Tag: Kylie (Page 2 of 3)


Words like violence, break the silence… QUEEN OF HEARTS thinks that the best pop songs should make you dance and shed a tear or two. Pleasures remain… all you ever wanted, all you ever needed is here…

QUEEN OF HEARTS is the talented young singer Elizabeth Morphew and after a long gestation period, her debut album ‘Cocoon’ has finally arrived.

Brought up to the sound of the synthesizer and learning to dance to the beat of electronic drums, the young royal grew up on a strict diet of A-HA, DEPECHE MODE, YAZOO and THE HUMAN LEAGUE, thanks to her dear Queen Mother.

She first came to public attention via RED BLOODED WOMEN, a girl group who utilised the template of YAZOO and DEPECHE MODE enough to sound like GIRLS ALOUD produced by Daniel Miller. Following their disbandment in 2010, Morphew became QUEEN OF HEARTS. A debut EP ‘The Arrival’ was subsequently issued in 2011.

She once said “pop is not a dirty word”. And while she could be considered of the pop ilk, ‘Cocoon’ is not some producer puppet album. For a start, Morphew has co-written all the material while the producers have been sympathetic to the cause and not resorted to dumbing down to the Guetta level. Yes, there are danceable, club friendly beats, but these songs are spared the horribly predictable drops of that over rated chancer Harris! ‘Like A Drug’ is a good example of this carefully crafted ethos while ‘It Isn’t Enough’ and the frantic ‘Overcome By The Rhythm’ both extend to being trancey hands-in-the-air moments without the usual bombastic clichés.

But, there are also a variety of other styles thrown into the mix. The rich ballad ‘ColourBlind’ would be TAYLOR SWIFT if she did something more synthy; here Morphew’s voice is gorgeous, honey coated splendour. Another slowie comes in the form of ‘Surrender’ produced by BRIGHT LIGHT BRIGHT LIGHT while the adventurous ‘Angel’ explores dubstep rock.

GOLDFRAPP, KYLIE, ANNIE and LITTLE BOOTS are the main influences in QUEEN OF HEARTS’ electro wonderland and this is reflected in the album’s six key songs. ‘Freestyle’ takes its leaf from GIORGIO MORODER with DREAMTRAK (aka studio boffin Ollie Horton of TRADEMARK who supported THE HUMAN LEAGUE in their time) thrusting the propulsive pulse into a galaxy far, far away; feel The Force as it is strong on this one! Meanwhile, the ethereally tribal ‘Warrior’ from the mine of producer DIAMOND CUT sees QUEEN OF HEARTS enter the ice diva stakes by sounding like KYLIE weaned on CLAUDIA BRÜCKEN.

The album’s highlight though is undoubtedly the catchy glam stomper ‘Neon’. It magnificently manages to out Goldfrapp GOLDFRAPP with some deliciously wired glitterball sparkle. ‘Neon’ has already achieved a number of synchronisations, most notably on American TV show ‘Do No Harm’ and while this has the obvious hallmarks of Lady Alison’s schaffel laden poise, QUEEN OF HEARTS successfully adds her own cooing allure.

However, the spectre of division floats over ‘Suicide’, a moodily emotive and chilling collaboration with Berlin based producer MARK REEDER. Introduced to The Haus Of Hearts by ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK, he curated the magnificently epic Electrically Excited Remix of ‘Neon’ which eventually appeared on his ‘Collaborator’ CD. Now his portfolio includes PET SHOP BOYS, DEPECHE MODE, JOHN FOXX and MARSHEAUX as well as running dance label MFS, so his experience adds even further dimensions to the QUEEN OF HEARTS sound. Mention must be made of his other production from the sessions ‘United’ which is sadly missing from ‘Cocoon’, but is so vibrantly good that it is essential listening if this album appeals.

The sizzling co-write with Stefan Storm of Swedish synthpop duo THE SOUND OF ARROWS entitled ‘Shoot The Bullet’ provides a wonderfully buzzy pop cocktail full of glucose energy but with a touch of melancholy that makes it all the more enticing. And that’s is not the last to be heard from Stefan Storm as ‘Cocoon’ closes with ‘Tears In The Rain’, another gorgeously atmospheric piece which is crisply Nordic and glacially spine tingling.

‘Cocoon’ is an enjoyable pop album with many credible foundations. And unlike QUEEN OF HEARTS’ more higher profile contemporaries such as KATY PERRY and ELLIE GOULDING, there is not an over reliance on autotune, with as natural a vocal sound as possible being sourced from the classically trained singer. ‘Cocoon’ is up there with RACHEL STEVENS’ wonderful ‘Come & Get It’ as an inventive but poptastic collection of songs about the important things in life – love, loss, heartbreak, betrayal.

‘Cocoon’ is released as a download album by Night Moves via Amazon, iTunes and other digital retailers

A deluxe 2CD digipak set with featuring the bonus songs ‘Spanish Sahara’, ‘United’, ‘Forgive Me’, ‘Where Are You Now?’ and ‘Wicked Game’ is available direct from http://iamqueenofhearts.bigcartel.com/product/cocoon-limited-edition-2cd-gatefold-digipack-pre-order



Text by Chi Ming Lai
Photos by Darren Black
5th July 2014, updated 27th November 2014

Introducing PAWWS


Photo by Simon Wisbey

With LITTLE BOOTS having gone dance and LA ROUX brandishing a guitar on her forthcoming second album, there is now a vacancy for a new kooky homegrown talent to take on the female electropop challenge laid down by Norway’s ANNIE back in 2007.

One of the possible candidates is PAWWS, otherwise known to her parents as Lucy Taylor.

PAWWS is what CHVRCHES would sound like if they were an all-female concern ie a blokey free zone. Throw in some Scandipop influences plus a dose of second hand Roland JX-8P and the end result is some sweet, sugary electronically driven pop.

Certainly those on a calorie controlled diet will need to be careful. Sparkling and sprightly, ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK was drawn to the coy, feline magnetism of ‘Slow Love’, a track that was the B-side of her 2013 debut single ‘Time To Say Goodbye’ while several of the team spotted her supporting HURTS.

Slightly moodier, ‘Time To Say Goodbye’ took on a more dramatic pace but was no less impactful, like LYKKE LI or IAMAMIWHOAMI on extra helium. Whether the classically trained North Londoner will last the course eventually to take on ROBYN and ANNIE or disappear into the wilderness like SUNDAY GIRL is not important right now. That her music exists and is good is all that really matters.

Her new EP ‘Sugar’ uses the short-chain, soluble carbohydrate as a metaphor for the pitfalls of love… after all, who hasn’t pursued something that may actually be harmful for you in the long term? The title track has been described “As if Kylie had worked with OMD” by The Sunday Times.

Meanwhile Lucy Taylor herself has labelled her music “upsetting disco” and ‘Give You Love’ from the EP lives up to that template. Certainly those who prefer their music with rough edges and have an aversion to female fronted synthpop will have their touch paper lit even further with the rich, smooth offerings that are ‘Sugar’ and ‘Give You Love’ 😉

‘Sugar’ is released on 16th June 2014 as a download EP by Best Fit Recordings but there will also be a limited edition 12” pink vinyl and most importantly, a CD… yes, at last, there is an artist and label who together are seeing sense and recognising there is still a demand for the silver digital discs!

The ‘Sugar’ EP is released by Best Fit Recordings

PAWWS plays The Lexington in London on Monday 12th May 2014





Text by Chi Ming Lai
9th May 2014, updated 7th July 2014


Following her Arrival in 2011, QUEEN OF HEARTS graced the world earlier this year with a brilliantly glitzy slice of electro schaffel entitled ‘Neon’ that ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK thought managed to “out Goldfrapp GOLDFRAPP”.

Continuing her reign, her wonderful new single is the impressively tribal ‘Warrior’, an epically orchestrated production from the mine of DIAMOND CUT.

Here, she takes the next step in the ice diva stakes by effectively turning into CLAUDIA BRÜCKEN.

Sounding like KYLIE if she had been weaned on PROPAGANDA’s ‘A Secret Wish’, the young royal walks that fine line incorporating pop, art and fashion beautifully. This is reflected in the striking video which has been directed and filmed by the acclaimed fashion photographer Elliot Morgan.

Other tracks on the ‘Warrior’ bundle include Queenie’s paradoxically delicious synthesized cover of BEN HOWARD’s growly acoustic number ‘Only Love’ and the Eurotastic HI-NRG ‘Broken Dreams’ which appears to reveal a love of MODERN TALKING… incidentally, the duo’s Dieter Bohlen is now the Simon Cowell of Germany!

There is also the bonus of an oddly laid back ALUNA GEORGE mix of ‘Shoot The Bullet’, which was originally produced by Swedish pop duo THE SOUND OF ARROWS.

‘Warrior’ is released as a download EP by Night Moves on 2nd December 2012. It is available via Amazon, iTunes and other digital retailers.




Text by Chi Ming Lai
22nd November 2012


Following her bouncy recorded debut with the JOHAN AGEBJÖRN collaboration ‘The Last Day Of Summer’, the lovely QUEEN OF HEARTS releases some catchy electropop of her own, courtesy of ‘The Arrival’ EP.

On it are her majesty’s two viral hits from earlier this year, ‘Freestyle’ and ‘Where Are You Now?’ The Guardian were one of the first of the mainstream inkies to champion her. Amongst all the journalistic excitement, The Times described ‘Where Are You Now?’ as “a luscious escapist electropop floorfiller of the future from the mysterious London based newcomer”. Meanwhile the hardly electro or pop friendly rag Q said “The upper reaches of the pop stratosphere beckon”.

‘Freestyle’ mesmerises with a hypnotic chill and attaches it to some propulsive backing in the manner of GIORGIO MORODER. Thrusting itself to a galaxy far, far away, the young royal is steadily gravitating towards being pop’s answer to Queen Amidala in the ultimate revenge of the synth! The Force is strong on this one!

‘Where Are You Now?’ contains some great production in the vein of XENOMANIA, its lustre reminiscent of the hit machine’s work on the underrated RACHEL STEVENS album ‘Come & Get It’ and the more electronic antics of GIRLS ALOUD. The chimes here are a lovely touch alongside the pulsing synths and QUEEN OF HEARTS’ seductive cooing; this if nothing else will have every red blooded male shouting “I’m here!”

Starting ‘The Arrival’ however is a sizzling new collaboration with THE SOUND OF ARROWS called ‘Shoot the Bullet’. For those who are not aware, THE SOUND OF ARROWS are Stefan Storm and Oskar Gullstrand, a hot new pop duo from Sweden said by Popjustice to be “the HURTS you can dance to”. Their CGI assisted visual presentation has been described by one blog as resembling “Disney meets Brokeback Mountain”!

‘Shoot the Bullet’ is a wonderfully buzzy pop cocktail, laden with crystalline melodies in the most wonderful of civil partnerships… think GOLDFRAPP’s lovely ‘Dreaming’ from ‘Head First’. Another a crown jewel is QUEEN OF HEARTS’ cover of THE FOALS’ ‘Spanish Sahara’; the gently throbbing sub-ERASURE bassline and sedate arpeggios melt marvellously into the consciousness, thanks to some subtle studio work by DREAMTRAK. Queenie’s voice is a spoonful of gorgeous, honey coated splendour.

And as a final treat for all of her loyal subjects, there’s the previously unheard ‘Black Star’ which is a co-write with Beatrice Hatherley who has worked with KYLIE MINOGUE and ZOOT WOMAN. It’s quite experimentally grimy although blog Like 1999 amusingly says: “she sounds like Russian faux-lesbian duo TATU raving inside a dubstep warehouse!”

Not featuring on this EP but a surefire glam stomper for the future is the lovely ‘Neon’ which magnificently manages to out Goldfrapp GOLDFRAPP. Then there’s also her MONARCHY collaboration ‘Perfect Mistake’ which has pots of dynamic glitterball sparkle.

With this pair and the excellent Stuart Price produced ‘Feel’ also in the can, ‘The Arrival’ should only be seen as the beginning. There is still MUCH more to come from QUEEN OF HEARTS.

She writes songs about the important things in life – love, loss, heartbreak, betrayal – and thinks that the best pop songs should make you dance and shed a tear or two. All you ever wanted, all you ever needed is here…

‘The Arrival’ takes place at a digital outlet near you now.



Text by Chi Ming Lai
20th October 2011

QUEEN OF HEARTS Live at Madame JoJo’s

Since launching herself to the world in February, the gorgeous QUEEN OF HEARTS has been attracting a fair amount of attention from the mainstream press.

The Independent described her first track Freestyle as “mixing the cool vocal detachment of ANNIE with the electro throb of Black Cherry-era GOLDFRAPP, all sighing melodies and synth explosions”.

Meanwhile, The Times said in a playlist feature that also included RADIOHEAD and LADYTRON that her second track Where Are You Now? was “a luscious escapist electropop floorfiller of the future from the mysterious London based newcomer”. And not ones known for liking either electro or pop, Q magazine said “The upper reaches of the pop stratosphere beckon”. Words like violence, break the silence…

And so it was on a lovely, warm April evening that QUEEN OF HEARTS gave her debut live performance. In the presence of press, family, friends and fans, she regally strolled onto stage in the most beautiful dress courtesy of Polish couture designers Kruszynska.

With the austere look of GOLDFRAPP but with a more approachable allure, she launched into a powerful version of ‘Freestyle’, the song that originally got everyone buzzing. This live rendition was particularly mesmerising and punchy. Aided and abetted by dancers Holly Allen and Katie Smith plus a three piece band (Steve Durham: drums; Charlotte Ridly: synth; Vicky Warwick: synth and bass), it all slotted seamlessly into the fantasmical presentation. And as Elly Jackson once said: “Girls look wicked playing synths!”

The following’ Overcome By The Rhythm’ was a trancey hands-in-the-air moment with Queenie encouraging the sizeable turnout to wave their imaginary glowsticks. Interestingly, the crowd divided down the middle with glamourous pretty ladies to the right and well groomed disco boys to the left. Loving the terrific ‘Where Are You Now?’ they all united to savour this most wonderfully catchy ditty as already premiered online in various studio and remix incarnations. Meanwhile, ‘Premonition’ was suitably KYLIE-esque and electrically poptastic while closing number ‘No More’ was pure gold.

Yes, QUEEN OF HEARTS is a composite of GOLDFRAPP, KYLIE, ANNIE, LITTLE BOOTS and GIRLS ALOUD but she’s also her own woman as her charming on-stage banter proved.

A natural comedienne, only she could have got away with making a joke about her dear Queen Mother putting illicit substances into the lovely heart dressed cupcakes that were kindly being offered to guests pre-show!

With a wonderfully choreographed showcase, this is just the start for QUEEN OF HEARTS. All co-written by her Majesty herself, the gathered throng were treated to five exquisite songs that were immediately impressive.

With willing collaborators such as JOHAN AGEBJORN, ERCOLA, DREAMTRAK, DIAMOND CUT and FEAR OF TIGERS among her subjects, everyone will soon want to enter QUEEN OF HEARTS’ new wonderland.

QUEEN OF HEARTS will be headlining Gold Dust at London’s Hoxton Bar & Kitchen on 18th May 2011

JOHAN AGEBJORN & ERCOLA’s single ‘The Last Day Of Summer’ featuring QUEEN OF HEARTS will be released by Paper Bag in May 2011




Text by Chi Ming Lai
Photos by Richard Price
14th May 2011

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