Below is Miss Del Rey’s newly uploaded performance of “Blue Jeans,” one of the two A-sides off of debut single due for release next week in the UK, “Video Games/Blue Jeans.”
Set in a sparse white room with a guitar player, an unused piano and little else, the otherworldly 24-year-old crooner delivers a stunning, spot-on live take of her gorgeous ballad. While shes garnered some controversy–mostly from annoying hipster blogs whining about the ‘legit’-ness of her brand and/or lips (as Carles so perfectly captured on the ever-amazing Hipster Runoff)–it makes it a little more difficult to truly be bothered when the voice so clearly exceeds the hype.
At the same time, the Penguin Prison remix of the track has just surfaced.
As with all things of the (always amazing) Penguin Prison variety, the re-rub infuses a rather delicious helping of sparkling synthesizers and a big, funky ’70′s disco bass into the original production. The remix also proves what anyone probably could have told you the second they got a gander of the drop-dead gorgeous chanteuse: She’d make one hell of a fierce disco diva.
“Video Games / Blue Jeans” will be released on October 16 in the UK. (iTunes UK)
Natalia Kills has been quite the busy lady lately. Where to begin?
First of all, the singer just premiered the video for her delicious, slow-burning buzz single from earlier this year, “Activate My Heart.” The grainy, slightly seizure-inducing footage finds Ms. Kills bathing in dark blue and orange light, playing like an early ’80′s sci-fi flick (and with just the slightest touch of Grace Jones‘ clip for “Love Is The Drug.” Mmm.) I love it!
Speaking of videos, Natalia’s also just wrapped up the second set of videos for the singer’s self-scribed, self-directed web series, Love, Kills XX. Need a refresher on the storyline? you check out the entire first series right over hurr.
Next, the Cherytree vixen is officially hitting the road again! Natalia Kills will be headed ’round North America in Spring of 2011, opening for Robyn once again. For a full listing of dates, check below the cut!
And finally, a track I haven’t posted yet: The Penguin Prison remix of “Zombie,” which is actually one of my favorite Kills remixes I’ve ever heard.
The electro-pop prince’s smooth, disco-tinged synthesizers and grooving guitars provide the perfect compliment to Kills’ chilly vocals. How nice to hear two of my most anticipated acts of 2011 come together on one song!
There we go. Hopefully all this will keep you going ’til 2011!
The Perfectionist will be released in Spring of 2011. (iTunes)
Last October, Ellie Goulding performed “Under The Sheets” on Later…with Jools Holland for the first time on British television. She appeared visibly nervous, concealed underneath what was then her trademark hooded sweatshirt, as her voice stuttered and cracked as if struggling to find the right note.
It’s hard to believe that the girl in that performance was the same one on stage Thursday night.
Just one year later, the singer came sauntering out on stage for her debut showcase in New York City with a cool new air of confidence. With her golden tresses now hanging free from concealment and her midriff bared in a lace (yet tasteful!) top, she displayed none of the nerves from her first televised performance. In fact, might I dare say, Ellie Goulding was giving us some new-found sex appeal.
The night’s set list was essentially a scattered version of her debut album (Lights), albeit with a few covers thrown in by Temper Trap (“Sweet Disposition”) and Midlake (“Roscoe”). Not only did she hit all the same notes as the studio versions, but she easily surpassed them, improvising riffs that displayed the full, untapped potential of Goulding’s weird, warbling vocals (sounds like an insult; totally isn’t.)
While I was expecting the show to be fantastic, I don’t think I could have anticipated the energy that was to come from the rising UK pop starlet: Goulding utterly commanded the small stage at Hiro Ballroom, thrashing around with her guitar, whirling her hair, and throwing her head back to unleash a full-bellied howl at least four or five times throughout the night. When the lyrics got bitter, she snarled; when they got emotional, her signature shaky vibrato broke each syllable of her words.
Between songs, Goulding was adorably warm and humble, cracking jokes at her own expense and winning the audience’s affections quickly. Since she was feeling a but under the weather with an ear problem, she took a couple breaks to take a sip from her drink (“apple juice–just apple,” she’d unconvincingly repeat to us) and chat with the audience.
“I know a lot of you guys know me from my stuff over in the UK,” she began at one point as the bulk of the crowd began to cheer, “And then you other people who are here–um, I don’t really know why you’re here,” she giggled along with the audience. “But that’s great! It’s great.”
While it was an amazing show throughout, the greatest performance of the night (aside from the encore’s surging performance of “Starry Eyed”) came during her album’s closing song, “Salt Skin.”
Aside from providing spot-on delivery, Goulding took the track to another level by pulling out a pair of drumsticks and going to town on what was an utterly killer drum solo. At that point, the entire crowd turned quiet as she launched into her brief frenzy, seemingly awestruck (you could tell as the camera’s came fumbling out from every direction), and at last bursting into an eruption of cheers upon the final few bangs. (Watch the video above–it’s a must!)
Before tonight, I’d always maintained a quiet skepticism that Ellie Goulding might not have been more than a one-time pet project on behalf of producer Starsmith than a talent in her own right. That doubt has since been squelched.
With one of her first performances in America, the winner of the BBC’s Sound of 2010 proved why her name is deservedly attached to that title–and how capable she is of continuing to soar as a star for years to come.
Hey, remember when I introduuced you to Kimbra and her debut single, “Settle Down”? Of course you do!
Now the quirky delight has been mixed, courtesy of up-and-coming Neon Gold electro-pop artist, Penguin Prison.
The mix strips the original of its hand claps, tambourines and all the extra bells and whistles in between, instead layering Kimbra’s silly mouth sounds across some nice, smooth synthesizers and skittish electronic beat. How modern!
Please enjoy a free, legal download of both Kimbra’s debut single, “Settle Down,” and the Penguin Prison remix of the song for your listening pleasure.