The mid-to-late ’90s were a pretty weird time for music. Hip-hop, alternative rock, and dance music all found themselves suddenly, unexpectedly elevated from underground styles to the top of the pop charts, and it inspired a lot of musicians working in one of those styles to reach out to artists in the others. While today we take this sort of cross-genre collaboration for granted, at the time it was a fairly new concept. And as with most new concepts, there was a period where everyone was trying to figure out exactly what to do with it, resulting in a lot of awkward moments captured on tape.
Tag: Rock (1-10 of 535)
Larkin Poe is a duo from Atlanta comprised of sisters Rebecca and Megan Lovell and named for a distant relative who was himself distantly related to Edgar Allen Poe. The sisters share an infatuation with roots sounds, frequently incorporating traditional song structures and instruments like the mandolin and Dobro into their music, but they also boast strong pop instincts. On Oct. 14, they’ll release their new album, Kin, in Restoration Hardware stores, with a broader release a week later. The first single, “Don’t,” pulls from rock’s earliest days, mixing it with a stomping glam rock beat and a country-inflected pop melody.
In the span of just a few years, Ty Segall has put out seven albums, a handful of collaborative LPs, and so many singles, guest appearances, compilation tracks, and assorted other releases that even he’s probably lost count. His latest, Manipulator, was released this past Tuesday, almost exactly a year after his last album, Sleeper, a deeply personal and largely acoustic record about fraught family relationships. The new one finds him back in full-on rock mode, exploding with a generous amount of sweet hooks and heavy guitar riffing, and is equally capable of satisfying pop fans and van-driving, dope-smoking hard rockers alike.
In the lead-up to Manipulator’s release, EW got Segall on the phone to talk about the album, its inspiration, and how he manages to stay so prolific.
Delta Spirit have a talent for recreating the feel of classic rock styles–particularly the more psychedelic ones–without sticking too closely to their aesthetic playbooks, which is a remarkable quality in a rock scene that often seems to have traded innovation for making the most accurate emulations possible of sounds from the genre’s past. The lead single from their upcoming fourth album, Into the Wide (out Sept. 9 on Dualtone Records), has a widescreen scope but is still packed with hooks, especially in the searing bent-note lead that soars over the composition.
For the video, director Andrew Bruntel goes for a similarly epic sweep, with a disparate cast of characters living very diferent lives on the prairies of southeastern Colorado. “If I could parse it down to one simple theme,” he writes, “it would be vulnerability. Vulnerability in friendships, in our relationships with family and with the pets/animals that we allow into our lives.” It’s gorgeous and triumphant and sad all at the same time, much like the song itself.
In one of the best and most talked-about sequences in Richard Linklater’s instant classic film Boyhood, Ethan Hawke gives Ellar Coltrane a homemade compilation he calls The Black Album. It consists of solo tracks from each of the four Beatles, sequenced in a way that captures the magic the band were able to make when they were still a cohesive unit. “Basically, I’ve put the band back together for you,” Hawke wrote in the liner notes.
It’s such a good idea that EW decided to steal it. There are countless bands who have broken up and never circled back around to a cash-grab reunion, and we’ve begun with one of my absolute favorites: The Clash. The group didn’t officially stick a fork in it until 1986, but the bloom was well off the rose by the time drummer Topper Headon left the group just prior to the release of 1982’s Combat Rock. The relationship between co-leads Mick Jones and Joe Strummer were hopelessly strained by the end, and by the time the group released the disastrous Cut the Crap in 1985, Jones was already deep into his second life as the frontman for Big Audio Dynamite.
Like the Beatles before them, the members of the Clash did make up and collaborate on an individual basis after they broke up, but they never got the band back together (and once Strummer suddenly passed away in 2002, that door was officially closed for good). Still, here are 19 tracks (the same number that appeared on the watershed London Calling) from the post-Clash lives of the core four that re-capture the spirit of what made them sonically and philosophically revolutionary. READ FULL STORY
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.”
One of the most delightful singles of this summer is Kiesza’s “Hideaway,” which has been steadily climbing the charts off the strength of its very accurate emulation of the kind of club-pop that ruled radio in the early ’90s. It’s a great sound, and a great point in the retro revival cycle to specialize in it, but the Calgary-born singer appears to have more range than the average dance-floor diva.
For her installment of British music mag NME‘s Basement Sessions video series, Kiesza covers Nirvana’s “Heart-Shaped Box,” an unexpected choice made even more surprising by the sparse arrangement of bluesy vocals and flamenco-inflected fingerpicked guitar that she brings to it.
Ryan Neighbors played keyboards for the proggy rock band Portugal. The Man until 2012, when he left to form the synth-heavy power trio Hustle and Drone. After a spending the past couple years woodshedding in Portland, the group is preparing to release their first LP, HOLYLAND, September 2 on Red Bull Sound Select.
The album’s lead single, “The Glow,” has the fist-pumping energy of an arena-rock anthem, so it makes sense that the group shot its video in the Moda Center, home to the Portland Trail Blazers, fulfilling what Neighbors calls “a childhood dream.” The clip features high-flying, slam-dunking luchadores and a whole lot of fake blood, not to mention enough synthesizers to stock a Guitar Center keyboard section.
Between her assists on massive singles by Iggy Azalea (“Fancy”) and Icona Pop (“I Love It”) and her own chart-scaling single “Boom Clap,” Charli XCX has earned herself a well-deserved reputation as a go-to performer of potently exuberant, candy-colored pop songs. There are few songs in the modern pop songbook that fit that same description as well as “I Want Candy,” originally performed by an ad hoc group called the Strangeloves in 1965, but thoroughly owned by Bow Wow Wow since they recorded a cover in 1982. So it’s not unexpected that Charli covering “I Want Candy” would work out pretty well.
What is surprising is how raw and–to use a shudderingly uncool word–rocking it is. Charli has been touring in front of a crack power trio, and “I Want Candy” is a much better showcase for their skills than acoustic versions of “Boom Clap.” Their version is just a little too fast and just a little too loud, and it’s pretty ragged around the edges, which is to say pretty much the ideal way of tackling this particular song. (Thanks in part to the usual lack of practice time before promotional duties like covering songs for internet TV shows, probably.) If Charli ever decides pop stardom isn’t for her, she and her girls could probably find a home making noise on the DIY punk circuit without much trouble. READ FULL STORY
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