Freddie Matthews writes from London: It goes without saying that all the previous X-Factor posse will return with singles over the coming months, mostly because they’ll be featured on up and coming shows. It’s how the X-Factor model works. I hate it but it’s a fact. As a result, about the only actual credible singer to ever win the show, Leona Lewis, returns to the UK music scene with her new single ‘Trouble’ early next month. Quite amazingly, she’s now sold over 20 million records since winning the show some seven years ago. Has it really been ‘that’ long? The song features a rap from ‘Childish Gambino’ which has of course been the done thing for the last three years or so. Ninety percent of chart music must have a ‘featuring’ artist. Have you noticed this unfortunate trend too? It’s a radio station music scheduler’s nightmare, apparently, in trying to avoid artist clashes from hour to hour. If you’re a Leona fan you’ll also be pleased to hear that she also releases her new album ‘Glassheart’ the week after the single in mid October. The single gets a weak 6.2 out of 10. Did I mention she’s still signed to SYCO? That’s seven years later and still coining it for, the not so stupid but we still hate him, Simon Cowell.
Fresh from appearances at the V Festival, cheesy British pop teen sensation Conor Maynard is back. He’s like a UK version of Justin Bieber unfortunately and like Bieber he couldn’t be more popular with teenage girls. OK, I get it, they see him as perfect boyfriend material but this lad isn’t even an attractive young man. He’s a bit of a minger to be frank. His recently released album ‘Contrast’ went straight to number 1 and the next single ‘Turn Around’ even features US singing sensation Ne-Yo. So we’re talking about a UK hit for sure, no questions asked and there’s absolutely nothing you or I can do about it.
I mentioned the new Fazer single ‘Killer’ last week. Now it would seem that his music mates are rallying around him via the Twitter platform. Encouraging their fans to download Fazer’s single include the likes of Dappy (420k followers), Rita Ora (over 1m followers) and Tom from The Wanted (over 500k followers).It would seem the biggest assistance has come from another X-Factor creation Niall from One Direction who has an amazing six million plus Twitter followers. So how much do they get paid for that one tweet to their fans? It really pays to have a mass following on any of the social media sites in 2012. It’s the cheapest form of publicity ever known to man. Just give a little of yourself away every now and again and you’ve cracked it. What a strange world we now live in.
Erm ok, they’re not British but I must tell you about a fabulous new song and album from Iceland and it’s ‘not’ by Sigur Ros for a change. Of Monsters and Men, an indie-pop sextet are the surprise hit of the summer here in the UK. Since winning a ‘Battle of the Bands’ contest in their home country just twelve months ago, Of Monsters and Men’s trajectory to music’s upper echelons has been unstoppable. If you’re a fan of bands like Arcade Fire and Lydia you’ll love the quirky and catchy single ‘Little Talks’ that has already received over 18 million You Tube views. The single was released last week and the subsequent album ‘My Head is an Animal’ is out this week and as far as I’m concerned it’s a must have for any music collection. But then I’ve always been a fan of Scandinavian music, although I’m just not too sure about their bizarre fashion sense.
Other new British music released this week in our ‘Ones To Watch’ section includes: ‘Chew Lips’ with Hurricane (great indie music for a modern generation); Cheryl with ‘Under The Sun’ (we spoke of her lack of talent in a recent article); Elton John’s VS PNAU with ‘Foreign Fields’ (the less said about this regurgitation of E.J. classics by this wannabe DJ (see my Calvin Harris article for my opinion on this) the better); Mark Knopfler with ‘Red Bud Tree’ (the former Dire Straits front man’s solo career is still going strong); Lostprophets with ‘Jesus Walks’ (the Welsh lads continue to rock) and finally Metronomy with ‘Late Night Tales’ (like a British MGMT only cooler and more in vogue).