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Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Foals


Foals
Amazon
Foals and what comes to mind? Artsy, difficult, oblique, precocious, intelligent, volatile, mathletic. The Oxford group’s albums to date – 2008’s ‘Antidotes’ and 2010’s ‘Total Life Forever’ – are easily among the most innovative and intriguing British rock records of the last half-decade. But Foals have also fostered a reputation of being a little spiky, of playing a bit hard to get. Yannis admits to having been “a control freak”. This is, remember, the band who left their biggest early single, ‘Hummer’, off their debut album. You feel that their ability to furrow brows has, for Foals, been something of a point of pride.

All of which made the arrival of ‘My Number’ at the end of 2012 so surprising. It’s easily the poppiest, least self-conscious track the band had ever laid down. “You don’t have my number, we don’t need each other now/You can’t steal my thunder cos you don’t have my lover’s touch”, sings Yannis. If this were early Foals, those lyrics would be some elaborate metaphor. But no: it’s literally about lead singer Yannis not getting texts from his ex because he’s changed his digits. This willingness to focus the lens at their hearts and embrace a bit of clarity blows throughout ‘Holy Fire’ like a refreshing breeze.NME

Foals’ third album is a record that bursts out of the speakers and demands to be loved. You will have already heard ‘Inhaler’, a shimmying slow-build with a neat Yannis falsetto that suddenly and unexpectedly blows ‘Holy Fire’ into the stratosphere, and crackles as the embers settle. If you like it when Foals show their
teeth, ‘Providence’ is another track that’ll lodge itself in the Most Played page of your iTunes. Rhythmically pugilistic and heavy as all hell, it’s easily the loudest and most obscene Yannis and drummer Jack Bevan – the most overlooked weapon in Foals’ arsenal – have sounded since they were knocking down walls at Oxford house parties as members of The Edmund Fitzgerald.

Redlight

Redlight 
, Download heavily supporting both of his previous singles “Get Out My Head” and “Lost In Your Love” (which we were delighted to see charted in at #5 in the UK whilst we were chilling in South America).
Earlier this week he gave away a free track called “Safe From Harm“, but earlier tonight he dropped into Annie Mac’s Radio 1 show to give a special delivery of his brand new single “Switch It Off“. Once again he is on point with the beat, and enlisted a vocalist which perfectly matches the style of the song.
We do have bad news though, although we we happy to hear that Redlight is set to release an album this year he confirmed that we will have to wait until October to get our hands on it! Bittersweet.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

The Weekend

The Weekend 
Amazon new single Twenty Eight continues to explore the T-Dot singer’s ambivalent relationship with the opposite sex. Over Doc McKinney and Illangelo‘s characteristically moody boardwork, he addresses a girl who overstayed her welcome, and proceeded to spill the details on their tryst to all her friends. Despite her constant meddling in his life, he can’t muster up the willpower to cut her off for good. NABIL ties the package together with some NSFW official visuals. Fans can find Twenty Eight, previous singles Wicked Games and The Zone, and much more on Universal Republic 

James Blake

James Blake
Amazon has gone to great lengths to prove he's a fighter, not a lover. Or, at least, someone who can see battle lines in any artistic pursuit-- in between "CMYK" playing chicken with sample clearance lawsuits and his fears over the purity of dubstep, there was 2011's James Blake, an album where he wrote songs (well, some of them) and sang them while appearing extremely uncomfortable with the connotations of "singer-songwriter". They were pretty, but goddamn, were they serious.

Maybe he's mellowed with age: "Retrograde", the first single from the forthcoming Overgrown, is a straight-up soul crooner where his characteristic production details are still in place, but they're in the service of arrangement rather than disorientation. Those wordless falsetto curlicues recall none other than D'Angelo's "Brown Sugar", as the snap of the snare suggests that this is the sort of steady pop you typically get from ?uestlove. Even though the same buzz-synths from "Unluck" and "I Never Learnt To Share" reappear, their jutting points are shorn off. And his big vocal trick isn't some kind of electronic manipulation, but rather an heretofore unheard lower register where he intones, "We're alone now." Hell, it may just be a love song and another subtle attack to anyone who thought he was simply an interpretor rather than a songwriter capable of giving the public his own "Limit To Your Love." "Retrograde" sweetly says, "Yeah, I can do that too."

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

David Bowie

David Bowie
pop’s most important post-Beatles innovator – still commands unrivalled levels of fascination. Amazon

Just when it seemed that he had slipped into a dignified retirement, which no one would have begrudged, the world awoke one morning in January to the remarkable news of not only a single, Where Are We Now?, available immediately, but also this album.

In the context of the album, Where Are We Now? – a moving, backwards glance at The Berlin Years – seems a slight red herring. Bowie does consider the past, ageing, mortality: on the title track’s chant of “My body left to rot in a hollow tree” and I’d Rather Be High’s stumbling “to the graveyard”.

How Does the Grass Grow? poses the question, “Would you still love me if the clocks could go backwards?” (You Will) Set the World on Fire seemingly addresses his pre-stardom self, a You Really Got Me riff and slick confidence reminding us that he’s always had “what it takes”. This elegiac nostalgia is matched by the beautiful You Feel So Lonely You Could Die.

A complex mood pervades elsewhere, a sense of things gone awry. The nicely sinister Dirty Boys’ expressive, serious vocal depicts a skewed Englishness of cricket bats, “Finchley Fair” and running “with dirty boys”.

The Stars (Are Out Tonight) sees those stars (a recurring theme) anthropomorphised: “sexless and unaroused”, unsettlingly “beaming like blackened sunshine”.

The most experimental cut, If You Can See Me, proclaims – amidst spacey, tumbling rhythms and scattered jumbles of notes and words – “I will slaughter your kind”.

Love Is Lost makes youth seem ominous – newness abounds but still “your fear is old”. Clearly this is no elder statesman simply wistfully gazing into a dappled, romanticised past.

Valentine’s Day and I’d Rather Be High are further standouts – the former is a mid-paced depiction of a character with a “tiny face” and “scrawny hands”; the latter, a furious anti-war song.BBc

The closer, Heat, is a brilliant example of what makes our finest, bravest musician of the past 40 years so irreplaceable. It’s full of spaced-out vocals, ominous noises and bangs, keening strings and disturbing, impressionistic poetry.

With all the opacity and lack of easy answers that you would hope for from this most stylish and creative of artists, this is a triumphant, almost defiant, return. Innovative, dark, bold and creative, it’s an album only David Bowie could make.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Tame Impala

Tame Impala 
Amazon were taken direct from Olso to a location somewhere in Germany. Such is the life of a touring musician, though, one which is packed with loading out times, sound checks and an oblivious sense of geography. “At the moment I’m loving it” he reflects. “It’s really nice just to float around and not really enter one room more than once before heading off to the next. It’s kind of cool. I’m loving it at the moment but sometimes the pendulum can swing the other way and you’ll get sick of it”.
On the road to support new album ‘Lonerism’, Tame Impala are buoyed by the overwhelming acclaim lavished on their second full length. A sharp, concise blast of sun-fried psychedelia, it finds Kevin Parker embracing the sounds of the past with a very modern production sense. Seeming to exist in their own universe – one where time zones, decade splash against one another – the title spells out a new philosophy. “Making the idea of the loner into a lifestyle. Lonerism – it’s hard to describe” Parker admits. “I mean, with this album it’s more about trying to connect with people. It’s about connecting with other people – or trying. It’s not really about being alone, or even being happy about being alone. It’s about realising that you’re destined to be”.

Gorgon City

Gorgon City 
is the collaborative project of producers RackNRuin and Foamo - who combined forces through their shared love of jungle (their name's taken from Ninjaman’s nickname ‘the Gorgon Don’), house, grime, hip-hop and garage. Growing up in North London, the two were successful beatmakers in their own right before realising exactly how much damage they could do to dancefloors by combining powers. Already coming with some serious remixes for Clean Bandit and Jess Mills, their debut EP is threatening to make Gorgon City the go-to guys for simultaneous bass and sex-appeal.

Mumford and Sons

Mumford and Sons 
 'Whispers In The Dark' and it features a cameo appearance by LA sisters Haim as banjo player Winston Marshall’s stylists – watch it above. Amazon
'Whispers In The Dark' is taken from Mumford & Sons' second album 'Babel' – which recently picked up a Grammy Award for Album Of The Year.

Last month, Justin Timberlake revealed that he had been working with Mumford and Sons frontman Marcus Mumford on the soundtrack of the new Coen Brothers movie, Inside Llewyn Davis. The film, which stars Timberlake and Mumford's wife, Carey Mulligan, focuses on a fictional musician trying to make it in 1960s New York.NME

"I did work with Marcus Mumford on the soundtrack… Marcus and myself, we all kind of worked on the music together and I don't know any other world where we would have the opportunity to collaborate like that but it was so much fun," Timberlake said.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Neol Gallagher

Noel Gallagher 

 9(Amazon) saying his cat is more rock 'n' roll than than Justin Bieber.

Bieber hit the headlines earlier this week after arriving on stage for a London concert two hours late. He then last night (March 7) collapsed during a further live date in the capital, citing breathing difficulties. However, Noel Gallagher has little sympathy for Bieber and said his actions are "not very rock ’n’ roll."n  NMEme

"Is it rock ‘n’ roll to be two hours late? It depends on what he was doing in those two hours. Was he snorting coke off prostitutes? Or was he playing bridge? That’s not very rock'n'roll, is it? My cat sounds more rock ’n’ roll that that," Gallagher said in an interview with The Sun. He adds: "I just know his name — Justin. Whatever. I don’t know anything about him. I know people really fucking hate him, don’t they
.
"

Atoms for Peace


Atoms for Peace

Amazon supergroup they may ostensibly be, but it’s hard to shake the impression that – despite the presence of Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich, Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea, regular Beck drummer Joey Waronker and Brazilian percussionist Mauro Refosco – in reality Amok is the second chapter in Thom Yorke’s solo career.
It’s hard, too, to avoid comparing Amok with Radiohead, given Yorke’s distinctive voice and talent for an unusual tune, both of which remain central to his new project.
Here, however, he immerses himself fully in the glitchy electronica that’s inspired him since working on Kid A. Though there are traits familiar from recent ‘head albums – The King of Limbs’ Feral, for instance – Amok has its own restless, simultaneously sophisticated and gauche personality.
In fact, it displays the same twitchy rhythms and occasionally genial sincerity that Yorke displays with his onstage dancing.
Built from three days of studio jamming around existing laptop sketches, its intent is to lend electronica a sense of songcraft, to create a world where digital and analogue blur, and frequently it succeeds.BBC
Yorke’s ghostly falsetto traces an easily followed line through the agitated percussion and nebulous textures of Before Your Very Eyes and Unless, while Stuck Together Pieces’ defining features are a rolling bassline and rippling guitar that drift amidst the muted clatter of programmed beats.

Stereophonics

Stereophonics 
 finds Kelly Jones at a crossroads.
Post-greatest hits, Graffiti on the Train comes out on the band's own label Stylus Records and presumably affords Jones the time and space to carve a new niche.
And somehow, just about, he does. This is, inevitably, a more grown-up record than we've heard from him before.
Not that Jones has ever been anything less than serious. But Graffiti on the Train feels relaxed, at terms with its place in the world – and if that risks longueurs of steadfastly ordinary rock, then them's the breaks.
Its opening is typical, with We Share the Same Sun turning a bluesy guitar over and over against sinister keys – BBc
Later, the album broods, as on the semi-gothic Take Me, or the doo-wopping trad-rock Been Caught Cheating – the latter eventually erupting into a more familiar, anthemic chorus. Not exactly deft melodically, it nevertheless rouses like all the chunkiest Stereophonics favourites.
Some tracks display greater focus, with Catacomb in particular trying to find some common ground between Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Radiohead's Electioneering, and achieving something close.
It's followed by Roll the Dice where a Supergrass-y vamp morphs into the kind of quasi-operatic shapes Muse might reach for, and both songs border on the exciting. Similar is the motorik last minute of Violins and Tambourines.
More representative though is the Traveling Wilburys chug-along of Indian Summer, with its vague, unobtrusive appeal and sense of weathered comfort. It feels as if it should come from a band a generation older, but Stereophonics are heading in that direction.

Nina Nesbitt

Nina Nesbitt Amazon Singer/Songwriter New Artist of the Year 2012’ on iTunes last year, is currently recording her debut album with Jake Gosling (Paloma Faith, Ed Sheeran, One Direction). One track sees an ambitious plot that involves the singer travelling the length and breadth of the country to record it. Nina will visit a range of secondary schools across the UK where over 5,000 pupils will be captured performing the chorus with the singer, all of which will be featured in the final version for the album. The track is aptly named ‘The People’.

Nina will be releasing 4 videos in the run up to the release of her ‘Stay Out’ EP on 8th April. The first is for lead track ‘Stay Out’.

Ben Howard

Ben Howard
  most certainly isn't the "UK's answer to Jack Johnson".Amazon
What he is, on the evidence of this impressive debut album, is a gifted and immediately involving singer-songwriter. The 23-year-old from Devon – or "Devonshire", as his record company rather self-consciously refers to his home county – has pretty diverse musical tastes: he posts videos by artists as disparate as Paul Simon, Aretha Franklin and Robyn on his personal blog. However, it's the music of John Martyn and Bon Iver, both of whom he listens to "a lot", that has a tangible impact on his sound.BBC

Monday, 4 March 2013

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift
Amazon is planning to release the instant smash “22″ as the next single from her bajillion-times-platinum album Red, which is great because it’s an amazing pop song and that’s really all there is to it.
One of the strongest cuts from Red, the track — co-penned and produced by Max Martin and Shellback — always sounded like a massive single just waiting to happen; when it first leaked, we wrote that the song was “the perfect ode to Thought Catalog twentysomething angst.” Given the shape of the last several months for Swift, it’s probably exactly the right time for a song like this. Ryan Seacrest reports that the song will be officially released on April 1; hear it after the jump.

Peace

Peace
Amazon success of their first UK tour and are back in recording mode, with the release of their new single “Follow Baby” on 23/04/12. The boys  seem to have a knack for throwing themselves in the deep end, as the video for “Follow Baby” demonstrates… the band, plus attractive female cohorts, running around strangely pink landscapes, getting serious lip-lock action and jumping out of trees. “Surreal” is one word for it, but my choice would be “unexpectedly engaging”.
Talking first about the video, the director has adopted a very free form approach. The piece tells a story, but not one that has a beginning, a middle and an end. Instead, it feels more like snapshots into the lives of the characters, highlighting moments of pure joy and youthful pleasures. Climbing trees and falling in love, symbols that instantly register with the watcher and remind us of when we were carefree and the world seemed drenched in eternal summer. Perhaps that feeling inspired the choice of the brightly coloured mountains and slow motion action scenes that are mixed in with shots of the band playing on the pink slopes of Devils Dyke, Sussex. The Birmingham four-piece look like they are having a blast being young, talented and beautiful.

Pink

Pink
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