405tv Session: Rowdy Superstar (+ Friends) - "Breathe"


Rowdy Superstar is a force of nature. Most artists when asked to perform a live session grab their band, rather than assembling Eska and a small choir to perform an acappella version of their single. In a week. I love this version of "Breathe", one of the real stand out tracks from Rowdy's debut album "Battery". The layers of voices punctuate the underlying emotion the original production doesn't make so immediately obvious, Rowdy sounds heartfelt and passionate yet plaintive, and the body percussion really drives the intensity of the situation home. Beautiful.

Rowdy Superstar's New Video "Breathe" and Debut Album "Battery"

I wasn't sure whether to post this video initially since I was heavily involved in its production and commission (disclaimer), but I love the video, song and artist or I wouldn't have been involved in the first place. Skip it if you don't believe me (but have I ever lied to you?? Huh?).

"Breathe" is one of my (many) favourite songs from Rowdy Superstar's debut album "Battery", produced by experimental behemoth Matthew Herbert with artistic input and backing vocals from PMOI favourite for life Eska. In terms of production this is Matthew's most conspicuously pop album since Roisin Murphy's incredible solo debut "Ruby Blue", it sounds totally different but retains the same breadth of influences and sounds that give it a richness and feeling of intense quality.

What I love most about Rowdy's music is his relentless positivity - there's only so much I can listen to miserable men whinging on about taking drugs and ruining everything. Fun times. "Battery" is great walking music, full of whistles, megaphones, marching drums, bass, hand claps, and the vocal equivalent of power punches. Very much falling in to the "vocalist" camp alongside MIA and Santigold (none of them are exactly mellifluous, but at least they're original), it's musical marmite of the highest order, and I wouldn't recommend this album if you're a cynical beard stroker. If you  are someone who appreciates pop music that doesn't sound like it was made by Primark, has regular solo bedroom dance offs and a tolerance for music that's not about misery, drugs and sex (or miserable sex on drugs, or sexy miserable drugs etc), this might be the album for you.

Buy Rowdy Superstar "Battery" on iTunes