Is the rain and thunder bringing you down? Worried about the workweek ahead? Or simply just in search for a fraiche new tune to fit your sunny mood today? Then you must check out Kate Havnevik's newly released track "Show Me Love." Produced by uber-producer Guy Sigworth, Havnevik presents one of the sunniest and sweetest tunes of the season. So good. Her delicate vocals paired with Sigsworth gifted soundboard skills is a match made in pop heaven. She delivers everytime.
You heard it here first!
After her fantastic 2006 debut, "Melankton," Norwegian pop singer Kate Havnevik has reunited with top producer Guy Sigsworth to record songs for her forthcoming new LP. In the recent past, Sigsworth has produced songs for people like Alanis Morissette, Britney Spears and Madonna.
The first product of their collaboration is the single "Halo" that will be released later this year. It is another gorgeous, sweeping electro-pop tune that features Havnevik's mesmerizing vocals and Sigsworth crafty soundboard work that is instantly recognizable. Listen to the entire track after the jump.
Havnevik moved temporarily to Poland to record her new album with Sigsworth. "Guy moved there with his family, his wife is Polish and they had decided to spend a few years in Krakow," the singer tells me. "I helped Guy set up his studio there and when we start working on the music it doesn’t really matter where we are."
"We both love to be in the studio and we can sit there and work on different things for hours and then show each other what we have done," she adds.
The singer reveals that the sound of her new album will be a quite a bit different than her first. "The new album will be much more energetic and varied in tone and tempo," she tells me. "The songs are a little bit shorter and more colorful I think. 'Melankton' had a string orchestra on all the songs and no guitars, while the new album only has strings on some songs and a lot of guitars. I think the new album still will be very melodic and atmospheric, but in a slightly different way."
"Halo" is a fitting introduction to the new record with its crisp production stylings, crescendoing chorus and perfectly-layered vocal harmonies. "Halo is full of curiosity and yes about seeking something, unrest, losing someone and leaving someone at the same time. Doing what you feel is right even though it hurts. I also feel there is a certain sentiment of hope in the song."
For my final post as guest blogger, I thought I’d share with you some musicians I love, all of whom have new albums on the way in 2008. I just noticed the majority are female singers… but at least there’s one guy!
Emiliana Torrini - She’s in the midst of writing and recording her new album - VERY exciting. Her voice is so unique, it just makes me happy. Her last album ‘Fisherman’s Woman’ is a favourite on my iPod. We became friends in 2007 and my most lovely memory of her is from Los Angeles in June when she came to our Temposhark show and gave me a white rose as a gift, making my night even more special!
Sam Sparro – My producer Sean McGhee told me about Sam but I don’t know too much about him yet. I like the original version of his song ‘Black and Gold’ which you can hear on his MySpace page. He sounds a bit like D’Angelo meeting electro-era Goldfrapp in a dark alley.
Julianna Barwick (photo with this blog) - Guy Sigsworth introduced me to the beautiful music of this equally beautiful New York based singer. Her mini album Sanguine is made up of zillions of loops where Julianna’s short vocal phrases become a one-woman choir. Her live performance in London last October was just SOOOOO good! Her influences range from Björk and boy choirs to Panda Bear and Thom Yorke. If you like Animal Collective, you'll surely like Julianna too. Download a free live session she did for the cool radio podcast Má Fama - it's the show dated 13th November 2007.
Kate Havnevik – Kate’s album ‘Melankton’ spent a lot of time on my stereo in 2007, so I’m really excited she’s currently recording her second album in Norway, Poland and London. I believe she is producing this next record herself but as always, she’s collaborating with some super talents. Catch her video blogging from her studio over at YouTube.
Like An Icon - If you, like me, are intrigued to hear the new hip hop influenced Madonna album, then I recommend reading a new book all about her music written by Lucy O'Brien. This book stands out from previous Madonna biogs because its main focus is on her actual music rather than delving too much into her personal life. It has insightful behind-the-scenes interviews with musicians, producers, dancers and directors including one I did for the book when I was in New York with M’s old stylist Maripol, who was responsible for Madonna's early image and rubber crosses. She told me lots of cool stories about late 70s/early 80s Manhattan working alongside Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring and Blondie. You can pick it up now at a bookshop near you or Amazon UK and USA.
Laura Marling – Laura is a young British singer (she's only 17 I think) who recently signed to Virgin records. She was on Later with Jools Holland and I fell in love her song ‘New Romantic’. Her first album 'Alas I Cannot Swim' is released on 4th Feb in a unique Song Box format containing the CD album, exclusive concert ticket and set of album mementos. Gotta be good!
Map The Music - an indie documentary film following musicians around the USA on tour including Imogen Heap, Rachael Yamagata, Kate Havnevik, and even Temposhark. I haven’t seen any of the footage yet but I know we all had a lot of fun filming it. An early preview trailer is up now, while Sam Hale and her team finish editing the film.
Mirah - I've been a fan of Mirah for years now and am always surprised by what she does next. Her remix album from last year 'Joyride' was amazing. She has 5 albums, on the awesome K Records label, all of which are worth getting. She's a true indie artist with an amazing voice and lyrics. Hear some of her albums at iTunes or find her CDs (and cool Tshirts) at the KRecs.
Lastly, Zero 7 star Sia's new album is streaming at MySpace and she is about to tour in the USA. I like her new song with Beck called 'Academia', plus she's covered The Pretender's classic 'I Go To Sleep'. I also used to be mad about her song 'Fear' from her debut album 'Healing Is Difficult'.
Right that's it from me! A big thanks to Arjan for asking me to contribute, I’ve really enjoyed it… Happy new year, sending you much love for 2008.
Róisín Murphy "Overpowered"
Timeless and intelligent dance pop by a top-notch performer. Bring on more Róisín in 2008 please!
Siobhan Donaghy "Ghosts"
Donaghy broke out of her girl group mold and pushed her artistic boundaries in exciting new directions. "Ghosts" is one of the most overlooked, yet sublime pop records of the year.
Charlotte Gainsbourg "5.55"
Subtle, soft and chic. It is like Chanel No. 5 for your ears.
Darren Hayes "This Delicate Thing We've Made"
"This Delicate Thing We've Made" is just that. A delicate piece of work that takes you on a journey through time with Hayes' distinct vocals and Justin Shave's accomplished production stylings.
Kenna "Make Sure They See My Face"
Genre-buster Kenna combines electronica, funk, pop and hip hop so elegantly that it rocks.
Will.I.Am "Songs About Girls"
A bold solo record by one of the most genius producers of the moment.
Anouk "Who's Your Momma"
Confident and honest, this rock chick tells it like it is. Expect "Good God" to climb the global charts in 2008.
Passenger "Wicked Man's Rest"
Touching balladry sang by one of the year's most striking new voices.
Tracey Thorn "Out Of The Wood"
A perfect marriage of style and substance. And her voice is priceless.
Roz Bell "The First Sunbeams"
Bell combines songwriting talent with a laid-back attitude that is simply irresistible.
Klaxons "Myths Of The Near Future"
These three lads got me dizzy on my feet when I saw them perform at Coachella back in April. This is rock and roll for the here and now.
I also enjoyed listening to albums by these great artists in 2007:
Kate Havnevik "Melankton"
Kanye West "Graduation"
Alison Moyet "The Turn"
Young Love "Too Young To Fight It"
Just Jack "Overtones"
Annie Lennox "Songs Of Mass Destruction"
Kocky "Kingdome Come"
I had a lovely chat with the amazing Kate Havnevik last night. She's a wonderful spirit who candidly shared details about her debut album, her inspirations, books, movies, and yes, we even chatted about Britney Spears. I read in Kate's bio that she was linked to the troubled pop star so I was curious what exactly had happened between the two because their worlds seems so far apart.
Kate smiled when I asked and was glad to explain. One evening back in 2005, she was in Los Angeles when she received a phone call from her friend and producer Guy Sigsworth. He was working with Britney Spears on a track and needed Kate's help with the background vocals. She rushed over and contributed her vocals to the song "Somewhere (You Will Understand)." It was a friendly favor to Guy as she was never paid for it.
"Somewhere (You Will Understand)" is a bonus track that Spears cut for her "Chaotic" EP. You can watch the video for the song on YouTube or you can download the track on iTunes, which better accentuates Kate's part. Kate's warm and atmospheric voice in the song's chorus creates a significant contrast with Spears' throaty vocals.