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Listen: Mini Viva - I Wish (radio rip)
Posted at 10:09 PM, 25 October 2009 - 2 Comments


"I Wish" is the new single by Mini Viva, to be released on December 14th. Mini Viva's debut album is due in early 2010.

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Listen: Alesha Dixon - The Light (clip)
Posted at 11:24 AM, 23 October 2009 - 1 Comments

Alesha Dixon's latest album will be re-released on November 23rd. The album, retitled The Alesha Show - The Encore, will include four brand new tracks. One of those is "The Light", produced by Xenomania. Have a listen to a clip of the song:

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Annie's "Don't Stop" is out now
Posted at 11:26 AM, 19 October 2009 - 1 Comments

Annie's new album, Don't Stop, is out today in the UK. Five years on from her debut Anniemal, the Norwegian pop princess is finally ready to release her second album through cult label Smalltown Supersound. The album is scheduled to be released in the US on 17th November.

Don't Stop is available as a standard 12-track album and also as a special bonus disc version (which includes the Xenomania-produced "Sweet").

Xenomania co-wrote and produced five songs on the main version of the album. Xenomania members Matt Gray, Nick Coler, Tim Powell and Toby Scott have also added some of their magic to "Marie Cherie", "Take You Home", "The Breakfast Song" and "I Can't Let Go" (list of credits).

Buy: iTunes, HMV, Rough Trade, Amazon.co.uk, Juno, CDWow, Phonica Records

Reviews:
  • Featuring some of the most inventive producers in pop and steered by a singer who knows her way round a catchy melody or five, Don't Stop is one of the best pop albums of 2009. 4.5/5 musicOMH
  • Fragrant ballads "When The Night" and "Marie Cherie" add a softer dimension to a bold collection on which Annie rarely puts a foot wrong. 4/5 Uncut Magazine
  • Yes, Don't Stop might be wilfully critic-friendly, but it's also out'n'out music for the masses; probably still unlikely to connect with a populace happy to make do with Akon and Jason Mraz, obviously, but an absolute triumph in every other sense. The Quietus
  • Don’t Stop is 12 slices of sublime pop genius, and one ranks right up there with the best contemporary female pop. Here’s hoping more than a dozen people buy the thing. BBC Music
  • Lipstick-pop genius. 8/10 NME
  • (...) it re-affirms Annie as the greatest pop star not to break through this decade. My Love Is Better and Ur Girlfriend are titanic pop waiting to be covered to No 1, while Breakfast is as demented as Bonkers. Surely her day will come. 8/10 Planet Sound
  • By most accounts, Annie should be a superstar. She has a solid tastemaker following and she's the whole package - looks, skills, smarts, attitude. So what gives? Whatever the disconnect, maybe Don't Stop will change it. And if it doesn't, the masses deserve the vapid divas they get. The rest of us will take Annie as is, one big wink and good beat after another. 4.5/5 URB Magazine
  • Annie's pitch perfect future pop second album (...) is an absolute blinder, from Richard X's throbbing space disco Songs Remind Me Of You, the Girls Aloud beating guitars-go-electro bitch-slap of My Love Is Better and the joyous absurdity of The Breakfast Song. 5/5 Attitude Magazine
  • This is an album packed with perfectly pitched electro-pop, atmospheric 80s-tinged ballads and brilliantly withering put-downs – what more could you ask for? 4/5 This is Leicestershire

Tracklist:


1. Hey Annie (Annie, H. Bjornsdottir, P. Epworth) produced by Paul Epworth
2. My Love Is Better (Annie, B. Higgins, M. Cooper, N. Coler, T. Powell) produced by Xenomania
3. Bad Times (Annie, B. Higgins, M. Cooper, N. Coler, T. Powell) produced by Xenomania
4. Don't Stop (Annie, H. Bjornsdottir, P. Epworth) produced by Paul Epworth
5. I Don't Like Your Band (Annie, H. Bjornsdottir, P. Epworth) produced by Paul Epworth
6. Songs Remind Me of You (H. Robinson, Richard X) produced by Richard X
7. Marie Cherie (Annie, H. Robinson, T. Kaukolampi, Y. Sætre) produced by Timo Kaukolampi
8. Take You Home (Annie, T. Kaukolampi) produced by Timo Kaukolampi
9. The Breakfast Song (Annie, T. Kaukolampi) produced by Timo Kaukolampi
10. Loco (Annie, B. Higgins, M. Cooper, N. Coler, T. Powell) produced by Xenomania
11. When the Night (Annie, B. Higgins, M. Cooper, N. Coler, T. Powell) produced by Xenomania
12. Heaven and Hell (Annie, B. Higgins, M. Cooper, N. Coler, T. Powell) produced by Xenomania

Bonus Disc

1. All Night (Annie, P. Epworth) produced by Paul Epworth
2. I Know UR Girlfriend Hates Me (Annie, H. Robinson, Richard X, T. Kaukolampi) produced by Richard X
3. Anthonio (Annie, H. Robinson, Richard X) produced by Richard X
4. I Can't Let Go (with Fredrik Saroea) (Annie, T. Kaukolampi) produced by Timo Kaukolampi
5. Sweet (Annie, B. Higgins, M. Cooper, N. Coler, T. Powell) produced by Xenomania

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Annie: "Working with Xenomania helped shape my own writing"
Posted at 10:58 AM, - 0 Comments

Annie's new album is out today, after a 15-month delay. Half of the album was co-written and produced with the Xenomania team.

«I learned so much about working with them», Annie told Planet Sound. «I'd thought music is about waiting for inspiration. You can't be like that around them. It's work, work, work, no breaks. It was really hard to figure out why they're so stern, but it's toughened up my music no end.»

«I hadn’t been familiar with too much of their work beforehand but it was a great experience», she said in an interview with Stuck Records.

«What’s incredible about Brian Higgins is that he’s so hardworking, when you think of how much energy he has to produce several records a year. He was always encouraging, saying “Come on, let’s work!” and I found it quite exhilarating. They were always able to get the sound that I wanted on tracks, and they are such good songwriters as well. I found working with them helped shape my own writing.»

Annie is still working with Xenomania - one of her co-writes was Mini Viva's recent top 10 hit "Left My Heart In Tokyo": «It was a song I originally wrote with Miranda Cooper and Brian, and was maybe going to be an Annie track until I decided that it didn’t quite fit my vocal style. I wrote so many songs with them! But it really suits the girls, they’ve done a fantastic job with it and I’m really happy to see it do well. I met Britt and Frankie a few times, they are lovely!»

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Jessie Malakouti - Standing Up For The Lonely (radio edit)
Posted at 7:03 PM, 17 October 2009 - 2 Comments


"Standing Up For The Lonely" is Jessie Malakouti's debut single in the UK. Popjustice described the song as «a defiant modern disco record with a slightly mournful, triumph-over-adversity element» and says that she «is destined for quite big things».

Jessie Malakouti is signed to Hard2Beat Records/Ministry of Sound and has been working with Xenomania on her debut album. A 4-track album sampler/megamix is available to download on her website.


Standing Up For The Lonely lyrics:

Everyone told me to stay away from you
But I couldn't listen, I couldn't shake the way that you move
I saw the warning signs from the start
But I never thought you'd break my heart - my heart

I'm standing up for the lonely
and the lovers that you left behind
and baby every time...
You said you're sorry and call me
Oh, if only you could read my mind
you'd figure in time

My dirty angel you've done it now - it's too late
You put your footprints into the ground - a careful mistake
I lay in your bed cold, craving the sun - Oh no...
And I used to think you were the one- the one

I'm standing up for the lonely
and the lovers that you left behind
and baby every time...
You said you're sorry and call me
Oh, if only you could read my mind
you'd figure in time

Feeling down and so vulnerable
we're calling your bluff
give me a reason why you can't keep your story straight-
And babe I've had enough!
I refuse to get emotional
No, this will take more...
Put fire out with fire- dirty liar gonna even up the score!

I'm standing up for the lonely
and the lovers that you left behind
and baby every time...
You said you're sorry and call me
Oh, if only you could read my mind
you'd figure in time

[Written by Jessie Malakouti, Miranda Cooper, Brian Higgins, Lisa Cowling, Tim Powell, Matt Gray, Fred Falke & Sacha Collisson]

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Girls Aloud - Out of Control (instrumentals)
Posted at 11:03 AM, 16 October 2009 - 3 Comments

Earlier this week, the instrumental tracks of Girls Aloud's Out of Control leaked onto the web. This is a great opportunity to listen to the album in a different perspective, to pay attention to all the small details that the vocals obscure and to reignite the interest for the album.

Listen out for the brilliant string of guitar riffs on "Miss You Bow Wow", the gloriously lush instrumental work on "The Loving Kind", the yearning sound of "Rolling Back The Rivers" (bless Johnny Marr) and the electronic ear candy of "Turn 2 Stone" and "Love Is Pain" (definitely strong enough to work without the vocals).

Listen closely to "Untouchable" and you'll hear distant ethereal sounds in the background (like ghosts in the machine) and get immersed in that gentle guitar riff (bless Jason Resch).


1. The Promise (Cooper/Higgins/Resch/Jones/Williams)


2. The Loving Kind (Cooper/Higgins/Powell/Tennant/Lowe)


3. Rolling Back The Rivers (Cooper/Higgins/Williams/Powell/Coler)


4. Love Is The Key (Cooper/Higgins/Powell/Coler/Girls Aloud)


5. Turn 2 Stone (Cooper/Higgins/McLenann/Powell/Gray/Collisson)


6. Untouchable (Cooper/Higgins/Powell/Gray)


7. Fix Me Up (Cooper/Higgins/Resch/Jones/Williams/Powell/Coler)


8. Love Is Pain (Cooper/Higgins/Williams/Coler)


9. Miss You Bow Wow
(Cooper/Higgins/Powell/Parker/Scott/Coler/Cowling/Boyle/Girls Aloud)


10. Revolution In The Head (Cooper/Higgins/Powell/Coler/Parker/Williams/Girls Aloud)


11. Live In The Country (Cooper/Higgins/Powell/Gray/Scarlett/Girls Aloud)


12. We Wanna Party (Cooper/Cowling/Higgins/Coler/Powell)

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Pet Shop Boys release a Brazil-only greatest hits
Posted at 11:26 AM, 15 October 2009 - 4 Comments

Pet Shop Boys celebrate the Brazilian leg of their 2009 Pandemonium tour by releasing a Brazil-only greatest hits. Pet Shop Boys Party will include both past hits and some newer material.

Party will be released in Brazil on November 4th through TV Globo's record label, Som Livre, with a TV campaign on TV Globo (the biggest Brazilian network).

The album includes songs that were featured in TV Globo soap operas. Among them is the Xenomania-produced "King of Rome", currently being featured on the soap opera Viver a Vida.

The track-listing is as follows:

1. West End Girls (10'' Mix)
2. Love Comes Quickly
3. Paninaro (7'' Mix)
4. It's A Sin (Disco Mix)
5. What Have I Done To Deserve This?
6. Always On My Mind (Extended Dance Version)
7. Domino Dancing
8. It's Alright (7'' Version)
9. Being Boring
10. Go West
11. Before (Single Edit)
12. New York City Boy
13. Home And Dry (Radio Edit)
14. Minimal (Radio Edit)
15. Love etc.
16. King of Rome

The artwork was created by Farrow. Pet Shop Boys' official web site announces that they are investigating the possibility of selling copies of the album through their online store.

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Mini Viva's "I Wish" is Song Of The Day on Popjustice
Posted at 10:04 AM, 14 October 2009 - 2 Comments

The new Mini Viva single is today's "Song Of The Day" on Popjustice. Visit the website to listen to a clip of "I Wish" and read Popjustice's verdict. Here's what they say:

«Mini Viva's 'Left My Heart In Tokyo' is one of 2009's signature pop tunes and Mini Viva pull it out of the bag again with the wistfully romantic 'I Wish'.

To these ears it's one of the best tunes to have come out of Westerham since 'Call The Shots' and it shares that song's uptempo/downcast discoballad qualities. 'I Wish' also comes equipped with one of the year's most delicate and glittery middle eights. Splendid stuff.»

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Alex Gardner on tour with Paolo Nutini
Posted at 11:19 AM, 12 October 2009 - 0 Comments


Alex Gardner will be supporting Paolo Nutini on tour this month, before playing his own headline shows across Scotland.

The 19-year-old Scottish singer moved to London to model when he was recruited by Xenomania. After 12 months of writing songs with the team, Alex signed a worldwide record deal with Universal/A&M Records - home to Duffy, Take That, La Roux, Elbow, etc. His debut album will be released in 2010.

Upcoming shows:

10 Oct Academy, Newcastle (supporting Paolo Nutini)
11 Oct Academy, Newcastle (supporting Paolo Nutini)
13 Oct Caird Hall, Dundee (supporting Paolo Nutini)
14 Oct Academy, Glasgow (supporting Paolo Nutini)
15 Oct Academy, Glasgow (supporting Paolo Nutini)
10 Nov The Free Candy Session @ The Liquid Ship Glasgow
11 Nov Drouthy Neighbours Dundee
12 Nov The Dirty Hearts Club @ Snafu Aberdeen
13 Nov The Speakeasy @ Cabaret Voltaire Edinburgh
18 Nov Little Noise Sessions @ Union Chapel - w/ MIKA & Paloma Faith London


Links:

Alex Gardner MySpace
Alex Gardner YouTube

Video: Alex Gardner at T in the Park

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Xenomania nationwide open auditions
Posted at 11:21 AM, 07 October 2009 - 4 Comments

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Pre-order Annie's "Don't Stop"
Posted at 8:33 PM, 04 October 2009 - 0 Comments

Annie's eternally delayed Don't Stop album will finally be released in a few weeks. It is now available to pre-order on HMV: CD // 2CD.

Don't Stop will come out in three formats: LP, CD and double CD with a bonus disc, titled All Night EP. The bonus disc includes five songs: "All Night", "I Know Ur Girlfriend Hates Me", "Anthonio", "I Can't Let Go" and "Sweet".

The album has been receiving positive reviews. Attitude Magazine published a 5/5 review, stating that «Annie's pitch perfect future pop second album» is «an absolute blinder», from «Richard X's throbbing space disco Songs Remind Me Of You, the Girls Aloud beating guitars-go-electro bitch-slap of My Love Is Better and the joyous absurdity of The Breakfast Song».

FACT Magazine also posted a "First Impressions" review of Don't Stop. They say: «
Our overall impression of Don't Stop is that it's an album that will grow on us: it's par for the course when you're dealing with music this overtly pop that you need to let the choruses worm their way into your head organically. »

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Xenomania news roundup
Posted at 7:48 PM, - 1 Comments

  • Vagabond are in the studio working on new material. They updated fans on MySpace: «We just wanted to tell you that we're going to be in the studio working on new material for a while. We're really excited about having new music for the new year and will keep you posted with video clips and tweets from the studio.»
  • The new Pet Shop Boys single, the Germany-only "Beautiful People", is out now. You can buy it on Pet Shop Boys' official shop.
  • NiteVisions' next show will be the Gold Dust night at Hoxton Bar and Kitchen, on October 21st.
  • Mini Viva have been selected by MSN Music as one of the Best Girl Groups Ever. Also in the Top 12 are The Supremes, The Bangles, Bananarama, Spice Girls, All Saints, Girls Aloud, Sugababes, TLC, Eternal, Atomic Kitten and Destiny's Child.

    They say: «OK, so they may have only had one top 10 single so far, but as far as we’re concerned, Mini Viva AKA Frankee and Britt are the future of girl bands. A bit Girls Aloud, a bit Mel and Kim, their first hit Left My Heart in Tokyo already has a celebrity fan in the form of Cheryl Cole, and with hit-producing team Xenomania behind them and the NME saying they have “the catchiest single of 2009” we reckon they’re the future.»
  • The re-release of the Alesha Dixon album The Alesha Show will have three additional tracks: "To Love Again", "Shake" and the Xenomania-produced "The Light". The Alesha Show: The Encore is out on November 23rd.

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Xenomania - Musicians wanted
Posted at 7:45 PM, 02 October 2009 - 0 Comments

Xenomania Records is seeking exceptionally talented, dynamic musicians to back their signed and unsigned artists.

The role will require a full time commitment, and involve regular rehearsals, gigs and showcases. Ideally applicants will have extensive experience of either live or session work, and possess a highly professional work ethic.

Send a photo and CV to talent@xenomaniarecords.co.uk

Closing date for applicants: October 16th

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