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Tag: Pop (1-10 of 1135)

Ryan Hemsworth talks about his new direction on 'Alone for the First Time'

Ryan Hemsworth has spent the past several years doing exactly what a young producer working on the increasingly blurry border between dance music and hip-hop should do to advance his career: playing for an adoring underground fan base while also booking bigger and bigger EDM festivals and assembling a portfolio of high-profile remixes for clients like Cat Power and Frank Ocean.

According to the producer playbook, his next move should have been to cash in all the professional capital he’s accumulated to pack an album of expansive, dance-friendly pop and rap with enough guest stars to attract attention from mainstream listeners. Instead, next week he’ll release Alone for the First Time, a collection of subdued pop songs with a decidedly organic feel, created alongside cult artists like Dawn Golden and The GTW who many listeners have probably never heard of. It’s a decision he’s extremely happy with.

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You should listen to Danity Kane's surprisingly weird 'DK3'

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Danity Kane’s DK3 has a lot going against it.

It had the bad luck to be released the same week as Taylor Swift’s zeitgeist-devouring 1989. The group, which broke up during its recording nearly three months ago, aren’t around to promote it. Its Clipse-sampling lead single “Lemonade” didn’t make as much of a splash on radio as it may have deserved. And at a time where R&B is overrun with insurgent post-Weeknd artists who are crazy about grimy sounds, ennui, and ambiguous eroticism, Danity Kane remains steadfastly straightforward and high-polish.

So it’s not surprising that the record’s kind of falling through the cracks. What’s surprising is that that’s kind of a shame.

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FKA Twigs gets severely creepy in her 'Video Girl' video

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Last week, avant-R&B cosmonaut FKA Twigs released a video she directed for Google Glass that used a reworked version of “Video Girl” from her recent, EW-beloved LP1 as the soundtrack (along with the song “Glass & Patron”) for a hallucinatory dance-off between multiples Twigses. It served as a showcase for both her impressive dance moves and her equally refined sense of the surreal, but that wasn’t the end of the song’s video presence.

Wednesday morning, Twigs released the official “Video Girl” video, and it’s a whole world apart from the comparably conventional Google Glass clip and its white-room choreography. Directed by Kahlil Joseph, it trades in the lush, color-drenched psychedelia of her “Two Weeks” visual for harsh black-and-white, with the singer playing some kind of otherworldly presence haunting a prison and a man who’s being executed there. It’s an unsettling viewing experience that combines the most disturbing aspects of J-horror and Mulholland Drive, and it climaxes with Twigs straddling a dying man strapped down to a table with a tube of poison running into his arm. All in all, it delivers about 10 times as much creepiness as any horror movie this year in just a fraction of the time.

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Pink Martini taps a new generation of von Trapps for 'Dream a Little Dream'

Portland’s Pink Martini has made its name on recreating traditional American pop with a respect for tradition spiked with hint of the uncanny—which lends the enterprise a vaguely John Waters-esque vibe.

Recently band leader Thomas Lauderdale hooked up with Sofia, Melanie, Amanda, and August von Trapp, the great-grandchildren of the actual Captain and Maria von Trapp who inspired The Sound of Music, adding them to the group’s sprawling lineup for a new album, Dream a Little Dream, where they take on everything from the Rwandan national anthem to, yes, “Edelweiss.” For the titular track the collective teamed up with Portlandia producer David Cress and Tanya Selvaratnam for a video co-created by Melanie von Trapp and Alex Marashian that matches the song’s juxtaposition of cutesy old-timey aesthetics and dreamy surreality.

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One Direction show off their human menagerie in 'Steal My Girl' video

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One Direction’s “Steal My Girl” video is bound to draw criticism for its use of the hoary “white performers with ‘exotic’ dancers” trope and lyrics that fit snugly in the long tradition of songs that treat women like property—and if you give it a straight reading, it’s perfectly understandable that you’d feel that way.

But things are much more interesting if you imagine that the Maasai dancers, sumo wrestlers, mimes, and assorted other types of people who appear alongside the floppy-haired boy band are actually specimens that the group has assembled into a human menagerie, like a more terrestrial version of what The Collector was up to in Guardians of the Galaxy. Coming from that angle, the possessive lyrics–especially the refrain “she belongs to me”—take on a far more literal, far more sinister meaning that considerably improves the song and video alike, and may inspire visions of One Direction owning a human zoo at an estate in a remote corner of the English countryside where they amuse themselves by arranging pit fights between sumo wrestlers and mimes.

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Justin Timberlake's tour-ending shows to be filmed by Oscar-winning director

Justin Timberlake has announced the final tour dates of his “The 20/20 Experience World Tour,” and he’s enlisted some Oscar-worthy help to go out in style.

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Electropop chanteuse Chela channels vintage Madonna on 'Handful of Gold'

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EW recently reported that IHEARTCOMIX, stalwart pillar of the LA dance music community, is launching a new singles-only label called IHC 1NFINITY. Now we’ve got a first look at some of the music they’ll be releasing.

Its first release is by Australian electropop artist Chela, who’s previously recorded for the taste-making French record/fashion label Kitsuné. On previous releases, she’s offered a contemporary update of bouncy ’80s new wave from the brief era when synthesizers had come into the picture but the influence of UK punk and post-punk hadn’t quite taken over yet. Her new track, “Handful of Gold,” has a bigger beat and a bigger chorus than her earlier singles; the results make Chela sound almost spookily like Madonna back before she reached a superhuman level of fame, when she could still be caught kicking it at Danceteria. It’s an auspicious start for an audacious new venture.

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Museum of Love combines synthesizers, sculpture, and sadness on 'The Who's Who of Who Cares'

Like their DFA label mates, Museum of Love‘s Pat Mahoney and Dennis McNany make music that seems to come from an alternate universe where guitar-based rock ‘n’ roll died out in the late ’70s and was replaced by electronic musicians with analog gear and more delicately nuanced sensibilities who in the timeline we inhabit have been relegated to cult status. The first single from their brand new self-titled debut LP, the funky but vaguely bummed-out “The Who’s Who of Who Cares,” offers interlocking synthesizer patterns, an archly theatrical vocal melody, and plenty of horn and percussion embellishments.

Together, the combination sounds like a collaboration between Roxy Music, Arthur Russell, and the Salsoul Orchestra that was handed off to a Chicago house producer for remixing. For the video, Mahoney shows off the sculpting skills he developed in his pre-music career working for the toy industry to create a reproduction of McNany’s head which the then promptly destroys.

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Mary Lambert on moving on from Macklemore, crying with Madonna, and finding her own voice on her new album

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Not too long ago, Mary Lambert was tending bar in Seattle and following her muse as a spoken word artist in her spare time. A friend asked her to craft a hook for the independent hip-hop album he was working on—and then everything changed.

After the success of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’s “Same Love,” Lambert found herself being courted by record labels, dueting with Madonna on stage at the Grammys, and moving to Los Angeles to record her full-length debut. READ FULL STORY

Bjork marks collaborator Mark Bell's death by posting his 'Possibly Maybe' remix

On Monday, EW reported that British electronic musician Mark Bell, a former member of the acclaimed British dance-music duo LFO and producer of seven Björk albums, died last week of complications from surgery. Bell wasn’t widely known outside dance music aficionados, but his work has echoed through pop music since he started working with Björk, beginning with her 1997 LP Homogenic, which borrowed ideas from drum ‘n’ bass, trip-hop, house, IDM, and other cutting-edge electronic styles of the time and wove them into an entirely new sound unto itself, a vigorous mutant hybrid that was both thoroughly pop-friendly and unabashedly avant-garde.

The influence of his work has only grown over the years, and has become especially noticeable in recent recordings by FKA TwigsBanks, and a legion of young artists looking to replicate Bell and Björk’s peculiar sonic alchemy.

In an apparent tribute to Bell, Björk’s posted to her SoundCloud his “Lucy remix” of “Possibly Maybe” from her album Post. Originally released in 1996 as one of several B-side remixes of the single, its boasts a syrupy beat, pitch-warped vocals, and a coating of amelodic tones that, nearly 20 years later, still sound ahead of their time.

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