May 14, 2012

In-Depth with Contactmusic... Jason Mraz has just released his album Love is a Four Letter Word and he's been speaking to Contactmusic about his songwriting techniques, surfing, life on the road as a touring artist and, of course, the music that has inspired him over the years. His latest album is built on the premise that 'love is a choice.' "I really set out to make a love-based album about the fact that love is a choice, it's a choice that we make to see it or not, to have it or not and I'm obviously not a master of it in anyway but I really wanted to learn more about it. I created this album about it (love) and really wanted to keep the focus on love in all aspects of the album."

We've also been chatting to Modestep this week. They've recently finished touring with Lostprophets and the band's guitarist Nick Tsang took some time out to chat to Joe Wilde about the tour, signing to Interscope Records and winning over rock fans with their synthesisers. "The LostProphet fans were really good to us though and so many nice people came up to us after we performed and said they'd never heard of us before but we'd really converted them. The LostProphet guys were really cool to us too, they're really nice guy, so this was a really nice little opener for us. We're trying to put a live twist on the traditional sound of dubstep, we're trying to make it more rocky and I can see more genres spawning out of this frankly, in the same kind of way we've done."

Video of the Week...The video for Fun.'s anthemic track 'We Are Young', which just enjoyed its second week in the Top Five, is a beautifully shot and atmospheric affair.

Fun. - We Are Young Video

Full of smashing objects, falling bodies, stage fights and, of course, some smashing fruit, Janelle Monae (the song's guest) lurks in the background until her moment comes to sing. The band release their second album in next week and this is by far their biggest hit to date. It could well be the fuel that the band need to break into the mainstream after building respect on the underground circuit.

Take A Walk is taken from Passion Pit's forthcoming album 'Gossamer' (released July 24, 2012), 'Take A Walk' sees Passion Pit at their rousing and emotive best. It's the band's first song release for three years and sees vocalist Michael Angelakos contemplating the American Dream in a time of recession. Check out this audio stream of the track.

Album Recommendation... In June 2012, Tom Williams and The Boat will be embarking on a tour with a twist. Rather than booking their tour in the traditional way, with booking agents and promoters deciding where the band is going to play, fans of Tom Williams and the Boat get to vote online for the venues and cities in which they'd most like to see them perform. The top 5 dates then get booked. Contactmusic reviewed their 'Teenage Blood' album recently, describing Williams' talent as having "a wry wit akin to The Arctic Monkeys, an earthy honesty befitting of Gene and a soulful passion and intensity previously attributed to Dexy's." The praise continues, concluding that "There has always been little doubt that TW&TB are a great act to catch live. they are also a capable of making blistering, sublime, raucous and relevant records as well. 'Teenage Blood' is a potent mixture whichever way you care to analyse it. Go get yourself transfused."

Music News... It's no secret that Mark Ronson

Mark Ronson's 'Wild' Sleepovers With Jackson

comes from a world of privilege but it's a little known fact that he used to stay over at Michael Jackson's house as a kid. That pretty much puts him in the same league as Macauley Culkin, right.?

The latest Gossip album has not fared well with critics in the run-up to its release, but Beth Ditto doesn't seem too bothered. Instead, she has turned her own critical eye to Lady Gaga, saying that she may be a life-changing influence for five year-olds, but listening to her music as an adult doesn't have the same impact. "I think her music is for five year olds. Like when I was five, for me it was Madonna, Cyndi Lauper and Michael Jackson. Those people were iconic. In 20 years, the people who are here and talking to journalists will be like, 'Oh Lady Gaga changed my life, Nicki Minaj changed my life.