Albums of Note… Copenhagen band Efterklang release Piramida, an album named after a Norwegian ghost town. Befitting of such a theme, the music itself falls somewhere between Brian Eno, Sigur Ros and The Blue Nile. Though they're writing about a town full of ugly abandoned Cold War-era buildings, Efterklang have somehow instilled Piramida with "an atmosphere of warmth" and our reviewer was so impressed, he went so far as to say that they write songs that are "everything you'd love an Elbow song to actually sound like." "With the pop world and everything else now divided beyond conciliation, what was once perceived as avant garde is now just another way of working."
Are they a choir? Or just a ridiculously large indie pop band? Whatever they are, the twenty women that make up Gaggle have crafted a fine album in From The Mouth of The Cave. The debut album from this unusual group is never dull and combined, their voices have some serious dramatic potential: "20 plus women joining together in a deliberately paired back drum and vocal delivery about being wronged, abused, deceived, damaged and pained is a formidable thing." "From The Mouth Of The Cave' is a challenging album from Gaggle. It is an experience and at times it can be hard work. it break(s) certain boundaries and above all it shows a great deal of promise for what else might yet come from the most unconventional girl group on the planet."
Broadside is the fourth studio album from Bellowhead and it looks as though they have outdone themselves once more. Their vaudeville folk and funk has been underpinned with a darker side."Bellowhead's fourth full-length offering, complete with their trademark infectious folk-funk stomp, juicy, eclectic arrangements and almighty appetite for entertainment, does it yet again."
A Week in Video… Featuring vocals from the late Amy Winehouse, Nas' latest track 'Cherry Wine' has been long-awaited from fans of Winehouse and Nas alike. The video's a slick production, showing Nas as a classy bartender, checking out one of the clientele , though it looks as though he has competition from another customer.' Cherry Wine' alternates between Amy's vocals and Nas's bars. Fittingly, the closing scenes show a black and white image of Amy singing, with a note to say that the track is dedicated to her.
Natasha Khan (aka Bat For Lashes) releases 'All Your Gold,' another slice of off-kilter pop from the talented songwriter, who released her third album The Haunted Man earlier this year. The video for 'All Your Gold' is shot in monochrome, with Khan wearing a striking black and white bodysuit, to lift her profile from the gloom of the landscape as she dances to her own Kate Bush-styled rhythms.
Electronic hedonists Justice return with 'New Lands,' the video for which depicts some kind of futuristic sci-fi take on an American football match. With Justice's '80s-inspired track pulsing behind it, this would make a pretty good movie in itself, if it were extended by, er, about 30 times its actual length.
The Weeknd may have started out closeted in mystery but as his reputation has grown, his identity could no longer remain a mystery. And here we have a video from the modern R&B sensation, also known as Abel Tesfaye. Rolling Stone is a stripped-back affair and the video simply focuses in on Tesfaye as he sings the song, sometimes with a girl's arms around his neck; his soulful voice and subtle production skills are perfectly married in this track; it's not hard to see why he's been dubbed a modern-day Michael Jackson.
Music In The News… The Smiths To Reunite? Morrissey has dismissed the latest round of rumours suggesting that The Smiths are going to reunite. One of his people told Rolling Stone in no uncertain terms that the band would NOT be getting back together and when they were asked why, simply replied "You'd have to ask Morrissey that. There's got to be a story there, and maybe one day it will be told.''
Rihanna and Chris Brown To Reunite? Are Chris Brown and Rihanna getting back together? Do the media really know? Do Chris Brown and Rihanna even know, any more? The latest evidence seems to suggest that they are getting their relationship back on track but only time will tell how true that is.