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Art Pop Dream Pop Pop Song of the Day Synth Pop

Song of the Day (Chaotic Neutral): Kate Bush – Running Up That Hill

Day 7.

Another one that came on the radio at work. I’ve never been a big fan of Kate Bush, but when I heard this again for the first time in years, it really hit me what a great song it is. Don’t really have much more to say about it than that. I’m just really digging it at the moment.

It doesn’t hurt me
Do you want to feel how it feels? 
Do you want to know, know that it doesn’t hurt me? 
Do you want to hear about the deal that I’m making? 
You, it’s you and me

And if I only could
I’d make a deal with God
And I’d get him to swap our places
Be running up that road
Be running up that hill
Be running up that building 
See if I only could, oh

You don’t want to hurt me 
But see how deep the bullet lies
Unaware I’m tearing you asunder 
Ooh, there is thunder in our hearts

Is there so much hate for the ones we love? 
Tell me, we both matter, don’t we? 
You, it’s you and me
It’s you and me, won’t be unhappy

And if I only could 
I’d make a deal with God
And I’d get him to swap our places
Be running up that road
Be running up that hill
Be running up that building 
Say, if I only could, oh

You 
It’s you and me
It’s you and me, won’t be unhappy

Oh come on, baby
Oh come on, darling 
Let me steal this moment from you now
Oh come on, angel
Come on, come on, darling 
Let’s exchange the experience, oh

And if I only could
I’d make a deal with God 
And I’d get him to swap our places 
I’d be running up that road
Be running up that hill 
With no problems

Say, if I only could
I’d make a deal with God 
And I’d get him to swap our places
I’d be running up that road
Be running up that hill
With no problems

So if I only could 
I’d make a deal with God
And I’d get him to swap our places
I’d be running up that road
Be running up that hill
With no problems Say, if I only could 
I’d be running up that hill 
With no problems

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Electronic Music Indie Rock New Wave Pop Post Punk Song of the Day Synth Pop

Song of the Day (Chaotic Neutral): The Church – Under The Milky Way

Day 4.

Okay, okay. I missed a day (or 2) & I’m sorry. This song came on randomly after I was listening to New Order on YouTube the other day. It’s stunning, cinematic Synth Pop from the end of the ’80’s, with just enough Indie cool to keep it in the company of bands like Echo & The Bunnymen & the aforementioned New Order on many a mixtape. Also a great song for a movie soundtrack, as evidenced by its appearance in a pivotal scene of madcap time-travel yarn Donnie Darko.

Sometimes when this place gets kind of empty
Sound of their breath fades with the light
I think about the loveless fascination
Under the Milky Way tonight

Lower the curtain down on Memphis
Lower the curtain down all right
I got no time for private consultation
Under the Milky Way tonight

Wish I knew what you were looking for
Might have known what you would find

And it’s something quite peculiar
Something shimmering and white
Leads you here despite your destination
Under the Milky Way tonight

Wish I knew what you were looking for
Might have known what you would find
Wish I knew what you were looking for
Might have known what you would find

And it’s something quite peculiar
Something shimmering and white
Leads you here despite your destination
Under the Milky Way tonight

Wish I knew what you were looking for
Might have known what you would find
Wish I knew what you were looking for
Might have known what you would find

Under the Milky Way tonight
Under the Milky Way tonight
Under the Milky Way tonight

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New Wave Song of the Day Synth Pop

Song of the Day (Chaotic Neutral): Peter Schilling – Major Tom (Coming Home)

Day 3.

Having just begun watching the cold war spy thriller The Americans after reading about it in Mark Fishers book (see Day 1), I started to think of one of my other favourite Cold War spy thrillers, the excellent Deutschland ’83 & it’s fantastic sequel Deutschland ’86. I also discovered that the third series, Deutschland ’89, is also due to be released in the next month. I found this particularly exciting.

Major Tom (Coming Home) by Peter Schilling is the opening credits theme tune of the Deutschland series; interestingly though, only for the English language (subtitled) version. The original German version of the show features Blue Monday by New Order as its theme tune. I find it amusing & interesting that the German release uses an English Synthpop song as its theme while the English release features a German Synthpop song. A nice bit of pleasing synchronicity.

Standing there alone, the ship is waiting
All systems are go, are you sure?
Control is not convinced
But the computer has the evidence
No need to abort

The countdown starts

Watching in a trance, the crew is certain
Nothing left to chance, all is working
Trying to relax, up in the capsule
“Send me up a drink”, jokes Major Tom
The count goes on

Four, three, two, one
Earth below us
Drifting, falling
Floating, weightless
Calling, calling home

Second stage is cut, we’re now in orbit
Stabilizers up, running perfect
Starting to collect requested data
“What will it effect, when all is done?”
Thinks Major Tom

Back at ground control there is a problem
Go to rockets full, not responding
“Hello Major Tom, are you receiving?
Turn the thrusters on, we’re standing by”
There’s no reply

Four, three, two, one
Earth below us
Drifting, falling
Floating, weightless
Calling, calling home

Across the stratosphere
A final message, “Give my wife my love”
Then nothing more

Far beneath the ship, the world is mourning
They don’t realize, he’s alive
No one understands but Major Tom sees
Now the light commands, this is my home
I’m coming home

Earth below us
Drifting, falling
Floating, weightless
Coming home

Earth below us
Drifting, falling
Floating, weightless
Coming home

Earth below us
Drifting, falling
Floating, weightless
Coming, coming home

Home
Home
Home
Home
Home
Home
Home
Home

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Art Pop Experimental Indie Rock Song of the Day Synth Pop

Song of the Day (Covers): The Flaming Lips – Can’t Get You Out Of My Head

Day 3. The Flaming Lips cover of Kylie Minogue’s Dance Pop mega-hit is about as different to the original track as possible. They turn the polished Pop into cinematic Psychedelia. String synths & unusual slow building percussion bring to mind the sound of Ennio Morricone’s Spaghetti Western soundtracks while Wayne Coynes gentle strumming & falsetto vocals anchor the track firmly in The Flaming Lips particular brand of Psychedelic Pop/Rock.

I just can’t get you out of my head
Boy your loving is all I think about
I just can’t get you out of my head
Boy it’s more than I dare to think about

I just can’t get you out of my head
Boy your loving is all I think about
I just can’t get you out of my head
Boy it’s more than I dare to think about

Every night, every day
Just to be there in your arms

Won’t you stay
Won’t you lay
Stay forever and ever
And ever and ever

I just can’t get you out of my head
Boy your loving is all I think about
I just can’t get you out of my head
Boy it’s more than I dare to think about

There’s a dark secret in me
Don’t leave me locked in your heart

Set me free
Feel the need in me
Set me free
Stay forever and ever
And ever and ever

I just can’t get you out of my head
I just can’t get you out of my head
I just can’t get you out of my head

Fancy some great music? Check the Song of the Day (Covers) Spotify playlist.

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Art Pop Experimental Song of the Day Synth Pop

Song of the Day (The Chain): The Art Of Noise – Close (To The Edit)

Day 39. Sticking with Buffalo Gals & Video Killed The Radio Star composer Trevor Horn for todays entry. The Art Of Noise were/are an Avant Garde/Synth Pop/Sampled Sound Collage group formed in the early ’80’s. Named after a book on Italian Futurism, their Spotify artist bio describes them as “futurists in the sense that they were interested in the future, in making the future a better place, in the technology of the future, in turning up in the future, in sounding like they belonged in the future.”

Close (To The Edit) is a chaotic sound collage of funky, synthetic breakbeats. It’s video depicts the band & a young girl destroying a Piano in an industrial looking location. This says more about the track & its intent than words ever could.

Hey! Yeah!

Dum! Dum!

Tra la la

Clo-clo-clo-close
To to to to the edge
To to to to the edge

To be in England
In the summertime
With my love
Close to the edge

Keep up to date with the Song of the Day (The Chain) Spotify playlist.

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Art Pop Song of the Day Synth Pop

Song of the Day (The Chain): The Buggles – Video Killed The Radio Star

Day 38. I’d like to think that some of you will have predicted todays Song of the Day. Malcolm McLaren’s Buffalo Gals was composed & produced by Trevor Horn, who’s probably better known as the main musical talent from The Buggles, the excellent Pop band behind Video Killed The Radio Star.

I’m sure I don’t need to tell you this, but Video Killed The Radio Star is a slice of absolutely perfect Synth Pop. Quirky, upbeat & sugar sweet, it pulls off the almost impossible task of appealing to weirdos & the general public alike. Released in 1979 to a decent critical & commercial response (UK number 1), Video Killed The Radio Star truly made history two years later when, on 1st August 1981, it’s excellent promo video became the first to ever be played on the brand new MTV.

I heard you on the wireless back in fifty two
Lying awake intent at tuning in on you
If I was young it didn’t stop you coming through
Oh, a, oh

They took the credit for your second symphony
Rewritten by machine on new technology
And now I understand the problems you can see

Oh, a, oh
I met your children
Oh a oh
What did you tell them?

Video killed the radio star
Video killed the radio star
Pictures came and broke your heart
Oh, a, a, a, oh

And now we meet in an abandoned studio (ohh)
We hear the playback and it seems so long ago
And you remember the jingles used to go (ahh)

Oh, a, oh
You were the first one
Oh, a, oh
You were the last one

Video killed the radio star
Video killed the radio star
In my mind and in my car
We can’t rewind we’ve gone too far
Oh, a, a, a, oh
Oh, a, a, a, oh

Video killed the radio star
Video killed the radio star
In my mind and in my car
We can’t rewind we’ve gone too far
Pictures came and broke your heart
Put the blame on VCR

You are a radio star
You are a radio star

Video killed the radio star
Video killed the radio star
Video killed the radio star
Video killed the radio star

Video killed the radio star
Video killed the radio star
(You are a radio star) video killed the radio star
Video killed the radio star
(You are a radio star) video killed the radio star
Video killed the radio star

Keep up to date with the Song of the Day (The Chain) Spotify Playlist.

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Indie Rock New Wave Post Punk Song of the Day Synth Pop

Song of the Day (The Chain): The Cure – Pictures Of You

Day 32. The link in the chain today is photography. Manic Street Preachers’ Kevin Carter is about the titular photographer & Pictures Of You by The Cure is inspired by the remains of photographs which were damaged in a housefire.

Pictures Of You is smouldering, emotional Indie Pop which relies as much on fantastic guitar work as it does on almost euphoric synth pads. Slow burning vocal melodies & rocksteady bass lines anchor this Indie gem beautifully. Also a great video which takes you right back to ’89.

I’ve been looking so long at these pictures of you
That I almost believe that they’re real 
I’ve been living so long with my pictures of you
That I almost believe that the pictures 
Are all I can feel

Remembering you standing quiet in the rain 
As I ran to your heart to be near 
And we kissed as the sky fell in
Holding you close 
How I always held close in your fear
Remembering you running soft through the night 
You were bigger and brighter and wider than snow
And screamed at the make-believe 
Screamed at the sky
And you finally found all your courage 
To let it all go

Remembering you fallen into my arms 
Crying for the death of your heart 
You were stone white
So delicate 
Lost in the cold 
You were always so lost in the dark
Remembering you how you used to be 
Slow drowned 
You were angels
So much more than everything 
Hold for the last time then slip away quietly 
Open my eyes 
But I never see anything

If only I’d thought of the right words 
I could have held on to your heart 
If only I’d thought of the right words
I wouldn’t be breaking apart 
All my pictures of you

Looking so long at these pictures of you 
But I never hold on to your heart 
Looking so long for the words to be true
But always just breaking apart
My pictures of you

There was nothing in the world
That I ever wanted more 
Than to feel you deep in my heart
There was nothing in the world 
That I ever wanted more
Than to never feel the breaking apart
All my pictures of you

Keep up to date with the Song of the Day (The Chain) Spotify playlist.

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Indie Rock Synth Pop

Superlove – Jarvis Put The Record On

Maltese originating, Berlin based Synth-Indie band Superlove are about to release a beautiful limited edition single with boutique cassette label Safe Suburban Home.

The single, Jarvis Put The Record On is fuzzy, synthetic, energetic Pop. Masterfully programmed drum machine patterns (we know from the b-side that frontman Daniel Borg owns a 909, so it’s a safe assumption that he’s using it here) underpins beautifully textured synth bass parts & spectral, swirling pads. The song was built around parts which were written on a cheap Casio keyboard which sadly didn’t survive the session.

The song was inspired by a chance encounter with Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker & is inspired by the lack of new music from the esteemed Britpop singer. Jarvis Put The Record On was written “in the vague hope that one day he will hear it and crack out another album,” recalls Borg. Cocker has since released new music under his Jarv Is moniker. “Maybe we managed to convince him, who knows?” says Borgs bandmate, Alexandra Aquilina.

B-side Me & My 909 is a more subdued affair. Sombre guitar lines, a murky, synthy soundscape & beautifully simple drum machine pattern. In tribute to his 909, Borg says he wanted to build the song around “the most basic beat to enhance the beauty of this machine.” The downtempo rhythm, noisy soundscape & male/female vocal harmonies almost take it into Shoegaze territory.

Jarvis Put The Record On is available on limited Cassette through Safe Suburban Home on 7th August.The Cassette is available to pre-order here. The songs can be pre-saved to Spotify here.

Check out the excellent video for Jarvis Put The Record On.

Categories
Indie Rock Song of the Day Synth Pop

Song of the Day (The Chain): Stereolab – Miss Modular

Day 10. I’m kind of hoping that you’re scratching your heads & wondering what the link between Pull The Wires From The Wall by The Delgados & Miss Modular by Stereolab is. This one is a bit more obscure than the previous links.

Basically, throughout his career as a radio DJ, John Peel compiled an annual best of the year list which he called his Festive Fifty. These lists have their own cult following online & fans back in the day would tape Festive Fifty rundowns straight from the radio, the tapes becoming treasured cultural artefacts in a manner it’s difficult to explain here in 2020.

Pull The Wires From The Wall by The Delgados was number 27 in John Peels 1997 Festive Fifty. One space higher, at number 26, was Miss Modular by Stereolab. So from dreamy, quirky Alternative Rock we go to the sunny Synth Pop melodies of Stereolab’s Miss Modular.

Sur la boite cartonnee un trompe-l’oeil
Avoue volontiers qu’il est trompe-l’oeil.
Sur la boite cartonnee un trompe-l’oeil
Avoue volontiers qu’il est trompe-l’oeil,

Donne l’idee do jeu et do mystere,
Un spectacle intime donne l’idee do jeu et de l’humour,
Spectacle qui rime, qui suscite dans les yeux un eclair,
Une decouverte, une idee qui peut jouer des tours,
Une muse, certes, donne l’idee do jeu et do mystere,
Un spectacle intime.

Sur la boite cartonnee un trompe-l’oeil
Avoue volontiers qu’il est trompe-l’oeil.
Sur la boite cartonnee un trompe-l’oeil
Avoue volontiers qu’il est trompe-l’oeil.

Miss Modular

On the cased box a trompe l’oeil
Confesses willingly that it is trompe l’oeil.
On the cased box a trompe l’oeil
Confesses willingly that it is trompe l’oeil,Gives the idea of the game and the mystery,
An intimate spectacle gives the idea of the game and the humor,
Spectacle that rhymes, that arouses on the eyes a flash,
A discovery, an idea that can play tricks,
A muse, admittedly, gives the idea of the game and the mystery,
An intimate spectacle.On the cased box a trompe l’oeil
Confesses willingly that it is trompe l’oeil.
On the cased box a trompe l’oeil
Confesses willingly that it is trompe l’oeil.

Keep up to date with the Song of the Day (The Chain) Spotify playlist.

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Indie Rock Synth Pop

The Flaming Lips – My Religion Is You

Hot on the heels of their last single, May’s Flowers Of Neptune 6, those fabulous freaks The Flaming Lips drop another new single from their forthcoming album American Head, due out on 11th September.

My Religion Is You pulls off a tried, tested & extremely effective trick with the mournful, acoustic folk intro which soon morphs into widescreen psychedelic Pop. The guitars all but disappear, synthetic bass & sampled strings laying the groundwork for Wayne Coyne’s acid-frazzled falsetto. Some delightfully off-kilter lead guitars melodies return for the songs instrumental bridge.

Like Flowers Of Neptune 6, My Religion Is You is accompanied by a fiery video. Coyne sings into the camera in front of a wall of fire, holding a bunch of oversized flowers. A Buddhist monk carries a crucifix with a floral wreath attached to it. Like the recent Bright Eyes single I reviewed a couple of days ago, The Flaming Lips seem to be in a pessimistically apocalyptic mood right now. Perhaps there’s something in the air.

Yeah Buddha’s cool
And you’re no fool
To believe anything
You need
To believe in
If Hari Krishna
Maybe it’s the
Thing for you

Hey that’s cool
I don’t need no religion
You’re all I need
You’re the thing I believe in

Nothing else is true
My religion is you
My religion is you
My religion is you

If being a Christian
Is your thing then
Own it friend
Don’t phone it in

I don’t need no religion
You’re all I need
You’re the thing I believe in

Nothing else is true
My religion is you
My religion is you
My religion is you

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