Last Thursday, almost 5 million people watched the Inaugural BBC Music Awards, the aim of which seemed to be to show exactly how dire British music has been in the past 12 months. Among the 22 artists performing at the ceremony, only three actually won awards: Ed Sheeran won British Artist of the Year, Pharrell Williams won International Artist of the Year and Song of the Year for ‘Happy’ and the BBC Introducing Award went to Catfish and the Bottlemen.
Bastille are back in force, with their newest mixtape, VS. (Other People’s Heartache, Pt. III). Containing nine new tracks, it is their latest indie rock offering, which sounds like it has been created via a synth machine circa 1983, the Park End cheese floor, searing underground rap and Classic FM. Sounding eclectic? It is. To be honest, I’d be disappointed if frontman Dan Smith and the band came up with anything different.
Perhaps more famous now amongst the general populace for her role as Queen Elsa in Frozen, Idina Menzel reminds us all why we shouldn’t forget her extensive pre-Disney career with her latest album, Christmas Wishes.
Sam Douglas is one fifth of Mallory Knox, one of the British alt-rock’s current frontier bands. As the popularity of similar genre groups – Lower Than Atlantis, Young Guns and Twin Atlantic to name a couple – increases, Mallory Knox have found themselves on the front lines of a rapidly expanding genre. “We’re very privileged to be put in the same bracket as those guys. I’m so happy that people like Radio One and Reading/Leeds now put their faith in British rock music. There’s so much talent there and it keeps the other bands on their toes. You don’t want to be left behind, and I think that helps other bands step up their game – it does for us anyway”, Sam humbly explained. “It’s the strongest its been in my lifetime, since I’ve been doing it, and it’s about time that it happened”. (more…)
It seems there are two ways to put out an album these days: 1) you hype it up like a monster Taylor Swift style, or 2) do a Beyoncé and drop it out of the blue. Azealia Banks has done the latter. Just when we thought her debut album would never appear, here it is, all sixteen tracks on a platter. But how does it match up with the biggest femcees of the charts? (more…)
Boasting 12 songs that last over 70 minutes in total, Bloodstone & Diamonds is the Machine Head’s longest album by over 10 minutes. On a first listen, it may all be too much to take in: the melodies may start to blend into one another, the various ripping guitar solos may become indistinguishable, and the band’s trademark aggression may seem diluted. In other words, it may come across as the trash metal equivalent of a sumptuous Christmas feast: it satisfies intensely, but leaves you stretched out on a couch promising yourself never to eat anything ever again. Yet the album’s triumph is that it is not simply long for length’s sake: it is also the most varied album of their 23-year career. (more…)