Chart for stowaways – 19 May 2018

Here are the top albums this week:

  1. The Radiophonic Workshop – Burials in Several Earths
  2. Tracey Thorn – Record
  3. Sparks – Hippopotamus
  4. The Human League – Secrets
  5. Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark – The Punishment of Luxury
  6. Jon Hopkins – Singularity
  7. Kylie Minogue – Golden
  8. David Bowie – Legacy
  9. Simian Mobile Disco – Murmurations
  10. David Bowie – Aladdin Sane
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Little Boots – Working Girl

Three albums in, Little Boots is clearly brilliant. Actually, she was brilliant from the start, but with her third album Working Girl there really isn’t a lot you can criticise.

After a brief telephone Intro, the first song is the title track. It’s catchy, with a bouncy beat behind it, and a maturity that really ought to be very appealing. Unfortunately, each of Little Boots‘s releases has performed slightly worse than its predecessor, so while it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that this single failed to chart, the album’s low-end peak is definitely a disappointment.

The bouncy underground beats continue with No Pressure, which, like some of her earlier works, suffers a little in the verse, but builds into a great chorus. It still went down very well when she performed live, as did the next track Get Things Done.

The theme on this album is one of retro 1980s business, so Get Things Done sounds – I think intentionally – like the slogan of some kind of delivery company, a device which also frames a great song.

There are a few less memorable moments on here, and Taste It is one of those, although it shares a writing credit with one of Simian Mobile Disco, so it really should have been great. Real Girl is better, but probably not something you’ll be singing to yourself after the album finishes. Heroine will stick with you a little longer, and it has a bit of a melancholic disco sound, which makes it stand out somewhat too.

Things go a whole lot more disco with The Game, and then comes the plodding but surprisingly beautiful Help Too. By this stage in the album, in spite of a few ups and downs, it should be firmly lodged in your mind as a good one. In fact, while it doesn’t include Remedy or New in Town, it could be even better than either of its predecessors.

In a way, the oddest thing here is how consistent the production is – every track has a different producer, and on Business Pleasure it is the turn of the brilliantly named Com Truise to turn up, co-write, and turn the knobs. The result is one of the better tracks on here, and that’s also true for Paradise, which has a brilliantly epic feel to it as well as a certain simplicity which works extremely well.

There’s nothing epic about Better in the Morning – the simplicity is key to this track, but it’s also charming and quite brilliant. It doesn’t quite have a melody, and that would normally be a turn-off for me, but somehow this is different. And placing it right at the end is clearly genius – you’ll be chanting this one for weeks.

So Little Boots‘s third outing might have a few low points, but for the most part it’s another great pop album – possibly greater than anything she’s released before. If you can grab a copy that includes the bonus track Desire, that’s well worth having too.

You can find Working Girl at all major retailers.

The Stowaway Awards 2015 – Nominations

Now it’s time for the moment you’ve all been waiting for over the entirety of 2014. Who will be nominated for the Stowaway awards 2015?

Best Album

  • Erasure – The Violet Flame
  • The Future Sound of London – Environment Five
  • Dieter Meier – Out of Chaos
  • William Orbit – Strange Cargo 5
  • Erlend Øye – Legao
  • Röyksopp – The Inevitable End
  • Shit Robot – We Got a Love
  • Simian Mobile Disco – Whorl
  • Sébastien Tellier – L’Aventura
  • Ben Watt – Hendra

Best Reissue / Compilation

  • David Bowie – Nothing Has Changed
  • Camouflage – Singles
  • Depeche Mode – Life in Berlin
  • Erasure – Greatest Hits Live
  • Moby – Hotel Ambient

Best Newcomer

  • Clark
  • Diamond Version
  • MIKRO
  • Mulu
  • Shelter

Best Artist

  • Napoleon
  • William Orbit
  • Erlend Øye
  • Sébastien Tellier
  • Zero 7

Best Live Act

  • Depeche Mode
  • Erasure
  • Massive Attack
  • Moby
  • Pet Shop Boys

The results will turn up in a few weeks’ time, and we’ll move onto the BRIT Awards in a couple of days…

Live – March 2014

Here are five of your live highlights in the next few months:

Boy George

Starting his tour in Edinburgh on Sunday 30th, and then visiting Manchester, Birmingham, Greenwich, Norwich, and Bristol, with more dates no doubt being announced soon.

Full list of dates at Songkick

Simian Mobile Disco

You’ve already missed them if you’re in Romania or Portugal, but dates are coming up in Germany, Spain, Italy, the UK, and Croatia, with festival dates throughout the summer.

Full list of dates at Songkick

Banco de Gaia

Performing this Saturday at Electric Brixton, with The Orb and Bomb the Bass (how exciting is that lineup?)

More details at Songkick

Salif Keita

With his new tour starting at the end of the month in France, before moving on to Norway, the Netherlands, and the UK over the coming weeks.

Full list of dates at Songkick

Tangerine Dream

Starting their latest tour in Copenhagen at the start of April, before moving onto Paris, London, the Netherlands, Germany, and Austria.

Full list of dates at Songkick