Crystalline” (which I Muused about earlier this week) is officially available on iTunes worldwide today, and will soon be accompanied by a Michel Gondry-directed clip. The acclaimed French director is one of Björk’s most frequent collaborators, responsible for videos including “Army of Me,” “Jóga” and “Declare Independence.”
Tonight, Björk will be premiering the first of her live shows in support of Biophilia during her residency at the Manchester International Festival for the next three weeks.
Frankly, I’m exhausted just reading about this campaign. It’s a MONSTER! After planning out all the venues, instrument designs and app developers, it’s a wonder she even had the time to step into a studio–let alone write a song!
All that being said: Good luck tonight, Lady B! I can’t wait to see/hear/experience/love it up!
“Crystalline” was released worldwide this week. (iTunes)