Musical Discoveries: November

Good afternoon pop pickers, what are you all listening to this month? It’s all been about the laydeez for me, as this month we have a 100% all-female line-up for the first time in Florence music history! Maybe it’s because the boys were being boring this month, more likely it’s just because girls are brilliant. Read on and let me know what you think of this month’s picks (plus your own) in the comments….

Bat For Lashes: The Haunted Man

This is record is GREAT. It’s really, really good. I don’t normally use rubbish introductory sentences like this, because I’m not normally rendered speechless by things, but when it comes to the third outing for Natasha Khan, (aka Bat For Lashes) it seems I most definitely am. This is so accomplished, the song-craft is effortless, weaving all kinds of instruments into a visionary tapestry that reminds me of Kate Bush at her most simple and accessible. If this gets nominated for the Mercury next year (which it ought to) it will mean every single one of Khan’s three records will have been shortlisted – surely a record? A deserved one. Listen to single “Laura” if you missed it – and I defy you not to be moved by it. If this is anything near to being your sort of thing then trust me – you’ll be listening to this well into the new year.

Taylor Swift: Red

I never thought I would voluntarily listen to a Taylor Swift album, let alone talk about it in public, but inescapable single We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together had me sucked in and I couldn’t resist. I don’t know who Swift has writing her songs but they are imbued with magical unicorn juice. Every song (even the ballads, which I normally dislike) are beautifully put together and have just enough class to pull this record out of the usual pop dross and into somewhere quite special. Pop nugget “22” has almost as much bite as WANEGBT and opener “State Of Grace” is so cool it could have been lifted straight off a “serious“ band‘s record and would be lauded as genius. Surprising, accomplished and excellent.

Anyway, any excuse to repost this atom bomb of a single. I hadn’t realised the video was this great either. People in music videos wearing animal costumes would normally make me want to spit fire, but these are so demented and borderline sinister you can’t help but be transfixed by them. Check out the weird bear/monkey man! You would not want to meet him on a dark night. He’s far too happy.

Florence‘s Earworm: *A*M*E: Play The Game Boy

Florence’s Ear-Worm is all about songs that make you dance around the house in your knickers punching the air and turning the hairdryer on so your hair blows back like you’re in a music video in the 80s and the cats are your backing dancers and then all of a sudden you realise you’ve left the curtains open and the old lady over the road is staring at you. Just me? OK. This song will make you think it’s summer again. Aural candy floss of the highest order – lick it, it gives you a sweet buzz and disappears almost instantly. Joy!


PS Find Penny on her blog Bad Penny Says, or @TokaiPenny.

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