Guess what? The new Sally Shapiro record, Somewhere Else, is very good!
In case you’re under the impression that Sally Shapiro is content three albums deep into her career, she’s not.
“The title describes the recurrent theme in the music and my life, to somehow never be satisfied with what you have, or where you are — to always wish you were somewhere else,” Shapiro explained of the title of her new record in the official blurb about the release.
It’s not all that surprising to hear from the shy singer, who notoriously doesn’t like to perform live – or even appear on stage at all. In fact, “Sally Shapiro” is just a pseudonym for the mystery chanteuse’s work with producer Johan Agebjörn. Together, they’ve been quietly crafting transportive soundtracks made for sun-soaked daydreaming and contemplative late night drives since the latter half of the 00′s, beginning with 2007′s acclaimed Disco Romance.
With their latest outing, Somewhere Else (out yesterday, February 26), the dream-pop duo have crafted yet another set of entrancing disco-tinged tunes — a follow-up to their 2009 record, My Guilty Pleasure.
Check out my full review on Idolator.
Sally Shapiro: The essential late night companion.
For those unfamiliar, the Swedish-based (thus, already perfect) electronic duo has been pumping out lush, midnight drive-friendly Italo disco tunes for years now, including their much-buzzed about 2007 debut Disco Romance and 2009′s icy My Guilty Pleasure. This year, the duo returns with Somewhere Else, due out in February.
Née Catherine Kelleher, the Australian chanteuse released her first single, “Swimming Pool,” last year to rave reviews. “Swimming Pool” is an uncanny slice of Italo disco-referencing indie dance in the vein of Sally Shapiro or the Golden Filter; the track was helmed by GLOVES, the producer who has remixed fellow down-under acts like Bag Raiders, Van She, and Kimbra.
Now, Catcall’s ratcheted up the pop on her new single, “Satellites,” a pounding piece of ‘80s nostalgia with a melodically potent chorus that invites comparisons to Ladyhawke and I Blame Coco. “Maybe we are satellites/Maybe we are meteors,” she sings over layers of melancholy guitars and resonant drums.
I first heard a clip of “Satellites” during an episode of 90210 way back in May (yes, I watch 90210; yes, I know it’s an execrable show; no, I don’t care), but it’s only just being released now — and it was well worth the wait. “Satellites” has the same kind of reflective, downbeat energy as a Xenomania ballad, with a luminous spaced-out quality that’s both referential and futuristic. Basically, it’s synth-spangled gorgeousness that’s already one of my favorite tracks this year — and it bodes extraordinarily well for her debut album, The Warmest Place, due out at the top of 2012 via Ivy League.
Take a listen below:
“Satellites” was released on October 14. (iTunes)
For those who pre-ordered the single on iTunes UK (which just went on sale at midnight tonight in the UK), the song came bundled with a brand new B-side: “Porcelain Heart.”
In short, it is a perfect song. Literally: It’s a perfect pop song. Like a Girls Aloud or Sophie Ellis-Bextor track, “Porcelain Heart” is a perfectly sophisticated glam-pop track, made all the more dramatic thanks to Roberts’ (unexpectedly!) theatrical vibrato–think Clare Maguire produced by Xenomania.
It’s absolutely lush. Beyond. A favorite of the year, undoubtedly. To quote the Nicola: “I wouldn’t change a single thing.”
But the best moment of the entire song, OBVIOUSLY…
Note: My actual face upon hearing that note for the first time.
NICOLA FUCKING ROBERTS: Shitting on your faves since–well, since two days ago.
“Beat Of My Drum” was released on June 5. (iTunes UK)
Oh, Sophie Ellis-Bextor.
After over six months (and counting!), the British disco queen’s highly anticipated fourth studio album, Make A Scene, continues to lie in limbo, facing a seemingly endless series of push-backs and delays.
As the record remains but a twinkling star in the far-off distance, it was only natural then that its contents would slowly begin to trickle out. And so they have, with the album’s latest leaks: “Starlight” and “Revolution.”
“Starlight,” produced by British pop mastermind Richard X and co-penned by Xenomania scribe Hannah Robinson, is a quintessential Sophie Ellis-Bextor production: A heaping slice of Italo-disco revivalism, coated in warm waves of synthesizers and lazily cooed vocals. It’s an incredibly gorgeous number, worthy of playing on repeat for hours on end.
For fans of the latest efforts by Annie and Sally Shapiro, “Starlight” will surely tick all the right boxes. (I’m utterly obsessed!)
“Revolution,” on the other hand, is a much more frantic production which sees Ellis-Bextor letting her hair down and getting rowdy and rebellious, along with a shout out to her legendary 2001 smash “Murder On The Dancefloor.” The track is packed with punchy beats and electro-blippy noises similar to Sky Ferreira‘s “99 Tears” (which shouldn’t exactly come as a surprise, given that both songs were done by the same producer: Greg Kurstin.)
While “Starlight” is surely the better of the two, both tracks are indicative of yet another incredible pop album from Lady Bex…that is, if it ever sees the light of day.
After performing her latest single, “Not Giving Up On Love,” on The Alan Titchmarsh Show last week, Bextor announced that her new album (which she describes as “quite doncey and up-beat”) is due to be released in May 2011. We’ll see about that.
I’m not giving up on love, Sophie…or Make A Scene for that matter!