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"Don't Stop" available for pre-order
Posted at 7:10 PM, 28 June 2008 - 0 Comments

Annie's new album can now be pre-ordered from HMV. The store lists October 6th as the release date. This is the tracklisting:

1. I Know Ur Girlfriend Hates Me
2. Loco
3. Sweet
4. My Love Is Better
5. Marie Cherie
6. Take U Home
7. When The Night
8. What Do You Want (Breakfast Song)
9. Bad Times
10. Heaven & Hell
11. Perfectly Honest
12. Songs Remind Me Of You
13. Misery

Meanwhile, a 5-track promo of Don't Stop has leaked onto the Internet. The leaked version of "My Love Is Better" still has Girls Aloud doing backing vocals.

Don't Stop is Annie's follow-up to her debut Anniemal. It includes collaborations with Xenomania, Richard X, Timo Kaukolampi, Alex Kapranos and Datarock. Brian Higgins worked on the entire album's direction, as executive producer.

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What pop music is all about this year
Posted at 2:57 PM, 27 June 2008 - 0 Comments

On a recent article about Annie's new album, Richard X speaks about her collaboration with Xenomania: "Annie is a genuine pop lover, so it's easy to try out new ideas and try and push it a bit. I was glad to hear that she'd hooked up with Xenomania and it's really exciting, completely no-holds-barred stuff and exactly what pop music is all about this year."

Annie also talks about meeting Brian Higgins: "He said, `I've been looking for the person who wrote Heartbeat'. I said: "look no further'". Three weeks later, last summer, recording began. Higgins worked with Annie on the entire album's direction and secured a new deal with Island Records.

Annie's MySpace is streaming new clips of the Xenomania-produced "My Love Is Better" and the Richard X-produced "Songs Remind Me You" (which was yesterday's song of the day in Popjustice).

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Gabriella Cilmi's new video
Posted at 4:56 PM, 26 June 2008 - 0 Comments

According to Popjustice, "Don't Want To Go To Bed Now" will be Gabriella Cilmi's second single in Australia. Here's the video:

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"Power ballads are the coolest things in the world"
Posted at 11:36 PM, 25 June 2008 - 0 Comments

Annie is bringing power ballads back. Talking to Digital Spy about the Xenomania-produced "When The Night", which she has described as her first power ballad, she says that they are "the coolest things in the world!". "I love a proper power ballad. There used to be so many of them, but nobody seems to do them any more. It's time to bring them back!".

The song is about "going to bed and getting really stressed out because there's so much going through your head." "When The Night" is rumoured to be the third single taken from Don't Stop.

In the interview Annie also commented on the collaboration with Girls Aloud on "My Love Is Better": "I was working with Brian Higgins, who produces all their records, on a song called 'My Love Is Better', which is the first track on my album. Girls Aloud were in the studio next door recording 'Can't Speak French' and we needed some backing vocals, so Brian asked them if they'd like to help out. They were really up for it and came into my studio and it was really fun."

Speaking about the way that the media approached the story when Girls Aloud's vocals were removed, Annie added that it wasn't "as dramatic as they said in the papers. Nobody got nasty."

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Annie's "Loco" on iTunes
Posted at 11:16 PM, 23 June 2008 - 0 Comments

A new song from Annie's new album has been added today to the iTunes UK store. Click here to buy "Loco" for £0.79.
"Loco" is one of the six Xenomania songs on Don't Stop, which will be released this Fall.


-> UPDATE 24/06/08: It appears that "Loco" has now been removed from iTunes. Click here to listen to an excerpt of the song.

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Her moves are better than your moves
Posted at 8:45 PM, 20 June 2008 - 0 Comments

Click here for a short video where Norwegian pop star Annie is being asked questions by Australian pop star Sam Sparro. Among other things, Annie says that her favourite part of her job is being in the studio. In the end of the video she also takes a little time to show her "best dance move". Listen closely to the song being played in the background and you'll get close to 2 minutes of "My Love Is Better".

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The Xenomania ducks
Posted at 9:46 PM, 19 June 2008 - 0 Comments

The Pet Shop Boys have been very busy at Xenomania headquarters working on their new album and also photographing animals. Here's a picture of some ducks, posted by Neil Tennant on Pet Shop Boys' official web site:


Lovely.

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Annie live
Posted at 12:00 AM, 13 June 2008 - 0 Comments

Annie has been playing a series of secret gigs in London, billed under the name "einnA". She will be performing tonight at the Old Blue Last.

Click here to watch a video from last Wednesday's show with Annie singing "My Love Is Better", one of the Xenomania-produced songs from her upcoming album Don't Stop, to be released in September.

Meanwhile, this is the album cover:

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No Girls Aloud on Annie's album
Posted at 10:28 AM, 12 June 2008 - 0 Comments

Annie told Teletext's Planet Sound that she was disappointed that Girls Aloud's vocals were removed from "My Love Is Better". While she was recording the song, Girls Aloud were recording "Can't Speak French". Annie says that "they seemed to have a good time". "Then their record label got involved and got heavy on me. It's silly of them, a shame, but I have no hard feelings to the Girls at all."

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Gabriella Cilmi chart watch
Posted at 10:47 AM, 10 June 2008 - 0 Comments

"Sweet About Me" has hit a new peak of #7 in this week's UK singles chart. This is Gabriella Cilmi's debut in the top 10, having moved 68-50-38-42-42-45-34-27-20-23-19-18-14-7 in the last 14 weeks. According to Music Week, the single sold 15.749 copies last week, lifiting its overall sales to 83.549.

This week's top 10:
1. (28) Mint Royale: 'Singin' In The Rain'
2. (1) Rihanna: 'Take A Bow'
3. (2) Ting Tings: 'That's Not My Name'
4. (3) Duffy: 'Warwick Avenue'
5. (7) Ne-Yo: 'Closer'
6. (15) Sara Bareilles: 'Love Song'
7. (14) Gabriella Cilmi: 'Sweet About Me'
8. (4) Madonna ft. Justin Timberlake: '4 Minutes'
9. (6) Sam Sparro: 'Black and Gold'
10. (5) Will.i.am ft. Cheryl Cole: 'Heartbreaker'

Popjustice predicts that at this rate Gabriella Cilmi could be "Number One by Christmas".

"Sweet About Me" is number one for the third straight week in Australia.

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Pet Shop Boys update
Posted at 11:50 PM, 09 June 2008 - 0 Comments

Pet Shop Boys' official web site has been updated with news about their new album and the collaboration with Xenomania. The album, which is planned for a release in 2009, should feature "one, two or more" songs with Xenomania. Neil Tennant says that working with them has been "fun": "They're making us work hard. Not that we don't normally work hard, anyway...".

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New Annie interview
Posted at 10:20 PM, 04 June 2008 - 0 Comments

In a recent interview for Ponystep, Annie talks about her new album Don't Stop and particularly about the Xenomania-produced "My Love Is Better". Girls Aloud's collaboration is still uncertain.

For Don't Stop Annie started by teaming up with the Finnish producer Timo Kaukolampi, with whom she had worked on her previous record Anniemal. "We worked on four songs and then I met up with Brian Higgins who ended up producing six songs on the record - more than we expected!".

One of those songs is "My Love Is Better", where Girls Aloud sing backing vocals. Recently it was rumoured that their vocals would be removed because Brian Higgins didn't ask for permission to use them. "[Girls Aloud] were in same studio at the time, working on their own tracks - it was literally a case of asking them if they were up for it and they were. But it still hasn’t been cleared with their management so it may be they won’t feature on the finished mix. We had a lot of fun though...".

"My Love Is Better", as well as "Loco", also feature guitar work from Franz Ferdinand's Alex Kapranos: "He’s amazing. (...) I met him a couple of times before, I think he’s such a great musician. I was so pleased when he came up with some ideas for the project."

Don't Stop is due for release in September.

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Gabriella Cilmi makes chart history + new single
Posted at 12:29 PM, 03 June 2008 - 0 Comments

happy GabbyWhen "Sweet About Me" went to No. 1 in its second week of release, Gabriella Cilmi became the youngest ever solo artist to achieve the top spot in the Australian ARIA charts history. This week the single is still number 1 in Australia. In The UK "Sweet About Me" reached a new peak of #14 this week, after more than three months on the countdown.

According to Gabriella's official site, a second CD format of "Sweet About Me" will be released next Monday (9th June). It will feature the tracks "Sweet About Me (radio edit)" and "Sweet About Me (Sunship Remix – Radio edit)".

Because of this, Gabriella's follow-up single "Save The Lies" will now be released on August 11th.

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Alesha signs with Asylum Records
Posted at 12:28 AM, 01 June 2008 - 0 Comments

Alesha has recently signed a recording contract with Asylum, an offshoot of Atlantic Records. According to her publicist, she's in the studio with Brian Higgins/Xenomania working on her new album for the UK. The record, as yet untitled, will be due for UK release later this year.

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