We freely admit we were a tad skeptical at first, but after watching the video to the new Monarchy single, Disintegration, Dita Von Teese proves herself a capable talk singer in a video where we haven’t seen the theme of “the disintegration of the American housewife” perfected this well since The Eurythmics listened to Beethoven. Disintegration is the welcomed return of Monarchy, and in case you missed it, check out our concert review when they were in NYC last year here.
As a bonus get a free remix by the always incredible Mighty Mouse
Belgian based producer Mickey has teamed up with bop2pop Favs Monarchy for Love For Sale, a great new single which is kind of like a sequel to I Won’t Let Go. Mickey has amassed quite a bit of remix work lately for bands like Tyson, Chromeo and Housse De Rakket, but Love For Sale will be his debut release for Smile Recordings. The single is expected to drop on Beatport in January.
Although comprising our list of top albums of the year was relatively painless, narrowing our list of singles, was daunting. It is purely a subjective list, captured at this moment in time (We are fully aware that if you asked us a month from now, the list may change). This list is also very personal. Since we started the bop2pop blog last March, we have covered nearly 300 singles, a few concerts and caught up with a few of our 80s idols. All of these songs are winners in our book, so to narrow the list to 20, exlcuding some in order to place others, was often very painful. But we had to do it, so like it or not (most likely you will not agree with everything or anything on our list), here are picks for top singles of the year.
20. Simulover: Tourniquet
Squeaking in on our list is the debut single by Simulover, the brilliant collaboration of SIRPAUL and Alex Lauterstein. We confess we love the S/M theme, which makes us feel oh so slightly dirty.
19. Holy Ghost: I Wanted To Tell Her
Our favorite remake of the year by Brooklyn duo, Holy Ghost which we like better than the original. Check out the really RAD video.
18. Fil OK: Fall In Love
We fell in love with this haunting ballad that sounds like the twisted love child of Felt Mountain era Goldfrapp and Marc Almond at his most ironically sleazy
17. Tie: The Good Natured: Video Voyeur / Icona Pop: Manners
We group these two bands together because they both bring an energy to their stage presence and we predict great things next year. The Good Natured’s Video Voyeur kind of reminds us of early Missing Persons (which is a very good thing) and they are a band to watch out for. We are including Icona Pop’s neontastic Manners video which seems inspired by the 80s cult film, Liquid Sky.
16. Tie: Garcon Garcon: Stay In Touch / Patrick Wolf: Together
We love this Garcon Garcon video that looks like something director Derek Jarman would create if he wanted to create an early Erasure video. Also stunning is the new Patrick Wolf single.
15. OMD: History Of Modern
Taken from last year’s album of the same name, this was the song OMD should have released first since it is the track that most captures the spirit and energy of OMD’s heyday.
13. Electric Youth: Fade Away
Our top b-side pick by the band that got major exposure by appearing on the Drive soundtrack. Pure pop bliss!
12. Tie: Johan Agebjörn: The Last Day of Summer / Queen of Hearts: Where Are You Now
Both tracks simply sublime. Johan Agebjorn you may recognize from his work with Sally Shapiro and as for Queen of Hearts, she is our pick for breakout artist and who, in addition to creating great music herself, has collaborated with a who’s who at bop2pop (Johan Agebjorn, The Sound of Arrows, Monarchy, Fear of Tigers, Bright Light Bright Light)
11. Lana Del Ray: Video Games/Blue Jeans (Nikon Remixes)
Regardless what the cynics say, these are two beautiful songs made even more so by the gorgeous remixes by Nikon.
10. Beth Ditto: I Write the Book
Why did it make our top 10? Because Beth Ditto is fierce and she completely reinvented herself for the dance floor and outshined Madonna – Got to love it.
9. Monarchy: I Won’t Let Go
Our favorite track off of one of our top albums of the year, I Won’t Let Go updates the classic Chris Isaak track, Wicked Games (also check out number 11 which does the same).
8. Washed Out: Amor Fati
chilled synthpop at it’s finist (think A-Ha on Vicodin), we adored this track off of Washed Out’s Within and Without album. Best of all, he gave away the single for free!
7. Queen of Hearts: Freestyle
This was the song that started our love of all things Queen of Hearts and it is still our favorite. Queen of Hearts, if you are reading us, you enticed us with a fantastic video teaser, but then broke our hearts by never releasing the full video. Can we have a full video please?
6. Hurts: Sunday
Sunday was the last single taken off of the excellent debut album by Hurts. It’s our favorite track off the album and the video is simply stunning.
5. Marsheaux: Can You Stop Me
We think Marsheaux could record them practicing scales and it would still make our list. Can You Stop Me was a change in direction for Marsheaux (kind of a “harder” synthpop sounding Delerium) and we love it. We were hoping for an album, but alas it has yet to materialize.
4. Sound of Arrows: Nova/My Shadow
We would include the new version of Into the Clouds and M.A.G.I.C., but they both made our lists in previous years. Their debut album, Voyage, made our choice for album of the year.
3. Mirrors: Into The Heart
We loved, love, loved this single by Mirrors that should have gotten more exposure and been a bigger hit. Recent lineup changes had us a little worried about where the direction of the band would be going, but a couple of new tracks prove they are still the ultimate conveyors of quality synthpop.
2. Daybehavior: Silent Dawn
Simply epic track by a band we have been eagerly awaiting their new third album, Follow That Car, for awhile now. For the unconverted, Daybehavior incorporates cinematic dreamscape vocals and haunting melodies that would fit comfortably in a french 1960s spy film soundtrack. Their last single, It’s a Game, got remix treatment by our faves, Marsheaux.
1. Kid Kasio: Over and Over
Sounding like something Howard Jones would come up with if he was comissioned to write Depeche Mode’s Shake the Disease, Over and Over, tugged at our heartstrings and was the track, more than any other, we played…over and over. Kid Kasio promises his debut album will be out next year.
The Best of the Rest
Arcade Fire presents Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)
Austra – Spellwork
Bachelorette – Polarity Party
Bunny Lake – Young Lovers
Charli XCX – Nuclear Seasons
Chart Music – All My Life
Citizens! – True Romance
Class Actress – Weekend
Computer Magic – The End Of Time
Faker – Dangerous (CSS remix)
Fiorious – I’m In Love With A German Film Star
Florrie – I Took A Little Something
GusGus – Over
Human League – Sky
Icona Pop – Nights Like This
Jessica 6 Prisoner Of Love (ft. Antony)
Johan Agebjörn & Le Prix (Feat. Fred Ventura & Sally Shapiro) – Alice (Energy Mix)
John Maus – Head for the Country
Kites – The Disappearance of Becky Sharp (The Sanfernando Sound Remix)
Ladytron – Mirage
Mint Julep – Why Don’t We
Miracle – The Visitor
Mirrors – Shooting Stars
Neon Indian – Polish Girl
Nightlife – On the Run
Niki & The Dove – Mother Protect (Goldroom Remix)
Northern Kind – Dreams
Northern Kind – Euphonic
Oh Land – Sun of a Gun
Queen of Hearts – Shoot The Bullet
Rimer London – Put Your Gun Away
Robyn – Call Your Girlfriend
Ronika – Only Only (Fear Of Tigers Remix)
Selebrities – Surrounded By You
Sisely Treasure – That You Like
Soft Metals – Psychic Driving
Space March – American Girl
Space March – Space Cowboy
Starlings – Dark Arts (The Sanfernando Sound Remix)
Starlings – Sirens (Sanfernando Remix)
Tesla Boy – Waste My Body
The Golden Filter – Mother (Cosmonaut 3AM Remix)
The Good Natured – Wolves
The Opiates – Anatomy of a Plastic Girl
The Scientists of Modern Music – Because If I Die
Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs – Trouble
Vanbot – Make Me, Break Me (Video)
Voltaire Twins – Animalia
Will Young – Jealousy
YELLE – Safari Disco Club
YELLE – Le Musique
Yuksek – On A Train
Monarchy got the intimate crowd moving and grooving last night at their NYC debut show at the Highline Ballroom theater. I arrived just as the band was doing setup, and they were dressed head-to-toe in white jump suites and masks that made them look like they were the ill-fated participants at Carrousel from the 1970s cult classic, Logan’s Run.
Once finished they dashed back stage and returned in a NY minute, sans Logan outfits, replaced by their signature suits, leather vest harnesses and black leather masks and began their set with Black Is The Color of My Heart, the lead track off their excellent debut, Around The Sun. Monarchy got the crowd dancing with their second number, Love Get Out Of My Way, and by their third song, Phoenix Alive, found their footing with the crowd with a momentum that continued to grow throughout the evening. Human was performed acapella, with harmonizer effects that proved both chilling and moving. They proved themselves as accomplished musicians on Floating, where the lead singer rocked it out with a solo on his clear, neontastic lit electric guitar that transported the crowd back to the 80s.
Maybe I’m Crazy
A subdued electronic remake of Here Comes the Sun followed, which gave the audience a brief needed rest for they saved their two biggest hits, I Won’t Let Go and Maybe I’m Crazy for last, songs that got the crowd worked up into a frenzy, causing the whole theater to jump up and down and sing along – something unusual for a normally reserved New York audience. After the band left the stage, the crowd demanded a 3?! song encore, which seeing the band has only one album worth of material to work off from and had already played nearly every track, seemed unlikely, but Monarchy returned to the stage and performed Gold In The Fire to the appreciative crowd. Overall a great evening whose only shortcoming was that it felt way too short.
We hadn’t heard new music from our new favorite, Queen of Hearts in awhile now, so imagine our suprise when we found out she recently made a demo track produced by another of our favorites, Monarchy. Perfect Mistake fits beautifully alongside Freestyle and Where Are You Now. We like the nice mix of melancholy and drama that seems ready-made for remixing on the dancefloor.
Monarchy are back with a new single, Maybe I’m Crazy, to be taken off their long-awaited debut album, Around the Sun. Although not as immediate as their previous single, the brilliant, I Won’t Let You Go, Maybe I’m Crazy has that “hit single” quality that may propel them to a larger audience. It definitely seems ready made for the dance floor as the Joe and Will Ask Remix demonstrates.
Is it me, but does the new Monarchy single remind you of Chris Issaak’s Wicked Game seen through the lens of The Presets. The video is slick and has a sexy androgynous syi-fi vibe to it (and a bizarre reoccurring theme of raining cupcakes). British Synthpop duo Monarchy have released a few damn clever catchy singles and are also in-demand remixers, whose roster of artists include Lady Gaga, Kelis, Kylie Minogue, Marina & the Diamonds and OMD. Expect a debut album out in May.