Get high with Highasakite’s Golden Ticket

Norwegian indie band Highasakite are getting set to release their new album, Camp Echo, which is due out on 20 May. This weekend, they played a track from it, Golden Ticket, live for the first time on local chat show Lindmo.

It’s a slight departure musically from what we’ve been used to from these guys, with some pretty heavy and poppy synths in the chorus. But the subject matter is, as ever, a little melancholy.

Expect to hear a few more snippets from the new record over the next fortnight before its release. It should be a belter.

Biffy Clyro explodes back to life

It’s been a while since we’ve heard from Scottish rockers Biffy Clyro, but thankfully, they’re back with a bang.

The raucous trio hit the BBC studios in Maida Vale, London, to play some of the new material from their upcoming seventh album, Ellipsis — set for release on 8 July — as well as a few old favourites. Here’s a taste of one of those tracks, Wolves.

I’ve seen The Biff a few times, and can confirm that they are one of the best live rocks acts going around. The power and energy they generate on stage is remarkable, and all sorts of fun. It looks like the new album won’t disappoint in terms of keeping that tradition alive.

To sample the rest of the set from Maida Vale, one YouTuber has kindly uploaded it here:


RIP Prince

For all the tributes and words said about Prince, I’ve found the best to be the anecdotes told by those that knew him or were lucky enough to have spent some time in his inner circle. For example, this story told by The Roots’ drummer Questlove, who explains how he was once fired by Prince and replaced by Nemo — yes, that Nemo of animated fame.

I have no such stories to tell of Prince, other than being utterly blown away by every piece of music he released. The guy was a genius, could play everything, sing, dance, write killer tunes and lyrics, and more. I don’t care if he died of flu or a drug overdose or whatever. It doesn’t matter. He’s gone, and he won’t be coming back.

But his art will live forever, and I’ll be dipping into it for my own pleasure whenever I have the chance for as long as I’m able to.

RIP Prince — you legend.

Alessia Cara speaks out with NME

Some time ago, you might remember we spotlighted Alessia Cara‘s first big hit, Here. Since then, she’s become something of a thing on the music scene, and we couldn’t be happier.

This week, she sat down at home in Toronto with NME to chat about her success so far, and all the challenges she faces and other females face in the music industry. Since we’re big fans of Alessia, we thought we’d share it here. Enjoy.

Foo Fighters post response to break-up rumours

And it’s pretty funny!! Watch it here. Even producer Butch Vig has got involved!

Mogwai returns with beautiful new single

Ether is the new single from Mogwai and has been shared by the Scottish post-rockers this week. You can check it out here.

The track is part of the band’s upcoming new album Atomic, which is to be released on 1 April. It’s a slight departure from the full noise post-rock we’re used to from these guys, featuring horns and a lot of other orchestral instrumentation. But hear it out until the end, because you’ll get that face reforming impact you’re waiting for.

M83 is back with something disposable

M83 — aka Anthony Gonzalez — is finally back with some new music. Do It, Try It is the first taste of a new album, Junk, to be released on 8 April. Listen to it here.

It’s a quirky little number, featuring most of the M83 hallmarks — heavy synth pads, bulging beats and soaring vocals. The outro is heading into Porter Robinson / Madeon / early Daft Punk territory, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

“Anything we create today is going to end up being space junk at one point anyway, and I find it really fascinating and scary at the same time – beautiful too in a way,” Gonzalez said via  a media release.

That goes someway to explaining the slightly bizarre artwork that accompanies both the single and the album.

M83, Junk artwork.

M83’s Junk artwork.

“I have this image of pieces of humanity floating in space, lost forever,” Gonzalez elaborates. “It also means that nowadays everything goes so fast and everybody is kind of throwing away art in a certain manner. People will listen to an album for instance and just pick a track they like to put on a playlist. They’re not going to take the time to listen to an album anymore because they have to jump on the next thing.”

Here’s the full track-listing for Junk, which we’re pretty excited about hearing. It includes a few collaborations. Those featuring Susanne Sundfør and Beck are particularly mouth-watering.

Do It, Try It
Go! [ft. Mai Lan]
Walkway Blues [ft. Jordan Lawlor]
Bibi the Dog [ft. Mai Lan]
Moon Crystal
For the Kids [ft. Susanne Sundfør]
The Wizard
Laser Gun [ft. Mai Lan]
Road Blaster
Atlantique Sud [ft. Mai Lan]
Time Wind [ft. Beck]
Sunday Night 1987

Cigars Of The Pharaoh: my musical first love

Disclaimer: This is a self-indulgent post.

For the past several months, I’ve been part of a great little rock band in Sydney called Cigars Of The Pharaoh. We’ve been playing lots of shows in Sydney and Melbourne — and we head to Brisbane in April for more — recorded an EP, released a single and garnered the interest of The A&R Department, which looks out for local bands and helps with getting radio airplay and a number of other things.

Last night, we played one of our favourite venues — Frankie’s Pizza — and this is a clip of the last song we played, Mystery Highway, which was the single we released at the back end of 2015.

I hope you like it, and don’t mind me posting it here, but I figured it was a great way to publicise us and I’d love your feedback wherever you are in the world, because ideally we’d like to take this project out of Australia for all to hear and enjoy.

You can listen to the single on Spotify, purchase it on iTunes, too, so please do and spread the word. We’d love to be able to see you and thank you in person for all the support.



OK Go sets the video clip bar even higher

OK Go is an American band arguably known more for its music videos than its music, and the group’s latest effort on the video clip front will do nothing to change that.

The single Upside Down And Inside Out inspired the guys to physically act out the tune’s title by taking parabolic flights to produce weightlessness. Visually, it’s pretty amazing. Watch it here.

There are times when the band members don’t look entirely comfortable, but that’s understandable when you realise what’s involved in parabolic flight — essentially climbing steeply before diving towards the earth at breakneck speeds. When astronauts trained in this way, they nicknamed  the plane the Vomit Comet.

OK Go has been spending the past week on YouTube teasing the clip, but chose to debut it in full on Facebook, for whatever reasons. With a little more than 1 million views per hour roughly since it was posted (10.2 million at time of writing), that seems to have been a sound decision.

But the question remains: is OK Go a music band, or is it a music-video band? It doesn’t really matter, and it’s become a huge success by, in my view, being the latter. But why have no other artists followed its example?

Maybe it’s because they want people to remember them for their music, and not their videos.

Back in the 1980s and 1990s, the music video was the chief way artists sold their songs. Michael Jackson’s clip for Thriller was a watershed moment, and that spawned a plethora of other elaborately choreographed clips from his own siblings, and Paula Abdul made her career by conceptualising most of them. Peter Gabriel’s video for Sledgehammer was similarly critically acclaimed, but more recently, such creativity in the music video space is harder to find.

Beyonce’s latest Formation clip has been equally praised and criticised for its political rhetoric,  but as a complex piece of visual art, it hardly compares to what OK Go has been capable of over the years. And she’s of course not the first to bring politics into her videos.

The question any band creating a video clip has to ask itself, you’d have to assume, is what am I making this for? Is it to sell the record, or is it to rack up views and rake in advertising revenue? Is it to promote my band so people come and see us play live? Or, is it just for fun?