Summer 2017 is shaping up to be good one for music!
As March progressed and the sun began to come out a little bit, it was hard not to get the feeling that 2017 had finally begun to actually happen after the cold winter months. So it was for music fans, who were treated to a lot of great news about new music from some of the biggest bands in the industry, both in Britain and internationally.
We’ve detailed six of the biggest – and, hopefully, best – new albums to look out for in the coming few months!
Gorillaz - Humanz
Expect some extraordinary upcoming talent from one of the festival's most diverse showcases.
Austin's 2015 SXSW Festival draws ever nearer, with a line-up already rich in upcoming talent and vibrant diversity. There's something for everyone at this iconic citywide musical celebration, and nothing encompasses that more than Hype Machine's Hype Hotel Presented by Feed the Beat spot.
Hype Hotel is set to return to SXSW for 2015
Now heading into its fourth year, we can expect Hype Hotel to be full of yet more talented new bands and artists for 2015. Selected by a variety of different music blogs, the line-up is awash with the very best of all genres including indie, rock, pop, electronic, rap and R&B, who entertain fans of different ages and cultures for five days during the event, which this year takes place from March 17th to 22nd.
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?
Chart-crushing blues rock and building-smashing monster movie antics: another week in news brings shocks and laughs.
Cannes Continues: We're nearly at the end of the second week of the Cannes Film Festival and have been mentally noting which new movies have soared or been scorched at the hands of critics. Map to the Stars, Two Days, One Night, Mommy and Foxcatcher have all received glowing reviews whilst Lost River, Grace of Monaco, and The Search... well, less so. Click on links for reviews highlights and details for each movie.
Carter-Knowles Camp Content?: The Jay Z/Solange brouhaha confusion still hasn't been publically illuminated but the Carter-Knowles family seems to be intent on proving to the world that everything is just fine, fine, fine, thank you very much after footage leaked showing the singer attacking her rapper brother-in-law in a lift. Beyoncé's statement did little to explain her sister's violence but her newly-posted family photos do a good job of sweeping it all under the rug, for better or worse.
The Brit rockers shared new songs from their upcoming 'Ghost Stories' album.
Last night, Coldplay took to the stage at Texas' South by Southwest Festival where they debuted new material from forthcoming album Ghost Stories alongside well-worn favourites. Support acts London Grammar and Imagine Dragons were big enough names for the crowd to pick out songs from each that they recognised but the former had the air of "evidently nervous musicians still working out how to feel comfortable commanding an audience," according to The Guardian's Tim Jonze.
Coldplay Played A Triumphant Comeback Show At SXSW Last Night In Austin, Texas.
Whereas Imagine Dragons "threw the kitchen sink at the audience in an attempt to make that vital emotional connection." Luckily for Coldplay, such effects come almost too naturally to the British rockers who seem to soundtrack every wedding first dance, graduation party, or Olympic triumph.
Continue reading: Coldplay Debut New Album Material At Lauded SXSW Comeback Show
It's not long until this year's South by Southwest festival and here's 10 acts you wont want to miss in Austin.
Every year, hundreds of bands descend upon Austin, Texas to make the South by Southwest Festival one of the most anticipated of the year. Featuring musical acts from all over the world, the music section of this mammoth festival takes place from March 11th to 16th 2014. This year sees the festival get even bigger and better as a host of new acts showcase alongside some big name veterans to give an awesome lineup of over 2,000 acts. Anyone lucky enough to be making the trip to Austin next month is going to have a hard time deciding which bands to go see, so to help you make up your mind, here’s ten acts that we consider unmissable from this year’s lineup.
London Grammar are heading to this year's SXSW Festival
Continue reading: SXSW 2014: 10 Acts You Cannot Afford To Miss
I was searching for a word, something to give a little more meaning to London Grammar's music. On the one hand, it seems obvious to focus on their approach to song writing, a process during which they seem to have the conviction of devout minimalists. On the other, they make a platform for singer Hannah Reid with such assured subtlety that through her vocal projections you cannot stop yourself from thinking of the likes of Florence Welch and Lana Del Rey, stars in the wilder mould who both thrive on sensory overload. As ever, I'm left reflecting that the answer is more complex than something a few letters can adequately summarise.
Whatever that quality is, it's working. In a little over 18 months, the trio have gone from speculatively posting songs on YouTube to signing with a major label on which their debut album 'If You Wait' narrowly missed topping the charts. All this isn't too shabby in an era where breaking through the minefield of desperate established artists frequently defeats the worthy and interesting, and tonight's gig has been sold out for months, underlining their arrival in the XX's neighbourhood.
In many ways, The Cockpit, with its 400-ish capacity and permanent dinginess (Sorry guys), is the perfect venue to see the band in, especially given that a follow up series of dates for early next year has already installed them in the pasteurised, sub-hanger next level up places. Why? Because if you've heard their music, you'll know it's rooted in the crepuscular twilight which exists at the three o' clock in all of us. Reid arrives on stage dressed like she's about to move flats, but the moment that her smoky lung bursts hit the room, the audience are appreciably spellbound. Beside her, cohorts Dan Rothman and Dot Major wisely let those soaring pipes be the centre of attention and, after about 20 seconds of opener 'Hey Now', the whole thing clicks together with the effortlessness of people recognising that their time is soon to come.
Continue reading: London Grammar - The Cockpit Leeds October 24th 2013 Live Review
London Grammar missed out on a Mercury nomination.
A strange thing happened last month. While most of the music press were speculation on whether David Bowie, Disclosure and Arctic Monkeys would be nominated for the Mercury Music Prize, the bookmakers had cut indie pop trio London Grammar - comprising of Hannah Reid, Dot Major and Dan Rothman - to 6/4 favourites to WIN the whole thing.
It was an odd market move. Someone, somewhere had gambled on the newly formed group though it was a gamble that would ultimately fail. When the nominations were announced days later, London Grammar's debut album If You Wait was nowhere to be seen.
Continue reading: London Grammar Admit Disappointment At Mercury Music Prize Snub
One of the music industry's biggest breakthrough success stories this year has been the rise of London Grammar. The capital based trio, initially formed at Nottingham University in 2009, have released one of 2013's most astonishing debuts in the shape of 'If You Wait'.
Comprised of Hannah Reid (vocals), Dot Major (keyboards, drums) and Dan Rothman (guitars), their stylish collision of ambient beats, folk infused melodies and soulful vocals have drawn comparisons with artists ranging from The xx and Lana Del Rey to Everything But The Girl and Judie Tzuke.
Having wowed audiences at numerous festivals throughout the summer, Contactmusic caught up with the band post-set at Festival No. 6 in Portmeirion.
Continue reading: London Grammar - Interview
'AM" shot straight to the top of the album charts after shifting more than 157,000 units in it's first week
The Arctic Monkeys have done it again! Their fifth album to date has entered the chart at number one after a strong week of sales since last week's release, with AM racking up more than 157,000 in sold units in only a few days. What's more, the band have made history by being the first indie band to achieve the feat of earning five No. 1 albums back-to-back, making the feat all the more impressive.
The Arctics have assumed their place among rock royalty
AM, which was released via Domino Record on Monday, 9 September, is now the second most successful album of 2013 in terms of units sold in the first week. It sits behind only Daft Punk's Random Access Memories, which sold more than 165,000 copies during its first week of release in May, according to the Official Charts Company. The Sheffield band's fifth number one entry is also frontman Alex Turner's sixth number one entry, after his cinematic side project The Last Shadow Puppets topped the charts at the first time of asking with 2008's The Age of the Understatement.
Continue reading: Arctic Monkeys Make History With Their Fifth Consecutive Number One