Thursday, July 30, 2009


Last summer Noah & The Whale delighted the music listening public with their endearing brand of happy-go-lucky folk pop, charming their way into the the Top 10 on the UK singles and albums charts - with "Five Years Time" and Peaceful, The World Lays Me Down respectively - and surprising everyone as one of the year's most unexpected runaway successes. Now, barely a year later they're back with their second album, but anyone expecting a faithful sequel to their debut is in for something of a rude awakening.

We got an advance listen just after the album's completion last spring, and what we heard was the sound of the band boldly stepping out in a new direction away from that which made them the whimsical darlings of the pop world. The result is a sophomore album that's a veritable seachange from it's predecessor. First Days of Spring is a classic heartbreak record full of dark, orchestral ballads of hurt and healing, no doubt attributable to the dissolution of frontman Charlie Fink's relationship with Laura Marling last year. There's a tension between a tangible darkness that hangs over the record and the hopefulness of new beginnings throughout, and lead single "Blue Skies" is a brilliant example of this.

More than just an album, First Days of Spring is also a film written and directed by Fink, the trailer of which doubles as a music video for the single and can be found above. Sweetening the deal even further is the rather impressive (not to mention surprising) remix package for "Blue Skies", highlighted by the amazing Twelves mix, which goes down as another massive win from the Brazilian remix maestros.

MP3: "Blue Skies" (The Twelves Remix) - Noah & The Whale

Monday, July 27, 2009


No sooner did we declare the masterful "Photoshop Handsome" video the best of the year did this unexpected masterpiece come along out of nowhere to make it's bid for the title. A friend and fan of Neon Gold since day one, we'd always known Miles Fisher more for his acting skills and incredible resemblance to Tom Cruise than his musical pursuits, but that all changed when he sent through this crazy good video for his cover of Talking Heads' "This Must Be The Place". The cover itself is a faithful but somewhat refreshing take on the original, but it's the video that is truly a staggering work of genius. An established actor by trade, he's already mastered the Tom Cruise vibe, but here he goes and creates an immaculate homage to Christian Bale's Patrick Bateman character from the cult classic American Psycho. I'd say more, but we're kind of speechless.

MP3: "This Must Be The Place" - Miles Fisher


Your Twenties brilliant new single "Billionaires" drops on Neon Gold today (purchase here and here) and to celebrate we've teamed up with London's finest indie club night White Heat to launch the single next week at Madame Jojo's (advance tix here). The main support will be Clock Opera, who amazed us so much last week opening our party at Notting Hill Arts Club that we just had to have them back for one more go under the Neon Gold lights, and opening will be Sunderland newcomers Frankie & The Heartstrings. We've already breathlessly extolled the virtues of Your Twenties and Clock Opera, but the Heartstrings are new to these pages. Bros with The Futureheads and looked after by the lovely dudes of Hit Club, the fivesome are purveyors of some of the finest retropop sounds in Britain at the moment and this will be their hotly anticipated London debut. Enjoy "Fragile" below, alongside more familiar fare from Your Twenties and Clock Opera.

MP3: "Fragile" - Frankie & The Heartstrings
MP3: "Billionaires" - Your Twenties
MP3: "Once And For All" - Clock Opera

Saturday, July 25, 2009


Neon Gold's favourite son Starsmith (née Fin Dow-Smith) has been tearing it up all year, from his flawless work with the magnificent Ellie Goulding to his consistently brilliant remixes for the likes of Marina & The Diamonds and Little Boots, and he's straight up the best new pop producer in the game as far as we're concerned. Thus, we're thrilled to be premiering his debut minimix right here on Neon Gold, a five minute mash up of the biggest jams of the past, present and future. Check the tracklist below, get your download on and turn up your speakers - this exclusive beauty is here to rock your summer.

Calvin Harris | I'm Not Alone
Destiny's Child | Say My Name
Little Boots | New In Town
Will Smith | Wild Wild West
Michael Jackson | Rock With You
Marina & The Diamonds | I Am Not A Robot
Ellie Goulding | Starry Eyed

MP3: Summer MiniMix - Starsmith [exclusive]

But perhaps even more exciting is Starsmith's latest collaboration with Ms. Goulding, born from our persistent suggestions that they should cover our first ever release on Neon Gold, Passion Pit's instant blog classic "Sleepyhead". Fin's back at it again on production/remix duties and makes his vocal debut on backing vox, while Ellie takes it away on lead vocals and offers a beautiful take on Michael Angelakos' masterful original. Her voice suits the track perfectly - especially her take on the spellbinding vocal sample that underlies the original - and Starsmith's remix work is brilliant as always, so it should come as no surprise that the results are every bit as wonderful as you'd expect. Our gift to you. Enjoy.

MP3: "Sleepyhead" (Starsmith Remix ft. Ellie Goulding) - Passion Pit

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Everything Everything have been dazzling and dumbfounding us for a few months now, so apologies for the delay in unsheathing their brilliance before you. Twisting and turning like a lyrical labyrinth of technicolor tangents, "Photoshop Handsome" is a lesson in songwriting from another universe, all stream-of-consciousness shouts and existentialist laments. The video (directed by the band themselves!) is also quite literally one of the most brilliantly ludicrous things we've ever seen. Mine eyes have seen the glory.

MP3: "Photoshop Handsome" - Everything Everything

Also don't forget to come out tonight to our MASSIVE Neon Gold party at Notting Hill Arts Club. At a mere £4 and with Clock Opera and Marina & The Diamonds live it's perhaps the year's - nay, the decade's - most unmissable event, so don't be left out in the cold.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


This one isn't a Neon Gold event per se as we had nothing to do with putting it on, promoting or booking it, but the fine people behind Scandalism have chosen to launch their brand new night with a very Neon Gold-centric lineup and we couldn't be more excited. Marina & The Diamonds, Wolf Gang and Yes Giantess will all be throwing down live, with further live action coming from Telepathe, Tommy Sparks, Plugs and more. It all goes down tomorrow night at Scala and this is without a doubt the hottest ticket in town, so book now before it's too late. This Scandalism shit is going to be MASSIVE, kind of like this Yes Giantess remix of Wolf Gang's "Pieces of You".

MP3: "Pieces of You" (Yes Giantess Remix) - Wolf Gang

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


We've got an absurd amount of Neon Gold events on in the weeks to come, but if you've only got room in your life for one night of Neon Gold raging, this should absolutely be it. In what we hope to establish as a monthly occurence in the months to come, Neon Gold Presents makes its proper London debut at Notting Hill Arts Club next Tuesday 21st July.

Starring our very own superstar-in-waiting Marina & The Diamonds playing live with support from hotly tipped experimental pop whiz Clock Opera, the live portion of the night alone is enough to warrant the negligible £4 entry fee. We’ve also got a sterling DJ lineup beyond the live stage though, highlighted by sets from Frankmusik, Russ Chimes and Starsmith, who together ride high as the three kings of London's electronic pop scene. With only £4 entry and this likely your last chance to catch Marina and co. in such an intimate setting, this is truly a can’t miss event. BE THERE.

Marina needs no introduction by this point, but Clock Opera is a brand new name on the scene and an extremely special talent in his own right. With his own unique "chop pop" approach to composing sample based pop masterpieces, he sounds like nothing we've ever heard before. "Once And For All" is his debut track and statement of intent, a swirling opus of chopped up samples and shimmering instrumentals that steadily builds before exploding into a climax of pulsing, emotive energy. Rumor has it the live show is something of a spectacle and you better believe we're over the moon to have him supporting Marina at Neon Gold Presents next week. Yes mate.

MP3: "Once And For All" - Clock Opera

Friday, July 10, 2009


The Sanderson is one of the most baller hotels in London, not only the product of its amazing design and surrealist decor, but also due to awesome events like their Sanderson Predicts summer concert series. Set in the sun-dappled sanctuary of their courtyard garden and coordinated by Modular Events, the series will see the likes of Slow Club, Cocknbullkid and Little Boots grace its stage this summer and we're honored to have been asked to curate one of its nights. Our Neon Gold event goes down this Thursday at 7pm and will feature special acoustic sets from Wolf Gang and the inimitable Marina & The Diamonds. Entry is free and on a first come first serve basis (max capacity: 100), and you can also call 02073001333 to book a table and ensure your place in the courtyard for the event. It's going to be magic, see you there.

In other Wolf Gang news, their single drops today on Neon Gold (order here and here) and they're ringing it in with a week of phenomenal gigs around London. Tonight they play a free instore at Puregroove Records, followed up by top notch support slots for Miike Snow and The Temper Trap on Tuesday (Hoxton Bar + Kitchen) and Wednesday (ICA), respectively. Thursday's our aforementioned Sanderson Predicts event and then they round things out with the gig of the month (and quite possibly even the year) at Scala on Friday with Marina, Yes Giantess, Telepathe and more as part of the brand new Scandalism night (tickets for that one here).

The first of the remixes we've commissioned have begun to trickle in as well, and the highlight thus far is no doubt the amazing rework from left coast up and comers Baby Monster. Laying down a churning bassline and dressing up the track in all manner of atmospheric flourishes, they inject the mix with a newfound electricity and maximize the original's already rife dancefloor potential, and the mix is just another reason to keep an eye on Baby Monster in the months to come. More on the promising US duo soon, but for now feast on their debut remix below.

MP3: "Pieces of You" (Baby Monster Remix) - Wolf Gang

Monday, July 6, 2009


For a minute there we fell off the Florence & The Machine bandwagon. It all just got a bit much for us. Listening to her songs I kind of just wanted to be like "hey Flo, enough with all the yelling," and her I'm-so-karraazzeee persona was a bit too much for me to really buy into 100%. But damn, we've had her debut album Lungs for about six weeks now and I've got to be honest, I'm smitten as a kitten. Sure, a few of the songs are a bit samey and she's guilty of leaning on that booming voice of hers as a crutch at times to try to drum up excitement in a few otherwise unremarkable tunes, but some of these tracks are just killers. The jury's still out on whether anything after lead single "Rabbit Heart" will be able make any waves on the charts or radio, but album cuts like "Drumming", "Cosmic Love" and "My Boy Builds Coffins" are downright brilliant.

Bringing things back to "Rabbit Heart" though... what a track. An early contender for our single of the year, it's just unbelievable. We're predisposed to love anything Paul Epworth touches - and his production is very much what helps to elevate this single to impossible heights - but this is songwriting of the highest caliber, songwriting we didn't know Florence had in her back when we were doubting her ability to do much more than hit that same booming note she comes back to on every chorus. This is her most vulnerable anthem, as she looks the pressures of success dead in the eye and rises to the occasion on one of the most massive choruses of 2009: "this is a gift/it comes with a price/who is the lamb and who is the knife". Fame is the dream, but the music industry will eat you alive... "how quickly the glamour fades", indeed.

Beyond the track itself though, the actual campaign behind it is one of the year's most impressive as well, highlighted by the phenomenal remix package. Switch turns in his best mix in ages featuring a surprising guest verse from Brooklyn's Ninjasonik that somehow ends up working quite well, and Jamie T's Lionheart remix is absolutely massive. But it's the beautiful Leo Zero mix we've been cleared to put on offer for you below, a sprawling 8 minute epic of "La Ritournelle" pianos and majestic production flourishes, that ultimately rises above the rest as the most inspiring of the bunch. It's a slow-burning pop epic that's nowhere near as immediate as the efforts from Switch and Jamie but eventually proves itself to be one of the year's most impressive reworks. "Rabbit Heart" has the misfortune of being on the charts at the same time as anything Michael Jackson has ever touched, but all the more reason to show it some love. So yeah, it's safe to say we're back on the wagon. Lungs is out today and is well worth your hard earned shillings.

MP3: "Rabbit Heart" (Leo Zero Remix) - Florence & The Machine

And finally, we'd be remiss not to mention the unofficial video for "Rabbit Heart" that adorns the top of this post, culled from footage of William Dieterle and Max Reinhardt's 1935 beautiful silver screen adaptation of A Midsummer Night's Dream. It's one of the more intricate and delicately pieced together stock footage videos we've seen and a vast improvement on its rather mediocre official counterpart. Watch and marvel.

// PMS //

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


We first championed Your Twenties back in January in our hot tips for 2009 feature and now six months on we're thrilled to be bringing their sophomore single into the world on Neon Gold. Having cut his teeth in the London indie scene as the bassist and keyboardist in Metronomy, frontman Gabriel Stebbing has recently left to focus on the Twenties full time, and the results have been nothing short of brilliant. Debut single "Caught Wheel" dropped last fall to rapturous praise and quickly flew off the shelves and "Billionaires" - their next offering and first on Neon Gold - looks primed to do the same. Produced by the legendary Stephen Street (Blur, The Smiths), "Billionaires" soars on the wings of sunny ooh-ooh-oohs and big, driving guitars and sounds like the perfect soundtrack to a classic American summer. Your Twenties have discovered the formula for the feelgood anthem of the year and this is it.

MP3: "Billionaires" - Your Twenties

This perfect slice of breezy indie pop will be coming at you on 7" vinyl July 27th and is available for preorder now from the Neon Gold Shop and London's Puregroove Records. Limited to 500 copies and featuring some of the best artwork we've had yet done by the band themselves, this is a hot ticket and should look mighty fine on the mantle where you no doubt proudly display all your other Neon Gold releases. We're pretty sure this is the perfect summer single and we hope you'll agree.