Category Archives: INDIE MUSIC NEWS

The Mountain Goats Announce New Album 'Goths'

The Mountain Goats have announced their forthcoming album. The follow-up to 2015’s Beat the Champ, Goths will arrive this spring. The group also unveiled the LP’s first single, “Andrew Eldritch is Moving Back to Leeds.”

While their previous album was a concept LP on wrestling, Goths focuses on its namesake’s culture with the added perspective of time. “While [frontman] John [Darnielle] writes the songs, as he always has, it feels more than ever like he’s speaking for all of us in the band, erstwhile goths (raises hand) or otherwise,” bassist Peter Hughes said in a statement about the album’s theme. “For these are songs that approach an identity most often associated with youth from a perspective that is inescapably adult.”

On their reflective new song, “Andrew Eldritch is Moving Back to Leeds,” Darnielle tells the imagined story of the Sisters of Mercy frontman returning to the town of their youth where the band first formed. “Nobody ever gets away,” Darnielle sings. “Even the best of us come back someday/ to the unmarked rooms/ where the dry dust breeds.”

“His friends give him a hard time about ending up back where he started, but not because they’re mad; it’s good to see an old friend wearing the marks of time on his hands and face like well-loved tattoos,” Darnielle said in a statement about the lyrics that address one of his teenage heroes. “So shall it be in these times: your sons and your daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions, and Andrew Eldritch, whose music has reached spirits in every corner of the globe, will move back to Leeds.”

Goths arrives on May 19th via Merge and is available for pre-order.

Goths Track List

1. “Rain in Soho”
2. “Andrew Eldritch is Moving Back to Leeds”
3. “The Grey King and the Silver Flame Attunement”
4. “We do it Different on the West Coast”
5. “Unicorn Tolerance”
6. “Stench of the Unburied”
7. “Wear Black”
8. “Paid in Cocaine”
9. “Rage of Travers”
10. “Shelved”
11. “For the Portuguese Goth Metal Bands”
12. “Abandoned Flesh”

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Watch Chris Martin's Poignant George Michael Tribute at BRIT Awards

The 2017 BRIT Awards remembered George Michael‘s legacy Wednesday with a pair of tributes as the singer’s Wham! bandmates saluted Michael before Coldplay’s Chris Martin performed his 1986 song “A Different Corner.”

Michael’s Wham! partner Andrew Ridgeley and the duo’s backing singers Pepsi & Shirlie (real names Helen DeMacque and Shirlie Holliman) came onstage following the In Memoriam portion of the ceremony to eulogize the singer.

“On Christmas Day 2016, the greatest singer-songwriter of his generation, an icon of his era, and my beloved friend, George Michael, was lost,” Ridgeley said in his first non-social media comments following Michael’s death.

“A supernova in a firmament of shining stars had been extinguished, and it felt like the sky had fallen in. It started out ordinarily enough: In 1975, we were two boys that happened to share a mutual sense of humor, a love of life-affirming music, the records and artists it gave birth to, and a shared sense that we understood it.”

Ridgeley, DeMacque and Holliman then recounted their early days together and personal memories of the late singer. “George’s contribution to the great archive of contemporary music rests alongside the immortals,” Ridgeley added. “His is a legacy of unquestionable brilliance and one that will continue to shine and resonate for generations to come.”

Following the tribute, Coldplay’s Chris Martin took the BRIT Awards stage to sing “A Different Corner.” During the performance, the Brits’ screen showed archival footage of Michael, with the singer admitting, “I never really wanted to be somebody else.”

Following another Martin verse, the screen behind the Coldplay singer again projected Michael, who took over singing “A Different Corner.” Through some immaculate timing, Martin and the archival Michael performance sang together for the remainder of the tribute.

Martin previously remembered Michael with a rendition of “Last Christmas” following the singer’s December 25th death. Adele provided the Michael tribute at the 2017 Grammys.

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Chainsmokers, Coldplay Meld Styles on New Song 'Something Just Like This'

The Chainsmokers and Coldplay fuse their respective styles on the new collaborative single “Something Just Like This,” four minutes of breezy EDM grooves and widescreen arena-pop hooks. 

Chris Martin sings about looking for an ordinary love – not “somebody with some superhuman gifts/ some superhero, some fairy tale bliss” – as frothy synth pads swell into a massive chorus. Throughout, the frontman showcases his vocal range, building from a low croon to a higher-octave yelp. Meanwhile, guitarist Jonny Buckland offers a signature, spiraling guitar solo at the track’s climax.

“Something Just Like This” will feature on the Chainsmokers’ debut LP, Memories: Do Not Open, out April 7th. In January, the duo released their first single of the year, “Paris,” which landed at Number Eight on the Billboard Top 40.

The group enlisted Chris Martin to mark the song’s live debut Wednesday at the BRIT Awards:

The Chainsmokers, who broke out with their 2014 single “#Selfie,” recently announced a North American tour launching April 13th in Miami. The trek stretches across the U.S., with a pair of Canadian stops, and closes June 10th in New York City.

The group earned three top 10 hits throughout 2016, including “Closer,” which spent 12 total weeks at Number One. They also earned a trio of nominations at the 2017 Grammy Awards – including a Best Dance Recording win for “Don’t Let Me Down.” 

Find out five things you didn’t know about the Chainsmokers. Watch here.

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Review: Future Still Swimming in Dark Waters on Self-Titled Fifth Album

Two years after his sepulchral watermark DS2, the dual sides of Future‘s artistic persona appear to be set in stone. There is the pill-popping trap king whose hypnotic and watery tones seem to reflect a darkness of the soul. Then there is the jumpy, ecstatic Atlanta kid who just wants to fuck up some commas, whether he’s stunting on the sidelines of an Atlanta Falcons playoff rout, or dabbing alongside frequent collaborators DJ Esco and Metro Boomin on BET Jams.

Unfortunately, it’s the former guise that Future has clung to the hardest. And who can blame him? Much of Southern rap seems transfixed by the DS2 sound, whether it’s the bleak talk-raps of 21 Savage, the pop-leavened strip-club ditties of Rae Sremmurd, or the hazy lyrical jabberwocky of Migos. However, recent Future projects like 2016’s Purple Reign and Evol sagged from a surfeit of horror-movie synth washes and paranoid, Xanax-coated murmurings. There was too little of the joy that he freely exhibited on cameos and one-off singles like “Used to This,” his infectiously goofy hit single from last fall.

Future’s first album of 2017 doesn’t mark a shift from his recent, downcast offerings. (However, the just-announced Hndrxx, which drops a mere week after Future on February 24th, is rumored to be more radio-friendly.) But give him credit: Future improves upon his 2016 output. Although the 17-track, hour-long affair lasts way too long, Future sounds fully engaged. He pronounces “Good Dope” with gruff, uncharacteristic working-class humility, speaking the chorus as if shrugging, “I do good, though.” He licks off bird chirps on “Zoom,” chants “Scr-scr-scrape” in a lilt on “Scrape,” then harmonizes “Draco season with the bookbag/Rat-tat got a little kick back” on “Draco” as if he were floating down Miami Beach’s Ocean Avenue in a drop-top. When Future’s on, he can conjure the most oddly entrancing vocal melodies this side of Young Thug.

Lyrically, Future vacillates between thug ruthlessness, where he compares himself to Nicky Barnes, Big Meech and other American gangsters (“I need a power of attorney/I’m about to fuck up some M’s”) and a stream-of-trap-consciousness that makes his brief moments of vulnerability stand out (“Gotta be in a rush I can’t be running out of time/What you mean what’s on my mind?”) On “Might as Well,” he recounts his past and present hard times as he raps, “I got real niggas still Crippin’/Child support gettin’ heavy/It’s hard not to get offended.” Meanwhile, there are some fantastic beats, like Southside, Fuse and Illmind’s woozy bounce rhythm on “Zoom,” Metro Boomin’s screwed-and-dusted sample loops on “Masks Off,” and Southside and Jake One’s twanging vibrato effects on “Outta Time.”

However, Future stumbles with a few unnecessary skits – not to mention that moment when he channels President Trump’s sexual assault braggadocio by rapping, “Grabbing that pussy like Donald” on “High Demand.” Or when he says, “Fuck your squad, they some queers” over the digital bleats of “I’m So Groovy.” Or when uses “Rent Money” to slut-shame various R&B and rap “bitches.” For this ATL trendsetter, occasionally sounding like a macho jerk is part of a life spent swimming with the sharks.

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Watch the 2017 BRIT Awards Live Stream

The 2017 BRIT Awards are live-streaming in the above YouTube video. The ceremony, hosted at London’s O2 Arena, includes performances by Katy Perry, Bruno Mars, Ed Sheeran, the 1975, Emeli Sandé and more, along with a tribute to the late George Michael.

David Bowie, the 1975 and Rihanna each earned multiple nominations at the event, which honors music related both in the U.K. and worldwide. Little Mix and Mercury Prize-winning grime artist Skepta lead the nominees with three nods apiece.

Bowie’s Blackstar and the 1975’s I Like It When You Sleep for You Are Beautiful Yet so Unaware of It are both nominated for British Album of the Year, alongside Skepta’s Konnichiwa, Michael Kiwanuka’s Love & Hate and Kano’s Made in the Manor. Bowie, who was honored at last year’s ceremony in a tribute featuring Lorde’s version of “Life on Mars,” is also nominated for British Male Solo Artist.

Radiohead are nominated in the British Group category against the 1975, Bastille, Biffy Clyro and Little Mix.

A full nominee list is available at the Brit Awards website.

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Eddie Van Halen Donates Guitars to Low-Income Schools' Music Programs

Eddie Van Halen donated 75 guitars from his personal collection to Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, a program that provides musical instruments to students in low-income schools. 

“My whole life has been music. I could not imagine anything else,” Van Halen told CNN Tuesday. “It’s a must. It has to be taught.” The foundation doles out nearly 1,800 instruments annually to schools without music programs, which helps provide music education to over 10,000 students. 

“It was very difficult at first to find a charity that [takes guitars],” Van Halen said. “They all just wanted money.” CNN’s John Vause noted there are dozens of kids out there learning to play guitar, not knowing the instrument previously belonged to one of the greatest guitarists ever.

For Van Halen, the desire to cultivate music education stems from his own high school experience. “It really hit me when I graduated high school, you sign everybody’s yearbook and everybody asks you, ‘So what college are you going to?’ Uh … ‘Hey [brother Alex Van Halen], I think we better stick to what we know,'” the guitarist said.

“Our goal is to give kids every tool they can possibly have to succeed. Music is the common denominator,” the foundation’s president and CEO Felice Mancini added. “You put a kid in a music class and it builds community, communication and they find a place. It’s a safe haven.”

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Watch Dua Lipa's Intimate New Video for Ballad 'Thinking 'Bout You'

Rising British singer Dua Lipa reveals a deeper side to her songwriting on new ballad “Thinking ‘Bout You.” The accompanying video is a split screen of Lipa as “disheveled pop star” – loose hoodie, makeup in tact, laying on bed – but there is nothing staged about her bluesy vocals on the lovelorn song. 

Over a spare acoustic guitar, Lipa delivers the indelible opening line: “Three a.m. and my neighbors hate me.” Not unlike Amy Winehouse spitting her Tanqueray, Lipa evokes desperation when she lists the ways she’s used weed and work as emotional stents. “This time Mary Jane won’t save me/ I’ve been working later, I’ve been drinking stronger/ I’ve been smoking deeper but the memories won’t stop.”

The 21-year-old singer’s debut album Dua Lipa comes out in June and features a cowrite from producer Emile Haynie, who notably worked on Lana Del Rey’s new song “Love.” Lipa has already released five singles from the album, including “Hotter Than Hell,” “Be The One,” and “Blow Your Mind (Mwah).” Lipa’s most recent contribution was on Dutch electronic dance music producer Martin Garrix’s single “Scared to Be Lonely,” which is Number 88 on Billboard‘s Hot 100 chart. 

Ahead of Lipa’s album release, the singer will headline a U.S. tour beginning Friday, February 24th in Chicago. 

Dua Lipa Tour Dates 

February 24th – Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall
February 25th – Detroit, MI @ Shelter
February 27 – Toronto, ON @ Mod Club
March 1st – New York, NY @ Irving Plaza
March 2nd – Philadelphia, PA @ The Foundry at The Fillmore Philadelphia
March 4th – Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club
March 5th – Washington, DC @ Rock N Roll Hotel
March 7th – Atlanta, GA @ The Loft
March 8th – Orlando, FL @ The Social
March 9th – St. Petersburg, FL @ State Theatre
March 11th – Houston, TX @ House of Blues Bronze Peacock
March 12th – Dallas, TX @ Prophet Bar
March 14th – Phoenix, AX @ Crescent Ballroom
March 15th – Los Angeles, CA @ The Belasco Theatre
March 17th – San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall

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Hear System of a Down's 'Chop Suey!' Sung in 20 Different Styles

Anthony Vincent, the genre-bending vocalist behind YouTube series Ten Seconds Songs, re-interpreted System of a Down‘s prog-metal anthem “Chop Suey!” 20 different ways in his latest mind-boggling video.

Vincent crowd-sourced musical suggestions for the challenge and fans demanded to hear System’s manic single from 2001’s Toxicity. After opening with the original song with Serj Tankian’s howl, Vincent shifted stylistic gears on a dime, morphing the song into Thriller-era Michael Jackson to lush Beach Boys’ harmonies. 

Vincent takes “Chop Suey” through even more bizarre styles, like Meat Loaf’s grandiose belting, the Bee Gees’ high-pitched disco hooks, Wu-Tang Clan’s gritty hip-hop, Pentatonix’s poppy a cappella, the Three Tenors’ opera and Boyz II Men’s melismatic R&B. Other highlights include Vincent’s impressions of Bobby Darin, George Michael, Faith No More, My Chemical Romance, Ghost, Sammy Davis Jr. and Mongolian throat singing.

Vincent’s previous covers include Justin Bieber’s “Sorry,” Adele’s “Hello,” Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood,” Eminem’s “Rap God” and the Pokémon theme song.  

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At the Drive In Detail First Album in 17 Years, Release Frantic New Song

More than two months after releasing their thunderous comeback single “Governed By Contagions,” At the Drive In officially detailed their first studio album in 17 years, in • ter a • li • a, out May 5th via Rise Records. The band also issued the LP’s second new track, the frantic, poignant “Incurably Innocent.”

The song is built on guitarist Omar Rodriguez-Lopez’ phaser-heavy riffs and drummer Tony Hajjar’s propulsive tom-toms. Singer Cedric Bixler-Zavala unfurls a web of surreal lyrics (“Pray that your family never forgets/ The arousal from the corpse that fuels your taste”) that grow more linear in the chorus. In a statement, the frontman described “Incurably Innocent” as “a song about sexual abuse and being able to finally speak out.”

Rodriguez-Lopez and Rich Costey co-produced the 11-track, 41-minute in • ter a • li • a – the title is Latin for “Among other things” – at Hollywood’s Sound Factory. It’s the band’s first LP since 2000’s Relationship of Command.

In March, the band reunited for their first shows since 2012 – though the tour got off to a bizarre start when guitarist Jim Ward departed the evening prior to the first concert. In an in-depth interview with Rolling Stone, Rodriguez-Lopez said the band recorded new material on the road using a portable rig. While he declined to describe the songs, he added that the trek found the band “picking up where [they] left off.”

At the Drive In will kick off their next North American tour on March 17th in New Orleans. Following the album release, they’ll kick off a series of newly announced concerts in their native El Paso, Texas. A full list of dates is available at their official site

At the Drive In – in • ter a • li • a Track List

1. “No Wolf Like the Present”
2. “Continuum”
3. “Tilting at the Univendor”
4. “Governed by Contagions”
5. “Pendulum in a Peasant Dress”
6. “Incurably Innocent”
7. “Call Broken Arrow”
8. “Holtzclaw”
9. “Torrentially Cutshaw”
10. “Ghost-Tape No. 9”
11. “Hostage Stamps”

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Grace Slick Donates Money From Chick-fil-A Starship Ad to LGBTQ Group

Jefferson Airplane and Starship singer Grace Slick revealed in an op-ed that all the money she received from Chick-fil-A using “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” in a Grammy night commercial will go toward an LGBQT civil rights organization.

In the Forbes op-ed, Slick admitted that she was initially against allowing the fast food chain to utilize Starship’s 1987 hit given the company’s stance on same-sex marriages.

 “Chick-fil-A pisses me off. The Georgia-based company has a well-documented history of funding organizations … that are against gay marriage,” the singer wrote. “I firmly believe that men should be able to marry men, and women women. I am passionately against anyone who would try to suppress this basic human right. So my first thought when ‘Check’-fil-A came to me was, ‘Fuck no!’ But then I decided, ‘Fuck yes.'”

Slick changed her mind on the ad, reveling in the idea of donating her paycheck to Lambda Legal, a pro-LGBTQ civil rights legal organization. It’s unclear how much Slick was paid for the ad.

“Instead of [Chick-fil-A] replacing my song with someone else’s and losing this opportunity to strike back at anti-LGBTQ forces, I decided to spend the cash in direct opposition to ‘Check’-fil-A’s causes – and to make a public example of them, too,” Slick wrote. “We’re going to take some of their money, and pay it back.”

Slick added that she hoped artists were also mindful about which companies they licensed their music to. “See, I come from a time when artists didn’t just sell their soul to the highest bidder, when musicians took a stand, when the message of songs was ‘feed your head,’ not ‘feed your wallet,'” she added. “We need that kind of artistic integrity today, more than ever.”

“It’s not only great fun but also a great honor to be part of Grace Slick’s plan to undermine Chick-fil-A’s anti-LGBT spending by re-routing their money to us,” Lisa Hardaway, Deputy Director of Education and Public Affairs at Lambda Legal, tells Rolling Stone. “And just as important as the dollars is the way in which Grace made a public example out of the company’s homophobic actions. Nothing’s gonna stop us now!”

A rep for Chick-fil-A did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

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