Apologies the blog has been quiet recently; I am working on a few new articles but it's slow progress due to a busy period of work and family commitments. However, I simply have to drop in to mention Mike Stock's latest release.
Mike commented a few years back that he was desperately looking for an amazing girl singer he could write and produce pop songs for.
Well I think he's found her.
Her name's Chloe Rose and she's gearing up to release her debut single For Me -- written and produced by Mike -- on MPG Records.
It's a charity release in support of Childline/NSPCC and the Wayne Rooney Foundation, and is released in September to coincide with the new Childline app -- also called For Me -- which help those children in need make contact with people who can help them.
For Me is exactly the kind of record Mike Stock should be making now; it combines his amazing ability for melody and lyrics with a real sense of modernity to the production and arrangement.
And my word, it's catchy. The chorus in particular grabs you by the throat and won't let go.
This is important. There is a real emphasis on the sound of pop records today, rather than on their melody. Which means that many pop tracks these days sound great, but they get boring very quickly. Not so with For Me; it lodges in your head after the first couple of plays and refuses to budge.
The production sizzles. Squelchy synth pads, soaring strings, thumping drum fills and a nifty little "Oh - oh - ohh" vocal hook all combine to create a thoroughly modern Stock sound, whilst tipping its hat to his classic style.
Chloe Rose is a real star in the making. She looks like a pop star and has a great voice; there's a really sweet tone to her voice, but also power too, and she really sells the song.
Lyrically, it has that neat trick Mike uses on occasion, where the lyrics have a double meaning. Whilst the lyrics can be read as a girl praising her boyfriend, they're written in such a way that they also nod towards a young person contacting Childline. In this case, they work really well, getting the message across in a subtle way.
It's a terrific pop track and I would urge you all to support it.
Promotion of the track is now underway, with pre-orders now being taken on iTunes (with other digital music vendors to follow) -- and the track will be released on 9 September 2016.
Hopefully it will raise much needed money for the charitable ventures it is supporting, but here's hoping it gives Chloe Rose's music career the launch it deserves. An album is in progress, with half the tracks complete -- and if For Me is anything to go by, the signs are good that it will mark a real return of Mike Stock in his full pop pomp!