For the past few months, Strangers In Stereo has been selecting DJs, artists and producers alike to create mix tapes as part of the Strange Sounds series. This month it was Hard Candy's turn to take the reigns, and they decided upon Florrie to create a mix for their Strange Sounds instalment.
The Rapture – No Sex For Ben
Duck Sauce – Barbra Streisand
Cee Lo Green – Forget You
Two Door Cinema Club – Something Good Can Work
Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs – Garden
Annie – My Love Is Better
Delphic – Doubt
Florence And The Machine – You Got the Love (Jamie xx Rework ft. The xx)
Alex Gaudino – Destination Calabria (ft. Crystal Waters)
Burns and Fred Falke – You Stopped Loving Me
«Here are ten of my favorite tunes at the moment; some are old, some new, but they all make me wanna dance around like a crazy person with a mean bass player expression on my face. I used Ableton Live to put the mix together. I’ve opened the mix with a song called “No Sex for Ben” by the Rapture. It’s an older track but I love the way they’ve created the beat out of bits of his vocal, and it was the soundtrack of my last trip to New York. It lasted about 24 hours and I played this song a hundred of times! I’ve put some Two Door Cinema Club in there; I’m touring with them at the moment and they are preeetty damn cool. There’s some Annie too. We’ve written together recently and I think she’s awesome.
Two words: Barbra Streisand. I asked my fans what song they would choose for this mix and this Duck Sauce tune was one of the most popular. After a long awaited release it’s finally out this week in the UK and has gotta be heading for number one. It. is. brilliant. I get properly excited when I hear it!. Who next? Ah yes, Monsieur Fred Falke! He’s just done a new track with Burns and I think it’s gonna be BIG (check out the video, it’s tres jolie). I write a lot with Fred and he’s working on my album too…I love him! I won’t give away any more, you’ll have to listen for yourself…enjoy! *BARBRA STREISAND*»
Nadine Coyle was interviewed by The Guardian and she inevitably spoke of her time as a Girls Aloud. Here's an excerpt from the article, where she talks about her favourite Girls Aloud records, how she recorded the initial vocals to all their songs and that the group will come back when the time is right and if the time is right:
From Girls Aloud's debut album onwards, Coyle sang all the initial vocals in the studio, at the express wish of their producer, Brian Higgins of Xenomania. "From day one. Well, maybe not day one, but definitely week two. And that's how it worked from then onwards. The girls just left me to it." She nods. "And then they would come in and do their parts, and they would have their holidays."
So Girls Aloud don't always make records together? "Oh yes. We were very, very separate. We didn't know it any other way." Coyle speaks in the past tense about the group all the time – although she bats off questions about whether they have split, or are splitting. "After the last record, it was the right time to go and do our own individual things, and then come back together when the time was right, if the time was right." Even when she is pushed, this is as far as she will go.
However, she brims with enthusiasm for her favourite Girls Aloud records – their second album, What Will the Neighbours Say?, and their 2007 single, Can't Speak French. She liked dressing up in Marie Antoinette frocks for that video, she laughs, although "all that stuff" is far less important than the music.
Florrie will be a busy girl in the coming months. Besides touring with Two Door Cinema Club in November in France, she will stop by Barcelona for a gig at Razzmatazz Club.
She has also just announced a new set of live dates throughout the UK in February 2011. The tickets will go on sale tomorrow, 15th October - for full information on tickets for all live shows, events and concerts, go to Florrie's Gigs & Tickets page.
Supporting Two Door Cinema Club (France):
15 Nov - Lille @ Aeronef (info)
16 Nov - Strasbourg (info)
17 Nov - Lyon @ Transbordeur (info)
18 Nov - Toulouse @ Le Bikini (info)
25 Nov - Paris @ Olympia (info)
2011 dates, UK:
3 Feb 2011 - Glasgow @ King Tuts (info)
4 Feb 2011 - Manchester @ The Ruby Lounge (info)
5 Feb 2011 - Nottingham UK @ Stealth vs Rescue Rooms(info)
7 Feb 2011 - Bristol @ Thekla (info)
9 Feb 2011 - Leeds @ Cockpit 3 (info)
10 Feb 2011 - Sheffield @ The Forum (info)
11 Feb 2011 - Stockton @ Shine Like Stars (info)
12 Feb 2011 - Birmingham @ HMV Institute (info)
15 Feb 2011 - Brighton @ Coalition (info)
16 Feb 2011 - London @ Hoxton Bar & Kitchen (info)
18 Feb 2011 - Tunbridge Wells @ Forum (info)
19 Feb 2011 - Southampton @ UNIT (info)
Rock Feedback has published the first part of an interview with Pete Wiggs (Saint Etienne) today. An interesting detail: when the journalist met him in the pub for the interview, Pete was with ex-Xenomania Nick Coler. This is the part where Pete Wiggs talks about Xenomania:
Rock Feedback: Going back to Xenomania, there’s some history there?
Pete Wiggs: Yes, the first thing he (Brian Higgins) did was ‘He’s on the Phone’, as part of Motiv8, and they did a great mix of it, well, they made the song really, so there’s been some history, also on Finisterre there’s Xenomania input so yes, it’s been good for us.
We met Nick [Coler] at Xenomania, when working on Tales From Turnpike House. Some of it was recorded there, 3 or 4 songs, the rest was with Ian Catt in Coulsdon, which is where loads of our stuff is recorded. Both Bob and I grew up in Croydon, and I’ve known Bob since I was approximately one.
Did you find yourself in one of their song-writing rooms? Yes, Pete, Bob ad Sarah had a year of song writing there, and some of those songs ended up with us, and others with Xenomania,
A Gabriella Cilmi track, not the big one [laughs] the follow up to that, (2008’s ‘Save the Lies’).
In the interview, Pete Wiggs also talks about the next Saint Etienne album. He says: «It’s probably going to be more of a hotchpotch than a unified concept; we’re writing with different people, it might even be a double album.». Another former Xenomania member, Tim Powell, has already announced that he's working on Saint Etienne's new album.
Annie has been busy doing DJ sets, releasing mixtapes and working on the follow-up to Don't Stop (2009). Her third album is expected to be released next year and, in the meantime, a new single should be released soon.
On her website, Annie has been writing about the time she spends at the Xenomania studios and she has even posted a few shots of the Xenomania garden (no ducks, though). Annie says: «I really love Westerham. It's a very special place and Brian Higgins and all the musicians who work there are really talented and wonderful people to work with.»
She adds: «Last time I was here we had a jam session with Fred Falke, Kieran Jones & Jason Resch, and I was singing. So this time I was writing lyrics to some of the stuff we were recording in August. (...) I try to go to Westerham and work there for at least a week every month. I work really good there. And it's inspiring to be somewhere with lots of hardworking creative people. Makes me working even harder I guess.»
Pet Shop Boys' new single, "Together", was written and produced by Pet Shop Boys and ex-Xenomania Tim Powell at the beginning of September.
It will be released on November 29th on two CDs and digital download. The track-listings will also include "Glad all over" (a version of the 60s hit by The Dave Clark Five, arranged and produced by Pet Shop Boys and Tim Powell), "I cried for us" and "Together (extended version)", remixed by Tim Powell.
"Together" will also be included on Pet Shop Boys' new greatest hits album, Ultimate, to be released on November 1st.
The new expanded versions of Saint Etienne's Tales From Turnpike House (2005) and Good Humour(1998) are out this week. Both albums now have an extra disc of original b-sides and unreleased material.
Tales From Turnpike House features two tracks co-written and produced by Xenomania: "Lightning Strikes Twice" and "Stars Above Us". One of the b-sides, "Got A Job"/"Gotta Jump" was also produced by the team. The original version of the album included a bonus EP of children's music, wich had a song co-written by Xenomania called "Let's Build A Zoo". That EP is, however, absent from this reissue.
Disc 1 Sun In My Morning / Milk Bottle Symphony / Lightning Strikes Twice / Slow Down At The Castle / A Good Thing / Side Streets / Last Orders For Gary Stead / Stars Above Us / Relocate / Birdman Of EC1 / Teenage Winter / Goodnight
Murder In E Minor / Take Me Home (On A Pushbike) * / Another Cup Of Coffee * (Mike & The Mechanics cover) / School Run * / You Can Judge A Book By It's Cover / Who Pays The Rent * / Woodhenge * / Got A Job / Must Be More * / Holiday Song * / The Leyton Art Inferno / Missing Persons Bureau / Inside The Hive * / Aqualad * / Book Norton / Quiet Essex
Wood Cabin / Sylvie / Split Screen / Mr Donut / Goodnight Jack / Lose That Girl / The Bad Photographer / Been So Long / Postman / Erica America / Dutch TV
Hill Street Connection / Hit the Brakes / Madeleine / Swim Swan Swim / 4.35 In The Morning / Clark Co. Record Fair / Zipcode / My Name Is Vlaovic / Afraid To Go Home / La La La / Do You Love Me * / Cat Nap / Jack Lemmon / Constantly / The Emidisc Theme / 4.35 In The Morning (original version)
The next release from the Popjustice Hi-Fi label includes a song co-created by 'exnomania' (*) Tim Powell.
It's called "Lydia" and it's the b-side to the single "Teenagers" from the singer/producer/graphic designer Japayork. The single is out on December 5th as a download and as a 7" gatefold CD.
The single's b-side is the first fruit of sessions with Tim Powell. You can download "Lydia" free over at the Popjustice Hi-Fi site, where you'll also find more info on the single release and Japayork himself.
Listen to it below:
(*) term coined by Popjustice to define a former member of the production/songwriting team Xenomania.
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.