FEATURE: The July Playlist: Vol. 5: What to Wear After Midnight

FEATURE:

 

The July Playlist

  

 

Vol. 5: What to Wear After Midnight

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IT is with great pleasure and gusto I announce the return of Jessie Ware.

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IN THIS PHOTO: YOWL

Well, perhaps ‘return’ is not quite the right word – she released the album, Tough Love, in 2014 and has been formulating new music. Midnight is the new song – and catalyst for this feature’s title – and shows she is as good as ever. Aside from Ware; there are fabulous new cuts from Tori Amos, Belle & Sebastian and, inexplicably, a certain Sir Mick Jagger – he has another track with Skepta but I have included Gotta Get a Grip, instead.

Wolf Alice have released the video for Yuk Foo – and Charli XCX has released Boys’ video. It is another busy and eclectic Playlist that showcases the variegation and prolificacy of quality music…

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Jessie Ware – Midnight

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Mick Jagger – Gotta Get a Grip

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Charli XCX – Boys

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Shania TwainLife’s About to Get Good

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Kendrick Lamar (ft. Rihanna)LOYALTY.

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Tori Amos – Cloud Riders

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Belle and Sebastian – We Were Beautiful

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Wolf AliceYuk Foo

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A House in the TreesSummertime

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Dan Auerbach and Robert Finley Bang Bang

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Dominique Use Me

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LottoBoyzz and Jaykaye Birmingham (Anthem)

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Skott Mermaid

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Nick Mulvey Mountain to Move

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INHEAVENWorld on Fire

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RINNGS Oceans

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Future (ft. Nicki Minaj)You Da Baddest

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Thomas RhettUnforgettable

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PHOTO CREDIT: Jimmy Fontaine

Cut Copy Airborne

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KWAYE Sweetest Life

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Picture This95

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Emile Haines & the Soft Skeleton Planets

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Blinkie Halfway

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Purity Ring Asido

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Lomelda Out There

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Waxahatchee Recite Remorse

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Declan J. Donavan Better

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PHOTO CREDITRowan Allen

YOWLMy Headache Likes to Speak

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BillonOne That I Want

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Darren CrissI Dreamed a Dream

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Ciaran LaveryEverything Is Made to Last

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PHOTO CREDIT: Elena Isolini

JerkcurbLittle Boring Thing

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Dama ScoutSuzie Wong

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James TWPlease Keep Loving Me

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Alex Lahey – Every Day’s the Weekend

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Anastacia – Caught in the Middle

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G4SHI 24 Hours

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Witterquick – Lie to Me

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Yes Lad – Something More

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The Cribs – Rainbow Ridge

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ARTWORK BYLiv Hodder

Marsicans Too Good

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Diddy (ft. Biggie and Rick Ross) – Whatcha Gon’ Do?

 

 

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Don Broco – Technology

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PHOTO CREDITDoron Gild Photography

Erasure – World Be Gone

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Sabrina ClaudioBelong to You

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Marcus & Martinus – Dance With You

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BØRNSFaded Heart

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Passenger – The Boy Who Cried Wolf

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PAWSA – Speedbump

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Gin WigmoreBeatnik Trip

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Gryffin (ft. Sinead Harnett) – Love in Ruins

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Maleek BerryBend It

 

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PHOTO CREDITStephen Shireman

HembreeHad It All

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Joan – Love Somebody Like You

Elderbrook Woman

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SG Lewis (ft. Col3trane) – Smart Aleck Kill

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Julia Michaels – Worst in Me

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PHOTO CREDIT: Dennis Morton

Soleima (ft. Kranium and Hoodboi) – Breathe

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Kesha – Learn to Let Go

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Tom Speight – Rose

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Killers – Run for Cover

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Stereophonics – All in One Night

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Sharif Hassan – Work Grind

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Skrillex (ft. Poo Bear) – Would You Ever

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DECCO and Leo StannardSun Comes Out

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Snakehips (ft. Anne-Marie and Joey Bada$$) – Either Way

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Macklemore (ft. Lil Yachty) – Marmalade

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The Allergies – Entitled to That

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Arcade Fire – Put Your Money on Me

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Cage the Elephant – Sweetie Little Jean

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Prong – Off the Grid

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Earl – Smoke Rings 

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Annie Hart – Run to You

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Joywave – Rumors

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Madchild (ft. Domo Genesis and Oh No) Body Bag

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PHOTO CREDIT: Jean Claude B

Passion Pit – Key K

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Alvvays – Dreams Tonite

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Selena Gomez (ft. Gucci Mane) Fetish

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LogicTake It Back

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YFN Lucci  Way Up

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IN THIS PHOTO: Jessie Ware

What a collection and collation of new tunes – I must say that every Playlist! I am glad Jessie Ware has new material out as I did not know whether she was working on an album. Midnight is her at her peak: a great track that signals more to come. Mick Jagger shows there is life away from The Rolling Stones – a confident and compelling song from him! The best of Pop have stepped forward and I am pleased to see the video for Wolf Alice’s Yuk Foo – they are one of the hopes for Rock/Indie and a band we should keep our eyes out for. Let’s hope they produce another album before 2017.

Let us make a plea to the world of music – that it will continue to reign fantastic music out way because, as we see this week, there is ample stock for a fantastic edition of The July Playlist…

FEATURE: The July Playlist: Vol. 4: Declan’s Car Question, Skott’s Mermaid; Dizzee’s Raskit and Lana’s Lust for Life

FEATURE:

 

The July Playlist 

 

Vol. 4: Declan’s Car Question, Skott’s Mermaid; Dizzee’s Raskit and Lana’s Lust for Life

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THERE are (already) seismic rumbles being created by…

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IN THIS PHOTO: Declan McKenna

the previews/reviews for Arcade Fire’s latest album, Everything Now. It is, in fact, getting five-star rave and (it is) something that will be on my mind when it arrives (on Friday). It could well steam ahead as the best album of 2017 – and might well stay there should something monumental arrive afterwards. This week is not exactly shabby, to be honest.

Among the eighty-or-so songs in the pack; there are album cuts from Declan McKenna, Lana Del Rey and Dizzee Rascal. Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbot have a new record out; chart hits are flowing and there are fresh singles from Milk Teeth, The Horrors and Broken Social Scene – and the wonder that is Skott.

It is a tasty, varied and fantastic collection of music morsels from the finest artists around…

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Image may contain: 1 person, standing and indoorMilk TeethPrism

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Vance JoyLay It on Me

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Nine Inch Nails This Isn’t the Place

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The HorrorsMachine

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King Gizzard and the Lizard WizardInvisible Face

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Arcane RootsOff the Floor

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PHOTO CREDITDefrancesco Photography

EMA Down and Out

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Danny Brown – Lost

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PHOTO CREDIT: Norman Wong

Broken Social SceneVanity Pail Kids

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The War on Drugs Strangest Things

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Swimming TapesSay What’s On Your Mind

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Phoebe BridgersMotion Sickness

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Tyler, the CreatorAin’t Got Time

Image may contain: 2 people, people standing, outdoor and textMount Kimbie (ft. King Krule) Blue Train Lines

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PHOTO CREDIT: Charlotte Patmore

Goat Girl – Crow Cries

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Matt Wills Wallflower

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PHOTO CREDIT: @kush1969

Damian Marley (ft. Stephen Marley)Medication

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SG Lewis (ft. Toulouse)Times We Had

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PunctualWhat I Love

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Loyle Carner (ft. Tom Misch) Damselfly

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Oh Wonder – High on Humans

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Sub Focus (ft. ALMA)Don’t You Feel It

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AbraSick Girl

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PHOTO CREDITAlcides Granja Granja

Alice KristiansenLost in Translation

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ArlissaNew Love

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Azusena Red Sky

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The Big MoonPull the Other One

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PHOTO CREDIT: @ashleyverse

ChipSnap Snap

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Bruno MajorCold Blood

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Conducta (ft. Alyss)Come & Go

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DornikGod Knows

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Everything EverythingA Fever Dream

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Ghosted (ft. Kamille) – Get Some

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Grizzly Bear – Neighbors

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Enrique Iglesias (ft. Sean Paul and Matt Terry)Subeme La Radio (Remix)

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High Contrast (ft. Boy Matthews)The Beat Don’t Feel the Same

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Icarus (ft. Talay Riley)Trouble

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JP CooperShe’s on My Mind

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Justine Skye (ft. Jeremih)Back for More

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LelandMattress

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King MyersGirl You Got Me Goin’ Crazy

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PHOTO CREDIT: Pablo Arroyo

Lykke LiUnchained Melody

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Maya Jane ColesWeak

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The Ninth WaveReformation

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Nothing But ThievesSorry

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Noah Kahan Fine

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Sara HartmanDance With a Ghost

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SkottMermaid

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Sløtface – Pitted

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SuperfoodUnstoppable

Image may contain: 1 person, smilingShania TwainPoor Me

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PHOTO CREDIT: Joyce NG

ChildhoodCameo

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Dan CrollOne of Us

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PHOTO CREDIT: @poppymarriott__

Declan McKennaMake Me Your Queen

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Dizzee RascalThe Other Side

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Foster the PeopleSHC

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RITUAL Black Wedding

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Lana Del ReyCherry

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Meek MillPrice

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Paul Heaton and Jacqui HeatonShe’s Got the Garden

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Sage the GeminiThe Gag

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Tau CrossDeep State

 

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Vera Blue Lady Powers

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Demi LovatoSorry Not Sorry

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BANFI – She Comes Home

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PHOTO CREDIT: Jimmy Fontaine

Cut Copy – Airborne 

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Shock MachineUnlimited Love

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Soccer Mommy – Inside Out

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PHOTO CREDITDali Khammar

Valerie June – Got Soul

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PHOTO CREDIT: Tammy Jean Lamoureux

Wilsen Final

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PHOTO CREDIT: Wes Santos & Alex Gomez

Yoke LoreOnly You

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April TowersTakes One to Know One

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FREAKNo Money

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French MontanaWhiskey Eyes (ft. Chinx)

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Kid InkSupersoaka

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IN THIS PHOTO: Skott

It is a great week for music – not that it shouldn’t have been – but I am glad to see some hyped albums actually living up to the chatter. Declan McKenna and Lana Del Rey have unveiled two terrific, if varied, albums and got people talking. I have seen a lot of great songs from the underground come through – tried to capture them here – and big names providing incredible singles.

Let’s hope this continues into next week and, oh yeah

Did I mention Arcade Fire are releasing an album?!

FEATURE: The July Playlist: Vol. 3: Last Kiss at the Summer Bummer

FEATURE:

 

The July Playlist

  

Vol. 3: Last Kiss at the Summer Bummer

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IF the title of this feature sounds a little suspect

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IN THIS PHOTO: Nina Nesbitt

then it is not intended to be. I am excited bringing together new tracks by Lana Del Rey (joined by A$AP Rocky and Playboi Carti) and Arcade Fire. AlunaGeorge are on fire; ALVVAYS and Nine Inch Nails are not exactly sitting on their hands.

In addition to all the big-name releases; there are some great albums out this week. I have been looking at all the mainstream and underground releases from music…

It is an assuredly confident and prosperous week for music. Make sure you ingratiate yourself with the full spread of awesome sounds, incredible singles and hot-off-the-press videos…

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Lana Del Rey (ft. A$AP Rocky and Playboi Carti) – Summer Bummer                         

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Arcade Fire – Electric Blue

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AlunaGeorgeLast Kiss

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ALVVAYSIn Undertow

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Nine Inch NailsLESS THAN

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Dillon Francis (ft. G-Eazy)Say Less

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HonneJust Dance

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DaphniHey Drum

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PHOTO CREDITShervin Lainez

Speedy OrtizScreen Gem

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Tom WilliamsGet High

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Little CubBreathing Space

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Algiers Cleveland

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Rhye Please

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MNEK Paradise

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PHOTO CREDITRachel Lipsitz Photography

Dutch Uncles Streetlight

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Nadine Shah – Holiday Destination

Dizzee Rascal

PHOTO CREDIT: Steve Neaves

Dizzee RascalWot U Gonna Do?

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PHOTO CREDIT: Amber Pollock

BLOXX Curtains

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Tyler, The Creator – Boredom

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Billie EilishCOPYCAT

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Empress Of – Go to Hell

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alt-j – Deadcrush

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Swimming Girls – 2 Kids

Bonzai – I Feel Alright

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Callum Beattie – Man Behind the Sun

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Coldplay – All I Can Think About Is You

Dave – Tequila

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Demi Lovato – Sorry Not Sorry

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Friction (ft. Doctor) – Mad in the Jungle

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PHOTO CREDIT: Katharina Næss

Galantis – True Feeling

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Jack Johnson – My Mind Is for Sale

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George GlewBury Me

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Kesha (ft. The Dap-Kings Horns) – Woman

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The Dears – 1998

 

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The Pains of Being Pure at Heart – Anymore

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Boris – Kagero

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Nina Nesbitt (ft. Goody Grace) – The Moments I’m Missing

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One Republic (ft. Seeb) – Rich Love

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PHOTO CREDIT: @mellowedhigh

The Sam Willows – Save Myself

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Luke RathborneDon’t Call Me Baby

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Manchester OrchestraThe Moth

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The Sherlocks – Live for the Moment

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PHOTO CREDIT: Collin Pietz

Twinsmith – Every Step

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Ruel – Don’t Tell Me

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The Script – Rain

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Selena Gomez (ft. Gucci Mane) – Fetish

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French Montana (ft. The Weeknd and Max B) – A Lie

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The Sound of Arrows (ft. Niki and the Dove) – In the Shade of Your Love

Suzi Wu

Suzi Wu – Teenage Witch

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ODESZA (ft. Naomi Wild)Higher Ground

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Lo Tom Covered Wagon

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INTEGRITY – I Am the Spell

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PHOTO CREDITDan Kendall Photography

Drones Club International

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Vance Joy – Lay It on Me

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PHOTO CREDIT: Neil Favila

Daley – Temple

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PHOTO CREDITCraig Scheihing

Japanese Breakfast – 12 Steps

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Jonas Blue (ft. William Singe) – Mama

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Shabazz Palaces – Welcome to Quazarz

 

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Mr. Jukes (ft. Lianne La Havas) – When Your Light Goes Out

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PHOTO CREDITClaire Marie Vogel

RAC (ft. Joywave) – No One Has to Know

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Mura Masa (ft. Jamie Lidell) – NOTHING ELSE!

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Nick Lowe – Burning

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Sheer Mag – Just Can’t Get Enough

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PHOTO CREDIT: Joe Connor

FrancobolloFuture Lover

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Offa Rex – Sheepcrook and Black Dog

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Oh Wonder – Heavy

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Waxahatchee – Brass Beam

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KinobeThought It Was You

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Ravitez – Aliens

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The Vamps – Paper Hearts

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HRVY and RedfooHoliday

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KAMBO (ft. Ayla)Stand Up in the Light

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Silverstein – Wake Up

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Bugzy Malone – Aggy Wid It

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67 – Saucy

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Alice Cooper – Paranoiac Personality

Kllo Virtue

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Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbott – I Gotta Praise

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Avenged Sevenfold – God Damn

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Aloe BlaccKing Is Back

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Wilkinson (ft. Boy Matthews) – Wash Away

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PHOTO CREDIT: Joyce NG

ChildhoodNothing Ever Seems Right

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The Kooks – Broken Vow

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Marian Hill – Down

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Amber Mark – Way Back

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GordiOn My Side

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The XcertsFeels Like Falling in Love

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Deap Vally Julian

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red kite – take care of your own

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FeistCentury

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Trinidad JamesDi$respectful

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Sage the GeminiPilot

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IN THIS PHOTO: Lana Del Rey

I guess Arcade Fire’s new single is the most exciting release of the week. There are some other great songs but it seems the Canadian band is in the form of their life. I am excited to hear more from them but have been impressed by the sheer volume and quality of new music this week. As we head into summer, the standard is really starting to shoot up.

I shall keep my ears open and see what the next week provides. If this week’s instalment is anything to go by; it will be a huge and memorable collection of new music.

FEATURE: The July Playlist: Vol. 2: Deleted Kisses and the Freakshow

FEATURE:

 

The July Playlist

 

  

Vol. 2: Deleted Kisses and the Freakshow

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PERHAPS not as crammed with big artists…

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IN THIS PHOTO: Ghostpoet

as previous Playlists: this edition does, at least, feature two remarkable songs. Wolf Alice show their new direction with Don’t Delete the Kisses. It shows a more melodic side to the London band – not quite as intense and raw as their 2015 album, My Love Is Cool. A new album is approaching and the band get mouths salivating with a stunning track.

Similarly, Ghostpoet provides us with Freakshow: perhaps, his finest song to date. It follows Immigrant Boogie and is the latest track from his forthcoming album – which is, as-yet, untitled.

Kesha and AlunaGeorge have been busy and rustled pretty incredible songs. If that were not enough; the fabulous Dizzee Rascal unveils Wot U Gonna Do? Let’s hope he is bringing out a new album soon as the music world needs his observational and extraordinary lyrics.

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Dua Lipa  New Rules

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Four Tet – Two Thousand and Seventeen

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Jimmy Eat World – Get Right

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Macklemore (ft. Skylar Grey) Glorious

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Wolf Alice – Don’t Delete the Kisses

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Ghostpoet – Freakshow

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French Montana (ft. Pharrell Williams) – Bring Dem Things

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AlunaGeorge – Turn Up the Love

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HONNE – Just Dance

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Mura Masa (ft. Tom Tripp) – helpline

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Rhye – Please

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Run the Jewels – Don’t Get Captured

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JAY-ZThe Story of O.J.

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Dizzee Rascal – Wot U Gonna Do?

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Kesha  Praying

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Ben Haenow – Alive

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Brooke Candy – Volcanoes

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Wiktoria – I Won’t Stand in Your Way

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Yombe – Tonight

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Zedd and Liam Payne – Get Low

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Tom Speight – Old Flame

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Lorde – Perfect Places

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Olly Murs & Louisa Johnson – Unpredictable

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Chase & Status and Blossoms – This Moment

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The Preatures – Girlhood

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SZA (ft. Travis Scott) – Love Galore

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Carolynne – Real Man

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Kali Uchis (ft. Jorja Smith) – Tyrant

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LeAnn Rimes – LovE Is LovE Is LovE

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Tove Styrke – Say My Name

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Skepta – Hypocrisy

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PHOTO CREDIT: Jack Margerison Photography

TenderNadir

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Jennifer Lopez (ft. Gente de Zona) – Ni Tú Ni Yo

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Lewis Capaldi – Lost on You

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Icona Pop – Girls Girls

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Charlie Sloth (ft. Donae’o and Konshens) – Walk Away

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Coldplay  ALIENS

Image may contain: 2 peopleNaaz Words

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Maliibu Miitch – 4 A.M.

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PHOTO CREDIT: Kirsten Squibb

Arcade Hearts – Honey

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Sivu Flies

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Lost Horizons The Places We’ve Been

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Smerz Oh my my

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Alex CameronCandy Man

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TEN – The Wild King of Winter

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MY BODYMood

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Henry JamisonThe Wilds

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This is the Kit – Bullet Proof

 

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James Hype (ft. Kelli-Leigh) More than Friends

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Jade BirdSomething American

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Riverdogs  American Dream

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Powerflo – Resistance

Offa Rex The Queen of Hearts

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Lucy Rose – No Good at All

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Chronixx I Can

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FlyteCathy Come Home

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Kojo Funds (ft. Kranium) My Wish

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Toro Y Moi – Girl Like You

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PHOTO CREDIT: Norman Wong

Broken Social Scene – Hug of Thunder

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PHOTO CREDIT: Isaac Eastgate

Tourist (ft. Ardyn)We Stayed Up All Night

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PHOTO CREDIT: Vicky Grout

Toddla T and Andrea MartenMagnet

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Liam Gallagher Chinatown

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PHOTO CREDIT: Anna Maria Lopez

Sundara KarmaLakhey

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Willey J. HealeyPeople and Their Dogs

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PHOTO CREDIT: Alexandra Cameron Photography

The Last DinosaurI Couldn’t Wait

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Moksi, Chase and Rose QuayDream

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CAZZETTE (ft. Karen Harding) Just People

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Tyler the Creator and Frank Ocean 911/Mr. Lonely

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Mahalia Sober

 

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Oh WonderHigh on Humans

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Tom Misch South of the River

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THE XCERTS Feels Like Falling in Love

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Yonaka Wouldn’t Wanna Be Ya

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L. DevineSchool Girls

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Marc E. Bassy and KylePlot Twist

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BETSYLittle White Lies (Acoustic)

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5 Billion in DiamondsI’m Becoming You

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PHOTO CREDIT: Marco Hernandez

L.A. WITCHKill My Baby Tonight

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PHOTO CREDIT: Jimmy Fontaine

Cut Copy – Airborne

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INHEAVEN World on Fire

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Baby in VainTo Heaven and Back

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PHOTO CREDIT: Daniil Lavrovski

Felix Pallas Similarities

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A really great selection of songs this week – good to see Dizzee Rascal progress and promise future-gold! Wolf Alice have got tongues wagging and it seems like things are looking good for Ghostpoet. The rest of music has not been idle. There are plenty of stunning songs about and a whole variety of sounds and genres.

I am excited about the coming weeks and what is approaching. New albums from Lucy Rose and This Is the Kit is out; HAIM’s Something to Tell You is out and gathering rave reviews.

A brilliant week for music: one that suggests July will be a pretty hot one.

FEATURE: Music Musings and Such: Going Forward…

FEATURE:

 

Music Musings and Such:

 

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Going Forward…

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OVER the past few weeks…

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my blog has been going through a bit of a change. I am still on WordPress but, and the reason for writing this, was to explain any gaps on that site – I have an official site where I am producing the majority of my new pieces. All the interviews, reviews and features will be on https://www.musicmusingsandsuch.com/ – the doors at WordPress are not going to be closing. I will be publishing my weekly Playlist on WordPress: where I collect all the singles/album tracks released that week. In addition to all the fresh goings on and transitioning; I am planning some cool things and diversifying my blog. I am working on my Jeff Buckley documentary – pitching it and getting it moving – whilst planning other features: setting up a YouTube channel and doing various videos and concepts. They would include a look at classic albums; interviews with those most influential in music; new artists and things I want to talk about. I have a great ambition to work for a wonderful radio station like BBC Radio 6 Music so am going to learn more about radio production and that side of things. I have my music website in the mind – Psychoacoustics is a one-stop-shop for every music lover and those passionate about its possibilities and history – and more besides. On https://www.musicmusingsandsuch.com/, there will be a lot of cool interviews with artists around the world. I’ll be posting a couple of reviews each weekend and have some great feature ideas brewing – so many different topics and aspects I was to discuss. On WordPress, I’ll keep the weekly Playlist impressive and full – there may be other pieces going up there. Lots going on but, if you are a subscriber/follower of my WordPress site; remember to keep a check on the new site, too. That’s about it but thanks for all the support and here’s…

Music Musings & Such

LOOKING ahead to a busy future!

INTERVIEW: JOHN

INTERVIEW:

 

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JOHN

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THE Crystal Palace-based duo JOHN are excited to announce…

their upcoming album, God Speed in the National Limit. With such an intriguing title; I had to ask about its origins and inspirations. The boys reveal details behind the video for Ghost Printer – the incredible new track. I ask how the Johns got together and whether either had a secret about the other. They reveal future plans and a few artists well worth checking out. I quiz them about humour in their music and why write about improvement and self-improvement – which one discovers throughout Ghost Printer.

I get a glimpse into a wonderful act who has gained support from, above all, Simon Pegg. They are a much-admired live act so I ask whether we can see them tour; some of the artists they look up to and whether they managed to catch any of this year’s Glastonbury.

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Hi, JOHN. How are you? How has your week been?

Hi, there. Not bad thanks.

It’s now the weekend so I’m just at home watering the ferns and writing this – as ‘Rock and Roll’ as you could ever want to imagine.

For those new to your work, can you introduce yourself, please?

We’re a Rock band based in Crystal Palace, London – consisting of two members; both called John.

We’ve been playing together for around three/four years, I believe.

Did you catch Glastonbury? What was your opinion? Will you be heading to any festivals this summer?

We both caught some on the T.V. but didn’t go in person.

Obviously, it’s a completely mixed bag of a line-up (lots of glossy Pop in there); but I think the diversity is a real strong-point. I sat down in the front room with my dad (who was visiting) and enjoyed watching and discussing Kano’s set. I suppose that scenario was a highlight for me.

We’re actually lined up to play three all-day festivals in Bristol, London and Birmingham over the summer – so I’m looking forward to meeting both new and old friends. I think my younger-self would be a happy person knowing that I would come to do this.

It’s a very satisfying to have created this vehicle where can show up in another city and bring people together. That probably sounds overly-romantic but to hell with it.

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Forgive me for the stupid questions – getting it done near the top – but is there some mystical and profound background to the band name – or just the fact you are both called John?!

We are genuinely both called John- and the decision served as a way of remembering that this was just about us to getting together and making the sounds that we’re interested in.

It trimmed the fat away from a more tiring attempt to look or sound a certain way. Having both experienced this when we were younger; we were both very aware that ‘JOHN’ needed to be for us, and hopefully, some other people would enjoy it off the back of that.

How did the duo get together? Have you been friends from way back?

We both met in the halls of residence of our university in East London about ten years ago (I just about remember a beach-themed party where Johnny ‘dropped-in’ from a toilet – into a small paddling pool on a polystyrene surfboard).

But, to be honest, it took us the whole of the three university years to realise that we actually had a lot in common and should probably make more effort to hang out.

Since then, it’s been a bit of a blur. I don’t think any of this would have been possible if we weren’t best mates.

God Speed in the National Limit is a pretty clever album title. Again, where does that title spring from and what kind of themes are addressed on the album?

I remember (just) saying the phrase aloud on the drive back from playing a very satisfying set at A Carefully Planned Festival in Manchester – and it was like a little lightbulb going on. I just thought that it could accurately describe everyone’s quest for self-improvement – but within the confines of the systems/classes we’re born into.

I think this translates well across the whole of the album, whereby each song is a small fiction taken from our lives and moulded into a song. Like with any literature, it wanders further away from the truth when you commit it to language – but all the songs do come from tangible moments.

For example, the opening track – called Balfron – is based upon the Brutalist tower block that I used to pass on the back from practice – although sung from the building’s perspective.

The video for Ghost Printer was released recently. Was it quite cool being involved with the video?

We’ve always taken good care of our videos as it can often feel like these accompanying videos are last-minute add-on marketing tools – that people feel they have to do in order to get the song to the maximum amount of ears.

I’ve worked as an artist for a long time and Johnny as a furniture restorer – so we both enjoy the opportunity to work on something visual to coincide with the song.

That song looks at the pressures of self-improvement and betterment. Is that something you are vulnerable to and see a lot of?

I think the process of music and art is so reflective in general.

It is hard not to fold these experiences in the writing of the songs – hence why Ghost Printer makes a somewhat darkly-comic fiction about the problems of self-belief.

As with many creative people, I have found ways to deal with internal-criticism and often try to push these ideas into the writing – if I think they are relevant to discuss.

It seems humour is pivotal to your music and personalities. Do you think too many artists are po-faced and imperious?

I think humour is definitely a part of our outlook as a partnership – and we hold many comedians/writers in high regard. It certainly doesn’t surprise me that some of these techniques and references have seeped into the writing of songs.

But, similarly, it’s not like we intended to write one-liners. Perhaps humour is only the dangling carrot that can help pull people deeper into songs.

I think people can usually smell you a mile off if you’re playing some kind of act – unless you’re bloody good at it; I’m not sure we are!

Who are the artists you both grew up on and inspired your music route?

Johnny’s dad played on cruise ships around South Africa when he was a kid. I don’t think he would mind me saying that he grew up on absolutely all sorts of music – Rock included. Music was obviously very accessible to him as a kid so I’m not surprised he got the bug early.

I used to record a lot of late-night radio shows on a tape deck so I could listen to them in the morning. This is how I came aware of Punk/Rock music in particular (Steve Lamacq/John Peel/Mike Davies). My local newsagent, then, began selling music magazines and I started building an interest from there.

What does the summer hold? You lads on the road quite a bit?

We’re playing a healthy number of shows around the country in order to get ready for the album launch at The Old Blue Last (on the 18th October).

We’re also already scheduled to get back in the recording studio in August – for something that we will be announced shortly. So, we’re currently putting together tracks to road test them ready for that.

Can each John tell a secret about themselves that we, and the other John, perhaps, does not know about them?

JOHN 1: I had trials to play football for Oxford United’s youth team – although he might know that to be fair.

JOHN 2: He knows too much… I can’t think of one – which means I’ll have to kill him.

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Are there any new artists you recommend we check out?

There are so many exciting bands that we’ve met over the last year…

They’re not necessarily new but they’re well worth the ear-time:

LICE / Unqualified Nurse Band / We Wild Blood / Milo’s Planes / Frauds / Ghosts of Dead Airplanes / Ghost Kings of The Five Regions / SLONK / False Advertising / Rat the Magnificent / USA Nails / Dead Arms / It It Anita… amongst others!

If you each had to select the album that means the most to you; which would they be and why?

JOHN 1: I have a massive regret for not being able to see the Danish band LACK (live) before the split up.

I contacted their guitarist when we played in Copenhagen. Unfortunately, he didn’t get the email until we flew back.

This album jumped ship from numerous failing devices and I still love it: LACK – Saturate Every Atom.

JOHN 2: Hot Snakes Automatic Midnight 

It has been a constant influence for years – especially Swami John Reis and pretty much everything else he has worked on.

What advice would you give to any new artists starting out right now?

Have fun and work hard.

Finally, and for being good sports, you can each name a song and I’ll play it here (not one of yours as I’ll do that).

JOHN 1: It It Anita 25 (From Floor to Ceiling)

JOHN 2: Papa M – Krusty

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Follow JOHN

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Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/JOHNTIMESTWO/

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/Johntimesbytwo

BandCamp:

https://johntimestwo.bandcamp.com/

SoundCloud:

https://soundcloud.com/johntimestwo

YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpyZJa2wf0WH-cc5fQR6Hsw

FEATURE: Behind the Microphone: Part One: Matt Everitt

FEATURE:

 

Behind the Microphone:

 

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Part One: Matt Everitt

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HAVING dusted off my pieces about Steely Dan and the best…

PHOTO CREDIT: Matt Everitt

new female artists in music – with a little review snuck in- I am readying myself for a retrospective/celebration of Björk (this year is the twenty-fourth anniversary of her debut album – coming up this November) and finding time to live and breathe – the endless, passionate pursuit of the music journalist. In a new series, I am looking at those who sit behind the microphone. I want to feature/interview the best producers, D.J.s; label bosses and influential peeps in music – those who, perhaps, do not get the same exposure and acclaim as musicians. Before anyone, niggling pedantic, points out a D.J. can be in front of the microphone – I am well aware but couldn’t think of anything more intelligent to call this piece. The first instalment of my feature looks at BBC Radio 6 Music’s Matt Everitt. I was going to approach him for an interview but the idea of a journalist/wannabe-interviewer quizzing a world-class interviewer – and, perhaps, learning from the master whilst trying to retain some semblance of professionalism – is a head-twisting proposition. Whether you see Everitt as Shaun Keaveny’s morning stooge – in fact, he often defeats Keaveny in their morning tête-à-tête – or not; there is no denying his expertise and passion.

Not only did I want to highlight Everitt’s great work but emphasise how inspiring and compelling those people away from music can be.

There is, like acting, I guess, a perceived glamour and fake romance associated with music. One assumes it is all going to be tour buses, excessive riders and admiring crowds throwing themselves at your feet – not to mention the endless groupies and screaming fans. That might be the case with the likes of Engelbert Humperdinck or Nickelback – but it is only reserved for a certain few. Music, in actuality, is a brutal and hard industry that is more likely to chew you up and spit you out then, well, the same thing – only with a far less tender and sexual ambition. Don’t get me wrong at all: I adore music and, as a journalist, spend my life promoting new musicians. My future desires do not revolve around recording music myself. I have discovered my singing voice is akin to a Harbor Seal having his tongue sucked out his head by a Dyson – so would not blight the world with my caterwauling. I find – no sour grapes at all – journalism and reporting is a much more rewarding career. You might say those who write about music are failed musicians – in my case, you’re damned right, mate (and proud of it).

That is not the case with Matt Everitt, who forged a successful career (as a drummer) with, among others, Menswear. That is, with brotherly affection, the source of teasing from Shaun Keaveny practically every morning – his career fronting the epic supergroup Bince Meef is hardly the stuff for Heat magazine (maybe he is waiting for Paul McCartney to confirm a support slot!). As I type this – big headphones on and a suitably concentrated face at the ready – I am listening to Everitt’s interview (as part of his The First Time With… series) Radiohead sticks-God, Philip Selway. You can listen here – and, to be honest, it is bloody ace. One reason I wanted to focus on Matt Everitt (I have given Keaveny some love a few months back) is because he, like several of his behind-the-scenes BBC Radio 6 Music cohorts, does sterling work. I recommend you investigate his interviews in full but, every weekday from 7 A.M. you can hear him on Keaveny’s morning show – where he is subjected to endless horse-related jokes (on account of his slightly-longer-than-regulation face) and Menswear gags. I tune in to hear his music news and great interviews.

What he does is, in essence, what I strive to do years from now.

Not that there will be any Hitchcock-esque subterfuge – me dressing as Everitt and infiltrating the studios with my own equivalent of his music news – I shall do things the honest way. I love his style and the way he bonds with the interviewees. He has, as stated, just completed a set of interviews with each member of Radiohead – his chat with Thom Yoke made me giggle and came across very affectionate, warm and respectful. Those kinds of reviewing chops take years to hone but you get some terrific radio. Next year marks the, if you can believe it, fortieth anniversary of Kate Bush’s debut album, The Kick Inside (my favourite album ever). I was not even a glint in the milkman’s dad’s eye when that record came out – born in 1983; I was hearing it a few years after its creation.

None-the-less; it is a record that has influenced my journalistic career and remains in my heart. Everitt interviewed Bush to promote her concert/album release, Before the Dawn. If I could reverse time, and be at any three gigs from all time, it would be: Jeff Buckley playing at Sin-é café (in New York) in 1993 – to be one of the few patrons who got to witness that spectacular voice, backed by a solitary Telecaster – Radiohead at Glastonbury, 1997 and Kate Bush at Hammersmith Apollo (2014). I have Before the Dawn on vinyl and it is a treasured objet d’art. To be in that audience, and witness songs like Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God) being performed as a theatrical piece – some thirty-nine years after it appeared on Hounds of Love – must have been life-changing. My passion for Kate Bush is endless and unquestionable; so it was wonderful hearing Everitt interview her. The bond between them was instant and he managed to extract some wonderful titbits and warm laughter – Bush always seems a playful and revealing subject. It is THOSE kinds of interviews that make me feel like, you know what, being a musician is not such a regretful ‘failure’. It seems like a pretty great life being a journalist and interviewer.

People like Matt Everitt, not only validate my route through music, but drive me to become more ambitious and better.

My only two occasions on radio are, a couple of months back, appearing on BBC Radio 5 to discuss – with Howard Goodall and Steve Lillywhite – the fiftieth anniversary of The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (I am still not sure if they booked the right person or if I had a right being on Will Gompertz’s show that Sunday) and, on Tuesday, in fact, a ‘guest’ on Lauren Laverne’s Biorhythms – where a Kate Bush track will be selected.

PHOTO CREDIT: Matt Everitt

I can list all the great interviews Matt Everitt has conducted but it is some recent ones – including his coverage at this year’s Glastonbury – that have really motivated me. I would like nothing better than to walk in his shoes and emulate his trajectory. I know there is hard work and a lot of off-radio research/work involved but some great rewards.

The fact the bastard/very charming man has interviewed Paul McCartney – he and Kate Bush are the only two musicians I REALLY want to interview – makes me green with envy!

Alas, I cannot realistically aim that high but that does not matter. There are so many great musicians coming through the ranks right now. I have a mini-list of acts to interview so that is something to reach for. BBC Radio 6 Music is, in my view, the finest radio station in the world and one that I would love to work for. Their ethos and blend of music is perfect: the presenters are all passionate, loveable (except Keaveny, obviously – jokes: love the guy) and knowledgeable. They do not yell in your face – some occasions, listening to BBC Radio 1, and I feel like I have wandered into a primal scream therapy session – nor try to sedate you with lugubrious tones. They have the balance perfectly worked and, no surprise, the listening figures are rising. I feel Matt Everitt is one of the staples and must-hear fixtures. Not only is it pleasing to hear the badinage between him and Keaveny – it descends into playful sadism at times – but the sheer dedication and curiosity he has for the jobs. If this sounds like a fawning piece, it is not intended to be. This is not an addendum to a C.V. or a supplication for employment – merely, recognition of the pivotal humans who work in radio; as integral and indispensable as the on-air talent.

PHOTO CREDIT: Matt Everitt

I will end this piece by reverting to my main thesis: how one should be less preoccupied with the (wrongfully over-romanticised) notions of a music career and those areas of the industry that are less fraught and more rewarding. It sounds like I am a career counsellor for the music industry but there is substance, ecstatic highs and unexpected delights one can inherit from journalism and reporting. As I say; I’ll be looking at D.J.s and producers who do tremendous work but – like fellow BBC Radio 6 Music roving reporters Elizabeth Alker, Clare Crane and Georgie Rogers – Matt Everitt is someone I look up to without irony and jealousy (okay, a BIT of jealousy!). As I type this – distracted by the body-moving, arm-swaying seduction of Steely Dan’s My Old School – I am listening to some archived Everitt interviews and seeing how he has ‘progressed’ as a reporter. Certainly, he has got better as deflecting Keaveny’s shots – and giving him the odd gut-punch when needed – but seems at his most contented and settled. That is encouraging hearing and one reason (among many) I tune into BBC Radio 6 Music. Lesser/a lot of reporters obfuscate and ramble; many are quite haphazard and unengaging.

With Everitt, one gets a delightful blend of caramel-toned questions and natural rapport.

From percussion shifts with 1990s bands to the golden halls of Wogan House – where the music is fine and the kettle barely fuck*ing works! – Mr. Everitt has crafted a pretty impressive career. I hope it continues for many more years to come – unless Shaun Keaveny has a complete breakdown and takes the station off air one day – but you’d hope he will be at BBC Radio 6 Music indefinitely. The station continues to thrive and survive (inconceivable to think imbecilic decision-makers almost cut the station as part of austerity plans!) and, one of the reasons, is those who work behind the microphone. Everitt is one of the station’s most impressive talents and someone who has, quite literally, kept me on the music journalism course. I am seeing so many musicians burn-out and quit (which breaks my heart) but my role, for the most part, seems relatively stress-free and secure – not getting paid for it is a kick in the testicular, mind. That is no worry because, as Matt Everitt has shown, he is inspiring many like me…

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TO dream big.