Tommy Lee’s son’s band Motel 7 drop infectious new single ‘Are We There Yet’

Calling it one of their favourite tracks from their upcoming debut album, the pair added: “It just feels so fucking good. It feels like summer. We drowned this shit in so many ambient textures and foley that subtly fill in the pockets of atmosphere between the vocals and main instrumentation. For sure a tune to blast super super loud in the car with the windows down.”

The track comes with a music video directed by Paris Brosnan (son of actor Pierce Brosnan) and sees Khabbaz and Lee hop in a 1960’s marigold Mustang and drive along the iconic Southern California Pacific Coast Highway.

You can watch the video below:

Motel 7 are currently working on their upcoming still-untitled debut album, slated to arrive in September. It follows the release of their five-track ‘Reminder Not To Think Too Much’ EP, which arrived back in January.

Meanwhile, a first look at Lily James and Sebastian Stan as Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee for their new Hulu series has been shared – see it here.

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The actors will be playing the former Playboy star and Mötley Crüe drummer in Pam & Tommy, a new original limited series for Hulu.

The show will follow the pair’s marriage in 1995 through to the birth of their children and the leak of their honeymoon sex tape.

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Chromeo announce ‘Date Night: Chromeo Live!’ album

Previewing the new album, the pair have shared ‘Don’t Sleep (Live in Washington D.C.)’ as its first single; you can listen to it below.

“We always toured as a duo, but on our last run, we put together a band of insane musicians,” Dave 1 said in a statement. “We told them, ‘Let’s make our stuff sound like late ‘80s, early ‘90s New Power Generation.’ It gave a new life to our entire catalogue. We had a blast – it was over the top, but then again so is pretty much everything we do.”

‘Date Night: Chromeo Live!’ tracklist:

01. ‘Funklordz Intro (Live in New York City)’
02. ‘Fancy Footwork (Live in New York City)’
03. ‘Juice (Live in Vancouver)’
04. ‘Hot Mess (Live in Seattle)’
05. ‘Come Alive feat. Toro y Moi (Live in Los Angeles)’
06. ‘Night By Night (Live in Portland)’
07. ‘Bad Decision (Live in Minneapolis)’
08. ‘(My Girl Is Calling Me A) Liar (Live in Minneapolis)’
09. ‘Needy Girl (Live in Los Angeles)’
10. ‘One Track Mind (Live in Seattle)’
11. ‘Bonafied Lovin (Live in San Francisco)’
12. ‘Don’t Sleep (Live in DC)’
13. ‘Old 45s (Live in Portland)’
14. ‘Slumming It (Live in New York City)’
15. ‘Don’t Turn The Lights On (Live in Vancouver)’
16. ‘Over Your Shoulder (Live in San Francisco)’
17. ‘100% (Live in Minneapolis)’
18. ‘Must’ve Been (Live in Vancouver)’
19. ‘Count Me Out (Live in New York City)’
20. ‘Jealous (I Ain’t With It) (Live in New York City)’

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Last year, Chromeo released the coronavirus-themed EP ‘Quarantine Casanova’, featuring tracks like ‘6 Feet Away’ and ‘Clorox Wipe’.

“Honestly, it started as a joke,” commented Dave 1 in a statement at the time, explaining that the songs began from freestyling and quickly became popular with fans.

“As usual, it’s a high brow-low brow thing with us,” P-Thugg added. “These are obviously the funniest tracks we’ve ever written, but they connected in such a visceral way.”

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John Mayer shares beautiful acoustic rendition of new single ‘Last Train Home’

“I decided to take the new song for a spin on acoustic guitar,” he wrote. “I can’t thank you enough for embracing this track the way you have. It makes me even more excited for you to hear the album.”

You can watch Mayer’s stripped back version of ‘Last Train Home’ below:

Mayer announced the release of ‘Sob Rock’ earlier this month, sharing its ’80s-inspired artwork on social media.

Set to arrive on July 16, it’s his first album since 2017’s ‘The Search For Everything’, a loose concept album based around dealing with a breakup.

You can see the tracklist for ‘Sob Rock’ below:

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01. ‘Last Train Home’
02. ‘Shouldn’t Matter But It Does’
03. ‘New Light’
04. ‘Why You No Love Me’
05. ‘Wild Blue’
06. ‘Shot In The Dark’
07. ‘I Guess I Just Feel Like’
08. ‘Til The Right One Comes’
09. ‘Carry Me Away’
10. ‘All I Want Is To Be With You’

In addition to new music, Mayer is reportedly nearing a deal to host his own talk show, expected to launch on the Paramount+ streaming service.

As reported in April, the show would feature performance segments and interviews with “musicians, artists and other cultural figures in a setting designed to look like an after-hours club”.

Meanwhile, Big Sean has revealed that he’s sitting on three unfinished tracks with John Mayer.

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The Joy Formidable share fierce new single ‘Chimes’

Speaking about the band’s new single, lead singer and guitarist Ritzy Bryan said: “I was at a low point just prior to writing this record, I was going through a difficult breakup that left me feeling quite lost and questioning myself.

“In the middle of that sadness, I had a whole week of strange little serendipitous events that ended up inspiring the lyrics for ‘Chimes’. I felt like something or someone was looking out for me. Little signs and symbols that makes you feel like there’s a lot that we don’t understand about our connectivity, the earth talking back to you.”

She continued: “The wind chimes that my grandfather made (he passed in 2013), they hang at my house here in Utah, they’ve come all the way from Manchester, UK to the SW desert. They would ring even without a breeze. I imagined that he was rooting for me to move forward, to trust in things again and that the love you put out will eventually come back to you.”

In a three-star review of the band’s second album, ‘Wolf’s Law’, NME‘s Mark Beaumont wrote: “Even the cataclysmic title track lures us in with a piano introduction full of desolate romance before unleashing the hounds of Wagnerian hell, but the prime intention of ‘Wolf’s Law’ is to overwhelm with bluster, muscle and noise, to orchestrate us clean out of our boots.

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“Which makes for a great record to listen to while teetering on the edge of a cliff in a thunderstorm, but on an iPhone on public transport, it can feel a touch over-egged.”

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Kim Jong-un thinks that K-pop is a “vicious cancer”

“To Kim Jong-un, the cultural invasion from South Korea has gone beyond a tolerable level,” said Jiro Ishimaru, chief editor of Asia Press International, a Japanese website which monitors North Korea. “If this is left unchecked, he fears that his people might start considering the South an alternative Korea to replace the North.”

Jong-un believes the influence of “anti-socialist” cultural exports from South Korea, which The New York Times have reported is smuggled in on flash drives from China, on North Koreans’ “attire, hairstyles, speeches, behaviours” is weakening his control.

Possession of music by BTS in North Korea could land you in a labour camp for up to 15 years. CREDIT: Getty Images

Last December, new laws were introduced calling for five to 15 years in labour camps for North Koreans who watch or possess South Korean entertainment; those who distribute it face the death penalty. Even those who “speak, write, or sing in South Korean style” could also possibly face up to two years of hard labour.

Jung Gwang-il, a North Korean defector who runs a network that smuggles K-pop into the North, said: “Young North Koreans think they owe nothing to Kim Jong-un. He must reassert his ideological control on the young if he doesn’t want to lose the foundation for the future of his family’s dynastic rule.”

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Meanwhile, BTS are reportedly set to return with new music next month, following the release of their second English single ‘Butter’ in May.

This is according to a report by South Korean media outlet SPO TV News, which claimed that the K-pop sensations will make their comeback with a new album on July 9.

The publication also pointed out that the boyband mentioned during a press conference for ‘Butter’ last month that they were planning to release a new album this summer.

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Willow Smith says she used to get bullied for being a Black girl who liked rock music

Speaking about her formative years as a rock and metal fan in a recent interview with V Magazine, Smith told Alexis White of metal core band Straight Line Stitch that she used to get bullied in school for being a Black girl who was a fan of Paramore and My Chemical Romance.
“But being a Black woman in the metal crowd is very, very different on top of the pressures that the music industry puts on you,” Smith said. “Now, it’s like an added pressure of the metal culture, the metal world, and just rock in general. I used to get bullied in school for listening to Paramore and My Chemical Romance.”
White responded: “Yeah, there’s a lot of,“Hey, you’re Black. You’re not supposed to listen to that.”
“Exactly! And it’s not okay,” Smith continued. “Just through the music that I’m putting out right now and the representation that I can bring to the mix, I just hope that the Black girls who are listening to my music and listening to this album see that there’s more of us out there. It’s a real thing, you’re not alone. You’re not the only Black girl who wishes she could flip her hair to the side, and wear black eyeliner, you know what I mean?”

Elsewhere in the interview, Smith talked about her forthcoming album and how it will include a lot more guest features than her previous record, 2019’s Willow, including one from Avril Lavigne.

“I’m so excited that I’m going to be having a song on the album with Avril Lavigne,” Smith said. “She is so iconic. From [ages] 13 to 16, she was my idol. It’s really nice to be able to have a quintessential pop-punk record with the pop-punk queen.”

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Watch Jeff Tweedy and his son cover Sharon Van Etten and Angel Olsen’s new single

“That’s the best I can do with not knowing the lyrics perfectly yet,” Jeff says after the performance. Watch it below at the 2:30 mark.

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A post shared by Susan Tweedy (@stuffinourhouse)

Speaking about their collaboration last month, Van Etten remarked: “Even though we weren’t super close, I always felt supported by Angel and considered her a peer in this weird world of touring. We highway high-fived many times along the way…”

Olsen added: “I’ve met with Sharon here and there throughout the years and have always felt too shy to ask her what she’s been up to or working on.

“The song reminded me immediately of getting back to where I started, before music was expected of me, or much was expected of me, a time that remains pure and real in my heart.”

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Elsewhere, Jeff Tweedy recently pledged to donate a portion of his songwriting royalties to local charity I Grow Chicago.

It comes after Tweedy last year pledged five per cent of his royalties to social justice organisations following the global Black Lives Matter protests in June last year in response to the police killing of George Floyd.

According to its website, I Grow Chicago‘s aim is to grow the neighbourhood of Englewood “from surviving to thriving through community connection, skill building, and opportunity”.

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Pixies announce 2021 tour dates, including Nine Inch Nails support slots

“I’ve been doing a lot of cycling and playing music, Paz has been working on art projects, music, film, and surfing, Charles has been raising chickens and doing a lot of painting, and Dave has been playing drums, doing magic, and investing time in metal detecting and mineral collecting. But we’re ready to get back to playing live shows and are looking forward to seeing you all.”

See the upcoming dates below, and pick up tickets here.

SEPTEMBER 2021
10 – Port Chester, Capitol Theatre
11 – Pittsburgh, Stage AE
13 – Louisville, Old Forester’s Paristown Hall
14 – Fort Wayne, Foellinger Theatre
16 – Milwaukee, Summerfest
17 – Chesterfield, The Factory at The District
18 – Omaha, The Waiting Room/Outdoors
19 – Chicago, Riot Fest
21 – Cleveland, Jacobs Pavilion*
23 – Cleveland, Jacobs Pavilion*
26 – Tulsa, Cain’s Ballroom

*with Nine Inch Nails

Nine Inch Nails said upon announcement of the two Cleveland shows that the gigs would be their only headline shows of 2021.

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The new gigs make good on Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor’s recent promise that the band will be returning to action imminently.

Speaking after picking up the Academy Award for Best Original Score for the movie Soul, which he shared with bandmate Atticus Ross and musician Jon Batiste, he said that the industrial rock mainstays could begin work on new music “as soon as probably tomorrow.”

Pixies, meanwhile, are touring behind their 2019 album ‘Beneath The Eyrie’.

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Listen to Japanese Breakfast sing ‘Be Sweet’ in Simlish

See Japanese Breakfast perform ‘Be Sweet’ in Simlish as part of the expansion pack trailer below.

‘Be Sweet’ is the lead single of Japanese Breakfast’s third album ‘Jubilee’, released earlier this month (June 4). Reviewing the album, NME wrote: “Ambition isn’t something that comes naturally in indie rock; the lingering idea that modesty is the coolest asset you could possess have persisted over the past 20 years, pulling many a band and songwriter back from the brink of fully shooting for the stars.

“In the future, ‘Jubilee’ may just be seen as a pivotal way station on the road to these ideas being rubbished once and for all.”

Since the album’s release, Zauner has performed a number of its tracks on CBS This Morning, while her recent bestselling memoir Crying In H Mart is set to be adapted into a feature film.

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“It is a surreal thrill to have the opportunity to memorialize my mother in film, and I consider it of the highest honor to pursue that task alongside creative luminaries such as Stacey Sher, Jason Kim and Orion Pictures,” Zauner commented in a statement.

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Primal Scream say they “love” Lorde’s new single, ‘Solar Power’

Earlier this week, Lorde spoke about Primal Scream’s influence on her comeback single, pinpointing ‘Loaded’ as a key inspiration behind it.

We ❤️ @lorde new single ! https://t.co/7xUa03Vpgp

— Primal Scream (@ScreamOfficial) June 12, 2021

Speaking to Zane Lowe on New Music Daily on Apple Music 1, Lorde said: “I had never heard Primal Scream in my life. I’d been told to check them out. I wrote the song on the piano and then we realised it sounds a lot like ‘Loaded’. It’s just one of those crazy things that they just were the spiritual forebears of the song.”

She continued to say that she had spoken to the band’s frontman Bobby Gillespie about the similarities between the songs and that he was “so lovely about it”. “He was like, ‘You know, these things happen, you caught a vibe that we caught years ago,’” she explained. “And he gave us his blessing.

“So let the record state ‘Loaded’ is 100 per cent the original blueprint for this, but we arrived at it organically. And I’m glad we did.”

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In a five-star review of the new single, NME said: “Where Lorde will go after this remains unclear, but her third era has started off on a beautiful, summery tip.

“All that’s left to do is get down to your nearest expanse of water, douse on the SPF and do as Ella would – cut loose, lay back and get free.”

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Watch Mac DeMarco make an “Italian-American gangster rap” freestyle with Kenny Beats

“Are you about to bar up?” Beats said. “You can’t rap, Mac!” The indie musician responded: “Absolutely not, but I can try.”

Watch Beats and DeMarco try and bring their “Italian-American gangster rap” track to life below.

Last year DeMarco gave an update on his aims for new music, saying he has no plans to release new material while the coronavirus pandemic is ongoing.

“I’ve been writing songs, but the idea of doing a full record and then the idea of that record coming out in the middle of a pandemic digitally only, and then there’s no prospect of ever performing these things unless it’s on a live stream or something..,” he said.

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“I’m worried we’re going to come out of coronavirus, and there’s going to be 9,000 albums that are all like: [Singing] ‘Oh quarantine, baby, baby’.”

Meanwhile, Beats released a new collaborative project with Denzel Curry in March. ‘Unlocked 1.5’ was a reimagining of the pair’s 2020 collaboration ‘Unlocked’ and featured contributions from Arlo Parks, Joey Bada$$, Benny The Butcher and more.

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Listen to Years & Years’ sultry cover of Lil Nas X’s ‘Montero (Call Me By Your Name)’

“The song is already perfect so I just wanted to have fun doing an acoustic version and seeing if I could sing all the parts in my range—which was a challenge, but I love it. Watching Lil Nas X’s ascent has been so exciting and inspirational to myself as a gay artist.”

Listen to the Years & Years’ acoustic version of ‘Montero (Call Me By Your Name)’ below now.

Last year, Alexander teamed up with pop icon Kylie Minogue on a new reworking of his new single ‘Starstruck’. Weeks later, the Years & Years star mashed up the track with Minogue’s own song ‘Love At First Sight’.

‘Starstruck’ is Years & Years’ first release since the project became a solo endeavour for Alexander. His previous bandmates Emre Türkmen and Mikey Goldsworthy left the group in March, with Alexander saying they had “grown apart musically”.

“We didn’t fall out, we’re all mates and stuff, it’s definitely different but I’m really excited as well to kind of do my thing this time,” he explained.

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Meanwhile, Lil Nas X is set to release his debut album, which will also be called ‘Montero’, this summer and has described it as a “coming-of-age story”.

“I’m exploring my sexuality, my self,” he said. “It’s a coming-of-age story. My heartbreaks – there’s been a lot of those. It’s everything, man. It’s something everyone can vibe along to.”

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Listen to Zuzu’s dreamy new single, ‘Timing’

Speaking about the new song, the Liverpool singer-songwriter said: “This song is about what could have been – meeting someone you have an instant connection with but the timing was never right.

“It’s about those lonely late nights/early mornings when the sun is rising and that person creeps into your mind.

“You wonder where they are, if they’re thinking of you too. I wanted to capture the nostalgic but also melancholy feeling brought on by those sad longing thoughts for somebody you loved.”

Zuzu was among the acts to have contributed to a new cover of The Farm’s ‘All Together Now’ in aid of the Music Venue Trust’s #SaveOurVenues campaign last month.

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The musician, who opened the Sefton park COVID pilot in May, joined The Lathums, Lottery Winners, Trampolene and more in recording a new version of the 1990 classic at Elevator Studios.

“There are so many cool musicians from Liverpool involved as well as it being for such a good cause so obviously I was down,” Zuzu told NME of the Artists United Collective song, proceeds from which go towards saving venues from closure post-coronavirus.

“It’s a classic old Liverpool song by an old Liverpool band,” she added.

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Olivia Rodrigo makes UK chart history with three Top 5 singles

Other male acts to have achieved this in the past include John Lennon, Justin Bieber, Ed Sheeran, and Drake.

Olivia Rodrigo (Picture: Hanina Pinnick for NME)

Last week (June 4), Rodrigo claimed her second week at Number One on the official UK albums chart for ‘Sour‘ alongside ‘Good 4 U’ in the singles chart.

The US singer-songwriter first scored the chart double last month (May 28), and became the youngest ever artist to do so, beating top-spot album competition in the midweeks from Easy Life and Texas.

An artist has not achieved the UK Number One double on their debut album since 2015 when Sam Smith reached Number One with ‘In The Lonely Hour’ and their single ‘Lay Me Down’. The last act to bag the double UK Number One was Ariana Grande, whose latest length ‘Positions’ and its title track both topped the chart in 2020.

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Today (June 11), Wolf Alice overtook Rodrigo, scoring their first UK Number One album with ‘Blue Weekend’. They also have claimed the biggest opening week for a British group in 2021.

The London band’s new album, which arrived last week (June 4), debuted at the top spot with over 36,000 chart sales – 14,700 of which were vinyl copies.

The group also overtook Royal Blood to claim the biggest opening week for a British group in 2021 so far.

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Lorde’s ‘Solar Power’ was inspired by Primal Scream’s ‘Loaded’

She continued to say that she had spoken to the band’s frontman Bobby Gillespie about the similarities between the songs and that he was “so lovely about it”. “He was like, ‘You know, these things happen, you caught a vibe that we caught years ago,’” she explained. “And he gave us his blessing.

“So let the record state ‘Loaded’ is 100 per cent the original blueprint for this, but we arrived at it organically. And I’m glad we did.”

‘Solar Power’ also features backing vocals from Phoebe Bridgers and Clairo, who Lorde called “god-tier female vocalists”. “I love those girls so much,” she said. “They killed it on the song […] They both just crushed. It was such a pleasure for me to have them. So talented, so cool and I’ve never had any other voices on my songs.”

In a five-star review, NME said of the musician’s first single from her third album: “Where Lorde will go after this remains unclear, but her third era has started off on a beautiful, summery tip. All that’s left to do is get down to your nearest expanse of water, douse on the SPF and do as Ella would – cut loose, lay back and get free.”

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Meanwhile, Lorde has also provided backing vocals on Clairo’s new single ‘Blouse’, which was released today (June 11). The track is the first to be taken from the US artist’s second album ‘Sling’, on which Clairo worked with Jack Antonoff.

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The Killers share preview of Bruce Springsteen collaboration and announce release date

“Castles in the sky sit stranded, vandalised,” frontman Brandon Flowers and Springsteen sing in the clip. “We’re drawbridges closing.” Watch the video below now.

pic.twitter.com/VOmLrYG9CS

— The Killers (@thekillers) June 11, 2021

The visuals also reveal that ‘Dustland’ will be released next Wednesday (June 16).

The Killers revealed in April that they have “finished” work on their new album, which will form the follow-up to 2020’s acclaimed ‘Imploding The Mirage’.

In a fan Q&A on Instagram Live, Flowers said: “We’re basically in the mastering phase. It will come out this year. We were hoping for an early summer release, but the vinyl manufacturing companies are all inundated with the artists who held their albums back because of COVID […] It will be [released] this year, and it is finished.”

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Springsteen, meanwhile, is set to return to Broadway for a fresh string of performances of his Springsteen On Broadway show. All audience members will be required to show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination and fill out a health screening within 24 hours of the show.

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Sony Music Entertainment to waive debts for thousands of artists

Some artists never make enough money to repay their advances, sometimes due to the royalty rates set out for them in their contracts. It’s an issue that has particularly affected heritage Black artists and, last summer, US artist manager and attorney Ron Sweeney called on major labels to “zero out their unrecouped royalty balances and let their royalties flow to them so they can support themselves”.

The MMF have been calling for a more progressive approach to tacking outdated contractual terms for some time and welcome the “Artists Forward” initiative from @sonymusic. [1/4] pic.twitter.com/Fz6LcS2qsf

— Music Managers Forum (@MMFUK) June 11, 2021

Sony’s new policy will pay royalty earnings retroactively from January 1, 2021 to “eligible artists and participants globally who signed to SME prior to the year 2000 and have not received an advance from the year 2000 forward”.

The balances will still remain on the record company’s accounts to help keep track of an artist’s reversion rights, according to Music Business Worldwide. Reversion rights allow acts to obtain some or all of the rights to their work once their advance has been recouped.

The Legacy Unrecouped Balance Program will not just apply to artists, but to producers, joint venture partners and distributed labels that have had direct deals with Sony. Anyone eligible will be notified in the coming weeks.

In the letter sent out today, Sony are said to have written: “We’re driven by our mission to provide artists with the best levels of service. The program we are announcing today is part of that continuing work and further builds on our initiatives and investments in modernised contracts, flexible deal options, advanced data and analytics insights for creators and more.”

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In a statement, Annabella Coldrick, CEO of the Music Managers Forum (MMF), said: “This is a very important, timely and welcome initiative from Sony Music. The MMF have been calling for a more progressive approach to tackling outdated contractual terms for some time, including a write-off of historic un-recouped balances.

“It is imperative that artists signed in an analogue era can also benefit from the boom in online streaming.  We hope forward-thinking moves by companies like Sony, BMG and Beggars will help accelerate the pace of reform across the entire industry. The momentum for change really feels like it’s picking up pace.”

The Featured Artists Coalition (FAC) also issued a statement on the new policy on their social media pages, saying they “look forward to the rest of the recorded music industry following suit”.

FAC welcomes today's Sony Music announcement. pic.twitter.com/kf2mcPm2vz

— The FAC (@FeaturedArtists) June 11, 2021

It continued: “We have long campaigned for unrecouped balances on advances to be written off after a fixed time period. It is therefore welcome that Sony has taken steps to do this today. We welcome this move towards a more artist-friendly model, and expect that Sony will apply this adjustment on a rolling basis.

“Tackling the problem of outdated and heinous contractual terms, such as decades old balances and regressive royalty rates, is at the forefront of the FAC’s agenda. These old-era contractual terms are completely unfit for the modern age, and we passionately believe that challenging these contracts holds the key to a fairer future for artists.”

Both the MMF and FAC recommended wiping unrecouped balances to the recent Department of Culture, Media and Sport select committee hearing on streaming.

Beggars Group, which owns the likes of XL, 4AD, Rough Trade and more, already operates on the basis that unrecouped credit will be written off 15 years after an “active relationship” with an artist ends.

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Slipknot’s Clown says he’s ready to share the band’s unreleased Paul Gray tribute song

He continued: “We have a song that we wrote for Paul Gray called ‘Without the Gray,’ and it’s probably my fault, but I’ve held it for a long time,” he said. “I don’t know why. It was too close in the beginning and it seemed like it needed to be for us more than for everyone else.

“And now I don’t care, I want it to be for everyone else instead of us.”

At present, it isn’t clear when ‘Without The Gray’ might be released or if it will feature on Slipknot’s next album.

Clown has said that the band are near completion on that new record, which will be the follow-up to 2019’s ‘We Are Not Your Kind’, and could have it finished by the end of next month.

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“I believe that this album is… It’s God music, man,” he said. “It’s the centre of the beast for me. This is a whole other element. We still have a lot of time to complete this. We’re hoping to be done by the end of July.”

Meanwhile, Slipknot will return to the festival stage this summer, with an appearance confirmed for Rocklahoma, alongside Rob Zombie and Limp Bizkit. They will also take their Knotfest Roadshow back on the road in North America for 28 dates, kicking off in Des Moines on September 25.

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Wolf Alice score first UK Number One album with biggest opening week for a British group in 2021

‘Blue Weekend’ was one of three new releases to land inside the Top Five, alongside James‘ ‘All The Colours Of You’ (Number Three) and Lil Baby & Lil Durk‘s ‘The Voice Of The Heroes’ (Number Five). Dua Lipa‘s ‘Future Nostalgia’ re-entered the Top Five landing at Number Four.

YES Wolf Alice! 🍾 @wolfalicemusic celebrate their new album Blue Weekend debuting at Number 1 on the Official Albums Chart 💙 Full story: https://t.co/LWPFZfuKjl pic.twitter.com/aKRBFbkTlH

— Official Charts (@officialcharts) June 11, 2021

The band, whose first two albums (2015’s ‘My Love Is Cool’ and 2017’s ‘Visions Of A Life’) both previously peaked at Number Two on the UK Album Chart, said of their new album’s achievement: “Roses are red, violets are blue, we always thought we’d be Number 2 – but we’re not! YES!”

Wolf Alice CREDIT: OfficialCharts.com

 

Elsewhere on the chart, Crowded House claimed their highest-charting LP in 14 years with ‘Dreamers Are Waiting’ at Number Six, while further down the Top 20, ZZ Top’s Billy F Gibbons landed at 18 with ‘Hardware’, and Rise Against opened at 19 with ‘Nowhere Generation’.

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In a five-star review of the album, NME‘s Rhian Daly called ‘Blue Weekend’ “another stone-cold masterpiece that further cements [Wolf Alice’s] place at the very peak of British music.”

Wolf Alice will take the record on the road in the UK next January, when they’ll perform in Glasgow, Newcastle, Manchester, Liverpool, London and other cities over the course of the month. You can purchase any remaining tickets here.

“I can’t wait to play these new songs live they are gonna sound so gooooood,” the band said in a statement. “Joff’s pedal board literally sounds like an orchestra at the moment and you have no idea how sweet Theo’s falsetto is rn.”

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Shaun Keaveny to leave BBC Radio 6 Music after 14 years

Keaveny joined 6 Music and the BBC in early 2007, hosting the late evening show. In April that same year, he moved to host the 6 Music Breakfast Show until December 2018, when he bid farewell to over a decade of early starts and was replaced by Lauren Laverne. From January 2019 until now, Keaveny has presented the Afternoon Show (1-4pm).

Sharing a message with his listeners, Keaveny said: “You have been there through births, marriages, deaths, divorces, get-togethers, break ups, great sandwiches, bad curries, deceased pets, the lot. You have been unceasingly funny, always kind, always there with pendantry or support for even the silliest feature idea.”

Going on to say that he “will be back with something soon”, Keaveny invited his listeners to “buy me a pint in the Open Arms later, and remember, I love you”.

Shaun Keaveny interviewing Little Boots in 2007. CREDIT: Andy Sheppard/Redferns

Matt Everitt, who presents the daily music news on Keaveny’s show, took to Twitter to share a few words about his co-worker’s departure.

“It’s hard to know what to say about @shaunwkeaveny’s news today,” he wrote. “I knew there would be an outpouring of love for him and what he’s done on @BBC6Music, and that’s down to how much listeners feel like they really know him personally. Which they really do.

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“This is my point. I’ve worked with @shaunwkeaveny every day for 13-ish years (20 if you count pre-6 Music) and people who love his show come up to me and ask, ‘What’s he really like?’ and I say, ‘You already know. That person you hear on the radio, that’s really Shaun’.

This is my point. I've worked with @shaunwkeaveny every day for 13-ish years (20 if you count pre-6 Music) and people who love his show come up to me and ask, "What's he really like?" and I say, "You already know. That person you hear on the radio, that's really Shaun". 2/

— Matt Everitt (@matteveritt) June 11, 2021

“‘What?’ People ask, ‘Is he that funny, that daft, that exasperated, that quick-witted, that grumpy and that lovely in real life?’ and I always say, ‘Yes. He really is’.”

He continued: “Then people ask, ‘So there’s no script?’ to which the answer is, ‘Seriously? You think someone wrote that bobbins?’ No, what you hear is the real Shaun. And that’s why he’s so special and so loved.

Then people ask, "So there's no script?" to which the answer is, "Seriously? You think someone wrote that bobbins? No, what you hear is the real Shaun. And that's why he's so special and so loved. 4/

— Matt Everitt (@matteveritt) June 11, 2021

“And that’s why I love him too. There’s a lot more to say, but this’ll do for now. It’s been more fun than you could ever possibly imagine – playing music and making jokes with my best friend every single day. For an actual job. How brilliant is that? And how brilliant he is”

pic.twitter.com/H0miuij0kq

— Matt Everitt (@matteveritt) June 11, 2021

Samantha Moy, Head of 6 Music called Keaveny a “broadcaster extraordinaire”, as well as “MC of Middle Aged Shout Outs, presiding judge of the Small Claims Court and landlord of the Open Arms.”

May continued: “From night time to breakfast time to lunchtime, Shaun has created a world on 6 Music that is distinctly his own and which has been a joy to share. His listeners, fellow presenters and all of us at 6 Music will miss him. When he leaves us in September, it will be with a huge amount of love and the warmest of wishes for his next wonderful adventure. Thank you, Shaun.”

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Kelly Lee Owens announces 2021 US tour

Tickets – which you can get here – go on sale at 1pm EDT on Friday (June 11) the same day Owens releases her new Inner Song Remix Series EP.

The EP features songs from her 2020 album Inner Song reworked by the likes of Breaka, Loraine James, Eikka, Shorter Roza, Yazzus, and Coby Sey. Listen to the Breaka, Joraine James and Elkka remixes below.

Full list of Kelly Lee Owens US tour dates:

SEPTEMBER 2021
8 – Brooklyn, NY – Music Hall of Williamsburg
10 – Chicago, IL – Pitchfork Music Festival
11 – Philadelphia, PA – Making Time
13 – Cambridge, MA – The Sinclair
14 – Washington, DC – Union Stage
16 – Minneapolis, MN – Fine Line
17 – Denver, CO – Globe Hall
18 – Seattle, WA – Nuemos
19 – Portland, OR – Holocene
22 – Oakland, CA – Starline
25 – Los Angeles, CA – Lodge Room

OCTOBER 2021
22-23 – Miami, FL – III Points Festival

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In a five-star review of Owens’ Inner Songs, NME wrote: “By allowing her songs to breathe, leaving space for contemplation, ‘Inner Song’ is a perfectly-arranged album where each track has a part to play: an emotive-yet-euphoric collection that’s made for late-night reflection, Kelly Lee Owens has made one of the most beautiful records of the year.”

Meanwhile, Kelly Lee Owens was among the names who recently announced that SSD Concerts will no longer be promoting upcoming shows for them following allegations of employee mistreatment.

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J. Cole and Diddy re-enact infamous VMAs after-party altercation

You can see the post below:

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A post shared by LOVE (@diddy)

The clip comes after Cole confirmed the long-rumoured altercation, which took place at an after-party following the MTV Video Music Awards in 2013, on new track ‘Let Go My Hand’, featuring Bas and 6LACK.

Taken from his new album ‘The Off-Season’ – his first LP since 2018’s ‘KOD’ – Cole raps: “Kept a tough demeanour on the surface but was mostly just pretendin’/ Luckily my bluff was workin’ way more often than not.

“But sometimes a n***a pulled my card, tryna expose me for a fraud/ And with my reputation at stake/ I was scufflin’ just to save face/ Couple wins, couple losses, some broken up too quick to call it.

Cole then says: “Last scrap was with Puff Daddy, who would’ve thought it?”

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“I bought that n***a album in seventh grade and played it so much/ You would’ve thought my favourite rapper was Puff/ Back then I ain’t know shit, now I know too much.”

Diddy later ends ‘Let Go My Hand’ with a prayer, suggesting that he and Cole had buried the hatchet over the incident.

Rumours at the time of the incident claimed that the altercation took place because Cole was defending Kendrick Lamar. Cole’s manager and Dreamville Records co-founder Ibrahim “IB” Hamad, recently debunked these theories on an episode of the Say Less podcast.

“It was definitely not like he was defending Kendrick or something,” he said. “It wasn’t like, ‘Don’t talk to Kendrick like that!’ Kendrick was there, Top was there, [Jay-Z] was there, Beyoncé was there. Me and Cole. You know, grown men got a little heated. All I remember is, me and [JAY-Z] looking at each other like, ‘Oh, these n***as ‘bout to fight.’ And then just being like, ‘Oh no this is ‘bout to happen.’ I’ll leave it at that.”

He continued: “You wanna know the funny part? That was a VMA party, everyone was there. Angela Yee was literally at the table. I fuck with Yee, but she got Rumor Report and shit. Walking out of there I’m like, ‘Oh this about to be baaad.’ But for some reason no one had a camera out, a couple people was talking about it, but you know.”

Meanwhile, last week, J. Cole shared a video for his new track ‘Punchin’ The Clock’ – you can watch it here.

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Over 5,000 live shows risk cancellation if June 21 reopening deadline pushed back

Gigs by Rag’n’Bone Man, Rudimental, Olly Murs, Tom Odell and more are at risk of cancellation or postponement, which will incur immediate costs across the live music supply chain and further damaging an already fragile industry.

“The government has said it wants to protect the domestic unlock at all costs, but delaying the roadmap leaves us in limbo – unable to proceed with plans and enjoy our summer at home, forced to abandon large scale events that the public are so looking forward to after a year of cancellations,” said Greg Parmley, CEO of LIVE.

The government’s Events Research Programme findings, which have been helped on by pilot scheme events like the BRIT awards, concerts and raves in Liverpool, have been widely reported as showing that with screening, improved ventilation and other mitigating factors, mass events can be as safe as a trip to the supermarket.

The live music sector is now calling for the government to publish this data in full so that it is able to follow its own science, and allow the live events sector to adapt to a “new normal” where it is able to deploy precautions to allow events to take place safely as the coronavirus threat reduces.

Tom Ogden of Blossoms performs at a non-socially distanced outdoor live music event in Liverpool on May 2, 2021. CREDIT: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

“By its own evidence from the Events Research Programme, as we saw at both the BRITs and in Liverpool, large scale events can happen safely with the right precautions in place,” Parmley continued.

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“The government must now follow its own science if it is to avoid the decline of the UK’s world-leading live music industry, which absolutely cannot afford to miss out on another summer of cancelled events after a year on pause.”

A press release from LIVE read: “The live music sector is ready to restart, having invested time, money, and resources in the precautions required to make events safe. Venues and festivals are equipped to carry out events safely and to a high standard as soon as the government gives the green light.

“Any delay to the June 21 reopening date will have significant and immediate repercussions, including 248 grassroots music venues that would face an immediate threat of eviction without a comprehensive response from the government that fully addresses their financial losses from delayed reopening.”

“In the event of any delay to reopening, government action to restore confidence to the sector will need to be swift, decisive and comprehensive,” said Mark Davyd, CEO of Music Venue Trust. “Any decision to delay places the sector in the most perilous and uncertain situation since April 2020. All that has been done by the government, the public, artist and communities to save our venues risks being undone.”

The UK’s summer festival season would also see significant casualties, with 65 per cent of all AIF member festivals saying they will be forced to cancel if faced with a five-week delay – and 21 per cent already gone.

According to a LIVE press release, a delay to the live music industry, which supports 210,000 full-time equivalent roles, as well as over 90,000 freelancers, would affect hundreds of thousands of livelihoods.

It would also “have a ripple affect across the industry – grassroots venues will no longer be able to host early talent, communities will miss out on local events, concerts and tours will be paused up and down the country, and for many festival organisers, the much-loved British summer season will be called off for a second year”.

Meanwhile, the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) has vowed to challenge the UK government if the remaining coronavirus restrictions are not lifted on the provisional date of June 21.

The NTIA have said it will pursue legal action if night time economy venues – many of which have been shuttered for over 15 months – do not reopen on June 21.

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A colossal boxset reissue of George Harrison’s ‘All Things Must Pass’ is on the way

The £859.99 ‘Uber Deluxe’ edition of the reissue comes with eight 180g vinyl LPs, five CD and one Blu-ray audio disc, housed in an artisan designed wooden crate. As well as the original album, it contains 47 demos and outtakes (42 of which are previously unreleased). The Blu-ray disc contains high-res stereo of the album in 5.1 surround sound.

The crate also contains two books: a 96-page scrapbook designed by Harrison’s widow Olivia, and a 44-page book of archival interviews with notes from the period.

The set features a wooden bookmark made from the oak of a tree felled at Harrison’s Friar Park, 1/6 scale replicas of Harrison and some gnomes as seen on the album’s cover, a copy of Paramahansa Yogananda’s Hindu text ‘Light from the Great Ones’ and some Rudraksha beads.

The reissue will also be released as an eight LP or five CD plus one Blu-ray set, and as more modest triple vinyl and double CD versions. All will be released on August 6 and are available for pre-order now.

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The Harrison estate previewed the reissue last November, releasing a new stereo mix of the album’s title track.

Last month, meanwhile, musician, artist and Beatles collaborator Klaus Voorman – who contributed a new illustration to the Uber Deluxe set – remembered a 17-year-old Harrison as a “cocky little boy […] very different to how he was later.”

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Anti-vax Foo Fighters fans are renouncing the band over their New York gig

“Foo Fighters, a band I’ve long admired, just held a concert for the jabbed only,” tweeted one fan, confusing the show’s date. “That’s every album & playlist with them on, consigned to the bin.”

Right Said Fred, who have previously attended anti-lockdown protests and whose frontman Richard Fairbrass has branded the vaccine a ‘scam’, replied to the user saying: “Music is meant to build bridges, not destroy them.”

Music is meant to build bridges, not destroy them.

— Right Said Fred (@TheFreds) June 10, 2021

Libertarian comedian Josh Denny said he will “Never buy another ticket to a Foo Fighters Concert. Not all people that choose to NOT vaccinate are conspiracy theorists. Some people, very close to me, have autoimmune conditions that make the vaccine a high risk proposition.”

He added: “‘Vaccine mandatory’ is 2021’s ‘whites only.’”

I’ll never buy another ticket to a @foofighters concert.

Not all people that choose to NOT vaccinate are conspiracy theorists. Some people, very close to me, have autoimmune conditions that make the vaccine a high risk proposition.

“Vaccine mandatory” is 2021’s “whites only.” https://t.co/LDuwzw140V

— Josh Denny (@JoshDenny) June 9, 2021

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“Being such a huge fan since seeing you open for The Stones back in the 90s to hear this sadly has changed all that,” said another fan in response to the band on Twitter.

How come you are not advising your fans that this show is ONLY for fully vaccinated people. I can not even begin to express how disappointing this was to hear. Being such a huge fan since seeing you open for The Stones back in the 90s to hear this sadly has changed all that 🙁

— KSidisin (@SidisinK) June 9, 2021

“Never thought the Foo Fighters would support suppression, segregation, and discrimination,” said another.

Never thought the Foo Fighters would support suppression, segregation, and discrimination.
It's strange times.

— NPK (@NamepleaseK) June 9, 2021

Many others, however, have expressed their support for the show’s vaccination policy, which is in keeping with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s recent announcement that all shows at 100 per cent capacity must have a fully vaccinated audience.

“A big thumbs up to my favorite band for doing this,” said one user. “I genuinely don’t see a problem with this, and double bonus points for pissing off the anti-vax morons,” said another.

@foofighters will be playing a full capacity concert at MSG on June 20th and attendees must be fully vaccinated. I'm totally on board with requiring vacations, a big thumbs up to my favorite band for doing this.

— Shawn W (@BiscuitsDad30) June 9, 2021

Foo fighters holding a concert for the vaccinated is my favourite

— Dan Moore (@DeeGeeEmm) June 10, 2021

Foo Fighters have said they’re going to play a gig but only for those who have been vaccinated. I genuinely don’t see a problem with this, and double bonus points for pissing off the anti-vax morons.

— Steve McHugh (@StevejMchugh) June 10, 2021

Children under the age of 16 who are unable to take a vaccine can show proof of a negative COVID test instead.

Foo Fighters will follow the New York gig with a run of shows across the US this summer. Their return to live gigs comes after the coronavirus pandemic derailed their extensive plans to celebrate their 25th anniversary in 2020.

The Foos had been set to head on a tour that would see them revisit stops from their first US tour, which was held in 1995, but those dates were shelved last August.

The band have, however, played a number of fundraisers and livestreams throughout the last year, including their recent appearance at Vax Live: The Concert To Reunite The World which raised £214million to support worldwide vaccination efforts.

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The Weeknd discusses “devastating” Ethiopia crisis in USAID government meeting

“90% of the population – require humanitarian assistance. We can help by spreading awareness and donating,” he added.

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A post shared by The Weeknd (@theweeknd)

In November 2020, armed conflict broke out between the regional government and the Federal government in Ethiopia’s Tigray region. It is reported that over one million people are now thought to be displaced because of the conflict, and it is estimated that over 4.5million people are now in need of assistance.

According to a New York Times report in February, an internal report from the US government said officials in Ethiopia were “leading a systematic campaign of ethnic cleansing” in Tigray. Harvests have been impacted by the fighting, leaving some areas in the region nearing famine.

The Weeknd, whose parents are both from Ethiopia but emigrated to Canada before he was born, highlighted that 63,000 refugees, as of April 2021, have been arriving in Eastern Sudan, and there’s a high risk of serious famine in the state without an immediate increase in humanitarian assistance.

“There’s increased protection needed for at-risk groups, such as women and girls experiencing gender-based violence,” he wrote.

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The Weeknd urged people to help by donating to the Tigray, Ethiopia disaster relief fund, which you can do so here.

In April, The Weeknd announced plans to donate $1million (£723k) to help hunger relief efforts in Ethiopia.

“I will be donating $1million to provide 2million meals through the United Nations World Food Programme and encourage those who can to please give as well,” he said in an Instagram post. You can donate to the UN’s World Food Programme here. 

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CSS tease full return and new material after eight years: “We have songs ready!”

The new rave scene placed the band alongside the likes of Klaxons, Late Of The Pier and Hadouken in the ’00s, but they say a 2019 show showed that their music is now being discovered by a new generation.

“We did have a comeback show in São Paulo in 2019 which was wonderful. We just played hits and found out we have a whole new generation of queer cute fans!,” explained Lovefoxxx.

“I’ve learned how to drive, sold everything I had, bought land, built a wooden shack, and now I live in the middle of the woods by the beach while making video art, paintings and surfing.”

But could new rave ever make a full comeback?

“Yes, everything returns in a different way,” said Lovefoxxx. “I’m excited for the comeback of electro though. To see how it will be reinvented. And for what I can remember: I remember the contrast of a bunch of cute drunk English kids in bright clothes against a damp and grey England.”

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Meanwhile, CSS recently covered Neneh Cherry‘s ‘Buffalo Stance’ for a new ’80s compilation on Deezer, which also saw Wolf Alice covering Roxy Music‘s classic single ‘More Than This’.

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Elton John says UK will lose “generation of talent” due to post-Brexit touring rules

John shared the post to his Instagram, revealing that he – alongside his partner and Rocket Entertainment CEO David Furnish, promoter Craig Stanley and Lord Paul Strasberger – met with Lord Frost “to spell out the damage the trade agreement he negotiated with Europe is doing to the UK’s music industry”.

“Despite this looming catastrophe, the government seems unable or unwilling to fix this gaping hole in their trade deal and defaults to blaming the EU rather than finding ways out of this mess,” he said.

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A post shared by Elton John (@eltonjohn)

John described touring as “an essential part” of education for artists, but said it risked becoming prohibitive for artists under the current arrangement.

“The situation is already critical and touring musicians, crews and support staff are already losing their livelihood,” he said.

John went on to explain that he was not concerned with the risk for artists on a similar level to himself, who frequent arenas and stadiums.

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“We are lucky enough to have the support staff, finance and infrastructure to cut through the red tape that Lord Frost’s no deal has created,” he said.

Elton added: “During our meeting Lord Frost said trying to solve this issue is a long process.”

“Unfortunately, our industry doesn’t have time. It is dying now. The government have broken the promise they outlined in 2020 to protect musicians and other creative industries from the impact of Brexit on tours to Europe.”

Concluding his statement, Elton said the government risked ruining a “window of opportunity” that had been presented by the way in which the pandemic has halted touring.

“I call on the government to sort this mess out or we risk losing future generations of world-beating talent,” he said.

“This is about whether one of the UK’s most successful industries, worth £111bn a year, is allowed to prosper and contribute hugely to both our cultural and economic wealth, or crash and burn.”

Last weekend, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden was also criticised when he boasted that trade deals with Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein would allow seamless touring – with musicians pointing out that all three countries make up a small proportion of the continent.

Elsewhere, European festival promoters have said that they could be likely to book fewer UK acts as a result of Brexit, while figures from the UK music industry have expressed concern that the impact of the deal on musicians who might not be able to tour Europe could also potentially prevent them from acquiring a visa to play in the United States.

The government was also previously accused of treating the sector like “an afterthought” in Brexit negotiations compared to the £1.2billion fishing industry.

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Listen to Durand And The Indications’ downbeat new single ‘Love Will Work It Out’

He added that the track was inspired by “both the [coronavirus] pandemic and social justice movements of the past year”.

“For months into the pandemic and the racial/political chaos that ensued, we found it hard to write,” the band said of their forthcoming record.

“The biggest creative dry spell we’d experienced in a decade. The constant barrage of horrible news felt overwhelming, and songs just seemed inadequate in response to police murdering people in broad daylight.

“Songs felt inadequate in the face of a virus that decimated communities and kept us apart from our loved ones. We marched, protested, cried, wiped down our groceries, stopped wiping down our groceries, unplugged, breathed, re-plugged, re-engaged.”

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They continued: “And when music finally flowed, the first song we wrote together was ‘Love Will Work It Out.’ Because conflict and confrontation require bravery, AND so does keeping the faith in the goodness of one another. It’s a big part of what so many people are fighting for – the benefit of the doubt, the ability to be seen as whole, the space to love and trust. It’s been a tough year, but we’ve come out the other side steady and hopeful.”

The full tracklisting for the ‘Private Space’ is as follows:

1. ‘Love Will Work It Out’
2. ‘Witchoo’
3. ‘Private Space’
4. ‘More Than Ever’
5. ‘Ride Or Die’
6. ‘The Way That I Do’
7. ‘Reach Out’
8. ‘Sexy Thang’
9. ‘Sea Of Love’
10. ‘I Can See’

It follows their 2019 album ‘American Love Call‘, which NME awarded four stars in a review, writing: “The Indiana five-piece have created a timeless, optimistic listen – a great American soul record for these times, an homage to giants such as Sam Cooke and Al Green.”

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Madi Diaz announces new album ‘History Of A Feeling’

“The bulk of this music came from dealing with a kind of tsunami clash of compassion, both for my former partner while she was discovering a deeper part of her gender identity long hidden, and my own raw heartache over having lost the partner I knew,” Diaz said in a statement.

She continued: “I felt so torn through the middle because half of me wanted to hold this person through such a major life event, one that is so beautiful and hard, and the other half felt lost—like I had lost myself in someone else’s story.”

Set to be released on August 27 via ANTI, you can pre-order ‘History Of A Feeling’ here.

OKAYYY HERE IT GOES… I’m so so excited to announce that I have a whole album coming called “History Of A Feeling” along with my new song “Woman In My Heart” which is out right NOW.  History Of A Feeling releases August 27th.@AntiRecords. Pre-order here: https://t.co/KxCa8xpppj pic.twitter.com/dddr18AVFO

— madi diaz (@madidiaz) June 9, 2021

Diaz has accompanied the announcement with the release of a new single, ‘Woman In My Heart’, which she has said “came out in a sort of waking dream” while she “was actively learning how to part with someone”.

“It was hard enough not to miss/hurt/hate/fight/fuck/feel/get over them, and, what was even harder, was the love we had felt more and more like a mystery and the pain was the only thing coming in clear,” Diaz added.

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It follows the release of recent singles ‘Nervous’, ‘New Person, Old Place’, and ‘Man In Me’.

Watch the Jordan Bellamy-directed video for ‘Woman In My Heart’ below:

‘History Of A Feeling’ tracklist:

1. ‘Rage’
2. ‘Man In Me’
3. ‘Crying In Public’
4. ‘Resentment’
5. ‘Think Of Me’
6. ‘Woman In My Heart’
7. ‘Nervous’
8. ‘Forever’
9. ‘History Of A Feeling’
10. ‘New Person Old Place’
11. ‘Do It Now’

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