The past few years have seen so many remixes, both official or otherwise, banded around the internet and given away as promotional MP3s that they're essentially now worthless. Don't get me wrong, I do kinda like Marina & the Diamonds but did we really need to get bombarded with versions of 'Hollywood' for 12 months? It doesn't help that most of them seem to get themselves off on the fact that all they're doing is sampling the vocal and sticking it over some godawful electro.
Trust Thomas Tantrum to change all that eh? 'Sleep's been worked over by fuzzy garage rockers Band Of Skulls and the results are rather chuffing nice. Whilst it is still essentially a case of sample the vocal and do something underneath, the replacement of tight art-pop with grizzly grungyness means that we get the best of both worlds. Essentially, you could class it as much as a collaborative effort as a remix.
It might just be enough to tide you over 'til Thomas Tantrum album time too.
Thomas Tantrum 'Sleep' (Band Of Skulls Remix) by WorkItMedia
Side-projects then. Everyone's doing them. Jack White even split up his decent band to focus solely on his. Therefore when it transpired that Farris from The Horrors was setting up shop with a "renowned Canadian soprano and classical musician" called Rachel Zeffira, with the intention of creating music inspired by old Italian film soundtracks... well let's just say that I was less than enthused.
Lo-and-behold, the first fruits of this labour have been revealed and they're rather damn fine.
Rather than the abstract pseudo-noir that was expected Cat's Eyes have treated us to some delicate pop in the vain of John Barry or Nancy Sinatra. 'Not A Friend' is really gorgeous, with incredible string textures and exotic, untouchable air. Not for the pop fans who want something quick and immediate perhaps, but for those searching for pop heaven - it's available as a free download
If you're in doubt then you can always just have a quick listen here. It's only just over two minutes long.
Not A Friend by Cat's Eyes Music
Normally I'd give both of these tracks a wide berth. You'd be a fool to. Stick a big fat Keep Pop Loud recommends sticker on the both of them