Watch J. Cole rap over Drake’s ‘Pipe Down’ beat in ‘Heaven’s EP’ video

The ‘Heaven’s EP’ video was directed by Simon Chasalow, and features Cole across a number of locations in Las Vegas.

It appears Cole is fully focused on music again now after leaving the Rwanda Patriots earlier this year (May 26), citing “family obligations” for his departure from the basketball side.

It was revealed that the rapper/professional baller had fulfilled his contractual obligation to the African Basketball League team after playing in three games. Cole finished his contract at the team with five points, three assists, and five rebounds.

In a two-star review of ‘Certified Lover Boy’, which features the newly J. Cole-sampled ‘Pipe Down’, NME wrote: “If Drake feels like the weight of the world is upon him, as he suggests on ‘Champagne Poetry’, ‘Certified Lover Boy’ is not going to go any way towards blasting away that burden. It offers nothing new to the rapper’s canon, merely going through the motions on his old formulas instead.


“If Drake really wants to enter a new golden age, he’s going to have to be a lot more creative – and tough with his editing – to make it happen. Right now, though, his spark is rapidly burning out.”



Ezra Furman shares EP of songs from ‘Sex Education’ season 3 soundtrack

Speaking of the new EP, Furman said: “The release of this show feels like a triumph. There were so many obstacles to making art during the pandemic. Nonetheless, my three bandmates and I found a way, in late summer 2020, to collaborate with Oli and the Sex Education team, partly in person and partly across long distances, to play a small part in making another season of a great, original and vital TV show.

“I’m proud of this music and I feel so lucky to be involved in Sex Education. Now let’s all watch and root for the queers.”

Listen to the new EP below:

Reviewing season three of Sex Education, which came to Netflix today (September 17), NME wrote: Season four hasn’t been confirmed just yet, and these characters clearly still have a lot more to give.

“There are still wise musings on love and adolescence, but season three fails to build on the show’s foundations. Moordale is still the same place fans fell in love with, but these new episodes do little to take that relationship to the next level.”


Earlier this year, Furman came out as a transgender woman, as well as confirming they have been a mother for the last two years.

“I’ve come to terms with the fact that I am a woman, and yes for me it’s complex, but it’s complex to be any sort of woman,” Furman wrote. “I am very proud to be a trans woman and to have come to know it and be able to say it. This has not been an easy journey.”



The Magic Gang talk “dream” Blossoms tour and reveal plans for new EP

Plans to connect with gig-goers extend to meet and greets, which the band said they are happy to do providing fans feel comfortable enough to step forward following the recent rise in UK COVID rates.

“Whoever’s comfortable and feels safe coming forward to say hello, we’ll be there; that’s just the way we are,” Kaye said. “I don’t think we can shy away from that because when you’re there and it’s happening it feels unnatural to hide away and not say hello to the people that have come to see you.”

Kaye added: “We’re being responsible. We’re testing every morning so we’re doing what we can to be safe.”

The Blossoms tour, which concludes at Manchester’s AO Arena on September 18, will include stops in Leeds, Birmingham, Leicester, with three nights scheduled at London’s O2 Forum Kentish Town.

“I think there’s a bit more appreciation for where we’re actually playing because they’re such big venues,” Magic Gang drummer Paeris Giles told NME. “It’s like, wow, we’re playing three nights at Kentish Town Forum and then the big show at Manchester Arena. We feel very grateful to be able to do that.”


Kaye added: “The idea of playing venues to that many people feels like a dream.”

After the run of Blossoms dates, The Magic Gang will head out on their own UK and Ireland tour in October to support their second album, ‘Death Of The Party’, which was released in August last year. Speaking on the difficulty of not being able to tour the album until now, Kaye said the whole process was tough but that he found joy in other things.

“I find being a musician when you’re not touring is a little tough anyway because you have to maintain a bit of discipline and structure in your day-to-day. Whether you’re writing music consistently or whatever it is, you have to implement your own structure,” he said. “So being in that period for a year and a half was pretty stressful and you do a lot of navel-gazing and thinking about yourself.

“You’ve got to find purpose in other things really. I definitely started to find joy in other day-to-day things.”

Having already played a few pre-tour gigs at Tramlines Festival and Boardmasters Festival, as well as a run of National Lottery funded shows, Kaye said the band’s new material is going down better than he thought it would with the fans.

“When we were rehearsing for these early shows I was a little bit nervous about playing the newer stuff,” he admitted. “I was like, ‘Maybe we should put a few more old ones in there.’ But as soon as we started playing the shows the response was really warm for the new ones. Weirdly they’ve been going off more than the first album, which is really cool.”

To follow on from the album, The Magic Gang have revealed that they’re about to start work on another new project. “We’re writing,” Kaye revealed. “I think the next thing’s gonna be an EP.

“We’ve written loads but what we’re trying to figure out – because pretty much all of us write – is what the sound is going to be moving forward and what we wanna do.

He continued: “So it’s not that we need more time to write, we need more time to figure out what we like about what we’ve already written. So rather than just coming out and doing another album straight away we wanna find our feet a little bit within the band.”


The forthcoming EP will be the band’s fourth and the follow-up to 2017’s ‘EP Three’, which they put out to whet the appetites of fans ahead of their self-titled debut LP. “That was sort of our strategy in order to build a following for the first album – and it worked,” explained Giles.

Asked when they hope to start recording the new EP, Kaye replied: “We’re gonna start in September.”

Blossoms UK tour dates can be seen below. The Magic Gang will support on August 30-31, September 9-15 and 18.

August 2021
30 – Bonus Arena, Hull
31 – O2 Academy, Glasgow

September 2021
2 – Engine Shed, Lincoln
3 – Victoria Hall, Stoke-On-Trent
4 – O2 Academy, Birmingham
7 – Junction, Cambridge
9 – O2 Academy, Leeds
11 – O2 Academy, Newcastle
13 – O2 Forum Kentish Town, London
14 – O2 Forum Kentish Town, London
15 – O2 Forum Kentish Town, London
17 – O2 Academy, Leicester
18 – AO Arena, Manchester

See The Magic Gang’s own upcoming tour dates below. You can get more information and buy tickets here.

October 2021
6 – Academy 2, Dublin, Ireland
7 – Old Fire Station, Carlisle, UK
8 – Arts Club, Liverpool, UK
10 – Tramshed, Cardiff, UK
11 – O2 Academy Oxford, Oxford, UK
12 – The 1865, Southampton, UK
13 – Chalk, Brighton, Brighton, UK
14 – Rock City, Nottingham, UK
15 – Gloucester Guildhall, Gloucester, UK
17 – O2 Institute2 Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
18 – Riverside, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK
19 – Beat Generator, Dundee, UK
20 – The Lemon Tree, Aberdeen, UK
21 – SWG3, Glasgow, UK
22 – Waterfront, Norwich, UK
24 – Leadmill, Sheffield, UK
25 – O2 Ritz Manchester, Manchester, UK
26 – London EartH, London, UK

In a four-star review of ‘Death Of The Party’, NME‘s Will Richards wrote: “Here The Magic Gang have acted on pure instinct and feeling. This is an album that, despite its recognition of the downside of things, ends up as a more reassuring – and more real – listen than their debut. With its collage of genres and refusal to co-opt modern trends, album two finds the band moving towards something timeless.”



Chartreuse announce new EP, ‘Is It Autumn Already?’

1. ‘Feed Be Fed’
2. ‘Things Are Changing Too Quickly’
3. ‘Swedish Water’
4. ‘Don’t Exit’
5. ‘Deep Fat’
6. ‘Only You’

Due to arrive on November 19, the EP is previewed by new single ‘Things Are Changing Too Quickly’. The poignant, mid-tempo indie toe-tapper is accompanied by a Fred Qvortrup-directed video – watch it below.

Made up of Hattie Wilson, Mike Wagstaff, Rory Wagstaff and Perry Lovering, Chartreuse have also announced a mini headline tour which will take place after a run of festival performances.

Kicking off at The Lexington in London on November 30, the tour will take in Green Door Store in Brighton, The Cluny in Newcastle, Birmingham’s Hare & Hounds and finishing up in Dublin on December 7. You can buy tickets here.

See the full list of Charteuse’s upcoming live dates below:



25 – Dot To Dot Festival, Bristol
26 – Dot To Dot Festival, Nottingham


16 – Live at Leeds
17 – Wild Paths Festival, Norwich


13 – Stag and Dagger Festival, Glasgow
14 – Stag and Dagger Festival, Edinburgh
30 – The Lexington, London
29 – Green Door Store, Brighton


1 – The Cluny, Newcastle
3 – Hare & Hounds, Birmingham
7 – Upstairs at Whelan’s, Dublin



Glaive and Ericdoa share new single ‘fuck this town’ ahead of collaborative EP

“This song is special to me cause it’s the first hook me and ash ever wrote together #wholesome.”

‘Fuck this town’ arrives ahead of Glaive’s second solo EP ‘all dogs go to heaven’, due out this August, and follows his singles ‘i wanna slam my head against the wall’ and ‘destest me’.

NME spoke to Glaive in May about his seemingly overnight success, why the hyperpop scene he’s part of is “impossible to ignore”, what it was like to collaborate with his dream artists, and how his second EP will “blow my first one out of the water”.

Asked about what it’s like to be at the forefront of the fast-rising hyperpop scene, Glaive responded: “It’s super sick. Everyone involved is great. There are so many kids my age, a little bit older or younger, that are so good at music. It’s a case of a lot of talented people coming together and, when that happens, someone has to pay attention because it’s impossible to ignore.”



Joni Mitchell celebrates 50th anniversary of ‘Blue’ with new demos EP

The album’s new tracks include demos for ‘California’ and an early version of ‘A Case Of You’ that features different lyrics from those heard on the final album.

There are also two alternate takes on the EP. The first being a version of ‘River’ that adds French horns, unlike the album version, which features Mitchell solo on piano. The other alternate take is for ‘Urge For Going’. Mitchell originally wrote the song in the mid-Sixties and often included in her early live sets.

She later revisited the song during the sessions for ‘Blue’, recording a version that included strings, that differs from the version that was  later released as the B-side to her 1972 hit ‘You Turn Me On, I’m A Radio’.

The final unreleased song included on ‘Blue 50’ is a studio recording for ‘Hunter’, another song that was cut from ‘Blue’ at the last minute that Mitchell later performed live but never officially released on an album.

Listen to ‘Blue 50 (Demos & Outtakes)’ below:


In addition to the demos and unreleased tracks, ‘Blue 50’ also includes a striking new cover featuring a previously unseen alternate photo of Mitchell by Tim Considine from the same show as the original cover art.

The ‘Blue’ celebrations don’t stop there. Mitchell and Rhino are also planning on releasing a new collection called ‘Joni Mitchell Archives Vol.2: The Reprise Years (1968-1971)’ later in the year on October 29.

Available as a 5-CD set, as well as a 10-LP collection on 180-gram vinyl, limited to 4,000 copies, ‘Archives Vol.2’ has been sequenced chronologically “to follow Mitchell in real time through one of the most creative periods of her career”.

The collection uncovers several unreleased Mitchell originals, including ‘Jesus’, recorded in 1969 at her friend Jane Lurie’s New York apartment in Chelsea, which also served as the setting for the song ‘Chelsea Morning’.

Other highlights include Mitchell’s performance at Le Hibou Coffee House in Ottawa on March 19, 1968, which was recorded by Jimi Hendrix, and a concert at the Paris Theatre in London on October 29, 1970 that was broadcast on the BBC.

‘Archives Vol.2’ serves as a companion to the upcoming boxset ‘The Reprise Albums (1968-1971)’, which arrives on July 2 in 4-CD, 4-LP, and digital versions. It includes newly remastered versions of ‘Blue’ (1971) and the three albums that came before it: ‘Song To A Seagull’ (1968), ‘Clouds’ (1969), and ‘Ladies Of The Canyon’ (1970).

You can pre-order the digital and CD versions of ‘Joni Mitchell Archives Vol.2: The Reprise Years (1968-1971)’ here. To find out more information and to pre-order the limited vinyl versions, visit Mitchell’s official website.

Meanwhile, Laura Marling has narrated a new audio documentary about Joni Mitchell for BBC Radio 4.

The singer voiced Blue: Pain And Pleasure to mark the 50th anniversary of the classic album.



The Academic share rousing new single ‘Kids (Don’t End Up Like Me)’ and announce new EP

“Thanks to the lockdown, I had plenty of time on my hands, but nothing to write about, so I started looking through all my old notebooks and found this song fully written. I had a gut feeling that it might come to life now with a few more years of living behind me since it was originally written.”

The ‘Community Spirit’ EP will be released on July 9 via Capitol Records and was self-produced. “I’d spend a lot of time during lockdown working on my production chops, trying to get the most out of the little equipment I had,” Fitzgerald added.

It will be their first EP since last July’s ‘Acting My Age’, which was produced by Kaiser Chiefs‘ Ricky Wilson.

Speaking to NME around its release last year, the band discussed potential sounds for their second album after 2018’s ‘Tales From The Backseat’.


“I’m definitely interested in the mixing of guitars and synths, like how New Order did it pushing on from Joy Division,” Fitzgerald said.

“I want to try that, but I want to keep it fun. That’ll always be the core attitude. It has got to make people want to dance and cry at the same time.”



Kvelertak share new video game and EP featuring 8-bit versions of songs from ‘Splid’ LP

“Your favourite superheroes are finally back — in a game where you can swing a REAL axe!” the band said in a press release.

Available for Apple and Android users, you can watch the trailer below:

Kvelertak have also shared new EP ‘Splid: Game Of Doom’, which features four 8-bit versions of songs from their most recent album ‘Splid’, which you can hear throughout the game.

See the tracklisting and listen to the project below:

‘Splid: Game Of Doom’


01 ‘Bråtebrann’ (Game Of Doom Version)
02 ‘Crack of Doom’ (Game Of Doom Version)
03 ‘Discord’ (Game Of Doom Version)
04 ‘Fanden ta dette hull!’ (Game Of Doom Version) 



Trivium’s Matt Heafy shares ‘What The Dead Men Say’ acoustic EP

01. ‘What The Dead Man Say’
02. ‘Catastrophist
03. ‘Bleed Into Me
04. ‘The Defiant
05. ‘Scattering The Ashes

Listen to the new EP below:

Back in September, Heafy confirmed the sad news that former Trivium bassist Brent Young had died.

Young played on the metal band’s 2003 debut album ‘Ember To Inferno’, as well as their ‘The Blue Demo’ record.

“We have just been given word on the passing of one of the early members of Trivium, Brent Young,” Heafy wrote on Instagram.


“Having had a couple wonderful years with Brent in the Florida local band scene, doing the Blue demo and ETI together, the very first European mini-tour and first USA tour together – I have nothing but amazing memories of a wonderful person. Our hearts and condolences go out to all of Brent’s family and friends.”

Earlier this year, Heafy shared a heavy metal cover of sea shanty ‘Wellerman’.

The frontman is one of many artists to hop on the recent TikTok trend of sea shanties, which was kickstarted by Scottish postman Nathan Evans.

Putting his own spin on the popular sailor anthem, Heafy reworked the track on his Twitch account in February mixing it with some raging riffs and thunderous drum kicks.



Shy FX revives Digital Soundboy label for new EP with Breakage

In a press release, Shy FX said: “Breakage and I have been talking about doing a body of work for a while now so it’s great to finally connect on this EP. It’s only right for it to be the first release on DSB after nearly eight years off the grid. Soundboys return… Dubplate season.”


Breakage added: “The fact that it’s the first release on the return of Digital Soundboy; a label that thanks to Shy, really did so much for me, and was such an important label in the industry, is the icing on the cake to me.”

Shy FX started the label in 2005 alongside T Power, using it to release their own material. Over the years, Digital Soundboy has also been home to records from the likes of Skream, Benga, Caspa, Redlight and DJ Fresh.


In 2019, the producer released the album ‘Raggamuffin SoundTape’, which featured collaborations from Lily Allen, Cara Delevingne, Maverick Sabre, Ghetts and more. Last year, he followed that record by releasing ‘Rain’ under his 45 Roller moniker.

According to a press release, Shy FX is currently working on his next album, details of which are yet to be confirmed.



Miguel announces details of new ‘Art Dealer Chic Vol. 4’ EP

“As a basic operating system this mentality has made a profound impact on my life and I want to continue to share how, through the music and the conversation around ADC.”

Revisit ‘Arti Dealer Chic’ Volumes 1-3 below.

Earlier this year, Miguel was announced to be a mentor and judge on the new BBC Three streetwear show The Drop.


The eight-part competition series, which is set to be filmed in Manchester, will see “10 of Britain’s most promising up-and-coming creatives – who all believe they are sitting on the next streetwear brand that is ready to make the leap from the bedroom to the global market – go head to head to win the chance to have their first line stocked in a major UK retailer”.

Miguel will serve as one of The Drop‘s two mentors and will oversee the contestants’ efforts as they complete “themed weekly challenges that help them develop their brand”.



Tate McRae announces new EP ‘too young to be sad’ and shares single ‘slower’

It will be released via Ministry Of Sound on March 26 and is available for pre-sale now here.

She is also due to perform on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on March 30.

The full tracklisting for ‘too young to be sad’ is as follows:

01. ‘bad ones’
02. ‘rubberband’
03. ‘slower’
04. ‘r u ok’
05. ‘you broke me first’
06. ‘i wish I loved you in the 90s’

McRae was included in this year’s coveted NME 100, 100 essential emerging artists for 2021.


‘you broke me first’ racked up over 400 million streams on Spotify alone, it saw her go viral on TikTok, and became Tate’s first top 5 single in the UK.

She is set to start work on her debut album this year.

“I like to try to analyse structures of different albums and see what kind mine might be similar to,” she recently told NME, naming the labyrinthine structure on Frank Ocean’s ‘Blonde’ as a reference point, as well as Billie Eilish‘s debut ‘When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go’ and ‘After Hours’ by The Weeknd.

“The cool thing about ‘Blonde’,” she adds, “is that I don’t think I’ve heard one song that sounds anything the same to him and, you know, the cool part is it kind of just makes you want to push yourself.”

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  • Pop



Charlotte Lawrence shares ‘Talk You Down’ video and details new EP

Watch the new video for ‘Talk You Down’ below.

Lawrence’s new EP, entitled ‘Charlotte’, is set to drop on March 5 via Atlantic. Watch the recent trailer for the EP and see its tracklisting below.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by ☆Charlotte Lawrence☆ (@charlotteslawrence)

‘Charlotte’ EP:

01 Talk You Down
02 You
03 Sin x Secret
04 Slow Motion
05 Cowboys
06 RX


Lawrence, who released the singles ‘Joke’s On You’, ‘Slow Motion’ and ‘The End’ last year, reached a new audience in 2018 when she featured on Yungblud’s ‘Falling Skies’.

Speaking to NME in 2020, she discussed the idea that she and the Doncaster singer could collaborate together again.

“He’s the fucking best,” she said. “His first LA show was a little showcase for his label at the Viper Room in LA. I was there and we became friends immediately. He’s so cool, such an interesting writer and so amazing to work with. Maybe we’ll work together again. Who knows?”

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  • Pop



Christian Lee Hutson covers Taylor Swift, ABBA and more on new EP

“We put out Volume 4 of The Version Suicides in August for Bandcamp Day and people seemed to like it so we’re putting out Volume 1 on Friday” (January 15).

Last year, I started recording quiet demo versions of songs I like on my phone just to send to friends.

We put out Volume 4 of The Version Suicides in August for Bandcamp Day and people seemed to like it so we’re putting out Volume 1 on Friday

— Christian Lee Hutson (@chrisleehutson) January 13, 2021

Listen to Volume 1 of ‘The Version Suicides’, which sees Hutson cover Swift’s ‘Betty’, ABBA’s ‘Dancing Queen’ and Vanessa Carlton’s ‘A Thousand Miles’, below.

The new EP follows Hutson’s debut album ‘Beginners’, which came out last June and was produced by his frequent collaborator Phoebe Bridgers, who also starred in Hutson’s video for ‘Get The Old Band Back Together’ alongside her Better Oblivion Community Center bandmate Conor Oberst.

“I went with ‘Beginners’ as the title because that’s where I feel like I am in my life,” Hutson said of his debut album, “like I’m still just learning and trying to figure out how to navigate the world”.


Taylor Swift’s ‘Betty’, covered on Hutson’s new EP, features on her first 2020 lockdown album ‘Folklore’, which NME called “an extraordinary indie-folk makeover” upon its release last August.

It was followed in December by another record called ‘Evermore’, which saw Swift working once again with The National‘s Aaron Dessner and regular collaborator Jack Antonoff.



Bring Me The Horizon explain delay in “bigger than intended” EP series

Fish said: “We planned to do four EPs in a year, but the last one was almost an album, so I think the spacing will be a bit longer than intended, just because they’re probably going to turn out bigger than intended,” he added, while clarifying: “That doesn’t matter, as long as they’re all really good.”

Jordan Fish performs live with Bring Me The Horizon. CREDIT: Getty

“We’ve been writing on and off for quite a while, so there’s a lot of material that’s being worked on,” he continued. “But we haven’t properly got into the rhythm of writing the next EP yet, we’ll probably do that in the New Year.”

Speaking to NME last year about the idea of the project, frontman Oli Sykes said: “The idea behind ‘Posthuman’ is looking at how we’ve stepped out of evolution and the food chain.

“If we can do that, then we can take responsibility for what we’ve done to the planet and become something better than what humans are right now.”


Reviewing ‘Post Human: Survival Horror’, NME wrote: “Many bands in Bring Me The Horizon’s shoes would use this opportunity to go full Coldplay with a radio-friendly album primed for mass communication, but not Bring Me. Instead, they’re releasing four EPs across the next year, all themed around how humanity is totally screwed.

“What could have been an act of self-sabotage or self-indulgence – or both – has transpired to be a welcome reminder of all that this band does best, rooted in raw relevance for today and the cyber-punk energy of tomorrow.”

Watch Sykes give NME a track-by-track rundown of ‘Post Human: Survival Horror’ above.

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The Paddingtons’ Tom Atkin goes solo: “Some of my bandmates don’t get why I’m into Post Malone, but I can’t help it!”

Hello Tom. It’s 10 years since you last put out any music – why release your solo project now?

Tom: “I think lockdown definitely did play a part. It just made me realise that I should probably be concentrating on the things that are important to me. For the past 10 years I’ve had a weird relationship with music. I didn’t fall out of love with it, life just took a bit of a different turn. There was never really an end to the Paddingtons, and I like to think there’ll never be an end, but there was definitely a different path I was going down – I had a daughter, who’s nine now, and my kid was my priority and music took a backseat. I was a stay at home dad though, so I was always dabbling with stuff…”

Why did you want the world to hear these new songs?

“They’re the most personal songs that I’ve ever written, to be honest. ‘Lil Fucker’ is about me taking things for granted and losing myself a little bit and not really knowing who I am. I lost touch with myself.”

Did you use that track as a kind of therapy?

“I definitely did. I wrote 10 songs in the same period, but these ones just stood out and made a nice little EP. There’s a story throughout the whole thing. I wasn’t getting on with myself and the relationship with my daughter’s mum was all over the place. It sounds really emo. We never hated each other but it was a weird time and we were breaking up – some of it’s based around that. Now we have a really good relationship, which is amazing.”

Is it scary putting out something that personal and letting everyone know your inner thoughts?

“Kind of, yeah! Not even because it’s so personal, but also because I’ve held it off for so long as well. I’ve missed it so much, especially playing shows, being on tour with my best mates and being in the studio with someone that you’re comfortable with.”


When did you start writing the songs on the EP?

“This specific bunch I started four years ago actually. I met Luis Felber, who produced it, and it felt like we were on the same page. I hadn’t had that band and team mentality since writing with The Paddingtons. Having somebody that you bounce off and be creative with played such a bit part. We started chatting about releasing it during lockdown. That’s when we finished it all off and gave it the final touches over email and the phone.”

‘Lil Fucker’ has a Post Malone style sound. What else was feeding into the ideas for it?

“In my 20s I was into Pixies and Smashing Pumpkins as well as The Cribs, who were our touring friends as well as being an influence musically, but now there’s definitely a trap and rap influence. The DIY movement online, and people like Lil Peep, were an amazing discovery for me. I used to be part of such a DIY movement and community and it felt like they were doing the same thing. Some of my old bandmates don’t get why I’m into Post Malone, but I can’t help it!”

Does the rest of the EP sound similar?

“Each song is actually quite different. The next single is the closest to The Paddingtons. It’s punky and more upbeat. It’s called ‘Honey My Brain Fell Out’, but I might rename it! I want to release a track every month or every six weeks.”

And will there be an album?

“Definitely. Me and Luis have started working on what’s gonna be an album [for] next year. We’ve got a bunch of songs already for that which I’m really excited about. I wouldn’t be against playing some socially distanced shows too – probably in the New Year though, because I don’t have a band yet. I have people in mind and I’ve chatted to a few people though…”.

The Paddingtons reformed for a handful of shows back in 2017 – how did they come about?

“I live around the corner from Carl Barat and we bump into each other quite a bit. He said The Libertines were doing a bunch of shows and asked us if we wanted to play with them in Hull. We thought it’d be loads of fun to play together again, and off the back of that we ended up doing a little tour of our own.”

Do you think you’d ever make new music with The Paddingtons?

“I wouldn’t be against it, I’d be up for that, but honestly I don’t know if that would ever happen. I started doing a podcast called 22 Grand Pod during lockdown and we did a Paddingtons one the other night. We’re all still really cool with each other, even after all the shit that we went through. We lost touch for a little bit, but we’re all really tight again now.”

What other episodes of the podcast are worth a listen?

“The one with Alan McGee is quite good. He always has some great stories. And the one with Kyle [Falconer] from The View is good too, he’s a nutter. The Cribs ones are probably my favourite though because I’m such a big fan. It just feels like me catching up with my mates. It’s a good chance for me to reminisce, it’s very nostalgic.”

The Paddingtons made it onto VICE’s Indie Landfill list. What did you make of it?

“I actually found it quite funny to read, even though it was kind of slagging me off a little bit. I guess there was love in there but it sounded like someone was really bored, like ‘We haven’t got anything else to write about at the minute, so let’s just have a go at them lot!’ I guess it’s easy to criticise something like that from the past but it’s not really relevant at the minute. I thought it was really harsh on some people, but Mark Beaumont’s response to it hit the nail on the head. Hats off to Mark.”

‘Lil Fucker’ by Tom Atkin is out now




Sundara Karma on the depression and desire behind explosive new single ‘Kill Me’ and its Hannah Diamond-directed video

Hi Oscar. ‘Kill Me’ is an uplifting-sounding anthem, but there’s a lot of self-doubt in the lyrics. What inspired the track?

“It’s the most autobiographical song I’ve written. It summarises a lot of feelings I went through in the last year. I actually wrote it incredibly quickly. On the day I was handing in our new EP, I wrote ‘Kill Me’ in the morning. It came straight out of me.”

What had you been going through before you wrote ‘Kill Me’?

“I got to a point where I felt lost within myself. I wasn’t really too sure where things were going and I was very close to going away for a year. It was very much an existential crisis which, fortunately, seems to have resolved. I’m definitely inclined to feeling depressive and, basically, depression. That runs in my family.”

What would you have done if you’d taken a year out?

“I don’t know, and I’m glad I’ve got good people around me who helped me see it through. The guys in the band are super-supportive, and my parents are able to speak sense into me when I’ve needed that. I talked to my mum about a lot of the feelings I’ve had, about wanting to take time out for myself. She burst into tears, as she wasn’t able to get through to me. It was a very poignant moment, a breakthrough in establishing what I wanted to do.”

It feels like a statement of intent that you’ve put those sentiments into a euphoric rocker, rather than an introspective ballad…

“That wasn’t pre-meditated, as the lyrics just fell out of me. But it’s nice to channel those experiences into a song like that. What I see as the most beautiful things in art are when people take suffering and turn it into something others can find solace in. It’s always a good feeling when I can do that.”

Did you have any doubts at putting such honesty about your emotions out there?

“I don’t tend to think about that side too much. It’s only when other people start hearing our songs for the first time that it suddenly becomes a reality. If I sat there pondering how others might react, I might start to filter my songs.”

How typical is ‘Kill Me’ of the rest of the new EP coming later this year?

“‘Kill Me’ is probably the most guitar-driven track. The rest of it is vaster and less emo. I was saying over a year ago that I was ready to move on from ‘Ulfilas’ Alphabet’, and I had a bunch of songs kicking around. But, if I don’t get given a deadline, I’ll just let songs rot on a hard drive.”

How did Hannah Diamond come to direct the hyperreal video for ‘Kill Me’?

“I reached out to Hannah, and we started having conversations about how our music could be represented. She’s helped bring a complete visual world to our music. That’s going to carry on over our next releases and get more streamlined, but I love what we’ve done already. Working with Hannah is so exciting.”

What was it like working with new producer Clarence Clarity?

“All of it was done during lockdown, so we’ve only had one phone call. The rest has been done over emails, so it’s been very virtual. It’s the best we’ve sounded as a band.”

‘Kill Me’ sees Sundara Karma back fully on Chess Club Records, where the band started, after your albums were with Sony. How do you view life on a major?

 “Being on Chess Club is wonderful. We’re in control of our whole team and constantly having conversations with everyone at every level of the label. Psychologically, when you’re part of an organisation as big as Sony, everything felt more out of reach. There were so many different people we met just once or twice throughout an album campaign. There’s not enough personal connection or investment. I should say that’s just our experience: I’m sure it’s not the same for every artist. It’s also partly down to age. I’m 24 now and I know the mistakes I don’t want to repeat. Plus, having been through so much last year, I’ve a new sense of gratitude and excitement in what I do.”

As you approach your quarter-century, how has it felt to grow older with your bandmates, having known them since you were at school together?

“We’ve had to grow up in front of an audience, which isn’t necessarily the easiest thing to do. We were 17 when our first single came out. Who knows who they are at that age? Only time will tell what fulfils you in the long run. But we’ve learned from each release, even if that’s been done while people have been looking in. We haven’t been able to change the band’s name or make the scrappy album that never gets released, like most bands do when they’re growing as songwriters. But we’ve supported each other through and through, and we’re incredibly lucky to have that dynamic. We still spend as much time together as we can. Even in lockdown, we’ve been able to go to see the seaside for our guitarist Ally’s birthday.”

How has lockdown been for the band when you’re not at the seaside?

“It was quite difficult initially, but it’s got easier. I’ve managed to stay creative and focused. I’m a reclusive person, a bit of a hermit, so not much has changed day-to-day for me. I’ve been preparing for lockdown since birth. The biggest difficulty is the psychology of being told you have to stay inside. That’s one of the few things that makes me want to go out.”

How frustrating is it that you can’t play an anthem like ‘Kill Me’ to a crowd?

“It’s a shocker. We so badly want to play these songs and see people’s reactions. More support from the government is needed and there needs to be more recognition for the value the creative industry brings. It’s scary times. But I’m also excited to see what comes from this, both how the industry and us creators adapt. I think it could change how people consume live music, and for accessibility to live events. It’s amazing, seeing the different ideas people have from not being able to play live.”

‘Kill Me’ by Sundara Karma is out now. 

For help and advice on mental health:




Listen to The Polyphonic Spree’s new covers EP

Listen to ‘We Hope It Finds You Well’ below:

Meanwhile, James Bay has shared his own take on Oasis and Coldplay for the latest instalment of the ‘Apple Music At Home Session’ series.

In the latest session, Bay covers Coldplay’s ‘Trouble’ as well as Oasis’ ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’ – having previously performed the latter track in front of Noel Gallagher.

Describing the collaboration, Bay said: “It’s funny, I didn’t really like Oasis or Coldplay as a kid. I picked up a guitar at 11 years old and wanted to be The Rolling Stones, Clapton, Hendrix.

“But as I got deeper and deeper into songwriting and studying great songs, I came to love Oasis, Coldplay and more great modern songwriters. I totally fell in love with the music.


“So much so that I now sit and play their songs to myself on guitar, that’s why I chose them, they’re just so timeless and brilliant.”

Elsewhere, IDLES played three live-streamed sets at London’s iconic Abbey Road Studios last week.

The band covered songs by The StrokesThe Ramones and The Beatles. They also played an unreleased song during the trio of shows.


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Japanese Breakfast’s Michelle Zauner and Crying’s Ryan Galloway drop lockdown EP

“I’ve always really liked Crying and I think Ryan as a talent is so underrated,” Zauner told Rolling Stone. “I knew that he was such a guitar wizard and his influences are super bizarre, in my world anyway. And I really appreciate that.

“For this new [Japanese Breakfast] record, I just wanted to work with people that really inspired me creatively. We worked together and made something that was totally out of the realm of what I would usually make. I realised that Ryan had this wealth of material that he was just sitting on.”

Zauner and Galloway live three blocks apart in Brooklyn, New York, but haven’t seen each other since before the pandemic occurred. To make the EP, the pair sent each other songs remotely, contributing lyrics and toplines as they went.

“Basically, her songs were made and were not obnoxious, and then I just added that element to it,” Galloway said. “I also think personality-wise, both of us are very loud. When Michelle came over and we figured out what I can add to the Japanese Breakfast song, both of us were at full volume the whole time. It also carries over throughout this project.

“There’s a specific part in a song where I added a timpani part, and Michelle was like, ‘Sounds like a dumpster falling over. It’s awful.’ I think it’s fun to accept that way of criticism, and bounce back and forth and be allowed to say, ‘Hey, that sucks.’ Because typically, I think that’s how more hardcore musicians tend to communicate. But for indie rock, it’s not usually like that.”


Zauner added: “I felt very comfortable saying things like that. Maybe because I felt like the stakes were set very low. We just wanted to make something fun. It was a space that we created that was very comfortable for us to be honest with one another without hurting each other’s feelings.  We were also in a place where we wanted to make bombastic pop music.”

Bumper has shared the EP a day early via YouTube. You can listen to it above.

Meanwhile, Japanese Breakfast‘s Michelle Zauner has signed a book deal to publish a memoir titled Crying In H Mart.

According to a press release, “Crying in H Mart is Zauner’s story about growing up Korean-American, losing her mother too young, searching for identity in a hybrid culture, and finding a passion for her ancestry and Korean cooking as a way to heal and return to her roots in the wake of loss.”

The musician penned an essay of the same name in The New Yorker about her experiences in the American-Asian supermarket chain H Mart, relating them to the loss of her mother who died of cancer.


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Squid launch record label Ink with guitarist Anton Pearson’s new EP

It’s comprised of the songs ‘Coal’, ‘Contact Desk’, ‘A47DM’, ‘In A Box’ and ’12×12′. You can listen to it in full via Bandcamp below. Hey you lot. Introducing our new label… INK! INK will be a hub for our solo music and collabs that exist outside of the linear Squid time-line!! The first release is an EP of nature-influenced drone music by Squids guitarist Anton. Enjoy.

— Squid (@squidbanduk) August 26, 2020

This comes after Squid recently announced a UK and Ireland headline tour for 2021, which will see the band play their biggest headline show to date at London’s Printworks. Kicking off at The Crossing in Birmingham on March 19, the stint will conclude with a gig at Nottingham’s Rock City on May 21.

You can see the dates of Squid’s 2021 headline tour below:

19 – The Crossing, Birmingham
21 – Button Factory, Dublin
22 – Empire, Belfast
24 – SWG, Glasgow
25 – NUSU Basement, Newcastle
26 – Albert Hall, Manchester
28 – Tramshed, Cardiff
29 – Marble Factory, Bristol
30 – The Phoenix, Exeter
31 – 1865, Southampton


6 – Concorde 2, Brighton
8 –  Printworks, London

Meanwhile, Squid have released covers of Robert Wyatt’ ‘Pigs(In There)’ and Steve Reich’s ‘Clapping Music’ via Bandcamp, with all proceeds being donated to the East Bristol Food Bank. You can find more here.

“We’ve all been affected by COVID in some way, but for people who were already struggling, the pandemic has increased the likelihood of lasting difficulties that will continue after lockdown comes to an end,” the band said in a statement.




The Japanese House shares new EP and Justin Vernon collaboration ‘Dionne’

Listen to the new EP below.

Reviewing ‘Chewing Cotton Wool’, NME wrote: “‘Chewing Cotton Wool’ is an elevation of Bain’s sound. It’s a short collection, but one brings the last few years of music of The Japanese House full circle, while pushing to the future with its lush sounds and huge, radio-ready hooks.

“Short but sweet, it’s another indication of the avant-pop maven Bain’s poised to become.”

Amber Bain released her debut studio album ‘Good At Falling’ in March 2019. In a four-star review, NME described it as “a glittering record stuffed full of gleaming, brilliantly honest songs”.


“From the earth shattering ‘Lilo’ to the radio ready hooks of ‘You Seemed so Happy’, ‘Good at Falling’ is a stunning and emotive debut,” our verdict stated. “People may have been wondering who Bain was when she first released music, but on her debut album she’s made damn sure you won’t forget her.”




Captain Americano drummer Julien Jordan goes solo with new EP as Alista

Jourdan’s collaboration with the band’s frontman Luis Felipse Zschoche came to an end when Zschoche and his wife Cécile Misse died following the terrorist attack at the Bataclan in Paris, in November 2015, when they were attending an Eagles of Death Metal concert.

Eagles of Death Metal frontman Jesse Hughes invited the rest of Captain Americano to finish recording their album a few months after the tragedy, flying them out to Los Angeles to finalise the mixing and shoot a music video for their track ‘A Dozen Oysters’.

You can see Jourdan in the video for ‘A Dozen Oysters’ below:

Captain Americano split up after the last record was finished, which led Jourdan to start writing his own music.

Explaining the name and the motivations of the project, Jourdan says, “The Alista project is born out of a desire to prove to yourself that you must continue to follow your passions despite the curveballs life throws at you.”


You can listen to Jourdan’s ‘Home Alone’ EP on Bandcamp, which includes the ’90s rock-inflected tracks ‘Mr. Harvey’, ‘Crazy Sad Plank’, ‘Start Fresh’ and ‘Last Time I Saw You’.


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Matt Maltese announces new EP ‘madhouse’ – listen to new single ‘hi’

“I’ve found that sometimes the majority of the emotional journey of love and life is actually the search for an understanding of it,” Maltese said of the new EP. “And these songs try and make peace with all of that, poke fun at it and, ultimately, embrace it.”

Speaking of ‘hi’, Maltese added: “This is an ode to someone who’s there for you and has been there all along. I think it’s a song that tries to capture the moment that your love for someone reveals itself to you.”

Listen to ‘hi’ below.

Matt Maltese’s second album ‘Krystal’ came out last November. A four-star NME review of the album labelled Maltese “one of Britain’s most magical songwriters,” adding: “‘Krystal’ manages to be many things at once. It is often devastating, yet also darkly humorous – even in the most depressing circumstances, Maltese is able to recognise the comedy of it all.

“A step forward and a look back to where he came from, this is one of Britain’s most magical songwriters at his enchanting best.”


Earlier this year, Matt Maltese shared timely new track ‘Ballad Of A Pandemic’, on which he urged the world to “help your neighbour”.




Tricky announces new album ‘Fall To Pieces’ and shares hypnotic lead single ‘Fall Please’

The album follows a period of grief for the veteran producer and rapper, whose daughter Mazy Topley-Bird, herself a musician, died in May at the age of 24  – a moment which he described later as the “day my world ended”.

In a press release for ‘Fall To Pieces’, Tricky said: “You’ve gotta fucking get up and fight. Right now I’m in fight mode. And I feel really good. I do.”

‘Fall To Pieces’ will be the trip-hop pioneer’s second release of this year, following the EP ‘20,20’, which appeared in March.

Last year, Tricky released his autobiography Hell Is Round the Corner. Named after a song from his 1995 debut record ‘Maxinquaye’, which NME named as the best album of that year, the book was written in collaboration with the music writer Andrew Perry.

In an interview he gave back in November, Tricky explained why he turned down the offer of performing for the Queen as part of the Millennium Dome celebrations in 2000.




Orville Peck delays ‘Show Pony’ EP to keep focus on Black Lives Matter movement

“The momentum is currently so strong. And it needs to keep going in order to dismantle the injustices of oppression, so if your voice hasn’t been heard yet just use it, or walk out and hear the protesters, and if you’re scared, tell them Orville sent you!”

View this post on Instagram

Hey gang, I know it’s only two days away but I’ve decided to push the release of my new EP ‘Show Pony’ to July. We’re undergoing a huge overdue worldwide transformation thanks to the Black Lives Matter movement and that is mainly what I want to put my focus on at the moment. The momentum is currently so strong, and it needs to keep going in order to dismantle the injustices of oppression, so if your voice hasn’t been heard yet just use it, or walk out and hear the protesters, and if you’re scared, tell them Orville sent you! Last week, thanks to the help of some lovely people we raised close to $37k, and this week I’ll be performing a little surprise from the EP at @wynwoodpride where we’re hoping to raise $100k. Lots of great performers, so if you guys like what you see, remember to tip- and y’all, even if you can’t tip, watching to actively educate yourself is also a win for everyone. Love you all for being kind people and I can’t wait for you to hear the album – but lets use this month to get our shit in order because this is only the start of the marathon for equality💕

A post shared by Orville Peck (@orvillepeck) on Jun 10, 2020 at 8:35am PDT


He also announced that he had helped raise “close to $37k (£29k)” with “the help of some lovely people.” The masked musician will also be performing “a little surprise from the EP” for Wynwood Pride this week. He concluded the post by telling his followers to “use this month to get our shit in order because this is only the start of the marathon for equality.”

As well as the previously released singles, ‘Show Pony’ is set to feature a collaboration with Shania Twain and two other new tracks.


Meanwhile, Peck has begun working on the follow-up to his debut album ‘Pony’, which was released last year.

Speaking to NME, he said: “For me, ‘Pony’ was exactly what I wanted it to be, which was my love letter to classic country as well as all the influences that I’ve been inspired by my whole life, which exceed country and they’re all over the place. I think with the next album it’s gonna be that – just deeper.

“I’m definitely in a happier place now than I was when I wrote ‘Pony’, but unfortunately, along with a lot of other people, no matter how good my life gets or how well things are going, I seem to still carry a healthy dose of sadness inside of me.”


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Aluna on making music without George: “I felt self-conscious trying to drag him through my own self-discovery”

She explained, however, that over time there had been “certain musical and lyrical areas that felt awkward to do in a duo, because they were so singularly from my culture and my perspective”.

“I did feel a little bit self-conscious trying to drag George through my own process of self-discovery,” she said. “I wrote a song before we put out the last EP which was about my mum and my grandma, and George is obviously supportive, but it’s just a bit weird, like ‘hey, do you want to finish off this black women’s anthem with me?’”

Aluna confirmed that, despite her working on solo music at the moment, AlunaGeorge “is definitely still going”. “It’s on hiatus rather than being over, basically,” she said.

AlunaGeorge last put out a record with the 2018 EP ‘Champagne Eyes’. Earlier this year, they collaborated on Kito’s single ‘Alone With You’, as well as working on tracks with Far East Movement and Henry, and Sonny Fodera & King Henry.


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Listen to Four Tet’s surprise new EP under cryptic Wingdings alias

The release follows the producer sharing five new songs for free on his Soundcloud page last month (April 28). The tracks included a six-minute reworking of Destiny’s Child‘s 2004 hit ‘Lose My Breath’, which was originally previewed during a BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix in 2018.

Ahead of the free releases, Hebden shared a huge Spotify playlist collating almost every track he’s been a part of in his career. With the exception of his first studio album under the moniker and a few collaborations with Burial that aren’t on streaming services, the 500-song-plus playlist is the complete works of the producer.

“I’ve been going through my archive finding old music that I worked on and photos,” Hebden explained on Instagram. “It made me wonder how much stuff is on Spotify that I’ve been part of so I put everything I could find in a playlist. It’s 526 tracks so far and there is a link to it in my bio.”




Listen to Jayda G’s feel-good track ‘Both Of Us’ from upcoming new EP

“I wanted to make a happy house song” Jayda G explained of ‘Both Of Us’ in a press release. “The uplifting vocal, the slow breakdown, the release, those are a key part of so many of those classic house tracks I’ve found through digging over the years, and I really wanted to emulate the feeling I get from those.”

The track arrives with a feel-good official video which intersperses footage of blue skies, flowers and Jayda’s home with shots of her performing a set in a busy nightclub.

Jayda said that she had “really wondered if releasing the record right now was the right thing to do”, in reference to the ongoing coronavirus crisis and its impact on people’s mental health.

“Things can feel really fucking depressing at the moment,” she continued, “but the amount of messages I’ve been getting about the track, even during lockdown when people are unable to even be in clubs or at festivals, that really convinced me that now was the right time.”

You can pre-order/pre-save the ‘Both Of Us/ Are You Down’ EP here.






Watch unseen footage of Christine & The Queens’ All Points East 2019 show

Posting “unseen” pro-footage of Chris’ set closer ‘Intranquillité’, APE wrote: “This time last year, we were thrilled to present Christine & The Queens’ first UK festival headline set in what was an absolutely magnificent performance that we will never forget.

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This time last year, we were thrilled to present @ChristineandtheQueens' first UK festival headline set in what was an absolutely magnificent performance that we will never forget. We are excited to share the final track, 'Intranquillité' with you all to mark the anniversary of the show. If you haven't seen it already, check out Christine and the Queens' latest EP and film 'La Vita Nuova' ❯

A post shared by All Points East (@allpointseastuk) on May 24, 2020 at 12:40pm PDT

“We are excited to share the final track, ‘Intranquillité’ with you all to mark the anniversary of the show.”

Meanwhile, Christine & The Queens has been busy offering up a number of home performances during her time in lockdown. Earlier this month she sang recent single ‘People, I’ve Been Sad’ from the window of her Paris residence, before taking part in the new quarantine-adapted Later… with Jools Holland series.

In April, Letissier spoke to NME about how her plans to promote her ‘La vita nuova’ EP had been affected by the pandemic. “I was going to do some American TV, stick around in LA and do some sessions with musicians,” she explained.


“I decided to take this [the lockdown] as a sign to write a lot on my own first instead. It feels a lot like the usual process when I start a new album. The mindset is different, because on my third album I’m looking for something very vast and hopeful.”


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Serj Tankian set to release “EP of rock songs” meant for System Of A Down

Serj Tankian of System Of A Down. CREDIT: Shirlaine Forrest/WireImage

Asked why these songs remind him of the band, he said: “I always have random rock tracks done at different times and I sit on them. And then one day the right project or right idea for releasing them will come along.

“They all have piano or synthesizers, which is a little different than the four-person crew with System although we had some synths as well. It’s got stuff that’s really heavy, heavy and there’s a funny aspect and then there’s a song about my son. It kind of runs the gauntlet on diversity of thematic expression: political, non-political.”

He added: “I guess that’s always been me, all over the place. I think I’m gonna call it ‘Elasticity’ just because I wanted to do it with System and it didn’t happen. For me, it’s not ‘Toxicity’ but it is ‘Toxicity’.

“That’s what I’m thinking of calling it. I haven’t finalized it, but that’s what I’m thinking of calling it. We’ll probably put it out later this year.”


Meanwhile, System Of A Down drummer John Dolmayan has said that it’s “very unlikely” that the band will release a new album.

The California outfit last released full-length records in 2005 with ‘Mesmerize’ and ‘Hypnotize’.

Though they’ve been in the studio on a number of occasions since going on hiatus in 2011, no new music from SOAD has emerged. In 2018, Tankian and co. attempted to work on an LP but were plagued by creative differences.


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