My Willing Heart. Directed by Anna Rose Holmer. Starring Natalie Portman. https://t.co/JDiJuNDC2B https://t.co/1dBNXQ0lZb
Whilst 2016 has been too full of tragedy and sad loss it has also undoubtedly been a bumper year in terms of album releases.
There is no way to aptly mark the passing of some of the very best artists of any generation but in amongst the untimely deaths has come some inspirational and ground breaking music.
My albums are all ones I have enjoyed immensely and continue to play. Whilst Radiohead, M.I.A, Peter Doherty and many others may have missed the cut it wasn't really a difficult choice this year. It may not be all that eclectic but there are some great albums in there. Nick Cave's Skeleton Tree is not only this years best album but also an album that is rapidly becoming one of my all time favourites, it's just so good.
Continue reading: Andrew Lockwood's Top Ten Albums Of 2016
It feels like no coincidence that the recent heatwave we've had in the UK is met with rain clouds and grey skies upon the release of James Blake's third album 'The Colour in Anything'. An album that is so focussed and dedicated to its melancholia that it finds the listener surrounded by a bleak landscape, whether grey windows tapped on by rain or oppressive buildings as you find yourself walking down claustrophobic and damp alleyways. His third LP, which has been anticipated and sought for by many finds Blake at his most mature, particularly in reference to his infallible production style and restrained electronic murmurings of sub-bass and echoes of British dance music. Echoes which become so alien to their reference points its mesmerising to retrace tracks and still find rewards within his incredibly spacious and phenomenally textured songs.
Blake's familiarity is present in its seemingly old-fashioned approach to electronic music; a concoction of auto-tune, expressive percussion, minimalist piano and throwback sub-bass of a dub era. What makes this familiarity refreshing is the collaborative efforts which bleed into Blake's distinguished and wholly unique sound. Partnering with Rick Rubin as co-producer, with assisted vocals by Justin Vernon of Bon Iver on 'I Need A Forest Fire', instrumentation from Conan Mockasin and writing credits from Frank Ocean, we find James Blake maintaining his monomania of prior releases but with its brilliance hidden within the detail. Those tonal shifts that skirt and whimper within each song act as moments of light within a thick fog seeming impossible to navigate. They creep in from the corners, and as a result 'The Colour in Anything' sounds like an artist content with his sound and at a point of meddling with it to achieve something much richer than we've heard before. As a starting point for what is on the cards for James Blake, it is incredibly exciting to see where else this collaborative process will take him in the future.
'The Colour in Anything' contains some of the best material he has released to date. Album opener 'Radio Silence' perfectly sets the tone, beginning with sombre piano and his glass-like howl, opening with the line "I can't believe this/you don't want to see me." Echoing Bill Withers' sentiment in 'Hope She'll Be Happier' about overcoming romantic disinterest. 'Timeless' expands on the darker dub sounds of the album by incorporating a half-trap percussion on one of the stronger tracks. However, 'Put That Away And Talk To Me' is probably his most interesting song here, a dissociative lullaby about weed dependency and obsession in regards to his introspective nature and artistry. 'I Hope My Life' will be likened to other big hitters like 'Digital Lion' and 'Voyeur' from 2011's 'Overgrown', and will no doubt be a fan favourite when it comes to his live shows. There is consistent quality throughout the album, songs such as 'I Need A Forest Fire (feat. Bon Iver)' which is one of the best white boy duets of recent memory, the harmony between James Blake and Justin Vernon is beautifully soothing.
Continue reading: James Blake - The Colour in Anything Album Review
James Blake - 2015 US Open Tennis - Women's Final against Flavia Pennetta and Roberta Vinci at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center at Billy Jean King National Tennis Center - New York City, New York, United States - Sunday 13th September 2015
Ride and The Strokes will be joined by The Black Keys, Patti Smith, The Replacements and more.
Fans and hopeful attendees of Barcelona's Primavera Sound were delighted to discover that the preview app they downloaded was a video game displaying the full line-up for the festival's fifteenth anniversary.
Already announced were Friday and Saturday's headliners Ride and The Strokes, and now they've been joined by a host of other equally incredible artists. Thursday sees The Black Keys leading the bill alongside The Replacements, who are hitting Spanish stages for the first time and Antony and the Johnsons, who've been doing plenty since their last Barcelona gig. Bringing some variation to Thursday proceedings are electronic virtuosos James Blake, Richie Hawtin and Simian Mobile Disco.
Continue reading: The 15th Anniversary Line-Up For Primavera Sound Is Finally Here!
The latest twist in ATP's PR disaster.
The debacle that is the Jabberwocky has taken a fresh new turn. In addition to the ballyhoo created by cancelling the festival at short notice (it was due to take place this weekend) two companies involved in ticketing and PR have reportedly launched legal action.
Dash Tickets - involved in the selling of tickets for the event - last night issued a statement to customers claiming that it is "in no way responsible for ATP's financial problems, nor with their conduct post cancellation." The company added that "substantial advances to ATP which remain unpaid, as do considerable fees for the work we have undertaken on their behalf."
Continue reading: Jabberwocky Update: Two Companies Kick Off Legal Proceedings Against ATP
What can we expect on the third LP from the Mercury Award winning trio?
The XX are a band who have achieved the rare accolade of matching their critical success with a commercial viability after the minimalist electronic strains of 2010’s self-titled record altered the face of popular music forever. Without the prevalence of The XX’s sultry and deeply affecting electro, artists so clearly influenced by their sound would have turned out hugely different than they did today. The likes of James Blake and London Grammar, for instance, would certainly be viewed with wholly different eyes has The XX not impacted so extensively.
Fans can expect a change in direction and mood on the new XX record.
For their upcoming third release, tentatively entitled LP3, the group have decamped from their native London confines to the climes of some fairly unorthodox locations. In-house producer for XL Records Rodaidh McDonald, who previously worked with the band on second album Coexist, has revealed the band has worked on the new record in Texas and there are trips planned to Iceland and France during the coming summer. As the band absorb the sounds of different continents, McDonald has indicated such international influence will greatly affect the direction of the new record. “There are songs which came out of our experiences in New York and Texas that would never have come out in London” he stated, “the colours and the ideas and the moods on some of these songs are just not things you could write in London.”
Continue reading: What Can We Expect From The New XX Album?
Festival fun in London! Highlights include Jabberwocky, Camden Crawl and Wireless...
If you want a unique festival experience this year, London could be the place for you. Featuring a diverse range of events from the independent ethics of Jabberwocky to the mainstream attitude of Wireless, 2014 is not all about the States.
The UK is home to some incredible, highly respected music festivals such as Isle of Wight Festival, Leeds and Reading Festival and, of course, Glastonbury - but just what do we have in store from the nation's capital? London is unquestionably the UK's most vibrant city and, when it comes to music, there's really no denying that. The rest of the world may have SXSW, Coachella, Ultra and Exit (to name but a very small few), but London has a plethora of unique local events with line-ups and atmospheres that really prove their worth - and we're here to share them with you.
Jabberwocky (August 15th-16th)
All Tomorrow's Parties present this brand new festival for 2014, co-hosted by Pitchfork and Primavera Sound and set to take place at The Excel Centre this August. For its inaugural event, Jabberwocky will see headline acts from Neutral Milk Hotel, James Blake, Darkside and Caribou, not to mention support from Kurt Vile & The Violators, Hookworms and Electric Wizard. Like many of the best festivals, it's not all about the music as Jabberwocky will be hosting some film events and, as the name suggests, there'll be plenty of art to enjoy too. Tickets are priced at £38.50 per day.
Continue reading: Keep Calm And Party On! London's Ten Most Exciting Festivals For 2014
Hayley Fox tells us her top 10 albums of 2013
Darkside 'Psychic' - After an EP in 2011, Darkside released their debut album this year. The duo - the project of Nicolas Jaar and Dave Harrington - gave as good as they got on 'Psychic', honing their talents as individual musicians. Wonderfully crisp textures ride over its entirety, creating a rich, confident ambience.
Continue reading: Hayley Fox's Top Albums Of 2013
This year saw the release of so many incredible albums, that trying to list the top 20 really doesn't do 2013 justice. However, after some strong analysis of what the year had to offer, we unveil the most listenable collections - from the super-hyped major label releases to the lesser-known but just as sensational offerings.
Vampire Weekend 'Modern Vampire in the City' - 'Modern Vampires in the City' makes it three for three for the New Yorkers and their latest release could very well be their best yet. It shows evolution for the band, but they have retained that essential quality that made 'Contra' and their self-titled debut such wonderfully upbeat and genuine pleasures to listen to each time. 'Modern Vampire in the City' is also the release that marks Vampire Weekend as a band that should be taken seriously, but one who you can still have immense fun with. 'Diane Young' is yet another indie floor filler, standing shoulder to shoulder with previous bangers 'A-Punk' and 'Cousins.' Where the album really excels, however, is when VW reach out to new quarters and sound completely inimitable. The yelps of 'Ya Hey' bring fun to a song that essentially deals with the theme of lost conviction, the graceful 'Hanna Hunt' erupts in the most complete song released this year and album opener 'Obvious Bicycle' sets the whole thing in motion with its refreshingly angelic melodies and steady, train-like clunks that lie beneath all the splendour. Vampire Weekend are no longer the Brooklyn minions rattling at the gates of eminence, the gates have been swung open for them and the welcoming committee should have made them feel rightly at home.
Continue reading: Contactmusic.com's Top Albums Of 2013
Despite winning acclaim and producing award-worthy releases, there were a number of notable absentees in the list of Grammy nominees for next year
The 2014 Grammy Awards will take place in January 2014, with the full list of nominees being revealed over the weekend. Jay-Z was the most capped nominee, with nine nods in total, whilst Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Kendrick Lamar and Daft Punk were also among the list of potential winners, but there were a number of artists who were nowhere to be seen on the list of nominations.
After their shock win in 2011, Arcade Fire have been ignored this time
Despite their last album, The Suburbs, being a runaway success at the 2011 Grammy Awards, Arcade Fire are nowhere to be seen on next year's list. Their fourth album, Reflektor, was met with almost universal praise and some critics noted that it was an improvement form their latest release, but it seems as though the Grammy committee weren't as impressed as everyone else. The Canadian band don't even appear in the Best Alternative categories, however it is pleasing to see Tame Impala and Vampire Weekend among the nominees in this category, especially considering VW released one of the albums of the year with Modern Vampires of the City.
James Blake win the Barclaycard Mercury Prize for his second studio album 'Overgrown'.
James Blake earns the 2013 Barclaycard Mercury Prize for his second studio album 'Overgrown'.
The annual trophy is awarded to an artist from the UK with the best album from the past year.
James Blake received the award at the Roundhouse in north London on Wednesday (Oct 30th).
Continue reading: James Blake Wins Mercury Prize For 2nd Studio Album 'Overgrown'
Date of birth
26th September, 1988
My Willing Heart. Directed by Anna Rose Holmer. Starring Natalie Portman. https://t.co/JDiJuNDC2B https://t.co/1dBNXQ0lZb
Mark Pritchard support DJ set from the 2016 UK Tour https://t.co/wGGe0lF8lS
RT @danfoat: 2014年のジャパンツアー以来…あの夜を越える興奮を求めて、1-800 Dinosaurが再び東京の街にやってくる。 チケットをお求めの方→https://t.co/tIdlwDAAuJ どうかお見逃しなく！ https://t.co/cENronWR…
🇯🇵FEB 2017 https://t.co/XKuAagzCyW https://t.co/qcJboTmG4h
RT @fujirock_jp: 【JAMES BLAKE - RECOMMEND SHOW】来年2月に待望の来日公演が決定している@jamesblake 貴重なフジロック'16 ライブ映像が公開中！ *INFO.→https://t.co/aOdExcfrmx https:…
San Francisco this Thursday 8th Dec @PublicWorksSF 1-800-DINOSAUR @jamesblake DJ Set @airheadairhead @klausmuzik… https://t.co/YbljLmyYOl
❗️1-800-DINOSAUR tonight @ArtBasel MIAMI @jamesblake DJ set @airheadairhead @danfoat @klausmuzik #ArtBaselMiami https://t.co/NAGGNntXMp
https://t.co/OsEj5gNa03 My brilliant dad (James Litherland) playing in Vienna this week 🎸
RT @airheadairhead: north america 💥 @jamesblake @danfoat @klausmuzik #mrassister https://t.co/KkXEE8xuds
1-800-DINOSAUR / Miami / LA / San Francisco / Vancouver / NOV / DEC 2016 https://t.co/2HqnCXQHvE
RT @klausmuzik: this saturday full crew reunite @brixton_jamm with live set from @TrimTali_ and special guest @markprtchrd! https://t.co/l5…
Live in LEEDS @O2AcademyLeeds Next Weds 02/11 https://t.co/I1ubeHNJ35 https://t.co/OLdeOyVk7H
All of the love - a great friend and at the same time a hard act to follow. Missed by all of us! Good luck at the L… https://t.co/emDa6x1ixW
The view from the stage during our set-time yesterday at @timfsf and the reason we couldn't perform last night. https://t.co/62CautfOcV
RT @airheadairhead: Warming up at the @foxoakland show tonight. I'm on 8pm, @jamesblake at 9.15pm. https://t.co/1dee5HHDfS
Amended timings for tonight @foxoakland // 8pm DJ - @airheadairhead // 9:15pm @jamesblake