Friday, 26 July 2019

NEW MUSIC EAR'S PERSONAL PLAYLISTS - "PRINCE" PART 2

A NEW FEATURE ON NEW MUSIC EAR.  THE PLAYLISTS ON MY IPOD FEATURE LOTS OF VARIOUS ARTISTS SO I THOUGHT I WOULD SHARE MY PLAYLISTS WITH YOU.  HOPE YOU SEE SOME OF YOUR FAVOURITES!

PRINCE


 PLAYLIST PART 2


After the experimental surprise of "Around The World In A Day" came another, a stripped back album with lots of orchestration to accompany the film, "Under The Cherry Moon".  1986's "Parade" was quirky, strange and at times brilliant and unique.  I picked out 5 stand out tracks for my playlist, the well known and copied bare bones "Kiss" single and the laid back "Anotherloverholenyohead" are here.  The other two lesser known singles, the eclectic "Girls And Boys" and powerful and funky "Mountains" have made the list too.  The only other non-single I include is the simply magical ballad "Sometimes It Snows In April", ironically poignant now as it was the month Prince died in 2016.


 
1987 brought one of the most groundbreaking albums of the 80s, maybe ever, and in my opinion the best Prince album.  Of the massive 16 tracks I chose 12, and that was a hard decision to take only that many for the playlist.  Obviously the immense and thought provoking title track "Sign 'O' The Times" is included along with the Camille sung "If I Was Your Girlfriend" and Sheena Easton's duet "U Got The Look".  The epic master jam "It's Gonna Be A Beautiful Night", the powerfully spiritually charged "The Cross" and quiet masterful slow pumping ballad "Forever In My Life" make the list.  The bright and breezy "Strange Relationship" takes us back to the earlier 80s Prince music while "It" is a brazen sexually charged romp stating that Prince wants to do "it" pretty much constantly.  "Hot Thing" about a "barely 21" conquest and the funky jam "Housequake" cannot be left out.  The final two tracks I chose are the very playful band jam "Play In The Sunshine" and the honest, gentlemanly(?) statement "I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man".



The infamous nude cover photo of Prince on the 1988 album, "Lovesexy" caused a bit of a stir but the album again confused critics.  Prince loved to experiment and this was another of those albums, and more often than not, it worked.  I only chose 5 tracks from the given 9 because these were the ones that I played regularly.  The almost psychedelic singles, "Alphabet St" and "Glam Slam" are obviously included and the quiet lovely ballad "I Wish U Heaven".  The two non-single tracks I chose are the pounding drumbeat Funk of "Dance On" and the sexy "bit of everything" title track "Lovesexy".



1989 saw the much anticipated "Batman" movie starring Michael Keaton hit the screens and also Prince's second soundtrack album.  Of the 9 tracks I have picked 6 songs for my Prince playlist.  The inventive "Batdance", complete with lines from the movie was the obvious lead single.  The Joker-inspired "Partyman" is a funky "party jam" while Sheena Easton again duets on the beautiful "The Arms Of Orion".  The three final songs are pretty similar but great pumping beats, searing guitar sounds abound on "Lemon Crush", "Electric Chair" and "Trust".



"Graffit Bridge", the soundtrack to the film of the same name, featured Prince's new backing band, the New Power Generation and boasted Mavis Staples, George Clinton, The Time and Sheila E on its credits.  Released in 1990, it was a massive collection of 17 tracks including tracks by the aforementioned artists, I have chosen 6 of the Prince tracks (although every track was written by the man!).  One of my favourite Prince tracks, "Thieves In The Temple" is here, a brilliant funky, soulful gem of a piece.  The dark and eerie "The Question Of U" and the strangely engaging, weird dance track "Elephants & Flowers" are included along with the frenetic quickstep styled "Can't Stop this Feeling I Got" (akin to "Jack U Off" and "Horny Toad" in tempo).  The final two songs are the band jam "New Power Generation" and one of my alltime favourite Prince ballads, the wonderful and highly emotive "Still Would Stand All Time".


I AM SURE MANY FANS WILL BE DEBATING THE INCLUSIONS AND THE TRACKS NOT INCLUDED, BUT I HOPE YOU FOUND THIS PLAYLIST INTERESTING, CHECK BACK FOR MORE ON NEW MUSIC EAR!

Sunday, 21 July 2019

NEW MUSIC PROFILE - ROCK BAND "CHASING DRAGONS"

Rock band Chasing Dragons are a female fronted quartet form Leeds in England.  The group comprise of Tan, Adam, Murf and Kate.  The style of music they play are undeniably heavy Rock, but with the melodies and superb combinations of the likes of Europe, Heart, Bon Jovi and Whitesnake.  Add the punky angst power of Guns 'N Roses and you get the idea!


In 2014 the band released their second E.P. "Checkmate" following 2012's debut "Take Flight For A Firefight".  I first heard Chasing Dragons on the track "Broken Jaws" and originally thought it was Evanescence.  On checking the song on YouTube there was this striking looking female vocalist (Tank) angrily stomping the stage.  Add this to a backdrop of heavy metal riffs and with the unique Rock imagery and the energy of the performance I was hooked.


"Checkmate" contained "Throw Down Your King" which has elements of Iron Maiden then slows down to a Heart vocal performance that Ann Wilson would be proud of, then it explodes into a Metallica-like riff fest.  You just never know what you're going to get and that's why this band are heading for something big. Check out the "Hindsight's A Bitch" single, a Joan Jett/Pat Benatar hybrid and "City Of Steel" from the first E.P.  The beautiful Acoustic number "It's Bravery, Honestly" and the band's cover of Alannah Myles' "Black Velvet" are pretty damn awesome too!


The band released their debut album, "Faction" in 2018 and contains the hard hitting, anthemic "Like Gravity" and my favourite tracks "Whitehorse" and "Devil In Her Eyes".  This is Rock at its best, dynamic and energetic, with enough melodies and vocal emotion to please even the hardest anti-Rock listener.  As a great lover of Rock in all its forms over the years this is just what the world needs, chase these dragons down, your ears won't regret it!


NEW MUSIC PROFILE - INDIE POP FOLK ARTIST "DODIE"

Dorothy Miranda Clark aka Dodie started out as a YouTuber with her own channel playing piano and ukulele cover songs.  The channel is called "DoddieOddie" and has thousands of followers and subscribers.  I first heard about Dodie when watching "The Sara Cox Show" on ITV on a weekend morning, I loved this girl's voice, so soothing, gentle-like but such a pure vocal and effortless.


When I looked up more on this lady for this blog I found she had already released 3 E.P.'s including the most recent, "Human".  Born in Enfield but now residing in Epping, Essex in the UK, Dodie plays a variety of instruments, is considering writing a book and is currently writing material for her debut album.


With a YouTube fanbase already in place and her incredible talent this lady is sure to go far and still in her early 20s.  For the full impact of the emotion of this unique voice I recommend listening through headphones.  I have not heard a voice singing like this since I first heard Tori Amos, her songs in a whispered style had the most powerful emotions behind them. 


My favourite songs so far are the delightfully quirky, uptempo Folk of "Absolutely Smitten" from the debut E.P. "Intertwined" and the gorgeous, haunting "Secret For The Mad" from the second E.P. "You".  Check out the latest single, "Guiltless", this great new singer songwriter is bringing a mix of Tori Amos/Michelle Branch and Sara Bareilles with that pure vocal full of emotion and intelligent and fabulous melodies.





Saturday, 13 July 2019

NEW MUSIC PROFILE - ROCK BAND "FIRE TIGER"

Los Angeles rock band Fire Tiger fronted by big voiced Tiffany Alkouri bring back the 80s Glam/Classic Rock.  Reminding me initially of Heart, with a little Starship (80s version) the songs evoke  memories of that glorious decade, the guitar solos and the anthemic power ballads that we associate with that time.


I first heard the band through the foot stomping title track from their first album "Energy" released in 2014.  Scouring YouTube for new bands this video caught my eyes and ears.  I was transported back to the 80s as I searched for more songs such as the gorgeous ballad "He Has Changed".  The "Energy" video was a taster for the album and got thousands of likes and positive comments.  The album contains brilliant tracks that also incorporate some late 70s style arrangements which only adds to the enjoyment.


The band have since released a second album, "Suddenly Heavenly" which contains the fabulous Heart/Berlin style Pop Rock title track and the classic 80s Pop and ironically summery and upbeat "Ice Age".  Other favourite tracks of mine from the album include "Love The Way" and "You Changed Me".


It is like the band have just been frozen in the 80s and brought back to ensure the decade lives on in a new generation.  A really great band who are in the process of recording their third album hopefully out in 2019.  If you are an 80s lover like me this band will indulge your thirst for the days before boybands and DJ music etc.!