The weather at the moment is c'est magnifique! Its the first time I have had the irksome trouble of going into university with a jacket and stuff it in my bag before lunch as the sun was too strong to be wearing such heavy garments. To me, this is what signifies the change of seasons! And it is to be celebrated. Another thing to be celebrated is the girlband Sister Love. In fact, I want to pay tribute to the record company they belong to: HitWorks of Stockholm. Why? Every single act they have on their books makes DontStopthePop want to smile with sheer popjoy! Let me first focus on Sister Love!
All blonde, all glorious camp and always catchy. They are not quite Caracola-an easy assumption to make-but rather PayTV meets Atomic Kitten meets Eric Prydz. Quite a trinity don't you think? Take their, er fabulous, new single "Fabulous". Its rolls around in the kitchy lyrics yet ironic lyrics of PayTV, the poptastic rhythms of Atomic Kitten during their most fun moments and the dance fever of Mr.Prydz. Sound-wise you could put them next to the Australian girlband Slinkee Minx only Sister Love have a bit of a laugh with their listeners too. Take their absolute Britpop bashing version of Blurs "Girls and Boys" for example. Their tongues are firmly "in-cheek".
Today saw the release of their album Three Of Kind and I've been playing it non-stop since. "Go With The Flow" takes me back to that time I heard Kylie's "On A Night Like This". "Scary alligators" gives Infernal a stern run for their money. Its good to know the Danish duo are back cos Sister Love certainly threaten Infernal. If you love "A To B", you'll love the processed sounds of "Scary Alligators". They slow things down with "Girl Like Me" which is nothing but a re-working of Madonna's "Material Girl" and PayTv's "I Want More Stuff". Its also not the greatest track on the album which is ironic seeing as the next song on the album is called "Apology" which is a bewildering mixture between Caracola, Tatu and Ace of Base. You'll have to hear it to hear what I mean. Then comes the anthemic "Suddenly" which truly reminds me of Clea's "I Surrender". In fact, perhaps Sister Love are the natural girlgroup to take off where Clea started. "Suddenly" recalls PWL/SAW in their greatest pop glory. Highly recommended.
"Mr.Rebel" is truly Infernal. Even down to a random deep-voiced male singing a few words interspersed within the crooning from the girls. As such, its not quite the strongest pop moment but the girls immediately return to form with "Like A Melody" which is out of this world. It screams no.1 single in the same way ATC's "Around the World" did. I am sure I can hear a sample in there too. "Like A Melody" is Europop at its finest. "Viva La Dance", the penultimate song on "Three A Kind" is similar to some of Alcazar's earlier work. As such, its pretty brilliant. Dripping with an addictive chorus ("Shine On!" and "Stay bright!" indeed!), is the only song on Three of Kind that recalls the 1980s but it does it in a very 08 way. The album finishes with the quite weird "Lolilta Love". I have no idea how to interpret this song. It simply drifts into beyond. They refer to some girls virginity and a snake all of which is underpinned by a glorious brilliant neu-Italo-disco baseline and is pretty much the icing on the cake. "Three of Kind" is a perfect pop album and I highly recommend you purchase it.
So is Hitworks one of the finest small record companies in Sweden? With regards to pop it puts up quite a brilliant fight. Lets look at the evidence! (I want to say all of these acts deserve individual Dontstopthepop treatment, and actually they will in the future, but at the moment I must spread the world about the singers in one single article. Why? Just because they are quite fabulous and I want to celebrate the record company itself). So to the singers!
Stella is fierce. Pure and simple. "Dominator" is amazing! Maria Serneholt, who one might put next to Stella, has nothing on Ms.Stella. She's an electric pop princess and nothing secures this title more than her "Vicious" track which is currently on her myspace. It makes mince-meat of the term "dirty-weekend" and for this reason alone Stella is one to watch out for in 2008. I can't wait to hear more from Stella. Dontstopthepop loves you Stellaaaaaaaaaa! Myspace
Oooh you Britney may as well as give up. Anniela's "Push Up" suffers no fools. At first you might think it sounds too Pussycat Dolls. Too American/RnB! Not soooooooo! In fact its very Swedish by design and the chorus reveals it as such. Wrap up the entire previous album by Britney and you've got "Push Up" which to me suggests Anniela is going to be a major name this year. She sounds like she'll usurp the Spanish pop princess Natalia from her throne now that Spaniard has gone quite rocky. Which is music to my ears! I can't wait to review/listen to her album in full like I have with Sister Love! Myspace
checking out. Myspace
Hilda comes from the Swedish Idol. She also wins major kudos points of her Dannii/This Is It pose above. Her first single, "Knocking On Your Door", was pretty big and reminds me of Sisse Marie's "Boom". Her album is actually quite brilliant and, like all Hitworks products, well worth spending your money on. She uses the same team behind MissMatch on her Amy Diamond/Tyler James ilk track "Ain't Your Mother" which you can hear in its entirety here. I won't go through the entire album, called "To Be Continued", right now suffice to say its one of last years strongest Cds. Its very simple by design and has pure pop at its core (for example "Merry-Go-Round"). "Taxi-Driver" is also worth mentioning for its so cheesy you almost feel it should come with a fries. Myspace
Out of all the acts on Hitworks, Ida veers towards the more rock side of things than pop and as such stands out like a sore thumb. But! Don't let that be a problem because its such a great sore thumb! Her album is a strong rockpop effort which never gives you a dud or filler song. Along with her band, she has utilised her Fame Factory experience and completely proved herself to be every much the popstar. Songs "Armageddon Ready" are epic pop songs which never relent! How can I best describe I.D.A? Sita meets Nelly Furtado meets McFly only better! Just check her out. Myspace
In conclusion! Hitworks has a team of key song-writers and musicians all aimed at writing amazingly great and concise pop songs. It seems to be a family affair working more like a federation of pop geniuses rather than a pop factory or, indeed, a record company. They are dedicated to creating tight pop music and for this reason alone they must be celebrated. Am I in the pay of Hitworks? Sadly not! Am I sponsored by Hitworks? If only! In fact, the music they produce will hit very hard on my credit card account next month ensuring that my summer holiday abroad probably won't happen the money has been spent on Cds pressed by Hitworks. Still, seeing as summer has come so early here in Blighty who needs Cancun!
HitWorks Official Site (where you also purchase music)