Tuesday, January 27, 2009

So we'll be grownups for a minute and admit that we're just not in it

One more "rising artist I was introduced to by another writer" post, and once again, one I've mentioned in brief before: Pixie, a young British singer who I first heard about when Trixie of Karinski.net posted about her. Her launch is still being prepared for this year, but in the meantime, we've got several songs on her MySpace to entertain us.

"The Fall" is my slight favorite of the group and evidence that in Pixie we may have a new source of quintessential British pop...even if it does take Danes behind the scenes. Written by Jonas Jeberg, Mich "Cutfather" Hansen, Ruth-Anne Cunningham, and Pixie, it's playful pure pop--and by that I don't mean '90's sounding pop, electro-pop, '60's styled pop, or anything other than just pop--that skips along, cute as can be, while Pixie sings some pretty good lyrics about the end of a relationship. I've been humming "turn it up, turn it up for the people that say/we're movin' on and we'll be OK" since first hearing it.

"Boys And Girls" and "Mama Do" have a little bit more of that '60's influence, but it's been diluted; even if it hadn't been, though, Pixie's clear voice, even when she tries to deepen and fuzz it up here, gives the songs a decidedly more contemporary pop flavor. "Boys And Girls" is another catchy mid-to-up-tempo song, while "Mama Do," written by Phil Thornally and Mads Hauge, goes for a more dramatic mid-tempo approach, full of elongated words and "oh oh oh"s, and is the song where that '60's style is most played up; if Pixie's other songs are a bit too youthful for you, "Mama Do" is still one to check out--it's the one you can most imagine one of the female neo-'60's soul British singers performing and requires her to do smoky sass rather than pep.

All in all, they add up to a mainstream friendly sound, one which, with luck, the label backing that's apparently there, and the songs from the great songwriters she's working with* will see Pixie doing well for herself before the year is out. Hopefully the album is the great solid pop album it could be.

*Some of these songwriters are (though obviously not all of them will end up on the album):
-The Underdogs (Jordin Sparks and Chris Brown's "No Air," Stacie Orrico's "More To Life")
-Tim James and Antonina Armato (Hoku's "Another Dumbe Blonde," Aly & AJ's "Potential Breakup Song," Miley Cyrus's "See You Again" and "Fly On The Wall")
-Cutfather and Jonas Jeberg (where to begin? Separately or together, The Saturdays' "If This Is Love," Jordin Sparks's "One Step At A Time," Christine Milton's "Superstar," and many more)
-Brian Kennedy (Chris Brown's "Forever," Rihanna's "Disturbia," Jennifer Hudson's "If This Isn't Love," Jesse McCartney's "It's Over")
-Greg Kurstin (Lily Allen's new album, Kylie Minogue's "Wow," All Saints' "Rock Steady," Britney Spears's "Rock Me In," Sophie Ellis-Bextor's "Catch You")
-RedOne (Darin's "Step Up," Lady GaGa's "Just Dance," and--well, you all know him by now)
-Steve Kipner (Christina Aguilera's "Genie In A Bottle," 98 Degrees' "The Hardest Thing," The Script's "The Man Who Can't Be Moved" and "Breakeven," and, umm, Natasha Bedingfield's "I Wanna Have Your Babies")
-Toby Gad (Fergie's "Big Girls Don't Cry" and Beyoncé's "If I Were A Boy" [ugh], but much better includes Sita's "Happy" and the Veronicas' "Untouched")
-Arnthor Birgisson (I think--Pixie referred to an "Anthor" once and my guess is she meant Arnthor Birgisson, another "where to begin?" writer; Samantha Mumba's "Gotta Tell You," Shayne Ward's "If That's OK With You," Jennifer Lopez's "Play")
-Evan "Kidd" Bogart (Rihanna's "S.O.S.",Heidi Montag's "Body Language," Blake Lewis's "Surrender," Brandy's "Right Here (Departed), Sean Kingston's "Take You There")
-Karen Poole (and another "where to begin?"; Jamelia's "Beware Of The Dog," Kylie's "Wow," Will Young's "Switch It On" and "Let It Go," Groove Armada's "Song 4 Mutya (Out Of Control)")
-Stuart Chrichton and Tommy Lee (Jamelia's "Beware Of The Dog," D-Side's "Pushin' Me Out" [just Chrichton], DJ Ella's "Shine Like A Superstar," Delta's "In This Life")
-Kara DioGuardi (too much to mention--Hilary Duff's "Come Clean," Kylie's "Spinning Around," Kelly Clarkson's "Walk Away," Paris Hilton's "Screwed," Enrique Iglesias's "Escape" and "Don't Turn Off The Lights," loads of Ashlee Simpson songs are just a few)
-Phil Thornally and Mads Hauge (done-by-many-people-but-eventually Natalie Imbruglia's "Torn")
-Teddy Riley (of New Jack Swing and Blackstreet fame)

It's no exaggeration to say that's an impressive line-up; she's obviously a big project and priority for her label.

There's nowhere to buy Pixie's songs yet, but you can visit her MySpace here.

Next up: that German song, maybe, or a British b-side that's a few years old.


Paul said...

pop that is just pop? Why that's just crazy enough to work! And what an impressive line up for the album - now you got me all excited! Oh totally random aside inspired by your mention of sixties inspired pop. It suddenly occured to me that Girls Aloud The Promise is the best example of girl group 60s pop done in todays style since En Vogue did sixties girl pop in 1992 style with My Loving. Just thought i'd share.

Damian said...

Hej, dear! Having a lot of work didn't have a chance to check all your year's top list but seems like I already found something for me. I want to say so many thanx to you for new songs of Johan Krafman and Gathania, you are my miracle!!!
Wanted to share few things with you if you don't know about them.
1) Elin Lanto - Discoteque (Jonas Von Der Burg Radio Edit) - check it on swepop.blogpot.com, very cool mix!!!
2) Franka Batelić - Pjesma za kraj - I really hope this girl will represent Croatia on ESC. The song is not greater than Ruza u kamenu but it's very cool too.

Damian said...

And I hope you've checked Norwegian and Dannish preselections ;)

Nikki said...

AAHHH! I got addicted to Pixie late last year, she's amazing! 'The Fall' is fun and it's not that intellectual, it's really pop. haha.

D'luv said...

I second the thanks on pointing out the Johan tracks! I had the one on repeat for a full hour a few days back!

I hope this post title isn't any indicator as to your mood toward blogging....come back, PG, come back!

Poster Girl said...

Paul, it's a revolutionary idea! I don't think I know the En Vogue song...I've yet to work my musical discoveries back to 1992 yet. I'm sure it's a fantastic analogy, though :D

Hej Damian! I don't think even I'm caught up on reading my entire year end list ;) It's no problem! Elin + VDB? Great news! Thanks for the tip. And Gathania--oh, I love her. I hope the song ends up with a great presentation, too! I have checked out Denmark and Norway--I need to do a big Eurovision round-up post!

Nikki, I remember reading you writing about her! And shhh, but I'm listening to the new Jada song, too; I may be mentioning something about it in a few days.

D'luv, really? I'm glad you liked it/them! Ha ha, no, just busy for a few days, but blogging is just as addictive as ever.

Nikki said...

haha.. that song's a guilty pleasure, I love the song but I hate the fact that it's so much like a Lady GaGa album in one song..