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Foals – My Number

February 20th, 2013
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The latest slab from dance-rock outfit Foals is a tasty up tempo track called My Number. The song is the second single to be released from their latest album ‘Holy Fire’, which was listed as one of SPIN’s 50 Albums You Gotta Hear in 2013. The video which you can view above delves into the heady world of what one presumes happens at Foals’ gigs: sweating, dancing, snogging, and then the loss of normal vision until everything seems to be melting into 3D.

For those who like their beats a little more up tempo, get excited – there’s a totally awesome Totally Extinct Enormous Dinosaurs remix.

The new album has been getting pretty rave reviews from all quarters. As well as the SPIN accolade above, NME gave the album 9/10. Drummer Jack Bevan talks about the raw immediacy of the LP: “We wanted it to be unashamedly what it is rather than covering it with foliage, essentially. There’s a lot of music out there which hints at being this big direct, massive riff or whatever but then there’s so much other stuff.. A lot of bands seem to be ashamed that, if they write a proper riff they can’t focus on it.”

Foals are playing a couple of dates over the next couple of months, including two shows at the Royal Albert Hall on 28 March 2013. To coincide with those shows, the band teaching a music workshop with music students from the London boroughs of Islington and Haringey. Students aged between 14-16 will be asking the band about their experiences in the industry. The workshop will also include a live jam session with Foals where students will play a brand new version of a track from the new album.

“The Royal Albert Hall suggested we get involved in their education programme to supplement our gigs there and we thought it sounded like a grand idea,” says Foals frontman Yannis Philippakis.

“I would have loved a similar opportunity when I was younger – I had a pretty weird taste in music but always looked to my favourite bands for inspiration. It will be a fun day and hopefully the kids will learn something of use”

Bonus joy: there’s also a fairly hilarious Foals / Village People video mashup of My Number, which you can view below…

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Baauer – Harlem Shake

February 18th, 2013
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Diplo is surely the man with the touch of gold. Back in May 2012, Mad Decent signing Baauer released the huge and stompy dancefloor bouncer, Harlem Shake. The track had some modest success at the time, but has just smashed into the top spot on the iTunes Chart – kicking the likes of Justin Timberlake and Bruno Mars into the wings!

Proof of its popularity comes in the vast variety of viral vids that have been posted in tribute to the track – which now counts in at 28,000 and rising. Some of the choicest cuts are listed for your viewing pleasure below.
Read more…

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Fall Out Boy – My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light Em Up)

February 17th, 2013
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Fallout Boy

After a four-year hiatus following last album ‘Folie à Deux’, everyone’s favourite band named after a minor Simpsons character are back. A lot has changed for the emo-pop outfit in the intervening period. Singer/guitarist Patrick Stump put out a solo album while bassist/lyricist/angular-fringed heartthrob Pete Wentz had a kid and even got round to writing a book. Add it to your Amazon wish list immediately.

However, one thing that remains unchanged is the band’s love of songs with names wordier than the average lyric sheet. Where you stand on titles like ‘Sending Postcards from a Plane Crash (Wish You Were Here)’ and ‘I’ve Got a Dark Alley and a Bad Idea That Says You Should Shut Your Mouth (Summer Song)’ is a matter for your conscience, but they definitely come in handy if you’re trying to pad out a review.

While the unwieldy monikers might still be in place, Fall Out Boy have switched things up a bit at a musical level. The new track – henceforth known as ‘MSKWYDITD(LEU)’ for reasons of brevity – steps away from the breezy emo-lite of hits like ‘Sugar, We’re Going Down’ towards anthemic Maroon 5 influenced pop rock. The track’s big shiny choruses are unlikely to alienate any of their old fans, but it’s good to see the band growing up gracefully and not simply trying to rehash past glories.

“I think that the music dictated the return,” Wentz told VH1. “We definitely wanted to make new music and we wanted to make new songs that people would be able to embrace, and hopefully relate to. We tried a couple times in the past year and it wasn’t necessarily gelling, and then we tried again and it seemed like we were making something that was a little more compelling.”

‘MSKWYDITD(LEU)’ is the first track from forthcoming new album ‘Save Rock and Roll’, sneakily announced on the same day that the single dropped. Set for release in April, it will be interesting to see how they’re new direction pans out. In the meantime, be sure to check out the video for ‘MSKWYDITD(LEU)’, which inexplicably features rapper 2 Chainz burning a load of musical instruments in the woods.

Tag Of The Day

Bastille – Pompeii

February 16th, 2013
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Bastille’s rapid rise is a testament to the power of cooperation. Starting out as the solo bedroom project of songwriter/frontman Dan Smith, the expanded band have become one of the busiest live acts in the business. In the last year or so they’ve notched up dozens of festival appearances and regular gigs, all before they’ve even got their debut album on the shelves.

The LP ‘Bad Blood’ is now on the verge of its March 4 release, so it will be interesting to see if their recorded output lives up to the standards set by their work on stage. Judging by ‘Pompeii’, fans shouldn’t have too much to worry about. It’s a rousing and heartfelt track that throws everything at the wall to see what sticks. You’ve got some nicely pulsing synths, a tasty rolling bassline and a few group vocal breakdowns that are machine-tooled to ignite mass singalongs in big fields.

It’s a ‘more is more’ approach that initially seems somewhat odd for an act built around a single performer. Things make a little more sense when you discover that Bastille isn’t entirely a dictatorship with Smith in the Stalin role, but something far more collaborative.

“I normally start with the idea and record it quite a lot of it onto my laptop which will then get passed around to other members of the band and also a mate of mine who is a producer,” Smith told Fortitude. “When the demo gets passed around my original idea will transform with the help of different creative minds. You start to see little tweaks, ideas and improvements take shape and piece together quite nicely. It’s quite a patchwork process but I really like it.”

It’s clearly an approach that’s paying dividends, as Bastille unmistakeably sound more like a band than a disguised solo artist. To paraphrase those awful motivational posters found in the offices of terrible Brent-like businessmen: “teamwork makes the dream work.”

Tag Of The Day

Karmin – Hello

September 23rd, 2012
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Many dusty old music fans will tell you that The Beatles were one of the most inventive and groundbreaking groups in history, but what they fail to mention is that Liverpool’s favourite mop tops essentially started off as a covers band. Before they redefined the boundaries of pop, they became famous playing their own versions of blues and rock’n’roll standards to hordes of bellowing hormonal teenagers.

The purpose of this lengthy digression is to set up the idea that US hip-pop duo Karmin could be a 21st-century version of The Beatles. Please bear with me. Karmin (otherwise known as Amy Heidemann and Nick Noonan) first came to widespread attention recording their own versions of tracks by the likes of Lil Wayne and Nicki Minaj, posting the results on YouTube. This led to the Fab Two being picked up by a major label and tasked with producing their own self-penned material. All they now need to do is produce a genre-defining body of work and this tortured comparison will be 100 percent accurate.

Anyway. While it may be too early to judge their lasting impact, ‘Hello’ suggests that Karmin at least have what it takes to make it in the current pop climate. Stylistically, it’s in the same ballpark as early inspiration Nicki Minaj, combining synth-heavy dance-influenced sections with loopy hyper-caffeinated raps. There’s even a bit that sounds suspiciously like the ‘hello, hello’ refrain from Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’, proving that Karmin haven’t quite ditched their magpie tendencies.

“It’s a new sound – we like to call it swag-pop,” Heidemann told Interview.  “You’re going to hear the catchy hooks, you’re going to hear the rapping, the crazy rap verses, a lot of fast rapping and then there’s slow rapping with a lot of swag, talking about Betty Crocker in one of the songs. There’s humour, there’s amazing messages that are a lot deeper than some of the humour, lots of wordplay. I think people will be really entertained by the whole thing.”

OK, so we may have to wait a while to see if this whole Beatles thing plays out, but at least Karmin have one thing in their favour. They’re a couple in the romantic as well as musical sense, so there’s little danger of a Yoko figure turning up and knocking things off course.

 

Tag Of The Day

Neon Trees – Everybody Talks

September 22nd, 2012
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Ailing presidential candidate Mitt Romney could take some lessons from his fellow Mormons Neon Trees. While the Mittster vainly attempts to be all things to all people, the band seem content to be exactly who they are. Of course, campaigning to be the next leader of the United States and producing records that will perform well in the charts are two very different things, but people tend to know when someone is faking it.

Neon Trees’ brand of upbeat pop rock isn’t likely to lead to widespread political change, but it’s certainly effective on its own terms. ‘Everybody Talks’ has the kind of hook that burrows into your prefrontal cortex upon the very first listen and resists all attempts to dislodge it. Taken from second album ‘Picture Show’ released earlier this year, it confirms Neon Trees as producers of ear worms par excellence.

Despite the band’s obvious chart friendliness, you don’t get the impression that they’re doing anything other than what they want to do. They toiled in obscurity for a number of years before getting their big break as tour support for The Killers. The exposure served as a springboard for the launch of their first major label debut album ‘Habits’, which spawned a bona fide hit in the shape of the track ‘Animals’. Success aside, the band clearly wanted to do something different when it came to album number two.

“Our first record only had eight songs on it. I think we knew we had to make more music,” singer Tyler Glenn told Diffuser. “We’re excited because we know what type of band we are and maybe not everybody has figured it out quite yet. We know that we have a sound that’s going to continue to expand, and I think that this record ['Picture Show'] shows that. We have more tricks up our sleeves, and I think the difference between us and a lot of the new bands perhaps could be the fact that everyone seems to want it now and has to prove themselves right away. I don’t think we ever felt the need to prove ourselves to anyone in that capacity.”

It all seems to be paying off for Neon Trees. Shame the same cant be said for Mitt.

 

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Enrique Iglesias Feat. Sammy Adams – Finally Found You

September 16th, 2012
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You may think that the impossibly handsome Latin heartthrob Enrique Iglesias has had it easy. Sure, women fall at his feet, he has a massively successful career and his girlfriend is Russian tennis minx Anna Kournikova, but he’s had a lot to live up to.

Look up ‘Latin lover’ in the encyclopaedia and you’ll almost certainly see a picture of his dad Julio. Only diets too high in cholesterol can compete with this man in setting hearts aflutter. Reputed to have slept with some 3000 women, his bedpost has so many notches it’s little more than a toothpick. And while laying waste to most of the world’s female population, he also found time to sell an absolute mountain of records. Under the circumstances, you could forgive his son any feelings of inadequacy.

Seemingly realising that he can’t compete with the old man in the lothario stakes, Enrique has moved away from the more conventional balladry of his hit ‘Hero’ towards something a little ore 21st century. ‘Finally Found You’ is a modishly autotuned slice of modern dance pop, replete with tinkly house pianos and couple of crowd pleasing ‘reach for the laser’ crescendos. Boston rapper Sammy Adams even pops up for a verse, something that definitely wouldn’t happen on a Julio Iglesias joint.

All joking aside, Enrique is clearly very happy with the way things have turned out. Speaking to Latino Fox News, he said: “If they would have told me when I was just 18 that I was going to have a career that would last so long, I’d have said it was impossible, that it was crazy that that could happen in my life, so I’m happy to be here. To be able to go out on stage every day.”

‘Finally Found You’ will be released on 25 September.

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Azealia Banks – Esta Noche

September 16th, 2012
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If internet cred was record sales, Azealia Banks would be pulling down the kind of cash that keeps P Diddy in platinum-plated Bentleys and unicorn horn backscratchers. The New Yorker has been riding web since day one, scoring a bona fide viral smash with her delightfully foul-mouthed ‘212’. The track married sticky, party-friendly hooks with a volley of genuinely surprising C-bombs and the internet duly went crazy. No surprise that Banks found herself topping the NME’s oh-so-influential Cool List in 2011, before she’d even released a record.

But online stardom can only take you so far. Banks is currently working on her debut album proper ‘Broke With Expensive Taste’, tentatively slated for an early 2013 release. In the meantime, she’s found time to put together the mixtape ‘Fantasea’, from where ‘Esta Noche’ springs. Kicking off in a fairly subdued style, it isn’t long before the track explodes with siren shrieks and X-rated references to lady parts. Any ideas that Banks is going to tone things down seem way off the mark. Which is just the way we like it.

“I think my true, hard-core fans are people who enjoy being bad,” she recently told Vibe. “People who enjoy drinking and smoking, but wanna get it together and just don’t know how. When you really listen to my music you hear a girl who’s going through the motions. She’s experiencing men, having money, not having money, people who are trying to tell her she’s not cute, people telling her she can’t rap, she can’t dance… She’s really dealing with life. I’m not some little light-skinned bitch out here. It’s a young black girl doing this for herself, by herself. Y’all can’t keep trying to pin me up against the wall. Hip-hop has to help me not let this slip through my hands.”

Don’t believe what you’re told. Sometimes swearing is both big and clever.

Tag Of The Day

One Republic – Feel Again

September 15th, 2012
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Remember One Republic? With the number of emotionally charged, heart-felt soft rock bands around these days, it can be difficult to keep up, I know. They were the ones who had the massive international smash with “Apologise”, way back in 2007. Remember that? Well, clutch the hankies and get ready for another weepy one, as lead singer Ryan Tedder croons about transforming from a lonely soul to a fully fledged Romeo, ready to love again:  “It’s been a long time coming since I’ve seen your face / I’ve been everywhere and back trying to replace / Everything that I had till my feet went numb / Praying like a fool that’s been on a run / Heart still beating but it’s not working / It’s like a million dollar phone that you just can’t ring / I reached out trying to love, but I feel nothing / Yeah, my heart is numb / But with you, I feel again.”

Weeping yet?? Well, you will be – Feel Again has something else behind it. One Republic are releasing the song to support the Heartbeats Project, run in association with Save The Children. Every Beat Matters traveled the world and recorded actual heartbeats of children in need. and these heartbeats were used to create the song Feel Again.

Feel Again behind the scenes

Every paid download of the song throws money into the movement’s coffers, eventually helping to prevent the death of infants and kids across the globe. “Initially we just had the beginning of a song,” explains Tedder about the way the song came about.

“Save the Children came along and it coincided with another thought that we had as a band which was on this album to really focus on doing stuff that actually served a greater purpose other than just putting out another song. The Save the Children program added a serious amount of gravity to what we were doing and the amount of kids that we would be helping with donating proceeds from the sale of the single. It also helped me finish the lyrics. I actually had some kind of direction and weight.”

As well as being One Republic’s frontman, Tedder also keeps himself busy writing massive hits for the likes of – oh, you know, Rhianna, Leona Lewis, and Beyonce… so how does he decide which songs to keep for himself, and which to give away? “That was never an issue with the first two albums,” he said in an interview with Billboard.. “I never would’ve sung “Halo” or “Bleeding Love.” Only recently has there been a couple of songs I wrote and pitched to labels and had people jump on them. My manager said, “What the hell are you doing? You have to keep this song for you.” Sometimes it takes my band members, management or [Interscope Geffen A&M chairman] Jimmy Iovine to threaten to throw me out of the building if I give away a song. So lately I’ve been hoarding as many things as possible for OneRepublic.”

 

 

 

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PSY – Gangnam-Style

September 15th, 2012
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Let’s face it, it’s been way too long since we’ve had a banging Korean pop track with decent invisible horse riding dance moves that we can all learn. With over 160 million views on YouTube in less than two months, Gangnam-Style has got to be the video of the year, and the only one so far to have spawned an imitation dance called the ‘invisible horse’.

To explain a little more about the meaning behind the song, PSY describes Gangnam as the Beverly Hills of Korea. “But the guy doesn’t look like Beverly Hills. Dance doesn’t look like Beverly Hills. … And the situation in music video doesn’t look like Beverly Hills. But he keeps saying I’m Beverly Hills style. So that’s the point. It’s sort of a twist,” he says.

Although previously little known outside South Korea, performer and reality TV judge PSY has created a video masterpiece that’s become a viral hit. It features PSY doing the invisible horse through the streets of the Gangnam district; by a river, in the subway,in the public baths and on top of a building, and even in a public bath.

Want evidence that the song has truly made it? Well, consider the fact that Britney Spears recently learned the invisible horse dance herself on Ellen: WATCH

Britney – who recently took on the role of X Factor judge – tweeted after seeing the video: “I am LOVING this video – so fun! Thinking that I should possibly learn the choreography. Anybody wanna teach me?! Haha.” So, of course, on her appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, Ellen pulled out a surprise for the pop princess, by bringing PSY on to teach her the dance.
For the time being, PSY is enjoying the global spotlight. “I don’t want to open up the champagne yet,” he says. “But I would like to show the world what Korean music and concerts are about.” And in true Gangnam-style, he’s just released a new video Tuesday for “Oppa Is Just My Style,” set to the “Gangnam Style” beat but featuring Hyun-a of Korean pop group, 4Minute. It currently clocks in with a modest 37 million views – not bad, but still catching up to the original…

Following the massive success of Gangnam-Style, PSY has recently signed with Justin Bieber’s manager, Scooter Braun, to the Schoolboy Records label. So don’t expect a break from the K-pop anytime soon. Like Whigfield’s Saturday Night, and Los Del Rio’s Macarena, Gangnam-Style is likely to infiltrate clubs, pubs, hen parties and late nights for decades to come. Better get your boots on…

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