Getting your friends together in one place can be hard, so Janelle Monáe took the easy route and had her famous friends—Kimbra, Esperanza Spalding, Monica, Estelle, and TLC’s T-Boz—video chat in to her latest music video to join the party.
Tag: Kimbra (1-5 of 5)
New Zealand’s Kimbra — you know, the painted woman from Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used To Know” and one of EW’s favorite artists right now — dropped her debut album Vows Down Under last fall. It was a huge success in her home nation as well as in nearby Australia, where it went platinum and scored her the Best Female Artist prize at the Australian equivalent of the Grammys.
The album, which gets an official release in the U.S. on May 22, will include seven songs from the Australian version plus six new tracks, including “Warrior” (her collaboration with Foster the People’s Mark Foster and A-Trak for Converse) and the fantastically funky “Come Into My Head,” which you can hear exclusively below. READ FULL STORY
When we last left Converse’s “Three Artists, One Song” project, Damon Albarn of Gorillaz went to the mat with LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy and OutKast’s Andre 3000 on “DoYaThing.”
For their next trick, the company has gathered together Foster the People frontman Mark Foster, “Somebody That I Used To Know” guest sprite Kimbra, and Canadian turntable mastermind A-Trak for a song called “Warrior.”
The song will be available for download for free at the official website for shoe store Journeys, but you can take a first look at the video for “Warrior” below.
The colorful, kinetic clip stars Foster and A-Trak as less-than-willing Mexican wrestlers (or luchadors to those who follow the career of Dr. Wagner Jr.), with Kimbra fronting a mariachi band
Give the exclusive premiere a look below.
The mtvU Woodie Awards will always be the bridesmaid to its older, bigger sister, the VMAs.
But a few years ago, MTV got the brilliant idea to move their annual celebration of indie music down to Austin during South By Southwest — and this year, they went ahead and turned the thing into a day-long festival, with more than a dozen artists performing across two different stages and plenty of free barbecue, beer, and popsicles (the three key elements of any balanced diet).
While Thursday night’s proper awards show was clearly designed as a prime-time dance party (Santigold, Steve Aoki, and chart-topping rapper Mac Miller — filling in for Childish Gambino, who pulled out with a foot injury like he was playing in March Madness — make up that lineup), the afternoon sets explored various nooks and crannies of music on the fringe. And most of it could probably find its way onto that other MTV awards show some day.
British folk-hopper Ed Sheeran got the afternoon started with a charming set of tunes from his already-U.K.-famous debut album + (yes, that’s the title). Wearing shorts and looking so pale it’s a wonder he didn’t immolate under the Texas sun, Sheeran could easily get by as a sad-eyed singer-songwriter — a drunker, British Jack Johnson, perhaps — but he has a knack for manipulating samplers and voice loops, various strums, a handful of rhythmic pounds on his guitar’s body, and even the audience. It’s a pretty astounding gimmick that may actually eclipse some of his delicately-crafted songs, especially “The A Team,” an acute narrative written as a tribute to a homeless girl Sheeran once met.
Sheeran also has quite a lightning tongue, and he showed off his rapping skills during the set-closing “You Need Me, I Don’t Need You,” on which he segues into 50 Cent’s “In Da Club” (coincidentally, Fiddy will in fact perform Get Rich Or Die Tryin‘ in its entirety at the festival this weekend) and spitting so fast it brought back memories of Letters to Cleo’s “Here and Now.”
A$AP Rocky, meanwhile, was in no such rush. The Harlem-based mixtape rapper first came up late last year with his guttural, hallucinogenic giveaway LiveLoveA$SAP, and he continued to pick up fans with the performances he dealt on Thursday afternoon. Rocky played it super cool as he stalked across the stage, constantly demanding the crowd get its hands up and letting his crisp flow wallow in the sludgy, bottom-heavy hum spewed forth by his DJ.
“Pretty Flacko” was an early favorite, full of aggression and vigor, and both Rocky and cohort Schoolboy Q turned rags-to-riches anthem “Brand New Guy” into a churning shout-along anthem. Rocky’s natural charisma cannot be understated; it’s refreshingly effortless. Sheeran clearly appreciates hip-hop history, but A$AP Rocky is the future.
In between those two guys, Kimbra came out to do a far different set than the one she ran through on Wednesday night. Rather than the traditional rock set-up from a few hours prior, her band stuck mostly to electronic instruments (one guy even played a borrowed iPad—and we knew it was borrowed because Kimbra had to ask its owner what the passcode was in between songs) and did what was essentially live remixing of some of her more robo-centric tunes—especially set-opening “Settle Down,” which she admitted that she was a little sick of (a problem unique to international artists, since her album Vows doesn’t come out in the United States until May but has been out in Australia and her native New Zealand since last summer).
Under these new circumstances, she came off less like a stylistic rocker chick and more like slightly less whimsical Bjork, enamored with the sounds of things. And like Sheeran, she also looped her own voice—apparently, warbling into a sampler is the new guitar solo.
Kimbra, Alabama Shakes, Sharon Von Etten highlight Wednesday night at SXSW
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Though it sometimes seems like this year’s South by Southwest Festival was designed to tap into ’90s nostalgia (Counting Crows are back, for some reason!) and let rappers relive the glory days (Mystikal and Busta Rhymes on the same bill! 50 Cent performing Get Rich or Die Tryin’ in full!), there are still bona-fide buzz bands filling Austin’s many bars, lounges, restaurants, and music halls with the songs that just may be the cornerstones of mixtapes six months from now.
Kimbra is a perfect example: The New Zealand-born sprite probably best known so far as the guest vocalist on Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know” brought an excellent, eclectic mix of dance rhythms, theatrical piano pop, and epic rock.
“Love Is a Two Way Street” let her lace into some dreamy echo-rock harmonies, while “Old Flame” was an intense cabaret-rock burn that ran circles around anything from that Lana Del Rey album. But there’s plenty of jittery funk embedded in her DNA, too—with an album out on May 22, expect one of her songs (perhaps the blissfully danceable “Cameo Love,” which has already seduced millions of YouTube users and EW’s own Valentines Day playlist?) to be a dark horse entry in the Official Song of Summer 2012 Sweepstakes.
In fact, Wednesday night was a terrific showcase all around for strong, singular women. READ FULL STORY
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