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First Aid Kit share video for 'Wild' R.E.M. cover

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The rustic soundtrack for the new film Wild hit stores last month. Among the standout cuts is Swedish duo First Aid Kit’s cover of R.E.M.’s 1998 song “Walk Unafraid.” Now the group has released a Wild-inspired music video for their cover, which “speaks to the overall beauty of the movie,” according to music supervisor Susan Jacobs. It features footage from the film as well as the First Aid Kit women wandering a forest in outdoorsy sweaters. You can stream it below.

“Walk Unafraid” appeared on one of R.E.M.’s less well-known records, Up. First Aid Kit joins contributors including Lucinda Williams, Bruce Springsteen, Simon & Garfunkel, Portishead, and Leonard Cohen on the soundtrack. Read our review of Wild, which is in theaters now.

This Week in Diplo: The week that kept on giving

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The official video for Skrillex’s “Dirty Vibe” with Diplo, CL, and G-Dragon dropped this week, and while I can’t be sure if G-Dragon and CL (Skrillex and Diplo are cameo-less) are doing impressions of late ’90s and early 2000s American rap videos or if this is meant to be taken seriously, it’s pretty fun.

And to continue the holiday-release-giving: Diplo gave EW three blistering playlists on Spotify. The first is hip-hop. It kicks off with Rae Sremmurd and blows through tracks by Migos, ILoveMakkonen, Kanye, 2 Chainz, Chris Brown, Frank Ocean, and so many more.

The second is future house-based. Duke Dumont, Oliver Heldens, Route 94, AlunaGeorge, and more make up two and a half hours of fun.

And the third—proving Diplo either really does exist in a genre-less state of taste or he’s very generous during the holidays—is psychedelic rock. The Mops, The Seeds, The Bees, The Telescopes, The Yardbirds (are we sensing a pattern here?) are all there.

And because why do one when you can do seven, Jack Ü has previewed seven official remixes for “Take Ü There” this week. The package was partially leaked a month ago, with the Felix Cartal, TJR, and Vindata remixes releasing earlier than intended. The rest of the collection is rounded out by Tchami, Tujamo, Netsky, and (drumroll, please) Zeds Dead.

Check out the rest on their Soundcloud.

Aside from that, it’s been a lot of travel (Jamaica, India) and promotion for Jack Ü’s biggest show ever: Headlining NYE at Madison Square Garden in New York City. (Get tickets here.)

Sam Smith becomes the first singer to sell a million album sales in the U.S. and the U.K. in 2014

Sam Smith’s In the Lonely Hour hit the million album sales mark in both the U.S. and the U.K.—the first album to do so in 2014.

According to Time, Smith’s debut album was confirmed to have passed the million sales mark in the U.K. within the past 24 hours by the Official Charts Company (OCC); the album had reached that milestone in the U.S. the day before. Other notable million-sales albums of 2014 include Ed Sheeran’s and Taylor Swift’s 1989, though neither album has hit the million-sales mark on both sides of the Atlantic.

Smith—who was already having a stellar year, having been nominated for six Grammys, including the highly coveted Album of the Year nomination—shared a brief statement on the milestone to the OCC and said, “Thank you so much to every single person who has purchased my album.”

Here's the inevitable dance remix to 'Mockingjay's' 'Hanging Tree'

If you end up clubbing in Vegas to some bump and grind dub-step, don’t be surprised when you think to yourself, “Hmmm, is that Jennifer Lawrence I hear?”

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Watch OFF!'s complete 'Grizzly King' video

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Earlier this month, hardcore supergroup OFF! released a pair of goofy, Jack Black-starring music videos for their songs “Over Our Heads” and “Meet Your God.” The band has now stitched the two together in a gory, bizarre seven-minute film called “Grizzly King”—and EW has the premiere, along with some silly behind-the-scenes footage. READ FULL STORY

Clean Bandit wants to get in your bathtub with this playlist of bathtime songs

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British electronic group Clean Bandit  just got a Grammy nod for their runaway hit single, “Rather Be,” featuring Jess Glynne, and you know how when you get really good news you want to celebrate by getting a homework assignment? Us too, so we asked them to make us a playlist.

Maybe it’s because their enjoying their final stretch at home before hitting the road (upcoming dates listed below), but they made us “Songs to Listen to in the Bath.”

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Chris Farren wishes you a slacker-pop Christmas with 'Like a Gift From God or Whatever' -- exclusive

Chris Farren, front man for Fake Problems and Antarctigo Vespucci, likes to refer to himself as a “punk celebrity,” but on the title track from his new collection of Christmas originals, Like a Gift from God or Whatever, he channels more of a chill-bro slacker pop vibe, with an assist from Brooklyn singer-songwriter Jenny Owen Youngs. For the endearingly goofy video, director Kevin Slack uses well-out-of-date VHS technology whose grainy, glitchy texture should bring back memories of childhood Christmases for anyone who grew up in the pre-digital age.

A portion of the profits from the album’s sales will go to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

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Best of 2014: The best and worst lyrics of the year

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When it comes to pop lyrics, every year has its ups and downs, and 2014 seemed to have higher highs and lower lows than most. We had the vivid imagery of Pharrell’s “Me and 20 girls doing yoga naked” from Future’s “Move That Dope” that reminded us of everything we fell in love with Pharrell for in the first place, and the sublime simplicity of Bobby Shmurda’s “About a week agooooo.” Then again we had the ugly “Loyal” following us everywhere, as well as Kevin Gates’s domestic violence apologia “Posed to Love Me” that counteracted most of those happy feelings.

After a wild and weird year in pop, we’ve picked five of the best and five of the worst lines that came our way.

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Backstreet Boys get candid in new trailer for upcoming documentary

In 2013, the Backstreet Boys celebrated their 20th anniversary with a new album, In a World Like This. And two years later, the band is releasing a documentary that follows them during the making of that album, when they all moved to London together. READ FULL STORY

Kitty releases a virtual reality-inspired video for 'Second Life' -- exclusive

The string of impressive tracks that she’s released online over the past two years have established Kitty as an adept if controversial rapper (at least among people who can’t stand it when women make rap songs). But with her new EP Frostbite, she’s moved into more of a dance-pop space that sounds sort of like Britney Spears getting stoned and falling down a Tumblr rabbit hole. Her latest single, “Second Life,” is basically a chill-out techno song by an apparently brony-affiliated producer named PinkiePieSwear given a drum ‘n’ bass remix by Anamanaguchi’s Ary Warnaar, topped by Kitty’s now-trademark hypnotic vocals.

For the video, the filmmaking team Many Hearts recruited J-pop-inspired DJ/producer Maxo to play a video game addict immersed in a Kitty-themed virtual reality.

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