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Icelandic indie rockers Ourlives unveil 'Blurry Eyes'


Over the past few years, Iceland has emerged as an unlikely indie rock hotbed. Sigur Rós remains the best known of Iceland’s bands, but there are a bunch coming up in their wake, including Reykjavik duo Ourlives. The pair consider themselves indebted to acts like Coldplay and Radiohead, but on their upcoming album Den of Lions (out Oct. 14 on Spartan Records and available for pre-order on iTunes and vinyl), they aim for something less ostentatiously grand but just as interesting, and on the track “Blurry Eyes,” they sound almost like a dreamier, less anxiety-ridden version of Interpol.

Member Jón Björn Árnason calls the track “a song we wrote about addiction. It’s about addiction being an easy escape from the everyday life—and about being afraid to face each day and the duties that come with it. The lyric ‘blue heaven’ is a reference to the way the summer is in Iceland, as it doesn’t stay dark very long—in fact, the sun is up most of the night.”


David Bowie to release hits collection and new single in November


To celebrate 50 years of recording, David Bowie will release a three-disc hits collection on November 17 via Columbia/Legacy. Nothing Has Changed follows 2013’s The Next Day, which was Bowie’s first album of new material since 2003’s Reality.

The collection kicks off with a new track named “Sue (or In A Season Of Crime),” then works its way backwards. This means listeners have to wait until the third disc—or just skip ahead—to hear classics like “Rebel Rebel,” “Ziggy Stardust,” and “Changes.”

Nothing Has Changed also comes loaded with some cool Bowie deep cuts. The singer famously penned “All the Young Dudes” for Mott the Hoople, but his own studio version will see release on the new record. Nothing Has Changed will also include a remix of Next Day track “Love Is Lost” by Bowie-influenced LCD Soundsystem frontman James Murphy.

Pink Floyd will sample Stephen Hawking on new album

Pink Floyd is coming back with a new album, and Stephen Hawking’s along for the ride—kind of.

The English rockers sample Hawking’s voice in one of the album’s songs, titled “Talkin’ Hawkin,” according to The Telegraph. This isn’t Pink Floyd’s first use of Hawking’s vocals though: “Keep Talking,” a track off their 1994 album The Division Bell, begins with audio of Hawking discussing how men lived like animals until they learned to talk. READ FULL STORY

Hear Lorde, Sam Smith, and just about everyone else cover the Beach Boys' 'God Only Knows'


God only knows how this came together…

In celebration of the launch of BBC Music, the BBC released an all-star cover of the Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows.” It is a sort-of sequel to the BBC’s 1997 all-star cover of Lou Reed’s “Perfect Day.”

In its fantastical video, complete with butterflies, diamonds, and a trip into the sky, Brian Wilson, the songwriter, is joined by myriad talent. Participants include: Lorde, Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Florence Welch, One Direction, Pharrell, Chris Martin, Dave Grohl, Sam Smith,  and many, many, many more.

Watch, and be amazed, below:


Belle and Sebastian's long journey from losers to legends


2014 has been a big year for a relatively small band: Belle and Sebastian. The Scottish indie-pop group formed 18 years ago, and while it’s never had anything so ordinary as a hit single in the United States, it has managed to build a fan base the old-fashioned way: by writing old-fashioned songs, the kind that brim with melody, sensitivity, cleverness, sophistication, and sheer beauty. Belle and Sebastian’s influence is huge—it’s hard to imagine groups like The Shins, Arcade Fire, or Vampire Weekend sounding like they do without its influence—but the band has remained mostly a cult phenomenon.

The cult has been passionate enough to fuel a slew of activity in the Belle and Sebastian camp this year. The band’s ninth album (and first in five years), Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance, was recently announced. Matador Records reissued the band’s 10 album catalog on vinyl today; the band will also be touring through the rest of the month. And Belle and Sebastian’s soft-singing, soulfully ethereal frontman Stuart Murdoch has also written his first film, God Help the Girl, which made waves at Sundance Film Festival in January before being released last month. Set in a city based on Glasgow—Belle and Sebastian’s birthplace—it’s more or less a feature-length extension of Murdoch’s songs, many of which are funny, melancholy short stories wrapped up in sumptuous pop.

What is it about Belle and Sebastian that inspires such devotion—let alone enough clout to secure so many ambitious projects? READ FULL STORY

IHEARTCOMIX announce new singles label and all-star tour


LA-based collective IHEARTCOMIX dabble in a little bit of everything youth culture-related, but they’re best known for putting out records and throwing parties. Their label, previously home to dance-party-friendly acts like Matt & Kim and Juiceboxxx, has been defunct since 2009, but they’re getting back to it with a new singles-focused label called IHC 1NFINITY. They’re describing it as “IHC’s attempt to create their own Marvel Cinematic Universe”founder Franki Chan remains a devoted comics geekand on top of sharing the clubby countercultural vibe that defines IHC’s identity, the releases will be loosely tied together through visual elements like cover art and videos.

IHC 1NFINITY will kick off with a promising trio of artists. They’ll start by making a new track called “Handful of Gold” by rising Australian-born alt-pop singer Chela, available for streaming on Oct. 21 and for purchase on Nov. 11. It’ll be followed by new releases from rapper Antwon–whose affinity for smashing together surreal imagery and emotional realness has made him the object of cultish adoration–in November and DIY dance music hero Pictureplane in January. All releases will also have remix packages available.


Pharrell continues his smooth-funk roll with a video and a song with T.I.

It’s hard to believe that just a short couple years ago people were talking about Pharrell in the past tense—especially when his post-“Get Lucky” comeback is threatening to actually overshadow the first half of his career. This morning, he added a boost of momentum to the unbelievable roll he’s been on with the release of a video for “Gust of Wind,” the Daft Punk-featuring latest single from his G I R L album. Directed by Edgar Wright, the visual complements the song’s airy, string-laden arrangement with choreography and costumes that nod heavily toward wuxia kung fu films and a pair of giant stone Daft Punk helmets floating around the autumnal scenery like it’s no big thing.


London Richards is the next big thing in R&B

“I’m just happy that I’ve been able to take my time to release this first single,” London Richards says. Actually, only about a year passed between London deciding to pursue a singing career and the release of his debut single “Will You Wait,” but Richards is only 17, and considering his age—and the fact that these days artists can make or break a career in a matter of weeks—he can be forgiven for thinking that’s a long time.

Richards may be new, but on “Will You Wait” and his upcoming EP love, London (out Oct. 27), he emerges as a seemingly full-formed artist with crafty songwriting skills, a supple voice, and a compelling, of-the-moment aesthetic that sets highly accessible pop hooks in a bed of darkly textured electronic instrumentation. This formula has already starting to pay dividends–soon after its release, ”Will You Wait” appeared on Billboard’s Emerging Artists and Trending 140 charts, and it’s starting to gain enough critical mass to make a run at the pop charts seem entirely possible. “There are almost no words to describe how amazing it’s been,” he says. “It’s all positivity.”


'Sexually Enlightened R & B Song' will get you in the oh-so-consensual mood

Good news, R&B loving feminists: Your bedroom soundtrack just got a whole lot more female-friendly (and funny). CollegeHumor has produced an R&B music video, starring Key & Peele writer Phil Jackson, that mercilessly parodies the genre’s misogynistic tropes with an overtly feminist spin. Jackson’s faux-serious delivery is hysterical—at one point he leaps around in nothing but socks and boxers, with the (attempted) grace of a ballerina and a sheer sheet billowing behind him.


Foo Fighters to join Letterman for week-long residency


Foo Fighters are taking a page from Justin Timberlake’s book and taking on a week-long residency on a late night show ahead of the release of their upcoming album, Sonic Highways.

The band will join David Letterman as The Late Show‘s musical guests beginning Oct. 13 and will end their residency Oct. 17, the same day Grohl’s documentary series, Sonic Highways, premieres on HBO.

The series documents the making of Foo Fighters’ latest album, which was recorded in eight different cities ranging from Seattle to New Orleans. Together, the songs are what Grohl calls “a love letter to the history of American music.” READ FULL STORY

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