Spring King – City
With all the fanfare around Apple’s new music streaming service and radio station Beats 1, we were interested to hear what the inaugural song to launch the station would be.
The Buggles prophetic new wave hit “Video Killed The Radio Star” is famous for being the first ever video to play on the launch of MTV in 1981. It’s somewhat ironic that 34 years later after the predicted demise of radio that Apple the world’s most valuable company and leader in technology is investing heavily in old fashioned radio in an attempt to unify a disjointed music world and ultimately capture streaming music subscribers.
The honour of first track played on Beats 1 was “City” by the unsigned British band Spring King. Zane Lowe the former popular BBC Radio 1 DJ who was poached by Apple to head up music programming at Beats said there was a lot of debate regarding what the first song would be but ultimately they chose an up and coming independent artist who embodied the type of artists Beats 1 are looking to discover and promote.
The success or failure of Beats 1 will dependent on whether or not Apple can deliver on their promise to promote independent and emerging artists or if the station will buckle under corporate pressures and become a shill for the major record labels.
Thundercat – ‘Them Changes’
The EP format isn’t where artists tend to make big statements, with the possible asterisk-style exception of Robyn (whose Body Talk series eventually resulted in a proper, long-playing release anyway). Instead, a short-form release suggests anxious label-heads putting pressure on an artist to release something, anything, as soon as possible. But that’s not at all the aura projected by this spellbinding, 16-minute, six-track sequence from Thundercat—an artist who has been in the public eye plenty this year already, thanks to prominent spots on albums byKendrick Lamar and Kamasi Washington.
While riding that wave, it’s hard to imagine members of Flying Lotus‘ Brainfeeder imprint saying “We need something from you right this second,” which leaves us with an alternative explanation: namely, that the brief duration ofThe Beyond / Where the Giants Roam (he’s calling it a “mini-album,” which is the euphemism du jour for EPs) is exactly the statement the bassist-singer-composer wanted to make at this moment.
Read the rest of this article at Pitchfork
LA Priest: ‘I’m not trying to be freaky for the sake of it’
It’s taken eight years but the former Late Of The Pier frontman has morphed into a self-styled “Earth Shaman” with a fantastical debut album. Could he be the next psych-pop genius?
The green, green hills of Wales’ Montgomeryshire would seem like the ideal place to disappear. Sheep greatly outnumber humans, and you’re more likely to come across a red kite than a 3G signal. Even the area’s newest resident, Sam Eastgate AKA Samuel Dust, calls it “a gap on the map”. Except this is the countryside scene of Sam’s great rebirth, the place where – five years after abdicating his role as leader of cultish indie ravers Late Of The Pier, and eight years since first anointing himself LA Priest – he finally got his head together and finished his debut solo album.
Read the rest of this article at The Guardian
LA Priest – Lady’s In Trouble With The Law
Panama – Jungle
Marrying the timeless power of a good song with an eye to the future, Panama are winning hearts with their trademark “electronic power ballads”. The release of the Always EP saw Panama top the Hype Machine charts with the title track with over 2 million Soundcloud plays to date.
Panama’s three-piece live show debuted at Field Day festival in Sydney in 2014, followed by a sold out a string of shows around Australia and showcases at SXSW 2014 Austin.
Panama then embarked on their debut tour of the USA and Europe including festival performances at Leeds festivals in the UK, Sonarama in Spain, Lowlands in The Netherlands and Paredes De Coura Festival in Portugal, through support from the Australia Council for the Arts.
Pete Rock – Cosmic Slop
Influential rapper and producer Pete Rock will release his Petestrumentals 2 on June 23rd, and Rolling Stone has the exclusive look at the album’s first video for “Cosmic Slop.” In the stark, black-and-white clip, Rock meticulously crafts his beat on an Akai MPC 3000 — the same drum machine/sampler which Rock’s used to craft countless hip-hop classics — only to stop briefly to draw inspiration from the New York streets before hitting the beat again.
“‘Cosmic Slop’ is a beat I made that gave me a feeling of cruising down the highway on a nice day or night in the summertime seeing all kinds of people outside enjoying themselves,” Rock tells Rolling Stone. “The video just gives you a lil knowledge on the vibes I was feeling when I was making the track.” Petestrumentals 2, comprised entirely of instrumentals, is the long-awaited sequel to Rock’s 2001 LP Petestrumentals.
Read the rest of this article at Rolling Stone
Paul McCartney Is Esquire’s August Cover Star
By the time it reached Osaka, Japan, in late April, Paul McCartney’s “Out There” tour had been on the road for nearly two years. It had played to close to two million people, from Montevideo to Winnipeg, Nashville to Warsaw, with crowds in Seoul and Marseille and Stockholm still awaiting its arrival. “Out There” succeeded the “On the Run” tour, which itself followed closely on the heels of the “Up and Coming” tour, which began at the start of this decade. I could keep rewinding through his past in this way to make my point about McCartney’s tireless globetrotting, but not with anything like the energy and enthusiasm the man himself can summon for each retrospective spectacular. He plays up to 40 songs at each gig, from a catalogue that stretches back more than 50 years. Each show lasts nearly three hours. The intense demands this places on him would have been remarkable in 1965, when he was 23, so it’s anyone’s guess how he does it now. Not that he shows any signs of stopping, or even slowing down.
Read the rest of the story at Esquire
Kevin Parker was still working when the taxi rolled up to his home. The sun was setting over Perth on one of those early March evenings when a Southern Hemisphere summer is inching into fall. In just a few days, Parker was expected to be in Los Angeles to play Tame Impala’s new album, Currents, for executives at Interscope, the world-famous psychedelic rock band’s new label home. But first Parker — the group’s singer, guitarist, songwriter, producer, and all-around auteur — was flying halfway around the world to New York’s famed Sterling Sound to have the project mastered. Mastering is the final step of the recording process, the sonic equivalent of applying the finish to a completed paint job. There was just one problem: Parker hadn’t completed the album yet. Two songs, the ones that would become “Reality In Motion” and “New Person, Same Old Mistakes,” still needed lyrics..
Read the rest of the story at Stereogum
Amy’s filmmakers on the secret, real Amy Winehouse
oducer James Gay-Rees and director Asif Kapadia have now partnered for two remarkable documentaries. Senna, released in 2010, used interviews and archival footage to recount the life of Brazilian Formula One driver Ayrton Senna. Amy brings a similar approach to the life of Amy Winehouse, from her north London beginnings to her death at age 27. Simultaneously sympathetic and unsparing, it uses first-person accounts to reconstruct the events behind her rise and fall, while considering the larger role the media, and those who consume it, played in her life. While in Chicago, Kapadia and Gay-Rees spoke to The Dissolve about the painstaking process of putting the film together, and how they concluded that now—just four years after her death—is precisely the right time to tell Winehouse’s story.
Read the rest of the story at The Dissolve