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Music | The Guardian

Latest music news, comment, reviews and analysis from the Guardian

Published: Sat, 21 Apr 2018 15:10:10 GMT2018-04-21T15:10:10Z

Copyright: Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. 2018

Avicii: the EDM poster boy who struggled with the spotlight

Sat, 21 Apr 2018 11:03:47 GMT2018-04-21T11:03:47Z

The death of the 28-year-old Swedish DJ and producer marks a tragic end to an illustrious career underpinned by pressure

Avicii was an avatar as much as he was a producer. Exploding on to the scene in 2011 with his unabashedly saccharine hit Levels, the Swedish musician born Tim Bergling represented, depending on where one stood, either the best or worst of dance music’s rise in the United States.

Related: Avicii: Chart-topping EDM star dies aged 28

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Wallets at the ready! Join our tour of the UK's greatest record shops

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 14:11:16 GMT2018-04-20T14:11:16Z

As Record Store Day returns, we go on ‘record store crawls’ around four UK cities with the country’s best new DJs, to find the bricks-and-mortar gems that keep pushing the culture forward

It’s Record Store Day on Saturday, a juggernaut that is still picking up pace in its 11th year, with many exclusive special-edition records released as a way to focus music fans’ attention on bricks and mortar. And now there’s a new way to take it all in: in the US, the Record Store Crawl initiative has been set up to explore the wealth of stores in each city. With RSD looming, we thought this could be a model for a survey of the health of record shops in British cities: so, four writers have gone round four cities with some of the UK’s most exciting new DJs and producers, picking out their ultimate record-shopping routes.

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J Cole: KOD review – a brilliantly brooding antidote to hip-hop excess

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 14:52:16 GMT2018-04-20T14:52:16Z

With only an alter-ego for company, J Cole casts himself as rap’s moral compass with this masterfully pared-back fifth album

When J Cole announced the imminent arrival of KOD earlier this week, some of excitement was caused by the tracklisting: not the titles themselves so much as the fact that two of them seemed to feature a guest appearance, albeit from a hitherto-unknown artist called kiLL edward. The one thing everyone knows about J Cole is that his albums almost never feature special guests – after his album 2014 Forest Hills Drive broke a Spotify streaming record previously held by One Direction, the phrase “J Cole went platinum with no features” turned from endlessly repeated boast to internet meme.

One school of thought suggested the presence of kiLL edward was all an elaborate hoax, another that the “experimental” nature of his fifth album might include a slackening of his aversion to sharing space with others. It takes KOD a matter of minutes to announce that the latter is very wrong: “How come you won’t get a few features – I think you should?” Coles snaps on the title track. “How about I don’t? How about you just get the fuck off my dick?” And so it proves: kiLL edward turns out to be Cole himself, his vocals slowed down, the reverse of Prince’s helium-voiced Camille.

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Ariana Grande: No Tears Left to Cry review – instant earworm dances against the odds

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 11:11:14 GMT2018-04-20T11:11:14Z

Grande’s first new single since the Manchester Arena attack is defiantly joyful, but takes time to send a few barbs at the haters

On 19 April, Ariana Grande teased fans with a snippet of her first new music to be released since a suicide bomber killed 22 people at her concert in Manchester last May. It sounded, from those 30 seconds, as though No Tears Left to Cry might be a ballad, with the 24-year-old turning her pliant vocal range to gospel. It would have made for an appropriate, traditional tribute, if a surprising one considering her previous responses to the tragedy.

Despite professional prude Piers Morgan bleating after the attack that she wasn’t demonstrating her grief in the proper way, Grande and manager Scooter Braun swiftly organised One Love Manchester, a vast benefit concert that pulled in performances from artists including Justin Bieber, Liam Gallagher, Coldplay, Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus. It was one of the most joyful, defiant celebrations of pop and the communities it inspires that has ever been staged – so it makes sense that No Tears takes exactly the same attitude.

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Superstar DJs: the best playlists curated by musicians

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 10:00:20 GMT2018-04-20T10:00:20Z

Chance the Rapper celebrates his 25th birthday with a carefully constructed playlist, following Father John Misty and Lorde

Musicians tend to have a love-hate relationship with streaming services. Sometimes they invest in one at the goading of an industry titan (Jay-Z, Tidal and all of Jay-Z’s friends). Other times, they stage protests by withholding their entire catalog from a platform (Taylor Swift v Spotify). And then they eat their words by not only adding it all back, but using streaming services to debut exclusive, tepidly received cover songs (… also Taylor Swift and Spotify).

Related: What, no Whitney? The biggest Rock & Roll Hall of Fame snubs ever – ranked!

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CCTV footage shows Prince visiting doctor the day before his death

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 12:52:03 GMT2018-04-20T12:52:03Z

Material released after the investigation into the musician’s death also includes a police interview with Sinead O’Connor in which she alleges he was violent to women

A wealth of material gathered as evidence in the investigation into the death of musician Prince has been released, following the ruling that no criminal charges will be filed over his accidental overdose of the opioid painkiller fentanyl.

Among the 15GB of data made public by the Carver County sheriff’s office in Minnesota is CCTV footage of Prince visiting the offices of Dr Michael Schulenberg on 20 April 2016, the day before he died aged 57. Dr Schulenberg has since agreed to pay $30,000 (£21,330) in a settlement, after being charged with violating the Controlled Substances Act for writing an Oxycodone prescription for Prince in the name of the musician’s assistant, Kirk Johnson.

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Gary Barlow and Madonna! Pop’s strangest crossovers

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 11:58:57 GMT2018-04-20T11:58:57Z

This month marks the 21st anniversary of Barlow’s solo album Open Road, which features a track penned by Madonna. From Beyoncé to Victoria Beckham and beyond, it’s not the first oddly matched musical venture

Music lovers, rejoice! This month sees the 21st-anniversary re-release of Gary Barlow’s stone cold solo classic, Open Road. Don’t you just love a 21st birthday? In the United States, it means your first legal taste of alcohol and your final frat house parties. In Britain, though, it means breaking up with your university girlfriend and doing an ill-advised internship in marketing, and perhaps that’s more appropriate here.

Related: Sign up for the Sleeve Notes email: music news, bold reviews and unexpected extras

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50 great tracks for April from MØ, Trouble, Hot Snakes and more

Tue, 03 Apr 2018 09:45:13 GMT2018-04-03T09:45:13Z

From the first pop song of the summer to Alpine indie, San Diegan punk and Chinese neo-trance, here’s our latest roundup of the best new music. Subscribe to the playlist of all 50 tracks and read about our 10 favourites

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Readers recommend: share songs about the Commonwealth

Thu, 12 Apr 2018 19:00:15 GMT2018-04-12T19:00:15Z

Nominate in the comments and a reader will pick the best eligible tracks for a playlist next week – you have until Monday 16 April

There’s plenty to choose from as we seek your nominations this week, with 53 nations involved in the Commonwealth. Keep an eye on the comments for more on how to interpret the theme.

You have until 11pm on Monday 16 April to post your nomination and make your justification. RR contributor Chaz Cozens (who posts as HopelessCase in the comments) will select from your recommendations and produce a playlist, which will be published on 19 April.

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The greatest ever female rap tracks – ranked!

Thu, 05 Apr 2018 12:28:30 GMT2018-04-05T12:28:30Z

With mesmerising Bronx rapper Cardi B’s debut album Invasion of Privacy dropping this week, we look back at the greatest moments from the female rap stars who preceded her

10. Foxy Brown – I’ll Be

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John Mellencamp on his paintings: 'They're like my songs – grotesquely beautiful'

Tue, 17 Apr 2018 09:00:34 GMT2018-04-17T09:00:34Z

The singer is unveiling over 25 new artworks, reflecting on the political climate of the past and present, injustice and oppression

In 2008, the Republican presidential nominee, John McCain, was blasting John Mellencamp songs at his rallies, until the musician asked him to stop.

Mellencamp is a Democrat. “We said, ‘You understand what side of the political landscape Mellencamp is part of, please know his music is for everybody,’” said Mellencamp over the phone from his Indiana home. “But we said, ‘You might want to relisten to these songs.’”

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Dua Lipa: ‘Pop has to be fun. You can’t get upset about every little thing’

Sun, 15 Apr 2018 08:30:08 GMT2018-04-15T08:30:08Z

She was the most streamed female artist on Spotify last year and in February was the first woman to be nominated for five Brit awards. The New Rules singer talks about her Kosovan roots, her strict work ethic and music as an escape

There are plenty of reasons to be startled by the young musician Dua Lipa. Her cynical, defiantly un-sunny pop anthem New Rules was an improbable song-of-the-summer last July. Streamed online more than 1bn times since, it has helped establish this 22-year-old Londoner as pop’s beach-storming new conquistador – a winner of two Brit awards in February, and the first female artist to be nominated for five. Lipa has an unusual name and history (she comes from a family of Kosovan academics, parted in the 1990s by war), a room-stilling presence (she stands 6ft-plus in heels), and a talent for hanging together pop-music contradictions, specialising in floor-filling bangers that are somehow both jaded and buoyant, universal and intimate. She’s interesting in a number of ways, all of which I want to explore when I meet her one morning in London, towards the end of her Observer cover shoot. Before anything else, though, we discuss her hands.

Specifically Lipa’s palms, which are as tough and as work-worn as a lumberjack’s. It’s as if Lipa has spent the week up to now baking bricks, or fighting in a cage. Laughing about it, sighing, Lipa passes her hands around so that everyone in the studio can have a feel. She blames her personal trainer. “We lift a lot of weights,” she says. “We box.” And the crowds on her recent world tour, Lipa points out, wouldn’t just rouse themselves. “I feel like I’ve spent about a year clapping these hands together and shouting: ‘Come on!’”

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Jesus Jones: how we made Right Here, Right Now

Mon, 16 Apr 2018 15:02:23 GMT2018-04-16T15:02:23Z

‘Bill Clinton used it as his campaign song. Then Hillary used it as hers. I think it got stuck in their car stereo and was the only song they knew’

At the end of 1989, I was listening to Simple Minds’ cover of Prince’s Sign o’ the Times [which lamented the concerns of the era – from Aids to urban poverty and drug addiction]. On the TV was coverage of the Berlin Wall coming down, and all these people celebrating. I never thought that I’d see such a thing in my lifetime, and I wanted to write a sort of updated but positive Sign o’ the Times to reflect what was happening.

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‘I played Berlin at 7am on Sudafed and coffee’ – the middle-aged DJs still keeping pace

Thu, 12 Apr 2018 13:00:08 GMT2018-04-12T13:00:08Z

Thirty years on from the second summer of love, a cohort of fiftysomething DJs are refusing to hang up their headphones, fuelled by nothing stronger than caffeine

In 1988, Luke Cowdrey was undergoing his acid-house epiphany in Manchester. “For me, it changed the world,” says the Sheffield-born DJ, better known as Luke Unabomber. “It wasn’t just music, drugs and hedonism. It was the people you met and the sense that life was, suddenly, so much better.” He smiles: “My brother always says the men in my family didn’t start hugging until acid house.”

In Manchester you are never far from such a testimony. The city is full of grizzly rave veterans banging on about the Haçienda. The difference with Cowdrey is that, aged 51, he is still raving, and not on the nostalgia circuit (“Celebrating the past is such a defeat”) but at clubbing’s cutting-edge – along with a generation of middle-aged DJs who have refused, or are unable, to hang up the headphones.

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Trivium review – heavy metal headbangers just wanna have fun

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 09:50:02 GMT2018-04-20T09:50:02Z

O2 Academy, Glasgow
The veteran Florida foursome make faintly ridiculous music that incites a fevered response – even the stage banter prompts crowdsurfing

With such cheerfully titled songs in their setlist as Inception of the End and Drowned and Torn Asunder, eight-album veteran Floridian heavy metal foursome Trivium look, on paper, like a band in need of an emergency sense of humour transplant. But to see them live is to be reminded that sometimes even serious headbangers just wanna have fun.

Threading together the kick drum-slapping stentorian gallop of Iron Maiden, the stomach-lurching heaviosity of Metallica and the screeching guitar solos of Megadeth, Trivium make fast, physical and faintly ridiculous music that demands a commensurate response from the crowd. The turbocharged thrashing instrumental passage of Sever the Hand has scores of people whirling around in a cauldron of mosh, even before frontman Matt Heafy starts whipping everybody into a more calculated frenzy.

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Sheridan Smith review – force of nature brings laughs, tears and cheek

Tue, 17 Apr 2018 10:17:06 GMT2018-04-17T10:17:06Z

Bridgewater Hall, Manchester
Presenting numbers from her recent covers album, the actor and singer can’t hold back the tears after a difficult two years – but her voracious talent turns the show into an exhilarating emotional rollercoaster

Wartime show tunes set the mood, before Sheridan Smith bounds on with a spotlight lighting her from behind and making her blonde locks glow like a halo. Her big hair, wiggly walk, red dress and lipstick ooze an old-fashioned, Marilyn Monroe sort of glamour. Only the tattoos creeping down each arm suggest that we are in 2018, but then that’s Smith all over. As one of the UK’s most accomplished actors, she is equally at home playing comic period characters such as Fanny Brice in Funny Girl or a council estate rough diamond in hard-hitting Shannon Matthews kidnap drama The Moorside.

This two-hour show of orchestrated covers, laughs and introductory stories, though, is something else – and she admits to being nervous. “Usually, I play a role,” she explains, “but this is as if I’m naked. I promise not to take my clothes off … well, maybe in the second half.”

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Coachella review – pop's new democracy creates uneven city in the desert

Tue, 17 Apr 2018 11:05:54 GMT2018-04-17T11:05:54Z

Empire Polo Club, Indio, California
The highs were high – of-the-moment rapper Cardi B, discomfiting art-rocker St Vincent, cosmic jazz saxophonist Kamasi Washington – but others like SZA misfire, and the whole thing suffers from internet-era distraction

With a rumoured 40,000 extra attendees at the first weekend of Coachella 2018, the three-day festival is more congested than ever. It’s especially hard to move without stepping into the frame of an influencer’s selfie as they document outfits, record friendships and pray for a feature in a Twitter moment. This culture of validation and self-affirmation makes sense given that the festival’s culture is now predicated on reaction (reflected in promoter Goldenvoice recalibrating their booking in recent years) rather than minting trends. Hence 2018’s lineup consisting largely of mainstream urban hip-hop and R&B acts, including headliners the Weeknd, Beyoncé and Eminem (each reviewed separately).

There is a progressive positive to this: Coachella is now a playground for the global democratisation of pop. If you can cross over in the age of streaming, chances are Coachella will grant you the opportunity to realise it in a setting previously inconceivable to Billboard Hot 100 entries. In a digital epoch in which the thirst for “IRL” ownership is at its peak, the market for seeing your favourite song in 3D against crisp, larger-than-life, high-definition backdrops and desert-shaking soundsystems is strong.

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Eminem at Coachella review – career-spanning set is a perfect nostalgia hit

Mon, 16 Apr 2018 11:32:32 GMT2018-04-16T11:32:32Z

From his recent apocalyptic anger back to his early screwball humour, Eminem acknowledges his star has waned – but he’s still a funny, anthemic star

Paris Hilton is in the crowd at Eminem with her fiance, but are the millennials? I am standing between her and a sixtysomething white-haired man who will soon be swaying his hips to every bar. Before Em appears, Paris – who became infamous during that same weird late-90s MTV era as the rapper – takes selfies with everyone, happy to be recognised: like Eminem, she’s fighting to stay around. Hilton tells me about the time she was in an Eminem video for 2004’s Just Lose It. “I had to punch him and I was nervous,” she says. “He kept making me do it harder and harder. Eminem’s just so real.” A man behind us collapses. “Is he OK?” Hilton asks. “Did a guy just die as we were taking a picture? I’ll say prayers for him. Imagine missing Eminem and dying. Double buzzkill.”

You wonder: is Eminem’s first ever Coachella headline set unmissable? Oddly, in America it’s a rarity to see Eminem live on a stage like this, unlike in Europe, where he often headlines major festivals. “We ain’t ever been on this stage. This is the best fucking time Eminem has ever had,” says his hype man after the opening number. “It feels great to be back in motherfucking America!” adds Em, as the Stars and Stripes drape the screen and he launches into White America, one of his more political songs from 2002’s The Eminem Show. “We need to start this shit off right,” he says. He doesn’t seem at all fazed by following Beyoncé’s #GOAT slot.

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Andrew WK review – 12-step party programme from rock's self-help guru

Mon, 16 Apr 2018 09:29:00 GMT2018-04-16T09:29:00Z

O2 Forum Kentish Town, London
Adrenaline-fuelled anthems meet pop philosophy as the rocker mixes giddy hedonism with vulnerability

The chants of “Party! Party!” are loud enough they must be audible from miles away. It is easy to imagine that Andrew WK’s own heartbeat pulses to their rhythm, so wedded does he seem to partying, and to the adulation of his fans. There’s more than a little of the cartoon character to WK, his arms like massive hams, his toothy beam visible from Venus. His band could easily have sprung from the Hanna-Barbera drawing board – a Slayer roadie, a mutton-chopped wrestler, a beefcake beach-bum, a riot-grrl fret-melter and so on – performing with such OTT charisma they’re like the kids from Fame if they had formed a metal band.

At their best – the neanderthal hedonism of I Get Wet, the hammering, catchy blitz of Party Til You Puke – WK’s adrenalised, over-driven rock party anthems are so “dumb” they’re brilliant. But while there’s a knowing ridiculousness to much of his set tonight, you’d be a fool to mistake it for anything as cynical as a joke. For one thing, he’s totally earnest in his role as party-starter, pumping his fists and delivering thumbs-ups and quickly sweating until his white T-shirt is chewing-gum grey, so full-on and energetic and natural an entertainer that Queen missed a trick not nabbing WK as their post-Freddie frontman.

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Drinks: Hippo Lite review – Cate Le Bon's postcards from the edge

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 11:00:04 GMT2018-04-19T11:00:04Z

The second album from Cate Le Bon and Tim Presley, recorded in France, is a playful post-punk tonic full of cryptic skronk

There may be no more concrete proof of Cate Le Bon’s stature than Noel Gallagher’s appearance on Later… With Jools Holland last October. Tucked in the back left of the stage, barely visible behind Gallagher’s groovy boys giving it their best Slade impression, stood a kind of Fake Le Bon: a woman sporting an exact replica of the Welsh guitarist’s old pudding-bowl haircut, plus the kind of cloak that she’s often flourished in videos and on stage. This austere figure also appeared to be playing a pair of scissors, and evidently represented Gallagher attempting to signpost his experimental streak amid the brawny 70s stomp. It was funny to see a fairly leftfield artist’s essence boiled down to aesthetic shorthand – especially since it’s an image that the wild Welsh guitarist has long since abandoned.

Le Bon used to make lightly psychedelic pop that turned and resolved as satisfyingly as a Swiss cuckoo clock. But after weathering the stresses of money and critical opinion that followed 2013’s gorgeous Mug Museum, she decided to recalibrate her approach: “Music is supposed to be fun,” she told the Guardian. “It’s easy to forget that.” Now living in LA, she formed duo Drinks with Tim Presley, a one-time Fall member and power-pop innovator operating under the mantle of White Fence, a mutating outfit known for its collaborations with one-man cottage industry Ty Segall. The pair took inspiration from Soul Jazz’s pre-punk compilation Punk 45: There Is No Such Thing as Society, stripped away their respective heavenly ways with melody and got primitive on debut Hermits on Holiday: gnarled guitar motifs squawked like menacing birdsong, while strange insider jokes wove in and out of music that was intermittently funky and freeform.

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Sting & Shaggy: 44/876 review – you can practically hear the conch shells

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 09:00:18 GMT2018-04-20T09:00:18Z


Like a “what I did on my holidays” school project given a handsome major-label budget, or a Post-It note from a feverish Channel 4 ideas meeting cast with a magical spell, this unlikely partnership sees Sting pair his smooth tones against Shaggy’s raggamuffin ruminations, over lightweight roots reggae and dancehall pop. Halfway into track one and Sting has already invoked the ghost of Bob Marley and given up trying to resist doing a Jah-may-cahn accent – you can almost physically sense the decorative conch shell he got sidetracked into buying on the way to the studio.

The sound of two millionaires fretting non-specifically about the state of the world is pretty annoying, especially given their only solutions are Marley-ish bromides about peace and love. Reefer madness perhaps sets in when they start quoting Lewis Carroll and, on Crooked Tree, act out a ghastly courtroom drama with Sting in the role of a drug dealer and human trafficker being sent down by Shaggy’s stern judge. But these two have enough innate songwriting ability to come up with a couple of gems nonetheless. Gotta Get Back My Baby is generic but strongly written gospel-pop with Sting’s most heartfelt vocal line, while Don’t Make Me Wait sees the odd couple truly gel, with a yearning chorus from Sting paired with a pleasant tropical skank, and Shaggy promising his lover – in an amusingly sincere, laidback rap – that their relationship means “more to me than just hitting it”.

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Alexis Taylor: Beautiful Thing review – confessional electro marvels

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 08:00:16 GMT2018-04-20T08:00:16Z


The more you listen to Beautiful Thing, the more you realise what a marvel of sequencing it is: here are songs that truly talk to each other, musically and lyrically. You hear it musically in the way the walking bassline of Roll on Blank Tapes rolls into Suspicious of Me, the principal thematic link between two songs that are otherwise very different. You hear it lyrically in the transition from There’s Nothing to Hide into I Feel You. In the former, Taylor assures us gently: “There’s nothing to hide in a song / There’s nothing to know outside this song.” And then, in I Feel You, this most open-hearted and sincere of songwriters offers his truth: “I feel you / I wanted you to know / I feel you … When you’re lonesome / When you’re praying.” It’s not just that there’s nothing to hide; there is no desire to hide.

The production comes from Tim Goldsworthy, and Beautiful Thing sounds fantastic throughout. These are simple songs, but Goldsworthy does enough to keep them from being simplistic. In Roll on Blank Tapes, which may be a reflection on worthless nostalgia (“Home taping is killing music, don’t you know / Skateboarding is not a crime any more”), the song fills with percussive, electronic whooshes, echoes and bangs that seem to reflect the lyric: it sounds oddly like kids skateboarding around the ramps of a deserted multistorey car park. The most fun is Oh Baby, which begins with the glammy hammering piano and synth squiggles of an early Roxy Music single, but has the joyful honesty of a Teenage Fanclub song.

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Jenny Wilson: Exorcism review – a masterclass in catharsis

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 08:30:17 GMT2018-04-20T08:30:17Z

(Gold Medal Recordings)

The opening track on Jenny Wilson’s fifth album is called Rapin*. It’s a stark, shocking title for a stark, shocking song: the lyrics describe the night the Swedish musician was sexually assaulted. But Rapin* isn’t just monumentally disturbing, it’s also strangely upbeat. In it, Wilson says she had been clubbing before the attack, and she carries the earlier part of the evening into the song too, as whirring synths and crisp, insistent beats coalesce into an irresistible groove. The guilty confusion that comes from bopping along to such subject matter soon solidifies into wonder at Wilson’s ability to maintain this discomfort. We hear details of the assault’s psychological aftermath in unsparing detail – the sense of disassociation, the horror of intimate medical attention, the attempts to rationalise the attack. Lo’ Hi’ provides an unsavoury reminder that the burden of proof often falls on the rape victim, as Wilson recounts the evening again – this time repeatedly flagging up her vocal protests. Disrespect Is Universal, meanwhile, has her hopelessly attempt to identify her assailant, before attributing his violent misogyny to another culprit: society at large.

This isn’t the first time that Wilson, who made her name as a member of noughties electro-indie band First Floor Power, has channelled serious trauma into her music: in 2013, she recorded Demand the Impossible! while undergoing treatment for breast cancer. But while much of her experience then was couched in poetic language, Exorcism is blunt and unrelenting. Much like Mount Eerie’s 2017 album A Crow Looked At Me, which saw Phil Elverum write with devastating plainness about the death of his wife, the often very literal nature of Wilson’s language belies the efficiency and eloquence required to translate such a distressing experience into coherent and appealing song. Because, once you get past the initial shock, Exorcism is a hugely enjoyable record, not just for its riveting frankness, but its sonic palate too: the opening tracks pulse with cold anxiety, while later songs that tentatively suggest healing see Wilson assemble warmer layers of sound. A masterclass in catharsis, Exorcism finds a chink of light in the gloom.

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Lord Huron: Vide Noir review – pop goes the astral plane

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 09:00:18 GMT2018-04-20T09:00:18Z

(Republic Records)

For all the appeal of Lord Huron’s elegiac, ethereal Americana, Fleet Foxes and Bon Iver were ahead of them in a very crowded field. So after two albums of hymnal beauty with acoustic guitars – and a track, The Night We Met, popularised by Netflix – the Michigan band led by Ben Schneider have changed course.

Now on a major label, the songs no longer conjure up vast rural or mountainous landscapes but the even more widescreen spaces of the cosmos. The title means “black void”, and vast swaths of reverb and echo (sculpted by Flaming Lips’ producer Dave Fridmann) create a celestial wall of sound; many of the songs have astral themes or metaphors. Writing on bass guitar has given the music a more powerful chassis, from Killers-like throb to subtle funk. Any remaining acoustic guitars have been blasted beyond recognition.

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Tinashe: Joyride review – delayed gratification

Thu, 12 Apr 2018 11:00:29 GMT2018-04-12T11:00:29Z

Tinashe’s long-gestated second album is a mixed bag, best when her coolly focused sexuality is put to the fore

There’s a lot of industry chatter about the diminishing power of the album format, as playlists on streaming services start to become what many people reach for. Expect howls of outrage from musicians who want to present a body of work, and from marketing departments and awards shows who want a neat way to package that work up. But someone who might bid a fairly muted goodbye to the album is 25-year-old pop-R&B star Tinashe, who has spent an excruciating two-and-a-half years waiting for her second one to be released.

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Novelist: Novelist Guy review – commanding production from grime’s sage

Sun, 15 Apr 2018 06:59:07 GMT2018-04-15T06:59:07Z

The idiosyncratic young south London rapper adds moral weight to the tales of black lives on this vivid debut album

It starts with the name. Novelist, a 21-year-old MC from the south London borough of Lewisham, didn’t go with a particularly gritty byline when he started rhyming in his early teens. He chose Novelist, perhaps because novelists use words to a purpose; they are the masters of their own narratives.

It follows, then, that Novelist (Kojo Kankam on his passport) is one of grime’s brightest young hopes, one of a clutch of artists in his early 20s releasing key grime projects this year, and yet – simultaneously – a real maverick.

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Jazz album of the month review – Joe Lovano and Dave Douglas Sound Prints: Scandal

Fri, 13 Apr 2018 07:30:30 GMT2018-04-13T07:30:30Z

A beacon of group unity and flexibility with a smouldering title track

The Sound Prints quintet, co-led by saxophonist Joe Lovano and trumpeter Dave Douglas, can surely book its place on the 2018 albums of the year lists thanks to the smouldering, Miles-muted trumpet sound and hip yet stately horn counterpoint of its title track alone. For some, a downside of Scandal might be that it’s unapologetically a jazz album – entirely instrumental, jazz-referential in the accuracy of its fascination with the music of Wayne Shorter; particularly Shorter’s 1960s work and involvement in Miles Davis’ second quintet.

But the five year-old group – Lovano and Douglas, plus pianist Lawrence Fields, double bassist Linda May Han Oh, and drummer Joey Baron – tell better jazz stories from this kind of perspective than most, and this session catches them at their most collectively fluent. Scandal’s release is backed by a European tour next month.

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Joni Mitchell: the sophistication of her music sets her apart from her peers – even Dylan

Sun, 26 Oct 2014 09:15:05 GMT2014-10-26T09:15:05Z

As a book of interviews and box set of songs from Joni Mitchell’s career are released, long-time fan Sean O’Hagan argues that her run of five classic albums, from Blue in 1971 to Hejira in 1976, surpass the work of her more celebrated male contemporaries

“But even on the scuffle, the cleaner’s press was in my jeans/ And any eye for detail caught a little lace along the seams,” sang Joni Mitchell on a song called The Boho Dance from her 1975 album The Hissing of Summer Lawns. If the couplet was an acknowledgment of her Canadian well-bredness, it was also the perfect metaphor for the increasing sophistication of her music at that time, the “lace along the seams” of her songs.

“For a long time, I’ve been playing in straight rhythms,” Mitchell told her friend, Malka Marom, in 1973, in the first of the three extended interviews that are included in Both Sides Now, a new book published next month. “But now, in order to sophisticate my music to my own taste, I push it into odd places that feel a little unusual to me, so that I feel I’m stretching out.”

Continue reading...Joni Mitchell looks out a window of her Laurel Canyon home in October 1970.Joni Mitchell looks out a window of her Laurel Canyon home in October 1970.

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If we valued black art, Kendrick Lamar’s Pulitzer would have been for literature | Dotun Adebayo

Sat, 21 Apr 2018 08:00:09 GMT2018-04-21T08:00:09Z

Rap should be put on a par with Shakespeare and Wordsworth. When will the education system wake up to black creativity?

I can’t help thinking that the Pulitzer prize committee missed a trick in their award to the rapper Kendrick Lamar this week. If they had given him the Pulitzer for literature rather than for music it would have elevated his artform and sent a message that would have resonated around the world: that rap is a legitimate form of poetry and should be put on a par with, and treated with the same deference as, Shakespeare and Wordsworth.

Related: Kendrick Lamar wins Pulitzer prize as Weinstein reporting also honoured

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Suspected stalker arrested outside Taylor Swift's home with knife and rope

Wed, 18 Apr 2018 10:27:36 GMT2018-04-18T10:27:36Z

Masked man made 1,000-mile trip to house of singer, who was ordered to pay $75,000 this week for copyright lawsuit over Shake It Off lyrics

A masked man has been arrested on suspicion of stalking Taylor Swift at her home in Los Angeles and was found to have ammunition, a knife, rope and gloves in his car at the time of his arrest.

Julius Sandrock, 38, was apprehended by police after travelling over 1,000 miles from his home town of Broomfield, Colorado, to Swift’s home in Beverly Hills to, he said, “visit” her. Police filed a temporary restraining order against Sandrock and jailed him for three days. He told police he owned three handguns, and is reportedly on probation in Colorado for “disorderly conduct and discharging a firearm”.

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Ed Sheeran, Coldplay, Lady Gaga to feature on Elton John covers albums

Thu, 15 Mar 2018 13:05:06 GMT2018-03-15T13:05:06Z

The pop and country-themed covers collections of Elton John and co-writer Bernie Taupin’s best-loved material are released on 6 April

Elton John has announced two all-star covers albums of his and co-writer Bernie Taupin’s greatest hits. Released on 6 April through Virgin EMI, Revamp features contributions from many of pop’s biggest artists, including John’s protege Ed Sheeran covering Candle in the Wind and Lady Gaga taking on Your Song.

The tracklisting encompasses many sides of John’s career: on the rock front, Pink and rapper Logic join John for Bennie and the Jets, while the Killers cover Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters and Queens of the Stone Age tackle Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. Sam Smith and Florence Welch will handle the softer side of John’s oeuvre, performing Daniel and Tiny Dancer respectively, while Coldplay cover We All Fall in Love Sometimes.

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What, no Whitney? The biggest Rock & Roll Hall of Fame snubs ever – ranked!

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 11:00:43 GMT2018-04-19T11:00:43Z

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame recognises the world’s greatest popular music stars – except for the ones it doesn’t, from Kate Bush to Kraftwerk

This week saw the latest batch of inductees into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio, but – like many other uncategorisable, expansive, eclectic and influential singer-songwriters – Björk was nowhere to be seen.

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The British jazz explosion: meet the musicians rewriting the rulebook

Sun, 08 Apr 2018 08:30:25 GMT2018-04-08T08:30:25Z

The UK is home to a diverse, collaborative and newly confident jazz scene. We meet seven musicians whose innovative sounds are liberating the genre for new audiences

Every so often, British jazz pops its head above the parapet, gets a Mercury nomination, and has a noodle on telly to remind everyone that it’s still there, like it’s always been, parping away from mainstream view. For many of us, jazz has seemed like something other people listened to. But in the past few years, the genre has had a serious overhaul. When Kendrick Lamar released his landmark album To Pimp a Butterfly in 2015, one of its most extraordinary aspects was its liberal use of jazz, which dovetailed with hip-hop and opened it up for a new generation. Not only did it immediately feel more accessible but, played by the likes of strikingly cosmic characters such as Thundercat and Kamasi Washington, it looked commandingly cool.

In the UK, a new and thrilling jazz movement has evolved. As with Lamar, Thundercat and Washington, it is born out of fresh experimentalism, is reaching far younger, more diverse audiences and doesn’t care for snootiness. Unlike in previous waves, these musicians are in their 20s and early 30s, come from diverse backgrounds and, as with grime, have created their own community outside of major labels and concert halls. Their music, meanwhile, pulls liberally from other genres, whether hip-hop, neo-soul, UK club sounds such as broken beat, or from the African and Caribbean diaspora. And it’s not just at gigs that you can hear it but, much like in the acid jazz days, nightclubs too. British DJs such as Bradley Zero and Floating Points have liberated jazz for the dancefloor to the extent that it’s now not unheard of for a 10-minute Pharaoh Sanders odyssey to be spun on the decks to an appreciative, twentysomething crowd.

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Meme, myself and I: how pop’s new gen deal with social media anxiety

Sat, 07 Apr 2018 05:59:53 GMT2018-04-07T05:59:53Z

A wave of nihilism is infiltrating music, with the likes of Noah Cyrus, Unknown Mortal Orchestra and Let’s Eat Grandma reflecting on the dystopia created by the digital world

Pop into any branch of high-street clothes shop Urban Outfitters and you will be presented with a paradox. Stroll through the clothes racks and towards the checkout, past the mini cacti, glittery photo frames and avocado bed linen, and you’ll find a selection of books. “READ THIS IF YOU WANT TO BE INSTAGRAM FAMOUS,” screams one in all-caps, while next to it whispers another called The Little Book of Self-Care. It’s emblematic of an identity crisis that is engulfing a whole generation – the so-called fame-hungry narcissists v hyper-aware over-thinkers – and one that’s increasingly being reflected by its pop stars. Recently, it gained its anthem in the shape of We Are Fucked by 18-year-old Noah Cyrus (featuring Mø), a surprisingly self-lacerating, Max Martin-produced nihilistic banger that simmers with frustration at Cyrus’s generation’s social media addiction and her fears for how it might hobble their future.

While the likes of Arcade Fire’s Win Butler and authenticity’s Jack White grumble about youth culture’s iPhone exploits (“Fools desire distraction … Their faces to their gadgets fall south/ Ignoring the beauty of fog on a hill,” groans one recent White lyric), We Are Fucked’s anger and self-awareness – the opposite of the accusations often levelled at generation “snowflake” – add far greater potency. “I’m saying there’s a problem, but I’m also part of the problem,” Cyrus explains when we chat over the phone. “I’m not pointing any fingers here. I don’t want people to think I’m being hypocritical; I’m being 100% real with you. I’m saying ‘we’. We are fucked; we are fucking each other up. We want to make things happen but there are things in our way that are causing us to backtrack from our full potential.”

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10 years of Lady Gaga: how she queered mainstream pop forever

Tue, 10 Apr 2018 11:34:11 GMT2018-04-10T11:34:11Z

It’s a decade since Lady Gaga burst into the charts with Just Dance, and showed a new generation how to create a vivid identity for yourself, anywhere

The year is 2008. I sit on the floor of my family’s modest living room in a sleepy suburb in Ireland, my tongue contorting around my teeth in concentration as I apply a finishing layer of glitter to my masterpiece. It is my 14th year of life and also the 14th time in an hour that I’ve hit the replay button on my big sister’s CD player. A mere month before this scene, Lady Gaga had exploded out of obscurity – it is her image my younger self is reproducing in card and glitter, while Just Dance, released 10 years ago this week, loops in the background.

In this moment, I already know that whatever is represented by this woman, this symbol, I love wholeheartedly. I know that she is the living embodiment of some ideal type that informs who I am. What I don’t yet know is that who I am is gay – and that my gayness will become inextricably intertwined over the course of my life with Gaga. She will become the background music in every gay club I will dance in, the overture to every drunken kiss, a talking point for every first date.

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Pumarosa’s Isabel Munoz-Newsome: ‘I didn’t get a smear test because I was embarrassed. Stupid’

Tue, 10 Apr 2018 05:00:19 GMT2018-04-10T05:00:19Z

Just as her band broke through and began a European tour, the singer was diagnosed with cervical cancer. She talks about her dramatic year

Almost exactly a year ago, I watched Pumarosa flood the cavernous Oval Space in east London with a swell of moody psych rock, heady and hypnotic on the eve of releasing their debut album, The Witch. The rest of the European tour, followed by festivals and a worldwide slot supporting Depeche Mode, was on the horizon. The band were giddy and, after the gig, their friends celebrated by putting on a warehouse party.

“It was great, everyone was going totally wild,” says frontwoman Isabel Munoz-Newsome, picking at poached eggs in a Brighton cafe. But she had been for some tests at the doctor’s a few days before and, at the back of her mind, a tiny voice nagged. Two weeks later, as the album picked up a string of stunning reviews, Munoz-Newsome was diagnosed with cervical cancer.

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Composer Tyondai Braxton: 'I'm at war with myself. That's what the piece sounds like'

Mon, 09 Apr 2018 14:29:13 GMT2018-04-09T14:29:13Z

As a member of Battles, Braxton reinvigorated art rock. Now his superpower-themed symphony for an 87-piece orchestra will reopen one of London’s most famous concert halls

Which superpower would you choose? It is a rich seam of playground debate: the dreamers choose flying, the bullied super-strength, the pervs invisibility. But while many kids, perhaps after reading Matilda, have stared at a mug to try and tip it over, telekinesis has never been a popular choice. The ability to move objects with your mind is too great a responsibility for too little reward. In popular culture, it always ends badly. Think Carrie, Scanners and Eleven from Stranger Things.

“It’s a Faustian bargain, an ability like that – in the end it can destroy you,” says Tyondai Braxton, a New York composer whose latest orchestral work, Telekinesis, also reflects gloomily on the phenomenon. “It wouldn’t be all power and glory.”

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Arts Council funding to opera is unfair – pop needs support too | Michael Dugher

Thu, 12 Apr 2018 09:55:41 GMT2018-04-12T09:55:41Z

Just 8% of Arts Council England’s main music fund goes to pop, 2% to jazz, compared with 62% to opera. We must even out the imbalance if we want a diverse and healthy national music scene

At the beginning of this year, Arts Council England boss Darren Henley launched what he hoped would be a “public conversation” about the future funding strategy for his organisation that allocates millions of pounds of public money to the arts. In the spirit of that conversation, UK Music – the umbrella body that represents the collective interests of the commercial music industry – decided this week to get the ball rolling.

We started by looking at the huge disparities in terms of who gets what from the ACE’s “National Portfolio” fund: pop music gets just 8% of the cash from the council’s main fund for music. Opera gets almost eight times as much, enjoying 62%.

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Covered in glory: the tribute albums that saved careers and changed lives

Mon, 09 Apr 2018 08:52:22 GMT2018-04-09T08:52:22Z

This week brings new all-star love-ins dedicated to Elton John and Johnny Cash – marginal releases in the context of their careers, yet tributes to lesser-known acts can prove transformative

There are, when you boil it down, two kinds of tribute albums. There are the ones featuring people you’ve heard of – household names paying homage to other household names, genre stars paying respect to other genre stars – and there are the ones featuring people you’ve never heard of. The latter tend to disappear into the ether, sometimes flitting across your consciousness when you’re searching for something on Spotify. The former get the big push – as is the case this week with Revamp and Restoration, two all-star Elton John tribute albums, and Forever Words, in which the Johnny Cash estate gets well-known musicians to write songs around words that the country star left behind.

The first tribute album I can discover – in the sense of multiple artists covering songs by one act – isn’t really a tribute album at all. It’s the soundtrack to the musical documentary All This and World War II, a peculiar combination of second world war newsreel footage and clips from 20th Century Fox’s 1940s movies, accompanied by a soundtrack of Beatles covers – Rod Stewart performing Get Back, Bryan Ferry doing She’s Leaving Home, Peter Gabriel having a bash at Strawberry Fields Forever (his first solo release) and three contributions from the Bee Gees. The movie was pulled from cinemas after two weeks, so disastrous was its reception, and the soundtrack album appears to be out of print, though of course a large proportion of it has been pulled together into a YouTube playlist.

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Avicii: chart-topping EDM star dies at 28

Sat, 21 Apr 2018 09:06:00 GMT2018-04-21T09:06:00Z

The producer and DJ, real name Tim Bergling, was found dead in Oman

Swedish DJ Avicii has died in Muscat, Oman, at the age of 28.

His representative said in a statement: “It is with profound sorrow that we announce the loss of Tim Bergling, also known as Avicii. He was found dead in Muscat, Oman, this Friday afternoon local time, 20 April.

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Nothing Compares 2 U: the secrets of Prince's original recording, unheard until today

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 15:18:27 GMT2018-04-19T15:18:27Z

Who is the song about, why did Prince give it to the Family to record as an album track, and what did he really think of Sinéad O’Connor’s smash hit single?

Thirty four years ago, when Paul “St Paul” Peterson was the singer in the Family, a band Prince had assembled, he was sitting in his mother’s house in Minneapolis when he received a tape containing Prince’s recording of a song he wanted Peterson to learn for the album he was producing for the group. “I was told to learn Prince’s inflections, his emotions, and the melody line,” the singer remembers, describing how capturing the song’s themes of loss and abandonment meant he had to go “deep”. “So I thought about a girl called Julie, who broke my heart in high school.”

It was Nothing Compares 2 U. Prince’s recording went unreleased, the Family’s version became a barely heard album track, but Sinéad O’Connor’s smash 1990 reimagining let the world hear what is now acknowledged as one of Prince’s greatest songs. Today, as Prince’s more electronic, rockier original is finally made public, Peterson – who has been married to Julie for 28 years – is back in his mother’s house. He has just listened to the recording he last heard in 1984 and admits: “I’m freaking out here, man.”

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Avicii – a life in pictures

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 20:50:53 GMT2018-04-20T20:50:53Z

The death of the 28-year-old Swedish DJ and producer cuts short a globally successful career, filled with arena tours and big star collaborations

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Swedish DJ Avicii dies at 28 – video obituary

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 20:25:02 GMT2018-04-20T20:25:02Z

Avicii, whose real name is Tim Bergling, has been found dead in Muscat, Oman at the age of 28. The DJ, from Sweden, retired from live performances in 2016 due to a string of health issues. Bergling's representative who announced the death has said 'no further statements will be given'.

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BBC editor joked about Cliff Richard playing Jailhouse Rock, court told

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 17:35:44 GMT2018-04-20T17:35:44Z

Declan Wilson made comment to colleague while discussing broadcaster’s plan to cover raid on singer’s home

A BBC editor joked that Sir Cliff Richard would soon be playing Jailhouse Rock, after learning police were investigating an allegation of historic sexual assault against the singer.

Declan Wilson, who at the time ran the BBC’s north of England bureau, made the comment to a colleague while discussing the broadcaster’s plan to cover a police raid on the veteran singer’s house in August 2014.

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CCTV shows Prince visiting doctor's office a day before his death – video

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 09:54:34 GMT2018-04-20T09:54:34Z

Prince was filmed with his bodyguard and Dr Michael Todd Schulenberg during a visit to the doctor on 20 April 2016. Schulenberg was accused of illegally prescribing an opioid for Prince and agreed to pay $30,000 (£21,000) over a civil violation. The settlement is not an admission of wrongdoing. An autopsy found the musician died the next day from an accidental overdose of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid

Prince: no criminal charges to be filed over musician's overdose death

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Drugs, sleeplessness, isolation: the downside of being a dance musician

Tue, 26 Jul 2016 09:00:09 GMT2016-07-26T09:00:09Z

The travails of life on the road for rock stars are well known – but the problems may be even more acute in dance music, as DJs and musicians from Moby to Above & Beyond reveal

Afterparties, fame, a rockstar lifestyle: Above & Beyond’s Tony McGuinness says he would trade it all for just one night of solid sleep.

“Partying with people back at your hotel for three hours compared to getting some sleep: there’s just no competition,” he says. “Jet lag and being unable to sleep when you need it, this is the single biggest danger in our job.”

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Avicii enlists Chris Martin, Jon Bon Jovi and Wyclef Jean for new album

Wed, 23 Jul 2014 07:52:00 GMT2014-07-23T07:52:00Z

EDM star also taps Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong and System of a Down singer Serj Tankian for what could be another collision of dance and guitar music

After briefly confusing then enrapturing dance and pop fans with his country-EDM smash Wake Me Up, Avicii now looks set to continue his genre splicing on his second album, featuring a host of big-name collaborators from the worlds of rock, punk and reggae.

Following Avicii's production on the song A Sky Full of Stars, which featured on Coldplay's most recent album, Chris Martin will return the favour and guest on one of the EDM artist's new tracks. "Chris has been like a brother," Avicii, AKA Tim Bergling, told Rolling Stone. "He helps out with my nutritionist."

Continue reading...Avicii AKA Tim Bergling, currently lining up his second LP. Photograph: Sipa/RexAvicii AKA Tim Bergling, currently lining up his second LP. Photograph: Sipa/Rex

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Jessie J’s cultural revolution: how a Middle-Grade Pop Monster saved China

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 17:03:41 GMT2018-04-19T17:03:41Z

Her triumph on the country’s TV talent show wasn’t all about winning or the money. It was about enabling her to show the Chinese ‘a western performer and hear music some had never heard before’

Well, it was the power ballad heard around the world – by which I mean heard in a variety of Asian emerging markets, but not the UK. Anyway, Jessie J has won a Chinese TV singing competition! Not since Deng Xiaoping’s government allowed Bernardo Bertolucci to use the Forbidden City for The Last Emperor has a Chinese cultural engagement with the west felt quite so epic.

Think of Jessie as The Last Empress. God knows, she does. I’m kidding, I’m kidding. It has been a few years since madam was explaining how her broken foot had given her “a different respect now for people who don’t have legs”. Still, let’s give the classic interview another hop-out.

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Morrissey denounces halal meat as 'evil', and attacks May, Khan, Abbott and more

Tue, 17 Apr 2018 13:24:50 GMT2018-04-17T13:24:50Z

Ex-Smiths frontman claims ‘halal slaughter requires certification that can only be given by supporters of Isis’, and throws his support behind far-right For Britain party

Morrissey has made an extraordinary – even by his standards – series of pronouncements in a new interview published on his website, attacking halal meat producers, Theresa May, Diane Abbott and Sadiq Khan, among others.

The former Smiths frontman – already infamous for his statements on race, animal welfare and more – criticised halal meat production, the Islamic method of animal slaughter. He claimed that “halal slaughter requires certification that can only be given by supporters of Isis”, and described it as “evil”. He also described Jewish kosher food production as “very cruel”, and called for it to be banned.

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Record Store Day 2018: the exclusive releases in full

Wed, 07 Mar 2018 14:57:03 GMT2018-03-07T14:57:03Z

From Abba to Zero 7, the 500 singles, EPs, LPs and cassettes released for the annual celebration of independent record shops

As long as they’re willing to brave the 6am queues, no music fan is ignored in this year’s Record Store Day release list. Novelty singles your bag? Shaggy’s Oh Carolina gets a 25th anniversary release on green vinyl, no less. Grateful Dead completism your affliction? There are releases with Bob Dylan and a Fillmore West live set – but which one to choose! Consider it an expensive mystery to crack. Genuine curios? Bobbie Gentry’s Live at the BBC gets its first official release, as does a slightly tweaked version of the early Joy Division incarnation Warsaw’s self-titled debut.

Browse the list in full below and prepare to indulge in your poison of choice on 21 April when Record Store Day 2018 takes place in more than 240 shops nationwide.

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Prince's sound engineer, Susan Rogers: 'He needed to be the alpha male to get things done'

Thu, 09 Nov 2017 16:45:21 GMT2017-11-09T16:45:21Z

One of a tiny number of female recording engineers, Rogers was there at birth of some of pop’s classics, including When Doves Cry. She recalls the man she knew – and shares her theory about why he loved working with women

Between 1983 and 1987, Susan Rogers didn’t really sleep. She’d work late into the night at a recording studio, then just three or four hours later would be woken up to head back in again, year after year – always at the beck and call of Prince as he answered his own relentless creativity. “I didn’t get a chance to form memories because I didn’t sleep long enough to form them,” she says. “People remind me of the wildest stuff and I say: are you sure I was there?”

Rogers, 61, is an extraordinary figure, a working-class autodidact who, as one of the tiny number of female recording engineers in the US, ended up helping to craft some of the greatest pop songs ever, from When Doves Cry to Raspberry Beret. The Prince sessions ensured a further decade of work with the likes of David Byrne, Barenaked Ladies and Tricky before she finally graduated from high school at 44 and then obtained a PhD in music and psychology.

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