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Tag: An EW Exclusive! (1-10 of 645)

Hear Rachael Yamagata and John Medeski cover Robert Altman's 'Let's Begin Again'

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Over the course of a long and illustrious career, Robert Altman managed to do pretty much every job that goes into making a movie, including writing songs for soundtracks. “Let’s Begin Again” is a song that he penned early on and used in several of his films. For Ron Mann’s upcoming documentary Altman, Rachael Yamagata and John Medeski contribute a smoky, languorous version that sounds like it was recorded at the kind of delightfully dingy basement jazz dive that these days only exist in the movies.

“It was an honor to be asked to record this classic song by Robert Altman for a documentary about his life,” Medeski emails. “Rachael really blew my mind with her performance. She’s a natural jazz singer. I hope we get to do more of this in the future.”

“Let’s Begin Again” will be released as a digital single on Dec. 2. Altman is playing on the festival circuit now, with a full theatrical release planned for 2015.

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Synthpop auteur Harrison Scott shares retro-fied 'Silence Into Noise' video

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New York-based Harrison Scott has a real knack for emulating the sounds of ’80s synthpop, but it’s the little tweaks that he throws into the proven formula–like the Auto Tune-esque vocoder–that make his new single “Silence Into Noise” stand out.

With its sticky melody, body-jacking beat, and whiff of haughty intellectualism (which is definitely not a bad thing in this case), the track would have worked well on club dance floors when Erasure first hit the scene—and it still works great now. The video continues the theme of slightly chilly aesthetics by putting Scott in a couture shorts set and a series of mannered poses, which reflect the aloofness that all serious synthesizer artistes should aspire to.

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Bahamas unveils a video for the viral hit 'All the Time' (aka that song from the James Franco smartphone ad)

Canadian auteur Afie Jurvanen released his first album under his nom de rock Bahamas back in 2009, has shared bills with Wilco and Jack Johnson, and was nominated for his home country’s top musical awards multiple times, but it took a smartphone commercial for him to finally break through in the States. You’ve probably seen it–it’s the one where James Franco turns falling off a building into a typically Franco-esque exercise in irritatingly competent multitasking to an impeccably chill soundtrack of lilting falsetto vocals and a fuzzed-out staccato bass line.

That song, “All the Time” (from the new Bahamas album Bahamas is Afie) is finally getting its own Franco-free full-length visual. While it’s a low-key, no-frills affair, the buoyant slow-mo and unfussy aesthetic suit the song nicely. And if you only know “All the Time” from the Droid commercial, the full version’s expertly deployed vocal harmonies and guitar leads–which sound like lost moments from a late-era Beatles album–are a revelation.

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Stream an exclusive remix from the upcoming Deadmau5 retrospective

On Monday, EDM icon Deadmau5 will release 5 Years of Mau5, a double album of greatest hits and remixes by dance music luminaries like Dillon Francis and Nero. The retrospective collection comes with different bonus features on different platforms, including exclusive remixes in its Spotify, Beatport, and iTunes editions. One of the standouts is a remix, available on iTunes only, of “Raise Your Weapon” by the German house producer Maywald that replaces the fan-favorite original’s monster drops with a neatly arranged synthesized string section, turning a big room banger into something more suitable for an after-hours cool down. Get an early peek (and the complete tracklist) after the jump.

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Hear Ballroom Cancer's fascinatingly weird 'Misinterest'

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Boulder, Colorado-based sonic auteur Jake Sheppard used to play under the un-Googleable alias Animals, but before releasing his debut EP Lightning, No? he switched to the more evocative (and considerably weirder) moniker Ballroom Cancer.

The record’s second single is the fascinatingly strange “Misinterest,” which finds unexplored common ground between Scott Walker and Kanye West and offers something new and novel to listeners who appreciate a challenge.

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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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Cinematic pop star Kid Moxie on movies, music, and working with Angelo Badalamenti

Elena Charbila grew up in Greece and has been acting from a young age, appearing in films alongside the likes of Malcolm McDowell, Al Pacino, and Taryn Manning. So it’s no surprise that the cinema’s had an effect on the music that she makes under the name Kid Moxie.

“Just being immersed in both those worlds since I was a kid,” she says, “it was kind of inevitable that I would want to merge them somehow.”

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Sunmonks take a desert trip in their new video

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Sunmonks’ Geoffrey CK and Alexandra Steele reside in Auburn, California, a small town better known for its role in the Gold Rush than for producing eccentric pop groups. Starting out out with an interest in art-bent rock bands and a loop pedal, the pair has developed a sound that combines lilting melodies, hypnotic rhythms, and bits of musical styles from all over the globe, and their recent In the Desert of Plenty is a worthy successor to similarly inclined groups like Talking Heads and Vampire Weekend.

For the title track’s video, Geoffrey CK writes in an email, “We had a lot of different plans, but at risk of being overly heavy-handed, we ended up deciding to film in a literal desert.” The visual that resulted finds the band striking poses and generating mystical vibes. “Any excuse to drive out to the middle of nowhere to perform rituals and ceremonies, play with fire, and watch the sunrise is a good one,” he notes.

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The Budos Band reveals heavy metal roots with a new playlist

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Brooklyn’s The Budos Band is signed to the soulful throwback label Daptone and makes a big, walloping, horn-driven sound that splits the difference between classic Afrobeat and old-school American funk, but its range of influences runs much deeper than that. The group’s recent LP Burnt Offering takes the Budos sound in a dark direction with a debt to vintage heavy metal and horror movies, resulting in songs that are both ass-shakingly funky and seriously spooky, as suitable for goths as for Sharon Jones fans.

The group recently sent EW a playlist designed to highlight some of these heavier influences, along with this note:

“These songs represent the attitude and aesthetic that the Budos Band strives to achieve. We may not play metal per se, but the darkness, heaviness and unabashed thrashing of these songs inspire us to new levels of Budos Mayhem.”

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A runaway bride stars in buzzy electro duo Phantoms' 'Broken Halo' video

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Vinnie and Kyle, the two members of LA electronic group Phantoms (who both go by their first names alone), have funky, synth-heavy music in their blood. Vinnie’s dad was a rhythm guitarist who played in funk bands back in the ’60s, and Kyle’s uncle played keys for Michael Jackson.

The pair were formerly actors, “doing TV movie work and stuff like that,” Kyle says. “As a side project, we always wanted to make music together.”

“Originally we wanted to make this funk rock group,” Vinnie adds, “and eventually it formed into this electronic project because we fell in love with the genre.” READ FULL STORY

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