Nov 22 2015

Weekend Videos: Lail Arad – When We Grow Up

Lail Arad holds a special place in my heart, not least because her debut album ‘Someone New‘ was easily one of the albums of 2010 and one that I have found myself frequently returning to since. Quite some time has passed since then and while the London born raconteur has been keeping herself busy with performances on both sides of the Atlantic I was starting to itch for some new music.

All that has changed this year with the singer unleashing, what I imagine was, all her pent up creativity in a series of songs and videos.  “When We Grow Up” is the third of these “surprise” singles and is perhaps the catchiest of the three dealing in witty lines and bravado without ever taking itself too seriously. The accompanying video follows Arad as she glide in a carefree manner across New York’s infamous MOMA acting a little like a living installation invigorating the place.

Also worth checking out her ode to Leonard Cohen with the track ‘1934‘ which was released on the living legend’s 80th birthday.

Her upcoming album ‘The Onion‘ is due out in 2016.



Nov 16 2015

Weekend Videos: AFFAIRS- Brothers

Mancunian Indie quintet AFFAIRS and producer Ed Buller (Suede, Courteeners) proved that they make a dynamic match with previous single ‘Blood Science‘ and they teamed up in the studio again for spirited new track ‘Brothers‘.

The hazy, romanticism intro elevates before Liam Grindell’s baritone vocals add a unique edge to the Electro Indie ode to camaraderie. As Liam declares in the chorus ‘this is for my Brothers’, emotions soar in sync with the harmonies. Synths echo from all directions upon intricate, melodic guitars.

Not only does ‘Brothers‘ tell us that camaraderie is not dead, it also tells us that AFFAIRS are unafraid to make their own mark on the indie genre. The tinges of nostalgia hidden beneath the synths coupled with the bold, operatic vocals certainly deem AFFAIRS noteworthy on the vast, Indie scene.


Aug 4 2015

Dirty Vegas release Do What You Feel

Do What You Feel lores

Last month the Grammy award-winning British house duo Dirty Vegas return with their brand new single, ‘Do What You Feel’ – taken from their new album, ‘Photograph’ out this September on Italian dance label D:VISION.

Charged with acoustic guitars and feel-good vocals, ‘Do What You Feel’ is just the kind of vibrant summer anthem you’d expect from the South London lads, who first shot to fame in 2001 with their iconic debut single ‘Days Go By.’

Paul Harris and Steve Smith have been making music together for nearly 20 years. 2001’s debut single ’Days Go By’ catapulted them to Grammy success, winning the group Best Dance Recording. In the rollercoaster two years that followed, they released their eponymous debut album and headlined their own worldwide tour, in addition to supporting like-minded artists such as Moby, Underworld and Groove Armada. They went on to sell over 1 million albums and were named No.6 in Billboard Magazine’s ‘Top selling Electronic artists of the 2000’s’.

All eyes are now on their fourth album, ‘Photograph’ due out later this year, featuring the new single, ‘Do What You Feel’, and last year’s ‘Let The Night’ alongside nine other brand new tracks. ‘We feel like this new album is some of our best work to date,’ says Dirty Vegas. ‘It’s a journey back to our club roots.’

Check out the excellent remix package if you have a chance.


Jul 4 2015

David Bowie is…


When I heard the news that ‘David Bowie is’ – possibly one of the greatest retrospective of this generation was coming to the Philarmonie de Paris, I was more than thrilled. I was even more excited because my lack of organisation has led me to miss the exhibition at the V&A back in 2013. This time I was not going to miss it.

David Bowie is a living alien genius, his contribution to music, art and fashion is undisputable and this exhibition definitely fulfilled my expectations. Word has it that he visited it under disguise at the V&A on it’s opening day, I really wonder what he thought of it.

Everything you know/do not know/need to know about Bowie is there. Lyrics, original his stage AMAZING costumes, photographs, album artwork, rare performance material, set designs – everything is there. To the point that one may feel like they are, for an hour or so sharing a special and unique experience with the master himself.


Everything about this exhibition is flawless. I loved the fact that the music changed depending on where you were in the room. You’d be looking at artwork from the era of ‘Young Americans’ and hear ‘Fame’ in the backrground. His metarphosis throughout the ages from Major Tom, to Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane to Halloween Jack is central to the exhibition vbecause it’s central to his life and to his work.

The omnipresence of Bowie (he IS everywhere) somehow makes you feel like he is there with you, or at least his body is. I never felt so close to him. And I loved it.

The exhibition is touring all over the world so don’t miss it. A few dates : It ‘ll be in Melbourne from the 16th July and Groningen from 15th December 2015.


Post by Olivia




Jun 1 2015

Introducing: MALKA ‘I Never Needed Love’ new single

INNLpack lo1

MALKA is an electro-Alt-Pop starlet from London UK, AKA Tamara Schlesinger. She is former frontwoman of the acclaimed folky outfit ‘6 Day Riot’ who has flirted with the UK charts, toured both sides of the Atlantic, and had music featured in major TV and films.

Her self-produced debut album as MALKAMarching to Another Beat’ is out June 2015 and in the meantime we have a musical morsel in form of her single ‘I Never Needed Love’ – an upbeat, playful, ner-ner-ner-ner-ner bass-heavy ditty with should almost certainly come with a free bottle of Lambrini. Not that lads won’t enjoy the tribal electro-rhythms of this heavily layered ear worm also. And not that lads can’t drink Lambrini if they want to either, of course they can. Just saying.

Either way, uplifting new single ‘I Never Needed Love’ comes resplendent with a carefree chorus chant, invigorating bass groove and soul claps, this is a great tune and we can’t wait for the album.



Apr 9 2015

Rosie And The Goldbug new single ‘Running In The Dark’


Rosie and the Goldbug return with new single and EP ‘Running in The Dark‘, out May 4, after a few years of going into hiding – and the result is an explosion of colourful quirky fun.

Synth-laden electropop is not usually the first thing that comes to mind upon mention of Cornwall, but Rosie and The Goldbug combine camp beats with hints of Kate Bush and Goldfrapp that feel more at home on the dancefloor than on the beach.

Sparkly as magpies on LSD, ‘Running in the Dark‘ is at once silly and catchy, but Rosie Vanier‘s striking vocals tie it together and stop it from spilling over into sickly territory. Watch the video here:

Whether the new EP will attract as much attention from the critics as their earlier efforts remains to be seen, but us here at Cougar Microbes are definitely looking forward to hearing more.



Mar 12 2015

Conrad Vingoe: Interview + Free Download


Because Conrad Vingoe is such a sterling chap, he’s also given us a free track to give away. Download ‘Hand on my Heart’ Ft. Sarah Howells (of Paper Aeroplanes fame) for free here. The interview follows:

Cougar Microbes: What time did you wake up today? Was it out of choice or necessity?

Conrad Vingoe: 8.30 due to the Elephant children that live upstairs, I went back to bed for another hour as I am exorcising the remnants of man flu

CM: Describe The band to the uninitiated?

CV: Retro Folk/Americana influenced songwriter

CM: How do you kill time on the road, hobbies?

CV: Take a notebook to write down stuff and also addicted to Angry Birds Star Wars and online Scrabble

CM: What have been your favourite venues to play? Any venues you hated?

CV: Something interesting always happens, even in the shittiest venues. Favourites have been Union Chapel (London) and Fotografiska (Sweden).

CM: What is the songwriting process like for you. Are you able to write on the road or do you do this in your off time?

CV: Bits of both, I keep diaries on the road which sometimes end up in songs. Phone recordings are great for remembering ideas. Generally I try to experience on the road, write about it at home.

CM: Favourite track of yours and why?

CV: Well, they’re all my babies but off this album, “Little Things”. All of the album was recorded live to tape by Phill (Brown) and this was a studio “moment” when everything came together instantly. The parts that John (Parker– double bass) and Martyn (Barker– drums) played really worked for me and it has a really cool atmosphere to it. I like the cyclical nature of the song, sounds like you’re eavesdropping on something happening.

CM: If you could record any cover what would it be?

CV: Too many choices but this week anything by Smokey Robinson, maybe “Second that Emotion” in Motown’s old room!

CM: Do your songs go through many revisions via demo recordings?

CV: Not so much , I record things onto a tape 4 track which is pretty unforgiving, either a song works or it doesn’t, no amount of Reverb will fix it. If it doesn’t work I ditch it. Generally I don’t put anything to tape until I have a whole song in my head and I’m happy. There’s notebooks full of crap that didn’t make it though.

CM: What came first, the lyrics or the melody?

CV: Mostly the melody and the syncopation. It’s often sounds of words without being actual words for a while, but sometimes music and words come together

CM: What are your views on auto tune?

CV: Don’t touch it unless you’re Cher

CM: Any other band/bands from your local scene we really should know about?

CV: Loads of great Brighton people – Sharon Lewis, House of Hats, my sometimes band mate Fiddes Smith, the Dials, Lloyd Williams, the list goes on and on

CM: Most flattering thing you’ve read about yourselves?

CV: I had a review once saying I was London’s answer to Neil Young, a ridiculous comparison but it made me feel great for the rest of that day

CM: What was the first record/tape/cd you ever bought?

CV: Actually it was cool, ‘Rock the Casbah‘ by the Clash, then followed by several years of very uncool albums

CM: What was the last song that got stuck in your head?

CV: The one I just said is now stuck in my head

CM: What was the last show you paid and queued up for?

CV: Cat Power in Brighton, no queue though

CM: If you had to bring on artist back from the dead in exchange for sending a living artist down ,which artists would it be and why?

CV: Oh that’s harsh , I wouldn’t wish death on anybody, is it temporary? I’d like to see Billie Holiday sing so let’s resurrect her in exchange for say…Simon Cowell , not technically an artist but I’m liking the swap. Actually let’s make that permanent, never met him but he’s got a lot to answer for.

CM: Lastly, is there any question I should have asked you that I didn’t? And if so what’s the answer?

CV: Answer – You can’t get rid of them, they always come back.

Question – up to you.



Mar 11 2015

Introducing Conrad Vingoe

Tomorrow, then front cover lo

There’s this guy from Brighton, UK, and he’s a really good songwriter. We know this because Acoustic Magazine slapped an award on him for ‘best singer/songwriter’ – and I gather they take these things fairly seriously.

The guy is Conrad Vingoe, and he recently recorded his new album ‘Tomorrow, Then’ with producer Phill Brown (Led Zeppelin, Bob Marley, Bombay Bicycle Club) live to tape in two days. All sounds so cool, dunnit? Well, it is cool. And so is the first single ‘Fail’, “which just sort of fell out, I like the sense of urgency we captured on the recording. It’s possibly the most literal and autobiographical song on the album”.

We like it too, Conrad. We are putty in your fine-guitar-picking hands. Slaves to your stripped-back honesty, subtle folk-pop hooks and intelligent songwriting.

See the stop-motion video for ‘Fail’

His album ‘Tomorrow, Then’ is out in March. Go get it. Now. Quickly. #whatareyouwaitingfor? Chop chop.

Tune in tomorrow as we interview Conrad and offer a free download.