A Week In Music - Alicia Keys Girl On Fire Promotion Still Going, Cayucas Debut Makes For The Perfect Summer Listen And Latest Michael Jackson Court Case Begins
Leatherette and Walk Off The Earth release impressive albums while Lil Wayne endures another turbulent few days in our week in music
A Week In Videos... She might have just wrapped up her Set The World On Fire tour, but the promotional drive for Alicia Keys fifth album Girl On Fire rolls on, with the multi-million selling songstress putting out a video for the third single from the 2012 Billboard number one LP. The video for 'New Day' sees clips of studio-shot footage of Keys dancing down back alleys, interspersed with footage of the star performing live in various instances. Given that her last single Brand New Me reached a meagre 103 at the tale of end of 2012 in America, it's going to be hard for 'New Day' to make much of an impact.
Kurt Vile's Wakin On A Pretty Daze was his most commercially successful album yet, going close to the top 40 in the UK and making 47 on the US Billboards. Yet the American psych-wizard is about more than sales figures, and pleasingly his fifth album also perhaps marks his most accomplished to-date, a record of dreamy soundscapes and hazy Americana tale-telling. Given the woozy nature of 'Never Run Away,' we wonder just exactly what that smoke coming out of the bus at the beginning of the video is...
Laura Marling's on the way back! One of Britain's finest folk singers of the last half-decade or so, Marling has recently announced her forthcoming fourth album Once I Was An Eagle. She's remarkably prolific given she's just 23, but the preview material that features in this 18 minute long video once again proves she has maturity beyond her years. The video works as something of an album sampler, with various tracks showcased from the upcoming record, which is out on May 27th through Virgin Records.
Sub Focus has gradually moved away from the early drum & bass tag that was given to him early on in his career, much like Pendulum he's sort to reach towards more commerciallby accessible climbs - also much like Pendulum it seems to be working. Last year's 'Tidal Wave' was his biggest UK hit to-date, the Alpines-featuring single reaching number 12. 'Endorphins,' featuring Alex Clare, could well beat that given its big drop into the chorus and panoramic sound.
30 Seconds to Mars are back with the second single from their upcoming album Love, Lust, Faith and Dreams, with 'Conquistadors' following on from Up In The Air, which reached 107 in the US Billboard charts. The LP itself will be the group's fourth album and first since 2009's This Is War, which remains their biggest charting yet when it made 18th position in December of that year. Given their time away and the build in anticipation over their return, could Love, Lust, Faith and Dreams go even better?
A Week In Albums... Does eight tracks really constitute an album? Apparently so if you're Californian Zach Yudin, whose Cacuyas project has its first 'LP' out on Secretly Canadian. Cayucas deals in the sort of tropical pop that's comes as unsurprising given his geography, but our reviewer Hayley Fox finds much to admire on their undeniable "summer album," Bigfoot. Vampire Weekend comparisons are prevalent though, causing Hayley to comment "the band need to experiment a bit more. It's a cute 30 minutes, but they're running the risk of being too much of a match for Ezra Koenig and the gang."
Our man Andy Peterson finds himself trying not to get too frustrated with relatively recent Ninja Tune signings Leatherette's anonymity while reviewing their promising self-titled debut LP. The Wolverhampton, UK duo - this much we know - nevertheless impress with what Peterson describes as a "dichotomy - sending the listener into a blissful trance whilst still making sure their feet are moving." Summarising his thoughts Peterson ponders that for now it's enough that they're "the men with no name are the beat wizards with no shame. Or who don't do lame."
Walk Off The Earth are most famously known for that cover of Gotye's 'Somebody I Used To Know' which saw them all gathered around and playing just one guitar between them. Well, it turns out the Canadians had some other songs as well. In fact, that cover is the only non-original material on album R.E.V.O, the rest their own work that veers from folk to hip-hop (yep, that's right.) Reviewer Alex Lai comments on the record's stand-out moment, 'Shake', as "a mid-tempo acoustic affair that has the sort of chorus that instantly banishes cobwebs and makes the world seem a brighter place. This exemplifies what Walk Off The Earth are about - making organic and fun music."
A Week In Music News...It's been another tumultuous week for Lil Wayne, but the rapper at least ended up on the positive side of it by giving a performance at his pal Floyd Mayweather Jnr's return to boxing last weekend (May 4, 2013). What a week he did have before that though, with loss of endorsements and, worryingly, another seizure which once again saw him taken to hospital.
Exciting news for One Direction fans, if you believe Ed Sheeran, as the ginger-haired starlet has claimed that the boys have finished their new album, though he says he hasn't - like in the past - contributed any songs to it. It should also be noted that 1D's label Columbia aren't in agreement with Ed regard's the album's status. So is it done or not, boys?
The court case between Michael Jackson's mother Katherine Jackson and concert promoters AEG got started last week and looks set to rumble on and on. The argument? Whether it was AEG or Jackson himself who was responsible for hiring Dr Conrad Murray - currently in jail for involuntarily manslaughter after giving the King of Pop the drugs that ultimately killed him. Last week it was once again confirmed that Jackson did have the powerful anaesthetic propofol in his system, in a trial that's you can't help but feel is going to contain many shocks along the way.