"Mighty Rivers" is one of the two Xenomania songs on the new Kylie Minogue album Aphrodite. It will only be released as a bonus track on the iTunes Deluxe Experience Edition. Written by Miranda Cooper, Brian Higgins, Carla Marie Williams, Jason Resch, Gerard O'Connell, Jaxon Bellina, Tim Deal.
"Mighty Rivers" is a light and floaty disco-house number, with that kind of understated beauty that Xenomania do so well. The sounds are beautifully layered, with great vocals from Kylie, space synths, an oriental vibe, the sound of a river stream (might also be ocean waves crashing) and an amazing bassline. There's also a robotic breakdown where Kylie sings "Only you understand me/ Want the truth not the fantasy/ I'm as true as I can be/ Hear me now", followed by more waves and acoustic guitar.
Aphrodite release dates:
30th June (Japan)
2nd July (Australia, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria, Spain)
5th July (United Kingdom, Mexico, Brazil, France, Denmark, Portugal)
6th July (United States, Canada)
27th July (Argentina)
"Call 911", co-written with Fred Falke, is the lead single to be taken from the Kitsuné X Ponystep compilation CD, to be released on July 5th.
Florrie has spent the last two years honing her talents at Xenomania. She's performed over 100 live shows with fellow musicians Jason Resch and Kieran Jones, and played drums on tracks for Girls Aloud, Kylie Minogue and Alesha, among others.
The former Xenomania house drummer is now taking centre stage as a singer/songwriter and is also fronting the new Nina Ricci fragrance, with her version of Blondie's "Sunday Girl" (produced by Xenomania), lined up to soundbed the company’s summer campaign.
Two of the songs that Xenomania wrote for the new Kylie Minogue album have ended up as bonus tracks.
"Mighty Rivers" will only be released on the iTunes Deluxe Experience Edition, while "Heartstring" will be the Japanese bonus track.
Aphrodite will be released in Japan in two days (30th June) - click here to pre-order. The iTunes Deluxe Edition will be available to download from July 2nd (in Australia and some of Europe) and on July 5th in the UK (pre-order).
Mighty Rivers: Written by Miranda Cooper, Brian Higgins, Carla Marie Williams, Jason Resch, Gerard O'Connell, Jaxon Bellina, Tim Deal.
Heartstrings: Written by Miranda Cooper, Brian Higgins, Matt Gray, Jason Resch, Kieran Jones, Gerard O'Connell, Jaxon Bellina.
Four new acts who consist of people that have previously worked with Xenomania and no longer are with the team: Jessie & the Toy Boys, D E K A D E, Lite N Dark and Alex Vargas
JESSIE & THE TOY BOYS
Sounds like: Bubblegum 80s pop with an urban edge
Jessie Malakouti began working with Xenomania while she was a member of female trio Shut Up Stella. When she went solo, she worked with several producers, including Xenomania. During the time she worked with the team, she sang backing vocals for the Pet Shop Boys and went on a UK tour supporting The Saturdays.
The Xenomania-produced "Standing Up For The Lonely" was set to be released as a single on Hard2Beat/ Ministry Of Sound, but it only ended up on a few dance compilations. A 4-track album sampler/megamix of her Xenomania collaboration is still available to download here.
Her latest musical endeavour is called Jessie and the Toy Boys (the "toy boys" are mannequins, because "mannequins don't talk back and are easy to write songs with"). Jessie has been working with David Gamson from Scritti Politti, Matt Squire and Sam from The Bravery, Scott Storch, Richard Vission, Howie D. and Lil' Eddie.You can listen to her new demos on MySpace.
Andy Taylor and James Taylor started working with Xenomania when they were still known as The Electric City. Later they became a duo and changed their name to NiteVisions. More recently they have rechristened themselves DEKADE and are now working with producer Flood.
Andy and James, the sons of Andy Taylor and Roger Taylor from Duran Duran, continue the growing trend for male synth pop duos and take inspiration from the dark pop from the 80s and late 70s, when people like Gary Numan, Depeche Mode and New Order ruled the world.
Their new Flood-produced tracks can be heard on DEKADE's MySpace. The Xenomania-produced "Fire" can be found here.
Sounds like: Electro-pop-rap with hard club beats and boy-girl vocals
Katie McKenna (17) and Tim Talbot (21) met in the Xenomania house: Tim was playing keyboards for a new Xenomania act and Katie, as a recently scouted future starlet, was recording vocals.
Months later, once they had both left Xenomania to work on other projects, they met again and decided to team up as a duo. Their music is said to be a mixture of Soulwax basslines, Timbaland synths and Gaga rhythms.
Lite N Dark have been in the studio with Andy Taylor (from DEKADE - see above) and Matt Peel. For now their songs can be downloaded for free on Bandcamp.
Their first ever live show had Britt Love of Mini Viva fame behind the decks. Click here to watch an amusing video from their Xenomania days, with Katie, Britt and Maxine making a rap about Xenomania and Westerham.
Sounds like: Rocking tunes with a soulful spirit and an electro twist
Alex Vargas was signed to Geffen Records in 2008 and formed the band Vagabond, the first act launched by Xenomania. Vagabond released their Xenomania-produced debut album, You Don't Know the Half of It, in 2009. Earlier this year the group announced their decision to split.
Throughout 2009, Vagabond toured the UK supporting artists such as James Morrison, McFly and The Script, and they also performed at Glastonbury, T in the Park and V music festivals in the UK.
Alex is currently writing and recording his debut solo album in London and Los Angeles. You can listen to four demos on his MySpace: "Supernova", "Higher", "Mr. Heartache" and "One Track Mind".
Interview Magazine spoke to Neil Tennant ahead of Pet Shop Boys' Glastonbury performance tonight. He talked about Xenomania and the Grammy-nominated album Yes:
What are your thoughts on how your songwriting collaborators, production team Xenomania, have transformed mainstream music this decade?
TENNANT: They're fascinating because, like us, they work in the area of experimental mainstream pop music. Taking mainstream music by the scruff of its neck is the most exciting and difficult thing to do. They never stick to one sound, so they're never boring. They have a big range. It's a team of people who really love music, a situation which actually reminds me of my journalism days at Smash Hits–we were all obsessed with pop music. As musicians, Xenomania share that ethos and have a fresh outlook. So, working with them really suited us. We almost wrote with them for our previous record, Fundamental, but then we heard New Order were doing so, and we didn't want to deal with accusations of ripping them off, even though that collaboration ended up fizzling.
What was the process of recording with Xenomania's Brian Higgins like? He's notoriously tricky to work with—Franz Ferdinand actually quit working with the team because their energies clashed.
TENNANT: I know—it's a shame because I think that could have been an amazing record. For us, it was interesting because I find that Brian has a very flexible way of writing songs. But I think for a lot of bands, his methods are tricky, indeed. Brian is highly disciplined, and I think most acts find it very challenging to deal.
With those massive hooks, "Love Etc." should have been a #1 hit, no?
TENNANT: It should have been bigger! But when you're our age and you've been around a long time, it doesn't matter how good the record is. They're not going to play it! [UK's] Radio 1 said to us, "It's an amazing record—but we're not going to play it." It didn't fit their youth demographic; they don't want to introduce anyone new to the Pet Shop Boys. But in Germany, "Love Etc." was on the charts for months. Of course, we haven't been played in America for years.
Pet Shop Boys are set to headline the Other Stage at the Glastonbury Festival tonight for the second time in their career. They are due onstage at 10.15 pm and their entire set will also be broadcast live on BBC3 TV.
Florrie Arnold has been chosen as the face, and voice, of an international advertisement campaign for the new Nina Ricci perfume. The TV commercial features a new version of Blondie's "Sunday Girl", produced by Xenomania and recorded by Florrie. She also plays drums on the track and has slightly tweaked the lyrics to fit in with the ad.
Click above to view footage from the Nina Ricci L'Elixir ad, the private concert from the pre-launch party and an interview with Florrie and Nez, the ad director. In the interview, Florrie talks about her version of "Sunday Girl":
«It's an original Blondie track but the lyric of that is quite sad, so I thought I should probably re-write the lyrics to fit with the ad. It's about waking up in a dream land, you open your eyes and you see all these amazing things around you.»
The video for the Nina L'Elixir campaign was directed by Nez, who previously directed Lily Allen's video for "The Fear". He says:
«We started to look into singers that we thought could fit the role. Florrie came up and she was just perfect for it and then we kind of adjusted it a little bit to Florrie's style. Florrie was already launching her career, she was literally just starting, she started recording some stuff and that's what Nina wanted. They didn't want someone that was established, they wanted someone who was fresh and young, so they would help someone with their advertisement campaign come through as a pop star»
Florrie Arnold is the advertising face (and voice) for the new Nina Ricci fragrance. Nina L'Elixir is a new variation of the original Nina (2006) and will be launched in August 2010. Florrie is the new icon to embody the Nina princess, replacing the late model Ruslana Korshunova.
In the commercial for the fragrance (watch it here), the fashion house created a music video where Florrie sings a new version of Blondie's "Sunday Girl". See a video with Florrie, Jason Resch (guitar), Kieran Jones (bass) and George Nolan (drums) playing the Blondie classic live at a pre-launch party.
Here's a review from the pre-launch party: «The muse for this perfume is a young 21-year-old London singer, Florrie Arnold, super beautiful and very kind. She truly embodies the sweet and sensual princess. (...) The perfume ad is just brilliant! She is fresh, she exudes sweetness and the music is more than catchy. (...) We then had the great pleasure of discovering Florrie in a private concert with her band, and the least we can say is that the girl sings really well, despite being live!»
Like the original, Nina L'Elixir was developed by perfumer Olivier Cresp. It promises a true "love potion" composed of red fruit and jasmine, refreshed with bright green Caipirinha lime. The trace of musk completes the entire composition, placed into a new red apple bottle with silver leaves and stopper.
Congratulations to Florrie! View pictures and watch a video of the party:
Alex Gardner will be supporting Leona Lewis tonight (10th June) in Birmingham. Leona Lewis is currently in the middle of her debut concert tour The Labyrinth, with dates across the United Kingdom and Ireland. Alex Gardner will replace Gabriella Cilmi as the support act at the LG Arena.
These are Alex Gardner's upcoming tour dates:
June 10 LG Arena - Birmingham (supporting Leona Lewis) July 11 T in the Park - Balado, Kinross-Shire, Scotland July 15 Dingwalls - MTV PRESENTS Alex Gardner & Eliza Doolittle - London July 16 Westonbirt Arboretum - Gloucestershire (supporting JLS) July 17 Escot Park - Devon (supporting JLS) July 18 Sound City Festival - Peterborough (supporting JLS) July 24 Ynysangharad, Memorial Park - Wales (supporting JLS) July 25 Quex Park, Sound Island Festival - Kent (supporting JLS) August 7 Belladrum Festival - Belladrum
The new Banned of St Trinian's video has been posted on Facebook - watch it here (it doesn't allow embedding - boo!). "We Got The Beat" is a song originally released by the all-female group The Go-Go's in 1980.
The Banned of St Trinian's cover is produced by Xenomania and was released last year on the St Trinian's 2soundtrack (buy it on iTunes). You can find this and other videos on the recently released DVD of the St. Trinian's 2 film.
Banned of St Trinian's - We Got The Beat
Written by Charlotte Caffey.
Produced by Xenomania.
Mixed by Tim Powell.
Guitars by Nick Coler, Jason Resch.
Bass by Nick Coler.
Drums by Florrie Arnold, Nick Coler, Tim Powell.
Engineered by Dan Aslet, Toby Scott, Morgan Mackintosh.
The Banned of St Trinian's are: Daisy Tonge (Eco Warrior), Harriet Bamford (Geek), Jessica Agombar (Rude Girl) and Jess Bell (Emo).
Kimberley Walsh has reportedly claimed that Girls Aloud will "probably" get back together next year. In this week's Star magazine, she is quoted as saying:
«Fingers crossed, we’ll be getting back into the studio at some point – probably next year because we’ve got a lot of solo projects going on. We’ll have a chat at the end of our break to see where we all are.»
Kimberley also told Star magazine that she doesn't know what to expect from the group's next album:
«I don't really know what direction the music will go in. We never plan any further ahead than a few months and never have. It has always been quite an organic thing. We never actually thought we'd end up still here, seven years down the line. God knows where we'll end up!»
The new Gabriella Cilmi single is now available as a digital download, backed with remixes by Moto Blanco and Steve Smart & Westfunk.
"Hearts Don't Lie" is the second single to be taken from Ten and the only Xenomania song on the album. It was written by Gabriella Cilmi, Miranda Cooper, Brian Higgins, Tim Powell & Owen Parker and produced by Xenomania.
Gabriella has said that "Hearts Don't Lie" is her favourite song on the album, with a Bee Gees-inspired chorus, a Betty Davis-inspired bassline and a modern disco sound.
Digital Spy: She's ditched the Barbarella-style silver spandex in favour of a slinky little disco number. "Tell me that you really want me / I need you b-b-baby tonight," she purrs here, as Xenomania supply a trembling bassline that wouldn't sound out of place on a Boney M record. (...) her glorious falsetto on said chorus is matched by the infectious "my heartbeat's ticking" hook, resulting in a track as catchy as it is downright phonkay. 4/5
Entertainment Focus: With a sound usually cherry-picked by the likes of camp quartet Scissor Sisters or Kylie Minogue, Gabriella takes a dive into the dance pool with a very impressive and invigorating outcome. From the first beat the track is infectious and pure high octane pop equalled only to the high notes Cilmi hits in the chorus. (...) Quick and flawlessly funky.
XO'S Middle Eight: Hearts Don't Lie is 1) her best single ever 2) the finest Xenomania production in a long while and 3) the proper rebirth of Diana Ross' Love Hangover-era disco.
The Arts Desk: A massively contagious disco belter that has the tune, raunch and electro-funk to sweep along anyone but grouchy music journos. (...) This is a monster, the best nouveau-Moroder wedding party classic since Scissor Sisters' "I Don't Feel Like Dancing".
SameSame: Sexy, fun, and anthemic, this song has hit written all over it.
The Times: Cilmi’s powerful pipes square up formidably to highlights such as Hearts Don’t Lie.
Yahoo!: 'Hearts Don't Lie' has a soul-funk Prince-meets-Grace Jones 70s and 80s disco vibe.
The Observer: (...) disco empowerment anthem "Hearts Don't Lie", where her throaty belter of a voice comes into its own.
ausp0p: ‘Hearts Don’t Lie’ is pure pop bliss. Disco beats, pulsing rhythms and a soaring chorus combine to create one of the first great pop tracks of 2010.
Vibewire Portal: Hearts Don’t Lie has Saturday Night Fever soundtrack written all over it. It’s an intense, slick production that finds Cilmi barely stopping for air – an aspect that fans have come to expect from the collaboration of Xenomania and Cilmi.
Sputnik Music: The inspired and updated disco sound of ‘Hearts Don’t Lie’, which channels Gloria Gaynor and could easily have found a place on the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack!
Pop Culture Platinum: The true standout is the sole Xenomania produced Hearts Don’t Lie, a sultry and impressive disco number that should hopefully be a huge hit. If it’s not the world is missing out as this is one of the strongest things Xenomania have worked on in quite awhile.
Gabriella Cilmi recently told The Telegraph that her new single "Hearts Don't Lie" (out tomorrow digitally) was created out of a disagreement with Brian Higgins:
«I wrote that with Brian Higgins, who produced my first record, and we actually had a bit of a tiff while we were writing it. I kind of stormed out, and he stormed out, and then we came back together and wrote this song», she said.
She also spoke to Digital Spy about working with Higgins: «I really like working with Brian because I think he brings out the best in me. On 'Hearts Don't Lie', the funny operatic vocal in the chorus started with me mucking around. He knows how to make my silliness good. Hopefully we can work together again - we did have a few tiffs, because when I'm recording I sulk, but I think it all turned out for the best in the end.»
«[Xenomania are] kind of crazy», she told GayDarNation. «I started working with them when I was 13. Brian, I guess, took me under his wing. He taught me a lot but we used to fight a lot, actually. We used to have arguments all the time about how we thought things should sound. But when we agreed on things, we really agreed.»
«I mean, they have a great technique and way of writing. We’ve got an awesome track on this album called ‘Hearts Don’t Lie’. It’s really funky and it’s got this kind of Betty Davis style bass line and an almost Bee Gee’s inspired chorus. It’s got really massive high vocals - you have to wear really tight knickers to sing along or someone would need to step on your feet. But it’s really fun - it’s my favourite track on the album, I think», she added.
"Hearts Don't Lie" is released tomorrow (Sunday, June 6th), backed with remixes by Moto Blanco and Steve Smart & Westfunk. You can pre-order it now on Play.com.
Florrie is one of the top 10 most blogged artists at the moment, according to The Hype Machine.
She has been sharing several new tracks on her website, that are making their way around the blogosphere. Florrie was on The Hype Machine's list of top-blogged artists on June 3 and The Independent even wrote a paragraph about her. Read the article here.
The Hype Machine is an MP3 blog aggregator that collects the most recently posted songs from a selection of music blogs (about 1,500) and lists them on the website's main page.
Registering is easy and it allows you to "love" songs. Hype Machine maintains a Popular List for the last three days and the previous week, both of which are determined by the number of "loves" given to each song.
Known for identifying up-and-coming artists, the site enables music fans to easily find out what music is hot in the blogosphere and to instantly hear and buy mp3s. Voting on tracks is also a good way to help new artists. This is Florrie's page on Hype Machine: http://hypem.com/artist/florrie
Xenomania is a songwriting and production house based in Kent, England. It was founded by songwriter and producer Brian Higgins.
Since 1996, Xenomania have written, produced and remixed tracks for a string of successful artists including Girls Aloud, Pet Shop Boys, Sugababes, Dannii and Kylie Minogue, Saint Etienne, Cher, Gabriella Cilmi and many others.