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Tag: An EW Exclusive! (51-60 of 621)

Stream Team Spirit's 'Killing Time' and reconnect with rock 'n' roll

Historically, every time rock ‘n’ roll has started to seem terminally stagnant some group of young musicians will power-wash away the stylistic and philosophical cruft that the genre’s accumulated, relocating its live-wire heart and giving it new life by connecting it to the core principles that it’s forgotten about. In the past, that task has fallen on punks, alt-rockers, and garage rock revivalists, and today it’s falling on a loosely affiliated community of bands that combine all the above with the kind of frills-free, gut-punch energy that’s made legends out of bands like the Stooges and AC/DC.

One of those groups is Team Spirit, founded by former Passion Pit keyboardist Ayad Al-Adhammy after an aesthetic epiphany where he ditched synthesizers for a six-string. Their Killing Time LP (out Sept. 30 on Vice/Warner Bros.) is a raging gang fight of classic rock guitar riffing and sugar-sweet pop-punk hooks with the potential to connect with van-driving, horns-throwing headbangers as deeply as it does with stage-diving punk kids. If at any point in recent memory you’ve thought to yourself, “Maybe rock really is dead,” you owe it to yourself to listen.

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Hear Estelle's club-poppy new single 'Something Good'

There are two basic sorts of breakup records: the heartbroken, mopey kind, and the kind where the writer digs through the wreckage of their relationship to find whatever lesson it has to offer and uses it as an opportunity to grow as a person. Estelle’s upcoming fourth album, True Romance (out Nov. 4) is firmly of the latter type.

“Something Good,” the album’s second single behind the anthemic “Conqueror,” pairs lyrics about picking up the pieces after a split with a piano-heavy house beat that synchronizes nicely with the current revival of ’90s club pop.

“‘Something Good’ is a feel-good song,” Estelle writes in an email. “A reminder that you’re dope and have something wonderful to offer life and yourself and the world.”

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An unlikely gang parties hard in Sneakout's 'The Art of Hanging On' video

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As a wise man once said, “Parents just don’t understand.” Grandparents can be another story. Like if your parents are fun-hating control freaks, they might round up a pack of fellow old folks and head out into the streets of L.A. for a night of mischief and kid-friendly partying, perhaps picking up some hot friends along the way.

That’s the lesson of the video for “The Art of Hanging On” by L.A. artist Robert Fleming, a.k.a. Sneakout, who you may have recently heard on Girls. Directed by Andrew Hines, who’s also shot for A$AP Ferg and The Head and The Heart, the clip gives a comedic spin to Fleming’s psychedelically embellished, New Wave-inflected electro-rock. The song’s available on Fleming’s new Letting Go mixtape. If you’re in L.A., you can catch him opening for EW favorite Lowell at Bootleg HiFi on Sept. 22.

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Indie pop goes digital on Cassorla's 'The Right Way'

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Every so often, a session musician will strike out from the backline to lead a group of his own. Much of the time, the resulting music is technically impressive but less than compelling—more or less underlining why he was playing backup rather than fronting a band in the first place.

But Ben Cassorla, who’s toured with bands like Washed Out and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes (and, interestingly, Slick Rick), has proven himself to be an exception to the rule with his group, Cassorla. Back in the spring, he released an EP called Amigosnamed for the group of buddies, including Aubrey Plaza and members of the Magnetic Zeroes and Blitzen Trapper, who played on it—that emphasized his nifty pop songwriting chops over any flashy guitar skills he possesses.

The band’s about to head out for a fall tour with Blitzen Trapper. In preparation, he’s recorded a new single. Co-produced by Mighty Mike, who’s previously worked with Carly Rae Jepsen and Kelly Clarkson, “The Right Way” expands Cassorla’s sonic pallette by combining his signature punchy, riffy rhythm guitar playing with glassy keyboard flourishes and trap music’s flickering hi-hats, resulting in an odd but very interesting hybrid of indie rock and digital pop.

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Superhumanoids share 'Flipping Out' and a beat-heavy playlist

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You don’t find many electropop groups covering Nine Inch Nails and Queens of the Stone Age, but that’s exactly the kind of thing that LA’s Superhumanoids excel in.

The band’s preferred tactic is to juxtapose singer Sarah Chernoff’s lilting, dreamy vocals against harsh electronic sounds, like the grinding synth bass on its otherwise intensely mellow new single “Flipping Out.” This adds an intriguingly rough edge to a track that otherwise conjures up images of languorous Californian decadence. If any music directors are looking to score a scene of good-looking young people swimming underwater in slow motion, they’re in luck.

Along with the single, the group has shared with EW a playlist that, like its music, blends hooky pop and ambitiously experimental electronic beats. Superhumanoids will be hitting the road shortly to open for electropop godfathers Erasure.

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Hear 'Edge of Space' from The Jazz June's first album in 12 years

The Jazz June was one of the biggest bands during emo’s creative heyday during the ’90s, distinguishing themselves through a combination of intense musical ambition and accessible pop songwriting. The Pennsylvania four-piece released their last album Better Off Without Air in 2002, shortly before disbanding, but they’ve reunited just in time to catch the current emo revival wave. On Nov. 11, Topshelf Records will release the band’s first full-length recording in 12 years.

After the Earthquake will include 10 new songs produced by emo revivalist Evan Weiss (aka Into It. Over It.), including “Edge of Space.” Frontman Andrew Low, who relocated to London after the group’s breakup, says that the song “is loosely based on the story of Felix Baumgartner, who broke the record for skydiving 25 miles from space.

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Watch the trailer for the lost Doors film 'Feast of Friends'

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It’s become a cliche of pop music that at a certain point in their career, a popular enough act will have to make a movie about themselves in order to give their audience an “unguarded” (but in reality heavily mediated) look at their life offstage. But when the Doors decided to self-produce their own film in 1968, it was still a fairly novel idea. That film, entitled Feast of Friends, was never officially released, although clips of it have been used in documentaries and music videos, and bootleg copies have been passed from Doors fan to Doors fan for years. In fact it came close to being a quite literally lost project—rumor has it that those bootlegs were all duplicates of a print that Jim Morrison left in a paper bag at a friend’s house just days before he died.

Now, Feast of Friends is finally getting a proper release by Eagle Rock Entertainment on Nov. 11. The DVD/Blu-Ray edition includes not only a complete cut of the film but a companion compilation of outtakes called Feast of Friends: Encore, plus a 1968 Doors doc produced for British television called The Doors Are Open, as well as a 1967 performance of filmed for a Canadian TV pop-music variety show where they drop a full 10-minute version of “The End” on a group of stunned Torontonians.

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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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Field Guides jangle on with 'Lisa Loeb Probably Never Pierced Her Ears'

Plenty of bands right now are tapping into the ’90s for inspiration, but few can provoke a full-on Clinton-era flashback like Brooklyn’s Field Guides. The first single off their upcoming debut LP Boo, Forever (out Nov. 11 on Muir Woods) not only nails the jumpy, jangle-heavy sound that about a million twee-pop bands took up in the wake of the influential C86 compilation, its title’s oblique reference to a mainstream-compatible alternative rock star perfectly nails the combination of snark and sublimated fame worship that indie rockers at the time were all about.

Along with sharing their new song with EW, they’ve also made us a playlist that shows off their ambitious and eclectic listening habits.

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Arum Rae delivers danceable, frills-free rock on 'Let's Shake'

When Berklee-trained singer-songwriter Arum Rae was being courted by a major label last year, the former Austin, Texas resident (currently located in Brooklyn) booked recording time for a demo with Jim Eno, the drummer and producer for Spoon who helped develop the punchy, minimalist aesthetic that’s become one of that band’s defining characteristics. The deal never came through, and Rae is now presenting the demos as an EP (her second this year) of “lost” recordings.

Waving Wild comes out Nov. 4. Its lead single, “Let’s Shake,” is a bracing, stripped-down, full-speed-ahead reminder that, oh yeah, rock ‘n’ roll is dance music at heart.

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