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Arcade Fire's Will Butler announces solo debut

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Arcade Fire’s Will Butler will release a solo album, Policy, on March 10 via Merge Records. The multi-instrumentalist Butler joined Arcade Fire shortly after his brother Win founded the band.

Will has performed outside of Arcade Fire before. Earlier this year, he and Owen Pallett were nominated for an Oscar for their work on the Her soundtrack.

Butler hasn’t put out an official single yet, but he’s recently debuted new material at small solo shows. Check out one of those new songs below. READ FULL STORY

Country singer Ty Herndon: 'I'm an out, proud, and happy gay man'

Ty Herndon, a country singer known for hits like “What Mattered Most” and “Living in a Moment,” spoke about his sexuality publicly for the first time in People interview published Nov. 20. “I’m an out, proud, and happy gay man,” he told People. 

Herndon, now 51, says he started coming out to his close family when he was 20—but wants to come out to the whole world now in hopes that he can help others, especially others who are struggling to reconcile their gay identity with religion.

“They can be loved by God, they can be married one day, they can have a family, they can give their parents grandkids,” Herndon said. “And they’re not broken, they’re not sinners, and they’re perfectly beautiful.” READ FULL STORY

Billboard reformulates its Top 200 albums chart

The Billboard 200 albums chart will look a little different after Thanksgiving. Starting with the installment of the chart that goes live online Dec. 4, positions won’t be determined simply by the number of albums sold—in a nod to modern music-buying habits, 10 digital track sales from one album, or 1,500 streams, will be considered the equivalent of one album purchase.

The rejiggered formula should be a boon to artists with younger, more digitally savvy audiences, who tend to purchase tracks a la carte rather than as entire albums or prefer streaming over buying. Billboard predicts that Ariana Grande, Hozier, and Maroon 5 stand to benefit from the change. READ FULL STORY

Stream an EP of cathartic synthpop by L.A. duo Radar Cult

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These days you can barely swing a MIDI controller without hitting a synthpop band, but LA duo Radar Cult sets itself apart from an increasingly crowded field not only by tapping into the slightly menacing analog tones of vintage John Carpenter scores, but by infusing their music with real emotion.

The pair have their debut LP scheduled for release next year on the Plug Research label. In the meantime, they’re putting out a five-song EP called Splitting that sounds like Erasure writing notes to an unrequited love on an overcast day. It’s due out Nov. 25, and EW has an exclusive first listen below.

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Venus and the Moon channel songs from celestial bodies

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Los Angeles has been reconnecting with its hippie past a lot in recent months with the revival of a mystically tinged folk sound that’s as much a part of the city’s sonic identity as glam metal and g-funk. Frally Hynes and Rain Phoenix (who is, yes, Joaquin’s sister) have added their voices to the movement with their new project Venus and the Moon, playing something they call “galactic country” that blends delicate Laurel Canyon melodies and gentle psychedelia infused with crystalline cosmic energy.

Before setting out on a string of European dates with Cat Power, the pair gave EW some insight into what they’re about (and a playlist too).

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Grumpy Cat stars in 'A Very Grumpy Christmas' music video

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First, Grumpy Cat was a fun Internet meme. Then, she became a coveted celebrity guest at events. And now? She’s got her own movie on Lifetime, complete with original music and therefore, a music video.

EW has the exclusive premiere of the music video for “A Very Grumpy Christmas,” a new song composed for Lifetime’s Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever by House of Broken Glass. The song, which is is exclusive to the film’s soundtrack, is available online and in stores now.

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Future scientists create the perfect bluegrass band in new Whiskey Shivers video

Whiskey Shivers, the Austin bluegrass quintet who brought us this twisted Human Centipede-inspired video, have returned. The clip, for the band’s new song “Free,” merges the aesthetics of retro educational films and The Jetsons to tell the story of a perfect bluegrass band synthesized by genetic scientists in a dystopian future. Whiskey Shivers is that band.

The video serves as meta-commentary on the shaggy, flannel-wearing, banjo-strumming dudes people associate with the genre. “Fact! Testosterone is inversely proportional to cleanliness,” written text explains at one point.

“The concept of this video mostly came out of me wanting to paint the band into a series of ridiculous images since their personalities seem to exist in so many dimensions,” said director Rob Wadleigh, citing the BBC’s Look Around You as an inspiration.

Watch the video below. READ FULL STORY

Robin Schulz shares a playlist that's heavy on the Robin Schulz

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German producer Robin Schulz got a big boost recently when his bongo-driven remix of Mr. Probz’s slow jam “Waves” went massively viral, reaching as high as No. 22 on the Billboard Hot 100. But Schulz is about more than simply combining deep house and soul. To celebrate his latest success, a remix of French folk-pop duo Lily & the Prick’s “Prayer in C” (which is doing “Waves”-like numbers on YouTube and Spotify), Schulz gave EW a playlist that goes heavy on his own remixes but also includes some unexpected selections like Chet Faker and SOHN.

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Andre 3000's jumpsuits are works of art, apparently

Throughout OutKast’s reunion tour, Andre 3000 wore 47 different jumpsuits, each emblazoned with a different phrase on it. So at the end of the tour, what does one do with so many jumpsuits?

Instead of leaving them lying around his home, Andre decided to donate the threads to a new exhibit in Miami.

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Hear five songs from Idris Elba's 'mi Mandela' album

Actor Idris Elba took on the role of curator for his upcoming album, mi Mandeladedicated to the late Nelson Mandela.

Elba played the South African president in 2013′s Mandela: Long Walk to Freedomand was inspired to make the album while filming in Johannesburg. Both South African and British artists, including James Black and Mumford and Sons, sing the 11 tracks, written by Elba himself.
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