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Tag: An EW Exclusive! (71-80 of 608)

Watch the latest video from Meshell Ngedeocello, 'Shopping for Jazz'

Meshell Ndegeocello has had a remarkably long and successful career in the music industry for someone who’s steadfastly refused to fit in one of the easily recognizable categories that that usually entails. Since the late ’80s, she’s dabbled in pretty much every genre imaginable, from roots rock to techno. (Trivia tidbit: She got her start in the funk-heavy D.C. go-go scene.)

Her latest single, “Shopping for Jazz,” dabbles in several distinctly disparate styles at once, combining a bossa nova foundation with a country slide guitar and slinky soul vocals. It’s the first video from her new album, Comet, Come to Me, which features contributions from a fittingly broad range of guests including Amp Fiddler, Doyle Bramhall, and My Brightest Diamond.

Ndegeocello will start touring behind Comet in September. You can find her itinerary here.

Watch Amoureux's gorgeously choreographed 'Lost the Plot' video

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The ability to make and distribute music videos used to be limited to a relatively elite level of performers, but with cheap technology and free digital distribution, anyone with at least a song and a smartphone can make one. Consequently, there’s been a biblical-level deluge of them, forcing creators to take increasingly contrived routes to getting noticed—hence the numbing amount of NSFW clips trying desperately to shock viewers, or elaborate, Rube Golbergian ones like nearly all of OK Go’s videography, where the gimmick far overshadows the music itself.

Compared to its stunt-dependent competition, the video for indie-pop duo Amoureaux’s “Lost the Plot” is an elegantly understated breath of fresh air. It stars dancers Reshma Gajjar and Hunter Hamilton (who in the past have done work for Madonna and Sia), choreographed by Kitty McNamee and directed by Miles Crawford, with little to distract from their performance. Amoureux bassist Holiday J and drummer Nicole Turley are both former dancers, and the collaboration with McNamee and Crawford highlights how much they’re still focused on rhtyhm.

“I fell in love with the rawness of this song,” writes McNamee in an email. “It swept me in. I think it triggered a very personal response to the music.”

“I was intrigued by the idea of stalemate,” Crawford adds. “All the moves have been tried, and yet we aren’t ready to give up the game. In the repetition we lose our way, our purpose. We go at it again and again, finding the same result, until finally there is nothing, but to let it go. That, and I wanted to play with flour.”

Hear Ruby Fray's 'psychedelic witch wave' single 'Photograph'

Singer-songwriter Emily Beanblossom played in about a million bands and released one LP under the name Ruby Fray while she was living in indie-rock mecca Olympia, Washington. Then, she packed up and moved to the more southerly hipster hotspot of Austin, Texas. Her move, her new hometown’s suffocating weather, and its local fauna all had a direct influence on the second Ruby Fray album, Grackle, which comes out on the illustrious Olympia label K Records on Sept. 30.

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Hear Brooklyn Shanti's 'Something Beautiful,' featuring Bollywood star Evelyn Sharma

Producer Nathan Nabin Laskar, aka Brooklyn Shanti, is on an ambitious quest to unite hip-hop, dance music, and a patchwork of styles from across the globe. So far he’s doing a bang-up job, forging connections with a diverse group of important acts like Afrika Bambaataa, Major Lazer, Karsh Kale, Camp Lo, and Jahdan Blakkamoore.

Laskar’s latest album, Bedstuyle (out Sept. 9 on Someplace Called Brooklyn), is a tribute to Brooklyn’s Bed-Stuy neighborhood, where the North Carolina native currently lives—and where Biggie, Jay-Z, and Mos Def all grew up. For the single “Something Beautiful” he offers a spacey, string-laden trip-hop beat topped by ethereal vocals from Bollywood star Evelyn Sharma. We’ve got an exclusive first listen of the track: READ FULL STORY

Watch a clip of 'Garfunkel and Oates' guest-starring the actual Oates

Comedy folk duo Garfunkel and Oates recently followed in the footsteps of past comedy folk music duos like Flight of the Conchords and the Smothers Brothers by bringing their act to the small screen. Last week, IFC aired the first episode of Garfunkel and Oates, which follows the ups and downs of a lightly fictionalized version of the pair as they play uncomfortable corporate gigs, try to land TV appearances, deal with comedian boyfriends who use their sex lives as joke fodder, and face other challenges comedy folk music acts apparently encounter.

The pair have assembled an impressive lineup of guest stars for their first season, including Chris Parnell, Natasha Leggero, Anthony Jeselnik, Tig Notaro, Steve Agee, Chris Hardwick, and, most improbably, Sir Ben Kingsley. But in terms of metatextual humor, it’s hard to beat a cameo from the group’s partial namesake John Oates. He appears in an episode entitled “Rule 34″ (airing this Thursday, Aug. 14), in which Garfunkel and Oates encounter a porn version of themselves played by Abby Elliott and Sugar Lyn Beard.

We have an exclusive sneak peek at Oates’s scene, plus a Q&A with the soul-pop star about his acting debut.

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Hustle and Drone live out their hoop dreams in 'The Glow' video

Ryan Neighbors played keyboards for the proggy rock band Portugal. The Man until 2012, when he left to form the synth-heavy power trio Hustle and Drone. After a spending the past couple years woodshedding in Portland, the group is preparing to release their first LP, HOLYLAND, September 2 on Red Bull Sound Select.

The album’s lead single, “The Glow,” has the fist-pumping energy of an arena-rock anthem, so it makes sense that the group shot its video in the Moda Center, home to the Portland Trail Blazers, fulfilling what Neighbors calls “a childhood dream.” The clip features high-flying, slam-dunking luchadores and a whole lot of fake blood, not to mention enough synthesizers to stock a Guitar Center keyboard section.

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Hear Mono/Poly's hazy new trip-hop track 'Empyrean'

 Producer Charles Dickerson, a.k.a. Mono/Poly, is a member of L.A.’s massively influential avant-hip-hop crew Brainfeeder whose cosmic beats have made fans out of Erykah Badu and members of Radiohead. On Aug. 26, he’ll release his third album, Golden Skies, which exemplifies Brainfeeder’s reputation for blending classic rap, soul, jazz, and funk into a warm, organic whole that sounds both intensely futuristic and deeply retro at the same time somehow.

Golden Skies features a number of guests, including Mendee Ichikawa of the group Free Moral Agents, who provides vocals on the track “Empyrean.” Working together, the pair conjures up a hazy trip-hop vibe with twinkling, detuned synthesizers that sound like interstellar communications from a group of very stoned aliens. You can preorder the album here. READ FULL STORY

In the Valley Below makes arena-sized fuzz-pop on 'Neverminders'

Angela Gail and Jeffrey Jacob met while playing in what they call a “loud, grungy guitar band.” But for their offshoot project In the Valley Below, they take a more nuanced approach that keeps the rock ‘n’ roll swagger but folds in elements of synth pop, folk pop, and an assortment of unlikely influences. For example: They’ve repeatedly referred to Phil Collins a key inspiration.

Last year, they released an EP whose title track, “Peaches,” has generated a respectable amount of buzz. Later this month, they will release their full-length debut, The Belt (which you can preorder here), that will likely earn them even more. On the standout track “Neverminders,” which they describe as being “about hypocrisy, temptation, power, and the dark and dangerous fire behind that big fake smile,” they find a sweet spot in between bluesy rock revivalists like the Dead Weather and Lorde’s sweeping synth-pop, creating an epic, fuzzed-out sound that seems designed to played on very big stages. If they stay on the course they’ve plotted out, they could end up there very soon.

Hear Brooklynn's disco-fied new single 'Wild Game'

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Despite what her name might suggest, the pop singer Brooklynn is based out of Atlanta, where she’s been developing a musical identity that pulls from a respectably diverse range of influences—Johnny Cash, Madonna, Guns N’ Roses, and Howlin’ Wolf among them. Working with Lady Gaga’s former musical director, Nico Constantine, she’s recorded an EP that comes out later this fall. It features one song, “Wild Game,” that sounds like Emotional Rescue-era Stones fronted by Donna Summer, which is a pretty seriously great thing to sound like.

Buffalo Clover unveils slow-burning ballad 'Hey Child'

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Buffalo Clover is a Southern six-piece that blends vintage rock and soul influences in a way that makes them sound sort of like the Band, if instead of breaking up after The Last Waltz the Band had just turned the whole guest-star-filled soiree into an ongoing supergroup. On August 12, the group is releasing two albums, a studio record called Test Your Love and a live album called Live at Five recorded at Nashville’s The Five Spot.

The former album will feature “Hey Child,” a smoldering soul ballad dedicated to a child that the group’s founders and primary songwriters, Margo Price and Jeremy Ivey, lost to a rare heart condition soon after he was born in 2010. READ FULL STORY

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