I love that they had to come up with a new genre of music for the original of this song. “Hollywood Sadcore”. HOLLYWOOD SADCORE!!! How fab is that! Naturally there have been a slew of remixes for Lana Del Ray’s left-of-the-middle hit. No suprises then that the one that tickles me is the one that shunts its sound along a couple of decades, swapping its 50’s A-line skirt and curlers for some flares and an afro wig.
Erlend Oye is a man of many masks, but of only one beautifully pristine voice. Originally from Bergen in Norway, he first came to light as one half of The Kings of Convenience (although he had been a member of a couple of other Skandi bands previously) and their whimsical whisper-folk. From here he travelled extensively and took an interest in electronica, releasing his own album and lending his vocals to various other acts, before forming current band The Whitest Boy Alive, who are undoubtedly firm favourites at Salmon Towers. Now two albums deep, they were originally formed as an electronic band, but evolved to contain no programmed sounds, effectively becoming a live band who play music with dancefloor sensibilities. They create lovely simple melodies that follow the clean-cut scandipop rules, held together by clever percussion and satisfying squiggly noises; kind of like if Fleetwood Mac were produced by Kraftwerk whilst ram-raiding Ikea.
Underpinning all of these ventures is Erlend’s crystalline sine-wave voice that gives everything he does a certain fragility that is soothing, yet tormenting at the same time.
I would like introduce you all to Candice Juniper (no, not the dog); speed rolling enthusiast, facebook pokery nemesis and overall baast fraand. We met whilst “working” for the now defunct Po Na Na in the narcotic vortex that is Leicester. We bonded over an innate sense of mischief, talking the type of codshit that can only come from severe sleep deprivation and far too many gaschambers. For nigh on 11 years she has been firmly lodged at the centre of my awesome, but slightly terrifying friendship group and the myriad of off-shooting branches that make up the gauze bush of my social network.
Now that she has returned from her 2 year exodus to Australia, we can get back to one of our favourite pastimes; disagreeing about music. With Candice’s tastes being far more urbane than my own (mine can sometimes be the musical equivalent of hundreds and thousands) , I can usually measure a song’s relative amazingness is by its direct proportionality to how much she hates it. However, as with everything, there are exceptions to this rule, and although our music preferences do follow distinctly separate arcs, there does seem to be a cross section where they converge. Firstly there is the sub-genre of dirty squelchy filthy house music that we have affectionately termed ‘pig rape’, the other is harder to define as it has no logical explanation. Case and point being the Kurtis Mantronix’s single ‘How Did You Know’ which surreptitiously found its way into our CD player on a frequent basis when Candice and I used to live together in Clapham, by hands other than my own. This is a song that rhymes the words ‘daydream’ and ‘sunbeam’ and by all intents and purposes, by Candice’s usual standards should have ended up in the bin rather than on repeat.
So in the spirit of estimable research to a worthy cause, I will endeavor to discover what this goldilocks zone of music is. What makes some of my more flamboyant choices acceptable and others destined for ridicule and shunned in polite company/messy afterparties.
To start us off, I have chosen a song that I very much already know the answer to, but should give you a general idea of what we are dealing with. To me this song shows the strength of the original song-writing in that it can be taken from its rock roots, have the vocals re-gendered and then placed squarely in the middle of bubblegum pop kitschness and still sound amazing.
But don’t just take it from me. Candice, pray, what are your thoughts?
Candice: That’s a lovely post, I especially like all the reminiscing at the beginning. I had COMPLETELY forgotten how much I loved that Kurtis song. Just re-listened to it though and am feeling a bit ashamed. I like to think I probably picked that song as the best of a bad lot, and because i was drunk for 90% of the time we lived together.
You are going to have to work out some way to disguise the songs you send me cause I OUTRIGHT refuse to assault my ears with that fucking horror show of a remix. The original was dire and the remix makes me wish i didn’t have ears. It’s too rank for words sorry. Start me off gently, can’t we have some steps, or s club juniors remixes or something? I’ll puke if i have to listen to it, and I’m sat at work.
So there we have it.
If any of you are at any odds to how Can feels about the song in question, she also picked the picture atop to represent her feelings.
As you may have already deduced, there is a particular sound that twiddles my knobs and presses the right buttons. Yes, the common synth. So here’s three songs to get you started. Listen to those lovely rainbow noises.
Firstly, here’s a balls to the wall remix of the Ting Tings’ latest offering that uses most of the sound spectrum and manages to nudge the timing of the original song along a tad. A tactic that I normally hate in remixes, but works a treat here.
As a avid Stevie Nick appreciator, this version is near on perfect. True to the original but with added synth-stabs over that chugging guitar rift that Beyonce resurrected back in 2001. Bootylicious indeed.