Playlist 22.11.15 : Five Songs for the Week

Playlist 22.11.15 : Five Songs for the Weekend
Playlist 22.11.15 : Five Songs for the Weekend
Playlist 22.11.15 : Five Songs for the Weekend

Benjamin Clementine – I Won’t Complain

Singer-songwriter Benjamin Clementine has won the 2015 Mercury Music Prize for his searingly personal debut album, At Least For Now. It is a remarkable turnaround for the 26-year-old, who was sleeping rough in Paris six years ago.

Clementine’s record is a “stunningly original and emotionally gripping album that offers endless and surprising delights”, said the Mercury Prize judges – but that captivating music came from some “very dark places”, the musician told the BBC.

I was living nowhere – in doorways, on streets, in the snow in winter


The opening track repurposes one of Winston Churchill’s most famous speeches to address his unhappy childhood: “Never in the field of human affection / had so much been given for so few attention.”

Another, Cornerstone, contains the bleak lyrics: “I am lonely / Alone in a box of stone / They claimed to love me, but they’re all wrong.”


Read the rest of this article at The BBC

School of Seven Bells – Open Your Eyes

School Of Seven Bells have released the first single from their upcoming album ‘SVIIB’.

The fourth and final album will be released on Full Time Hobby on February 12 next year and you can stream the track ‘Open Your Eyes’ on Soundcloud now. This is the first piece of new material from the group since 2012 album ‘Ghostory’.

The song was originally composed over three years ago with Benjamin Curtis, who tragically passed away in 2013 after being diagnosed with a rare strain of cancer.

After moving to Los Angeles, singer Alejandra Deheza finished the record with production from Justin Meldal-Johnsen. His previous production credits include work with Beck, Nine Inch Nails and M83.

Previously Deheza described the alum as a“ a love letter from start to finish. It’s the story of us starting from that first day we met in 2004, and that’s the story of School of Seven Bells.”

In an in-depth interview with Stereogum last month Deheza revealed that this album acts as “closure” for the band. She also elaborated on the possibility of continuing playing the band’s music in a new solo context; “There’s this part of me that wanted it to be this beautiful thing that happened in the past. I don’t want to mess with it. I don’t want to try and re-create something that was perfect when it happened. To me, anyway.”

Read the rest of this article at NME

M.I.A. – Borders

M.I.A. has been laying low since the release of the ambitious Matahdatah Scroll 01 Broader Than a Border earlier this summer, but now the rebellious London-born polymath is back with her latest single. Continuing the “border” theme, the track is aptly dubbed “Borders” and represents the latest taste of the full Matahdatah project. Give “Borders” a listen below and stay tuned for more info regarding the follow-up to 2013′s Matangi.

Read the rest of this article at Hype Beast

Rick Ross – One Of Us Feat. Nas

LOS ANGELESRick Ross is gearing up to unleash his latest album Black Market on Dec. 4. Ahead of the release, Rozay held a listening session at Sonos Studios in Los Angeles on Thursday, Nov. 19, where he previewed a handful of the project’s cuts.

Before we get into the sneak peek, it’s important to note that Black Market is set to drop after a series of successful Rozay albums. That’s important because Ross seems confident that this will be, as DJ Khaled would say, another one. “We’re gonna make history once again,” he told the crowd on Thursday, while playing select tracks. So, will he succeed?

The project’s definitely got the star power to do it. Just look at this featured guest lineup: Future, Mariah Carey, Nas, Meek Mill, John Legend, DJ Premier, Chris Brown, The Dream and Cee Lo Green. But what do these tracks sound like?

Well, Rozay wants to keep some of them — like the one with Mariah, for example — under wraps for now, but he did share a few of the high-profile collabs at the session. Here’s a breakdown:

Read the rest of this article at MTV

Foreign Air Free Animal

Meet Foreign Air. The duo, comprised of Jacob Michael and frontman Jesse Clasen, first crossed paths while playing in different projects, before they both found themselves searching for a new creative outlet. After sharing Dropbox folders of melody ideas and beats, the boys met up in North Carolina, D.C., New York City, and California to write in the same room together.

The result arrives today with the group’s roaring debut single “Free Animal,”

A transcendent indie rock-meets-electronica tune, “Free Animal” showcases the group’s penchant for forceful guitar and haunting vocals, and fits somewhere between the smart indie pop of Alt-J and the electro-tinged soul of Glass Animals. Expect great things from this powerful new duo, and keep an eye out for their debut EP, dropping in Feb. 2016.

Read the rest of this article at Billboard


Their darling Clementine: Mercury prize judges opt for obscure artist


There is a sense the judges of the Mercury prize cannot win. Pick a winner who is already commercially successful and they stand charged with telling the public what they already know; pick a winner who is too obscure and they face accusations of irrelevance. The Mercury prize has the ability to boost an artist’s sales, but history provides us ample evidence it cannot turn a relatively unknown figure into a household name.

The predominance of artists of relatively obscure stature on this year’s shortlist had already attracted criticism from people keen to invoke the famously watertight argument that the best music is invariably the most commercially successful; among them heavyweight musical theorist Dan Wooton, of the Sun’s Bizarre column, who decried the list of nominees as “another snobfest from arrogant music industry luvvies who do not give a damn what the majority of the country listen to”.

This is clearly not an argument that holds a great weight with the judges, who have perhaps noted that based on the album charts, what the majority of the country are listening to currently includes the comedian Alexander Armstrong belting out A Nightingale Sang in Berkley Square and Danny Boy.

Certainly, no one is going to accuse them of picking an artist already overburdened with mainstream attention. The bookies’ favourite – a reliable guide to what’s not going to win the Mercury prize – was Jamie xx’s In Colour. The biggest selling album on the list was Glastonbury headliner Florence and the Machine’s How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful, but instead they plumped for Benjamin Clementine’s At Least for Now: a number one, gold-selling hit in the London-born singer’s adoptive home France, the origin of a number of inspirations he has cited including Serge Gainsbourg, George Brassens and Claude Debussy.It was also where he honed his craft busking on the Métro, a minority interest in the UK.

Read the rest of the story at The Guardian

How Radiohead’s ‘Kid A’ Kicked Off the Streaming Revolution

Capitol Records had a problem. The year was 2000, and one of the biggest bands on its roster was about to release the highly anticipated follow-up to its breakthrough album without a radio single or music video. The band members also declined most interview requests, and as far as the executives at Capitol were concerned, radio stations, MTV, and music magazines weren’t just cogs in the record-industry hype machine — they were the only way to get your music heard by millions of people.

In time, the album in question, Kid A, would become one of the most popular and acclaimed releases by the era’s most respected rock group, Radiohead. But in the weeks leading up to the record’s release on October 3, 2000, Capitol faced a real dilemma: Sure, hard-core Radiohead fans might know about Kid A. But what about the rest of the world?

At least one Capitol executive, however, viewed Radiohead’s promotional reticence as an opportunity. For Robin Sloan Bechtel, the label’s head of new media, Kid A was a chance for Capitol to help shape the future of the record business.

Bechtel had been exploring how to market and sell music on the Internet since 1993. Before then, she had been with the company as a low-level employee for three years, answering phones and making photocopies. Assuming control of Capitol’s nascent web division seemed like a way out of a career rut. Except nobody at Capitol cared all that much about what Bechtel was doing.

Read the rest of the story at Grantland

Hit Charade

e biggest pop star in America today is a man named Karl Martin Sandberg. The lead singer of an obscure ’80s glam-metal band, Sandberg grew up in a remote suburb of Stockholm and is now 44. Sandberg is the George Lucas, the LeBron James, the Serena Williams of American pop. He is responsible for more hits than Phil Spector, Michael Jackson, or the Beatles.

After Sandberg come the bald Norwegians, Mikkel Eriksen and Tor Hermansen, 43 and 44; Lukasz Gottwald, 42, a Sandberg protégé and collaborator who spent a decade languishing in Saturday Night Live’s house band; and another Sandberg collaborator named Esther Dean, 33, a former nurse’s aide from Oklahoma who was discovered in the audience of a Gap Band concert, singing along to “Oops Upside Your Head.” They use pseudonyms professionally, but most Americans wouldn’t recognize those, either: Max Martin, Stargate, Dr. Luke, and Ester Dean.

Most Americans will recognize their songs, however. As I write this, at the height of summer, the No. 1 position on the Billboard pop chart is occupied by a Max Martin creation, “Bad Blood” (performed by Taylor Swift featuring Kendrick Lamar). No. 3, “Hey Mama” (David Guetta featuring Nicki Minaj), is an Ester Dean production; No. 5, “Worth It” (Fifth Harmony featuring Kid Ink), was written by Stargate; No. 7, “Can’t Feel My Face” (The Weeknd), is Martin again; No. 16, “The Night Is Still Young” (Minaj), is Dr. Luke and Ester Dean. And so on. If you flip on the radio, odds are that you will hear one of their songs. If you are reading this in an airport, a mall, a doctor’s office, or a hotel lobby, you are likely listening to one of their songs right now. This is not an aberration. The same would have been true at any time in the past decade. Before writing most of Taylor Swift’s newest album, Max Martin wrote No. 1 hits for Britney Spears, ’NSync, Pink, Kelly Clarkson, Maroon 5, and Katy Perry.

Read the rest of the story at The Atlantic

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