The one of a kind Ms. Sophia Somajo took to her twitter to respond to all the questions my friends and I have been hounding her with, regarding the release of her new album. It does seem like both the video for her single (“Wristcutters, inc”) as well as her album (“I dug deep and ended up in China”) have been put on hold indefinitely. The bad news = more waiting. The good news = a “broader and better” release, which the brilliant tunes of Ms. SoSo very much deserve.
Not this is interesting. The Jackie boyz are a songwriting/production duo who previously worked with Madonna on the song “Revolver.” The good news = Madonna’s album is definitely in early stages. The bad new = IS THIS GOING TO BE ANOTHER HARD CANDY? Is she going for the urban/hip-hop vibe again? That will NOT be acceptable. At this point, both her fans and naysayers are fully expecting a return to the dance floor. The gay euro-pop dance floor to be specific. While I actually quite liked Hard Candy, many mistakes were made with it. A repeat of that era will not be tolerated.
Simon Curtis dropped his second album on iTunes earlier this week, and it did remarkably well. At one point on the Canadian pop charts, it was at #12 and surpassed both Britney Spears and Kylie Minogue. This guy still has no management or major record deal. His first album “8-bit heart” was released for free on his website over a year ago, and carved out quite a devoted internet following for him. I’m glad to see him officially releasing his work and tasting some of the success he’s worked really hard for. However, I’ve only listened to the album once and have to say I was a touch let down. While it’s definitely a very good pop/dance record, it’s much of the same. Many of the songs seems to blend together quite a bit and there aren’t really any “game-changers” on it. One thing that is missing, as with most pop albums being released lately, is a great ballad. Something to really showcase Simon’s amazing voice would have been nice.
Chris Crocker has decided he wants to be a pop star. After living as a girl for the last three years, he has butched himself up and decided that music is his #1 passion. Whether this is a good thing, or the beginning of the end of the world, has yet to be seen. His last two tracks have sold pretty well, all things considered. I’m still strangely addicted to his latest song “Second to None.”
Every song I’ve heard from Queen of Hearts I’ve heard so far I have loved. Can’t wait for more. Check out this free remix of her song “Where Are You Now.” Here is her video for “Last Day of Summer” - a track she did with Johan Agebjorn & Ercola.
Without a doubt, this is my favorite new pop act of the year.
Vanbot is Ester Ideskog (vocals, songwriting, production), with assistance from Sebastian Forslund (production). Her self-titled debut album was just released yesterday, and it’s an incredible journey of delicious pop moments. It has everything that you expect from a fabulous pop album, from the dance-floor stomper “Make Me, Break Me” to the stripped down balladry of “Bad Day.”
For the last couple of weeks, Vanbot has thrilled me. Although her album has been in the making for a quite a while, she seemingly appeared out of nowhere this month. The first two amazing singles were offered for free, then suddenly she had a worldwide release of her debut album. BAM! That’s how it’s done.
Recently I had the chance to ask Vanbot some questions:
Hi Vanbot! Your self-titled debut album was released internationally yesterday, this must be a very exciting time for you?
Oh yes! I´m really excited! It actually feels unreal to me! This is something I´ve been wishing for a long time.
I’m really digging the record, for many pop music lovers you are the most exciting thing to happen so far this Spring. There’s lot of different vibes and sounds on the album, how long did it take you to record?
Me and Sebastian have been recording on and off for several years. But it became more focused this last year when I decided that I really wanted to give my music a decent chance. I gave it a try and I´m just amazed by the response!
You have certainly made waves in the online pop-loving community. I read on your website that you have a bit of an alter ego named “Vanessa” that you channel sometimes? Tell me a little bit about her.
Vanessa is the better Me! I let her reflect some of my qualities and double them. It´s a way to stay focused. Almost like a role play.
Haha well a little bit of role play every now and then is always nice. So what kind of music are you listening to at the moment?
At the exact moment I´m obsessed with Nina Kinert, Adrian Lux and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. Quite different huh?
I have to shamefully admit I’ve never heard of any of those names, but will be checking them out now. I really love your album cover. I’m so excited for my physical copy to arrive in the mail, all the packaging looks so nice. What was the inspiration behind it, and who designed it?
I have a really talented friend and artist Samuel Axelsson. I admire his work and asked him to do the artwork for the coming album. I wanted it to be dreamy but not obscure which I think he did brilliantly!
I agree, it’s lovely. So what is the songwriting and recording process like for you?
I often find my songs while riding my bike in Stockholm! I love biking in the city. It’s total freedom for me! That’s when the melodies find me. The melodies are my babies! I also write music while trying out different synthesizers. One single sound can sometimes inspire me to write a full song in just a few minutes. That´s how I wrote Lost Without You.
Stockholm seems to be a very inspirational city for many pop artists. What is your favorite thing about pop music?
One of the most intriguing things about pop music is that I find it to be encouraging. The greatest pop is positive, but with an incredible nerve.
I know how busy you are so I’ll keep this short, thanks so much for your time. I plan on listening to the album for the rest of the afternoon now.
That’s great, thank-you Greg, so much for your support.
Here are Vanbot’s first two singles on Soundcloud. You can stream them, download them for free, etc. It will be more than enough to convince you to get the full album here.
Very Good! Very, very good indeed. It sounds like it’s going to be even more dramatic, aggressive, and catchy than his independently released debut, 8-bit Heart (my 2010 review of that, and basic introduction to Simon here). Simon said to Billoard:
“RΔ is a diary of where my mind has been during the past year of my life, dealing with deep betrayal, heartache, sex and the exploration of what lengths someone will go to in order to achieve his destiny. Whereas the last album was a plea for love, this album doesn’t want anything to do with it.”