Sunday, 21 February 2010
Dramatic, cinematic, lush and delicate; Charlotte Gainsbourg's latest album IRM is a bit of a revelation to Helen Of Troy who, rather ashamedly, have come rather late to Ms Gainsbourg's party, having dwelt too long at her father's legendary sleaze-fests. Released in the UK tomorrow (Mon Feb 25) and co-written and recorded with Beck, this 14-track album is a varied but unfalteringly classy affair.
Sparse and bluesy title track IRM is built around the sample of the sound of an MRI (IRM in French) scan, inspired by treatment she received for a cerebral haemorrhage in 2007. The more you listen to IRM the more unsettlingly brilliant the sample becomes and, combined with lyrics about traumas, bandages and x-rays, quickly becomes one of the most menacingly catchy songs about hospitalisation Helen Of Troy... has ever heard (not the most hotly contested title, granted!).
Alongside the hospital-themed high-tech trickery of the title track is a collection of beautiful whispering folk, blues and cabaret which, in this case, is no bad thing.
Sometimes it's obvious who Charlotte and Beck have been listening to - Le Chat du Cafe des Artistes is Serge-esque, evoking the grimy glamour of 1960s Parisian back-streets, Me And Jane Doe sounds like a Moe Tucker Velvet Underground track and Dandelion is could easily be pre-glam T-Rex.
Though IRM wears its influences without shame, its influences are varied enough to lift it from pastiche and Charlotte's hauntingly beautiful vocals tie each song on IRM together into a classy, coherent whole. Have a listen on Spotify here.
Sunday, 14 February 2010
Helen Of Troy... has been feeling rather nostalgic of late, which has resulted in an all thriller and filler, classics playlist. Tracks include the unforgettable Love Is A Battlefield by Pat Benatar, Proud Mary by the ever-youthful Tina Turner, and vintage Madonna in the form of Helen Of Troy... favourite Dress You Up. To check out these tracks and more, go here. Enjoy!
Friday, 5 February 2010
Hailing from Brooklyn, MNDR aka Amanda Warner, is a fine purveyor of perfectly-crafted "ass tested beats"! Helen Of Troy... favourite C.L.U.B, along with other MySpace-featured track Fade To Black, convey best MNDR's knack for creating cool and accessible IDM (Intelligent Dance Music).
To check out the aforementioned tracks and more, head over to http://www.myspace.com/mndrtronica
Wednesday, 3 February 2010
Helen Of Troy... would like to apologise dear readers (if we have any left!) for the complete lack of posts and updates in 2010. Due to unfortunate and unforeseen circumstances, we were forced to take a longer-than-planned break from the beloved blogosphere. Fear not however, for Helen Of Troy... is coming back with power, power! Watch this space!
Monday, 21 December 2009
After much deliberation, Helen Of Troy... has finally come up with our best albums of the year (in no particular order). We hope you like it...
PJ Harvey - A Woman A Man Walked By
The XX - XX
Bat For Lashes - Two Suns
Peaches - I Feel Cream
Metric - Fantasies
Florence and the Machine - Lungs
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It's Blitz!
Fever Ray - When I Grow Up
Tegan and Sara - Sainthood
Amanda Blank - I Love You
That's us until 2010 (how scary is that?!?!)
We can't wait to see what a new year and a new decade brings.
Have an awesome Christmas and even better new year y'all.
Lynds & Marie-Claire
Sunday, 6 December 2009
2009 has not been the best year for music, but in amongst the rough there have been some bona fide diamonds. We have return singles from Helen Of Troy.. favourites PJ Harvey, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Peaches, plus hot-off-the-press classics from newbies like Micachu, Mini Viva and The XX. Here for your listening pleasure, in no particular order, is Helen Of Troy's best singles of 2009.
As ever, let us know if you think we've missed anything and where we might have gone wrong.
Peaches - I Feel Cream
Britney Spears - Circus
Florence And The Machine - Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Zero
thecocknbullkid - I'm Not Sorry
Micachu - Turn Me Well
PJ Harvey and John Parish - Black Hearted Love
Amanda Blank - Make It, Take It
Mini Viva - Left My Heart In Tokyo
Janelle Monae - Come Alive (War Of The Roses)
Tegan And Sara - Hell
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Heads Will Roll
Bat For Lashes - Pearl's Dream
Girls Aloud - Untouchable
The XX - Islands
Lily Allen - Not Fair
Florence And The Machine - Drumming Song
Kelis - Acapella
Thunderheist - Nothing2Step2
St. Vincent - Marrow
Here's a handy Spotify playlist of all the tracks we could get our hands on! Enjoy!
Monday, 30 November 2009
If like Helen Of Troy... you never quite got over the tragic demise of Lauryn Hill's musical career, fear not, for we have found the next best thing in the form of deliciously-defiant, continent-hopping Nneka. Based in Hamburg, the Nigerian-born singer-songwriter combines rich soulful sounds with poignant socio-political commentary.
Standout tracks on Nneka's MySpace page include the truly irresistible Heartbeat (so irresistible in fact that Xenomania newbs Mini Viva covered it on Radio 1's Live Lounge earlier this year!), nu-soul delight The Uncomfortable Truth, and the stripped-down Come With Me complete with Neneh Cherry-esque vocals.
Having already bagged her first award for Best African Act at this year's Mobos, 2010 looks set to be a very promising year for this up-and-coming youngster!