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Tag: Lorde (1-10 of 31)

Lorde's old band's recordings surface

It may have seemed like Lorde appeared out of nowhere as a fully formed artist when she first dropped “Royals,” but even chart-dominating pop phenoms have to get their start somewhere. You can now add And They Were Masked to the list of groups like The Quarrymen to Fecal Matter who launched the careers of major stars while remaining totally obscure themselves.

Pitchfork reports that the Auckland, New Zealand band—the recording project of two friends, Morgan Allen and Toby Arrow—released an album in 2012 that features a pre-stage-name Ella Yelich O’Connor on vocals on two songs. The group cites The Mars Volta, Fugazi, and art-rock outfit Battles as influences on their Facebook page, and Characters, the album she appears on, is fittingly a proggy affair with lots of fractured arrangements and electronic flourishes. “Piece of Mind,” the one song that she provides lead vocals on, has a slanted drum part, a growling bass line, and a tense guitar figure that sound a world away from the lean, tightly focused, hip hop-inspired pop that would make her a star just over a year later, but it should work for anyone inhabiting the overlapping segment of a Venn diagram of Lorde fans and post-hardcore prog rockers.

The best cow-themed 'Royals' cover on the Internet

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There are about a million covers of Lorde’s “Royals.” Predictably, most of them are cutesy ukulele renditions, since it’s an Internet law that any song that gets even remotely popular has to be repeatedly, cutely covered on ukulele. But there are a few that actually aren’t total garbage, including Mayer Hawthorne’s smooth-funk version and T-Pain’s version where he rewrites the lyrics into an entertainingly candid portrait of his pre-fame life, which is the best.

Farmer Derek Klingenberg, who makes farming-themed parody videos of popular songs like “Happy” and “Timber” (the latter of which he turns into a surreal and vaguely disturbing story about a cow that learns to twerk), recently released a YouTube video where he performs an arrangement of “Royals” for solo trombone. It’s not the most polished rendition, but the video—and the unexpected improvised assist on backing vocals from his, shall we say, non-traditional audience—injects it with more than enough charm to deserve viewing.

Lorde to curate 'Mockingjay Part 1' soundtrack

Lorde’s Pure Heroine has plenty of songs about teenagers, one song about class stratification, and another about gladiatorial combat, so it makes perfect sense that she’d be chosen to put together the music for a Hunger Games movie. The franchise’s next installment, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, will feature a soundtrack curated by the 17-year-old Kiwi pop phenomenon. The details of what she’s choosing have yet to be made public, but it’s been confirmed that she’ll provide the album’s lead single, and it’s hard to imagine that she’s going to pass up the perfect opportunity to place “Glory and Gore.”

“Curating the soundtrack for such a hotly-anticipated film was a challenge, but I jumped at the chance,” Lorde says in a statement.  “The cast and story are an inspiration for all musicians participating and, as someone with cinematic leanings, being privy to a different creative process has been a unique experience. I think the soundtrack is definitely going to surprise people.”

Mockingjay arrives in theaters Nov. 21. The soundtrack, which will be released by Republic Records, doesn’t have a date yet.

Q&A: Broods talk about their breakout single 'Mother & Father'

Broods are a brother and sister—Georgia and Caleb Nott—based out of Auckland, New Zealand. Geographically inclined pop listeners will note that this is where zeitgeist-dominating teen pop phenomenon Lorde also lives, and the two acts have more in common than just a hometown–Broods’ upcoming album, Evergreen, was produced by Joel Little, who also helmed Pure Heroine, and they share a common goal of uniting radio-friendly pop hooks and the cool-toned minimalist aesthetic that’s been dominating hip-hop during the Drake era.

Recently they released the first single from Evergreen, “Mother & Father,” and with its sweeping hook and up-to-the-minute production it’s already looking like it has a good chance of continuing the Kiwi takeover of the American pop charts. (Their upcoming tour with Sam Smith should help as well.) EW got on the phone with Georgia Nott to discuss it.

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Diplo's new remix turns the lights on Lorde's 'Tennis Court'

Globetrotting DJ/super-producer Diplo was one of the first big artists to give Lorde a co-sign, and judging by their social media presences, the two have remained buddies throughout her rapid ascent into pop’s A-list. Today the two took their friendship to the next level with the release of “Diplo’s Andre Agassi Reebok Pump Mix” of “Tennis Court,” the opening track from Lorde’s breakthrough album Pure Heroine.

The original (currently at No. 78 on the Billboard Hot 100) juxtaposes huge vocal hooks, a gothy minimalist synthesizer arrangement, and some precociously over-it lyrics. Diplo being Diplo, his remix splashes neon light over Lorde’s brooding pop with pitch-bending keyboard arpeggios that candy ravers will go cuckoo over.


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Avicii tops Spotify's inaugural Top 25 Artists Under 25 list

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Spotify listeners really, really like Avicii.

The EDM star leads Spotify’s first-ever Top 25 Artists Under 25 list, a ranking of the most influential young music-makers. The streaming service looked at No. 1 hits, volume and growth of streams and shares, and viral chart success from the last year to compile the results.

Avicii easily took the top spot — the 24-year-old Swedish DJ’s track “Wake Me Up” is the most-streamed song in Spotify history. He’s also the first artist under 25 to reach one billion streams on the site. READ FULL STORY

Billboard Music Awards 2014: And the winners are...

Robin Thicke tried to win back Paula Patton, a hologram of Michael Jackson performed… and, oh yeah, a bunch of statuettes were handed out at Sunday’s Billboard Music Awards. Check below for a full list of winners. (P.S. Congrats, JT!)

Top artist:
Miley Cyrus
Imagine Dragons
Bruno Mars
Katy Perry
Justin Timberlake

Top new artist:
Bastille
Capital Cities
Ariana Grande
Lorde
Passenger

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Lorde finally met the man who inspired 'Royals'

Back in November, Lorde told VH1 that her song “Royals” was inspired by a photo that she saw in National Geographic of now-retired Kansas City Royals third-baseman George Brett. READ FULL STORY

On the scene at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony: Nirvana, Kiss, chaos, and... Lorde?

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At one point during his speech at the 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, E Street Band guitarist Steve Van Zandt referenced the fact that being inducted meant he was joining his heroes who had already been made immortal.

But for all its power, rock music is still made by human beings, and this year’s crop of inductees—E Street, Nirvana, Kiss, Hall and Oates, Cat Stevens, Peter Gabriel, Linda Ronstadt, Brian Epstein, and Andrew Loog-Oldham—and the presentations honoring their contributions to the pop world were defined by the various absences spread across the five hour show (which will be edited and presented on HBO on May 31).  READ FULL STORY

Lorde, Imagine Dragons lead Billboard nominations

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Newcomers Lorde and Imagine Dragons are the top contenders at next month’s Billboard Music Awards.

The breakthrough acts are finalists in 12 categories, thanks to Lorde’s Grammy-winning multiplatinum hit “Royals” and Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive,” also a multiplatinum Grammy winner. Those smashes are nominated for top Hot 100 song against Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” Katy Perry’s “Roar” and Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball.” READ FULL STORY

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