A week in music videos... We caught up with Brooklyn band DIIV last week as they are currently enjoying the 2013 festival season. Talking to lead member Cole, he explained just how different it was playing festivals compared to club gigs, that it was more about coming into the world of the fans rather than bringing them into your own. He was also not shy about admitting that the pressure of working on a second album has lifted. 'People are gonna be way more patient and wanna hear what you come up with', he says. 'The first record you have to have a clear statement of purpose like a sound and catchy pop songs.' As well as taking the time to chat to us, we were treated with an uplifting live rendition of their song 'Human'. Watch the full interview here and watch the live video for Human.
With the release of their highly-anticipated sixth album 'Mechanical Bull' imminent, Kings Of Leon follow up the audio release of its first single 'Supersoaker' with a grainy, retro-style, artistically produced video. Just as we expected, 'Supersoaker' is made of the anthemic, driving and infectious stuff that previous international hits 'Use Somebody' and 'Sex On Fire' are made of and we certainly can't wait for what looks to be another well-loved record that will see us through the autumn. Watch the video for Supersoaker here.
Vampire Weekend played a thrilling live rendition of their track 'Unbelievers' in Lewes, East Sussex in July during Mumford & Sons' 2013 Gentlemen of the Road Stopover Festival. It's from their latest album 'Modern Vampires of the City' which has already matched previous effort 'Contra' in chart positions for the US and UK, with the former seeing it easily top the charts and the latter seeing it land an impressive third position. The band have still got several other festivals lined up for the rest of the year, including Outside Lands Festival in San Francisco, Boston Calling and Dcode Fest in Madrid. Watch the live video for Unbelievers here.
Pulling out some pretty smooth moves in their latest video is Willy Moon as he croons his high-energy new track 'Get Up (What You Need)'. The soul injected into this refreshing tune is uplifting and orchestral whisper of background violins truly makes for a fantastic summer anthem. The song is the opening tune to his debut album entitled simply 'Here's Willy Moon', which, for obvious reasons, caught much attention in the album chart from his home nation New Zealand. But we'll get to see more of him overseas now as he gears up to perform at this year's Leeds and Reading Festivals as well as Japan's Summer Sonic fest. Watch the video for Get Up (What You Need) here.
Continuing what looks like a theme of nostalgia and reminiscence, Manic Street Preachers present 'Show Me The Wonder'; the lead single from their new album 'Rewind The Film' coming September 16th 2013. They spoke about boredom and wishing they could turn the clocks back in the title track, and this new single follows much the same tack, going back to their pub performance days in the video and talking about how mundane life is in the lyrics. The Manic Street Preachers may be going manic depression, but their skilfully crafted, catchy melodies remain the same as always. It's been twenty years since the release of their debut 'Generation Terrorists' in 1992, but it's certainly no wonder why they've remained so high in the UK charts all these years. Watch the video for Show Me The Wonder here.
Albums of the week... is a unique musician from Japan who deserves all the hyperbole he receives after crafting yet another wonderfully entertaining album called 'The History Of The Day'. There's nothing technical about this record and it doesn't slot easily into any genre, but it's nonetheless an enjoyable and uplifting listen. Out reviewer Jordan Dowling describes him thus: 'Though too human to be alien, No.9 has created another new world that is ultimately indescribable to those that haven't lived in it.' Read the review of The History Of The Day here.
Another album that has caught our eye over the last week is Icky Blossoms self-titled new offering. It's one of those you can listen to all the way through without being bored as it experiments with a variety of styles and genres and has that brilliant flair that only producer David Andrew Sitek - who has previously worked with TV On The Radio, Jane's Addiction and Beady Eye - could have added. 'This is a band who are not afraid to think outside of their stylistic box and have therefore created an album full of highlights', was the comment from our critic Ben Walton. Read the review of Icky Blossoms here.
Talking to the artists... Busy working on their upcoming new album due out in early 2014, Oi Va Voi found the time to chat to us on their return to the UK after making their mark across Europe. As well as confirming that, following a one off show at the Hackney Round Chapel last month, they will be embarking on a full UK tour prior to their next album release, they discussed the writing and recording process, their European roots and dynamics surrounding playing in various countries. 'The band started 13 years ago, at the time mostly everybody was Jewish or had some kind of cultural, musical identity', they said about their continental sound. 'We liked the influence of Eastern European music.' Read the full interview here.
In the news... In a bizarre move to promote healthy eating among obese children in America, Sesame Street's favourite biscuit guzzler Cookie Monster performs his own rendition of Icona Pop's platinum hit 'I Love It' in a parody video whereby he attempts to resist the temptation to dig into a large bowl of his favourite snack. The popular puppet TV show has been criticised in the past for encouraging an unhealthy attitude to food, but their latest venture sees them encourage self-restraint and healthy choices. Read the full story here.
In other news, Drake has ditched hip hop for a pop anthem with his latest single 'Hold On We're Going Home'. The track was revealed yesterday following his appearance at his OVO (October's Very Own) Festival where he presented another surprise in the form of his reconciliation with Kanye West, who he said he 'quietly admired'. Could we expecting even more bombshells as his new album 'Nothing Was the Same' draws nearer? Read the full story here.
On a gloomier note, we remember the renowned Grammy winning jazz pioneer George Duke after he passed away at the age of 67 on Monday (August 5th 2013) after a battle with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia. Many music stars have since paid tribute to the artist expressing their shock and sadness that such a talent has left the world. 'Rip George Duke. Funk, Jazz, Music legend... One of the greatest', Justin Timberlake said on Twitter, while Rodgers from Chic wrote, 'George Duke Rip my co-music director Montreux Jazz (Festival) 2006 - Your funk made us 'Reach For It'.' Read the full story here.