I’ll ‘fess up, I’ve found it a struggle coming up with ten tracks I’ve liked this year. 2015 hasn’t exactly been blessed with a great abundance of new ideas and vital fresh faces. There has been little that’s touched my soul or even piqued my interest.
Occasionally though you’ll glimpse a flicker in the embers. Take this young lady – Cuckoo Lander. Is that her real name? Look at her hair – just brilliant! She comes across as different. And interesting. I’m intrigued. There’s not a great deal of information out there about her, though apparently she’s a mate of Charli XCX. Crucially though, in terms of her style and presentation this single of hers lies firmly outside the tighty-constricted boundaries of 2015 pop. I want to hear more. Hopefully in 2016, we will.
This single landed on my desk at the Big Issue sometime during early June 1999. I left it unplayed for several weeks before digging it out one idle afternoon the following month. And guess what? It sounded just perfect for that specific time on that specific day, a lazy dog day afternoon during the last week of July.
Pocket Size were vocalist Liz Owers and multi instrumentalist Darren Pearson. They were one of those groups you don’t really get these days – signed by a major without having built up any sort of following or profile in the hope that, well, something would happen. Walking was released and nothing happened. It’s a fine tune, kinda country-ish, languid but playful and cool; a record that doesn’t draw attention to itself. Unfortunately in a summer when the charts were dominated by post-Spice Girls kiddy pop, latin-influenced dance music and pop trance its coy charms didn’t stand a chance. I’m not even sure if the accompanying album 100% Human was even ever released. If it was, we certainly didn’t get a copy of it.
So…last year I wrote a post bemoaning the disspearance of the British summer. As you can have expected I have been pinching myself during this last week or so. It’s utterly flabbergasting. We have not had an extended period of hot dry weather like this in the UK since 2003 and I am revelling in it, lapping it up, knowing that it could well be another ten years before we enjoy anything like this once again.
And it’s sent me back to records like this, the sort that only make sense in the sunshine. Le Kid are a Swedish five piece who have had some success in their home country and Germany, but haven’t as yet had the big push in the UK. Mercy Mercy was first released back in 2009 and then again the following year, both times kinda halfheartedly, with zero promotion and no airplay that I can recall. I’m stumped as to why this hasn’t already been a massive summer hit. Listen to it three times and you’ll never be able to shake the chorus from your head. It’s that good.
And yes it does sound a bit like Girls Aloud’s ‘Can’t Speak French’. But it’s better, miles better.