Conan Gray gives fans something to escape reality with on ‘Overdrive’ Conan Gray was brave enough to drop his debut album in March last year, just as the Covid-19 pandemic was taking over the world. This unfortunately prevented him from going on a proper international tour with the record, but at least his singles ‘Maniac’ and ‘Heather’ enjoyed success and now he already finished some brand new material. His first single released after the album Kid Krow is titled ‘Overdrive’ and it’s a sure fire hit!
“Wanted to start the year off with a song to escape from reality for a little bit with. Something to scream into the shower head and fantasize about secret lovers and alternate reckless lives we could’ve lived”, Gray wrote about the song on social media.
‘Overdrive’ is the type of big, upbeat pop song that works best when blasting out of a car on the highway, singing along at the top of your lungs. It has a similar vibe and production to ‘Maniac’ and therefore belongs to his most uptempo material to date. The chorus hits hard with hooks for days and lyrics that emphasize Conan’s free spirit. This track has all the potential to become his next mainstream hit without having to compromise any integrity. This is not just a bop, but a typical Conan Gray bop!
The music video, in which Gray imagines an adventure with a girl he sees at train station, is an absolute delight to watch!
Marc Almond has announced his rescheduled tour dates for October 2022 adding extra dates in Liverpool, Buxton, York and Cambridge. Says Almond: “The fans have been so understanding and patient through the endless rescheduling due to the pandemic but now we have confirmed these dates I can’t wait to get back on stage.”
All the original dates are the same venues with the exception of the London Roundhouse show which is being moved to the London Palladium. All tickets bought from the Roundhouse will be refunded. Tickets bought on Ticketmaster will be automatically transferred to the Palladium show.
Almond will be singing songs from his last solo album, Chaos and a Dancing Star, released in March 2020, plus many faves from his extensive catalogue.
His last album was released to critical acclaim just before the pandemic and lockdown. The singer was able to perform a one-off concert in February 2020 at the Festival Hall with co-writer Producer Chris Braide, joined by guest Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull.
Marc Almond’s career, spanning over four decades, has seen him receive an Ivor Novello Inspiration Award in 2013, a Brit Award as well as an OBE in the 2018 New Year Honours for his services to arts and culture. His latest album with Soft Cell, *Happiness Not Included, was released earlier this year.
Tickets for the rescheduled dates (Manchester, Glasgow, Bexhill and Birmingham) are on-sale now and available from Ticketmaster.
The new dates in Liverpool, Buxton, York, and Cambridge, as well as the London date, will go on-sale on Friday 27th May.
All tickets for the rescheduled shows remain valid except for the London show unless purchased on Ticketmaster.
16 October London Palladium – * VENUE CHANGE
17 October Liverpool Philharmonic Hall – *NEW SHOW
I wanted to spotlight Sylvan Esso because electronic music coverage has been scarce of late in the blog. The acclaimed duo have new music out by way of the track “Sunburn“. They are not without a legion of fans. Although I have looked into them frequently, the full extent of their allure didn’t yet rub off on me. They are a band with festival and TV appearances aplenty and a Grammy nomination under their belt. Their popularity is such that I do not think my quiet period of indifference has much impact on them, though.
Since the sun put in an appearance the last weekend. I just felt it appropriate that I slap “Sunburn,” the latest from Sylvan Esso, streaming into my earbuds and seeing what effect it would have on me. Let me begin by first saying I felt the hypnotic pull of the track. (The bass line pops off like the little explosions popcorn kernels make when in a pan, heat on and with a lid firmly in place). This I found immediately transfixing.
Equally, the dreamy vocals by Amelia Meath of the duo exhibit wholly mesmeric properties. “Sunburn” is more of a stripped-back track that relies on a steer of catchy rhythm and blippy electronic bleeps.
When seeking an electronica hit that is uncluttered but still attention-grabbing. Plugging into “Sunburn” by Sylvan Esso is a move well made. Listening to the song, not only are we swept up in the feverish rhythm. We also get a sweet reminder about the after-effects of sitting out in the sun for too long. The metaphor extends much further than that. As the duo’s Amelia Meath and Nick Sanborn explain:
“Sunburn” is: eating candy till you’re sick or riding your bike too fast down a hill.”
Coming, from not being sure about them to then having their skittish electronic track, “Sunburn,” firmly stuck in my head. I guess I don’t mind Sylvan Esso after all.
Blancmange have announced details of a new album, Private View, and a return to the label that released the band’s debut album, London Records. Private View is out on vinyl, CD and digitally on 30 September 2022.
The album is being teased by a brand new single, Some Times These, a hook-heavy piece of electronic art-pop that combines Neil Arthur’s vocals with David Rhodes’ guitar and washes of immersive synths.
Benge returns as a key collaborator on album, while Rhodes (Kate Bush, Peter Gabriel, Scott Walker) returns as guitarist, having previously performed with the band on 1982’s Happy Families (as well as several other Blancmange albums).
Private View is set for release on London Records almost exactly 40 years to the day since they released their debut Happy Families.
In their post-punk early days, Blancmange made tape loops and experimental sounds with kitchen utensils, before developing into one of the definitive British electronic pop acts. Since reforming in 2011 (Luscombe had to leave shortly after for health reasons) Arthur has released a staggering 10 albums in the last decade.
“I don’t know whether I’m on a roll but I feel something in me has been released,” he says. “I used to hold back and I didn’t trust myself. While I’m still full of self-doubt I’m now quite comfortable with it. This is it. We’ve only got one time around the block, so make the most of it.”
The past is used as a trigger to create new ideas – one track, Here We Go Go, has been in Arthur’s head since 1980.
“A lot of people are frightened of the future and are quite happy to have a repeat of something that was done before,” he says. “But it’s just not for me. Looking forward you’ve got a hell of a world to try and navigate through at the moment. We’re all moving forward – so we’ve got to try and find some answers.”
An extensive UK tour throughout October, November and December will follow a performance at Grace Jones’ Meltdown in June, with a London show at the Islington Assembly Hall on 9 December.