The Hotness: Kate Havnevik, St Lucia, Boss In Drama

The Hotness is your daily look at 3 new songs that are amazing, essential, and are sure to make you horny. Ok, the last part isn’t necessarily true. But if you don’t like at least one of these three songs, you need to check 1) Your testosterone levels 2) Your estrogen levels 3) Your hearing.

Kate Havnevik is a Norwegian solo artist, who has just released “You” – an easy candidate for Album Of The Year. One of the greatest things about Twitter is the ability it gives music geeks (such as myself) a way to keep tabs on some of their favorite artists. I regularly turn into a giggly schoolgirl upon receiving an email telling me that a favorite singer of mine is ‘now following’ me. One of the very first artists that followed me (back in the day) was Kate Havnevik, and I remember telling a few of my friends and receiving the response of ‘Who?’ Well, ironically, many of you have probably heard Kate’s music without even knowing it,  as she’s been featured a fuckload of times on Grey’s Anatomy – a show that many of my friends seem to watch. I’ve been a fan of Kate’s from the very beginning when she released her debut album, Melankton, back in 2006, and It’s nice to see her getting the notoriety she deserves. I’ve watched Kate struggle to come up with enough money to record a follow up album, and fans have been donating money to the cause for the last couple of years. Though I loved her debut album, I must say that I didn’t expect her second album to be as close to perfection as it truly is. The only complaint I ever had about Kate’s music was that I felt as though her voice reminded me too much of Bjork’s; which is not a bad thing at all – it was just a matter of preference for me. With the release of “You” ALL comparisons to Bjork should go right out the window as she’s created a gorgeous piece of work that’s 100% all her own. While Imogen Heap continues to over-experiment with her sound (and which avenue to release it through), Kate Havnevik has taken a slice of that sound and created a straight-forward ethereal pop masterpiece that many of you are going to count among the best albums you’ve heard all year. I promise. Check out my favorite track, Disobey, below.

*Kate Havnevik’s 2nd album, You, is officially out in January, but available for purchase excusively via her website now.


Kate Havnevik “Disobey”



St. Lucia is a Brooklyn-based solo artist signed to one of the best indie labels around, HeavyRoc. Those of you who follow the site regularly will remember that I only just wrote about St. Lucia a couple of weeks ago. However, when I wrote about him I had no idea that the release of his debut EP was right around the corner. A few days ago, I received an email from my buddies over at the amazing Freeman PR which included a promo copy of St. Lucia’s mini-album for my listening pleasure – and let me just tell you that it is one of THE BESTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT releases of 2011. Hands down. Exclamation point. While the first couple of tracks released by St. Lucia  have been great, they didn’t fully prepare me for the incredible journey through tropical pensive thought that the rest of the EP has been taking me on of late. Musically, his tunes remind me of another one of my faves of the year, Southern Shores, but with far more focus on vocals and lyrics. My favorite track has been playing on a loop. It’s called “Closer Than This” and features the lyrics “I’ve got a feeling we will never get closer than this..I can’t imagine there’s a way to get closer than this.” It’s one of the most simple and thought provoking lyrics I’ve heard all year. Part wonderful feeling; part double entendre – 100% amazing. Check it out below.

*St. Lucia’s debut EP will be out 14 November via HeavyRoc.


St. Lucia “Closer Than This”

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Boss In Drama is the recording moniker of Brazilian solo artist, Péricles Martins. Wow. Wow. Wow. If you’re a fan of fun disco music infused with everthing from pop to funk to bossa nova and a little jazz, you will fall in love with Boss In Drama’s debut album, Pure Gold. He’s shared stages with a handful of my favorite artists, including LCD Soundsystem, Diplo, KT tunstall, Franz Ferdinand and Annie, and makes the rare type of music that could actually persuade me to set foot inside a gym for any other reason than to use the steam-room. (Kidding, kidding…) The production on Pure Gold is so perfectly disco that it feels as if it’s been plucked straight out of 1977. Péricles’s vocals will be an acquired taste for some of you, but there are enough female vocals dueling with his to keep your focus on dancing your face off. I’m not going to come right out and guarantee that Pure Gold will make my Top 25 Albums Of 2011, but repeated listens are making the prospect a very difficult one to ignore. On an album where just about every track is a winner, my favorite is probably Body Rock, which you can listen to below.

*Boss In Drama’s debut album, Pure Gold, is out now via Vigilante/Deckdisc


Boss In Drama “Body Rock”



The Hotness: Eight Bit Tiger, Team Me, HandS

The Hotness is your daily look at 3 new songs that are amazing, essential, and are sure to make you horny. Ok, the last part isn’t necessarily true. But if you don’t like at least one of these three songs, you need to check 1) Your testosterone levels 2) Your estrogen levels 3) Your hearing.

Eight Bit Tiger is a Chicago-based dance pop duo consisting of two very attractive Swedish brothers, Erik and Kent Widman. I’ve been near obsessed with their just-released debut album, Parallel Synchronized Randomness, since it found its way into my email box a few weeks back. It’s taken me a while to write about these cats mostly because I’ve had a difficult time figuring out what I was going to say in my piece about them. Well, a  few weeks later and I still have no fucking clue what to say except that Eight Bit Tiger take the best elements of everyone from 80s Lionel Ritchie, Prince and a little Michael Jackson, and blend them into tight new wave-y dance tunes which recall the best production from songs by Roisin Murphy and even The Cardigans. I know that’s a ton of references, but if imagining all of those artists in a room making music doesn’t give you a musical boner, then you’re fucked – and not in a good way. The first single off Parallel Syncronized Randomness is called “Numbers” but I’ve decided to post “Our World” in order to back up my Cardigans reference. Check it out below.

*Eight Bit Tiger’s debut album, Parallel Synchronized Randomness, is out now via The Musik Group.


Eight Bit Tiger “Our World”


Team Me is a great Norwegian band comprised of singer Marius and backed by keyboardist Synne, guitarist Simen, bassist Uno, drummer Bjarne and bassist Simen. 2011 has been a year full of many amazing musical discoveries for me, and Team Me are right up there with one of the best of the year. Their sound is rooted in folk, but full of all sorts of fun instruments, plenty of pop hooks and a nice assortment of clever lyrics – most notably within the chugging pop of their song “Patrick Wolf & Daniel Johns”. Comparison-wise, Team Me reminds me of a more jingly version of New Pornographers if sung by the lead singer of Wheatus. While listening to their excellent debut album “To The Treetops!” I can’t help but imagine Team Me’s music being turned into a Broadway musical one day – what with their perfectly-over-produced tunes (yes, that can be a good thing, too), happy harmonizing and penchant for storytelling. My favorite track on an album of many great ones is called “Show Me” and I’ll be damned if it doesn’t put a smile on your face. Listen to it below.

*Team Me’s new album, To The Treetops!, is out now in Norway via Propeller Recordings. (I’ll keep you posted on a US release)


Team Me “Show Me”

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HandS is a sexy Norwegian duo comprised of Håkon Njøten and Sofie Storaas, who are making their 2nd appearance on The Hotness with their latest jam, “So Surreal”. You may or may not remember that I wrote about HandS a couple of weeks ago when I featured their Abba-meets-Roxette-via New Order-ish debut single “Romance”. Though I liked Romance, I love that they’ve done a 180 with (b-side) “So Surreal” – a midtempo pop song which is truly a collaborative effort between Hakon and Sofie’s vocals. At times the song reminds me of some of my favorite Things-To-Make-And-Do-era Moloko tracks, but much smoother and with far fewer acrobatics than anything Moloko ever did. Clocking in at just under 4 minutes, “So Surreal” is one of those perfect slices of pop music that may not grab you at first, but will certainly reward with repeated listens. Good stuff. Check it out below.

*HandS’s new single, Gold, will be out in a few weeks via Cosmos Music.


HandS “So Surreal”


The Hotness: Body Language, Still Corners, Fiorious

The Hotness is your daily look at 3 new songs that are amazing, essential, and are sure to make you horny. Ok, the last part isn’t necessarily true. But if you don’t like at least one of these three songs, you need to check 1) Your testosterone levels 2) Your estrogen levels 3) Your hearing.

Body Language is the title of my favorite Kylie Minogue album, something that turns me on and…….a Brooklyn-based quartet, comprised of Matthew Young, Angelica Bess, Grant Wheeler and Ian Chang. I’ve known about these cats for a while and had planned to write about them on several occasions but never quite got around to it. However, in classic everything-happens-for-a-reason style, my re-obsession with Body Language’s sexually charged music has coincided with me dating a wonderful new guy – who’s got my mind working overtime with dirty thoughts-a-plenty. In case you haven’t caught on by now, Body Language’s music is best served with a bottle of lube, a healthy dose of lip smacking and genitalia galore. Considering that the art of subtlety continues to elude many of today’s modern artists, it’s very nice to hear a band whose sexy flows effortlessly without being craptastically forced (see Robin Thicke, Justin Timberlake). On their cleverly-titled new album, Social Studies, Body Language deliver songs that’ll make you want to fight with the sole intention of having hot make-up sex (Falling Out), fuck on a hammock in the Caribbean (Seeds Of Sight) and snuggle-fuck in bed with your main squeeze on a cold Sunday morning with the sun beaming throught he windows. Check out my favorite track (on an album of MANY), Falling Out, below.

*Body Language’s new EP, Social Studies, is out now via Lavish Habits/Om Records.


Body Language “Falling Out”


Still Corners is a London-based shoegaze-y pop duo comprised of singer, Tessa Murray, and producer, Greg Hughes. I’ve written about them before, but not since their solid new album, Creatures Of An Hour, was released last month on Sub Pop. Having been a fan of these guys for a few years now, it’s been pretty fun to witness the progression of their songwriting from unstructured moody pop, to heirs of a musical thrown left vacant with the untimely passing of Broadcast’s Trish Keenan back in 2009. I’ve always personally had a thing for music that feels influenced by sad 60s sirens, such as Marianne Faithfull and Dusty Springfield, but with a thoroughly modern stamp on that era’s sound – and Still Corners seem poised to head towards becoming the leading purveyors of a sound that hasn’t had enough champions in recent years. Tessa’s feminine, girly – almost disinterested -sounding vocals are the perfect dichotomy to Greg’s spooky and, at times, sad production. My favorite track on Creatures Of An Hour has changed just about every week since I received my copy a few weeks ago (thanks, Sub Pop!), but now I’m completely fixated on Endless Summer – I’ve had it on repeat for weeks! Listen to it below.

*Still Corners’s debut album, Creatures Of An Hour, is out now via Sub Pop.


Still Corners “Endless Summer”


Fiorious is a (very sexy) New Yorker based in Italy who, along with Raff, has one of the most gorgeous voices on a male artist I’ve heard all year. He’s gotten love from Logo and MuchMusic (to name a few) and now he’s about to get a whole lotta lovin from yours truly. While I’m aware that everyone’s busy as hell these days, there’s always something special about receiving an email directly from the artist themselves. So when I received one last week from Fiorious, where he acknowledged my penchant for supporting ‘cool and emerging’ artists, I decided to give his music a spin ahead of countless other songs in my mailbox. You may or may not have noticed that I tend to write more about female singer-songwriters as opposed to male. Well the exception to that rule comes in the form of George Michael-esque men armed with gorgeous falsettos and emotive voices. Fiorious is the latest in what’s become a very short list of male solo artists who really understand their voice and truly feel every word they’re singing. Though I can sort-of see the Hercules and Love Affair/Sam Sparro comparisons, I personally think Fiorious is more talented than both – and, in fact the first artist that came time mind while listening to his tunes is a one-hit wonder named Jai (check out his 1997 hit “Believe” to understand  what I’m talking about). The best singers and songwriters have an ability to write songs which are just as good when dressed up with dance beats and fun production as they are when stripped down to nothing but acoustics and acapella. Like Jai, Fiorious’s sound is a bit of a new age-y soul funk blend of beauty that’s equally as perfect in its original form as it is with a chunky dance dance beat. I will definitely keep you all abreast of Fiorious’s future plans, but in the meantime check out the video for his addicting single, I’m In Love With A German Film Star, below.

*Fiorious’s debut album will be out in early 2012, but check out his website for free downloads.


Fiorious “I’m In Love With A German Film Star”

The Hotness: Blondfire, Felicity Groom, Chromatics

The Hotness is your daily look at 3 new songs that are amazing, essential, and are sure to make you horny. Ok, the last part isn’t necessarily true. But if you don’t like at least one of these three songs, you need to check 1) Your testosterone levels 2) Your estrogen levels 3) Your hearing.

Blondfire is a brother-sister duo comprised of Erica and Bruce Driscoll; located in my neck of the woods, here in good ole NYC. Originally I was going to say that I have no ‘I-loved-them-before-they-were-cool’ story about these guys, as I truthfully just stumbled upon their music while reading a music blog last week. However, after doing some digging, I discovered that Blondfire were formally known by the name Astaire – whose “Don’t Whisper” EP was one of my favorite releases of 2004. As one would expect, Blondfire’s sound has matured A LOT since 2004. And while, everyone in the blogosphere seems to like to lazily compare Blondfire’s music (and everyone else’s) to MGMT, their sound is very tough to categorize – one of the many benchmarks of great songwriting. Musically, their sound seamlessly moves from Supreme Beings Of Leisure-style lounge pop  to alternative pop and trip hop the next; and the versatility of Erica’s gorgeous voice recalls everything from a lower version of Ivy’s Dominique Durand, to Metric’s Emily Haines and Dragonette’s Martina Sorbara, to name a few. Having wondered whatever happened to Astaire, I couldn’t be more stoked to have discovered Blondfire. Check out the video for their great new single, Where The Kids Are, below.

*Blondfire’s new single, Where The Kids Are, is out 1 November via Tender Tender Rush.


Blondfire “Where The Kids Are”


Felicity Groom is an Australian singer-songwriter whose sound brings to mind a bluesy Laura Marling if sung by a less dramatic but still moody Anna Calvi. Those of you that follow the site, know that two of the biggest themes in my music collection in the last two years have been the rise of electro-pop artists from Australia and Sweden. But, as artists such as Butterfly Boucher, The Grates, Lovers Electric, The Jezebels and more have shown, Australia is full of plenty of acoustic and rock talent, too; and Felicity Groom is the latest example of that fact. Armed with deep sexy vocals and Cat Power-style gorgeous looks, it won’t take more than a couple of seconds watching the video for her single, Siren Song, for you to be completely entranced..and eventually obsessed.  I may be gay as Christmas, but I’ll be damned if I’m not oddly turned on while listening to that voice of hers and watching the video below. Unless her label does something to fuck it up, expect big things from Felicity once her debut album drops next month.

*Felicity Groom’s debut album, Gossamer, is out 11 November via Spinning Top.


Felicity Groom “Siren Song”


Chromatics are a Portland, OR-based quartet, comprised of singer Ruth Radelet, Johnny Jewel, Adam Miller and Nat Walker. They’re signed to one of my favorite indie labels, Italians Do It Better; along with Fred Hystere faves Desire and Glass Candy. The Chromatics sound is something I like to call ‘lazy lounge’ mostly because listening to their music makes me want to sit around on a brisk fall day with nothing but a cup of tea and my thoughts. Their latest single is called “Kill For Love” and it’s a lyrically straightforward ode to…, and features production that gorgeously recalls early 80s New Order if sung by Leslie Feist. Check out the video below.

*Chromatics’s 4th album, Kill For Love, is out in January via Italians Do It Better.


Chromatics “Kill For Love”

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