Whilst Eels embrace 'Extreme Witchcraft', Olly Alexander makes a 'Night Call' and FKA Twigs celebrates 'Capri Sun'
As 2022 begins and New Year's resolutions are made, and just as quickly broken, the first batch of eagerly awaited new musical releases are set to arrive to delight our ears. After a festive fill of Ed Sheeran, Elton John, Jona Lewie, Mariah Carey, Slade, Wizzard, Wham and even The Pogues it's almost a relief to know that there's something fresh on the horizon. 2021 was an incredible year for new music with standout releases from the likes of Billie Eilish, Lana Del Rey, Little Simz, Olivia Rodrigo, Halsey, Arlo Parks, Tyler the Creator and Nick Cave but 2022 looks set to be just as exciting with new music expected from The Weekend, Mitski, Cardi B, Lizzo, Alt-J, Arctic Monkeys, Avril Lavigne and breakthrough band Wet Leg. Whilst those releases are not expected just yet (we'll have to wait a little longer until we have confirmed release dates) there are plenty of new albums due out in January and the following are the pick of the bunch.
Years & Years - Night Call.
Years & Years seen on the Red Carpet for Capital's 2016 Jingle Bell Ball sponsored by Coca-Cola and held at London's O2 Arena. The second night of the sell-out event saw performances from many chart-topping megastars - London, United Kingdom - Sunday 4th December 2016
Alexander reacted to a fan photo of the group's 2015 album 'Communion' filed in a 'gay' section in a record shop.
One of the band’s fans posted a picture taken in an unnamed record shop on Thursday evening (May 26th), with the three-piece group’s debut album Communion filed under the category ‘gay’. While the authenticity of the image isn’t verified – the BBC claimed that it was taken in Germany - the band’s frontman Alexander responded to it.
Years & Years - Years & Years perform at The SSE Arena, Wembley - London, United Kingdom - Friday 8th April 2016
Olly Alexande , Years & Years - Years & Years headline the O2 ABC in Glasgow at O2 ABC - Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom - Saturday 17th October 2015
The good news is the quality of the latest acts announced.
The 23rd edition of the Netherlands' Lowlands Festival sees yet another wave of incredible artists hit the bill ahead of the date this summer. Hot Chip and Kendrick Lamar are among the major new additions, with seventeen more acts also announced.
Following the enormous success of his worldwide number one third album 'To Pimp A Butterfly', Kendrick Lamar is bringing his hip hop talent to the festival circuit with Lowlands just being the latest in a string of gigs this summer; he will also be playing Bonnaroo, Summerfest, Outside Lands and Reading Festival in the UK. Hot Chip will be supporting their own new album, 'Why Make Sense?', which is set to be released on May 15th 2015.
Continue reading: Lowlands 2015! We Have Good News And Bad News...
More acts have been announced for the Wales festival.
All headliners for Wales' Festival No. 6 have now been announced, with Metronomy now heading the bill with Grace Jones and Belle & Sebastian. Further new acts have also been added to the line-up, while many more acts are yet to be announced.
British electronic collective Metronomy head the bill with Jamaican crooner Grace Jones and Glasgow pop group Belle & Sebastian as a host of other new bands are added to the festival line-up. The fourth instalment of this uniquely cultured festival is set to hit Portmeirion from September 3rd to 6th, bringing with it some fine artists such as Catfish & The Bottlemen, Jame Bay, Stornoway and Blossoms to name but a few.
Continue reading: Metronomy Round Off Their Album Tour As Festival No. 6 Headliners
The British soul sensation has achieved the rare feat of having the UK's Number One Album and Single at the same time, following his Red Nose Day performance.
Sam Smith has scored a rare ‘double Number 1’ in the UK’s Official Charts this week. His recent single ‘Lay Me Down’ sits atop the UK Singles Chart and his debut LP In The Lonely Hour has returned to the summit of the Official Albums Chart as well.
A re-recording of ‘Lay Me Down’ as a duet with soul singer John Legend was released as the official Comic Relief / Red Nose Day single for 2015, and his live performance of it on Friday night helped it achieve sales of 105,000. The song dislodged last week’s Number One ‘King’, by newcomers Years & Years.
Sam Smith sits atop both the UK Albums and Singles chart
Continue reading: Sam Smith Scores Rare 'Double Number 1' With Album And New Single
Engulfed in the inevitable maelstrom hype that follows finishing top of the BBC's Sound of 2015 List, there's a great deal of intrigue as to whether or not Years & Years can capitalise on what is set to be their breakthrough year.
There's no question that the London trio know their way around a powerful pop hook. Anyone who heard breakthrough single 'Desire', and that's basically everybody, can attest to that. Across 'Y&Y EP', the band's most substantial release to date, this keen ear for a hook only becomes more apparent. With a sound unashamedly soaked in House and R&B influences, it's a vibrant EP bursting at the seams with irrepressible melody.
One of the most impressive things about Years & Years is their ability to create songs that are at the same time both seemingly simplistic yet incredibly compelling. Why is 'Desire' so effective? Is it because it's a shining bastion of light for unbridled experimentation? A masterclass of songwriting layered in bewildering complexity? Well, despite the fact that Years & Years have cited Radiohead as one of their influences, no. It's because it boasts two killer hooks and squeezes them both into one song to create something which straddles the line between accessibility and artistic credibility as if the trio have been doing it all their lives.
Continue reading: Years & Years - Y&Y EP Review
Enjoy Hype Hotel's amazing line-up without the wait.
Hype Hotel Presented by Feed the Beat aims to connect SXSW 2015 festival goers with the social media world in their 'Fast Pass' giveaway; a limited chance to gain immediate access to the venue where they'll be first in line to see some of the best new bands the world has to offer.
Hype Hotel is coming next week (March 17th - 21st)
While Austin's SXSW week may be one of the most sought after festivals to gain attendance to in the world, there's also that issue of pesky admission queues which are quite scary to think about. However, don't let that dampen your spirits if you're set to attend next week because Hype Hotel have teamed up with sponsors Mazda to offer a select amount of attendees a 'Fast Pass', with which they can jump those endless lines.
They may be associating with chart topping artists, but the London trio remain humble.
Hot on the heels of their recent tour supporting chart sensations Sam Smith and Clean Bandit, UK band Years & Years prepare to embark on their own sell-out headline tour in February 2015, while attempting to finish their highly anticipated debut album.
Years & Years have a very busy year ahead of them
Years & Years first started creating a buzz back in 2012 with their debut single 'I Wish I Knew', and while their unique brand of synthpop is truly a breath of fresh air, so is their attitude towards the music industry, having released a series of free downloads alongside their singles in recent times. 'We're precious about what we make but we're not that precious about the internet and stuff because I think that's just the way it is, and it's kind of cool. 'I kind of enjoy that', says keyboardist Emre Turkmen, about giving away their music for free. 'You want people to hear it', frontman Olly Alexander says in agreement.
Continue reading: Years And Years Aren't 'Precious' About Releasing Free Downloads
Last year Sam Smith took home the prestigious gong.
The three nominees for this year’s Critics’ Choice award at The Brits have just been announced. Cambridge-educated “urban wordsmith” George The Poet will face off against electropop trio Years And Years and singer songwriter James Bay for the award, the winner of which will be announced on December 4th.
Sam Smith won the critics choice award last year
Last year the award was won by Sam Smith, whose debut album In The Lonely Hour went on to become 2014's best-selling debut. Previous recipients have also included Adele, Jessie J, Florence and the Machine and Emeli Sande.
Stuart Murdoch brings his female-based musical project God Help The Girl to the big screen in movie starring Emily Browning.
Stuart Murdoch of Belle & Sebastian presents his directorial debut with music drama 'God Help The Girl', starring 'Pompeii' star Emily Browning as an emotionally complicated budding young singer-songwriter.
The film shares its name with Murdoch's current side-project, whose well-received self-titled album was unveiled back in 2009. After five years we're glad that the project has finally resurfaced - and especially in the form of a film. The movie stars Emily Browning as Eve, a girl who finds solace in songwriting while struggling to come to terms with some emotional issues for which she is being treated in hospital. She meets city musicians Cass (played by Game Of Thrones actress Hannah Murray) and James (Olly Alexander Years & Years frontman) and together they form a pop band, with Eve setting out on a journey of success, love and friendship.