Listen to Yard Act’s stripped-back cover of Elton John’s ‘Tiny Dancer’

John personally gave his blessing to the group for their cover in a “personal telephone call to frontman James Smith,” according to a press release.

You can listen to the cover here.

Elton John. Credit: Gregg Kemp

John has previously spoken of his admiration of Yard Act. Speaking to NME in last year’s Big Read, John said of the band’s style: “I can’t do it but I love it and I wonder how they do it.”

In this week’s NME Big Read with Yard Act, the group responded to John’s praise saying: “It was mind-blowing, I fucking love Elton John; I want to write some lyrics for him. I’m hoping we’ll bump into him at some point.

“We’re doing a live cover of ‘Tiny Dancer’ to get his attention to pique his interest. It could go completely wrong, but you’re better off giving something a go. People are so fucking precious and judgemental: do something rather than nothing; we’re all gonna be dead soon.”

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When asked if they’d like to do a collaboration, Smith replied:  “A hundred per cent! Can you imagine a band meeting where someone flagged they didn’t want to work with Elton John? They’d be booted instantly. I’d fucking love to work with him! We’d do a drive-in rock’n’roll song. I’d write some words for him to sing and then I’d join in on the chorus. It would be well good, like ‘Crocodile Rock Part Two’.”

The Leeds group also shared another new single from their upcoming new album, ‘Overload’, which is released this Friday (January 21). ‘Pour Another’ follows on from previously released singles, ‘Rich’, ‘Payday’ and the album’s title track.

Speaking about their latest track, Smith added: “‘Pour Another’ zooms in on the post-party conversations many hedonists will be all too familiar with.

“It leaves the impending doom of daily life in a world on fire at the door, at that point in the night when you don’t want to let go of the moment you’re in, when everything is perfect and everyone is your new best friend. Those moments fade, because nothing stays as it was. You’re woken with a bang and you have to face the truth.”

They’ll showcase the record on their 2022 UK headline tour, which kicks off next month (find ticket details here).

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Mandy Moore has “new music coming very soon”

“It was hard to sort through the myriad of emotions of what it took to make that music: the disappointment and sorrow of unfulfilled dreams….all while we were collectively grappling with and grieving the tragedy unfolding around the globe. So I turned back to music because that was the only catharsis I could find while stuck at home.”

She continued: “With Taylor Goldsmith and Mike Viola, I started a new record during a very uncertain time… but it was also the mark of the ultimate chapter surrounding impending parenthood.

“Anyway…. all of this to tell you that there is new music coming very soon… and a tour! And I’m staying present and open to this experience revealing itself exactly how it’s supposed to. **** PS: your comments, love and encouragement are so appreciated. Year already made. Thanks, friends!! Hope to see you on the road soon!! Xoxoxo.”

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Moore’s return to music in 2019, when she released ‘When I Wasn’t Watching’, her first original song in a decade, came months after a New York Times investigation which reported the ways in which the actions of Moore’s ex-husband Ryan Adams had “stalled” her music career.

The Times investigation, published February 2019, reported that Adams had engaged in “a pattern of manipulative behaviour in which Adams dangled career opportunities while simultaneously pursuing female artists for sex”, and “exploited and then stifled [these female artists’] ambitions”.

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“In 2010, Adams offered to work on [Moore’s] next album; when she parted ways with her music manager, Adams discouraged her from working with other producers or managers, she said, effectively leaving him in charge of her music career,” the Times reported.

“His controlling behavior essentially did block my ability to make new connections in the industry during a very pivotal and potentially lucrative time – my entire mid-to-late 20s,” Moore told the NYT. Her divorce from Adams was finalised in 2016.

In a later conversation with Marc Maron, Moore described her marriage to Adams as “an entirely unhealthy dynamic”. She added, “I felt like I was drowning. It was so untenable and unsustainable and it was so lonely. I was so sad. I was lonely with him.”

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Simple Minds share new version of rare track, ‘Act Of Love’

You can listen to it here:

Speaking about the track, Kerr said: “Over the years people have asked: ‘When did you think Simple Minds had the potential to make it?’ My stock answer was always: ‘Oh, we didn’t really think about that’. But I realise now that I wasn’t telling the truth. I believed we had something special as soon as I heard Charlie play the riff on ‘Act Of Love’.”

He added: “I was thinking about the excitement of what we were setting out to do. We would rehearse in the afternoon in a derelict building in the Gorbals and I’d walk past Govanhill Library, thinking about the idea of the muse: a voice within that will appear and provide inspiration.

“That’s what the song was about originally. Now I’m looking back, reflecting on how the belief was real. When Charlie played that riff, it made me think we could do this. From that belief becomes your attitude, your body language, the whole culture of the band.”

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The group are set to celebrate their 40th anniversary with a tour beginning this spring.

The full list of UK 2022 dates are listed below and you can buy tickets for the shows here.

MARCH
31 – London, SSE Arena Wembley

APRIL
1 – Bournemouth, Bournemouth International Centre
3 – Brighton, Brighton Centre
5 – Aberdeen, P&J Live
6 – Glasgow, OVO Hydro
7 – Birmingham, Resorts World Arena
9 – Leeds, First Direct Arena
10 – Newcastle Upon Tyne, Utilita Arena
12 – Nottingham, Motorpoint Arena
14 – Cardiff, Motorpoint Arena
15 – Hull, Bonus Arena
16 – Liverpool, M&S Bank Arena
17 – Dublin, 3Arena

JUNE
18 – Woodstock, Blenheim Palace

AUGUST
09 – Belfast, Custom House Square Belfast
12 – Edinburgh, Princes Street Gardens

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Ted Nugent on his Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame snub: “I don’t need it”

Last month, he called out organisers for inducting the likes of Grandmaster Flash, Madonna, ABBA and more.

Nugent said: “When I criticise the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame…let’s take me out of the equation. Let’s say I don’t qualify — which is ridiculous — but let’s pretend I don’t qualify. But why ABBA before Styx? Why Patti Smith before Triumph? Why Grandmaster Flash or JAY-Z at all?

“I mean, to think that they would qualify before the artists I just mentioned, and myself included, it’s just dishonest and it’s literally disrespectful to the Gods of this music — Chuck [Berry] and Bo [Diddley] and all the Gods that created this incredible soundtrack.”

Nugent continued: “But I don’t take it personally because I don’t need it. And quite honestly, the authenticity of the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame has been so tainted by the inclusion of not just non-rockers but anti-rockers. Madonna? Really? So I find it offensive on that level.”

“I go back to the people thinking I hated Grandmaster Flash,” he continued. “I don’t hate anybody…I don’t take this stuff personally but I find it offensive to real rockers, to real rock artists and to real rock and roll fans…And I hope he’s happy, I hope he’s healthy and successful.

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“But Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame? Why don’t we just go down to Chuck Berry’s grave and take a shit on it? That’s what that represents to me. And it’s unforgivable.”

The controversial rocker has been in the news a lot this past year. In June 2021, he backed the baseless conspiracy theory that January’s riot at the US Capitol was sparked by Antifa and Black Lives Matter activists.

In May, he claimed that systemic racism does not exist in the US. In a video posted by he and his wife Shemane, he described “systemic racism” as a “lie”.

Nugent also contracted COVID-19 in April, one week after performing maskless in Florida, and said he’s “never been so scared in all my life” as when he battled the virus.

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Lzzy Hale explains why she and Amy Lee chose to cover Linkin Park’s ‘Heavy’

Lee and Hale have been performing the song on every date of the US tour – which ends on January 21 in Newark, New Jersey. In a recent interview with 105.7 The Point, Hale explained their decision to cover the track.

“[Amy and I] were lobbing a couple of ideas back and forth and then, all of a sudden, we landed on Linkin Park. And [we thought], you know what? That would be really cool because inadvertently it would be a tribute to Chester, but also, everything that this song has been about, we’ve all been through that – everybody.

“And so it’s almost this like very church moment where you walk out onstage and you’re, like, ‘All right. This is my church. These are my people. We’re all doing this together.’”

You can watch the pair’s cover of ‘Heavy’ below:

Evanescence’s setlist for the Cincinnati show was as follows:

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‘Broken Pieces Shine’
‘Made of Stone’
‘Take Cover’
‘Going Under’
‘Lose Control’
‘The Change’
‘Lithium’
‘Wasted on You’
‘End of the Dream’
‘Far from Heaven’
‘Better Without You’
‘Call Me When You’re Sober’
‘Imaginary’
‘Heavy’ (Linkin Park cover) (with Lzzy Hale)
‘Use My Voice’
‘Bring Me to Life’

Encore:

‘My Immortal’
‘Blind Belief’

Last year, Linkin Park‘s 2001 hit ‘In The End’ hit one billion streams on Spotify, making it the first nu-metal track to do so.

The ‘Hybrid Theory’ single passed the landmark, following on from its accompanying music video achieving the same on YouTube in 2020.

Meanwhile, Hale recently became the first woman Brand Ambassador for Gibson guitars.

A new range of guitars and gear designed by the singer and songwriter were also been announced, with Hale also being named on the Gibson Gives Advisory Board.

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Yard Act on post-punk tag: “We’ll outgrow it like every other band worth their salt”

Asked whether the tag has helped or hindered Yard Act, Smith replied: “I think it helps people get into it.

“We’ll outgrow it like every other band worth their salt will. It really helps here on the mainland. It helps people understand there’s a British guitar movement coming through to get excited about.”

Also discussing whether audiences have moved on from “being shouted at from a political pedestal” like so many artists used to do during punk’s heyday, Smith said that was “for audiences to decide”.

“The last thing I would want from music is to have what I already believe repeated back to me because it’s just back-patting,” he continued. “It’s self-congratulatory and it achieves nothing, except perhaps comfort.”

He added: “It’s a tough world and if you find solace in a band telling you what you believe in then, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.”

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Elsewhere during the interview, Smith spoke about the influence of Arctic Monkeys on the band.

“The way Alex Turner wrote lyrics around social observation definitely helped me grow in confidence,” he told NME. “To go into that amount of detail on specific objects, to make them seem poignant and profound was really cool.”

He continued: “Before that, the music I was listening to wasn’t doing that. I never got into the poetry of The Libertines – that always felt too flowery – and with The Strokes, you could assume everything was set in a dive bar in New York.

“In Leeds, if you were some ‘art school New York’ band you wouldn’t be championed in the same way. We’ve all got that kind of mundane normalness about us that people up north latch onto because it all is a little bit fucking bread-and-butter.”

Yard Act have previewed ‘The Overload’ with the singles ‘Rich’, ‘Payday’ and the album’s title track. They’ll showcase the record on their 2022 UK headline tour, which kicks off next month (find ticket details here).

Last week it was announced that the band will perform at Coachella 2022.

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Tears For Fears open up about missing Live Aid: “We were exhausted”

Smith said: “Initially, I was pissed off because Bob had announced we were doing it without even asking us and it was smack in the middle of a year-long tour. It was the first week off we had.

“We kissed and made up with Bob and did ‘Everybody Wants To Run The World’ for him [for Sport Aid] afterwards, but we didn’t think us not performing would affect the amount of money they were raising in any way, so we didn’t do it so we could have that break.”

Bob Geldof at Wembley Stadium during Live Aid preparations in 1985. CREDIT: AP Photo/David Caulkin

When asked if the band regret not performing, Smith replied: “No, because we were exhausted.

“I realised we’d pulled out of his huge event, and there was this amusing moment where we were in Hawaii on the day it was happening, and there was a local cover band playing ‘Everybody Wants To Rule The World’ in this little bar. I’m like: this or Live Aid? I don’t know!”

He added: “It’s just that Live Aid was bad timing for us.”

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Last week, the group shared a new single called ‘Break The Man’.

The song is the third taste of the group’s first album in 17 years, ‘The Tipping Point’, which is due to arrive on February 25 via Concord Records.

In October 2021, the duo released the record’s title track and last month, they released second single ‘No Small Thing’.

Tears For Fears have 16 tour dates on the itinerary for next summer in support of ‘The Tipping Point’, kicking off in Shropshire on Friday July 1. Check out the full schedule here.

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The Wombats heading for first Number One album with ‘Fix Yourself, Not The World’

While The Weeknd has dropped to number six midweek, his album ‘Dawn FM’ is still the UK’s most-streamed record of the week so far.

The Wombats Credit: Tom Oxley

Speaking to NME at Reading Festival 2021, frontman Matthew ‘Murph’ Murphy said of the new album: “With our fourth album, I put a lot of pressure on it and I knew I had to do something really great, and so for me this album was just to focus on the energy that we were given from the fourth album and just shift it across a few more years.

“And if it’s better than that, then so be it – and it might just be, actually.”

Reviewing the album, NME said: “‘Fix Yourself…’ is the first indie release of 2022 that might weigh into Ed Sheeran and Adele’s mud fight at the top of the album charts, and it might not even be long before The Wombats are headlining major festivals. Don’t look so surprised.”

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The group are also set to start their 2022 UK headline tour in April.

You can see the full list of dates here:

APRIL
14 – First Direct Arena, Leeds
15 – The O2, London
16 – Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff
18 – Barrowland Ballroom, Glasgow
19 – Barrowland Ballroom, Glasgow
21 – Mountford Hall, Liverpool
22 – Mountford Hall, Liverpool

23 – Mountford Hall, Liverpool
26 – Open Air Theatre, Scarborough

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Listen to White Lies’ synth-driven new track, ‘Am I Really Going To Die’

“It’s the first part of a two-song narrative about a self-important hot-shot given a terminal diagnosis, and the various stages of his coming to terms with it.”

He added that the track is “loosely inspired by the great Danny Huston’s character in ‘Ivans XTC’” as well as ‘Station to Station’ era Bowie.”

Listen to ‘Am I Really Going to Die’ below:

The song’s imaginative video was directed by Balan Evans. Speaking about the idea behind it, Evans said: “This song has so much story in it, it was quite easy to come up with this idea. It sort of spilled out of the lyrics.

“I was talking to a friend who was recounting being hit by a car and waking up on the ground with people hanging over him and it felt like a unique perspective.

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“This point of view felt rich with storytelling potential, something I wanted to explore and experiment with and most importantly it matched so well with the themes of the song.”

The band are also due to hit the road for a UK and European tour next year. See the full UK dates below and get tickets here.

MARCH 2022
10 – Nottingham, Rock City
11 – Manchester, Academy
12 – Newcastle, Boiler Shop
13 – Birmingham, Institute
15 – Glasgow, SWG3 TV Studio
16 – Leeds, Stylus
18 – Brighton, Chalk
19 – Bristol, Academy
21 – Dublin, Vicar Street
22 – Liverpool, Grand Central Hall
24 – Norwich, UEA
25 – Oxford, Academy
26 – London, Hammersmith Apollo

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George Ezra to release new single ‘Anyone For You’ next week

“This is just the beginning,” he added. The track is available to pre-save now and a snippet can be heard below.

I can't quite believe I'm saying this, in fact I'm not exactly sure how to say this… I guess…🚨NEW MUSIC🚨 it's true! My new single 'Anyone For You' will be out next Friday, 28th January!

This is just the beginning 👀 you can pre-save it now https://t.co/dvGlIzjgSY Love, G x pic.twitter.com/MsiGzfrSSc

— george E Z R A (@george_ezra) January 17, 2022

‘Anyone For You’ will be the first new material Ezra has released since 2018’s ‘Staying At Tamara’s’.

However, the singer-songwriter has already unveiled a new website called ‘Gold Rush Kid’, which appears to be the holding page for his forthcoming new record. Fans of Ezra can sign up for a newsletter on the site for more information.

Ezra will also return to the live stage later this year, with major dates at London’s Finsbury Park and Boardmasters Festival 2022 planned so far.

Announcing the Finsbury Park gig last year (which will see Blossoms, Holly Humberstone “and more” supporting), Ezra told his fans in a video message: “I want you to be there. I need you to be there. It’s gonna be a party.”

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Ezra was one of the artists who performed during Glastonbury’s Live At Worthy Farm livestream last summer, which took place online after the festival was cancelled for the second year running due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Reviewing his short solo acoustic set, performed around a bonfire, NME wrote: “Ezra strips things back to the bare bones with a solo acoustic set performed next to a raging bonfire. The short-and-sweet 10-minute set shows that, even when removing his full-band bombast, the crooner has the voice and the tunes to command a space on his own.”

 

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Morgan Wallen makes surprise appearance at MLK Freedom Fest

Wallen was greeted by some cheers as he said “What’s up Nashville?” and the track kicked in. Watch footage of the moment below.

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Following footage emerging of the country musician uttering a racial slur in February 2021 – something he later apologised for and said that had happened because he was “on hour 72 of 72 on a bender” – he faced a huge backlash from the music industry. He was dropped by his booking agent and suspended by his record label, while his songs were pulled from radio and streaming playlists for some time.

Wallen was also ineligible to attend or win any trophies at the 2021 Country Music Awards and Academy Of Country Music Awards.

In September last year, it was reported that Wallen had only donated a third of a pledged $500,000 (£366k) to Black-led organisations. He had promised to donate the money after he saw a spike in sales following the backlash against him. “We tried to calculate … how much it had spiked from this incident,” he explained during an interview on Good Morning America.

“We got to a number somewhere around $500,000, and we decided to donate that money to some organisations, BMAC [the Black Music Action Coalition] being the first one.” Two months after Wallen’s pledge, he had only given $165,000 (£121k).

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Earlier this month, Wallen made another surprise appearance at Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry venue. His performance was criticised by a name of artists including Jason Isbell and The Black Opry, an influential collective of Black country music artists and their supporters.

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Celine Dion cancels North American tour due to continued health issues

Sharing the news on Instagram, the star wrote: “I was really hoping that I’d be good to go by now, but I suppose I just have to be more patient and follow the regimen that my doctors are prescribing. There’s a lot of organising and preparation that goes into our shows, and so we have to make decisions today which will affect the plans two months down the road.

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A post shared by Céline Dion (@celinedion)

“I’ll be so glad to get back to full health, as well as all of us getting past this pandemic, and I can’t wait to be back on stage again. Meanwhile, I’ve been very touched by all the words of encouragement that everyone’s been sending to me on social media. I feel your love and support and it means the world to me.”

At present, Dion’s UK and European tour is still set to begin in Birmingham on May 25.

Her Las Vegas residency was due to start in November 2021, but a month prior the singer had to postpone the shows, telling fans she was “heartbroken”.

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Meanwhile, an unauthorised film about Dion received a standing ovation at the 2021 Cannes film festival. The biopic was directed by and stars Valerie Lemercier, who plays the singer at each stage of her life, including her childhood. Due to not being able to secure the rights to Dion’s name, Lemercier goes by Aline Dieu in the film.

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Jay-Z says his second album ‘In My Lifetime, Vol 1’ “haunts” him

Questlove replied: “Our main argument is his hate for Vol 1. He is embarrassed for trying to make a monster & not putting numbers up. But ALOT of this lp contains his best moments. Fight me @sc.”

Our main argument is his hate for Vol 1.
He is embarrassed for trying to make a monster & not putting numbers up. But ALOT of this lp contains his best moments. Fight me @sc https://t.co/Sch3uD6BIq

— ahmir•quest• 5 letters only (@questlove) January 16, 2022

In a series of follow-up tweets, the musician, DJ and music historian added that the track ‘I Know What Girls Like’ “got shafted” and that ‘Imaginary Players’ “created HOV”. He also highlighted the tracks ‘Streets Is Watching’ and ‘Friend Or Foe ’98’.

When you hear Players you got two sides to choose….you wanna be the cat who who got leathers…..or you wanna be the cat asking the cat if you got leathers. I wasn’t thinking “big” then (I was living in my smallness in 97 lol) but I knew I was NEVER gonna be the latter

— ahmir•quest• 5 letters only (@questlove) January 16, 2022

Jay-Z replied hours later, saying that he agreed with Questlove’s analysis. “More so, I know what could have been, so it haunts me,” the rapper wrote. “Streets Is Watching was the first song made!”

Questlove responded: “Uh can I make this tweet an NFT?” See the conversation above.

Uh can I make this tweet an NFT?

— ahmir•quest• 5 letters only (@questlove) January 16, 2022

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In December, Jay-Z said there wasn’t “a chance in hell” that someone could take him on in a VERZUZ battle. The rap battle series was started by Swizz Beatz and Timbaland and sees rappers, songwriters, producers and more go head-to-head with tracks from their back catalogues.

“No one can stand on that stage with me,” the rapper said. “It’s not a chance in hell that anyone can stand on that stage with me.

“You got to stand in front of the ‘Grammy Family Freestyle’ live?” he added. “No one has ever even seen me perform that, you got to stand in front of that? That ain’t never going to happen.”

Kodak Black later put himself forward as an opponent for Jay-Z, saying the rap icon could win 15 per cent of his catalogue of he won. If Black won, though, Jay-Z would have to make him Vice President of Roc Nation.

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Fontaines D.C. on the band’s growth: “We don’t need to raise our voices all the time”

“That was really upsetting for all of us as Irish people,” frontman Grian Chatten said. “To be reading that in this day and age? That the Irish language was still perceived as too provocative to put on a gravestone? But none of us reacted with loud, punky fists.”

Fontaines D.C. CREDIT: Filmawi

He continued to explain how the track points to the band’s growth, saying: “We responded with melancholy. We don’t want to remain a band who walk on stage and claim, ‘This song is about this!’ We want to make something more impressionistic. We don’t need to raise our voices all the time.”

Guitarist Carlos O’Connell added: “There’s something valuable in the fire of youth. But your emotions become more considered.”

‘Skinty Fia’ will also include the track ‘I Love You’, which Fontaines D.C. gave its live debut during their headline gig at London’s Alexandra Palace in October.

Meanwhile, the band have also announced a European and North American tour, alongside a series of festival dates for this spring and summer. The dates will kick off in Madrid in March, with the North American leg beginning in Washington D.C. in April.

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Speaking to NME last year, Fontaines D.C. said their third album was “really good”. “We all thought the songs were quite poppy,” bassist Conor Deegan III said. |We thought we’d got this sound that was finally the sound that we wanted to get across the songs, which we thought was quite poppy.

“We showed them to our manager, and he said, ‘Lads, this is the darkest shit you’ve ever written!’ And we were like, ‘What? What are you talking about? This bass melody is catchy, this vocal melody is catchy’. He was just like, ‘No, this is extremely dark’. So there you go!”

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Måneskin to make ‘Saturday Night Live’ debut next week

“Don’t miss next Saturday the 22nd, our live performance at the @nbc’s Saturday Night Live show,” the band wrote on Twitter. “Can’t wait @nbcsnl.”

Don’t miss next Saturday the 22nd, our live performance at the @nbc’s Saturday Night Live show 💘 Can't wait @nbcsnl https://t.co/xfMPJCaJJ2

— MåneskinOfficial (@thisismaneskin) January 16, 2022

In the weeks following their SNL appearance, Måneskin will kick off their 2022 UK and European tour, beginning at London’s O2 Academy Brixton on February 6 before travelling to the continent for 15 shows that run until mid-March where the tour wraps up in the Latvian capital of Riga. Tickets for the London show have already sold out.

Speaking to NME last year about their plans for the future, Måneskin said: “This was our biggest dream, so we still can’t believe what’s going on. We really want to do our best to keep the attention by writing new music and trying to do some gigs in Europe and beyond.

“We’re working hard and we just want to play everywhere. We’re just figuring out how to manage everything.”

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In other SNL news, Bleachers were the musical guest on this week’s (January 15) episode, with the band joined on stage by rising artist Blu DeTiger, indie-rock star Claud and frontman Jack Antonoff’s dad Rick during ‘How Dare You Want More’.

The band also performed their Bruce Springsteen collaboration ‘Chinatown’ – minus The Boss – on the episode, which was hosted by West Side Story’s Ariana DeBose.

Bleachers’ appearance on the show came after rapper Roddy Ricch was forced to cancel his scheduled performance in the run-up to the broadcast after members of his team were exposed to COVID-19.

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Robert Fripp and Toyah Willcox share cover of The Undertones’ ‘Teenage Kicks’

For their reworking of ‘Teenage Kicks’, the 1978 debut single from the Northern Irish punk band, the pair get up close and personal with the camera, while Willcox, wearing a see-through half blouse and heart-shaped, black nipple covers, pulls tissues from a box.

“What a year 2021 was, lets kick start 2022 as we mean to carry on….. Direct from the most famous kitchen of lockdown – this is a version of Teenage Kicks you wont forget!!!” Willcox captioned the new video. You can watch their latest cover below.

Not totally abandoning fans during the Christmas period, Fripp and Willcox did share a number of festive songs and carols over the latter part of December, including ‘Ding Dong Merrily On High’ and ‘Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer’.

Willcox revealed last February that her Sunday Lockdown Lunch video series started because her husband, King Crimson‘s Robert Fripp, was having withdrawals from performing.

In August, Willcox released her 16th studio album ‘Posh Pop’, which she previewed with the single ‘Levitate’ featuring Simon Darlow and Bobby Willcox.

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Discussing the album in a recent interview with NME, Willcox explained how it came about. “When COVID stopped everything last year, it allowed me to concentrate on writing and recording the next album,” she said. “We recorded in Simon’s outdoor studio with just him, my husband and I.

“‘Posh Pop’ was a magical experience created out of the need and ability to make contact with our fans in a heartfelt way. Also the terrifying distance between those who run the world and those on the ground inspired my writing.

She added: “Working with Fripp in the studio, we just handed him the chord charts the day before and said: ‘We want you to come in and improvise and that’s what we’ll use’. It was spontaneous.”

Meanwhile, Willcox was tapped up to star in Proud’s Cabaret All Stars for a limited run last November and December at London’s Proud Embankment.

“With performances embodying the spirit of the swinging sixties & sexy seventies, we give you an experience of a lifetime,” a description of the London stage show read. “Enjoy world-class jazz musicians and on-stage bands, award-winning acrobats, fire breathers and burlesque beauties. Be prepared to be amazed. This is an unforgettable night out.”

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Joy Division’s ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ is Keanu Reeves’ favourite song

Reeves was also asked to name his favourite movie (1975’s Roller Ball, starring James Caan), best sandwich (toasted crunchy peanut butter sandwiches with honey), and his favourite smell. “Today, I’m going pick my 1974 Norton Commando when the engine warms up,” he answered the latter. “When you’ve been giving a good go, the oil in the engine heats up, and the smell that comes off the engine is really good.”

His most amusing answer came when he shared an anecdote about asking his Bill & Ted co-star George Carlin for an autograph. “He wrote, ‘Dear Keanu, Fuck You,’” Reeves remembered. “I always thought he just wrote that for me, but then I met someone else who said that he wrote the same thing to them.”

You can watch Reeves answer Colbert’s questions below:

Colbert shared that the ‘Colbert Questionert’ segment was actually inspired by a previous appearance from Reeves on the show, where he answered a question about what happens when we die.

“I know the ones that love us will miss us,” he answered when asked the question back in May, 2019.

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Earlier this month it was reported that Reeves is in talks to star in Martin Scorsese’s series adaptation of The Devil In The White City.

According to Deadline, the actor is in negotiations to appear in Hulu’s upcoming take on Erik Larson’s 2003 book. It will mark Reeves’ first major US TV role.

Meanwhile, Lionsgate has announced that John Wick: Chapter 4 will now be released in cinemas worldwide on March 24, 2023.

The new release date for the Keanu Reeves-starring action flick was revealed in a short teaser from the studio, pushing the film back nearly a year from its planned release on May 27, 2022.

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Watch Muse’s Matt Bellamy embarrass his kids at Twenty One Pilots show

Resharing the footage on Instagram, Bellamy wrote: “When you’ve taken the kids to see Twenty One Pilots and Tyler Joseph decides to come in the crowd, sings right next to you, and you embarrass yourself, your family and everyone in the building.”

“Amazing show otherwise,” he continued before adding the hashtag “know when to stand down”, referencing Muse’s latest single ‘Won’t Stand Down’.

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The two bands shared a stage at the event in 2019 and backstage, Bellamy said he wanted to collaborate with Twenty One Pilots. “I’ve met Tyler before, he’s a great guy and they’re both really talented people so maybe we could do something with them.”

And back in 2017, Joseph shared a photo of himself with Bellamy and wrote: “I’ve learned a lot from this guy and he never even knew it. First time meeting him and we seamlessly rolled in to a discussion about in-ear monitors, floor wedges, and mic stand preferences. This was the best photo we got. The other ones we had our heads really close together for some reason. like, almost touching. I don’t know why we did that.”

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Elsewhere at last night’s iHeartRadio ALTer Ego, Twenty One Pilots covered Muse’s one-time support band Coldplay, who had played earlier in the night

During ‘Ride’, Joseph covered ‘Yellow’ and spoke about how inspiring the band had been. “I’m sure they’re long gone, doing their thing, but I wanted them to know they’re big influences on us and it’s an honour to be playing on the same bill as them,” he said.

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Listen to Bright Eyes cover Thin Lizzy’s ‘Running Back’

“Thin Lizzy is one of the finest rock n roll bands of all time,” Oberst said in a statement. “Phil Lynott’s vocal delivery and lyrics exemplify nonchalant cool. On top of that they gave the world a reason to invent the word guitarmonies. I think this is such a beautiful love song. It felt really good to sing.”

The track has been released as part of record label Secretly Canadian’s 25th anniversary charity campaign. Download it here and check it out below:

Speaking about the project, Secretly Canadian said: “It’s a weird year to come-of-age, but as with any good coming-of-age story, the end is really the beginning, right? The movie ends and the whole next phase of life begins. We find new ideas and new purpose.”

The project will raise funds for New Hope For Families, an organisation that “provides housing and other services to families experiencing homelessness in our hometown of Bloomington, Indiana. There are a reported 334 unhoused people in Bloomington, including 81 children and 34 families”.

“When faced with what to do with this milestone, we could’ve thrown a big party but after 13 months of an imploded social life, what else do you do but re-entrench? Drill down to the hyper-local where you can make meaningful change? Keep your eye aimed toward a better future,” the label continued.

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Speaking to NME about the impact of Bright Eyes’ music, Oberst said he hopes it “makes people feel less alone”.

“I feel very lucky that our music has meant what it has to people,” he continued. “I used to say that I made this stuff for ourselves, but I don’t know if that’s true. I think of it a lot differently now. Now there’s more of a desire to share it with people, to make something that’s hopefully beneficial when they listen to it.”

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Brandon Boyd looks for a signal on new track ‘Dime In My Dryer’

He continued: “All of a sudden it would stop for brief intervals and in those gaps is where I began to see the parts of my life and my general experience that offered more signal and less noise.”

‘Dime In My Dryer’ follows the singles ‘Pocket Knife’ and ‘Petrichor’, all three of which are set to appear on ‘Echoes And Cocoons’, the follow-up to Boyd’s last solo project, 2013’s ‘Sons Of The Sea’. The LP – which is due out March 11 – is produced by Grammy Award-winning producer and engineer John Congleton.

Listen to ‘Dime In My Dryer’ below:

Discussing his upcoming album in a recent interview with NME, Boyd said: “It’s really cool. It’s a very different record for me.”

“What I’m going to do is put out a single every five or six weeks and then hopefully drop the actual album sometime in February,” he explained.

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As for Incubus, the band’s most recent project was last year’s ‘Trust Fall (Side B)’ EP, released via ADA Worldwide. Asked about the progress of the band’s next album, the follow-up to 2017’s ‘8’, Boyd said the band hope to have something out by spring next year.

“We went out and did some shows and we’re all rehearsed up and ready to play,” said Boyd. “Our intention is to put together a new group of songs, whether it’ll be an EP or an LP, I’m not sure, but we’re hoping to have that done sometime by spring – but there’s a lot of hope in that statement.”

In October, Incubus celebrated the 20th anniversary of their seminal fourth album ‘Morning View’ with a livestream concert of the record performed in its entirety at the Malibu beach house it was originally recorded in.

Speaking on the initial decision to record the album in the house on Morning View Drive in Malibu, Boyd talked to NME about the making of the record and how they wanted to be free from distractions during the recording process.

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The Gaslight Anthem’s Brian Fallon to play ‘The ’59 Sound’ in full on livestream

He added: “I don’t want any of you to get sick either. The best chance I have to play live shows this tour is to push it out as far as I can in hopes that some shows can happen. I hate this. I know you do too.”

The tour will now begin on February 15 in Atlanta, Georgia, and in the time when the tour would have just begun, he’s now announced details of the new livestream.

T”HE GOOD NEWS? I’m doing what kinda show I can for the time being… so on Feb. 3rd, I’ll be doing the entire ’59 SOUND album front to back live at home!

“I’ll tell you stories and keep you company from my house to yours,” he added.

THE GOOD NEWS?
I'm doing what kinda show I can for the time being… so on Feb. 3rd, I'll be doing the entire '59 SOUND album front to back live at home! I'll tell you stories and keep you company from my house to yours.

Livestream tickets available at https://t.co/WajtgzZBKG

— Brian Fallon (@thebrianfallon) January 14, 2022

The Gaslight Anthem’s breakout album ‘The ’59 Sound’ came out in 2008, and a decade later, the New Jersey four-piece reunited to play it in its entirety on a world tour.

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Fallon’s last solo album, meanwhile, came in 2020 with ‘Local Honey’, a collaboration with Grammy Award-winning producer Peter Katis, known for his work with the likes of The NationalDeath Cab For CutieInterpol and Frightened Rabbit.

He will tour the album in the UK and Europe this spring, with dates beginning in Frankfurt in late April and a London date set for Shepherd’s Bush Empire on May 26.

See the dates below:

APRIL 2022
26 – Frankfurt, GER – Batschkap
27 – Hamburg, GER – Edel-Optics.de Arena
28 – Gothenburg, SWE – Pustervik
29 – Stockholm, SWE – Debaser Strand
30 – Copenhagen, DK – Lille Vega

MAY 2022
2 – Cologne, GER – Carlswerk Victoria
3 – Berlin, GER – Huxley’s
4 – Wien, AT – Ottakringer Braueri
5 – Stuttgart, GER – LKA Longhorn
6 – Munich, GER – Neue Theaterfabrik
7 – Nurnberg, GER – Loewensaal
8 – Milan, IT – Circolo Magnolia
10 – Zurich, CH – Komplex 457
12 – Barcelona, SP – Sala Apolo
13 – Madrid, SP – OCHOYMEDIO (Sala But)
14 – Cascante, SP – Estaciones Sonoras
16 – Paris, FR – Backstage
17 – Antwerp, BEL – Trix
18 – Utrecht, NL – TivoliVredenburg
20 – Norwich, UK – Waterfront
21 – Manchester, UK – Academy
22 – Leeds, UK – O2 Academy
24 – Glasgow, UK – SWG3
25 – Bristol, UK – O2 Academy
26 – London, UK – O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire
27 – Birmingham, UK – O2 Institute
28 – Nottingham, UK – Rock City

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Arab Strap return with new song ‘Aphelion’ from upcoming 7″

“These two songs were written, recorded and mixed during the sessions for ‘As Days Get Dark’ but as much we loved them, we couldn’t find a place for them on the final album,” Moffat explained in a statement.

“Maybe it’s because they seem to have their own distinct identities, but sometimes a song just sounds better on its own, when it’s not part of a crowd and vying for attention. So, to celebrate the anniversary of the album’s release, we present ‘As Days Get Dark”s two runaway loners; a couple of black sheep who might not click with the rest of the family but, even though they aren’t very happy, are still worth a cuddle.”

Listen to ‘Aphelion’ below and pre-order the 7″ single here.

Reviewing ‘As Days Get Dark’ upon its release last year, NME described the album as a career best for Moffat and Middleton, writing: “With lyrics that encompass the reality of ageing with all its wisdom and regrets, and with music that employs the deftness of touch that can only come with long-term honing, Arab Strap have delivered their defining record.”

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In a new interview around the release of their comeback single ‘The Turning Of Our Bones’ in late 2020, their first new music in 15 years, the pair said that there was “no point getting back together to release mediocrity”.

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Vinyl albums outsold CDs in US for first time in 30 years in 2021

Some of the biggest sellers included Adele‘s ’30’, (318,000 copies) which was named the biggest-selling album of the year in the US as of November, Taylor Swift‘s ‘Red (Taylor’s Version)’ and Olivia Rodrigo‘s debut ‘Sour’ (268,000 copies).

A vinyl pressing plant. CREDIT: James MacDonald/Bloomberg via Getty Images

In the UK in 2021, vinyl record sales were the highest they’ve been in 30 years, despite widely publicised issues with backlogs and delays.

According to new figures from the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), more than five million vinyl records were sold this year, an 8 per cent increase on 2020. It marks the 14th year in a row that the format has increased sales, with vinyl records making up 23 per cent of all albums sold this year.

The biggest-selling vinyl album of 2021 so far is ABBA‘s comeback record ‘Voyage’, while Adele‘s huge ’30’ and Sam Fender‘s ‘Seventeen Going Under’ – NME’s Album Of The Year – also sold big on wax.

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Last year, a new study found that Gen Z buy more vinyl records than millennials. According to a survey conducted by MRC Data, 4,041 people aged 13 and over were questioned over the course of two weeks about their musical influences, inspirations and purchases, with 15 per cent of Generation Z respondents – people commonly identified as being born roughly between 1997 and 2012 – claiming to have purchased vinyl albums in the previous 12 months.

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Watch Geese make TV debut, playing ‘Low Era’ on ‘Colbert’

Speaking of ‘Low Era’ upon its release, the band said: “We had been trying to get everything to sound super heavy, creepy crawly, and complicated, really because that’s all we knew how to do. Four-on-the-floor songs like ‘Low Era’ had felt a little like poison to us for a while, until we consciously tried to challenge ourselves to write something more danceable.”

Watch the TV performance below:

Giving Geese’s ‘Projector’ a four-star review upon its release, NME said: “There’s certainly space for more names in the avant-garde post-punk revolution. On these shores alone we’ve seen Black Midi thrive and Black Country New Road pick up a Mercury Prize nomination; a clear pathway has been laid out for these kindred spirits who are writing their own chapter.

“With ‘Projector’, the band have escaped their modest confines of a studio where pipes leak onto amps and delivered some of the most compelling new guitar music around.”

The album went on to be named as one of the 20 best debut albums of 2021 by NME, alongside Arlo Parks, Dry Cleaning, Olivia Rodrigo and more.

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Reviewing the band’s recent live show at London’s new Third Man Records venue, NME said: “Tracks from ‘Projector’ almost sound unrecognisable live as they take on a heavier sound, demonstrating how Geese are constantly progressing as musicians.

“Geese’s next UK shows will see them playing to crowds 10 times the size of tonight’s, meaning the intimacy afforded by Third Man Records is even more special for those in attendance.”

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Razorlight are in the studio working on their fifth album

To start 2022, the band have now confirmed that new music is on the way, with the band hard at work at a Gloucestershire studio.

“Greetings from 2022, here we are in Gloucestershire working hard on Razor album 5,” the band tweeted alongside a pair of photos taken outside the studio.

See the update below:

Greetings from 2022, here we are in Gloucestershire working hard on Razor album 5 x 📸 by the one and only Roger Morton pic.twitter.com/nRVcbhmApP

— Razorlight (@Razorlight) January 14, 2022

Speaking about the reunion last year, Burrows said: “It feels incredible. We’ve spent the past week or two rehearsing. Playing these songs has been an absolute joy. The emotions that were going through me when we started playing ‘America’, I forgot to play the first half of the song – it was totally nuts. It’s been amazing. It’s so powerful playing these old tunes. It’s very very special.”

Borrell added: “I’m really enjoying reconnecting with Andy and Carl, it’s like getting to know people again. I’m enjoying it because you never want to lose friends. It’s a horrible thing to think. It doesn’t really make sense. It definitely feels good to me on a personal level.

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“On a creative level – amazing. We’ve been in the studio rehearsing and recording. As soon as the four of us are in the room, it just sounds amazing, straight away.”

Ahead of the full reunion, guitarist Ågren rejoined Razorlight last year alongside Borrell, while the band’s last full-length album came in the form of 2018’s ‘Olympus Sleeping’.

Reviewing that album upon its release, NME wrote: “Razorlight are not here to save rock – they never were, and they’re more than aware of it. They’re not reinventing the wheel, but pulling the Harley out of the ditch.”

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Neck Deep, The Bronx, Cancer Bats and more added to Slam Dunk 2022

“It feels like our whole world is right there at Slam Dunk,” he continued. “We’ve worked our way up over the years playing various different slots and it’s an honour to be one of the main acts this year. It’s been way too long since we’ve been back at the fest, we usually do something special around it so expect something cool in the run up.”

“There’s so many rad new things for Cancer Bats this year, we can’t wait to share it with all of our UK pals,” said Liam Cormier. “It must be noted that there’s going to be some serious Canada vibes on our stage and we’re pumped to be a part of that.”

Check out the lineup below:

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The North edition of the event, held at Temple Newsam in Leeds will take place on June 3, 2022, while Slam Dunk South in Hatfield Park, Hertfordshire will take place a day later on June 4. Tickets are onsale now.

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The dual event returned in September after its 2020 edition was cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic. McFly performed surprise sets at both sites.

The pop-rock group – consisting of Tom Fletcher, Danny Jones, Harry Judd and Dougie Poynter – surprised fans at both the northern and southern leg of the event, which took place on September 4 and September 5 respectively.

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Meshuggah announce new album ‘Immutable’ with teaser video

Meshuggah – Immutable Album Teaser

Meshuggah announce new album "Immutable" for April 1st, 2022 & album pre-order starts January 28th, 2022Mavericks. Pioneers. Unique. Immutable. Destined to be one of 2022’s most hailed and talked-about releases, "Immutable" once again showcases MESHUGGAH’s collective brilliance, including some of the most jaw-dropping ensemble performances they have ever executed. Six years on from the band’s most recent full-length, "The Violent Sleep Of Reason", 2022 brings a fresh and fearsome revelation from MESHUGGAH. Shattering even the highest of expectations, the band’s ninth album is simply their wildest and most esoteric sonic adventure yet and will be released on April 1st via Atomic Fire Records. Recorded at Sweetspot Studios in Halmstad (Sweden), mixed by Rickard Bengtsson & Staffan Karlsson and mastered by multiple Grammy award winner Vlado Meller (Metallica, Rage Against The Machine, Red Hot Chili Peppers, System Of A Down), "Immutable" will be available in various CD, vinyl and tape formats and goes into pre-sale on January 28th, and the first single will be revealed very soon. The stunning cover artwork was once again created by visionary artist Luminokaya. For guitarist Mårten Hagström, the task of embarking on another unprecedented tech-metal odyssey was impossible to resist."The title fits perfectly for where we are as a band," Mårten concludes. "We’re older now. Most of us are in our fifties now, and we’ve settled into who we are. Even though we’ve been experimenting all along, I also think we’ve been the same since day one. The way we approach things and why we still make new albums, and why we still sound the way we do, it’s immutable. Humanity is immutable, too. We commit the same mistakes over and over. And we are immutable. We do what we do, and we don’t change."Legendary. Unique. Immutable. MESHUGGAH are still operating on a higher level of metallic consciousness than just about everybody else. This band blow minds for a living, and "Immutable" is their most explosive work of monstrous art yet.MESHUGGAH stand alone. The most inventive and creative metal band of the last 30 years and one of the most widely revered, MESHUGGAH have been standard bearers for forward-thinking creativity in heavy music throughout their illustrious careers. Over the course of more than 30 years and eight studio albums, Sweden’s widely worshipped progressive mavens have consistently redefined what it means to be heavy, while exhibiting a ferocious intelligence that belies the crushing weight of their riffs. From the ground-breaking savagery of 1995’s "Destroy Erase Improve", to the psychedelic tech-splorations of "CatchyThirtyThree", and on to the streamlined grotesquery of "ObZen" and "Koloss", MESHUGGAH have always been way ahead of the game and plainly without peer.Keep your eyes peeled on all MESHUGGAH channels, sign up for email updates and receive more news about MESHUGGAH’s upcoming album "Immutable", along with exclusive offers with some of the newsletters: https://immutable.se Atomic Fire Records #meshuggah #meshuggahimmutable

Posted by Meshuggah on Friday, January 14, 2022

In a Facebook post shared yesterday (January 14), guitarist Mårten Hagström said the record’s title “fits perfectly for where [Meshuggah] are as a band”.

“We’re older now,” he continued. “Most of us are in our fifties now, and we’ve settled into who we are. Even though we’ve been experimenting all along, I also think we’ve been the same since day one.

“The way we approach things and why we still make new albums, and why we still sound the way we do, it’s immutable. Humanity is immutable, too. We commit the same mistakes over and over. And we are immutable. We do what we do, and we don’t change.”

Pre-orders for ‘Immutable’ will go live on Friday January 28, with the record set to be available on CD, vinyl and cassette. Though the song teased in the above trailer is yet to be officially unveiled, the band assure fans that it “will be revealed very soon”.

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The album was tracked at Sweetspot Studios in Halmstad, Sweden, with mixing duties handled by the duo of Rickard Bengtsson and Staffan Karlsson. Rage Against The Machine collaborator Vlado Meller was in charge of its mastering.

Prior to the release of ‘Immutable’, Meshuggah will embark on a 19-date North American tour. A run through Europe will follow in May, before they knock out six shows across the UK. Full details (and tickets) for those gigs can be found on the band’s website.

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Coheed And Cambria set May release for new album ‘Vaxis II: A Window Of The Waking Mind’

In a recent interview with Consequence, frontman Claudio Sanchez told fans what to expect of the record, and why they took time out during the pandemic to make sure they worked without limitations. “A lot of times, with bands who’ve been around and built a strong fanbase like we have, I think there might be a tendency, intentionally or unintentionally, to try to give the fans what they want and not take too many risks,” he said.

“After making music for so long and entering a pandemic, we didn’t want limitations to the creative process,” he added, teasing that the album “is going to be what I hope people perceive this band to be in 2021/2022” and describing it as “looking forward, not backwards”.

In addition to the standard digital, CD and vinyl release, ‘Vaxis II’ will be released in a limited edition box set sporting a “Quintillan Speaker Containment Unit” lamp, a 96-page hardcover book (created by Sanchez and written by Chondra Echert), a fold-out poster of the album’s expanded artwork, and an exclusive “Black Card”, which offers fans early access to tickets and early entry to Coheed And Cambria’s headline shows.

Take a look at the cover art and tracklisting for ‘Vaxis II: A Window Of The Waking Mind’ below:

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1. The Embers of Fire
2. Beautiful Losers
3. Comatose
4. Shoulders
5. A Disappearing Act
6. Love Murder One
7. Blood
8. The Liars Club
9. Bad Man
10. Our Love
11. Ladders of Supremacy
12. Rise, Naianasha (Cut The Cord)
13. Window of the Waking Mind

Last year, Coheed And Cambria teamed up with J Gursey Coffee Roasters to launch their own coffee brand. The first two blends are based on characters from The Amory Wars, the science-fiction comics and novels created by Sanchez.

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Olly Alexander laughs off complaints about “sexualised” Years & Years performance

Responding to the news, Alexander took to Twitter to say he wanted more complaints next time. “179 people complained I was too sexy! Gonna aim for 200 next time.”

179 people complained i was too sexy !!! gonna aim for 200 next time 😌 https://t.co/0wzUL9gu5I via @MetroUK

— olly alexander (@alexander_olly) January 12, 2022

The BBC have also weighed in. “The event and the staging of this late-night show is intended to be a celebration for all. We hope that for the majority of viewers watching, the tone of the overall concert remained within general audience expectations,” they wrote.

Years & Years will release their new album, ‘Night Call’, later this month. According to Alexander, the record was inspired by “hookups” and the clubbing scene, and served as an “escape” from the struggles of the past two years.

Out January 21, ‘Night Call’ has been teased by new single ‘Sooner Or Later’. Announcing the track, Alexander said: “Surprise!!! I’m here to heal your January blues. I had a lot of fun writing this song! Have a lil listen & lmk what u think.”

The band have previously released ‘Starstruck’, ‘Sweet Talker’ and ‘Crave’ from the record.

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Alexander has also opened up about the band now being a solo project.

“Early on, we were more or less on the same ship, trying to steer in the same direction, and then just clearly we weren’t any more,” he said. “It was definitely the best thing for us, to go our separate ways, rather than try to make it work.” He went on to say the split was “a long time coming”.

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