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EW's Spring Playlist: Nicki Minaj, Marina and the Diamonds, Schoolboy Q and more -- stream it here

Below, find 12 fresh songs currently on high rotation in EW’s music department — and stream them through our Spotify account.

Nicki Minaj, “Pound the Alarm” The perfect trunk rattler to blast from your pink Barbie Bentley, with booming synths that build to a brain-numbing epiphany: “Music. Makes Me. High.”

Gotye, “I Feel Better” Is the “Somebody” in his current No. 1 smash “Somebody That I Used to Know” secretly the Doobie Brothers? Because this groovy, imaginary — Big Chill — soundtrack throwback totally sounds like it.

fun., “Some Nights” Fun. know that not every July night looks like an LMFAO video — sometimes you just drive around looking for a fro-yo place. But those nights still need multitracked-to-infinity shout-alongs.

Electric Guest, “This Head I Hold” The Danger Mouse-produced L.A. soul duo’s new single, all winking falsetto and retro swagger, establishes “hammock funk” as the best new micro-genre of the season.

Santigold, “Disparate Youth” This dubby midtempo delight (with twitchy guitar bursts courtesy of Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Nick Zinner) is like taking a pull of cold beer at a cross-cultural barbecue.

Jack White, “Missing Pieces” The lyrics could be a Raymond Carver short-story fever dream: His lady’s got her hands in the icebox! Why is his nose bleeding? But the sound is straight-up funky-organ boogaloo.

Schoolboy Q feat. A$AP Rocky, “Hands on the Wheel” L.A.’s Black Hippy crew flip a sample of Lissie’s lilting cover of Kid Cudi’s “Pursuit of Happiness” and pay tribute to automotive fun that’s not DMV sanctioned or mother approved.

Marina and the Diamonds, “Primadonna” Picture Katy Perry’s kooky Welsh art-school cousin, twirling around her bedroom singing giddy sugar-rush pop songs about sex and fame and Warhol-starlet dreams.

One Direction, “Up All Night” Britain’s Next Top Boy Band supplies the ultimate slumber-party soundtrack, a hand-clap ode to grabbing your girlfriend and making the floor shake till dawn. (Because they’re dancing! Why, what did you think they meant?)

Japandroids, “The House That Heaven Built” If this house really exists in heaven, it must have a basement where the Vancouver duo’s indie-rock rager plays on repeat — and late, great punks from Kurt Cobain to Jay Reatard pound their fists to the “oh-oh-oh-OH-oh-OH-oh-oh!” chorus.

Alex Clare, “Too Close” Because all the cool kids get their new-music tips from Internet Explorer commercials, right?  We’re not ashamed that the 60-second spot was our gateway drug to this shuddering electro anthem from Amy Winehouse’s onetime paramour. Bless you, Internet.

Perfume Genius, “Hood” A fragile Garfunkel-esque confessional breaks open into pure piano-pop gorgeousness on the Seattle songwriter’s two-minute masterpiece. If you don’t get chills, you need to see a doctor.


Florence and the Machine, Beach Boys, Flo Rida, and more occupy our weekly Spotify playlist

Summer’s almost here, and it shows in our latest Spotify playlist.

Flo Rida’s “Whistle” will get stuck in your head the way sand gets stuck between your toes, while the eternal surfer dudes in the Beach Boys reunite for “That’s Why God Made the Radio,” the band’s first new song in 20 years. As for the British boy band the Wanted, “Chasing the Sun” proves that they’re just as good at making music as they are at making trouble.

Also chillin’ on the mix are EW favorites like Florence and the Machine (whose new track will pop up on the Snow White and the Huntsman soundtrack), Nas, Wiz Khalifa, and more.

Check it all out in our newest Spotify playlist below!


New songs from Nelly Furtado, the Walkmen, Hot Chip, and more make our weekly Spotify playlist

There are a lot of good names in our Spotify playlist this week. Some are short (like Stalley and Sia), others are medium sized (think Nelly Furtado and Rufus Wainwright), and one’s even three words long (we see you, Lisa Marie Presley!). The main thing, though, is that all those names all have new songs worthy of your attention.

In addition to those guys, the full playlist below will treat your earbuds to the latest tracks from the likes of the Walkmen, B.o.B., Soundgarden, Miniature Tigers, Hacienda, David Guetta, Hot Chip, and more. Give it a whirl, Earl!


Rock legend Levon Helm in 'final stages' of cancer battle

Multiple Grammy-winning solo artist and former Band drummer Levon Helm is in “the final stages” of his battle with cancer, according to a statement on Helm’s official website written by his daughter Amy and wife Sandy.


Simone Felice: The ex-Felice Brothers member on his new album, near-death experience, and Courtney Love


In May of 2010, singer-songwriter Simon Felice should have been feeling on top of the world. His band The Duke & the King was preparing to release their second album Long Live the Duke & the King, the follow-up to 2009’s critically admired Nothing Gold Can Stay, And Felice’s wife was heavily pregnant with their first child, a double blessing given the couple had previously suffered a late-term miscarriage the previous year.

But Felice, who first gained a following playing alongside his siblings in folk-rock act The Felice Brothers, was not feeling on top of the world in the early summer of 2010. In fact, he was feeling like hell warmed over. “If you look at pictures of me, I was just pale and grey,” says the singer, 35, over the phone from his home “on a cliff” in upstate New York’s Catskill Mountains. “I didn’t have insurance, I never went to the doctor. I didn’t know it, but I was slowly dying.”


Bruce Springsteen concert review: Dedicates 'American Skin' to Trayvon Martin, collapses into triumph

Bruce Springsteen played the first of two nights in Philadelphia on Wednesday. If the news headline is that he pointedly directed his audience to hear his 2000 song “American Skin (41 Bullets)” now as a parable for the fate of Trayvon Martin, the music story of this show is that Springsteen has broken through to a new level of interest in beats, rhythms, and ways to keep his old music fresh, for himself and for his fans. READ FULL STORY

'Rumour Has It' to be Adele's next single

How does one celebrate a week marked by a successful return from surgery, huge handfuls of awards, and a stunning new Vogue cover? If you’re Adele, you announce a new single.

The upbeat, girl-groupish”Rumour Has It” will be the next song from 21 to join the radio rotation, Ryan Tedder (who produced and co-wrote the track) told Billboard on the Grammy red carpet. The single will head to stations in mid-March, following previous chart-toppers “Set Fire to the Rain,” “Someone Like You,” and “Rolling in the Deep.”

Given her ongoing domination, it’s almost hard to believe that the British songstress has so far dropped only three singles from 21, which saw its Stateside release nearly a year ago.   Compared with the likes of Beyoncé and Rihanna, who seem to unleash new singles weekly, Adele’s strategy seems downright restrained.

Give “Rumour Has It” a spin below:


This week in ridiculous tour riders: Kanye West and M.I.A.

Whatever you thought of M.I.A.’s Super Bowl outing, one thing is for certain: it could’ve gotten weirder.

The web’s premier celebrity-shamer The Smoking Gun has dug up a copy of what it claims is M.I.A.’s tour rider, and it’s a bit of a doozy, even by M.I.A.’s high-doozy standards.

On the list? Let’s see, we’ve got some bottles of Vitamin Water, a few trays of European cheese and “quality chocolates,” a high-speed internet connection.

Hmm, anything else? Oh yeah, we almost forgot about the three women between the ages of 20 and 25 to dance on stage wearing full-body burkas. And the burkas should be provided by the venue, naturally.


Brandy and Monica reunite on 'It All Belongs to Me' -- hear it here

More than a decade after topping the charts with “The Boy Is Mine,” Brandy and Monica reunite to deliver their highly anticipated follow-up “It All Belongs To Me,” which has leaked online. No longer fighting over the same man, they’ve matured and are finally ready to kick him to the curb, both broke and naked. Good for them!

When I first heard the announcement of the collaboration, I confess the little girl in me who spent many nights belting “It’s not hard to see / the boy is mine” over my hairbrush was thrilled. Expectations were high.

The pair have reportedly been friends for years, so it’s actually surprising they haven’t laid down a track much sooner.  Unfortunately, unlike their ’98 hit, this sleeper isn’t likely to make a major dent in your Most Played list — while it seems to have the right ingredients, strong vocals, and an empowering message, it suffers from watered-down couplets about Facebook and Macbooks and a beat that isn’t quite catchy enough.

In a sense, the duet is Beyonce’s “Irreplacable” with two leads and more juvenile lyrics. This little girl of yesteryear will just keep hoping a better follow-up is in the works. Listen here: READ FULL STORY

Hear 'On Your Way Up,' a new song from Showtime's 'Shameless' theme song band High Strung -- EXCLUSIVE


There are several reasons you might be familiar with the Detroit band the High Strung.

Perhaps you know them from their bouncy garage ditty “The Luck You Got” (taken off their 2006 album Moxie Bravo), which soundtracks the theme song to the Showtime series Shameless. Or maybe from the shows they played at Guantanamo Bay, which they described to Vanity Fair as “like Detroit or L.A.”

There’s also a chance you remember them for their library tours, which This American Life chronicled in a segment titled “The Dewey Decibel System.”

Now you’ll know them from their catchy, Kinks-y new song “On Your Way Up,” taken from their upcoming album ?Posible o’ Imposible? (out April 17). The track, bowing exclusively on, tells the story of a man who, unlike the William H. Macy patriarch of Shameless, is riding the crest. Give it a spin below:


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