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Divus Julius presents: Daniele Luppi

Italian-born film composer Daniele Luppi grew up listening to the groovy lounge sounds of Italian pop music in the late ’60s and early ’70s. Used in advertising, film, television and radio, this musical style became so much a part of Luppi’s life that he could not help but draw on its influence for his first full album, An Italian Story. Here, Luppi not only pays homage to the genre of his youth, but he takes it one very classy step further: he employed those musicians who originally brought the music to life to make his modern version of it shine. Born and raised in Rome, Luppi was classically trained on piano and also learned to play jazz organ, becoming a master of the Hammond B-3.

Daniele Luppi has worked with some artists, ranging from his 2011 Rome project – which included Danger Mouse and Jack White – to his 2017 recordings with Parquet Courts and Karen O.

His new EP finds the studio boffin pivoting once more, with Daniele Luppi combining with Cigarettes After Sex figure Greg Gonzalez. The incoming project is titled ‘Charm Of Pleasure’, and it merges two very distinct artists.

Hit of The Week: Greentea Peng ‘Look To Him’

Greentea Peng has shared her gorgeous new song ‘Look To Him’. The songwriter is building on the emphatic creativity of her debut (double) album, and that recently stellar slot at Glastonbury. The heatwave was prime time to absorb her ‘luxe neo-soul vibes, with singles like ‘Your Mind’ and ‘Stuck In The Middle’ allowing her to advance with no small degree of patience.

4Ever Songs: INXS ‘Need You Tonight’

Created mere months after the Roland TR-707’s 1985 debut, “Need You Tonight” was a massive smash. It hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1987 and two on the UK Singles Chart the same year. Sampled within an inch of its life, it’s as indelible a pop song as any ever released. Somehow “Need You Tonight” keeps bouncing back and still hits as hard as it did on its initial release.

In fact, the track, which was the initial single off the band’s record, Kick, has an ageless appeal. When an INXS documentary came out in 2014, the immortal track charted once again in Australia from download sales alone. 

Divus Julius presents: Cleopatrick

Embracing the raw power and enduring legacy of rock, Cleopatrick are a Canadian duo who combine gritty riffs and fiery beats with hook-filled choruses. Employing a muscular and groove-laden amalgam of classic hard rock and churning alternative rock that evokes Arctic Monkeys by way of Highly Suspect, the group was formed in Cobourg, Ontario, by lifelong best friends Luke Gruntz (guitar/vox) and Ian Fraser (drums). Cleopatrick issued a debut EP, 14, in 2016, followed by a second EP, Boys, in 2018. The following year saw the rock revivalists return with the rollicking single “Sanjake,” and in 2021 they released their first full-length effort, Bummer. Now, they are sharing new single ‘OK’.

4Ever Songs: Elvis Presley ‘Suspicious Minds’

Over 50 years after its release, “Suspicious Minds’ remains one of Elvis Presley‘s most famous hits. Smooth Radio tells us “Suspicious Minds” was written by Mark James. In January 1969, Elvis went to American Sound Studios in Memphis for a 10-day recording session. Among the songs he considered over the 10-day period was James’ “Suspicious Minds.” Elvis’ version of “Suspicious Minds” became his final No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100.  “Suspicious Minds” has proved to be timeless.

Best Covers: Lenny Kravitz ‘American Woman

One of the biggest hits for the Canadian group The Guess Who was a song that seemingly warned against getting involved with ‘American Woman’. But the songwriter Burton Cummings has since said, in a 2013 interview, that it was simply a way of saying that he preferred Canadian girls. Whatever the meaning, Lenny Kravitz tapped into the song’s magnetism and room for guitar theatrics in his 1999 cover that has since become a cover version that stands alongside the original.