After just one album that mesmerised the world into understanding that "normal" guys can make intellectually heart pounding music that permeates the masses, Alt-J are back and their second 'In-tro' with its eclectic churning bass and choral 'La's' confirms they're not ready to hand over the crown as Britain's premier art band just yet.
'An Awesome Wave' was the sound of Britain in 2012 and you couldn't breathe for hearing the likes of 'Matilda', 'Tessellate' or 'Breezeblocks', and for once, the saturation didn't feel overbearing, it felt deserved. It's no surprise then that this time round they've got a Mercury Award under their belts. There's a stigma that goes along with winning this award, but Klaxons and Speech Debelle aside, it's still a fairly prestigious award and with 'This Is All Yours' you can see the difference the money has made.
Gone are the staple Casio sounds you were loving previously, to be replaced with samples of Miley Cyrus songs and weird love lyrics to rival Prince: "Turn you inside out and lick you like a crisp packet". The production here has turned everything up to 11. The ghostly post-dub of 'Hunger Of The Pine' is deeper and heavier, the indelible drumming of Thom Green is both sparser and heavier. They use their space in a much more provocative manner here and take no prisoners on what they want to achieve. 'Warm Foothills' is like listening to Keaton Henson if he had a personality transplant and has a whistling interlude to rival Peter Bjorn and John. This is a much more folksy record, whatever that means in this post genre world.
Continue reading: Alt J - This Is All Yours Album Review
Four became three, but that won't stop them
In an unexpected shakeup of one of 2013’s most talked-about bands, Gwil Sainsbury left Alt-J following their Mercury win; but that doesn’t mean the end for the now-three-piece formed in Leeds back in 2007, as they’ve stated their intention to soldier on.
The then-four-piece Alt-J at the Q Awards 2012
The band announced the founder and bassist’s departure on Twitter, posting: “With regret, Gwil is leaving alt-J. This is purely a personal decision and as our best friend we support him completely,” on the 11th of January.
Weekend weather worries are minimal as forecast looks mostly clear with some sun and just a little rain over the Leeds/Reading events.
It may be nearing the end of the summer but Leeds and Reading Festival 2013 goers don't have much to worry about in terms of the unpredictable English weather this weekend (August 23rd - 25th).
The Met Office website has suggested some okay weather for Friday and Saturday with information still to come for Sunday. According to them, Leeds can expect temperatures going up to 23 degrees on Friday though mostly accompanied by clouds, while the following day seems to be a little cooler with a good chance of rain for most of the day before clearing up towards the evening. As for Reading, you lucky Southerners; you can expect rather a sunny morning and temperatures of possibly 25 degrees on the first day, though Saturday in Reading will perhaps also see some spots of rain before the evening approaches.
BBC Weather appears to be more optimistic, seeing 24 degree temperatures in Leeds and 26 in Reading on the Friday, though it looks mildly wet for most of the day on Saturday in Leeds and fairly bright in Reading. Sunday could be the nicest day of the weekend as campers emerge from their tents with their penultimate hangovers to find it brightening up in Leeds at 25 degrees and even reaching 27 in Reading. Other sources suggest similar forecasts, though there have been suggestions of a little rain on the Friday; possibly not disposable raincoat and heavy-duty wellies style weather, however.
Continue reading: Weather-Worries Are Looking Few For Leeds And Reading Festival 2013
Phoenix's Lollapalooza set proved the band's recent success isn't just a fluke.
As Thomas Mars – the lead singer of Phoenix – explained, "Usually on Sunday night people are really tired.” He was talking about festivals, and he was right, bit he and his band had something planned. "This," he said as the catchy into to 1901 began behind him, "is something different."
Tired crowd or not, the band rocked the final night of Lollapalooza.
So blistering was their closing set, that Rolling Stone have called it “the best performance of the entire weekend.” And this on a record weekend - 300,000 people descended upon Grant Park for the three-day festival, which featured eight stages and 130 acts.
Continue reading: “This Is Something Different” - Phoenix Close Lollapalooza 2013 In Style
Lollapalooza closed with The Cure, Cat Power, Phoenix and Knife Party. Who else performed on day 3 of the Chicago bash?
"If they pull the plug on this song, you'll have to keep on singing," ordered The Cure's Robert Smith, preparing to play 'Boys Don't Cry' at the end of an ecstatically-received, hit-filled set. The British New Romantics showed that despite mainstream's music current trend for dubstep and electro, the punk roots of music will always hold dear for fans who can still identify with the frontman's penchant for melancholic ballads, backcombed hair and blood red lipstick.
The Cure Showed Their Ability To Still Draw An Enthusiastic Crowd.
Rob Carroll at Plan!tNorthwest described the rockers set as "a fitting headliner to bring Lollapalooza in for a soft landing" with minimal interaction between band and crowd , whilst The Guardian vow that "Robert Smith's ultra-expressive face gives us the most passion and raw emotion from any performer we've seen over the past three days."
Continue reading: Lollapalooza Packs Up For Another Year: What Did Day 3 Bring?
Chicago's biggest music festival Lollapalooza to feature stunning headline acts, great activities and shelters for all weathers.
Since it's revival in 2003, Lollapalooza has been bringing you the very best of rock, metal, punk, hip hop and dance from all the major music legends to the up-and-coming rookies of the business. Taking place at Chicago's Grant Park from August 2nd - 4th 2013, the festival this year features a bedazzling headline roster of Las Vegas indie rockers The Killers, West Sussex goths The Cure, Grammy winning folk four-piece Mumford & Sons and long-running industrial rock group Nine Inch Nails. There will also be a huge range of activities to occupy yourself with over the weekend from the Samsung Galaxy Experience where you can check out the latest gadgets, to art stations where you can become a comic strip or be transformed into a work of pop art.
DJing at the Bacardi Coachella after party at The Soho House are DJ Whitney Fierce, Foals, Alt-J and Twin Shadow who talk about the festival's atmosphere and what it means for musicians both new and well-established. We see the party's VIP guests arriving in 50s style convertibles in the background.
The band are the likely winners of the Ivor Novello for Best Contemporary Song.
Mercury Music Prize winners Alt-J could well be adding an Ivor Novello award to their collection of gongs, NME announced today (April 17, 2013). The band have been nominated in the Best Contemporary Song category for their song Fitzpleasure, alongside Plan B’s Ill Manors and The Maccabees Pelican. Alt J won last year’s Mercury Music Prize for their debut album An Awesome Wave. The album has also been nominated in the Album Award category, alongside Beon Howard’s Every Kingdom and Lianne La Havas’ Is Your Love Big Enough?
The awards ceremony celebrates songwriting ability and the remainder of the categories are Best Song Musically and Lyrically, Best Contemporary Song, PRS for Music Most Performed Work, Best Original Film Score and Best Television Soundtrack.
The full list of nominees is below. The 58th annual Ivor Novello awards will take place on May 16th, 2013 at London’s Grosvenor House.
Continue reading: Will Alt J Add An Ivor Novello Award To Their Mercury Gong?
Ben Howard Is Surprise Winner In Otherwise Bland Brit Awards, 2013
Last night’s Brits ceremony could well have been the blandest Brits in years. Aside from a frisson of post-breakup tension between Harry Styles and Taylor Swift (who took to the stage wearing a sexy black hot-pant jumpsuit with gold embellishments) there was little in the way of shock, surprises, or backstage gossip (or if there is, it hasn’t made it’s way down to us yet!).
Mercury Music Prize winners Alt-J have been given their first BRIT Award nods, after being nominated for three awards: Best British Group, Best British Album and British Breakthrough.. Still, despite earlier success the band have admitted that they were still taken by surprise with the announcement of their recognition.
Speaking to NME, keyboardist Gus Unger-Hamilton described the news as "incredible," but admitted that he and the rest of the band were taken by surprise by the announcement, saying: "thought this this wouldn't be for the likes of us."
Last year the group's debut album, An Awesome Wave, received wide-spread acclaim and was awarded the title of BBC Radio 6's Album of 2012 as well as the Mercury Award and with the BRITs constantly vying to remain relevant and 'cool' it looks like the group might also be in contention to take away at least one gong at February's awards show, regardless of what the modest group members may think of their chances.
Continue reading: Alt-J Taken By Surprise By BRIT Nominations
This year’s Brit Awards nominations look as though they were concocted by a group of strangers, with wildly different cultural backgrounds, on a drunken night out. Is this a sign that the mainstream music world is finally starting to accept that it’s becoming more and more acceptable to have diverse musical tastes? Or are the organisers of the BRITS simply trying to spark controversy? have they lost the plot? Or is this an honest reflection of the mindset of a 2013 British music buying public? Let’s take a look at the evidence, and scrutinise some of the more baffling categories…
British Female Solo Artist Nominees – One of the more sensitive and contentious issues, here, in the British female solo artist category. Of the five nominees, only four of them were alive this year. We understand that Amy Winehouse has a lasting legacy in British pop music. We understand that she was – and, in many ways remains - a tour de force. But, for the sake of the awards, we simply have to ask, at the risk of sounding flippant, what has Amy Winehouse done for British music in the last 12 months? Sadly, nothing. Her posthumous album (released in December 2011, we should add), Lioness: Hidden Treasures was politely and quietly denounced for being little more than cuttings from the studio floor. We simply can’t get our heads around her inclusion on this list. With Bat For Lashes throw in as the ‘alternative’ wild card, to lend a touch of outsider cool to the category, it’s between Emeli Sande, Paloma Faith and Jessie Ware to catch this one, we reckon.
Continue reading: BRIT Awards 2013 Nominees Announced: Diverse? Or Just Weird?
Albums of Note... Rihanna’s seventh studio album, Unapologetic has been met with a mixed response and our reviewer reckons the Barbadian pop star phoned this one in. As her career becomes more of a marketing cash cow than an artistic endeavour, so her albums impress less and less.
Of course, there is also the ‘elephant’ that seems to appear in every room Rihanna walks into… an elephant known as ‘Chris Brown.’ He makes an appearance on the album, duetting with RhiRhi on a track called ‘Nobody’s Business.’ “Fun: it's something that's lacking a lot in this album, Unapologetic rattling on machine-like but with very little given away to the spirit of enjoyment… She doesn't have to feel apologetic for anything, but what's more concerning is that Rihanna doesn't seem to feel anything anymore, something all too apparent on this turgid LP.”