Watch Bktherula’s “TAN” video

Watch Bktherula’s “TAN” video
A new one from the Atlanta rapper’s upcoming project LVL 5, PT. 1

By Jordan Darville

January 27, 2023

Bktherula is back with her first new solo song since gracing The FADER’s GEN F profile series. “TAN” rides a beat equal part cyberpunk and SpaceGhostPurrp, with BK matching the distorted menace in her boisterous lyrics that stress her authority over everyone else in the room. The music video acts like Bktherula’s own episode of Cribs, if she lived on a boat docked somewhere deep in a remote waterfront suburb. Watch above. BKtherula’s new tap LVL 5, PT. 1 drops February 27 via Warner.

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Thumbnail photo by Jordan Margolin

Listen to new Rosalía song “LLYLM”

Listen to new Rosalía song “LLYLM”
Rosalía wants to hear your lies.

By David Renshaw

January 27, 2023

Rosalía

 

Kevin Winter/Getty Images for The Latin Recording Academy

Rosalía has shared new song “LLYLM.” The track is her first release of the year and takes its title is shorthand for “Lie like you love me.” Check it out below.

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“LLYLM” follows the release of Rosalía’s most recent album Motomami, as well as the deluxe edition (Motomami+) that followed. She recently shared a remix of album song “Despechá” featuring Cardi B. Motomami was named one of The FADER’s best albums of 2022.

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This summer Rosalía will appear at a number of festivals, including performances at Coachella and Spanish festival Primavera Sound.

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Chlöe seeks divine inspiration on “Pray It Away”

Chlöe seeks divine inspiration on “Pray It Away”
Debut album In Pieces is due in March.

By David Renshaw

January 27, 2023

Chlöe

 

Press

Chlöe has announced details of her debut album, In Pieces, and shared new single “Pray It Away.” The album, released via Beyoncé’s Parkwood Entertainment/Columbia Records, is due in March. “Pray It Away” is a bittersweet moment in which Chlöe, reeling from heartbreak, turns to God for answers. “I’ma just pray it away before I give him what he deserves first,” she sings over a soulful beat lit up with gospel backing vocals. It comes with a new video that shot in a Los Angeles church. Check that out below.

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“I have been the rawest, the most vulnerable, and the most open I have been in my entire life with this album,” Chlöe says in a statement. “I used to believe the way I love so hard without question, was a curse. Only to find out, it’s been my greatest gift all along.”

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After kickstarting her solo career with the single “Have Mercy” in 2021, last year Chlöe dropped the Bubba Sparxx-sampling “Treat Me,” and “Surprise.” Her sister and bandmate Halle will next be seen playing Ariel in Disney’s live action remake of The Little Mermaid.

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Gorillaz tap into a dreamlike state of mind on “Silent Running”

Gorillaz tap into a dreamlike state of mind on “Silent Running”
Check out the latest Cracker Island single.

By David Renshaw

January 27, 2023

Gorillaz have a pretty funny reputation on social media for their galaxy-brained collaborations but on new song “Silent Running” Damon Albarn and co. are keeping things in the family. The song, which will feature on upcoming album Cracker Island, features Adeleye Omotayo on vocals. Omotayo is a member of The Humanz Choir, who provide vocals on stage during Gorillaz live shows. The song was co-written and produced by Greg Kurstin. A video for the song is coming soon but a visualizer can be found below.

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Cracker Island is due on February 24. So far we have heard Tame Impala-collaboration “New Gold” and “Skinny Ape” from the animated group’s forthcoming eighth album. Other guests on the album include Stevie Nicks, Bad Bunny, and Beck.

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Gorillaz were recently named among the performers at this year’s Coachella. They join headliners Blackpink, Bad Bunny, and Frank Ocean in the California desert this April.

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Taylor Swift shares “Lavender Haze” video

Taylor Swift shares “Lavender Haze” video
“There is lots of lavender. There is lots of haze,” Swift says of the her latest Midnights visual.

By David Renshaw

January 27, 2023

“Lavender Haze” video still

 

YouTube

Taylor Swift has shared her video for Midnights track “Lavender Haze.” The video stars transgender actor Laith Ashley de la Cruz as Swift’s love interest. The pop star fills their bedroom with the purple smoke which, in turn, opens up a series of trippy scenarios, from fish in a TV set to a floating cloud that transports her through the sky. Check it out below.

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“The ‘Lavender Haze’ video is out now,” Swift posted on Instagram when sharing the video. “There is lots of lavender. There is lots of haze. This was the first video I wrote out of the 3 that have been released, and this one really helped me conceptualize the world and mood of Midnights, like a sultry sleepless 70’s fever dream. Hope you like it 😁”

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“Lavender Haze” follows Swift’s previous Midnights videos “Bejweled” and “Anti-Hero.” She recently joined The 1975 on stage in London to perform the latter live for the first time.

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Later this year Swift will begin her own headline tour. The Eras Tour will take Swift across stadiums nationwide alongside guests including Paramore and Phoebe Bridgers. In December fans of the pop artist filed a lawsuit against Ticketmaster, and parent company Live Nation, after the roll-out of ticket sales for the tour proved disastrous. Their complaint accuses the corporations of “fraud, price-fixing, and antitrust violations.”

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Song You Need: Luh Tyler and Trapland Pat can’t help but talk their shit on “Can’t Move Wrong”

Song You Need: Luh Tyler and Trapland Pat can’t help but talk their shit on “Can’t Move Wrong”
Luh Tyler’s Florida rap road trip continues with a stop in Broward County.

By Brandon Callender

January 27, 2023

Luh Tyler and Trapland Pat in “Can’t Move Wrong.”

 

The FADER’s “Songs You Need” are the tracks we can’t stop playing. Check back every day for new music and follow along on our Spotify playlist.

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Luh Tyler is a rapper from Tallahassee, Florida whose freewheeling day in the life of a teenager raps make me recall less stressful days. He’s been making music for less than a year—”Law & Order,” his breakout song, was recorded on his phone using BandLab—but he knows just as well as anyone else that rap is about saying some fly shit in a way that only you can. In an interview, Tyler’s talked about having music from fellow Tallahasseeans Wizz Havinn and Real Boston Richey, Flint’s Rio Da Yung OG, as well as Detroit’s Peezy and Veeze in his rotation, and it’s easy to see shades of all those artists filtered through him.

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For the last few months, Luh Tyler’s been taking a lap around Florida, hopping on songs with everyone from Pompano Beach’s LOE Shimmy to Orlando’s DTE Lil DayDay and popping up in the background of videos. On “Can’t Move Wrong,” Tyler and Deerfield Beach’s Trapland Pat can’t help but talk their shit. They’re practically speaking in punchlines. Tyler’s flow is calm and steady like a Box Chevy bending around corners. Next to Tyler, Pat’s elastic flow makes him sound like he’s rapping twice as fast. “If early bird get all the worms, these niggas super late,” he scoffs. They could make reading The Cheesecake Factory menu sound cool.

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Daniel Caesar returns with new song “Do You Like Me?”

Daniel Caesar returns with new song “Do You Like Me?”
Produced by Caesar alongside Rapael Saadiq.

By David Renshaw

January 27, 2023

Vladimir Kaminetsky

Daniel Caesar has dropped his latest single “Do You Like Me?” The song is described by Caesar as being about “a woman I respect deeply. 90 degrees of a love triangle.” Produced by Raphael Saadiq and Dylan Wiggins, Caesar uses the track to gain clarity on a romantic situation while feeling time’s hand looming in the background (“we’re still young, but for how many moons?”). It’s a delicate, funky, and flirty return from Caesar, whose most recent album Case Study 01 came out back in 2019.

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Last year Caesar collaborated with Badbadnotgood on “Please Do Not Lean” and appeared on Omar Apollo‘s Ivory single “Invincible.” In addition to those songs he appeared at Coachella, where Justin Bieber joined him to perform their single “Peaches.” Caesar and Bieber alo performed their song, alongside Giveon, at the 2022 Grammys.

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EST Gee shares new singles “Blow Up” and “If I Stop Now”

EST Gee shares new singles “Blow Up” and “If I Stop Now”
A new music video arrives for each of the Kentucky rapper’s new songs.

By Jordan Darville

January 27, 2023

It’s hard to view “Blow Up” and “If I Stop Now,” the new songs from Kentucky rapper EST Gee, as anything other than an attempt to reassert his dominance as one of the strongest and most versatile street rappers working today. Fortunately, his effort is pretty convincing.

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“Blow Up” has a mafioso-inspired mood beneath booming 808s, with Gee issuing threats in his now-iconic dim-lidded mutter (the chorus at one joint interpolates Juvenile’s “Slow Motion). By contrast, Gee gets vulnerable and melodic on “If I Stop Now,” a pain rap-tinged cut outlining the stakes of his success and their effects on his daily life and mental health. Hear them in their music videos, streaming above and below.

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EST Gee released two albums in 2022: I Never Felt Nun and Last Ones Left, a full-length collaboration with Detroit rapper 42 Dugg. That album’s track “Thump Shit” was ranked at No. 32 on our Best of 2022 songs list.

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Song You Need: Zach Bryan and Maggie Rogers are looking for a win on “Dawns”

Song You Need: Zach Bryan and Maggie Rogers are looking for a win on “Dawns”
Listen to a new collaboration between the country-folk singer and the Harvard-graduate.

By David Renshaw

January 27, 2023

Zach Bryan and Maggie Rogers.

 

Kristín Braga Wright/Olivia Bee

The FADER’s “Songs You Need” are the tracks we can’t stop playing. Check back every day for new music and follow along on our Spotify playlist.

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Zach Bryan is a country-folk singer who releases music at a rate that would put some rappers to reconsider their work ethic. Last year his major label debut American Heartbreak crashed the Top 20 of the Billboard album chart despite, or perhaps in part down to, its epic 34-song tracklist and 2hr-plus running time. If that didn’t leave you full, he followed it up with another EP in the summer and a live album (the excellently-titled All My Homies Hate Ticketmaster). Listening to the crowds roar his hearty anthems back at him during that Red Rocks concert it is clear he has managed to turn a fairly new form of sharing music, streaming, into a far older one, touring until you don’t remember the last time you slept in your own bed.

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For someone with such a huge musical output, Bryan is not a prolific collaborator. There are no guests on American Heartbreak at all, for example. This makes his decision to work with Maggie Rogers an intriguing one. Bryan has not yet been embraced by the country music industry at large and is rarely played on the all-powerful radio stations that dictate who succeeds in that world. Anyone keen to change that scenario would be hitting up, say, his fellow Grammy-nominee Kelsea Ballerini for a star-making duet. Working with Rogers feels like a turn in a more purely pop direction.

On those terms, “Dawns” is fascinating. The pair have plenty in common, with both artists attacking melody as if the sheer size of a chorus is enough to knock them off their feet. Bryan starts off in a grizzled and regretful mood. “I get fucked up just ’cause I’m scared,” he sings vulnerably. “Love’s just another drug I have grown a victim to.” The sparse piano that sits quietly behind his ruminating then gives way to a rowdy string section that stabs and swoops as Bryan pleads to nobody in particular for “one small victory” and the song begins to soar. At his best Bryan is a heartland storyteller and Rogers appearance on “Dawns” fleshes out the narrative with new perspectives. “I lost her last July in a heart attack,” she sings as she joins him on that quest for a hard-fought win. It’d hard to not get swept up on their humble mission. Or at the very least cheer them on loudly from the sidelines.

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Lil Yachty shares “sAy SOMETHINg” video

Lil Yachty shares “sAy SOMETHINg” video
The first visual from his genre-flipping new album Let’s Start Here.

By Jordan Darville

January 27, 2023

Lil Yachty‘s early career choices have continued to haunt him. Initially, he didn’t run away from those who labeled him the unserious godhead of mumble rap when he blew up in 2016 with “Minnesota” and “One Night,” and mostly embraced the ascribed aura of a happy-go-lucky teen making low-stakes music. The result: no matter how many impressive lead lyrical performances he turned in or features he ate up, to some Yachty would always be the harbinger of rap’s clout-chasing era, a clown right to the tips of his once-Flamin’ Hot Cheeto-dyed hair.

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Let’s Start Here., his new album, is Yachty’s attempt at being a “serious artist.” It’s a psychedelic album with elements of rap, with production and contributions from indie luminaries such as Alex G, Chairlift’s Patrick Wimberley, Magdalena Bay, Jam City, Mac DeMarco, and Nick Hakim. Above all, the drastic shift in Yachty’s style suggests an understanding that in order to break through the constraining (and at least partially self-imposed) perception of his talent, a demolition is necessary. That alone would be worth a commendation, but Let’s Start Here. also succeeds on its own merits; it’s easily the best Yachty album since his debut that digs through the artist’s limits and style in a way he never has before.

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Along with the new album arrives a music video for the song “sAy SOMETHINg.” Yachty plays many versions of himself in an Alice In Wonderland-esque romp through love, heartbreak, and the aftermath. For anyone skeptical about Yachty’s new direction, “sAy SOMETHINg” is a great introductory showcase for how Yachty’s game-changing melodicism works so well over the twinkling psychedelic-pop instrumentation. Watch above.

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Song You Need: Steve Gunn and David Moore take the scenic route

Song You Need: Steve Gunn and David Moore take the scenic route
“Over the Dune,” the first single from the duo’s newly announced joint LP, Let the Moon Be a Planet, is a gorgeous, glacial revery.

By Raphael Helfand

January 26, 2023

Annie Forrest

The FADER’s “Songs You Need” are the tracks we can’t stop playing. Check back every day for new music and follow along on our Spotify playlist.

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Prolific guitar bender Steve Gunn and Bing & Ruth pianist David Moore have fused their ambient auras into a single entity. On Wednesday (January 25), they announced their debut joint LP, Let the Moon Be a Planet, due out March 31 via RVNG Intl.. It’s the first installment of the label’s newly launched Reflections series, a curated cycle of collaborative works with a portion of proceeds benefitting the food security non-profit benefit St. John’s Bread and Life.

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The record’s first offering, “Over the Dune,” forgoes the fierce calmness competition one might expect from the two master relaxers, instead settling on a sort of mutually assured tranquility. Lasting just under seven minutes, it’s less a slow burn than a trickling stream, with Gunn’s open-tuned strumming and Moore’s sustained major chords allowing overtones to cascade at a gorgeous, glacial pace.

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The new song comes with a video courtesy of Jason Evans, compiling slow tracking shots of an overcast day in Prospect Park. “This film is my attempt to inhabit the world Steve and David created with their album,” Evans writes in a press release. “Like the songs themselves, I was trying to find an approach that favored a light hand and the curiosity of a child.”

Watch the clip, view Gunn and Moore’s upcoming performance dates, and check out Let the Moon Be a Planet’s cover art and tracklist below.

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Steve Gunn & David Moore tour dates

April 2 – Knoxville, TN – Big Ears Festival
April 5 – Helsinki, FL – G Live Lab
April 6 – Copenhagen, DK – Loppen
April 8 – Brussels, BE – BRDCST Festival
April 9 – The Hague, NL – Rewire Festival
April 19 – London, UK – Cafe OTO
April 12 – Glasgow, UK – Stereo
April 27 – New York, NY – (Le) Poisson Rouge

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Let the Moon Be a Planet cover art

Let the Moon Be a Planet tracklist

1. Over the Dune
2. Painterly
3. Scattering
4. Basin
5. Morning Mare
6. Libration
7. Paper Limb
8. Rhododendron

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At Drake’s Apollo Theater show, nothing was the same

At Drake’s Apollo Theater show, nothing was the same

At a SiriusXM-hosted concert in Harlem, Drake took his fans, and himself, back to a less complicated moment.

By Arielle Lana LeJarde

January 26, 2023

Dimitrios Kambouris
/

Getty Images for SiriusXM

At the start of the second night of Drake’s two-night stint at Harlem’s historic Apollo Theater for SiriusXM, he sits on a bed in what’s supposed to be a replica of his mom’s basement, surrounded by a single nightstand, a boombox, and a space heater. Sporting a cozy cardigan reminiscent of something he’d worn a decade ago, he starts his set with “Over My Dead Body” from Take Care, still his most cherished album. The first couple of chords set off a chain of screams before Chantal Kreviazuk’s vocals are piped in: “How I’m feeling, it doesn’t matter. ‘Cause you know I’m okay. Instead, I ask myself, ‘Why do you worry?’”

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Drake has reopened a time capsule. Everyone here is their old self again, listening to Drake talk them through a very important heartbreak; and their present self, likely in a better place, a little more grown-up, probably less obsessed with that lover. I post a clip of it to my Instagram Story, and an influential DJ who produced a track for Drake on Nothing Was The Same, replies: “Soundtrack to soooo many amazing after parties” followed by five single-tear crying emojis.

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I may as well admit here that I was once the ultimate Drake stan. I had every song memorized. I had a photo of him on the background of my phone case. I had been granted “The Drake Award” at my sorority formals for being “the most likely to Drake and drive to my ex’s house.” (I don’t drive.) And, while there was one part of me that wanted to stay home tonight, the little Drake stan inside me wanted to say yes instantly when The FADER tried to send me here tonight.

That part of me had a good time at the Apollo. I’d seen Drake twice before — both at Madison Square Garden on his Views tour in summer 2016 — but hearing him perform “Marvins Room” in 2023 was an entirely different experience. That voicemail recording is spine-chilling and the percussion pulses heavily. Every voice in the venue is reciting the lyrics, every hand up in the air with a phone in hand, re-recording Drake’s peak.

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He ricochets through his discography, spending a little extra time on his earlier works, continuing to sit on his bed to play songs like “Best I Ever Had” and “Karaoke” from So Far Gone and “Jungle” from If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late (still my favorite project of his). The lights go out for a few minutes and Drake returns in a new fit. Now, in a leather jacket in front of a label boardroom serving as the scene’s backdrop, he stands with blazing confidence as he raps through “Started From The Bottom,” “Energy,” and “Know Yourself.” The room goes from being in their feelings to being in their bag, feeding off of Drake’s newfound boldness.

Dimitrios Kambouris
/

Getty Images for SiriusXM

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It’s not until he gets to Views and the two girls next to me, seemingly in their early 20’s, ask me to record them screaming to “Controlla” that I realize, shit, maybe I am too old for this. I move to the back of the venue and grab another drink.

It triggers the part of me that wanted to stay home tonight. On the surface, maybe it’s just how weird Drake seems today. He’s on the front page of every hip-hop blog because he just dissed the newest and hottest rapper in one of his endless cascade of new projects. His texting habits are questionable, as is his obsession with talking about every woman he’s ever been associated with.

But the euphoric nostalgia at the Apollo tonight makes me realize that it’s something more nebulous, something that maybe isn’t all Drake’s fault. The Drake whose face covered my phone case, the Drake who made music for momentous life events instead of Spotify playlists, disappeared a while ago. Today’s Drake is more convoluted. He’s now just become an avatar — a discourse magnet, whether you’re talking about his newest album, his newest relationship, or his newest cultural costume. Whenever Rihanna breathes in a different direction, Drake is brought up. He’s trending on Twitter for posting something strange on his Instagram story. The man is inescapable.

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There was a time when Drake was the most relatable musician for young adults. The Canadian child star-turned-rapper was somehow the go-to artist when we were going through it, because, as the pilot episode of Insecure puts it: “He really gets us.” Drake’s nuance while navigating his relationships seemed to mimic our own coming-of-age conflicts. We had a role model who understood our struggles and made it feel okay to be the “furthest thing from perfect like everyone I know.” So even if he was one of the biggest pop stars in the world, there was comfort in acknowledging your toxic tendencies — as long as you learned from them. Drake still seems to be coming to terms with that.

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In the moment, though, it’s easy to give in to the nostalgia. I did text my ex tonight. At the Apollo, it felt good to go back to a less complicated time. Maybe Drake wanted to go back there too.

Skrillex shares “Real Spring” featuring Bladee

Skrillex shares “Real Spring” featuring Bladee
The new single is SKrillex’s fourth of the year.

By Jordan Darville

January 26, 2023

Skrillex. Photo by Marilyn Hue

 

Last year I saw both Skrillex and Bladee at Porter Robinson‘s Second Sky Festival. I have to wonder if that wasn’t the site where the dubstep producer and DJ enlisted the Swedish rapper for “Real Spring,” the latest in Skrillex’s line of singles, out today. Like the other new songs we’ve heard this year, “Real Spring” does a good job of getting into the pocket of the type of music its featured artist is comfortable with — glittering, fantasy-land trap music a la Mechatok and Whitearmor — while adding some trademark Skrillex whomps and shakes. I know that a lot of people went gaga for “Jungle“ with Flowdan and Fred again.., but this track is easily more assured and less of a nostalgia trip. Listen to “Real Spring” below in the song’s music video.

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Rauw Alejandro and Daddy Yankee share “PANTIES Y BRASIERES”

Rauw Alejandro and Daddy Yankee share “PANTIES Y BRASIERES”
An update to Alejandro’s new album Saturno.

By Jordan Darville

January 26, 2023

(L) Rauw Alejandro. Photo via Cyb3rW3nch. (R) Daddy Yankee. Photo by Isaar Reyes.

 

When Rauw Alejandro shared his excellent album Saturno last year, it included a few seconds of spacey noise and distortion as its seventh track, titled “LOADING.” You may have reasonably mistaken it for an interlude, but today Rauw shares the real song, a Daddy Yankee collaboration called “PANTIES Y BRASIERES.” Bawdy and instantly fun, the song samples Yankee’s 2007 track “Camuflash” and contains a lyrical allusion to his global hit “Rompe.”

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Alejandro kept up the reverence of Daddy Yankee during an interview with Zane Lowe for Apple Music 1 promoting the new song. “Daddy Yankee for me means Reggaeton himself,” Alejandro said. “He was one of the first artists who put that type of genre outside the island, around the world, with his biggest hit, ‘Gasolina.’ Even in China, Japan, they were dancing to his songs. So it’s like he helped to support and put more big Latin music in the Reggaeton culture. And for me, it means as a Puerto Rican, I feel really, really proud.”

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Guvna B heeds advice from Michaela Coel on the pained “Bridgeland Road”

Guvna B heeds advice from Michaela Coel on the pained “Bridgeland Road”
The London artist’s tenth album The Village Is On Fire is out in May.

By David Renshaw

January 26, 2023

Jasmijn van Buytene

Guvna B is a creative whose work has led him through music, writing, fashion, podcasting, and even a stint in sports broadcasting. Though his lanes of work have been varied, musically the London-born artist has focused mainly on gospel – winning multiple MOBO Awards for his work in that lane. On new album The Village is On Fire, however, Guvna B is changing things up and dipping his toe into a range of different sounds and styles. Long time friend Ghetts brings the energy of grime to “U Get Me?” while the omnipresent sound of afrobeats in his home city is reflected on “Amplify.”

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The album is not just a chance to experiment musically, however. The catalyst for Guvna B’s tenth album came following an unprovoked attack in which he was harmed not just by the perpetrator but also in the struggle to get justice through the legal system. Speaking to his cousin Michaela Coel, star of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and creator of the Emmy-winning I May Destroy You, she told him the best way to deal with feelings of frustration is to write about them.

“Bridgeland Road,” premiering below, establishes the tone for an album that takes a zoomed out look at where the fractures in our communities begin and how best to heal them. It’s a deeply personal song about that racially motivated attack in 2021 that begins with Guvna B recalling his days as a child in east London and the efforts his family put in to raise him, as well as the reality of having to help them with the rent. There’s a swing to the drums and low basslines that are deceiving, the vibe may be smooth but what he has to say is clearly still raw. “Wrong place, wrong time,” he says as the song opens up. “Pain by the blade of a long knife.” Coel’s voice appears via voicemail, speaking directly to her cousin after seeing a picture of him after the attack. “I am livid,” she tells him. It feels strange hearing such a private moment aired like this but the point is clear, nothing is secret from here on in.

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Speaking via email, Guvna B told The FADER: “What I experienced was tough to deal with and my mind was loaded with nuanced thoughts around race, identity and the structures which contribute to shaping society.

“Michaela reminded me that art isn’t just for others to consume, but it’s also a processing tool for ourselves. She encouraged me to write about what happened and the result is not only this song, but an album that provided me with the closure I desperately needed.

I’m really proud of it and I hope it helps people to think about how they can positively impact the world around them.”

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The video for “Bridgeland Road,” featuring Guvna B making his way through the streets of London surrounded by memories of his past, can be seen below. The Village is On Fire is out May 26.

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Song You Need: Lucinda Chua’s “Echo” is a dreamy statement of resilience

Song You Need: Lucinda Chua’s “Echo” is a dreamy statement of resilience
The London artist’s debut album YIAN will be released on March 24 via 4AD.

By Jordan Darville

January 25, 2023

Lucinda Chua. Photo by Nhu Xuan Hua

 

The FADER’s “Songs You Need” are the tracks we can’t stop playing. Check back every day for new music and follow along on our Spotify playlist.

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Lucinda Chua‘s music can have the texture of a whisper, but you’d never mistake it for timid. The London-based artist emerged in 2019 with the first Antidote EP and introduced the world to her entrancing songwriting, deeply personal dispatches wrapped in the plush embrace of downtempo and trip-hop acts like Zero 7. Chua actively fights against listener complacency, though, repeating lyrical phrases like mantras that illuminate the distinct burdens of another’s soul.

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“Echo,” Chua’s latest song and the first from her upcoming album YIAN, is a definitive statement preaching protectiveness over her hard-won identity. She pares back her already spartan approach, foregrounding her vocal performance on a bed of electric organ keys and a choir of the self. “I couldn’t be anyone else,” she sings on the chorus, “I look to you, I see myself / I won’t, I won’t / Be your echo.” Then the song’s title is literally echoed, a moment that instantly becomes the song’s emotional lynchpin, the harmonies bolstering Chua’s newfound resilience. A reminder of the many forms strength can take, “Echo” is a battle cry with words made of silk, soft and unyielding.

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slowthai announces new album UGLY

slowthai announces new album UGLY
Lead single “Selfish” is streaming now.

By David Renshaw

January 25, 2023

George Muncey

slowthai has announced details of his upcoming third album. UGLY, which stands for U Gotta Love Yourself, will be released on March 3. Lead single “Selfish” is streaming below.

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To mark the announcement of UGLY, slowthai spent the night alone in a room fitted with two-way mirrors and streamed his experience live. The stream is still active at the time of writing [8:30 A.M. ET]

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slowthai, nominally a rapper, has collaborated with a number of rock and indie artists on the new album, which was produced by Dan Carey alongside frequent collaborator Kwes Darko. Irish band Fontaines D.C. appear on the title track while musicians on the record include Ethan P. Flynn, Jockstrap’s Taylor Skye, and Beabadoobee guitarist Jacob Bugden. Shygirl contributes vocals on “Feel Good.”

“The first album was the sound of where I’m from and everything I thought I knew,” slowthai says in a statement. “The second album is what was relevant to me at that moment in time, the present. And this album is completely me — about how I feel and what I want to be… it’s everything I’ve been leading up to.”

UGLY follows slowthai’s 2019 debut Nothing Great About Britain and 2021 follow-up TYRON.

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UGLY tracklist:

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“Yum”
“Selfish”
“Sooner”
“Feel Good”
“Never Again”
“Fuck It Puppet”
” HAPPY”
“UGLY”
“Falling”
“Wotz funny”
“Tourniquet”
“25% Club”

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Bill banning TikTok will be introduced in the United States Senate

Bill banning TikTok will be introduced in the United States Senate
Senator Josh Hawley, who authored the legislation, called TikTok “China’s backdoor into Americans’ lives.”

By Jordan Darville

January 25, 2023

TikTok. Photo by MARTIN BUREAU/AFP via Getty Images

 

The United States Senate will consider a bill that would ban TikTok in the country, the Kansas City Star reports. Missouri Senator Josh Hawley is set to introduce the bill at some point during the senate’s current session.

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Hawley has long criticized TikTok’s parent company ByteDance for its connections with the Chinese government and the app’s extensive data collection policies. In a statement on Tuesday, Hawley called TikTok “China’s backdoor into Americans’ lives.” His bill is reportedly part of a larger messaging campaign targeting China’s government and the tech industry at large. TikTok has claimed that the company does not share user information with government officials.

In response, TikTok spokeswoman Brooke Oberwetter cast doubt on the efficacy of Hawley’s bill. “Sen. Hawley’s call for a total ban of TikTok takes a piecemeal approach to national security and a piecemeal approach to broad industry issues like data security, privacy, and online harms,” Oberwetter said. “We hope that he will focus his energies on efforts to address those issues holistically, rather than pretending that banning a single service would solve any of the problems he’s concerned about or make Americans any safer.”

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It’s likely that, if passed, a bill banning TikTok for every person in the United States would face a court challenge on First Amendment grounds. Speaking with the New York Times, Electronic Frontier Foundation general counsel Kurt Opsahl said, “[TikTok] is taking away a means of communication for people who use the app as a way to present themselves to the world and in some cases for political speech and commentary,”

More targeted TikTok bans have spread across the United States. President Joe Biden signed the No TikTok on Government Devices Act in December. barring federal employees from installing the app and phones owned by the government. Nearly half of the states have banned the app on government-owned devices with a number of universities preventing TikTok from being accessed while on campus WIFi networks.

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Fever Ray shares new song “Kandy”

Fever Ray shares new song “Kandy”
The Radical Romantics single sees Karin Dreijer reunited with their brother, Olof.

By David Renshaw

January 25, 2023

"Kandy" set photo by Nina Andersson

This March Fever Ray will return with new album Radical Romantics, their first project since 2017. So far Karin Dreijer has shared the singles “What They Call Us” and “Carbon Dioxide.” The upcoming album is not just the first Fever Ray project in a minute but also the first time Dreijer has worked with their brother, Olof, since their time together as The Knife.

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New song “Kandy,” streaming below, is one of four Radical Romantics tracks Olof co-produced and co-wrote, marking the first time the siblings have produced and written music together in eight years. The accompanying video is an homage to The Knife’s “Pass This On” visual and sees the siblings appear on the same set they used in 2003.

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In a statement, Olof says: “I tried to tune in as much as possible into Fever Ray vibes and tried many different styles, or clothes as I usually say when I talk about different music production suggestions. But in the end we took out the same synthesizer, the SH101, used for The Knife track, ʻThe Captain,ʼ and it just worked!”

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Later this year Fever Ray will hit the road for the Thereʼs No Place Iʼd Rather Be Tour, their first live shows in over four years. Karin Dreijer will play a series of shows across North America and Europe, with new shows now added in Washington, D.C. and Pasadena as part of Just Like Heaven.

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Fever Ray tour dates:

March 23 – Oslo, NE – Sentrum Scene
March 24 – Copenhagen, DK – VEGA
March 25 – Gothenburg, SE – GBG Film Studios
March 27 – Riga, LV – Hanzas Perons
March 28 – Tallinn, EE – Noblessner Foundry
March 30 – Warsaw, PL – World Wide Warsaw Festival
April 1 – Amsterdam, NE – Melkweg
April 3 – Brussels, BE – Cirque Royal
April 4 – Cologne, DE – E-Werk
April 6 – Luxembourg City, LU – Den Atelier
April 7 – The Hague, NE – Rewire Festival
May 1 – Washington, DC – The Anthem
May 3 – New York, NY – Terminal 5
May 5 – Boston, MA – Roadrunner
May 7 – Chicago, IL – The Salt Shed
May 10 – Oakland, CA – Fox Theater
May 13 – Pasadena, CA – Just Like Heaven Festival

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Bad Bunny, Steve Lacy, Mary J. Blige among first wave of 2023 Grammys performers

Bad Bunny, Steve Lacy, Mary J. Blige among first wave of 2023 Grammys performers
The newly announced group also includes Lizzo, Kim Petras, Sam Smith, Brandi Carlile, and Luke Combs.

By Raphael Helfand

January 25, 2023

From left: Bad Bunny, photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images; Mary J. Blige, photo by Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images; Steve Lacy, photo by Julian Klincewicz.

 

The Recording Academy has announced the 65th Annual Grammy Awards’ first wave of performers. Bad Bunny, Mary J. Blige, and Steve Lacy feature in the ceremony’s the star-studded lineup, as do Lizzo, Kim Petras, Sam Smith, Brandi Carlile, and Luke Combs.

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The 2023 Grammys will take place on Sunday, February 5 at 8 p.m. EST at the Crypto.com Arena (previously known as the Staples Center) in Los Angeles, California. Hosted by Trevor Noah for the third year in a row, the event will stream live on CBS and free online for Paramount+ subscribers.

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All of the 2023 ceremony’s announced performers are nominated for at least one Grammy this year. Bad Bunny is nominated for three, including Album of the Year (Un Verano Sin Ti is the first all-Spanish-language LP to be nominated in the Grammys’ most coveted category). Blige also earned an AOTY tap for Good Morning Gorgeous (Deluxe). Lacy is nominated four times — three for his ultra-viral hit “Bad Habit” alone. Lizzo has five chances to win an award this year, Carlile has seven, Combs has three, and Petras and Smith’s joint track “Unholy” is nominated for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance. View the full list of nominees here.

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Song You Need: Avalon Emerson’s world expands with “Sandrail Silhouette”

Song You Need: Avalon Emerson’s world expands with “Sandrail Silhouette”
The international DJ introduces her new alt-pop artist project The Charm.

By David Renshaw

January 25, 2023

Tonje Thilesen

The FADER’s “Songs You Need” are the tracks we can’t stop playing. Check back every day for new music and follow along on our Spotify playlist.

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In 2020, Avalon Emerson released her DJ-Kicks mix, an installment of the long-running series that soon became a fan favorite. It was a significant career moment for Emerson, who moved from San Francisco to Berlin in 2014 and became a regular at Berghain, as well as a tent-filling staple of festivals across Europe and North America. It was all the more striking, then, that she chose that mix album as a platform to debut a cover of The Magnetic Fields’ “Long-Forgotten Fairytale.” Though her vocals were smothered with effects, the message was clear; Emerson was eyeing a spot beyond her decks.

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Three years later and Emerson is making good on that promise. She has debuted her new artist project The Charm with “Sandrail Silhouette” acting as the jump-off point. Co-produced with Bullion, “Sandrail Silhouette” is a soft slice of calm with Emerson’s pillowy vocals floating over the gentle strum of a guitar that calls to mind the poppier end of shoegaze, bands such as Slowdive or Galaxie 500. It’s about as far away as you can get from a wild night in a German techno club; think more like a gentle Sunday stroll across a sun-dappled beach.

“Sandrail Silhouette” isn’t just another blissed out piece of genre revivalism, though. Keivon Hobeheidar’s bass-heavy cello cuts through the blissful textures to create something a little jarring amid the wash of guitar as well adding melody to the mix. It’s a heady combination and one that is matched by Emerson’s lyrical exploration of time and the humbling power of the natural world. She sounds overawed and yet at peace with the situation, slowly turning toward the light and letting a whole new sound light the way.

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Marilyn Manson and Esmé Bianco settle federal lawsuit

Marilyn Manson and Esmé Bianco settle federal lawsuit
Bianco filed a complaint in 2021 accusing Manson of sexual assault and battery.

By Raphael Helfand

January 25, 2023

Left: Marilyn Manson, photo by Danny E. Martindale/Getty Images. Right: Esmé Bianco, photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images.

 

Brian Warner (Marilyn Manson) has reached a settlement with Game of Thrones actress Esmé Bianco, who sued him in federal court in 2021, accusing him of sexual assault and battery. In her initial complaint, she also alleged that Warner had violated California’s human trafficking laws and perpetrated various other forms of physical and emotional abuse against her over the course of their sexual relationship.

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“Ms. Bianco has agreed to resolve her claims against Brian Warner and Marilyn Manson Records, Inc.,” a representative of Warner’s lawyer, Howard King, quoted the attorney as saying in an email to The FADER. Bianco’s attorney, Jay Ellwanger, did not immediately respond to The FADER’s request for comment but offered Rolling Stone (where news of the settlement was first reported) an identical statement to King’s, with the addendum that Bianco had agreed to the settlement “in order to move on with her life and career.”

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In early January, a California judge dismissed another 2021 sexual assault lawsuit filed against Warner by a former partner (in this case, model and entertainer Ashley Morgan Smithline). A March 2022 defamation lawsuit Warner filed against Evan Rachel Wood — who detailed her own abuse allegations against him in an HBO documentary titled Phoenix Rising — is ongoing. And the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office is still reviewing the findings of an L.A. Sheriff’s Department Special Victims Bureau’s criminal investigation into the multiple abuse and sexual assault claims against Warner.

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midwxst enlists Denzel Curry for “Tally”

midwxst enlists Denzel Curry for “Tally”
Work on the Indiana rapper’s debut album continues.

By Jordan Darville

January 25, 2023

midwxst and Denzel Curry. Photo by Sheem

 

Indiana rapper midwxst is here with what may be the most sensible collaboration of the week: a song called “Tally” with Florida’s Denzel Curry. Curry blazed the trail for contemporary outside-the-box rappers (and continues to impress, as with last year’s Melt My Eyez See Your Future), and it’s hard to imagine the hyperpop space midwxst emerged in being quite the same without Curry’s influence.

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midwxst, of course, doesn’t really make hyperpop anymore. You’d be hard-pressed to find a trace of it on his most recent project BACK IN ACTION 3.0, which focused on blown-out Pi’erre Bourne style beats, metal-inspired songs, and unfortunately, one or two rage rap moments. “Tally” does away with the angst and celebrates the decadent sides of success with a Charlie Heat and Kennedy Sabin-produced instrumental driven by strums of Spanish guitar. Hear the song in its black-and-white mobster-themed music video, streaming below.

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The Madonna-directed Madonna biopic is no longer in development

The Madonna-directed Madonna biopic is no longer in development
Universal Pictures has shelved the film, though Madonna still hopes to make it in the future.

By Jordan Darville

January 24, 2023

Madonna. Photo by RIcardo Gomes.

 

The long-awaited Madonna biopic directed by Madge herself is no longer moving forward at Universal Pictures, Variety reports. No specific reason for the film’s shelving was given. Sources told Variety that Madonna is dedicating her focus to her just-announced world tour, though she intends to return to the film in the future.

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First announced in 2020, the Madonna biopic attracted attention for the scope of the project, the names attached to its starring roles, and Madge’s intention to write and direct the film herself. “There’s nobody on this planet that can write or direct and make a movie about me better than me,” she told Jimmy Fallon in 2021. Last year in Variety, she said, “I have a very long script that is really hard for me to make shorter. I’ve been whittling away at it, but it’s like hacking off my limbs.” Screenwriters Diablo Cody and Erin Cressida Wilson each worked with Madonna on the film’s script.

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Julia Garner, the Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning star of Ozark, was cast as Madonna in June 2022, beating out actresses including Florence Pugh, Euphoria‘s Alexa Demie, Odessa Young, and Emma Laird. Sky Ferriera was reportedly also considered at one point.

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Senate committee convenes for Ticketmaster hearing

Senate committee convenes for Ticketmaster hearing
A judiciary subcommittee headed by Senators Amy Klobuchar and Mike Lee heard testimony about Live Nation and Ticketmaster’s alleged music industry monopoly.

By Raphael Helfand

January 24, 2023

Drew Angerer
/

Getty Images

A bipartisan Senate Judiciary Subcommittee convened on Tuesday (January 24) for a hearing on Ticketmaster, another step in the United States government’s investigation of the company’s merger with Live Nation. Prompted by a server-crashing fiasco during a presale for Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour that led to the cancelation of the tour’s general sale and left millions of incensed Swifties empty handed, the subcommittee is proceeding concurrently and in collaboration with a Department of Justice investigation that predates the incident.

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The panel, helmed by Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Mike Lee (R-UT), heard testimony on Ticketmaster’s impact on the primary and secondary ticket sale markets in particular and the music industry at large. Other members of the subcommittee include Senators Josh Hawley (R-MO), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Dick Durbin (D-IL), and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN). Per Pitchfork, several of these lawmakers quoted Taylor Swift lyrics at various points during the proceedings. SeatGeek CEO Jack Groetzinger spoke about the challenges presented to other ticketing outlets by his competitor’s alleged monopoly. And Live Nation president/CFO Joe Berchtold apologized to Swift on Ticketmaster’s behalf but reasserted his earlier claim that bots — along with the unprecedented level of demand for Eras Tour tickets — were to blame for the crash.

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Independently from both the Senate and DOJ investigations, Live Nation/Ticketmaster, faces lawsuits from two groups of Swift fans, accusing the corporation of fraud, price fixing, and antitrust violations.

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Song You Need: Rob Mazurek’s spacetime freakout

Song You Need: Rob Mazurek’s spacetime freakout
“Future Shaman” is the lead single from the Rob Mazurek Exploding Star Orchestra’s newly announced, forthcoming LP, Lightning Dreamers.

By Raphael Helfand

January 24, 2023

Britt Mazurek

The FADER’s “Songs You Need” are the tracks we can’t stop playing. Check back every day for new music and follow along on our Spotify playlist.

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Rob Mazurek has never tried to hide his penchant for other-worldly exploration. From the name of his freak-jazz collective, Exploding Star Orchestra, to their most recent album’s title, Dimensional Stardust, there’s no denying it: he’s got a thing for the great beyond. Today (January 24), he’s announced his next venture, an ambitious LP called Lightning Dreamers, with its lead single, “Future Shaman.” The record is due out March 31 via International Anthem.

There are plenty of familiar voices on Lightning Dreamers, from Mazurek’s collaborative roster and from the contemporary experimental music scene at large: Jeff Parker’s shapeshifting guitar, Craig Taborn and Angelica Sanchez’s many keyboards, Nicole Mitchell’s quivering flute, Damon Locks’ stratospheric sampling trapped in a polyrhythmic menage a trois with Gerald Cleaver’s drums and Mauricio Takara’s electric percussion. Mazurek sits in the midst of the madness — a sometimes-humble player-director alternating between the boards, the baton, the trumpet (his main instrument), the launeddas, and the spoken word.

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“Future Shaman” finds the ensemble sitting comfortably in an interstellar groove, vibing in a relatively stable pocket of spacetime that slowly rips as the instruments begins to bug out in succession, each more aggressively than the last. Even in the song’s wildest moments, though, there’s still a sense that the Exploding Star Orchestra are in complete control, barely breaking a sweat — both the vessels for the turbulent sea of sound that passes through them and the calculating masterminds behind it.

Watch the new track’s visualizer, created by Mazurek with help from cinematically inclined software engineer Mathieu Constans, below.

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Justin Bieber sells catalog for $200 million

Justin Bieber sells catalog for $200 million
Hipgnosis Songs Fund has bought 100 percent of Bieber’s publishing rights and master recordings.

By Raphael Helfand

January 24, 2023

Kevin C. Cox
/

Getty Images

Justin Bieber has sold 100 percent of his back catalog to the British investment firm Hipgnosis Songs Fund. Hipgnosis purchased the publishing rights, master recordings, and neighboring rights to all of Bieber’s previously released music for a sum of more than $200 million, sources told Variety and Billboard. Per these reports, it’s the largest music-rights acquisition in the company’s portfolio, which also includes full or partial rights to the catalogs of 50 Cent, Blondie, Jack Antonoff, Jimmy Iovine, Justin Timberlake, Leonard Cohen, Neil Young, Red Hot Chili Peppers, RZA, Shakira, Skrillex, Timbaland, and Tom DeLonge, among others.

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In June, Justin Bieber announced he had been diagnosed with a rare neurological disorder called Ramsay Hunt Syndrome and postponed the remainder of his Justice tour. He went back on the road a month later, but cut his late-summer South American run short in September, citing exhaustion.

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Aphex Twin announces first live date since 2019

Aphex Twin announces first live date since 2019
As part of the line-up for London festival Field Day.

By David Renshaw

January 24, 2023

Press

Aphex Twin will headline London festival Field Day this summer, marking the enigmatic producer and DJ’s first live appearance in over four years. Aphex Twin has not performed live since 2019, when he appeared at Coachella as well as playing shows in Brooklyn and the United Kingdom. He last headlined Field Day in 2017.

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Joining Aphex Twin on the 2023 Field Day line-up are Bonobo, Jayda G, Arca, Kelela, Fever Ray, LSDXOXO, Actress, Hagop Tchaparian, SBTRKT, Jon Hopkins, Julianna Huxtable, Sudan Archives, and TSHA. The one-day event takes place on August 19 in east London’s Victoria Park. General sale tickets will be available from Friday, January 27.

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Rumors of a live return by Aphex Twin began circulating earlier this month when a website featuring the producer’s trademark logo inside of the word “London” was discovered at www.190823.co.uk. That URL being a clear nod to the date of this year’s Field Day.

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Aphex Twin’s most recent album is 2014’s Syro. Since then he has released music mainly in EP form, dropping Cheetah in 2016 and Collapse two years later. Last year he launched new “sample mashing” app, Samplebrain, in collaboration with English engineer Dave Griffiths.

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A post shared by Field Day (@fielddayfestivals)

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Rihanna, Mitski, and Lady Gaga nominated for 2023 Oscars

Rihanna, Mitski, and Lady Gaga nominated for 2023 Oscars
The nod for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’s “Lift Me Up” is Rihanna’s first Academy Award nomination.

By David Renshaw

January 24, 2023

Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Mitski.

 

Angela Weiss / Mike Coppola/ Valerie Macon / AFP / Getty Images

The 2023 Oscar nominations for Best Original Score and Best Original Song have been announced. The 95th Academy Awards ceremony will take place on March 12 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.

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Rihanna and Mitski have earned their first Academy Award nomination, with Rih’s “Lift Me Up” from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and “This Is A Life,” a song co-written by Mitski, David Byrne, and Ryan Lott, up for Best Original Song at this year’s Oscars. Lady Gaga and Bloodpop’s “Hold My Hand” from TK is also nominated in the category, alongside songs by Dianne Warren (“Applause” from Tell It Like A Woman), and M. M. Keeravani, (“Naatu Naatu”from RRR). Find the list of nominated tracks below.

In Best Original Score, meanwhile, the nominees include Son Lux (Everything Everywhere All At Once) and John Williams (The Fabelmans). They’ll face off against Volker Bertelmann (All Quiet On The Western Front), Justin Hurwitz (Babylon), and Carter Burwell (The Banshees of Inisherin).

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View the full list of nominees for Best Original Song and Best Original Score at the 2023 Oscars below.

A24’s sci-fi comedy hit Everything Everywhere All At Once kept its underdog streak rolling with 11 nominations, including Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Supporting Actress (Jamie Lee Curtis) and Best Supporting Actor (Ke Huy Quan). The Banshees of Inisherin, The Fablemans, and All Quiet On The Western Front also secured several nominations each.

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Music (Original Song)

“Applause,” Tell It like a Woman
“Hold My Hand,” Top Gun: Maverick
“Lift Me Up,” Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
“Naatu Naatu,” RRR
“This Is A Life,” Everything Everywhere All at Once

Music (Original Score)

All Quiet on the Western Front
Babylon
The Banshees of Inisherin
Everything Everywhere All at Once
The Fabelmans

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Kari Faux drops “ME FIRST” studio version and UNIIQU3 remix

Kari Faux drops “ME FIRST” studio version and UNIIQU3 remix
She premiered the track on COLORS in August.

By Raphael Helfand

January 24, 2023

Randijah Simmons

Five months after premiering it in a COLORS Studios performance, Kari Faux has shared a studio version of “ME FIRST,” her first single since the 2021 release of Lowkey Superstar’s extended deluxe edition. The new track comes with a Cam Robert-directed visual treatment — in which the Little Rock-raised, Houston-based emcee prepares for a music video shoot that gets cancelled, forcing her to take matters into her own hands — and a remix courtesy of Jersey club queen UNIIQU3.

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The song’s new, official iteration hews closely to the earlier COLORS version, but UNIIQU3’s remix is another animal entirely, taking the BPM supersonic and polishing the track’s trunk-rattling aura into a sleek, dancefloor-ready aesthetic. Watch the music video and listen to the remix below.

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