A Week In Albums... Vampire Weekend have been getting some much deserved props for their comeback LP, Modern Vampires Of The City and our man Jim Pusey was more than happy to join in the chorus of praise. Marking the group's second US Billboard number one charting album to-date - not to mention their best selling first week effort - Modern Vampires... looks like it's only going to set the indie rockers onto greater things. Pusey commented: "While it's an album that may struggle to repeat the phenomenal commercial success of Vampire Weekend's debut, I'd argue in the long run there's more to love on Modern Vampires. It's not just because the band's affection for New York seeps through every pore of the record, but also because sonically it's a far more interesting album. If this is indeed the end to a trilogy of records, Vampire Weekend have set themselves an extremely high bar to reach for the next chapter of their career."
Collaborator-happy party bringers Major Lazer have returned with a new album in the form of Free The Universe. A record that does little to change the act's sound, it doesn't necessarily need to, says Andy Peterson, with the array of people brought on board, including - there he is again - Ezra from Vampire Weekend, Peaches and Wyclef Jean, meant to enhance the party not the sound evolution. Peterson writes, "At times it's fair criticism that the formula isn't saying anything new, but the main objective here is far less about innovation but instead about being what it is; a no-nonsense party record made to be turned up to eleven and put on after twelve. Righteous."
Primal Scream show no signs of slowing down even though they're into their fourth decade as a band. More Light is another solid LP by Bobbie Gillespie and co., even if it perhaps doesn't reach the heights of their 90's heyday, like Screamadelica or XTRMNTR. "It could probably have done with a little bit of trimming to its near seventy minute run time, and while Kevin Shields and Robert Plant make welcome appearances, they do feel perhaps a little lost in Gillespie's attempt at a snapshot of twenty first century life. If you'd written Primal Scream off for settling comfortably into the latter stages of their third decade in music by revisiting Screamadelica, More Light will be a pleasant surprise, but it doesn't quite achieve the elevated status it tries so hard to reach."
We're big fans of These New Puritans here at Contactmusic, and their album Field Of Reeds is a much-anticipated return in these quarters. A relief then to find that Jordan Dowling is as much a fan of the London's group's third LP as we are. "The most exciting thing is that you get the feeling that for These New Puritans this isn't the apex, but merely the beginning" he comments in his review. We wholeheartedly agree with him.
A Week In Videos... Check out this extremely odd video from Scottish producer Show N Prove, which features an old fella getting his groove on with a load of revellers in a club. It makes sense, given the title of the track's called 'Zimmer Frame,' and it's hard to deny that the central character is cutting a fine rug. The artist will be hoping such an eye catching video will help him improve a burgeoning profile that's already attracted attention from the likes of Dappy, DJ Fresh and Toddla T.
Miles Kane is back with a new video for his new track 'Darkness In Our Hearts.' The indie rocker, who originally came to fame with Arctic Monkeys Alex Turner as The Last Of The Shadow Puppets, as well as his own band The Rascals, is truly ascending on his solo career. The no thrills video of him performing as live matches the blistering straight ahead rock number that its promoting.
And now for something a little heavier: UK metal-heads Bullet For My Valentine have just announced their new single P.O.W, and with it comes this video which, like Kane, sticks to the live environment during its duration. The single comes out on June 17th and has been taken from their fourth album Temper Temper, which became another critical and commercial success for the band.
A Week In News... Daft Punk's tremendous comeback continues and Random Access Memories is setting record after record. The latest two that the French duo have added to their impressive list of feats are: most streamed album on Spotify, and the fastest selling record of 2013. Nice work, fellas.
Kelly Rowland has already told the press just how personal her come back single 'Dirty Laundry' means to her, but if there was any doubt at its intensity, then it was banished during an emotional performance in Washington DC. On her first night of the tour in the US capital, Rowland couldn't keep the tears in as she sang the emotional ballad, which takes in her friendship with former Destiny's Child Beyonce, and past relationships.
Many compare Muse to Queen anyway, so the Devon trio might as well go all out in their imitation and throw a no-holds-barred afterparty in true extravagant style. In a nod to the infamous Queen parties of the 70's, in which dwarves apparently paraded around the room with trays of cocaine, Muse's Dom Howard organised dwarves to offer their guests... trays of sherbert. The band were partying after playing a sell-out show at London's Emirates Stadium on Sunday night (May 26, 2013).