🇳🇿! Twice is nice. Second show added in Auckland on Saturday 13 July. Grab yr tix now 🌸🏴☠️ https://t.co/Df0UmrZeai… https://t.co/kqn1WbBqLk
The acts that will be joining Adele, Coldplay and Muse this year have been revealed.
Glastonbury has unveiled its first line-up poster for the annual festival, which will take place this year from June 22nd to 26th at Worthy Farm. The newly confirmed acts will join already announced headliners Muse, Adele and Coldplay, with a further 800 acts to be announced on a second poster in the coming weeks.
Continue reading: Glastonbury Festival Reveals First Line-Up Poster
Andy Peterson's picks his top albums of 2015
10. King Midas Sound ft. Fennesz- Edition #1
Kevin Martin (AKA The Bug), poet Roger Robinson and singer Kiki Hitomi joined forces with Viennese avant garde composer Christian Fennesz to chart almost certainly the most enveloping travelogue of the year. The journey itself proved deep and magical.
9. Gengahr - A Dream Outside
One of the features on 21st century music is how 2nd and 3rd generation disciples of truly great bands - in this case golden oldies like the Beach Boys and Teenage Fanclub - are managing to make their inspirations sound so cool. London quartet Gehgahr replaced the now departed retro-future outfit Avi Buffalo in our hearts, to great effect.
Continue reading: Andy Peterson's Top 10 Albums Of 2015
The self described voice of "urgent" and "reflective" music in the UK and Ireland has once again picked a predictable shortlist of albums for the once prestigious award
The Barclaycard Mercury Music Prize this week announce the shortlist for it's 12 favourite albums of the last 12 months, albums that it claims are "urgent" and are "reflective" of the evolving sound of contemporary music. Once a haven for alternative acts like Portishead and Gomez, this years awards once again have gone for the most obvious choices and rather than celebrate any "urgent" talent, artists that routinely play on the radio or television have been picked ahead of the Hookworms and Darkstars of the British and Irish music scene.
The Arctic Monkeys are hardly an "urgent" band
The Arctic Monkeys are now a bonafied rock staple, whilst Foals and Laura Marling have each been nominated in the past and are regularly given air time on 6 Music or Jools Holland, etc., not to mention the fact that Marling has been handed a BRIT Award too. As for newcomers Disclosure, Rudimental and Jake Bugg, neither are exactly challenging their respective fields of house, drum and bass and rockabilly, but simply making it more radio-friendly and pop accessible. This isn't a dig either, this is something that all three artists should openly agree with. As for David Bowie; he's David Bowie. Need we say more?
Continue reading: Mercury Prize Shortlist Announced, But Does It Even Matter Anymore?
The preppy rockers gave a pretty hilarious take on the super-successful single from Thicke during a recent radio appearance
Just when we were all starting to get sick of 'Blurred Lines,' Robin Thicke's mega-hit featuring Pharrell Williams and T.I., New York rockers Vampire Weekend were on hand earlier this week to give us all another reason to care about the track once again as they gave their own take on the track. The performance was part of BBC Radio One's Live Lounge sessions and yes, it does feature an (attempted) rendition of T.I.'s rapped part as well.
The group made the track their own
The laughter-inducing version, that is filled with ad-libs and the occasional cry of "dat falsetto!" whenever someone forgets a line, was recorded with glee by the 'Diane Young' rockers at the London radio studio. Hearing Ezra sing “You the hottest bitch in this place!!!” and mumble “pimpin” and “shake your rump!” in his best T.I. impression is as funny as it founds too, as the white boy indie kids break down into hysterics by the end of the track.
Yannis Philippakis, Jack Bevan, Walter Gervers, Edwin Congreave, Jimmy Smith, Andrew Mears and Foals - The 2013 NME Awards held at The Troxy - Arrivals - London, United Kingdom - Wednesday 27th February 2013
Albums of Note... Heaped with praise and riding high in the UK charts, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds’ 15th studio album, Push the Sky Away is not only an artistic triumph but a commercial one, too. Cave’s songwriting style has mutated significantly since his early days as frontman and resident wildcard of The Birthday Party; he now resembles a particularly well-dressed bar fly and his songs are peppered with his quintessentially erudite turn of phrase.
For our reviewer, Push the Sky Away demonstrates Cave and his cohorts at their finest:“Knowing when to stop and what to leave out, when adding more will lessen the quality and having the strength of character to just cut away the surplus is most definitely driven by the ever uncompromising Cave and here it has clearly paid dividends… Push The Sky Away' has a delicacy and tenderness woven through it like a fine silken tapestry of beguiling beauty but it can still be unflinching and brutal.”
It's been nearly three years since Foals released their stunning second album Total Life Forever, and I wasn't really sure how and if they were going to top it upon their return. However, extensive touring and time back in the studio was clearly just the tonic, because their new release, Holy Fire is equally, if not even more, dazzling.
Total Life Forever demonstrated the band's ability to create a more mature and disciplined sound in comparison to their spritely debut, and this feel is continued in their new material. However, a more regulated style certainly doesn't equate to a lack of riffs or energy, and both are evident in abundance from the offset. Aptly named opening track 'Prelude' provides a distinct taste of what can be expected in the following ten tracks. Slowly building, electrifying chords and drum beats layer upon each other until fit to burst before tumbling with anticipation into lead single 'Inhaler'. Lead singer Yannis Philippakis is provided the opportunity to show off his vocal prowess here, flitting between high-pitched tones and impassioned shouting, driving the track forward with a sense of eager desperation. The chorus is a beautifully frenzied muddle of riffs and chords and will provide the perfect opportunity for Philippakis to lose all inhibitions and go crazy on stage; something he is somewhat known for during the band's live performances.
'My Number' is the most mainstream, pop-sounding track on the record but is also undeniably one of the standouts, both in terms of exceptionality and it's comparable nature, with its catchy lyrics and bopping underlying beat. However, those looking for more of this mainstream-esque regalia on the album will be sorely disappointed as the following tracks 'Bad Habit' and 'Everytime' resume proceedings in a controlled and intent manner. With additionally poignant lyrics such as 'Everytime I see you/I want to sail away' and ''Cause I'm a bad habit/One you cannot shake/And I hope that I change', you start to wonder if Foals are getting soppy in their old age. What happened to the light-hearted and nonsensical lyrics we heard in their debut? They are long gone, but arguably, all for the better. Seemingly meaningless and jovial lyrics are all very well if you're having a laugh but it's obvious that Foals are determined to be taken seriously as a band and not just another indie-rock fad. A change in lyrical tone paired with cultivated and immersive percussion-based instrumentals prove they have taken the perfect steps in sealing their fate for longevity. The only question now is how on earth can they make an even more impressive fourth album?
Continue reading: Foals - Holy Fire Album Review
Holy Fire is the third album from Foals and if the lead single ‘Inhaler’ is anything to go by, it will almost inevitably build the fanbase that they have cemented for themselves with their first two albums, Antidotes and Total Life Forever. The Oxford-born band have retained their experimental, post-rock tendencies, yet their songs now have a serious air of ambition about them.
Reviews thus far have been positive, with The Guardian’s Michael Hann describing it as “an album by a British guitar band who want to win a huge audience without writing chantalongs for the drinkers’ crowd, or lowest-emotional-common-denominator piano ballads.” High praise indeed and backed up by a solid 9/10 from NME’s reviewer, who gives Yannis’ new ‘feelings laid bare’ approach a thumbs up.
Albums of Note... It looks as though Bruno Mars has stepped things up a gear on Unorthodox Jukebox. From straight-up pop songs, to disco and funk stylings, and a nod to reggae in there too, Mars very rarely fails to hit the mark with these new tracks. “Unorthodox Jukebox is a rich pick and mix of different and colourful elements. His lyrics sometime fall short, but a likeably mischievous personality shines through nonetheless, and so on the whole this is a real step up even from the songs that broke him so hugely two years ago.”
Adding a fresh slant to the out-dated genre of twee-duets, Adam Green & Binki Shapiro release a self-titled album of brief ditties, which may appear cutesy at first glance but soon reveal their darker side, with lyrics such as “I can't be the first to say you're the worst, surely there's one or two? / I care more if you act as though you like me than if you really do.” Adam Green is probably the better known of the two, from his work as part of Moldy Peaches and of course his solo work, too. Binki Shapiro already has indie cred from her other band, Little Joy. “Like everything the pair have done individually, together they have made a record that's short, sweet, and maturely macabre; a late contender for an album of the year.”
When Foals announced their return in October it was met with many a huge sigh of relief. Not least because of the current dearth of genuinely innovative guitar bands doing the rounds. While little was known about the new record other than its title ('Holy Fire') and that Alan Moulder and Flood would be sharing production and engineering duties, the fact they'd spent pretty much the whole of 2012 working on the album suggested the band were taking things lightly. Whereas debut long player 'Antidotes' exemplified a band rich in promise but just falling short as far as originality or song craft was concerned, its successor 'Total Life Forever' heralded their arrival as a force to be reckoned with in spectacular style. Mixing dreamy ambient overtures with a textured grace and beauty not witnessed from a home-grown outfit in years, its status as one of the 21st Century's classic records fully assured (and richly deserved), while also ensuring their music is destined to fill arena sized venues for the foreseeable future.
It's to their credit then that rather than simply head for the vacuous 02 caverns they could quite easily fill without having any new material to promote, Foals have taken the back-to-basics approach to launch 'Holy Fire'. Indeed, having started out as a band more akin to playing intimate club nights and house parties it's pretty apt they should mark their return by way of a tour in venues a band of their standing had far outgrown years ago.
Beforehand, Petite Noir led by Cape Town based frontman Yannick Ilunga play an energetic and well-received set eerily reminiscent of the embryonic Foals. Straddling the line between elegant dubstep and discordant electronica, 'Till We Ghosts' is the sound of TV On The Radio as reinvented by Kwes while Ilunga announces the as-yet untitled penultimate number as "a new one", which could be applied to the majority of the set bearing in mind this is Petite Noir's first full nationwide venture. However, as with fellow exponents in the art of cross-genre fusion such as the aforementioned TVOTR or Animal Collective, Petite Noir are a compelling anomaly whose progress looks imminent. File under "ones to watch".
Continue reading: Foals - The Venue, Derby Live Review 2012
Coldplay live CD/DVD Cover
Albums of Note... Coldplay’s Live 2012 album shows a band far more at ease with themselves than their previous live release, from 2003. The Live 2012 package includes both blu-ray and CD. The footage is punctuated by behind-the-scenes interludes and these excerpts showcase each band member’s enthusiasm for their live shows as well as revealing how the material from Mylo Xyloto evolved over time and culminated with them band playing to a vast stadium audiences across the globe. “Live 2012 includes some nice musical moments... the low-key piano intro to 'Yellow', a guest appearance from Rihanna during 'Princess Of China', and the stripped back intimacy of 'Us Against The World'. All of the other elements of big choruses and sing-along's spanning the entire Coldplay back catalogue are present and correct… and Chris Martin's voice seems to have found a renewed strength to cope with the massive venues the band now fills.”
Foals and NME - Yannis Philippakis, Jack Bevan, Jimmy Smith, Edwin Congreave and Walter Gervers of Foals London, England - Shockwaves NME Awards 2011 held at the O2 Academy Brixton - Arrivals Wednesday 23rd February 2011
Having created one of 2010's most inventive records with 'Total Life Forever', Oxford's Foals have already gone someway towards silencing the doubters - yours truly included - unsure about their Bloc Party-esque 4x4 math rock stylings of yore. The fact this evening's show sold out weeks ago tells its own story, while the fact said album found itself as one of the firm favourites among this year's list of Mercury nominees suggests they're no longer the student party band for the new rave intelligentsia, instead rightly viewed as serious contenders by an industry deftly suspicious of such maverick artisans.
Continue reading: Foals, Nottingham Rock City, 6th November 2010 Live Review
With Bloc Party on temporary (?) hiatus, the way seems clear for Foals to ascend to the now vacant position of everyone's favourite credible indie types, an aspiration that can't be hindered by the Oxford quintet's decision to opt for a little major label muscle to help.
Not that this stopped them virtually combusting during the process of recording Total Life Forever, even after TV On The Radio production svengali Dave Sitek had been dispensed with in favour of the not-so-household name Luke Smith. Anyone who expected Smith's presence as a portent for more math-rock with knobs as per Foals debut Antidotes should prepare for a surprise though: whilst Yannis Philipakkis isn't exactly ready for the floor now a la Kele, he's clearly now living in a world of much broader horizons.
There is a bond of sorts between then and now; whilst there's nothing as overtly angular as Cassius or Balloon, the arpeggios of Miami and the title track show that Foals are not quite ready to shed older their skin yet. Not exactly backward looking, these are exceptions however rather than rules; closer What Remains rumbles like a valley full of thunder, whilst the now familiar Spanish Sahara sounds far more complete when set in its rightful context, erudite but graceful.
Philippakkis has recently gone on record as describing Antidotes as one-dimensional, and whilst he's undoubtedly being more than a little hard on himself, Total Life Forever is that happiest - and rarest - of hybrids, an artistic triumph that could also satisfy the band's new paymasters and their unit-shifting obsessions. Delicate opener Blue Blood ushers in a newer, less abrasive tone whose accessibility should draw in a new audience, but whilst Two Trees shimmers beautifully as if Brian Eno were at the studio controls, it's still a world away from the stadium filling guff of Coldplay and Snow Patrol.
A year ago it's safe to say that not many people would've expected Foals to be delivering songs like Black Gold and After Glow either, both clocking in at over six minutes long but more significantly both with any former abrasiveness swapped for blue eyed introspection. They blend in seamlessly into a picture that's complex and intimate but not obtuse, and whilst Total Life Forever is record that almost never got made, it stands as an accomplishment worthy of a band who can now plot their own destiny.
🇳🇿! Twice is nice. Second show added in Auckland on Saturday 13 July. Grab yr tix now 🌸🏴☠️ https://t.co/Df0UmrZeai… https://t.co/kqn1WbBqLk
thankyou, DC 🌸🏴☠️ few more tix left for night no.2 at @930Club tomorrow: https://t.co/P4qaqNM57A 🎥: Jordan Grobe https://t.co/0oDXN0Azil
It’s been real, Brooklyn 🏴☠️🌸🏴☠️🌸 https://t.co/P4qaqNM57A pc: Greg Chow https://t.co/MbIgSn8BXb
FOALS FOREVER. https://t.co/Yz7KIxM6RH
We had these tunes on repeat whilst recording the new album. Take a listen on @applemusic 🌸🏴☠️🌸🏴☠️🌸🏴☠️… https://t.co/EyQsbHdJwV
NEW SHOW: BBC Radio 1's Big Weekend // Stewart Park, Middlesbrough // Saturday 25th May 🇬🇧🏴☠️🌸🇬🇧🏴☠️ @bbcr1… https://t.co/U2Vs4zPywI
RT @BBCR1: Here's everything you need to know if you want to get your hands on #BigWeekend tickets this Thursday from 5pm 👇 https://t.co/r…
Night no.2 at brooklyn steel 🌸🌗🏴☠🌸🌗 https://t.co/P4qaqNM57A 📷: @maggielndnphoto https://t.co/AGxkoCDhZ9
One down, two to go 🏴☠️🌸🌿 https://t.co/P4qaqNM57A 📷 @tynie626 @pancakesandwhiskey https://t.co/Hxy7b9CfhN
RT @YnnsPhilippakis: Excited for these Auz & New Zealand. Finally coming back 🌸🏴☠️ @_Warpaint https://t.co/4SfRoMgfCJ
🇦🇺🇳🇿! We’re bringing the ruckus down to you in July 🏴☠️🌸 Special guest: @_Warpaint Sign up for pre-sale access… https://t.co/nb6BTSmhFF
back in the mix tomorrow 🌸🏴☠️🇺🇸🇨🇦🏴☠️🌸 https://t.co/P4qaqNM57A pc: Sam Neill https://t.co/Cxc1wTVkIv
RT @brooklynsteel: limited tix released for all 3 nights of @foals this weekend! 🎟️ grab tix for April 12-14 while you can >> https://t.co/…
RT @foals: NYC! Few more tix just released to all three @brooklynsteel shows this weekend 🗽👉 https://t.co/BCUuJCOyf0 📷: Sam Neill https://…
Back to 🇺🇸🇨🇦 later this wk https://t.co/P4qaqNM57A 📷: Sam Neill https://t.co/zvApKVGenc
NYC! Few more tix just released to all three @brooklynsteel shows this weekend 🗽👉 https://t.co/BCUuJCOyf0 📷: Sam N… https://t.co/W7DKJiwVlQ
RT @YnnsPhilippakis: Thankyou Colombia @festereopicnic for all yr amazing energy last night & all of the Latin America this past week for t…
YES COLOMBIA 🌸🏴☠️🇨🇴 #FEPX pc: https://t.co/DTo7EPCqHo https://t.co/R17vbYWw6f
Obrigado, São Paulo 🌸🏴☠️🇧🇷🏴☠️🇧🇷🌸 https://t.co/P4qaqNM57A 📷: Sam Neill https://t.co/SpqUwqOgVh
Engage full Chill....ean https://t.co/HTTf80Rumk https://t.co/kxnvoOWM9e