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Aphex Twin announces new album via blimp and Deep Web

Electronic music pioneer Richard D. James, best known by the stage name Aphex Twin, has never seemed too interested in the traditional album cycle that the pop music industry is based around. Instead, he has released music under a bewildering number of different aliases, or in limited editions, or only on vinyl, or in assorted other ways to make buying and listening to his music more complicated than the average artist. He wasn’t even directly involved with his latest release, a digital edition of a previously unissued 1994 album recorded under the pseudonym Caustic Window that was sold by a group of diehard fans via a Kickstarter campaign.

In recent days, he’s announced the release of his first album of new material since 2001’s double-LP Drukqs in a typically cryptic manner. The first clues that something was in the works came over the weekend, when a blimp bearing the Aphex Twin logo standing in for the zero in “2014,” was spotted hovering over a music venue in London. In New York City, the same logo appeared stenciled on sidewalks in Chelsea and Midtown outside of Carnegie Hall. (The authenticity of a plate where the logo appears in a smear of jerk sauce has yet to be determined.)

Earlier today, James tweeted a link to a website accessible only through the anonymous web browser Tor, ie. a link to the Deep Web, which is better known as an online destination for illegal pornography and virtual drug markets than promotional sites for electronic music albums.
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Hear Chilean singer-songwriter Yael Meyer's 'Human Divine'

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When Chilean singer-songwriter Yael Meyer began working on the song “Human Divine,” it was “much more mellow and acoustic track than it is on the record,” she writes. “I wrote it late and night and recorded a very rough demo of it and you could hear the keyboard making this really cool clicking sound that kind of made it sound like there was a beat underneath the song. So even though it was very mellow song, the implied beat made gave me the feeling that maybe this could be a dance song.”

The end result is bouncy, ebullient electropop that should appeal to the considerable number of people who are still waiting for Grimes to write another “Oblivion.” It also contains a timely, uplifting lyrical message: “You always hear in the news about the worst possible things happening in the world,” Meyer writes, “because that’s what sells, and that generates a fear-based society built on the idea that everything that happens is horrible. But I believe that there is a balance between good and evil. Yes, there is a lot of bad stuff happening, but there are also a lot of people doing good and it makes me believe that really good is leading the way after all.”

Meyer’s Warrior Heart drops Sept. 16 on KLI Records.

Get hooked on Kero Kero Bonito's 'Sick Beat'

There’s a thriving electronic music scene, concentrated in London but extending around the world via the Internet, that’s defined not so much by a particular sound but by the way the artists involved combine sounds. They mix and match across genre lines in a hyperactively curatorial way that resembles a sonic equivalent of what Tumblr power users do with images and video. One excellent example of this micro-movement—which thankfully hasn’t yet been cursed with a corny name like “chillwave” or “PBR&B”—is “Sick Beat” by London trio Kero Kero Bonito. The song throws bits and pieces of dancehall, hip-hop, J-pop, and ’90s club music into the air like confetti and what comes down is similarly colorful, lightweight, and fun for fun’s sake.

The fashion-forward electronic label Double Denim will be reissuing Kero Kero Bonito’s Intro Bonito on Aug. 25. Until then, you can just keep “Sick Beat” playing on a loop, which is what’s been going on at the EW office all day.


Priory's 'Weekend' is keeping the arena-rock anthem alive

Recent pop history has been notably light on the kind of epically-scaled rock anthems built for fist-pumping, arena-shaking singalongs that dominated the radio throughout the ’80s and ’90s. Portland duo Priory is singlehandedly reversing that trend with their song “Weekend,” which for the past month has been slowly gaining momentum on radio and seems destined to go onto even bigger things.

Brandon Rush and Kyle Sears met at shows around Portland, but the idea to collaborate musically didn’t come until Rush moved into a punk house that Sears was living in. “We just sat down for the first time with acoustic guitars and it was kind of instantaneous,” Sears says. “Literally I think the first time we sat down we wrote the foundations for like two songs.”

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Q&A: Ryn Weaver talks about Internet fame and letting her roots show

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When Ryn Weaver posted “OctaHate” on SoundCloud in late June she was a virtual unknown, but she had some important friends, including Passion Pit frontman Michael Angelakos and songwriter/producer Benny Blanco, who’s had a hand in a number of huge songs including “Moves Like Jagger” and “California Gurls.” After another friend, Jessie Ware, plugged the track on Twitter, it became a literal overnight sensation, racking up plays by the hundreds of thousands as it spread beyond Ware’s fan base and exploded all over the Internet.

Last Friday she released her debut EP, Promises, and its lead single is already beginning to repeat the success of “OctaHate.” In the lead-up to its release, Weaver spoke to EW on the phone about what it’s like to become a viral Internet pop star.

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Get on Tkay Maidza's level with the gleefully noisy 'U-Huh'

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Eighteen-year-old Australian Tkay Maidza is the closest thing we have right now to a reincarnation of early M.I.A.—that is, M.I.A. as she was before the massive record deals and truffle fries and Madonna co-signs, when she was making a big racket out of sounds collected from around the world with the chaotic but innocent glee of a toddler smashing toy trucks together. Over the past year, she has released a string of singles that mix together glitchy electronic noise, hip-hop’s rolling rhythms (not to mention its unabashed swagger), and some truly uncanny natural pop instincts—and in the process, she has become a cult star in the increasingly influential antipodean EDM scene.

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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.

Pop phenomenon Meghan Trainor talks her viral hit 'All About That Bass'

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With its throwback soul beat, its body-positive message couched in a cute metaphor, and its dance-filled, candy-colored video, Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass” couldn’t have been better designed to go viral. Two months after it was quietly released online, “Bass” has become a straight-up pop phenomenon—racking up YouTube views, inspiring an untold number of online tributes, and rocketing up the Hot 100, where it’s currently sitting at a respectable number 28.

The genre-mashing 20-year-old songwriter—an avowed fan of Caribbean music who’s written for country megastars Rascal Flatts—talked to EW about her overnight success, the inspiring responses she’s been receiving from fans, and where she’s going from here. READ FULL STORY

Record Shopping with Jack Antonoff -- the fun. guitarist talks Bleachers, Bruce, and the bands that inspired him

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“I could probably name thousands of albums that I want,” Jack Antonoff muses, sifting through the stacks at Permanent Records in Greenpoint, Brooklyn (just blocks, coincidentally, from Café Grumpy, where his girlfriend, Lena Dunham, pretends to work on HBO’s Girls).

Lucky for us, the 30-year-old fun. guitarist and vinyl junkie kept his focus on a select few, including vintage punk favorites and a Boss classic, and reflected on the role they’ve played in his musical education. One title Antonoff couldn’t find? His own band Bleachers’ debut, Strange Desire, released July 15 and featuring the lead single “I Wanna Get Better,” which currently sits at the top of the Alternative Songs chart. “That, I desperately want,” he says. “It’s coming!”

Below, the results of his haul after spending sunny Saturday perusing vinyl with EW. —Ray Rahman READ FULL STORY

Kiesza does 'Hideaway' (and its outdoor dance sequence) live on Kimmel

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“Hideaway,” by Calgary, Alberta’s leading house music diva Kiesza, has grown into a breakout hit slowly and organically, entering the Hot 100 last week nearly half a year after its video was released. The video, with its impressive one-take dance sequence on the streets of Williamsburg, deserves a lot of the credit for the song’s success, but after racking up over 60 million views on YouTube it’s now paradoxically both a hot new viral hit and (for her house-music-loving base who latched onto it months ago) old news.

Kiesza and her camp have figured out a clever way to put “Hideaway” in front of a whole new audience while freshening it up for its pre-existing audience, and that’s by repeating the video’s choreography, this time in LA, in a single shot for Jimmy Kimmel Live. Impressively, she, her dancers, and the camera crew made it down a stretch of the most tourist-packed sidewalks in the city without any of them ruining the shot—which is almost as impressive as the dancing.

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