A Week in Music - September 24, 2012
This week, we have a new video from The Spinto Band. The five-piece from Delaware return with 'Muesli,' the latest release from their 2012 album Shy Pursuit. The song has a retro-tropical feel and the video follows singer Thomas Hughes as he paces through a montage of blackboard doodles and sketchy animations. 'Muesli' is released ahead of the band's European tour, which begins on November 19, 2012.
Totally Extinct Enormous Dinosaurs (aka the producer & DJ, Orlando Higginbottom) released his debut album Trouble this summer and his flair for creating dancefloor-fillers has seen him remix tracks by the likes of Lady Gaga and Katy Perry. The video for 'Your Love' forms a neat juxtaposition between the modern day and the past (anyone remember the Walkman.?). Shots of bustling cities are cut with shots of Orlando, shut-eyed in an armchair, singing along, before his peaceful scene is gatecrashed by revellers.
Mystery Jets headed to a deserted cave in the Peak District (tastefully named 'Devil's A*se,' it would seem) to record a special acoustic version of 'Radlands,' the title track from their most recent album. Singer Blaine Harrison and guitarist William Rees lead the performance, with drummer Kapil Trivedi supplying some gentle percussion, for this stripped down rendition of one the strongest tracks from the band's new canon of US-influenced material.
'Keep It Rollin' is the latest offering from the electronic rock band Y-Luv, who hail from California. Having found themselves at the top of the Hype Machine charts with Gazzo's remix of their track 'Never Touch The Ground,' they've gone big with this track and clearly have their eyes on bigger chart positions. It's a hearty slice of anthemic, dance-oriented rock and the video features Sophia LaVonne performing a slow breakdance / interpretive dance routine, as well as shots of the band performing the track.
Albums of Note... The latest mix-tape from Kanye West's hip-hop collective G.O.O.D. Music has been highly anticipated in all corners of the music world, even if he's done a good job of leaking some of secrets to the general public before it was released. Cruel Summer has a stellar cast of modern hip-hop legends, including Jay-Z, R Kelly, Big Sean and Ghostface Killah, as well as up and coming hot topics Chief Keef and Teyana Taylor. It's a solid slice of contemporary hip-hop, though it's hardly pushing any boundaries. "Ironically, though its being sold on the back of his rep, it's the tracks in which Kanye takes a back seat and lets his pals do the driving, that attention peaks. Kid Cudi's delivery on 'Creepers' is playful and addictive; as he lilts "if I had one wish, it'd be to have more wishes," it's kinda endearing; more so than the majority of the aggressive rhymes spouted elsewhere."
'Battle Born' is the fourth studio album from The Killers. It's not an immediate hit, like their 2004 debut Hot Fuss; nor does it contain the "keyboard and synth excesses" of 2008's Day and Age. It's a slow-creeping success, this one. Consistency has fallen by the wayside, with no fewer than five producers attempting to make their own mark on The Killers' distinctive sound and the band seem to fall short of the success that many feel they're capable of. "At first you're blinded by the familiar cinematic landscapes that Flowers paints, coupled with a nostalgic sense that you've heard something similar elsewhere. Flowers even channels Bono on 'Heart Of A Girl' (unsurprisingly co-written by long time U2 collaborator Daniel Lanois)."
The German multi-instrumentalist Konstantin Gropper, AKA Get Well Soon is releasing his third studio album, The Scarlet Beast O'Seven Heads. It's a skillful blend of progressive rock, but lifted by Gropper's orchestral know-how. "'A Gallows' and 'Oh My! Good Heart' for example, combine the eclectic sound, energy and confidence of Guillemots with the powerful, progressive blend of iLiKETRAiNS; like taking post-rock and infusing it with orchestral expertise to produce a distinctive entrancing sound that allows moments of hope, growth and beauty to emerge through gloomy melancholy."
Interview of the Week...We chatted to Petter Ericson Stakee, lead vocalist and guitarist of Alberta Cross to talk about the band's latest album, their difficulties in making it and their plans for the future. The band have been touring Europe, which has led to discovering that their tour manager has "trouble manoeuvring a van" in Europe, though luckily, it has also led to them forging friendships with Eagles of Death Metal (with whom they seem to have shared a near-identical touring schedule). The problems that they had recording their latest album, Songs of Patience have not been kept a secret but, Petter insists that it's informed their sound, as much as anything and explains "Those experiences had a huge impact on what we were writing and shaped the album." They're already planning to write and record a new album, so those troubles are clearly behind them as they continue to tour Songs of Patience and spread the word about Alberta Cross.
Music in the News...Universal and EMI will be merging into one company. Two of the biggest record labels in the world will, controversially, now become one, as Universal plans to embark on its $2 billion acquisition of EMI. The result of this will be that three record labels will now control around 90% of the market.
Robbie Williams became a dad for the first time last week. The former Take That singer, along with his wife, Ayda Field, welcomed their daughter - Theodora Rose - into the world on September 18, 2012. Theodora was born eight days prematurely at London's Portland hospital; both mother and baby were both doing well and Robbie tweeted a picture of himself with his newborn daughter on Twitter.
Fiona Apple found herself on the wrong side of the law as she tried to pass US border control with marijuana in her possession. She admitted that the drug was hers, meaning that the rest of the people in the tour bus were free to travel onwards. Apple, however, was kept in jail over night, after her arrest on September 19, 2012, in Sierra Blanca, Texas.