It’s my 25th blog post! Huzzah! I hope people have enjoyed reading them (or, just read them) as much as I have writing them. So, without further ado…
What a brilliant thing to return from holiday to. Norweigan Popstar ANNIE and My Second Favourite Producer Ever RICHARD X have announced The A&R EP is coming out in August. It features 5 songs the pair have described as ‘dance influenced pop’, ie: the areas they excell in. One song is tantalisingly called Ralph Macchio, about The Karate Kid actor. I can’t wait to hear what wonderfully weird lyrics Ms. Strand comes up with for that one. Argh, hurry UP August!
I imagine many people reading this aren’t going to get why I’m so excited. So here’s a brief history of the both, with lots of embedded YouTube videos of varying quality.
Let’s start with Richard X, who is a producer. But unlike, say, David Guetta, he doesn’t make bad music.
Quite the opposite actually:
He made his name doing 80s sounding mash-ups but he’s done completely original things too, producing a Number One album for this chap, led by this brilliant single:
Another single from that album samples the opening song from Drive and makes its better. Because that’s what Richard X does. He’s also produced songs for Goldfrapp, The Sound of Arrows, Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Saint Etienne. He’s also done some fantastic remixes of Pet Shop Boys, Cassie, New Order and Nine Inch Nails. In fact, I may dedicate a future blog post to his best stuff. Or just hijack parties with my laptop and a Spotify playlist.
Onto Annie now…
You may remember Annie from her 2004 minor hit Chewing Gum:
or critics favourite Heartbeat:
The former was the first collaboration between Annie and Richard, but in 2003-4 they created two MUCH more interesting songs together. The first, Just Friends is an ambient-y few minutes of gloomy bleeps and bloops where the Norweigan pop princess is having second thoughts about meeting up with a guy she’s chatted to over the internet or some seedy phone line. It’s a great late night track. The other is the totally bubbly and cheesy Me Plus One. The production and ‘Mrs B-E-AUT, Mrs I, Mrs FUL’ chant give it a playground feel but the song is actually a diss track. Ready for some pop facts?
Basically, X and frequent songwriting collaborator Hannah Robinson wrote the classic Some Girls (always get what they wanna wanna, etc) which was recorded and released by Rachel Stevens Of Amazing Second Album Fame. Because it was for Sport Relief it has a pretty naff video, which Rich (rhyme!) apparently hates but that’s beside the point. Ginger Spice Geri Halliwell wanted the song for herself and locked herself in a car in a bid to get it. Whereas Some Girls uses clever wordplay to disguise the fact its on about performing sex acts to get ahead (ermmm) in the music industry, Me Plus One is pretty direct at who the song is aimed at. And its delicious.
Let’s fast forward to 2008/9 where the pair teamed up to create two fantastic icy disco gems, Songs Remind Me Of You and Anthonio. Here they are you for your listening pleasure. (Not so much visual)
Going by this rule of the pair’s collaborations getting better as the years go on, this year the songs should be so good it isn’t humanely possible to comprehend.
Or at least be as good as my favourite song of the year so far, Take A Look At The World:
Luckily, the first song off the EP has been released already!! Annoyingly, when old Richie X popped it on his SoundCloud he didn’t allow it to be embedded (that or I’m an idiot). Here it is.
It was written by Little Boots and sounds like it would fit perfectly on Nocturnes, the album she released a few months ago and you ALL should have bought. I’m surprised that the album didn’t feature any X production, here’s hoping he remixes one for a single release – preferably All For You. That being said, any one would be a killer.
But yes, Back Together is pretty great. It is however, definitely more album (or EP) track than single. Annieponannie has been social media-ing about a new single and video so I’m hoping for something so incredibly everyone else will just give up music and go home (or maybe just will.i.am and Rita Ora at least). That may be a bit far-fetched, so let’s just hope the video is better than this:
2013 will be the year all you ever hear about is Richard x and Norweigan Popstar Annie. From me at least.