Anyone who follows me on Twitter will know that between the hours of 22:00 and 23:00 on a Monday night, I will be twatching (a marriage of ‘tweeting’ and ‘watching’, get your mind out of the gutter right now) Made in Chelsea. For many series (okay, two series) I resisted this foul programme about wealthy Londonites on the grounds that I was surrounded by hundreds of the buggers at university, and really didn’t need to spend any more time feeling shoddily clothed and ill-educated. But then I gave it a go, and I’m sorry - but not that sorry - to say I now watch it religiously and irritatingly find myself caring about these hybrids of reality television and high society as if they were my kinsmen.
The point of this post, however, is to point out the best thing about ‘MIC’, which has nothing to do with the ‘characters’ - the rather wonderful Spotify playlists of the music featured in each episode. E4 have developed a downloadable ‘App’ built into the Spotify desktop client which shows you playlists of tracks chosen by whomever is responsible for the music supervision of the series. You can also pick your ‘favourite shows’ like Misfits and Desperate Scousewives (no, I don’t know why you would either) and it makes a handy little playlist for you! Anyone say PARTAAAYMIX?!
Anyway, casting an eye at the veeery trendy MIC tracks list, I can see some things I recognise - Enter Shikari, Gotye ft. Kimbra (shut the fuck up already), Ben Howard - and some I don’t, which turn out to be rather good. Check out ‘Love Run Dry’ by Owl Eyes for some synth-heavy/Kate Bush pleasantness and pretty ballad ‘So Long’ by Jenny Owen Youngs. I like to listen to this stuff and pretend Proudlock and Francis both want to go out with me. Because I am that cool.
A couple of weeks ago, The Guardian posted an article on the ‘best’ pop gigs and albums coming out in this season. I didn’t really agree. Here’s my guide, which is way better.
The Killers have extended their UK tour in November to include extra dates in Birmingham and Manchester. You might be thinking, ‘but Elizabeth, The Killers aren’t pop music!’. I disagree, friend. Mr. Brightside?! One of the best pop songs of the 2000’s, hands down. Brandon Flowers is wearing guyliner and Seth’s dad from ‘The OC’ is in the video; that’s pop all over. Their new album Battle Born is also out soon, including the frankly amazing track ‘Runaways’ and hopefully lots of other lovely glam-pop tunes for the pleasure of our ears. Purchase tickets for the tour here.
If you’re being picky, Dog is Dead aren’t strictly pop music, but they are heading the same way as Two Door Cinema Club et al, so they’ll be coming to a hit parade near you soon. Their bouncy summer track ‘Glockenspiel Song’ has been played many times during the daytime on Radio 1, so their sound is more fruity Bulmers than brain haemorrhage. When I saw them play at Leeds Festival last month, they had the whole crowd going like cats in a tumble dryer. I defy anyone to say that that isn’t inherently popular. Their autumn tour begins on October 8th and is a must-see. These boys will be huge in 2013, if the success trajectory of Bombay Bicycle Club is anything to go by.
Anyone who says that ‘We Are Never Getting Back Together’, the first single of Red, isn’t absolute jokes is a cold-hearted hipster d-bag. The video is ridiculous. There’s a tuneless middle-8 section where Taylor Swift says, like, we are literally never getting like, back together. Like ever. The melody is infectious as hell. I heard it once while walking home from work and I had the chorus in my head for days. Now I know all the words, and I’m not even sorry. There’s a duet with everyone’s favourite gingery balladeer Ed Sheeran on it. There are a gazillion songs about John Mayer being a c*** on it, probably. Out 22 October.
I’ve been excited as hell about Mumford and Sons’ new album since I bought the last one and listened the crap out of it. When these guys first appeared on the scene, I hated them because I was going through a phase where I rejected anything that was popular. I now realise this is total wank and I love them love them love them. Title track ‘I Will Wait’ is the perfect accompaniment to a boozy BBQ on one of those weirdly hot Autumn days with the pals. Out 24 September.
Little Mix are an odd one. Part of me wants to hate them because they are manufactured by the Cowell Machine, and their individuality seems to have been entirely squashed or dieted out of them. However, all four are actually decent singers, and their latest single ‘Wings’ is actually pretty great and seems to have been used in every VT montage/advert/episode of Hollyoaks ever broadcast. They have released or performed on three singles in total, each of which has topped the UK charts. This is impressive. Their album will be worth a listen. Out 19 November.
Oh, my favourites Keane are back. Good news! Remember when Hopes and Dreams came out and everyone bought it and it was lovely? I nearly got to see them once. I was working for the Tourist Board and they were all set to do a gig where I live, then Tom went to rehab and we got The Script instead. Not the same. Tour starts in November. Go for me, because I can’t afford to.
The Guardian: The best pop gigs and albums in autumn 2012 -
Cheeky backstage photo with Band of Skulls. Only remembered which of their songs I really liked *after* they’d gone. (It was Sweet Sour).