In this week’s instalment of What’s Going On, I’ve got two unique cross-genre covers, dance-pop from Sweden, synthpop coming out of Australia and a big shiny remix from a beloved 80s duo. If you dig these songs, be sure to dive deeper into each artist’s catalogue and give them your support.
Big Joanie – Covering Solange isn’t an easy feat but Big Joanie is up to the task. British punk trio Big Joanie have released their cover of ‘Cranes in the Sky’, a standout track from Solange’s 2016 album A Seat at the Table. Big Joanie’s post-punk take gives an added haunting quality to Solange’s lyrics about sadness & growth. The trio – consisting of Stephanie Phillips, Chardine Taylor-Stone and Estella Adeyri – is a self-professed Black feminist punk band and see themselves as being “like The Ronettes filtered through 80s DIY and 90s riot grrrl, with a sprinkling of dashikis.” Their vinyl 7” single of ‘Cranes in the Sky’ with ‘It’s You’ is set to be released on August 14th.
Listen to Big Joanie’s 2020 single ‘Cranes in the Sky’
Erasure – Andy Bell and Vince Clarke are still going strong. Back in July, the synthpop legends released ‘Shot A Satellite’, the second single from their forthcoming album The Neon. Erasure enlisted Tokyo-based producer/DJ Initial Talk to create a slamming remix. Initial Talk started out posting his own retro 80s and 90s inspired remixes of contemporary pop hits on platforms like YouTube & Soundcloud. His throwback remixes quickly amassed a fan following which eventually caught the attention of major artists, leading to them requesting him for official remix work, most notably his remix of Dua Lipa’s breakout hit ‘New Rules.’ He’s since gone on to work with the likes of Kylie Minogue, Perfume Genius and Sia. Initial Talk’s remix of ‘Shot A Satellite’ transports Erasure’s newest single all the way back to the dancefloors of 1987. Erasure’s new album The Neon is set to be released on August 21 via Mute Records.
Listen to the Initial Talk remix of Erasure’s 2020 single ‘Shot A Satellite’
Drab Majesty – There’s no doubt that you remember Blind Melon’s 1993 hit ‘No Rain’. Well, you definitely haven’t heard it done quite like this before. Los Angeles-based darkwave project Drab Majesty has turned the ubiquitous ’90s hit into a sleek synthpop song that wouldn’t sound out of place being heard alongside The Human League or Ultravox. The cover was originally recorded in 2012 and 2013 and was mastered by Telefon Tel Aviv. After you give ‘No Rain’ a listen, dig into Drab Majesty’s 2019 album Modern Mirror for more top-notch darkwave. Drab Majesty is the solo project of Deb DeMure, the alter-ego of musician Andrew Clinco.
Listen to Drab Majsety’s 2020 single ‘No Rain’
Cut Copy – Australian synthpop band Cut Copy have released the latest track from their anticipated new album Freeze, Melt. ‘Like Breaking Glass’ sees Cut Copy doing what they do best, coming at you with lots of synths and a big chorus that stays with you. Frontman Dan Whitford explained the meaning of the new song to Rolling Stone Australia: “It is about the conflicted feelings of a relationship that has begun to unravel. Where sometimes against all logic, you discover that affections run deep just as a break up becomes inevitable.” Cut Copy have also announced their March/April 2021 shows for the UK and Europe in support of their new music. Freeze, Melt their first new album since 2017’s Haiku Zero is set to be released on August 21, 2020, via Cutters Records/The Orchard.
Listen to ‘Like Breaking Glass’ from Cut Copy’s upcoming album Freeze, Melt.
Icona Pop – Swedish duo Icona Pop are back with a new banger that is sure to help ease your pandemic blues. A feel-good upbeat dance track, ‘Feels In My Body’ is all about hitting your peak and bursting with euphoria. With lyrics like “All these raw, emotions flowing through me, got me electric” over a thumping beat, it’s easy to see what Icona Pop are going for. ‘Feels In My Body’ is the follow-up to their April single ‘Right Time’ with Hayden James which featured a music video shot during the quarantine. Despite not yet being able to recapture the same success as their international smash hit ‘I Love It’ from 2012, it’s great to see that Icona Pop haven’t slowed down.
Listen to Icona Pop’s 2020 single ‘Feels In My Body’