Limmy’s Hot Take: Joanne, Melanie C and Dami Im’s New Banger

Welcome to the inaugural edition of Limmy’s Hot Take: another hot take you didn’t need on shit that went down in pop and my favourite new releases this week.

I’m shaking off the dust bunnies on this blog and training it to stop autocorrecting ‘Limmy’ to ‘Jimmy’ because I miss writing about pop music and while I’ve been active on Twitter during my hiatus, I realised there’s nothing quite like having a soapbox of your own to look back on in five years and deepen your frown lines with than a ‘weekly hot take’ blog.

There’s something about Joanne

The water cooler chat of the week, depending on where you are and the discerning care-factor of the company you keep (*Tatianna voice* “Choices!”), will either be about the Trump/Clinton debate or where you stand on Lady Gaga’s career-reshaping new album Joanne.

To save you time, as a concept, I am actually here for this album.

I think it’s fucking great that she wants to shake it up and revisit her Stefani Germanotta Myspace-era, dive bar roots. Why the hell not? Lady Gaga does not owe us a lifetime supply of RedOne bangers. She has already given us quite a few. And you can search elsewhere if that’s strictly what you want. I’m not saying I wouldn’t be pleased with more ‘Sexxx Dreams’/’Dance In The Dark’ et al, but for those who are interested in this particular performer’s journey and expression – whatever it might look like and wherever the hell it might take us – you can stay buckled in. Refreshments will be on their way.

Now, onto Madonna-gate in the above interview, it’s fair to say early chapters of Gaga’s mainstream success would not have been possible without Madonna paving the way, as she did for many female pop entertainers today. In Gaga’s attempt to separate her shit to Madonna’s, and crucially, to sell-in the musical authenticity of this project, her comments came across implying she’s more talented than The Queen of Pop.

If there’s anything that irks pop fans more than terrible album covers, it is when popstars suddenly get a Pitchfork-shaped epiphany and start talking about making “real music”. And that is what this fucking feels like. On a personal level, it feels like betrayal for fans who have, and might still be battling, slights for worshipping pop and shouldering all the criticisms of its innately manufactured nature.

Being able to play multiple instruments and produce every piece of music doesn’t necessarily make you great. It means you have skills that might be great embellishments on your LinkedIn profile, I don’t know. Actors don’t write their own scripts, and there is something to be said about the intangible quality and essence that great popstars and entertainers all have that cannot be taught at stage school, music college or YouTube tutorials on how to use LogicPro. Gaga, hopefully, when she’s not trying to convince the world she has all the long been the female Beck, will see she is one of pop’s elites.

It is Q4 2016 and we have a new Mel C album

I mean, this was the kind of week we’ve been through, ladies and gentlemen. That we have to chalk up Melanie C‘s new album in one column and Joanne on the right. Is this the new ‘Out of Your Mind’ vs ‘Groovejet’ chart showdown? Are we really troubling the fire department with flame wars like these?

I have mad respect for Mel C for being consistent in her solo output and carving her own lane post-Spice. I’ve enjoyed quite a lot of her solo material (I sat out of the musical theatre covers album because that is something I really don’t have the time or space for). I completely get that Version of Me is something of a personal record. Darker tones of oppression rears its head on ‘Our History’, which to my delight, kind of throws me back to her Beautiful Intentions album. I’ve even read that she’s trying new things (sis, are those feathery urban beats and tropical house influences I hear?) But where are the tunes?

Shout Out To My Ugly Heart

Congratulations, you made a wonderfully observant tweet about how much Little Mix’s ‘Shout Out To My Ex’ sounds like G.R.L.‘s ‘Ugly Heart’. Guess who is not caring about that or about “dressing like strippers”? The fabulous reigning queens who have hair-flicked and four-part harmonied their way to the top of the charts with their fourth UK #1 hit this week. The biggest opening week download sales for a song this year, mind you.

People might’ve clocked that despite all the juicy tabloid headlines about Perrie getting even with Zayn on this track, none of the girls have had a hand in writing ‘Shout Out To My Ex’. But think about how ‘Sweet Dreams My L.A. Ex’ was written by Cathy Dennis for Britney with her break up with Justin Timberlake in mind. The real T is how this debate has distracted us from realising Little Mix hasn’t quite topped the lead single excellence of ‘Move’.

Top tunes of the week

Dami Im ‘Fighting For Love’

Remember when Australia’s Dami Im gave us the Eurovision Song Contest moment of 2016? Here she is back with a tastefully-fashioned emotive banger with very 2016 chopped-up synths in the chorus, brought to us by DNA, the same Australian producers behind ‘Sound of Silence’ and The Veronicas‘ super-snatched uptempo ‘In My Blood’. So glad we hadn’t lost her to the Carpenters covers album.

Leo Kalyan ‘Fucked Up’

Alt-R&B artist Leo Kalyan is giving you something you can feel here with ‘Fucked Up’. It is vulnerable, confessional and beautifully insular, like a sonic version of my evening with red wine and pain. Full marks for the spirit-stirring wailing at the end.

Becky Hill ‘Warm’

I’ve never had any qualms with Becky Hill‘s feature creature duties and her prime solo output ‘False Alarm’ was a proper ear worm, but there’s something rather top of the class about ‘Warm’. The restraint and soulfulness she is displaying here with the Shift K3y-produced track almost feels like she’s signalling a reintroduction, and I am all ears. Could 2017 be the year she comes into her own and into the spotlight?

Ronika ‘Principle’

Funky, slinky and like some kind of bridge between Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis‘ world and Roisin Murphy‘s Overpowered album, ‘Principle’ is a jam of the highest order from Ronika, who is no stranger to power pop lovers on Twitter. If anything it’s a jolt to say, ‘don’t fucking write me out just yet’.

Jade Zhang feat. Timbaland ‘Dust My Shoulders Off’

A tidy and lightweight, kinetic R&B bop from one of China’s biggest pop queens Jade Zhang, in tandem with none other than the almighty Timbaland. It’s more of a feel-good Radio Disney jam than the slutdrop-worthy ways of ‘Promiscuous Girl’ or ‘The Way I Are’. With any luck, that will follow.

For more of my favourite new tunes, slide into my NEWEST Spotify playlist.

And finally…

Australian Pop deity, LGBT warrior and The People’s Minogue, who turned 45 this week (check out that fucking cake!), is performing at Feast Festival, an annual gay and lesbian street party in Adelaide.


Sister Kylie, who is also an Australian pop deity and LGBT warrior, in her own right reposted this pic with her own well wishes.


Playlist of the week

MASC4MASC – For when you feel like getting the jump on your workmates who think you listen to nothing but Ariana. Once you lull them into a false sense of security with The Who, Johnny Marr, Stevie Nicks and The Rolling Stones, that’s when you spring on your one true favourite rock artist Ashlee Simpson.

Check out more embarrassing-yet-rather-on-point themed Spotify Playlists.

Let’s talk shit and reply with shady Mariah gifs on Twitter. Follow me on @feedlimmy.

Feed Limmy: Top 30 Songs of 2015

This has been a tradition since the land before time and Snapchat. While I’ve taken a long break from pop music blogging (the commentary still very much lives on in Twitter), I’m usually tempted to come back to this increasingly unfamiliar Wordpress interface every year and rank, hyperlink and embed my personal favourite tracks of the last 12 months. This year for the first time, I will be blogging with emojis. #downwiththekids

I imagine it’d be nice to scroll back through the passage of time one day to see that once upon a time, Carly Rae Jepsen overtook Robyn as the gays’ new queen of Bubbling Under pop. Once upon a time, Halsey was the flavour of the moment. Popstar of the Future Troye Sivan made an album (how traditional!). They sent troops to Syria but couldn’t extract a record from MKS. Nobody has time for the games Rihanna‘s playing anymore. And two unfuckwithable singer-songwriters in their 20s called Adele and Taylor Swift scrapped everyone’s life force with their massive-selling, Spotify-shunning, numerically titled albums. And where you were when you heard Zayn had left 1D?

Never mind. Here are 30 songs that I really, really liked this year.

Spoiler alert: At some point you might say, this list is really crap. Why isn’t Lana on here? 

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Various Artists “Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1” Soundtrack

Lorde is probably one of the most in-demand and untouchable young talents in the music industry right now. The 18-year old alternative-pop savant from New Zealand has been given the honour of curating the new Hunger Games soundtrack and boy, did she turn it the hell out.

Hunger Games soundtrack Lorde

Mockingjay Part 1 is the third soundtrack of the popular anthology and is, quite rightly so, the most hyped one yet. Just like the movie, you get a sense that each artist selected for the soundtrack needs to breathe some level of cool, youthful rebellion. Lorde herself would fit the bill quite well but this isn’t a Lorde album in disguise, per se.

Sonically, the album is a cohesive and magnetic mix of hip hop and alternative electro pop. The album opener ‘Meltdown’ is probably the best summary of the different influences at play here. Belgian producer Stromae cuts a mean, strutting electro beat while Q-Tip and Pusha T throw punchy rap verses and Lorde owns the hook with HAIM on backing vocals.

As well as securing in-demand figures in the industry like Kanye West, Charli XCX and others for the project, Lorde has also submitted a new track ‘Yellow Flicker Beat’, produced by Paul Epworth who was behind Adele‘s monumental album 21, and a spine-tingling cover of Bright Eyes‘ ‘Ladder Song’.

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Iggy Azalea “Reclassified”

Iggy Azalea, one of the world’s most in-demand rappers right now, is on a winning streak. Her debut The New Classic has spawned five UK Top 20 hits, including the ubiquitous summer anthem ‘Fancy’ (featuring Charli XCX) and current flame ‘Black Widow’ (featuring Rita Ora), but could she squeeze a few more in with this repackaged edition?

It seems like only yesterday that the Australian rapper was venting her frustration on Twitter about The New Classic‘s repeatedly delayed release but now she is finding herself in quite the opposite situation. What a difference a string of global hits makes.

Instead of slowing down to record a full second album, Iggy is reupholstering her debut with five new songs just seven months after it hit stores. All in time for Christmas, of course.

The new body of work is appropriately christened Reclassified and is led by a bossy single ‘Beg For It’ featuring Danish indie-electropop singer . The song builds on the new-generation female brat pack vibe Iggy has fostered with the aforementioned collaborators Charli and Rita with dominant choruses like: “I know you like the way I turn it on. I’m out here with my friends. I’mma make you beg, I’mma make you beg for it! If you don’t do this right, you’re going home alone. I guess you’ll have to beg.” It’s a proven hit formula and not just for Iggy. Just ask Jessie J, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj and Meghan Trainor. Rhythmic female-led songs with empowering lyrics are what platinum-gilded hits are made of in 2014 – haven’t you heard?

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Kate Boy: Live at XOYO, London

Alternative electro pop trio Kate Boy brought their stamp of underground cool to London’s XOYO on their UK tour and were amazed to find fans all the way from Brazil and Belgium in the front. Such is the magnitude of their reach, all before this Sweden-based band has even released an album.

Kate Boy live

Kate Boy, made up of Australian singer Kate Akhurst and Swedish synth and drumming masters Marcus Dextegen and Hampus Nordgren Hemlin, made waves on the blogosphere with their debut single ‘Self Control‘ a few months ago. At first play, this lot sounds like an edgier and darker version of Icona Pop, but it’s not until you see them perform that you realise this trio is an active live band on stage. Even Kate puts down the mic from time to time to join her band brothers for a stint of passionate drumming.

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