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Pop Smarts – August ’14

It’s been a little quiet on the quality pop releases front this August, sure there have been new singles from the likes of Iggy Azalea, Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith and Maroon 5; but they’re very much business as usual for all the acts involved. So this month on Pop Smarts we’re looking at the pop acts who are, or…


New: Wild Beasts ‘Mecca’

“We move in fear or we move in desire” The days that follow the break-up of a serious relationship can feel cathartic (especially for the dumper rather than dumpee). All that time you had spent on servicing the relationship with your former lover; the texting, the calls and dates is now free and you have…



Used: Lorde – Ribs

“The drink you spilt all over me” Westernised post-millennial teens have things as easy and tough at the same time. They’ve grown up in a world in which the Internet makes information and friends ubiquitous. Where from the glow of a smartphone they have access to an educator, entertainer and to groups of friends that can fill any lull…



New: Real Estate ‘Horizon’

“Just over the horizon / That’s where I always think you’ll be” Over the last week or so I’ve finished reading Survivor by Chuck Palahniuk and as such – in a subliminal way that I’m sure Chuck would enjoy – I’ve been using the novel as the starting part for my thoughts about the music I’ve been…


Pop Smarts – July ’14

NEW FEATURE ALERT! – Regular listeners to my podcast on [edit] radio will know that my previously pretentious prejudice against commercial pop music has somewhat softened over the past two years. I don’t know how and when it happened, but at some point I stopped spending so much time worrying about where the art came from…


Almost Famous: Chlöe Howl

Having now featured in no fewer than seven of my [edit] radio podcasts, a blog properly introducing you to the talents of Chlöe Howl is a little overdue. Hailing from a village on the outskirts of London commuter town Maidenhead, the 19 year-old pop singer is signed to Columbia Records (who recognised her talent at 16)…


Used: Paramore ‘Ain’t It Fun’

“Ain’t it good being all alone?” After the million selling successes of ‘Get Lucky’ and ‘Blurred Lines’ there wasn’t really a lot of space for many other pop songs to make their mark during the summer of ’13. Whilst it didn’t really seem that the music buying public minded – both songs were stone cold…


Used: The Postal Service ‘Turn Around’

“Big Dreams / False Starts” Released as part of the 10 year anniversary re-issue of the band’s seminal (and only) album Give Up, the Postal Service’s Turn Around was pretty much my personal favourite song of 2013. Recorded at the same time as the original work back in 2003, the track has the same interplay of…