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Kanye West collaborator Arca releases album details and a new track

You may not be familiar with the name Arca, but there’s a good chance you’re familiar with his work, even if you don’t know it. The 24-year-old Venezuelan electronic musician contributed to four tracks on Kanye’s Yeezus and has worked on a number of songs with FKA Twigs, including the LP1 standout “Lights On.” While his own work is considerably less pop-oriented than his collaborations, his sprawling solo instrumental recordings—like last year’s mixtape &&&&&has found a surprisingly large audience of people who bliss out on aggressively dark synthesizer soundscapes.

On Thursday, Arca announced the upcoming release of his first official full-length solo album. Xen (which comes out Nov. 4 on Mute Records) is more nuanced and more ambitious than his previous efforts, mixing dreamy, ambient passages in with his trademark harshly noisy, borderline-industrial sound. Along with CD and digital versions, vinyl fetishists can cop a hand-numbered limited edition LP that’s sealed in black PVC and includes an additional 10″ record of bonus material.

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Thundercat and Eric Andre just made the most demented music video of the year

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 JASH, the YouTube comedy channel founded by Sarah Silverman, Tim & Eric, Michael Cera, and a bunch of other just-left-of-mainstream funny types, has a subsidiary called Buh, where stuff that’s even weirder than the weird stuff on JASH gets filed. One of the regular features there is called “$5,000 Video” where a comedian and a rapper are, as you probably guessed, are given $5,000 to make a music video. (Maybe you saw the one with Hannibal Buress and Chance the Rapper.)

The latest installment pairs Eric Andre Show and Don’t Trust the B—- in Apt. 23 star Eric Andre with Thundercat, who’s not actually a rapper but whose association with Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder crew puts him in close proximity to the LA avant-garde rap scene. The track they chose is “Tron Song,” from Thundercat’s 2013 solo album Apocalypse, where he trades in his usual frenetic bass freakouts for a tender psychedelic soul ballad about his cat. Filtering the cat theme through Andre’s distinctive lo-fi surreal visual aesthetic–where glitchy psychedelia occasionally gets uncomfortably close to “bad trip” territory–results in a clip full of VHS-era video effects, deviant sex acts, and defecation in a human-sized litter box, along with a few cameos by the titular cat where he looks just as confused by what’s going on as anyone watching.

At a time where the plethora of music videos on YouTube has made shock value a close second behind gratuitous nudity as a method of attracting viewers, the “Tron Song” clip manages to stand out as particularly demented. Bravo, gentlemen.

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Kiesza talks 'Hideaway,' '90s dance-pop, and her upcoming album

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Back in January, an obscure Calgary-born singer named Kiesza quietly posted to her SoundCloud an immediately addictive dance-pop track that brings early-’90s diva-fronted club pop thundering back to life. Nine months, a viral music video, and one very impressive late-night appearance later, “Hideaway” is a hit (currently at number 55 after nearly two months on the Hot 100), anticipation for her upcoming album is reaching a fever pitch, and Kiesza has become one of the year’s breakout stars. EW reached her by phone on her way to perform at the iTunes Festival in London to talk about “Hideaway” and what we should expect from her upcoming full-length.

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Love it or loathe it? Two EW critics debate U2's new album 'Songs of Innocence'

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Yesterday, U2—easily the biggest rock band left on the planet—surprised everyone when they released their long-in-gestation new album for free.

Songs of Innocence was made available to everybody with an iTunes account, which allows most everybody who listens to digital music to hear it; a physical version will be out on October 14, at which point it will be eligible to chart.

After a solid 12 hours of digesting the record — their first since 2010’s generally disappointing No Line on the Horizon — EW music experts Kyle Anderson and Miles Raymer fired up their e-mail machines, and their critical judgment.  READ FULL STORY

Nicki Minaj announces a release date for next album 'The Pinkprint'

Fans won’t have to wait much longer for the female version of Jay Z’s The Blueprint, apparently: Nicki Minaj announced Tuesday that her new album, The Pinkprint, is coming out Nov. 24.

“Jay had his Blueprint albums and that’s what I feel like this album’s gonna be,” Minaj told BBC Radio 1Xtra’s DJ Semtex. “I really feel like this album will be like a Blueprint for female rappers to come, so that alone should tell you how confident I am about the music.” READ FULL STORY

'Sons of Anarchy' music supervisor breaks down killer Queen montage

This post contains plot details of “Black Widower,” the Sons of Anarchy season 7 premiere that aired on Sept. 9. Read our full recap and postmortem with creator Kurt Sutter and EP/director Paris Barclay.

Gemma, Jax just killed a man, and it was epic thanks to Sons of Anarchy composer/music supervisor Bob Thiele, who found out last January that creator Kurt Sutter wanted to end the premiere of the FX drama’s final season with a montage set to a cover of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” READ FULL STORY

Listen to Ariel Pink's 'Put Your Number in My Phone,' off his upcoming double LP

Ariel Pink never stays away for long. On Nov. 18, he’ll release his first album since 2012’s Mature Themes, ending a hiatus that’s an especially long one for the prolific freak folkie .

The album, pom pom, will be a double LP, and Pink’s first record without his group, Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti. “Although this is the first ‘solo’ record credited to my name, it is by far the least ‘solo’ record I have ever recorded,” he said in a statement. We’ll see what exactly Pink means by that in a couple months.

For now, he’s given us the album’s first single, “Put Your Number in My Phone,” which you can listen to below. The groovy cut picks up where 2012’s flowery “Only in My Dreams” left off, while spurning the mellow vibes of classic Ariel Pink songs like “Round and Round” and “Baby”

“Put Your Number in My Phone” will be one of 17 tracks spanning pom pom‘s 69 minutes and four sides—which are slyly labeled P-I-N-K rather than A-B-C-D.

Deerhoof made us a very Deerhoof playlist

Over the past two decades, punk has shed most of its pricklier and more interesting qualities on its journey from the cultural fringe to the heart of the mainstream. But Bay Area quartet Deerhoof, who celebrate their 20th anniversary this year, have taken upon themselves the task of keeping punk weird, even when it seemed like they were going at it alone.

On Nov. 4, the band will release their 13th album, La Isla Bonita. Recorded in guitarist Ed Rodriguez’s basement, the album finds Deerhoof as gleefully noisy as ever but with a more refined pop edge, as you can hear on the lead single “Exit Only” (which was recorded in one take). Like their other works, the record draws from a crazy broad range of influences, and for this playlist entitled “Palpitations, Eruptions, Rhythmania,” guitarist John Dieterich shares a few.

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U2 release new album 'Songs of Innocence' for free on iTunes

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U2 will release their 13th album as a free download for iTunes subscribers, the band announced at today’s massive Apple event, where the Cupertino tech giant revealed its new iPhone models and Apple Watch. Actually, they already released it.

Apple CEO Tim Cook closed out the company’s annual mobile product unveiling by introducing a live performance by the Irish rockers and revealing that Songs of Innocence is now available on the iTunes Store as a free download to anyone with an account on the service. With an estimated 500 million users already signed up, it could quite easily become U2’s biggest record to date.

 

Hear the late-season summer song vibes of Ugly Kids Club's 'I Wanna Be Bad'

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Nashville duo Ugly Kids Club—singer Aliegh Shields and producer Steve Wilson—cite noisy underground duos like Sleigh Bells and Crystal Castles as some of their main influences, but on their new single “I Wanna Be Bad” mixes in a lot of Top 40 pop sugar with their high-density electronics. The result sounds a little like Katy Perry fronting a digital reproduction of an ’80s arena rock band, and although it’s coming in a little late in the season, it might have just enough summer song vibes to make you forget that fact.

Their album Head Games is out Sept. 30.

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