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Blackpink Are Making A Comeback With New Music — And Their Largest Tour Yet

Blackpink is back in your area. The record label YG Entertainment announced on Wednesday (July 6) that the girl group will make a comeback with new music in August and that they are in the “final stages of recording a new album.”

According to the label’s press release, the band is working on “a continuous large-scale project which will extend through the second half of the year.” Additionally, “Blackpink will also go on the largest world tour in the history of a K-pop girl group by the end of the year to expand their rapport with fans worldwide.”

This will be their second world tour since their In Your Area World Tour, which took place between 2018 and 2020. No exact dates for music releases and their next tour have been announced, nor the number of stops they will make, but Blinks have taken to social media to rejoice with excitement.

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Travis Barker receiving “intensive treatment” after suffering “severe life-threatening pancreatitis”

Travis Barker has updated fans on the status of his health, after reports that emerged earlier this week claimed he was hospitalised for pancreatitis.

  • READ MORE: jxdn  – “Working with Travis Barker is like winning the lottery”

News of Barker’s health crisis broke on Wednesday (July 29) when photos showed the Blink-182 drummer being carried on an ambulance stretcher. He’d reportedly been checked in to LA’s West Hills Hospital on Tuesday morning (July 28), but was later transferred by ambulance to the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. 

On social media, Barker’s daughter Alabama asked fans to “send [their] prayers” and showed the drummer lying on a stretcher with a brace around his left hand. Further reports emerged later on Wednesday, claiming that Barker had been hospitalised with pancreatitis following a recent colonoscopy.

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Barker has now corroborated those reports, clarifying that he’d undergone an endoscopy, not a colonoscopy, but did in fact wind up in hospital for pancreatitis. He wrote: “I went in for an endoscopy Monday feeling great. But after dinner, I developed excruciating pain and have been hospitalized ever since.

“During the endoscopy, I had a very small polyp removed right in a very sensitive area, usually handled by specialists, which unfortunately damaged a critical pancreatic drainage tube. This resulted in severe life-threatening pancreatitis. I am so very very grateful that with intensive treatment I am currently much better.”

Hours before the news of Barker’s hospitalisation broke on Wednesday, he tweeted, “God save me.” It’s unclear, however, whether this was in reference to the reason for his hospitalisation – ‘God Save Me’ is also the title of a song that Barker worked on with Machine Gun Kelly, which appeared on the latter’s ‘Mainstream Sellout’ album in March.

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Meanwhile, Barker recently credited artists like Olivia Rodrigo, Billie Eilish and Jxdn for changing what it means to be a pop-punk artist. “I like Olivia’s album, [and] I love everything Billie’s done,” he said in an interview with Billboard. “I won’t say, ‘This is pop-punk.’ I’ll say, this music that came out, let’s say like Avril’s ‘Love Sux’, let’s say Jxdn’s ‘Tell Me About Tomorrow’, and ‘Tickets To My Downfall’ [Machine Gun Kelly], were all inspired by pop-punk.

“It doesn’t mean that it’s just pop-punk or has to be categorised like that. Olivia Rodrigo is probably going to make an album that has a little bit of pop-punk influence and some other influences too. Billie’s going to make whatever magical music she’s going to make and she’s going to be inspired by so much. You don’t have to follow the rules or keep it as sterile as the record label or whatever the rollout plan may be.”

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Travis Barker reportedly hospitalised for pancreatitis following procedure

Travis Barker has reportedly been hospitalised with pancreatitis following a hospital procedure.

  • READ MORE: jxdn  – “Working with Travis Barker is like winning the lottery”

According to TMZ, Barker was rushed to hospital with the condition, which is inflammation of the pancreas, following a recent hospital procedure for a colonoscopy.

The Blink-182 drummer was pictured on a stretcher outside Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre in Los Angeles with his wife Kourtney Kardashian at his side.

Just hours before the news broke of his hospitalisation, Barker tweeted, “God save me.” It’s unclear whether this was in reference to the reason for his hospitalisation, as ‘God Save Me’ is also the title of a song that Barker worked on with Machine Gun Kelly and appeared on the latter’s ‘Mainstream Sellout’ album in March.

Taking to her Instagram Story, Barker’s daughter Alabama seems to have alluded to the incident, writing: “Please send your prayers.” In a since-deleted TikTok, Barker could be seen lying on a stretcher with a brace around his left hand.

NME has reached out to representatives for Barker for comment.

Recently, Barker credited artists like Olivia Rodrigo, Billie Eilish and Jxdn for changing what it means to be a pop-punk artist.

The Blink-182 drummer spoke to Billboard about his love of the genre and his respect for a number of rising stars in the music industry.

“I like Olivia’s album, I love everything Billie’s done. I won’t say, ‘This is pop-punk.’ I’ll say, this music that came out, let’s say like Avril’s ‘Love Sux’, let’s say Jxdn’s ‘Tell Me About Tomorrow’, and ‘Tickets To My Downfall’ [Machine Gun Kelly], were all inspired by pop-punk.

“It doesn’t mean that it’s just pop-punk or has to be categorised like that. Olivia Rodrigo is probably going to make an album that has a little bit of pop-punk influence and some other influences too. Billie’s going to make whatever magical music she’s going to make and she’s going to be inspired by so much.

“You don’t have to follow the rules or keep it as sterile as the record label or whatever the rollout plan may be.”

In other Barker news, the drummer recently shared a new tattoo, which was done in tribute to late Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins. “HAWK forever,” he captioned the Instagram post about the tattoo. The final image in the series showed Barker and Hawkins together in their earlier years.

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Joy Crookes on Glastonbury 2022, new music and working with the England Lionesses

Joy Crookes caught up with NME backstage at Glastonbury 2022, where she gave us the lowdown on what it was like to make the jump to Pyramid Stage, as well working with England football squad, The Lionesses.

  • READ MORE: The story of Glastonbury 2022 in glorious photos

While upset that she was “still in a tent” while staying at the festival, the 23-year-old singer was proud to have made the jump to the main stage. “I played at the Pussy Parlour in 2019 before the pandemic and it’s mad I’m on the Pyramid stage this time,” she told NME.”

When asked what it’s like to play on the world’s most important festival stage, she replied: “Funny, if you should put it like that. It was surreal, absolutely surreal. It was overwhelming in an amazing way. I ended up crying on stage because it was so overwhelming. It feels almost like meditating because it goes by so fast, but it feels like you’re doing so many things.”

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She continued: “It’s really grounding because it’s so intimate in a sense that, even though I’m playing larger stages, for two years we’ve been away from intimacy. We’ve not been able to build those types of connections”.

Assessing the overall Glasto experience, she went on: “Not to sound sage-like but there’s such a merge of energies here. There are so many people sharing connections, whether it’s through music or telling someone you like their hat, it’s a really really intense – but for the better – experience”.

Joy Crookes at Glastonbury 2022. Credit: Phoebe Fox for NME

Crookes also spoke to NME about her ventures outside of music – including recently doing a voiceover for the England Lionesses football team, finding it “amazing to learn so much about women’s football”.

“I’m really proud that it’s becoming more and more popular as the years go on – as it should – and I got to work with wonderful people,” she said. “I thought it would be a great opportunity to, I know I write music, but to write a spoken word piece for something that I think should have more light and more attention around it.”

Asked if was a football fanatic, she replied:  “I’m an Arsenal supporter, so I do love football – but I am a heart-broken Arsenal supporter; like most other Arsenal supporters”.

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Crookes also added that her second album “is the next project I’m working on” and is finding it “exciting to see where I want my sound to go and what stories I want to tell”.

Check back at NME here for the latest news, reviews, interviews, photos and more from Glastonbury 2022.

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Idles’ Joe Talbot dedicates ‘Mother’ to “every woman” following overturn of Roe v. Wade

Joe Talbot of Idles has spoken out against the overturn of Roe V. Wade today (June 24) during the band’s Glastonbury 2022 performance.

The supreme court overturned the landmark case earlier today, which granted women in the US the right to terminate a pregnancy 50 years ago.

Right before the band played ‘Mother’ during their festival set, Talbot shared a dedication speaking out on the ruling.

“Of course, this is for every mother and every woman and her right to choose whether she is a mother or not,” Talbot said. “Long live the open-minded long live my mother and long live every single one of you.”

Talbot’s call out follows multiple artists peaking out about the ruling. Fellow Glastonbury performer Phoebe Bridgers, who is also set to perform Friday, recently wrote an open letter about abortion rights.

Taking to her Instagram stories and Twitter, she shared her own experience before asking fans to donate.

“I had an abortion in October of last year while I was on tour,” she wrote. “I went to planned parenthood where they gave me the abortion pill.”

The singer added: “It was easy. Everyone deserves that kind of access” before sharing a link to a list of abortion funds to donate.

Today, Glastonbury continues with performances from the likes of Sam Fender, St Vincent, IDLES, Blossoms, Sigrid, Bridgers and Primal Scream, with a headline set on the Pyramid Stage from Billie Eilish.

Check out the full line-up and performance times here and check back at NME here for the latest news, reviews, interviews, photos and more from Glastonbury 2022.

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Justin Bieber postpones rest of US tour due to Ramsay Hunt diagnosis

Justin Bieber has postponed the rest of his North American tour due to his ongoing battle with Ramsay Hunt syndrome.

  • READ MORE: Justin Bieber – ‘Justice’ review: pop star finds his purpose again

Last Saturday (June 11), Bieber posted a video explaining that he was recently diagnosed with the rare condition, which, according to the Mayo Clinic, “occurs when a shingles outbreak affects the facial nerve near one of your ears”.

Bieber, who could be seen struggling to blink, smile or move his right nostril, assured fans that his facial paralysis will subside over time. In a recent update, he said that “each day has gotten better”, noting that his Christian faith has helped him cope with the illness.

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On Thursday (June 16), concert promoter AEG announced the rest of the North American leg of the pop star’s ‘Justice’ world tour – including his appearance at Summerfest – has been postponed due to his diagnosis.

“Justin continues to receive the best medical care possible, is upbeat about his recovery and is looking forward to getting back out on the road and performing for his fans overseas later this summer,” AEG said in a statement (via Summerfest).

Details about rescheduled dates and refunds will be released shortly.

Bieber’s ‘Justice’ tour has already been postponed several times due to the coronavirus pandemic. It is scheduled to resume on July 31 in Lucca, Italy, and continue through to December 7 in Auckland.

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A 2023 leg is due to begin on January 11 in Amsterdam and wrap March 25 in Krakow, Poland. He’ll perform 11 UK shows as part of the tour, starting in Glasgow on February 8, 2023, with shows scheduled in Aberdeen, Birmingham, Manchester, Sheffield, and he will perform four nights at The O2 in London.

Justin Bieber ‘Justice’ UK tour 2023:

FEBRUARY 2023
8 – Glasgow, OVO Hydro
11 – Aberdeen, P&J Live
13 – London, The O2
14 – London, The O2
16 – London, The O2
17 – London, The O2
22 – Birmingham, Resorts World Arena
23 – Birmingham, Resorts World Arena
25 – Manchester, AO Arena
26 – Sheffield, Utilita Arena

MARCH 2023
4 – Manchester, AO Arena

You can get tickets for any remaining dates here.

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Here’s the early weather forecast for Glastonbury Festival 2022

Glastonbury 2022 is almost here after a two-year delay following the coronavirus pandemic – see how the weather will fare below.

  • READ MORE: We’re gonna need a bigger farm: why Glastonbury 2022 could be the best in history

Those travelling to Worthy Farm from June 22-26 to see headliners Billie Eilish, Paul McCartney and Kendrick Lamar, as well as Little Simz, Róisín Murphy, Bicep and plenty of other acts, can mostly expect warm conditions.

However, it might be worth packing your wellies as some rain is currently expected, along with the possibility of thunderstorms.

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According to the Met Office‘s long range weather forecast for June 17-26, “Temperatures are expected to be warm for most and closer to average in the north, but possibly very warm or hot in the south, which could bring thundery conditions.

“Fine but generally unsettled weather can be expected throughout the rest of this period, with the possibility of some showers or longer spells of rain mainly in the northwest and continued possible thundery outbreaks in the south.”

Check out the latest forecast according to the BBC below.

Wednesday June 22: Sunny intervals and a moderate breeze, with temperatures peaking at 17° and lows of 11°

Thursday June 23: Sunny intervals and a moderate breeze, with temperatures peaking at 17° and lows of 11°

Friday June 24: Sunny intervals and a moderate breeze, with temperatures peaking at 17° and lows of 11°

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Saturday June 25: Light cloud and a moderate breeze, with temperatures peaking at 18° and lows of 11°

Sunday June 26: Light cloud and a moderate breeze, with temperatures peaking at 17° and lows of 11°

Glastonbury's Pyramid Stag
Glastonbury’s Pyramid Stage in 2019 (Picture: Getty)

In other news, music fans headed to this year’s Glastonbury Festival may have to reconsider their travel plans as national rail strikes were confirmed last week for three days in late June.

The RMT union announced that “over 50,000 railway workers will walkout as part of 3 days of national strike action later this month, in the biggest dispute on the network since 1989”. The nationwide strikes are due to take place on June 21, 23 and 25.

Last week, the BBC also shared further details of their coverage for this month’s festival, with significant coverage planned across radio and television from June 18-24.

Check back at NME for the latest news, reviews, interviews, photos and more from Glastonbury 2022.

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Justin Bieber reveals facial paralysis from Ramsay Hunt syndrome

Justin Bieber has alerted fans to his recent diagnosis with Ramsay Hunt syndrome, which has temporarily paralysed the entire right side of his face.

  • READ MORE: Justin Bieber – ‘Justice’ review: pop star finds his purpose again

Earlier this week, the singer postponed the opening stretch of his North American ‘Justice’ tour, at the time citing an unspecified “sickness”. 

In a video shared to his Instagram overnight (June 10), Bieber explained that his illness stems from Ramsay Hunt syndrome, which, according to the Mayo Clinic, “occurs when a shingles outbreak affects the facial nerve near one of your ears”. In his video, Bieber can be seen struggling to blink, smile or move his right nostril.

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“For those who are frustrated by my cancellations of the next shows, I’m just physically, obviously, not capable of doing them,” he explained. “This is pretty serious, as you can see. I wish this wasn’t the case, but obviously my body is telling me I’ve got to slow down, and I hope you guys understand.”

Though he stopped short of confirming which – or how many – shows would be affected by the postponements, Bieber went on to say that he would be “using this time to just rest and relax, and get back to 100 per cent so that I can do what I was born to do”. 

Bieber assured fans that his facial paralysis will subside over time. “I’m doing all of these facial exercises to get my face back to normal,” he said, stressing that “it will go back to normal – it’s just time, and we don’t know how much time it’s going to be”. 

He continued: “I have hope, and I trust God, and I trust that this is… all for a reason. I’m not sure what that is right now, but in the meantime, I’m going to rest.”

Have a look at the full video below:

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Justin Bieber (@justinbieber)

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New dates for the postponed North American shows are yet to be confirmed. Bieber’s website lists his back-to-back shows at New York’s Madison Square Garden – dated for Monday June 13 and Tuesday 14 – as his next performances. It’s unlikely these will go ahead, though: in an update posted to his Instagram Story just hours ago, the singer noted that “[it’s] been getting progressively harder to eat”.

The ‘Justice’ world tour has already been rescheduled three times thus far, stemming from its original 2020 iteration as the ‘Changes’ tour. Further delays happened earlier this year, after Bieber tested positive for COVID-19.

Bieber is set to return to perform in Europe next month, followed by stints in South America, South Africa, India, South East Asia, Japan and Australia throughout the remainder of 2022. Next February, he’ll bring the ‘Justice’ tour to the UK for a run of 11 shows.

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Jimmy Eat World return with punchy new song ‘Something Loud’

Jimmy Eat World have today (June 10) shared a punchy new track called ‘Something Loud’ – scroll down the page to watch the video now.

The track is the band’s first single since ‘Love Never’, which was released in 2019 and featured on the album ‘Surviving’.

  • READ MORE: Jimmy Eat World tell us about conquering doubt for ‘Surviving’: “Your lesser self convinces you to let them have the keys”

‘Something Loud’ was inspired by the excitement that surrounded the announcement of When We Were Young festival, which will take place in Las Vegas this October. Speaking in a press release, frontman Jim Adkins said the response to the event elicited a period of reflection in both his personal and professional lives.

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“While I thought I made the most of the early band days, I realise now I missed some stuff,” he said. “You’re in such a hurry to grow out of the formidable years. Like shit-togetherness is going to magically arrive when you hit some age you thought ‘grownups’ were. Yeah, it doesn’t work that way. But maybe the thing age and experience do reveal is that pivotal moments are hard to grasp when you are in them.”

The new single comes accompanied by a video co-directed by the band and Austin Gavin. In it, they’re seen in their studio in black-and-white, while a closing scene pays tribute to their late friend Mike Gill, who co-directed the video for 2019’s ‘555’. Watch the ‘Something Loud’ video above now.

In 2021, Jimmy Eat World celebrated three of their most popular albums in a trio of special livestream events called ‘The Phoenix Sessions’. For three consecutive weeks, the band played a different album in full – including ‘Surviving’, 2004’s ‘Futures’ and 1999’s ‘Clarity’.

 

Meanwhile, in 2020, Adkins launched his own podcast series, called Pass-Through Frequencies. The show was designed to allow the frontman and his guests to delve into the craft of songwriting and the creative process through in-depth conversations. Guests included Blink-182’s Mark Hoppus, Steve Aoki, Death Cab For Cutie’s Ben Gibbard and more.

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Panic! At The Disco announce comeback single ‘Viva Las Vengeance’

After teasing it for the past fortnight, Panic! At The Disco have officially announced that their first single in four years, ‘Viva Las Vengeance’, will be released later this week.

  • READ MORE: Panic! At The Disco live: Brendon Urie emerges as the greatest showman

The now-solo project of Brendon Urie made its return to the spotlight on May 15, when a cryptic website imploring fans to “shut up and go to bed” began to make the rounds. The website hinted that something of substance would be released this Wednesday (June 1), with that something now revealed to be ‘Viva Las Vengeance’.

According to a new teaser shared on social media, though, the song itself won’t be the only thing Panic! fans have to look forward to. “So much more” will be revealed alongside it, the post says, telling followers to return at 3pm BST (10am ET) on Wednesday.

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A six-second video also offers a preview of ‘Viva Las Vengeance’, sporting jangly, rockabilly-esque guitars evocative of The Strokes’ early material, subtle shakes of a tambourine and a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it soundbite of Urie yelling, “Hey!”

Have a look at the teaser below:

‘Viva Las Vengeance’ will be the first new release from Panic! At The Disco since June 2018, when they dropped their sixth studio album (and the second since Panic! became Urie’s solo project), ‘Pray For The Wicked’. That record earned a four-star review from NME, with writer Dannii Leivers opining that Urie “injected these tracks with unprecedented levels of sass and drama”.

Until the launch of their mysterious website earlier this month, Panic! (and by extension, Urie) had been largely silent online over the past few years, only returning occasionally to spruik new accolades and legacy releases by their label, Fueled By Ramen. Urie last performed with the project in October 2019, when they played the Rock In Rio festival.

Upon entering the new website, a sleep calculator will ask for your age, desired bedtime and email address. When you hit calculate, an orange box appears with the words, “Don’t be a diva, it’s time to be free”. Regardless of what bedtime you put in, it tells you that you “need to wake up at 6!01”. The flashing clock face that shows the numbers will occasionally switch to show letters instead, reading “V!LV”.

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“Don’t forget to set your alarm, so you know when to wake up,” the site also reads above a yellow button that says: “Set an alarm.” When clicked, visitors are treated a clip of string-laden music that features Urie singing the line, “Shut up and go to bed.”

Last year, Urie was the focus of a bizarre viral trend that saw the frontman blamed for many of the world’s “problems”, including One Direction splitting up, the coronavirus pandemic, the fall of the Roman Empire, and the closure of Toys R Us.

Meanwhile, in 2020, the musician told former president Donald Trump to stop using his music at rallies. Trump had been playing Panic! At The Disco’s ‘High Hopes’ at a rally for his 2020 re-election campaign, which Urie took issue with.

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Machine Gun Kelly joins Blackbear on angsty new break-up anthem ‘GFY’

Machine Gun Kelly and Blackbear have teamed up for a new break-up anthem titled ‘GFY’ – watch the song’s video below.

  • READ MORE: Machine Gun Kelly: “I’ve been jumping up and down on the table, believing in myself, for-fucking-ever”

Produced by Blink-182‘s Travis Barker, the track hears the pair recount a toxic relationship over a pop-punk backdrop, comprising rock-influenced guitars and rolling drum kicks.

Look at this picture, somethin’ ain’t right/ I’m feelin’ shitty, broken inside/ You cut me up in four-letter lines/ Stabbin’ my back with this four letter lie,” Blackbear sings in the opening verse.

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You gave my hoodie to some other guy/ I fell for you and I’m payin’ the price/ Do you do it for clout? Do you do it for hype?/ Do you do it for love? Do you do it for likes?” he continues, before adding: “You’rе worse than all of my exes combined.”

MGK joins the pity party with a rap on the song’s second verse, while also getting involved in the chorus.

The song’s video sees MGK take on the role of a wanted murderer who lives across the street from Blackbear. Playing like a modern day version of Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window, the John Tashiro-directed clip also features cameos from Mike Posner and Benny Blanco. Watch it below.

‘GFY’ marks the latest collaboration between Blackbear and MGK. Previously the pair teamed up on Machine Gun Kelly’s ‘My Ex’s Best Friend’, taken from his 2020 album ‘Tickets For My Downfall’, as well as ‘Make Up Sex’, a cut from his 2022’s ‘Mainstream Sellout’.

Blackbear is currently working on his sixth studio album, ‘In Loving Memory’, which is expected to arrive this summer.

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“Although ‘GFY’ is the first single from the album, fans will soon see it’s actually a fun intermission in an otherwise vulnerable project. Also, I just like making music with my friends,” he said of his latest single.

Meanwhile, Machine Gun Kelly recently hinted that he could return to rap on his next album after a successful pivot to becoming a pop-punk star.

“I’m going to make a rap album for myself. For no other reason, no point to prove, no chip on my shoulder. If I keep doing things to prove things to people, I’m going to one, drive myself crazy and two, not make a good product,” he told the Audacy Check In.

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Watch Harry Styles cover Wet Leg’s ‘Wet Dream’ for BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge

Harry Styles has covered Wet Leg‘s ‘Wet Dream’ for BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge.

  • READ MORE: Harry Styles – ‘Harry’s House’ review: grounded star finds home is where the heart is

The pop star was in the BBC studio earlier today (May 23) to play four songs ahead of his intimate ‘One Night Only’ show tonight at London’s Brixton Academy.

Styles, who released his third album ‘Harry’s House’ on Friday (May 20), played his rendition of the Isle of Wight duo’s single taken from their 2022 self-titled debut album.

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Watch a snippet of the performance below:

Meanwhile, ‘Harry’s House’ is on track to become the UK’s Number One album this week. It’s already the fastest-selling album of 2022 so far.

As of yesterday (May 23) the album had racked up 61,000 chart sales – a number that surpasses his previous studio albums. ‘Harry Styles’ had 57,000 chart sales during its first week of release in 2017, while ‘Fine Line’ managed 49,000.

His self-titled debut has also risen to Number 28 in the midweek charts, suggesting that it’s on course for a return to the Top 40.

In other news, Styles has become the latest star to read a story for CBeebies’ Bedtime Stories – watch the musician read In Every House On Every Street below.

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Styles follows Dave Grohl, Dolly Parton, Elton John, Tom Hardy and Ed Sheeran in appearing on the children’s TV series.

The ‘Harry’s House’ singer and actor read Jess Hitchman’s story In Every House On Every Street (featuring illustrations by Lili la Baleine) for his spot on Bedtime Stories, which aired on CBeebies yesterday (May 23).

Machine Gun Kelly says Drake was nearly in his new movie

Machine Gun Kelly has revealed that Drake almost made an appearance in his forthcoming film, Good Mourning.

The film, Kelly’s directorial debut, is set to feature a ‘Fake Drake’ doppelgänger, and the artist – real name Colson Baker – has now revealed that he was close to getting the actual Drake to play the role.

  • READ MORE: Machine Gun Kelly: “I’ve been jumping up and down on the table, believing in myself, for-fucking-ever”

Speaking with his collaborator Mod Sun on the Audacy Check In series, Kelly discussed how Drake was almost cast himself.

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“Drake was initially going to be Drake in the movie, and the schedules kept [conflicting,]” he said. “Every day that Drake could actually do it, cause when you shoot a movie every day is planned, and so we had it where, ‘Oh Drake could come this day this is what it’s gonna be,’ and the house owner couldn’t let up their house for that night, and it had to be at this place because we were very like set on every location that we found.”

He added: “The second time when Drake could do it, he was in Toronto, and he was like, ‘If you send a jet we can get there on time,’ and we were like, ‘ahh but this isn’t a Marvel movie budget.’ We would have to spend the whole movie budget on this jet.”

Last month, the first trailer for Good Mourning was shared ahead of its release this Friday (May 20).

First announced last August, the film is a stoner comedy that Baker co-wrote, directed and stars in alongside fellow musician Mod Sun, fiancée Megan Fox and close friend Pete Davidson. It’ll land simultaneously in cinemas and on demand, though it’s not clear as of yet which platform will host the film’s digital release.

Baker stars in the film as London Clash, an actor in the midst of an existential crisis. So the logline goes, Clash’s “world is turned upside down” when, on the morning of a crucial meeting with the director of a Batman film, he “wakes up to an implied breakup text from the love of his life”.

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The synopsis for Good Mourning continues: “Compounded by chaotic roommates and wildly unpredictable twists and turns, London’s day keeps going downhill until ultimately, he is forced to choose between pursuing his one true love and landing a life-changing, starring role in a major motion picture.”

Good Mourning will mark Baker’s third film for 2022, following his cameo in Jackass Forever and a starring role in the music drama Taurus. It’ll also mark his third time linking up with Pete Davidson, having made cameos in Big Time Adolescence and The King Of Staten Island.

Kelly released his album ‘Mainstream Sellout’ last month, and will be supported by Avril Lavigne and Blink-182’s Travis Barker on a 41-date US arena tour behind the album.

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Mallrat Goes Deeper Into The Machine

By Gabriel Aikins

The ascension of Mallrat has been a long time coming. The Australian pop songwriter born Grace Shaw honed her work religiously over three EPs in the late 2010s. With each of these projects — 2016’s Uninvited, 2018’s In the Sky, and 2019’s Driving Music — the scope of her ambition and skill grew, as Shaw evolved as a producer, expanded her own musical tastes, and matured as a songwriter. Her first single of 2022, “Your Love,” represented a higher level to her art, a biting mix of hip-hop and pop unlike anything she’s created before. The result of this refinement is her long-awaited debut album Butterfly Blue, which incorporates new sounds into Shaw’s pop framework. This is the exact album she wanted to make, and no one was going to stop her.

Butterfly Blue began to take shape around the release of In the Sky, on which Shaw added more complex and overlapping synths into her production on tracks like the sonically packed “Groceries.” After Driving Music was released, Shaw buckled down and spent the next several years largely in Melbourne crafting her debut, a lengthy process she’s grateful for in that it allowed her to craft and tinker to bring her vision to life. “It meant that I didn't have to compromise anything about the album. I had lots and lots of time to make it exactly how I wanted,” she tells MTV News.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pd9jg7MpVac

Shaw wanted to explore more sounds, so she did. “Your Love” combines blaring synths with snares and hi-hats and includes a sample from Memphis rapper Gangsta Pat’s 1995 track “Killa, Part 2.” Shaw introduces guitar riffs with plenty of chunky distortion, like on the aptly named “Rockstar.” In order not to limit herself in the directions her songs may go, Shaw enters into the writing process with an open mind. “I don't usually have things that I want to achieve before I write a song. I just start the song and then make it as good as it can be,” she says. Instead, she notes more general musical ideas and textures she enjoys as elements she wants to incorporate during production. She became interested in the contrast between “really distorted, aggressive sounds, and really beautiful vocal samples,” as found on the hook of “Heart Guitar,” which combines a gently sung melody with a gruff looping guitar riff.

Butterfly Blue is both cohesive based on the pop elements Shaw has used as Mallrat before, but unrestrained by any idea of what a pop song can or cannot be. Single “Teeth” is a growling punk track with vicious riffs and chaotic climaxes, and “I’m Not My Body, It’s Mine” shifts from piano and guitar to billowing vocal harmonies and electronic distortion in the blink of an eye. Being able to take her music wherever her mind wanders is the point. “I don't think I could do it if I had to compromise even a little bit,” Shaw says. Since Butterfly Blue is her debut album, she doesn’t feel the weight of expectations about what she’s supposed to sound like, something she’s grateful for. “I hate being told what to do,” she summarizes with a laugh.

As such, the album fits snugly into the present moment as pop becomes increasingly experimental while standing on its own merits. This was a key focus for Shaw, who says she wants to keep her music “timeless.” She stays up to date on trends and new production techniques, but always with an ear towards making them her own, like on the exhilarating waves of electronically enhanced vocal harmonies and fuzzy electro-pop of “To You.” “I don’t pull up a recent popular song that we like and say, ‘How can we recreate this?’ We just make something that's cool,” she says.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOXY59WEkao

Her collaborators help keep the energy exciting. She points to fellow Australian producer Styalz Fuego — who has worked with a range of artists from Imagine Dragons to Tinashe — as someone whose artistic meticulousness matches her own. This also extends to singular, often controversial rapper Azealia Banks, who joins Shaw on “Surprise Me.” As another creative with an unshakable vision of their work, Banks served as a natural partner. “She put so much care into her verse,” Shaw says. “She recorded it several times, like, ‘This can be better.’ And then she's kind of become a little bit of a mentor to me in the process.”

Shaw’s meticulous approach to writing follows her into her production, an area she maintained a constant presence in during the recording of Butterfly Blue. “If I'm not involved in production on a song, I get very bored,” she says. One of her favorite production choices that she added to the record was the huge number of vocal harmonies and the integration of her main vocals into the instrumental mix in a way that complements both. This is heard perfectly on “Obsessed,” where Shaw’s sung melody and instrumental backing weave in past each other at the top of the mix. Shaw says listeners (including her) identify with voices instinctively based on human nature. Part of it comes from a preference in her demoing process: Her early general vocalizations and gibberish often morph into vocal backings on the finished songs. “I don't usually record lyrics that I hate,” she states plainly.

As Butterfly Blue arrives and more of the world begins to discover Mallrat, it’s with the knowledge that the music they’re discovering was made on her own terms. The drive to create exactly what’s in her head has led to her working hard to always make sure she’s putting out the best possible work she can be proud of. “That is an attitude that I think has carried through much of the album,” she says, “and it's something that I'm going to take with me.”

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Renforshort announces debut album ‘Dear Amelia’ and shares Travis Barker-featuring single

Renforshort has announced details of her debut album ‘Dear Amelia’ – you can listen to her new Travis Barker-featuring single ‘We’ll Make This OK’ below.

The Canadian artist will release ‘Dear Amelia’ on July 8 via Interscope Records, which will serve as the follow-up to her 2021 EP ‘Off Saint Dominique’.

  • READ MORE: Renforshort: “Yungblud and Mike Shinoda have been like mentors to me”

Renforshort worked with her longtime collaborator Jeff Hazin on ‘Dear Amelia’, while the likes of Jake Bugg, David Pramik, Alexander 23, Andy Seltzer, John Ryan, Tia Scola and Nick Long all contributed to the record.

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Described as “an up-close and thrillingly honest journey through the darkest parts of her psyche”, the album features the previously released singles ‘Made For You’ and ‘Moshpit’.

‘Dear Amelia’ has been previewed today (May 12) by the release of ‘We’ll Make This OK’, which sees Renforshort linking up with Blink-182 drummer Barker.

You can watch the Nikko LaMere-directed video for ‘We’ll Make This OK’, which was shot in LA, above.

You can see the tracklist and artwork for Renforshort’s ‘Dear Amelia’ below.

1. ‘i miss myself’
2. ‘made for you’
3. ‘moshpit’
4. ‘hate the way you love me’
5. ‘we’ll make this ok’ (feat. Travis Barker)
6. ‘I thot you were cool’
7. ‘don’t come back’
8. ‘let you down’ (feat. Jake Bugg)
9. ‘better off’
10. ‘Julian, king of Manhattan’
11. ‘not my friend’
12. ‘amelia’

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Renforshort - 'Dear Amelia' artwork
Renforshort – ‘Dear Amelia’ artwork

Renforshort will play live at a host of festivals this summer, including the likes of Firefly, Hangout Fest and Splendour In The Grass.

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Ukrainian Eurovision entry Kalush Orchestra: “This is the highest responsibility possible”

This year’s Ukrainian entrants for the Eurovision Song Contest, Kalush Orchestra, have spoken to NME about their song ‘Stefania’ and what it means to be representing their country during a time of war. Watch our full video interview with frontman Oleh Psiuk above.

  • READ MORE: Ukrainian artists on the Russian crisis: “Now is the time to push for change”

The rap group, who formed in 2019, replaced Ukraine’s original entrant Alina Pash, who withdrew from the competition in February. Now, they’re currently favourites to win the contest, which takes place this week in Turin.

Speaking to NME, frontman Oleh Psiuk explained how their taking part was a “huge responsibility”, given the ongoing war with Russia.

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“To represent Ukraine in the international arena is always a responsibility, but to represent it during the war is just the highest responsibility possible,” he said.

Their song ‘Stefania’ was written in tribute to Psiuk’s mother, but with emotive and rallying lyrics that include the line “The field is blooming, but her hair is getting grey / Mother, sing me the lullaby, I want to hear your dear word“, the track has taken on a new meaning for many.

“The song was composed and dedicated to my mother, but after the war the song has acquired lots of nuances because a lot of people are perceiving it as if Ukraine is my mother,” said Psiuk. “That’s why the song has become so close to the Ukrainian people, and it is in the Ukrainian hearts.”

Describing the band’s idiosyncratic sound, Psiuk said: “The band combines old forgotten folklore, which could have been forgotten through many generations, and new, modern contemporary hip-hop and rap – all mixed into one cocktail. That’s why it has an interesting sound, but I don’t know anything similar to that.”

While last year’s Eurovision winners Måneskin are currently enjoying huge global success, Psiuk said that the band’s plans after the contest would involve returning home “instantly” in order to “deal with their own affairs as volunteers and doing everything possible to help their country”. They are required to return to Ukraine as men of legal fighting age after the competition.

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“One of our band members stayed in the war and is now defending Kyiv in the capital. I created my volunteer organisation helping people with accommodation, travel, transport and medicine all across the Ukraine,” he said. “We also have a special telegram channel that you can join, write where you’re from and what help you need.”

Kalush Orchestra
MC Kilimmen, Ihor Didenchuk, Oleh Psiuk, Tymofii Muzychuk and Vitalii Duzhyk of Kalush Orchestra. CREDIT: Patricia J. Garcinuno/Getty Images

Beyond that, they hoped that their taking part would shine a spotlight on other talent from their home country, giving a shout-out to other Ukrainian acts including Skofka, YAKTAK, and Jerry Heil.

“According to the bookmakers’ bets, we are taking the first place – but before the war struck, it was fifth place,” said Psiuk. “That shows that our song is liked by the European audience. We hope that when the wider audience hears it, that they’ll pay attention to Ukrainian music.”

He added: “Our aim is not only to make Ukrainian popular not only in the Ukraine, but all over the world. Eurovision is a very cool platform for that. We would like to create a situation where Ukrainian music has a place in the world market and for it to be really needed.”

Watch our full interview with Psiuk above, where he also discusses being inspired by Eminem, Ukraine’s legacy of Eurovision Song Contest talent, and his thoughts on this year’s fellow entrants in the competition.

Due to the ongoing conflict, Russia will not be allowed to compete in Eurovision this year. Viewers will also be encouraged to donate to Ukrainian relief efforts.

Kalush Orchestra compete in the first round of semi-finals at Eurovision tonight (Tuesday May 10). There will be a second semi-final on Thursday before the grand final takes place on Saturday.

You can donate here to the Red Cross to help those affected by the conflict, or via a number of other ways through Choose Love.

You can donate here to the Red Cross to help those affected by the conflict, or via a number of other ways through Choose Love.

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Pale Waves announce third album ‘Unwanted’ and share new single ‘Lies’

Pale Waves have announced details of their third studio album, ‘Unwanted’, with the follow-up to 2021’s ‘Who Am I?’ due to be released on August 12 via Dirty Hit.

  • READ MORE: The NME Big Read – Pale Waves: “I’ve been hiding who I am for so long now. I don’t wanna do that any more”

To coincide with the announcement, the band have shared the album’s first single ‘Lies’, which was previously teased last month.

The group shared two previews on their official TikTok account, with the song’s chorus (“You called it love but it never had a feeling/ Ripped out my heart and left it bleeding“) playing over the videos.

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The track was recorded in Los Angeles with producer Zakk Cervini, who has worked with the likes of Blink-182, Halsey and Machine Gun Kelly. It features crunchy guitars and a ripping, pop-punk backdrop.

“‘Lies’ is about someone who built up my trust and destroyed it like a wrecking ball,” frontwoman Heather Baron-Gracie said of the track. “It caused some real trust issues, but fortunately for me that person is no longer in my life. Once you do me wrong you’re gone!”

Speaking of new album ‘Unwanted’, Baron-Gracie said: “It was really the only thing this album could be called. It’s bold and unapologetic, and that’s what the Pale Waves community is about. We don’t need to fit a perfect mould, we don’t need to apologise for being ourselves, and we won’t change for anyone. That acceptance is what connects us.”

Find Pale Waves’ ‘Unwanted’ tracklist below:

1. ‘Lies’
2. ‘Unwanted’
3. ‘The Hard Way’
4. ‘Jealousy’
5. ‘Alone’
6. ‘Clean’
7. ‘Without You’
8. ‘Only Problem’
9. ‘You’re So Vain’
10. ‘Reasons To Live’
11. ‘Numb’
12. ‘Act My Age’
13. ‘So Sick (Of Missing You)’

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The band have also announced a UK headline tour for November 2022, which follows a number of festival appearances including Neighbourhood Weekender, Community Festival, Y-Not, Kendal Calling, Boardmasters and Reading & Leeds.

Tickets will be available via fan pre-sale at 10am on May 18 and on general sale from 10am on May 20. See full dates below and buy tickets here.

NOVEMBER
25 – Albert Hall, Manchester
26 – O2 Academy, Liverpool
27 – Barrowland Ballroom, Glasgow
28 – Fat Sam’s, Dundee
30 – O2 Academy Brixton, London

In a four-star review of ‘Who Am I?’, NME wrote: “The band capture their optimism of a new life worth living, but never shy away laying bare the challenges of doing so in times like these.

“Just getting through the day or to the finish line is enough for most of us these days; Pale Waves ought to be proud of what they’ve achieved.”

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Travis Barker praises Olivia Rodrigo, Billie Eilish and Jxdn for breaking the rules of pop-punk

Travis Barker has credited artists like Olivia Rodrigo, Billie Eilish and Jxdn for changing what it means to be a pop-punk artist.

  • READ MORE: jxdn  – “Working with Travis Barker is like winning the lottery”

The Blink-182 drummer spoke to Billboard about his love of the genre and his respect for a number of rising stars in the music industry.

“I like Olivia’s album, I love everything Billie’s done. I won’t say, ‘This is pop-punk.’ I’ll say, this music that came out, let’s say like Avril’s ‘Love Sux’, let’s say Jxdn’s ‘Tell Me About Tomorrow’, and ‘Tickets To My Downfall’ [Machine Gun Kelly], were all inspired by pop-punk.

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“It doesn’t mean that it’s just pop-punk or has to be categorised like that. Olivia Rodrigo is probably going to make an album that has a little bit of pop-punk influence and some other influences too. Billie’s going to make whatever magical music she’s going to make and she’s going to be inspired by so much.

You don’t have to follow the rules or keep it as sterile as the record label or whatever the rollout plan may be.”

He also noted that he would never “outgrow” punk rock music and spoke about helping the next generation of talent via his DTA Records label.

“I wanted DTA Records to be the label that doesn’t drop you the minute it doesn’t work, or you throw it against the wall and it doesn’t stick and you’re just on your own. I don’t want the artist to go in and make an album by themselves and not have the help or the guidance from me.”

He continued: “Make sure they’re making the right decisions, make sure they’re smart with their money, make sure they have a family of people around them that are going to help them and take them on tour, answer the phone at three in the morning when whatever has happened.”

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In other Travis Barker news, the drummer recently shared a new tattoo, which was done in tribute to late Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins. “HAWK forever,” he captioned the Instagram post about the tattoo. The final image in the series showed Barker and Hawkins together in their earlier years.

Elsewhere, Billie Eilish announced a livestream concert last week, to take place ahead of her ‘Happier Than Ever’ UK and European tour.

The singer-songwriter will team up with her brother and collaborator Finneas at the Deutsche Telekom headquarters in Germany for the stripped-back show on June 1, which will see the pair performing tracks from Eilish’s recent album and her 2019 debut album ‘When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?’.

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Artists and fans react to Kendrick Lamar’s comeback single ‘The Heart Part 5’

Artists and fans have been reacting after Kendrick Lamar returned today with comeback single ‘The Heart Part 5’ – see what they’re saying below.

The new single is part of a series of songs titled ‘The Heart’ that Kendrick has released over his entire career, with ‘Part 4’ coming in 2017. All five editions of the song have arrived immediately before a full-length album, and Kendrick will release fifth album ‘Mr. Morale And The Big Steppers’ on Friday (May 13).

The song serves as Lamar’s first solo single since 2018’s ‘All The Stars’, and an accompanying music video has been shared for the single, co-directed by Dave Free alongside Lamar himself.

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Lamar raps the song in front of a red background, before his face is transformed via deepfake technology to resemble people such as Kanye West, Kid Cudi and Will Smith. South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone are given “special thanks” in the video’s credits.

Following the release of the track and video, artists and fans alike have been hailing the return of Lamar. Denzel Curry tweeted: “I just finished this new Kendrick Video. Bruh…,” later adding: “I gotta step my game up n****s is built different.”

“Kendrick that was a masterpiece, I don’t think the tweet does justice,” NLE Choppa added, while fans lauded Kendrick’s tribute to the late Nipsey Hussle during the track’s video, as one of the faces Lamar transforms into.

See a range of reactions to ‘The Heart Part 5’ below.

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Lamar made his return to music following a nearly three-year absence in late 2021, appearing on two tracks by his cousin Baby Keem – ‘Family Ties’ and ‘Range Brothers’ – that featured on Keem’s debut album ‘The Melodic Blue’. The pair performed ‘Family Ties’ and ‘Vent’ together at Coachella last month.

‘Mr. Morale And The Big Steppers’ – the follow-up to 2017’s ‘DAMN.’ – was announced last month. In a follow-up teaser post, Lamar was pictured holding two CDs and a book adorning the album’s title – indicating that the release may be a double album, as well as potentially including an accompanying written piece.

Lamar had previously teased the album last year. “May the Most High continue to use Top Dawg as a vessel for candid creators. As I continue to pursue my life’s calling,” he wrote last August. “There’s beauty in completion. And always faith in the unknown.” He signed this note ‘Oklahoma’.

Last September, Lamar registered a host of new songs with ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) fuelling speculation back then that a new album could be on the way.

Tracks listed with the not-for-profit performance-rights organisation include ‘Before The Hangman’s Noose’, ‘Comfortable’, ‘Director’, ‘Fighter Thief In The Night’, ‘Fade To Black’, ‘Erika Kane’, ‘End Of The Line’, ‘Of Paupers And Poets’, ‘Believe’, ‘Driving Down The Darkness’, ‘End Of The Line’ and ‘Fell For You’. No track list for the new album has yet been revealed.

The rapper is due to headline Glastonbury this summer alongside Paul McCartney and Billie Eilish.

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Machine Gun Kelly hints at a return to rap on next album

Machine Gun Kelly has hinted that he could return to rap on his next album after a successful pivot to becoming a pop-punk star.

2020’s ‘Tickets To My Downfall’ album gave Machine Gun Kelly (real name Colson Baker) his first US Number One album and his first within the pop-punk genre after appearing to ditch his rap career. It was followed up by new album ‘Mainstream Sellout’, out last month (March 25).

  • READ MORE: Machine Gun Kelly – ‘Mainstream Sellout’ review: the one-man pop-punk revival rolls on

In a new interview about his future on the Audacy Check In, Kelly said: “I’m going to make a rap album for myself. For no other reason, no point to prove, no chip on my shoulder. If I keep doing things to prove things to people, I’m going to one, drive myself crazy and two, not make a good product.”

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“I made ‘Tickets’ and ‘Mainstream Sellout’ because I wanted to make them,” he added. “I need to now also make people miss that sound. I’m going to do this tour and I’m gonna step into where I left ‘Hotel Diablo’ and expand on my storytelling as a rapper and find a new innovative sound for the hip-hop Machine Gun Kelly. That’s where my excitement is and where me as a music archaeologist wants to explore.”

In another recent interview, Machine Gun Kelly spoke about his success as a pop punk artist, explaining that he’s “earned that shit”.

He’s long been criticised for his pivot from rap to rock, and speaking about the backlash in a new interview with Billboard, Baker explained: “I know it kills certain bands in that community that I got the success that I got. But I earned that shit.”

“Dude, I was fucking loading up the van with our drums and amps in 2010, driving to Indiana and Chicago, playing Warped Tour. I can tell you the fucking Wi-Fi codes to venues in Blackfoot, Idaho. Can you say that shit as a band,” he added.

Reviewing ‘Mainstream Sellout’, NME wrote: “In less than two years, Machine Gun Kelly has gone from underrated rapper to the sort of bonafide rock star who headlines festivals alongside the likes of Metallica, Green Day and Dua Lipa. Later this year, he’ll be supported by Avril Lavigne and Blink-182’s Travis Barker on a 41-date US arena tour. New album ‘Mainstream Sellout’ is no complacent victory lap, though.”

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Elsewhere, the musician recently released the first trailer for Good Mourning, his directorial debut as a filmmaker.

First announced last August, it was confirmed this month that Good Mourning – a stoner comedy that Baker co-wrote, directed and stars in alongside fellow musician Mod Sun, fiancée Megan Fox and close friend Pete Davidson – will arrive on May 20. It’ll land simultaneously in cinemas and on demand, though it’s not clear as of yet which platform will host the film’s digital release.

The artist will head out on a lengthy arena tour behind ‘Mainstream Sellout’ later this year – get tickets here and see the dates and support acts below.

North America:

JUNE 2022
8 – Austin, TX – Moody Center***^          
10 – Houston, TX – Toyota Center***^
11 – Dallas, TX – American Airlines Center***^                        
14 – Jacksonville, FL – VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena***^
15 – Miami, FL – FTX Arena***^                 
17 – Atlanta, GA – State Farm Arena*^
18 – Birmingham, AL – The Legacy Arena At BJCC*^
19 – Manchester, TN – Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival     
21 – Charlotte, NC – Spectrum Center*^
22 – Raleigh, NC – PNC Arena*^
24 – Washington, DC – Capital One Arena*^
25 – Boston, MA – TD Garden+$
26 – Philadelphia, PA – Waterfront Music Pavilion+$         
28 – New York, NY – Madison Square Garden*^

JULY 2022
1 – Milwaukee, WI – Summerfest*
2 – Louisville, KY – KFC Yum! Center*^
3 – Detroit, MI – Little Caesars Arena*^
5 – Syracuse, NY – St. Joseph’s Health Amphitheater*^
6 – Toronto, ON – Scotiabank Arena*^    
8 – Kansas City, MO – T-Mobile Center*^
9 – Tulsa, OK – BOK Center*#                      
11 – Phoenix, AZ – Footprint Center*#      
13 – Los Angeles, CA – The Forum*#
15 – Las Vegas, NV – T-Mobile Arena*#
16 – Anaheim, CA – Honda Center*#          
19 – Oakland, CA – Oakland Arena*#                        
21 – Portland, OR – Moda Center*#
22 – Seattle, WA – Climate Pledge Arena*#
23 – Vancouver, BC – Pepsi Live at Rogers Arena*#            
25 – Spokane, WA – Spokane Arena*#                   
27 – Fargo, ND – FargoDome*#
28 – St. Paul, MN – Xcel Energy Center*#
31 – Montreal, QC – Osheaga Festival

AUGUST 2022
2 – Pittsburgh, PA – PPG Paints Arena”#               
4 – Omaha, NE – CHI Health Center”#                   
6 – Salt Lake City, UT – USANA Amphitheatre”#
7 – Denver, CO – Ball Arena”#                  
9 – Des Moines, IA – Wells Fargo Arena”#
10 – St. Louis, MO – Enterprise Center”#
11 – Indianapolis, IN – Ruoff Music Center”#                         
13 – Cleveland, OH – FirstEnergy Stadium*”$#’

*With support from Avril Lavigne
***With support from Blackbear
^With support from iann dior
+With support from PVRIS
”With support from Travis Barker
$With support from Trippie Redd
#With support from WILLOW
With support from 44phantom

UK/Europe:

SEPTEMBER 2022
17 – Cologne, DE – Lanxess Arena’^
19 – Prague, CZ – Sportovní Hala V Holešovicích’^
21 – Brussels, BE – Palais 12’^
23 – Frankfurt, DE – Festhalle’^
25 – Munich, DE – Olympiahalle’^
27 – Milan, IT – Mediolanum Forum’^
28 – Zurich, CH –Hallenstadion’^
29 – Paris, FR – Zenith’^

OCTOBER 2022
1 – London, UK – OVO Arena Wembley’^
4 – Birmingham, UK – Utilita Arena’^
6 – Leeds, UK – First Direct Arena’^
7 – Glasgow, UK – OVO Hydro’^
9 – Dublin, IE – 3Arena’^              
12 – Amsterdam, NL – AFAS Live’^

^With support from iann dior
With support from 44phantom

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Listen to Megan Thee Stallion’s new single ‘Plan B’

Megan Thee Stallion has officially released her new single ‘Plan B’, after debuting it live at Coachella last weekend.

  • READ MORE: The NME Big Read – Megan Thee Stallion: “I’m really working on my dynasty right now”

During her set at Coachella, Meg introduced the track as “very motherfucking personal” to her and said it was addressed “to whom the fuck it may concern”. Prior to the performance, she tweeted that “every time I play it for a woman they start jumping and clapping”.

Ladies, love yourself, ’cause this shit could get ugly,” she raps over a ’90s hip-hop beat that samples Jodeci, Raekwon and Ghostface Killah‘s ‘Freek’n You (Remix)’. Listen below:

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In March, Megan dropped a collaboration with Dua Lipa titled ‘Sweetest Pie’. Both singles are set to feature on the Houston rapper’s forthcoming second studio album, though details on that are yet to be revealed.

Last month also saw Meg speak out about the “crazy double standards” that women in rap face. “I feel like we get critiqued so heavy because everybody just knows that women are the shit,” the rapper said in an appearance on Lipa’s podcast, At Your Service. “So they are looking for us to be the shit all the time.”

Elsewhere in the conversation, Lipa touched on the controversy surrounding Megan and Cardi B‘s 2020 hit single ‘WAP’. “A boy could start rapping about popping pills and enjoying four women at one time, and nobody would have a problem with that. But if Megan Thee Stallion says, ‘Eat my pussy’ one time, there’s uproar,” she said.

“If you get offended by a woman talking about how she likes to be pleased, then I think you need to take a step back and re-evaluate what you’re into.”

‘Good News’, Meg’s debut studio album, arrived back in November of 2020. In a four-star review, NME said the album found the rapper “determined to retain her freewheeling positivity in a difficult year”.

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Last October, Meg released ‘Something For Thee Hotties’, a compilation record that features freestyles and previously-unreleased songs along with ‘Thot Shit’, which was released as a standalone single earlier that year.

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Travis Barker shares Taylor Hawkins tribute tattoo

Travis Barker has had a new tattoo done in tribute to late Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins – see it below.

  • READ MORE: Taylor Hawkins, 1972 – 2022: Foo Fighters drummer who always stole the show

The Blink-182 drummer took to Instagram last night (April 14) to share a collection of images from Mark Mahoney’s Shamrock Social Club tattoo parlour on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, California.

Barker – accompanied by fiancée Kourtney Kardashian – can be seen having a detailed hawk design inked on the front side of his ankle by the celebrity tattoo artist.

“HAWK forever,” he captioned the post, paying tribute to Hawkins. The final image in the series shows Barker and the Foo Fighters drummer backstage together in their earlier years.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by travisbarker (@travisbarker)

Hawkins died on March 25 at the age of 50. The band announced the news in a statement on social media; no cause of death was given.

Barker, who had been longtime friends with the Foos drummer, was among those who paid tribute upon hearing the news of his death.

“I don’t have the words,” Barker wrote on Instagram. “Sad to write this or to never see you again. I’ll never forget Laguna Beach days when I was a trash man playing in a punk rock band and you were playing with Alanis [Morissette]. You’d come watch me play in dive bars and be like, ‘kid you’re a star.’ And I thought you were crazy but you gave me so much hope and determination.”

Meanwhile, the Grammys 2022 memorialised Hawkins with a special tribute at its Las Vegas ceremony earlier this month.

“This was the moment in the show when I was supposed to be introducing the Foo Fighters,” host Trevor Noah explained during the ceremony. “We would have been celebrating with them as they won three Grammy awards earlier today.

“But they are, of course, not here due to the passing of their legendary drummer Taylor Hawkins. Our thoughts go out to Taylor’s family, his friends, the Foo Fighter family and all of their fans around the world. We’d like to take a moment now to remember Taylor.”

The audience at home and watching on TV were then shown a montage of footage of Hawkins performing and backstage, with Foo Fighters song ‘My Hero’ soundtracking it. A larger In Memoriam segment followed, remembering more of the music world’s lost stars from the last 12 months.

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Rookie K-pop girl group IVE return with luxurious ‘Love Dive’ music video

Starship Entertainment’s rookie girl group IVE have returned with their second single album ‘Love Dive’.

  • READ MORE: Weeekly lose their unique identity as they messily somersault to a new sound on ‘Ven Para’

In the vibrant new visual, the members of IVE party the night away in a luxurious, ever-changing mansion in the clouds as they blink into different rooms, wearing different outfits. They later disappear into the sky in a flying white sedan.

Narcissistic, my god I love it / The night shone upon us two / Beautiful black eyes, diving deeper in / You into me, me into you / Hold your breath, love dive,” sing IVE on the chorus.

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‘Love Dive’, which also includes the B-side ‘Royal’, marks IVE’s first release of 2022. It comes just four months after their debut last December with their first single album ‘Eleven’, which had included its lead single of the same title and the B-side ‘Take It’.

The rookie girl group is led by former IZ*ONE‘s An Yu-jin, and is completed by fellow ex-IZ*ONE member Jang Won-young along with Gaeul, Liz, Rei and Leeseo. They are the third girl group to debut under Starship Entertainment after SISTAR and WJSN.

In February, European K-pop festival KPOP.FLEX confirmed that IVE would be performing on both days of its upcoming concert set to take place in May at the Deutsche Bank Park in Frankfurt, Germany. Other artists on the line-up include ENHYPEN, (G)I-DLE, EXO’s Kai, MONSTA X and more.

In other K-pop news, former IZ*ONE member Miyawaki Sakura has been unveiled as the first new member of Source Music’s upcoming six-member girl group LE SSERAFIM with a series of new teaser images. The agency had previously confirmed that another ex-IZ*ONE member, Kim Chae-won, would also be part of the lineup of LE SSERAFIM, although her official teasers have yet to arrive.

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Watch Finneas bust some impressive dance moves to his new single ‘Naked’

Finneas has shared his first music of 2022 with new single ‘Naked’, which sees him bust some impressive dance moves – you can view the video below.

  • READ MORE: Finneas: “I don’t know anything as strong as mine and Billie’s creative bond”

The track is the first from Billie Eilish‘s brother and collaborator since his debut album ‘Optimist’ was released last October.

The song focuses on a break up as he sings: “Ended back in early ’18/ We didn’t want the same thing / I don’t like the taste of cigarettes or your complaining,” before he admits: “I can’t believe you’ve seen me naked.”

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It follows his recent cover of Bon Iver‘s 2008 track ‘Flume’ for Spotify Singles and the three songs he wrote with Eilish for Disney‘s soundtrack to their new film Turning Red.

Reviewing Finneas’ debut solo album ‘Optimist’ upon its release last year, NME said: “He made his name producing and writing for his megastar sister Billie Eilish, and now it’s Finneas’ turn to step into the spotlight. ‘Optimist’ has been a long time coming – it follows a whopping 23 singles released since 2016 – and fully justifies why he’s become the industry’s producer du jour.

“The record takes two paths to do that – classic, timeless pop songwriting and something more modern and cutting-edge. He excels at both, bringing rich, warm melodies to life while flexing his experimental chops.”

Meanwhile, Finneas and Eilish met with US President Joe Biden in The White House last month. The musician siblings were invited, along with their parents Maggie and Patrick, to meet the US President following their support for Biden during the 2020 US election.

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Avril Lavigne wants Kristen Stewart to play her in a biopic

Avril Lavigne has said she wants Kristen Stewart to play her in a biopic.

While on the red carpet at the 2022 iHeartRadio Music Awards, the singer was asked about who she’d want to play her in a movie about her life.

  • READ MORE: Avril Lavigne – ‘Love Sux’ review: a modern update on early ‘00s pop-punk

After a pause, Lavigne said: “Like Kristen Stewart would be cool to play me in a film. She’s dope.”

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Lavigne released her seventh studio album, ‘Love Sux’, last month, which features collaborations with Machine Gun Kelly, Blackbear and Mark Hoppus of Blink-182.

In NME’s three-star review, the album is described as a “progressive pop-punk album that eschews the old rules – but not at the expense of maximalist, joyful guitar themes.”

Stewart is going up against Jessica Chastain, Olivia Colman, Nicole Kidman and Penelope Cruz in the race for Best Actress at the Oscars on Sunday (March 27). She’s nominated for her role as Princess Diana in Spencer.

In NME’s five-star review, it reads: “Spencer won’t please staunch royalists, but [director Pablo] Larrain and Stewart have succeeded in presenting a fresh and perhaps enlightening impression of one of the 20th century’s most dissected figures.

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“This Diana isn’t “England’s rose” or a “queen of hearts”, but a traumatised, cornered animal, desperately trying to claw her way out of a gilded cage.”

The actor’s next film is horror film Crimes Of The Future from director David Cronenberg, starring alongside Viggo Mortensen, Scott Speedman and Léa Seydoux.

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Travis Barker, Sheila E., Robert Glasper and more to perform at 2022 Oscars

Travis Barker, Sheila E., and Robert Glasper will appear alongside Adam Blackstone as part of an all-star band at the 94th Academy Awards this year.

  • READ MORE: The biggest talking points from the Oscars 2022 nominations

Show producers Will Packer and Shayla Cowan announced on Friday (March 18) that the four musical performers will join under the name the All-Star Band at the show.

The supergroup will likely feature Sheila E. on vocals, Glasper on piano/keys, and Blink-182‘s Barker on drums, with Blackstone joining as the show’s music director. D-Nice and the vocal group the Samples are also set to appear on the program, with the former performing at the awards show and the post-Oscars Governors Ball.

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Amy Schumer, Regina Hall and Wanda Sykes are set to host the awards. This year marks the first time in three years the Oscars will have a host, after Jimmy Kimmel last hosted the ceremony in 2018 and 2017.

Travis Barker
Travis Barker performs live. CREDIT: Getty Images

Nominations for this year’s Oscars were revealed last month, with Jane Campion’s The Power Of The Dog leading with 12 nominations. This is followed by Dune with 10 nods, while Belfast and West Side Story have seven each.

The ceremony will air live on March 27 from the Dolby Theater, and will be available for UK viewers to watch on Sky Cinema Oscars.

Earlier this week (March 17), meanwhile, Barker described the negative reaction to his fiancée Kourtney Kardashian wearing a Cannibal Corpse t-shirt as “the lamest shit ever”.

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Last year, Kardashian was spotted wearing a Cannibal Corpse ‘Eaten Back To Life’ t-shirt while out in Venice with the Blink-182 drummer.

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Travis Barker calls uproar over Kourtney Kardashian wearing Cannibal Corpse t-shirt “the lamest shit ever”

Travis Barker has described the negative reaction to his fiancée Kourtney Kardashian wearing a Cannibal Corpse t-shirt as “the lamest shit ever”.

Last year, Kardashian was spotted wearing a Cannibal Corpse ‘Eaten Back To Life’ t-shirt while out in Venice with the Blink-182 drummer.

  • READ MORE: jxdn  – “Working with Travis Barker is like winning the lottery”

Speaking to Vogue at the time, Kardashian’s stylist Dani Michelle commented that she had borrowed the t-shirt from Barker’s closet. “Kourt has told me before that his closet is an archive itself. She can pick any T-shirt to wear and it’s the softest, coolest thing ever,” Michelle said.

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In response, former Cannibal Corpse frontman Chris Barnes tweeted a photo of the pair, calling Kardashian a “poser” followed by a thumbs-down emoji.

In a new interview with Revolver, Barker has responded to the controversy and the negative reaction.

“To speak on that, that’s the lamest shit ever,” he said. “Obviously my fiancée doesn’t listen to Cannibal Corpse, but I do. I grew up loving them. For [someone] to mention that in a negative light — fucking lame, you know? She’s wearing it because she’s cold. She’s not claiming she knows every song. But I do! I bought every album, and I learned how to play every album.”

He continued: “I grew up a punk-rock kid, [but] everything with punk rock — ‘I’m more punk than you’ — just fuck all that. Be stoked that people are into music. Music is beautiful! It changes people’s lives. It creates the best memories. Just celebrate it, you know?

“But, yeah … I have a gang of Cannibal Corpse T-shirts. I still love them. I have a gang of King Diamond T-shirts and rare Slayer shirts because I fucking love those bands. I grew up on them. Even though I’m, you know, whatever the world wants to view me as — ‘Oh, that’s blink-182’s drummer’ — actually that guy was playing in a garage with a bunch of speed-metal kids listening to D.R.I. and S.O.D. I enjoyed every fucking minute of it.”

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Earlier this month, it was reported that Travis Barker is developing a new TV series based on tattoos and diamond dental implants.

According to Deadline, the unscripted reality series – titled Inked And Iced – will follow the drummer on his new business venture with the so-called “diamond dentist” Dr. Tom Connelly.

In other news, Barker produced the recently released Ho99o9 album ‘SKIN’. In a four-star review, NME said: “Opening up the definition of rap-rock, TheOGM and Eaddy prove that you can hold yourself to the same intricate lyrical standards of rap, while sounding closer to the rockstars they grew up falling in love with.”

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Tributes paid to former NME journalist Gavin Martin

Tributes have been paid to former NME journalist Gavin Martin, who has died.

The news was reported by Louder Than War earlier today (March 11). A cause of death has not yet been confirmed.

Born in 1961, Martin was first published in the NME letters page when he was just 13-years-old before moving to London as a teenager to work at the magazine alongside Julie Burchill, Tony Parsons and Danny Baker.

Martin wrote U2‘s first-ever NME cover interview in 1981 ahead of the group releasing their second studio album, ‘October’, later that same year. As former NME reviews editor Stuart Bailie wrote in a tribute online, Martin went on to “rubbish” U2’s follow-up record, ‘War’ (1983).

Bailie described Martin as “nobody’s tame journalist”, reflecting on the time the late writer interviewed Marvin Gaye, had a “messy confrontation” with Van Morrison and a run-in with Dave Gahan of Depeche Mode.

Martin – who later became the music critic for The Daily Mirror – also interviewed the likes of James Brown, The Four Tops, David Byrne, Meat Loaf, The Killers and Lou Reed (via Rock’s Back Pages).

Writing on Louder Than War, journalist John Robb said: “Gavin knew the worst crime in music was to be boring and his visceral wild energy and his romantic belief in the power of the music and the power of the word made him stand out from the surrounding mundane terrain.”

Following the news of his passing, many of Martin’s friends, former colleagues and fans took to social media to share memories and messages of tribute.

A post on Uncut Magazine‘s official Twitter page read: “We’re very sad to learn of Gavin Martin’s passing. Aside from his NME tenure, he was a mainstay of Uncut for many years. A passionate music fan, he was generous, funny, unique. RIP Gavin.”

NME contributor James McMahon wrote: “RIP Gavin Martin, NME legend. I once went on a trip with you to Nashville. You took loads of sleeping pills, forgot to interview the band, then woke up about an hour before we had to catch the flight home. Maniac. Also, your writing was the real deal.”

John Mulvey, current MOJO editor and former NME deputy editor, said: “At NME in the ‘90s, Gavin Martin often seemed to come at music, and perhaps life, from a different, wholly original angle to most of us.

“Remembering him today, I think maybe, in his own way, he just worked it all out quicker. RIP.”

Elsewhere, Martin was hailed as “a trailblazer” and “fascinating man” who “provided endless inspiration in what he wrote”. You can see those tribute messages and a selection of other tweets below.

A passionate fan of The Clash, Gavin Martin began his career during the punk era in Belfast, Northern Ireland where he launched his Alternative Ulster fanzine.

“I’d been reading NME since I was 11 and was as often as not into the writing as I was into the music,” Martin told Spit Records previously. “I remember a 15-year-old Belfast girl, slightly older than me, won their competition for a jukebox filled with the greatest 100 singles of all time, which I had entered.

“But a Belfast girl winning it made me think maybe something; some sort of handle on a musical culture community was in reach, round the corner. Then punk came along and there was a chance for everyone to express themselves with music or clothes or fanzines.”

He continued: “I loved all kinds of music, always had since I’d sung Beatles songs pre school in the front garden to the older kids (five and up) coming home from Ballyholme Primary.

Alternative Ulster would give me a chance to write about punk of course but Dylan and Motown too. I was never a musician but I could write a bit, graffiti for sure – and it turned out to be invaluable in getting the fanzine off the ground.”

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Machine Gun Kelly returns to his roots on Lil Wayne-featuring ‘Ay’

Machine Gun Kelly has returned to his roots on the emo rap track ‘Ay’, which features Lil Wayne – check it out below.

  • READ MORE: Machine Gun Kelly: “I’ve been jumping up and down on the table, believing in myself, for-fucking-ever”

‘Ay’ is taken from Machine Gun Kelly’s upcoming album ‘Mainstream Sellout’ and sees the rap star turned rock star singing over an acoustic guitar, in the same vein as ‘Play This When I’m Gone’ from 2020’s ‘Tickets To My Downfall’.

Lil Wayne then hops on the track for a verse that references Guns N’ Roses, though only a drawing of the rap icon appears in the accompanying music video, which was shot by MGK in his living room the day before ‘Ay’ was released.

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The emo rap track follows on from pop punk bangers ‘Emo Girl’ (featuring Willow) and ‘Papercuts’, all of which are set to appear on ‘Mainstream Sellout’.

Check out the video for ‘Ay’ below:

Machine Gun Kelly played a snippet of ‘Ay’ during his appearance on The Late Late Show last month, alongside another unreleased track ‘Maybe’.

Earlier this year, MGK confirmed that he would be changing the name of his upcoming sixth album from ‘Born With Horns’ to ‘Mainstream Sellout’. The name change came after both he and Blink 182’s Travis Barker (who’s executive producer for the record) got matching ‘Born With Horns’ tattoos.

The follow-up to 2020’s ‘Tickets To My Downfall’ is set to be “more guitar-heavy” and lyrically “deeper”, MGK said last year.

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“Every album is a juxtaposition of the last album. So I went and studied ‘Tickets’, and I heard the bright sound that I had, and for this album I just turned the lights off,” he added.

Late last year, Machine Gun Kelly responded to people criticising him for constantly switching genres.

In a message posted on both Instagram Stories and TikTok, Machine Gun Kelly said: ​“Me: Drops a rock song. ​‘Arghhhh, he doesn’t rap anymore!’ ​Me: Drops a rap song.” ​‘Arghhhh, he doesn’t do rock anymore!’

​“Shut the fuck up, god damn! I’m not fucking dying tomorrow; I just drop music!”

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Bop Shop: Songs From Avril Lavigne And Machine Gun Kelly, Haim, And More

The search for the ever-elusive "bop" is difficult. Playlists and streaming-service recommendations can only do so much. They often leave a lingering question: Are these songs really good, or are they just new?

Enter Bop Shop, a hand-picked selection of songs from the MTV News team. This weekly collection doesn't discriminate by genre and can include anything — it's a snapshot of what's on our minds and what sounds good. We'll keep it fresh with the latest music, but expect a few oldies (but goodies) every once in a while, too. Get ready: The Bop Shop is now open for business.

  • Haim: "Lost Track"
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HX7pXjZHT_4

    At the risk of hyperbole, the run Haim are on right now rivals that of the '90s Chicago Bulls. They released their best album two years ago and have spent the time since becoming somehow even more endearing. Alana also became an award-winning movie star. That connection with director Paul Thomas Anderson also yielded "Lost Track," their latest song/video that, even at a mere 122 seconds, is a gentle banger. Like "Sunday Morning" but in the Valley, "Lost Track" is both lullaby and heartbreaker, as Danielle sings, "I'll never get back what I lost track of." The band posted that it "felt fun to do something very collaborative/off the cuff." Call them Jordan, Pippen, and Rodman. —Patrick Hosken

  • S.G. Goodman: "Teeth Marks"
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQGxjdHaGW0

    "Teeth Marks" seems to exist in a moment stretched out into infinity. S.G. Goodman's unforgettable voice anchors her observations after a lover's departure, leaving the titular souvenirs on her skin, while the music becomes increasingly spectral and vaporous. It's a terrific preview of her new LP of the same name, due out June 3. —Patrick Hosken

  • Avril Lavigne: "Bois Lie" (ft. Machine Gun Kelly)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvWOBY_aJZ0

    Pop-punk has reared its spiky-haired head once more, and it’s only fitting that Avril Lavigne is celebrating with her latest album Love Sux, a return to form for the genre pioneer featuring a shredding collab with Machine Gun Kelly. With pounding drums and screeching guitar, Avril offers up a deliciously addictive slice of her specialty: a spunky track with an addictive chorus, infectious angst, and a little bit of girl power. “Bois lie, I can too / Revenge is my sweet tooth,” she boasts, before MGK comes in to switch up the narrative. Perhaps we’re hopeless when it comes to love, but as the duo shows us, sometimes that’s half the fun. —Carson Mlnarik

  • Phntms: "Body Language"
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zboIlvuGCf8

    Philly-based LGBTQ+ pop-rock trio Phntms (styled in all caps) are on a roll right now. Last October, they released the incredibly catchy "Paper Flowers" and have since followed it up with an equally infectious new earworm, “Body Language.” Frontwoman Alyssa Gambino is a vocal powerhouse on par with greats like P!nk and Kelly Clarkson as she sings about learning to read a partner’s actions versus their words. The band’s ability to consistently deliver fun, relatable tracks has me stoked for their upcoming spring EP, Melrose. —Farah Zermane

  • Mura Masa: "Bbycakes" (ft. Lil Uzi Vert, PinkPantheress, and Shygirl)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBXtJGLhSk8

    I look forward to new PinkPantheress songs (and features) because of the inevitable games of "spot the sample" they provide. In this case, Mura Masa flipped U.K. garage group 3 of a Kind's 2004 single "Babycakes" into an opportunity for her, along with Uzi and Shygirl, to create an entirely new emotional atmosphere about new love. These heavy hitters make it one to remember. —Patrick Hosken

  • Whitmer Thomas: "Trevor"
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ZJ2P8s-q-k

    On his previous music release/comedy special, 2020's The Golden One, performer Whitmer Thomas announced his arrival boldly: "It fucking hurts to be alive!" His upcoming follow-up EP, Can't Believe You're Happy Here, due out March 25, takes a more muted delivery with an even funnier takeaway; Thomas plucks an acoustic guitar and longs to be "a Trevor" in a sea of them, listening to Joe Rogan, microdosing, gaming, vaping, and watching Fight Club. The EP was produced with Melina Duterte from Jay Som, which makes it essential listening by default. —Patrick Hosken

  • Deniz Love: "Think Less, Feel More"
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dRnu7RyxgMU

    In a constantly buzzing world, Texas favorite Deniz Love reminds us to stay present with his latest track “Think Less, Feel More.” Bouncing between surf rock and indie pop, his raspy vocals bring a calming energy as he croons about the overwhelming cycles of anxiety and impostor syndrome, before resolving that “the only thing we have is what’s right now.” Its catchy four-word chorus is as tailor-made for screaming along in the car as it is for morning affirmations in the mirror. And while getting out of one’s head is easier said than done, for three minutes, Love makes it feel less impossible. —Carson Mlnarik

  • Momma: "Rockstar"
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-KRZP2FxEQ

    Etta Friedman and Allegra Weingarten, the Brooklyn-based duo who helm Momma, are the epitome of cool without taking themselves too seriously. Their latest track, “Rockstar,” is one that other artists will surely relate to. “Etta and I wanted to write a song about making it big, and becoming rock stars,” Weingarten says in an accompanying statement. The video puts the band’s sense of humor on full display as they pay a tongue-in-cheek tribute to music’s most iconic rockumentaries. “It’s also kind of like a manifestation — I think we shamelessly want all of these things to happen in our careers.” —Farah Zermane

  • Mom Jeans: "White Trash Millionaire"
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kyqMKNCJAaA

    You'll dig Mom Jeans, a delightful pop-punk-leaning band from Berkeley, California, if you dig Jeff Rosenstock, or Blink-182, or rock songs that prominently feature trombones and trumpets but that are also not necessarily ska. And you'll definitely be won over by the colossal build of "White Trash Millionaire" — slow intro, group vocals, aforementioned brass — and one of my favorite lyrics of the year so far: "As the months get colder / I'm less sober." —Patrick Hosken

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The Weeknd announces North American stadium tour with Doja Cat

The Weeknd has announced a slew of North American stadium concerts – dubbed the ‘After Hours Til Dawn’ tour – that are set to begin in July and run until early September.

  • READ MORE: The Weeknd – ‘Dawn FM’ review: soulful star meets a new day with hope and hindsight

The singer will kick off the run in his native Toronto on July 8 before heading to Philadelphia, New York, Chicago, Miami, Atlanta, Las Vegas, Vancouver, San Francisco, Los Angeles and more.

He’ll be joined on the road by special guest Doja Cat – the two linked up on ‘You Right’ from Doja’s album ‘Planet Her’ last year. See tour dates below. Tickets will go on sale March 10 local time.

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According to a press release, these dates are just the first leg in a world tour that will also includes stops in Mexico, South America, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Africa and the Middle East which are yet to be announced.

Additionally, the singer – real name Abel Tesfaye – has partnered with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to launch the XO Humanitarian Fund. $1 from each ticket sold on the tour will go towards the fund, which works toward ending the global hunger crisis. Tesfaye will also donate $500,000 to the fund.

“The goal with this fund is to provide immediate life-saving support to people who are on the brink of starvation,” Tesfaye commented in a statement. “I’m so thankful to have WFP as a partner and to further expand our reach to those who need it most.”

The Weeknd’s latest album, ‘Dawn FM’, arrived back in January of this year. In a four-star review, NME‘s Rhian Daly said the follow-up to 2020’s ‘After Hours’ “feels like the first steps on a journey for The Weeknd to find peace with himself; perhaps next time we hear from him, he’ll be fully embracing the light of day”.

The Weeknd’s ‘After Hours Til Dawn’ 2022 North American tour dates are:

JULY
Wednesday 8 – Toronto, Rogers Centre
Tuesday 14 – Philadelphia, Lincoln Financial Field
Thursday 16 – New York, Metlife Stadium
Tuesday 21 – Boston, Gillette Stadium
Friday 24 – Chicago, Soldier Field
Monday 27  – Detroit, Ford Field
Thursday 30 – Washington, FedExField Thursday

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AUGUST
Thursday 4 – Tampa, Raymond James Stadium
Saturday 6 – Miami, Hard Rock Stadium
Thursday 11 – Atlanta, Mercedes-Benz Stadium
Sunday 14 – Arlington, AT&T Stadium
Thursday 18 – Denver, Empower Field at Mile High
Saturday 20 – Las Vegas, Allegiant Stadium
Tuesday 23 – Vancouver, BC Place
Thursday 25 – Seattle, Lumen Field
Saturday 27 – San Francisco, Levi’s Stadium
Tuesday 30 – Phoenix, State Farm Stadium

SEPTEMBER
Friday 2 – Los Angeles, SoFi Stadium

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Neck Deep react to BLACKPINK Rosé’s cover of ‘December’

Welsh band Neck Deep have reacted to BLACKPINK Rosé’s cover of their 2015 song ‘December’.

  • READ MORE: BIBI: “I have a long-ass plan to be a superstar and then die in my own bedroom”

Earlier this month, the vocalist released her live studio version of the song in commemoration of her 25th birthday. For her rendition, she was accompanied by The Black Label producer LØREN on guitar.

A day after Rosé’s rendition of ‘December’ was posted, the pop-punk band took to Twitter to express their appriciation for the cover. “Happy Birthday ROSÉ! This is awesome and so are your fans,” the band wrote.

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Rosé’s rendition of ‘December’ is one of three acoustic covers she recently released in celebration of her birthday. The K-pop idol also dropped a tender and slowed-down rendition of Oasis’ 1995 classic ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’ and a stripped-down cover of Coldplay’s 2008 hit ‘Viva La Vida’.

Rosé had also garnered the attention of Coldplay, who shared a link to her video on their Instagram story while wishing the Korean-Australian singer a happy birthday. “Love this. What a voice,” they wrote, while tagging the K-pop idol.

In other BLACKPINK news, the group’s fans have expressed their frustration towards the girl group’s agency, YG Entertainment, over the act’s lack of musical output.

On February 14, YG Entertainment announced the release of BLACKPINK’s ‘2022 Welcoming Collection’ on social media. Blinks (BLACKPINK’s official fanbase), however, have voiced their dissatisfaction with the agency’s decision to release new merchandise instead of music.

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A number of Blinks have called for a boycott of the release, while others have decided to voice their displeasure by reporting the agency’s Twitter account. Several fans also tweeted the phrase “No music, no money” in response.

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Here’s a trailer for the new ‘Rip It Up And Start Again’ documentary

An official extended trailer for the new Rip It Up And Start Again documentary has been released.

The forthcoming film is based on Simon Reynolds’ 2005 book of the same name, which offered the reader “a big-picture view of the entire post-punk period” between 1978-1984.

  • READ MORE: The least punk things John Lydon has ever said

The doc was directed by Nikolaos Katranis and Russell Craig Richardson and features new interviews with the likes of Jah Wobble (PiL), Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth), Ana da Silva (Raincoats) and Mark Stewart (The Pop Group).

Rip It Up… will also include rare live performance footage. A release date has not yet been confirmed.

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An extended 16-minute preview of the film begins with a selection of old photographs and archival videos from the post-punk era. The video ends by displaying the full list of contributors to the project.

Additionally, the clip reveals that Rip It Up… will contain music by Patti Smith, The Velvet Underground, Kraftwerk, Cabaret Voltaire and more. You can watch the trailer in full over on Brooklyn Vegan.

An official description of the original ’05 book reads: “In this, the first book to take a big-picture view of the entire post-punk period, acclaimed author and music journalist Simon Reynolds recreates a time of tremendous urgency and idealism in pop music.

“Full of anecdote and insight, and featuring the likes of Joy Division, The Fall, Pere Ubu, PiL and Talking Heads, Rip It Up And Start Again stands as one of the most inspired and inspiring books on popular music ever written.”

Back in 2020, John Lydon revealed that he’d scrapped a planned Public Image Ltd album to prioritise taking care of his wife Nora Forster, who has Alzheimer’s Disease.

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Watch Halsey and Machine Gun Kelly perform ‘Forget Me Too’ live in LA

Halsey joined Machine Gun Kelly during his set in LA last night (February 10) to perform their 2020 collaboration ‘Forget Me Too’ – you can watch fan-shot footage of the performance below.

Both artists co-headlined the opening night of the Super Bowl Music Fest yesterday, which is running at the Crypto.com Arena until tomorrow (February 12) to celebrate this year’s NFL championship game.

  • READ MORE: Halsey: “I’ve always been driven to reinvent myself and reinvent my genre”

Kelly’s set saw him perform with an array of special guests, including Blink-182‘s Travis Barker, Willow and Trippie Redd. He also covered Paramore‘s ‘Misery Business’ (via Billboard).

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Towards the end of his set, Kelly invited Halsey on stage to perform their track ‘Forget Me Too’ from the former’s fifth studio album ‘Tickets To My Downfall’ – you can watch fan-shot footage of the performance below.

During their subsequent set, Halsey explained that “it’s been a long time since I’ve been on stage and I was really, really nervous today”.

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“I spent a couple years straight touring and I was fucking arrogant as fuck,” the singer continued. “Something happens when you tour your ass off: you just walk on stage like, ‘Can’t even tell me nothing’. That’s not how I felt today.

“It’s been a long time, and I’m so happy that we can be here together enjoying concerts because I didn’t know if we’d ever be able to do it again, and I’m so happy.”

Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani will perform at the Super Bowl Music Fest tonight (February 11) before Green Day and Miley Cyrus close the event tomorrow.

Halsey will collect the Innovation Award at the BandLab NME Awards 2022 next month.

Speaking to NME back in November, Halsey said she “wasn’t expecting” the award and was “very surprised” to be recognised with the nod.

“But it’s really, really awesome – I think you start to get really sad and nervous about how your music connects when you’re not around to bring it to life and to know that it’s still resonating is really, really cool,” they added.

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Raveena Cracked Open Her Soul For Asha’s Awakening

By Dani Blum

Raveena needs you to believe that you’re the only one who can heal yourself. The kaleidoscopic R&B singer-songwriter is adamant about this, anchoring her chin on her hand on the other side of the Zoom call, blinking at the bright pixels and saying, again, that nobody else can create your happiness. She knows. She’s tried.

Raveena went to the mountains every two or three days for the first stretch of quarantine in Los Angeles in 2020 and communed with aliens, or God, or both (she views these as “two sides of the same coin.”) She spends the first part of each day with 20 minutes of meditation, 20 minutes of yoga, and 5 minutes of writing down her affirmations and what she’s grateful for, a routine she developed when she got COVID-19 in December. She’s been focusing on herself, connecting to her ancestors, feeling, she says, like her soul cracked open. For the last two years, the work she’s put into her second album, Asha’s Awakening, out February 11, paralleled the work she put into herself. She weaves healing through each tingling track; she also makes a point of celebrating herself. “Our inner most self is bliss,” she says, “and bliss allows for this chaos and freedom and flow.”

The record glides through sugar-rush pop, trip-hop, Sade-inspired R&B, and spoken word intervals. The album even ends with a 15-minute long guided meditation — a move Raveena knew was risky, but she wanted the track to be a tool for her listeners. The meditations she’s found online often aren’ well-recorded, she says, and they use stock sounds; she wanted to make a high quality, well-mastered version, “top of the line produced.” Her speaking voice is steady, tranquil. (“Her voice is the type I'd expect to hear say ‘welcome to heaven’ as I hop down clouds of fluff,” reads the top comment on a video she posted of herself singing cross-legged in the grass during quarantine.) But the meditation also felt like a way to signal finding peace, the completion of a journey for the album’s titular main character.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5Q_4I8dULA

Asha’s Awakening is a concept album that centers on a space princess from ancient Punjab, charting her revelations about love, restoration, and destruction over centuries. Raveena came up with the concept after completing six or seven songs and spending a year doing research, as she and her team studied and combed through Bollywood soundtracks. It was March 2020, and she was spiraling in the early weeks of quarantine, foraging for a way to be productive through both internal and external chaos. She had moved from New York to L.A. in the wake of a breakup, on the day the city announced shutdowns. Raveena was watching a bunch of sci-fi movies at the time, and in the span of a night, she wrote down the entire architecture for the album. A few months after, she asked an artist to illustrate Asha, so she could better grasp the character she created. For Raveena, “All the songs are personal, and then I find a way to connect it back to the story. None of the songs are really from a perspective of the character. It’s more like I could relate to the character at the end.”

Quarantine made Raveena slow down. She danced, she wrote lyrics, she put the sonic elements of songwriting on hold largely for the first six months. She would FaceTime her main guitarist, crying, and improvise songs with him while he plucked at a few chords; she called him “whenever the sobbing struck,” she says. Raveena had been working relentlessly in the years leading up to the pandemic. She started piecing together her 2017 breakout EP, Shanti, while still a student at New York University’s Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music. In 2019, she released “Lucid,” a cozy, curatorial album that helped propel her following. The songs she recorded then were soft, velvety, churning through trauma with grieving and grace.

Asha’s Awakening, by contrast, bursts with joy and color, almost frenetic in its tempo. This is deliberate. Healing isn’t linear, Raveena says, and sometimes it can look like this kind of chaos, the hazy process of regaining confidence in your body. “After that internal work happens, there’s a kind of life and joy that erupts from you,” she says, waving her hands in the air. “And that’s what this album really was.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nsNxr_88YZo

That eruption is evident in songs like “Secret,” which thumps and winds around a verse from rapper Vince Staples (she had his precise vocal tone and flow in mind for months before she even reached out to him) and the shimmering opener “Rush.” Many of these songs are psychedelic, literally; she wrote several of them following transformative acid trips. She based “Rush” on a visit she made to the Rubin Museum in New York while tripping, where she saw a sound installation with Buddhist chanting and South Asian art on the walls. “I realized that this is where I needed the next album to go,” she says. “I had to dive into my culture and intersect it with all the genres and all the art I grew up loving as a kid.”

Those connections came out of “so much historical research.” She bought eight or nine instruments from India, with no idea how to use them, and asked her bassist to figure out how to play them. They were all researching Bollywood records from the 1960s through the ‘80s, parsing the arrangements, and combing through the ways Eastern sounds inspired Miles Coltrane and the Beatles, Timbaland and M.I.A. and Jai Paul. She wanted to pay respect to the cross-cultural fusions of the past. On “Circuitboard” and “Asha’s Kiss,” which features the legendary Indian singer Asha Puthli, Raveena felt like she integrated the Bollywood influences in a way only she could, in a manner that left her mark.

Furmaan Ahmed

Partway through the album, the spoken word track “The Internet Is Like Eating Plastic” emerges from the twinkling soundscape. Over sinister, winking synths, Raveena murmurs like she’s dissociated or caught in a dream: “The internet makes me feel far away from my friends… The internet has me stupid and smart at the same time.” As she was writing the album, Raveena traded her iPhone for a flip phone for three months, relying on the radio and buying a GPS to help steer her way across L.A. She wanted to escape “feeling like a robot half the time,” but she also wanted to stop putting pressure on herself to put out the perfect second album. She’d been fixating on other artists’ sophomore records, and the insecurities that came with infinite scroll seemed too unhealthy to adapt to. She’d lived in the New York area for nearly her entire life, and moving to L.A. left her gasping for nature and eager to explore. Over those three, smartphone-less months, she felt her mind expand, her capacity to feel grow. She walked and walked.

These days, she’s back online, promoting her album; she flashes her iPhone at her webcam, tethered to its charger. But she takes comfort in knowing she’s capable of disconnecting and the ego death that comes with letting go. There’s a luxury in feeling small sometimes, tracing your boundaries and barriers. She laughs at the camera, dripping a curtain of hair in front of her face. “I’m just a tiny little bean on a space rock,” she says. “Trying to get through.”

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Thurston Moore announces new instrumental album ‘Screen Time’

Thurston Moore has announced details of his forthcoming album ‘Screen Time’ and shared two new tracks from the album. Listen to ‘The Station’ and ‘The Walk’ below.

  • READ MORE: Thurston Moore on “killer” new music and the “high order nihilism” of Boris Johnson and Donald Trump

‘Screen Time’ is an album of 10 atmospheric instrumental tracks that Moore recorded during the summer of 2020. It was originally released in February last year as a Bandcamp Friday exclusive, but the album is now getting a proper release on February 25 via Southern Lord.

The label describes ‘Screen Time’ as a record “in reflection to dream time, a state of meditation, hypnagogia and pillow talk”.

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Check out ‘The Walk’ and ‘The Station’ below and listen to ‘Screen Time’ in full here.

Moore released his last solo album ‘By the Fire’ in 2020. NME gave it a four-star review, writing the record was some of his “boldest and most invigorating work to date”.

Moore is also due to release his memoir Sonic Life in 2023 after signing a publishing deal last year. A synopsis on The Bookseller said the story is “all told via the personal prism of the author’s intensive archives and research”.

Moore first told NME about the planned book in an interview in 2020, describing it as a retelling of his “history of coming to New York City as a teenager and finding my footing as a musician”.

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“It’s not only just ‘Well here’s my life story’, as I wanted to get away from the ego of it and talk about the information – so when you first see a picture of Iggy and the Stooges in 1973 in a magazine, why did it have such an effect on you? Why did that photograph of something that was so subversive in the music scene appeal to somebody from a safe and protected middle-class lifestyle?” he said.

“I wanted to write about being in the milieu of the CBGBs explosion, and essay what was happening in the flurry of those years – especially between ‘77 and ‘79 – when this incredible seismic shift happened in underground culture.”

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Janet Jackson hints at new music after previewing unreleased ‘Love I Love’

Janet Jackson has hinted that a new track featured in her recent self-titled documentary could be set for an official release.

The new Janet Jackson series, which premiered in the UK earlier this week, offers an unprecedented look into the star’s life and lengthy career.

  • READ MORE: Janet Jackson at Glastonbury: a pop megamix, a stadium production and the making of a new ‘legends slot’

As reported previously, an unreleased song titled ‘Love I Love’ soundtracks the closing credits of the final episode. “You got that love I love,” Jackson is heard singing in the snippet.

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During an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon yesterday evening (February 2), the vocalist was asked if fans will get to hear the track in its entirety and whether it was “hinting” at new material to come.

“It’s so funny because that’s… it was a song that I recorded, like, three years ago,” Jackson replied. “And, in the documentary, we thought, ‘Oh, this would be cool to put this song right here in this moment, this piece in the documentary’.

“And, everyone started reacting to it. So I dunno. We’ll just have to see. Maybe it’ll be a single.”

When quizzed on if there are more unreleased cuts in her archive that could potentially see the light of day, the star explained: “I’ve recorded so many songs that I’ve never released. So, we’ll see.”

Elsewhere in the conversation, Jackson said she was “very thankful” for the positive response to her new docuseries. “It was all such a surprise to me,” she told host Jimmy Fallon.

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“I was not expecting any of it. I was just really so, so worried that people would find it boring, to be quite honest with you.”

You can watch the interview in full in the video above.

Janet Jackson
is available on Sky Documentaries and NOW in the UK. An official synopsis reads: “Janet has enjoyed immense success but also seen incredible tragedy.

“She has endured a tumultuous private life in the face of extraordinary public scrutiny. With no stone left unturned, Janet Jackson lifts the lid on her private life for the very first time and reveals the most intimate moments of the star ever caught on camera.”

Janet Jackson’s latest studio album, ‘Unbreakable’, came out back in 2015.

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Toro y Moi announces new album ‘Mahal’, shares videos for two songs

Toro y Moi has announced his forthcoming seventh studio album, with ‘Mahal’ set to arrive on April 29 via Dead Oceans.

To coincide with the announcement, the singer-songwriter and producer – real name Chaz Bear – has shared two singles, ‘Postman’ and ‘Magazine’. The latter track features vocals from Salami Rose Joe Louis. The songs arrive alongside accompanying videos, directed by Kid. Studio and Arlington Lowell respectively.

Watch the videos for ‘Postman’ and ‘Magazine’ below:

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The follow-up to 2019’s ‘Outer Peace’ was largely completed in Bear’s studio in Oakland last year, and features contributions from Unknown Mortal Orchestra‘s Ruban Neilson, Neon Indian’s Alan Palomo, Sofie Royer and the Mattson 2.

“I wanted to make a record that featured more musicians on it than any other record of mine,” Bear explained in a statement. “To have them live on that record feels grounded, bringing a communal perspective to the table.”

Following the release of ‘Outer Peace’, Toro y Moi appeared on numerous collaborative releases and remixes.

These included featuring on Flume‘s Grammy-nominated 2020 single ‘The Difference’ and delivering reworks of Caroline Polachek‘s ‘Hit Me Where It Hurts’ (alongside Deftones frontman Chino Moreno) and HAIM‘s ‘3 AM’.

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The tracklist for Toro y Moi’s ‘Mahal’ is:

1. The Medium (feat. Unknown Mortal Orchestra)
2. Goes By So Fast
3. Magazine (feat. Salami Rose Joe Louis)
4. Postman
5. The Loop
6. Last Year
7. Mississippi
8. Clarity (feat. Sofie)
9. Foreplay
10. Déjà Vu
11. Way Too Hot
12. Millennium (feat. The Mattson 2)
13. Days in Love

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Ho99o9 return with new Travis Barker-produced track ‘Battery Not Included’

Ho99o9 have returned with a new song called ‘Battery Not Included’, which was produced by Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker.

The duo – comprised of theOGM and Eaddy – last released new material last August with their 3TEETH collaboration ‘Paralyze’.

  • READ MORE: Noise-punk masters Ho99o9: “The good thing with us is that we don’t give a fuck”

Now, Ho99o9 have shared a taste of their upcoming second album, which will arrive this spring. ‘Battery Not Included’ sees the band veer from full-on punk onslaught to something more tender and softer, and back again.

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“There’s only so much mental & physical affliction + oppression the human psyche can endure before they reach the pinnacle of no return,” theOGM said in a press release. “I think we’ve all had our moments where we’re fed up, our mind isn’t rational, our eyesight is only seeing red &, within that sequence, emotions can get the best of us.

“‘Battery Not Included’ is aimed to focus on when you’re past the conscious state of no return – anything is liable to happen when pushed past your limits.” Watch the video for the new track above now.

The song was produced by Barker and released on his label, DTA Records. The Blink-182 star began his production career back in 2018 when he worked on Fever 333’s ‘Made An America’ EP. Since then he has worked with the likes of Trippie Redd, Machine Gunn Kelly, Jxdn, LilHuddy and more.

Barker’s most recent production effort prior to Ho99o9’s ‘Battery Not Included’ was with Avril Lavigne’s latest single, ‘Bite Me’, which was also released on DTA Records. Barker worked on her full album, ‘Love Sux’, which will arrive on February 25.

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Meanwhile, since releasing their debut album ‘United States Of Horror’ in 2017, Ho99o9 have shared multiple mixtapes – including 2020’s ‘Blurr’ – EPs and singles. In July 2020, they put out the track ‘Pigs Want Me Dead’, which they called “a stark reaction to the horrors and everyday effects of police brutality against the black community”.

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Olly Alexander on Years & Years becoming a solo project: “Pop became a dirty word”

Olly Alexander has opened up about Years & Years becoming a solo project, saying that “pop was like a dirty word” towards the end of the group’s run as a three-piece.

The singer-songwriter/actor sat down with NME for this week’s Big Read cover interview in which he talked about Years & Years‘ 80s-inspired third album ‘Night Call’ (out today, January 21).

  • READ MORE: The NME Big Read – Years & Years: “Going solo was like a break-up”

Following on from 2018’s ‘Palo Santo’, the new record marks the first full-length from Alexander since he parted ways with his former Y&Y bandmates Mikey Goldsworthy and Emre Türkmen.

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“We could never really agree on what we liked in the music and what direction we wanted to go in, so that made the songwriting process difficult,” the singer told NME of the experience of working as a trio.

“It was never lyrics; [Goldsworthy and Türkmen] would never touch lyrics. It was just, like, general direction: how ‘poppy’ something was gonna be. Pop was, like, a dirty world, which is a little crazy.”

Alexander did, however, go on to concede that “arguments over music can really help you make something good, and I think it did with us”. He added: “Like, I really love all the music we made, but it always came with its own complications.”

Years & Years
Years & Years on the cover of NME

Despite not being involved with the creative/writing process this time around, Goldsworthy is due to tour as part of Years & Years’ live band. Alexander said the reunion won’t be “weird”, but instead “like having your bro back”.

“Mikey’s just the best person to have on the road because he just plays his Switch and has bants with the lads,” he told NME before reflecting on the “huge adjustment” of going it alone on ‘Night Call’.

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“You’re kind of in a relationship when you’re in a band,” Alexander told NME. “I mean, I’m still in a relationship with these people, but it’s just a different one now. It was like a break-up, and then you have to speak about it in interviews.”

Elsewhere in the Big Read cover feature, Alexander spoke about his turn in the hugely successful It’s A Sin, how the series informed the sounds of ‘Night Call’, and said that Lil Nas X has “completely changed the game” in terms of artists being more openly queer.

He also talked about collaborating with “legend” Kylie Minogue on a remix of ‘Starstruck’ and the disco-inspired single ‘A Second To Midnight’.

In a four-star review, NME‘s El Hunt hailed Years & Years’ latest album as a “collection of well-crafted bangers, most of which are begging to be blasted out of a subwoofer as debauchery rages”.

Years & Years will hit the road for a UK tour this May – check out the full schedule below.

MAY 2022
19 – Brighton, Centre
20 – Bournemouth, International Centre
21 – Birmingham, Resorts World Arena
26 – London, Wembley Arena
28 – Manchester, AO Arena

JUNE 2022
24 – Dublin, National Museum of Ireland
25 – Glasgow, Bellahouston Park

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Lorde admits she “shouldn’t have gone” on Antarctica trip that inspired ‘Solar Power’

At the start of 2019, Lorde went on a five-day trip to Antartica that ended up inspiring her third album, ‘Solar Power’, however she’s now revealed that she “probably shouldn’t have gone”.

  • READ MORE: Lorde: “I feel like I can see my world and myself a lot clearer now”

Speaking to Euphoria‘s Hunter Schafer on the A24 podcast, Lorde revealed that she’d been “totally obsessed” with Antartica throughout her childhood and that obsession grew as she “started to engage more with our planet”.

“I felt like I needed to go there. I had this reaction, people call it ‘last chance tourism’ which is going somewhere before it’s too late and that was my first thought.”

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Despite calling the trip “the best five days of my life” and saying she’d “never do anything like it again, it was so crazy from start to finish,” Lorde revealed that “going there and actually having that experience made me realise, ‘oh no, you can’t go around doing this’. This is the opposite of what you’re supposed to do. I probably shouldn’t have gone to Antartica, it was naughty to use my pop star resources and burn that jet fuel to go there.”

Lorde
Lorde in Antarctica. CREDIT: Harriet Were

She then added: “I wrote this (100-page) book and the proceeds went to a couple of scholarships for people doing their doctorates in climate science, so that felt like a good way to give back.”

Speaking about her trip to New Zealand’s Newshub, Lorde said: “It’s such an alien environment and it’s so dazzling, straight away. I had this very distinct moment of thinking, ‘This is the coolest your life will ever get. Like, this is it.’ I actually decided on the album name right around that trip. Just coming back from that trip I thought: ‘This is what it is.’”

Lorde called for immediate action on climate change from global leaders following her visit. “I envisioned Antarctica slowly turning to slush, flooding the Southern ocean. The urgency I had once felt about making the trip south returned,” she wrote in an essay for New Zealand’s Metro magazine. “I made phone call after phone call, got several dozen booster shots, and then it was happening – this dreamy musician was hitching a ride to the end of the world.

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“Being in Antarctica has clarified how deeply vulnerable, how in need of protection, it is. But it took coming here for that knowledge to galvanise – and in coming here, I have also been a small part of its deterioration.”

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‘Alex From Glasto’ reportedly helped launch controversial political Twitter account

Reports claim that ‘Alex From Glasto’ helped launch the controversial political news aggregator Politics For All, which was banned from Twitter earlier this month for allegedly “violating” rules on “platform manipulation and spam”.

  • READ MORE: NME meets Alex Mann: the viral sensation who rapped ‘Thiago Silva’ with Dave at Glastonbury

Alex Mann AKA ‘Alex From Glasto’ found fame in 2019 when Dave pulled the then 15-year-old from the audience at Glastonbury to perform ‘Thiago Silva’ with him. The footage went viral (one video is currently at 28million Youtube views).

According to VICE, not long after Glastonbury, Mann used his newfound fame to link up Mail On Sunday columnist Dan Hodges with his friend, 17-year old Nick Moar (who also did social media for The Spectator) to launch Politics For All.

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In just over two years, Politics For All amassed over 400,000 followers and earned a reputation for providing no-nonsense political news.

However, Politics For All faced criticism and accusations of claiming neutrality while being skewed to the right politically in its coverage, as well as pursuing clickbait headlines.

Moar was revealed to be a Conservative Party supporter and Brexit advocate by the Byline Times last May.

The account, alongside spin-offs Football For All, News For All and Moar’s personal account were all banned in January 2022 for “operating multiple accounts with overlapping personas or substantially similar content”.

“The fact that Twitter will allow The Taliban on their platform, but not a simple news aggregator is quite something,” a Politics For All insider told The Telegraph. “We will be appealing this decision”.

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NME have reached out to Mann for comment.

Speaking to The Guardian in 2019, Mann said: “I don’t want to only be remembered as Alex from Glasto – I know I’m lucky to have this platform but I want to do something important with it. I’m just not sure what yet.”

And speaking to NME, Mann explained how Dave DM’d him the day after Glastonbury. “He’s been really good and supportive about the whole thing. He’s offered his help, and he’s told me dos and don’ts on how to try and manage it all.”

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The Weeknd heads to a sinister club in new ‘Gasoline’ video

The Weeknd has shared the official video for his latest single ‘Gasoline’ – you can watch it below.

The song appears on the Canadian singer-songwriter’s new album ‘Dawn FM’, which was released last Friday (January 7).

  • READ MORE: The Weeknd – ‘Dawn FM’ review: soulful star meets a new day with hope and hindsight

Following on from the official clip for ‘Sacrifice’, the latest visuals see The Weekend – aka Abel Tesfaye – lose radio signal in his car before he crashes into a “DO NOT ENTER” signpost.

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The dazed star – appearing as his much older moniker that appears on the ‘Dawn FM’ cover art – then stumbles out from the smoking vehicle as the titular radio station kicks back into action.

After ‘Gasoline’ begins to play on the channel, we follow The Weeknd’s character to a busy nightclub where he comes face-to-face with the present-day Tesfaye. See how it all unfolds here:

Yesterday (December 10) The Weeknd suggested that ‘Dawn FM’ is part of “a new trilogy”, with 2020’s ‘After Hours’ serving as its first instalment. Many fans are speculating that a third part – rumoured to be titled ‘After Life’ – is in the works.

“I wonder… did you know you’re experiencing a new trilogy?” Tesfaye wrote on Twitter.

In a four-star review, NME said that ‘Dawn FM’ “marks a period of reflection” for The Weeknd, “with perhaps his most mature, emotionally robust collection yet”.

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“‘Dawn FM’ feels like the first steps on a journey for The Weeknd to find peace with himself; perhaps next time we hear from him, he’ll be fully embracing the light of day,” the review concludes.

The album has also been praised by Timbaland, who likened it to Michael Jackson’s classic 1982 LP ‘Thriller’. “And the way he dropped this shit, yo… congrats,” the producer added. “This shit is amazing.”

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Bastille’s Dan Smith is working on new film and TV projects

Bastille frontman Dan Smith has revealed that he is working on new projects in the “film and TV world”.

The singer recently made his directorial debut with the sci-fi movie-inspired video for ‘No Bad Days’, the latest preview of Bastille’s upcoming fourth album ‘Give Me The Future’ (out February 4).

  • READ MORE: Bastille on pushing the boundaries: “We’ve always done whatever the fuck we want”

During a new interview with The Sun newspaper’s ‘Bizarre’ column (via Music-News.com), Smith said: “There’s a bunch of stuff I’m working on at the moment which use music but very much step into the film and TV world.”

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He continued: “It’s what I grew up obsessed with. I was such a little film geek growing up and it’s a medium I love, so getting to direct [the ‘No Bad Days’] video was really amazing. I always wanted to do it but we’ve always been trying to juggle everything.”

Describing his venture into the new medium as “really eye-opening”, Smith added: “It took me having a little more time and space because of there being no touring, for me to be like, ‘I’ve got to do this now. I want to do it now’.”

The frontman went on to say that he hopes to continue making film and TV projects, explaining: “I would love to work more in that world and I think we live in a time when people are less boxed in.”

The ‘No Bad Days’ visuals, which Smith co-directed alongside Trash Factory, includes nods to sci-fi favourites MetropolisEx Machina and The Matrix. Set in a laboratory, the clip sees Smith play a character who uses technology to try and resurrect a lost loved one.

“It’s really satisfying to have finally directed, and I’m really proud of the little film we made,” Smith said previously. “I learned a shitload and it was good to be challenged in a new way.”

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Following on from 2019’s ‘Doom Days’, the forthcoming ‘Give Me The Future’ is described as “a tribute to humanity in a tech age and reflects on the strangeness of living through times that can feel like science fiction”.

The record is listed as one of NME‘s 20 albums to get excited about in 2022 – you can check out the full list here.

Bastille are set to showcase their new material during an intimate show at London’s Earth Theatre on February 2. The special performance is being held as part of the BRITs Week 2022 gig series in aid of War Child.

Dan Smith and co. will then embark on a major UK arena tour in April.

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Watch Travis Barker’s rocky cover of Adele’s ‘Easy On Me’

Travis Barker has shared a video of him performing a rocky drum cover of Adele’s recent hit single ‘Easy On Me’.

The Blink-182 drummer has given an unlikely makeover to the piano-led ballad, which marked the British pop star’s first new material in six years.

  • READ MORE: Adele’s voice has never sounded better than on her stunning new song ‘Easy On Me’

In a video posted to his Instagram page, Barker drummed along to the track, adding complex fills and a rock edge to it. Surging guitars can also be heard on the new version.

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At the end of the clip, one of the musician’s white drumsticks appeared to break. Watch the video below now.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by travisbarker (@travisbarker)

Barker’s drum cover of ‘Easy On Me’ follows Kanye West’s Sunday Service Choir recently giving their own take on the track. During a Sunday Service session in LA on November 28, the choir reworked the song to pay tribute to fashion designer, DJ and creative director Virgil Abloh, who had died earlier that day.

Go easy on me, father / I am still your child,” they sang on the gospel cover. “And I need the chance to / Feel your love around.

Upon its release in October, ‘Easy On Me’ broke the UK chart record for the highest first-week single sales in four years. It racked up 217,300 chart sales in its first week of release, the highest week one figure since Ed Sheeran’s ‘Shape Of You’ scored 226,800 chart sales in January 2017.

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In other Travis Barker news, the Blink-182 star appeared in Avril Lavigne’s video for her latest single ‘Bite Me’ in November. The track was co-produced by Barker and was released on his record label, DTA Records.

He also joined the Canadian pop-punk star as she performed the track on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon in the weeks after its release. Barker played the drums for the performance, which saw him, Lavigne and her band all dressed in red and performing from a room covered in graffiti.

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Janet Jackson addresses if Michael Jackson allegations have affected her career

Janet Jackson has shared a new preview of her upcoming two-part Lifetime and A&E documentary – watch below.

In the clip for JANET, which was first announced last year, Jackson addresses why she wanted to do the documentary, commenting: “It’s just something that needs to be done.”

  • READ MORE: Janet Jackson at Glastonbury: a pop megamix, a stadium production and the making of a new ‘legends slot’

“There were times when I didn’t actually understand where I fit in,” Jackson adds in the trailer. “My father was very strict… He was in charge of my life, my career. My father said: ‘You’re gonna sing.'”

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When asked in the trailer if she believed that the allegations against her late brother Michael Jackson had affected her own career, Janet replied: “Yeah, guilty by association. I guess that’s what they call it, right? They build you up and then once you get big, they’re so quick to tear you down.”

Before and after his death in 2009, Michael has been the subject of multiple sexual abuse accusations, which he always denied. The 2019 documentary Leaving Neverland told the story of Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who alleged that they were abused when left alone with the singer at his California home.

Last year, a lawsuit filed by Robson was thrown out by a judge in Los Angeles. Jonathan Steinsapir, the attorney for the Jackson estate, said: “Wade Robson has spent the last eight years pursuing frivolous claims in different lawsuits against Michael Jackson’s estate and companies associated with it.”

Robson’s attorney announced that he plans to appeal the decision, though Jackson’s estate has repeatedly denied all allegations of abuse.

A host of famous faces, including Missy Elliott and Mariah Carey, also feature in the JANET preview clip discussing Jackson’s influence and legacy, which also details how the documentary will look at her personal life via candid interviews.

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The film is set to arrive on January 28 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the singer’s self-titled debut album from 1982. Drawing on archival footage, the documentary will explore significant moments throughout Jackson’s life and career.

According to the film’s trailer, JANET has been in production for over five years. The documentary was directed by Ben Hirsch, with Janet Jackson and Randy Jackson serving as executive producers.

“This is my story, told by me. Not through someone else’s eyes,” Jackson has previously said of the film. “This is the truth. Take it or leave it. Love it or hate it. This is me.”

A separate documentary about Janet Jackson’s infamous incident at the 2004 Super Bowl, when Justin Timberlake exposed her breast during their halftime performance, was released late last year and titled Malfunction: The Dressing Down Of Janet Jackson.

In an interview last year, Jackson’s ex-stylist claimed that there was no “wardrobe malfunction” when she was exposed by Timberlake. According to Wayne Scot Lukas, Jackson’s top was supposed to be ripped by Timberlake but production crew failed to cut the lights to blackout in time, leaving her naked breast exposed on camera.

He told Access Hollywood that he “did exactly what I was supposed to do”, adding “Wardrobe malfunction? I don’t malfunction. I was a professional stylist, [charging] $10,000 a day back then. I can’t fail!”

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Bop Shop 2021 Favorites: Songs From Dawn Richard, Wet Leg, IU, And More

The search for the ever-elusive "bop" is difficult. Playlists and streaming-service recommendations can only do so much. They often leave a lingering question: Are these songs really good, or are they just new?

Enter Bop Shop, a hand-picked selection of songs from the MTV News team. This weekly collection doesn't discriminate by genre and can include anything — it's a snapshot of what's on our minds and what sounds good. We'll keep it fresh with the latest music, but expect a few oldies (but goodies) every once in a while, too. And to close out 2021, we've rounded up some of our favorite bops from the year, just as we did with the 2021 albums you might've missed.

Get ready: The final Bop Shop of 2021 is now open for business.

  • Dawn Richard: "Bussifame"
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxfjLdQAA4I

    When Dawn Richard returned this year with "Bussifame," the multi-talented artist used it to showcase the future. Across her latest album, Second Line, hallmarks from hew New Orleans upbringing (like the album's title itself) combine with spaced-out R&B, funk, and glimmering grooves. The action comes together beautifully on "Bussifame," a shapeshifting celebration that obliterates genre entirely. Earlier this year, Richard told MTV News of her hope that Second Line would "open a floodgate so that when you ask the next artists under me who were their inspirations, they can name more than one token Black artist as an inspiration to them in a genre that isn't hip-hop or R&B." —Patrick Hosken

  • Wet Leg: "Chaise Longue"
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zd9jeJk2UHQ

    At this point, "Chaise Longue" is essentially a meme. It's easy to see why: a song so effortlessly catchy with bright hooks and deadpan Mean Girls lyrical references that it's tailor-made for the repeat button. Thank the highly playful and canny British duo of Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers, who release music as Wet Leg. So far, they've released four songs ahead of their self-titled 2022 debut LP. The best of them is, of course, the delightful sprinkle of indie-rock sugar that is "Chaise Longue." After listening to it so many times, there's only one question left to ask: Would you like us to assign someone to butter your muffin? —Patrick Hosken

  • IU: “Lilac”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7bnOxV4jAc

    Either you spent the entirety of 2021 streaming “Lilac,” or you’re very, very lame. As the title track from IU’s critically acclaimed fifth album, “Lilac” served as a nostalgic and whimsical introduction to the K-pop superstar’s new era, which soundtracked many of our respective years. With its bright and airy synths, heavy rhythm guitar, and disco pop-inspired melody, the refreshing track breathed new life into a grim year. Featuring accompanying lyrics that bid farewell to the past and provide hope for a better future, IU inspires fans to look forward with positivity and optimism — a perfect message to convey this year. In “Lilac,” IU may have asked us to “love [her] only 'til this spring,” but I have a feeling we’ll be loving her for much, much longer than that. —Sarina Bhutani

  • Muni Long: “Hrs and Hrs”
    https://youtu.be/okfR_VIbXEQ

    Singer-songwriter Muni Long’s latest track “Hrs and Hrs” has ruled the internet for the past week and is setting a cozy new standard for cuffing season. Garnering praise from the likes of Doja Cat and Halle Berry and spawning a remix from August Alsina and numerous compilation videos from fans touting the couple goals the song’s lyrics hint at, the song has everyone online in the mood for love. “Yours, mine, ours / I could do this for hours / Sit and talk to you for hours,” she croons. “When you do what you do I’m empowered / You give me a super power / Together the world could be ours.” Given Long’s writing credits for Rihanna, Mariah Carey, and Fifth Harmony, it’s no wonder the song is a smash. If this is a glimpse of what’s in store from her in the new year, 2022 is already looking promising. —Virginia Lowman

  • Coheed and Cambria: “Shoulders”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Tb_v8MFbF8

    It’s been nearly 20 years since their debut album, The Second Stage Turbine Blade, but Coheed and Cambria are still finding ways to excite their ever-growing fanbase, as we saw with this year’s release of “Shoulders.” The track, a continuation of the longest-running concept story in music, masterfully pairs heavy metal-infused riffs with sweeping, melodic vocals in a way that only Coheed can. For the music video, the progressive rockers deliver a powerful performance as mysterious, masked figures emerge and remove their masks one-by-one to reveal the people underneath. “As a band, we’ve always been a little outside of the mainstream and that’s helped keep us true to ourselves,” the group said in a statement. “As people, it’s important to focus on your strengths and who you are, and not try too hard for acceptance. Everyone is special and has their own unique contributions and that’s what the video represents.” —Farah Zermane

  • Michelle: "Syncopate"
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zE8cTEgAe-E

    "Syncopate," by six-piece New York songwriting collective Michelle, sounds immediate and timeless. As the group gear up to drop their majorly leveled-up second album, After Dinner We Talk Dreams, in January, they're spreading the message far and wide. And "Syncopate," with its gentle swagger and undeniable dance-pop sensibility, is the message. Unlike their soul-baring slow burner "Mess U Made," the two-minute "Syncopate" doesn't have a millisecond to spare, cramming in hooks and harmonies from its four vocalists (Emma, Sofia, Layla, and Jamee) and producers (Charlie and Julian). It's mildly nostalgic and completely suited for a bedroom dance party — both make it utterly 2021. —Patrick Hosken

  • Maisie Peters: “I’m Trying (Not Friends)”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=66KvE4Hk3g8

    This deceptively chipper cut from English indie-pop singer Maisie Peters packs the sort of oh-so-relatable punch only a solid breakup bop can. Try as she might, Peters can’t bring herself to swallow her pride when she encounters her ex-boyfriend in public. “Not friends / No, we’re somewhere in between / ‘Cause you’re awful and I miss you / And I killed you in my dream last night,” she sings over a clapped-out beat and dainty guitar flourishes. Between Peters’s lilting vocals and airtight songwriting, it’s damn near impossible to resist hitting repeat. And hey, if “at least I’m trying” isn’t a perfect summary of 2021, then I don’t know what is. —Sam Manzella

  • Claud: “Soft Spot”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hjqTrZUL_2U

    Claud unleashed the “gay shit” on their first full-length album, Super Monster, back in February, but this especially soft cut has stayed close to mind during the cold winter months. An exceptionally earnest declaration of feelings for a lover long gone, the song and its strumming and slow-thumping chorus is bedroom pop at its finest. “I wish I left all my things at your place / So I could come get them,” they sing, imagining a dream scenario where “we’d do things we might regret,” before resolving that perhaps it’s a hatchet better left unearthed. Still, its dreamy chorus reminds us that a soft spot in the heart stays soft. —Carson Mlnarik

  • CKay: “Love Nwantiti”
    https://youtu.be/MxjrsDV8Aeo

    You can’t scroll through TikTok or Instagram without coming across Nigerian artist CKay’s tropical hit “Love Nwantiti.” With 100 million weekly streams, the Afrobeats song is the earworm we’re all playing and dancing to on a loop. And while the love tale CKay sings of — the kind of love that makes your “temperature rise,” that familiar feeling of someone being “like the oxygen I need to survive” — isn’t new, the introduction of an African dialect into mainstream American pop culture is, and it’s a welcome one. “Love Nwantiti” is Igbo and loosely translates to “small love.” Throughout the song, CKay weaves in other Igbo words and Nigerian cultural staples like “Nkwobi,” which he gets cheeky with lyrically. Hip-hop, pop, and reggaeton all draw inspiration from Afrobeats; music continues to be our gateway to exploring and strengthening our own sense of “love nwantiti” for new cultures. —Virginia Lowman

  • Tkay Maidza: “Cashmere”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QSOdz-J0EMw

    Australian singer-songwriter Tkay Maidza confronts her deepest thoughts alongside smooth hip-hop and soulful synth stylings on her EP Last Year Was Weird, Vol. 3, but no track better describes her dualities than “Cashmere.” A heavenly chorus precedes a bopping beat, highlighting the Zimbabwe-born singer’s velvety voice as she admits she’s both soft and tough — like cashmere — in the midst of a spiraling relationship. And what its dreamy and colorful video lacks in sweaters, it makes up for in bold artistic vision and wildfire spirit. —Carson Mlnarik

  • Vincint: “All Over Again”
    https://youtu.be/LdmU0_oOgl8

    If there was one album that I played on repeat and danced to with reckless abandon, it was Vincint’s There Will Be Tears. A master of heartbreak pop, Vincint has an uncanny ability to layer vulnerable lyrics over an uptempo beat and yield a song that is both a mirror and a cheerleader in your most emotional hours. Though I didn’t experience a breakup this year, spending a year indoors in 2020 definitely put a lot about life and love into perspective, and as this year comes to a close and another few months of quarantine are likely on the horizon, who isn’t questioning what they hope to “do over again” and do better this time around? —Virginia Lowman

  • Flock of Dimes: "Price of Blue"
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KWRjozAXqaw

    One of the best lead-guitar lines of 2021 is thankfully attached to one of the year's best songs, period. Both the ascending ax work and the tune construction come from Jenn Wasner, half of indie stalwart group Wye Oak and Bon Iver member who records solo as Flock of Dimes. Her wraithlike vocals make "Price of Blue" instantly memorable, but her work with producer/Sylvan Esso talent Nick Sanborn to create layers and build upon a skeleton of scuzzy guitar noise transforms it. Thanks to a deceptive chord progression, the song keeps climbing higher like a freed balloon until it's fully out of view. Six and a half minutes feel like a blink. When you open your eyes again, Wasner has quieted — but "Price of Blue," and the rest of her great album Head of Roses, will linger well into 2022. —Patrick Hosken

  • Drinking Boys and Girls Choir: “There Is No Spring”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-q_xru3TiSQ

    When Korean skate-punk band Drinking Boys and Girls Choir returned this year with Marriage License, they simply had no time to waste. The excellent and urgent LP crams 11 songs into 22 minutes, exploding out of the gate while still managing a few wistful and even borderline progressive moments. The best song on it, "There Is No Spring," combines all those elements in a sneak-attack single that shows how much they've matured since 2019's equally kick-ass Keep Drinking. The promise of their future is potent enough to get drunk on. —Patrick Hosken

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BLACKPINK fans caught in the middle of ‘Snowdrop’ controversy

BLACKPINK fans have seemingly found themselves in the crossfire the controversy surrounding Snowdrop, a new K-drama starring member Jisoo.

  • READ MORE: ‘Snowdrop’ episodes one and two recap: controversial series hits the ground running

According to a new report by Korea JoongAng Daily, a community of BLACKPINK fans (who are known as BLINKS) on South Korean internet forum DC Inside have been accused of making calls to the Lee Han-yeol Memorial Museum to complain about a statement the museum issued over the controversial K-drama series.

Notably, Snowdrop is a fictional series set in 1987, a pivotal year for South Korea’s pro-democracy movement, and stars BLACKPINK member Jisoo. Meanwhile, Lee Han-yeol was a student activist during the pro-democracy movement, who has been killed during the lobbying and became a symbol of the movement.

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In response to the allegations, the fan club published a statement on DC Inside clarifying that they had “nothing to do with the false news that has been circulating in regards to [BLACKPINK fans] leading group action to make complaint calls to the Lee Han-yeol Memorial Museum”, per Korea JoongAng Daily. 

The club also pointed out that the original claim about the BLACKPINK fans were made by an anonymous user and had been “immediately” deleted by the page moderator. They also noted that the post was screen-grabbed and began circulating online, but claimed that the post was “false information”.

“DC Inside is an anonymous community where anyone can post anything without signing up,” a representative of the fan club wrote. “Therefore, this anonymous netizen, who did not even write on the BLACKPINK page should not be determined as a BLACKPINK fan. Please refrain from further criticism regarding this false information.”

Snowdrop, starring BLACKPINK’s Jisoo and Jung Hae-in, has received backlash for allegedly “distorting” the history of South Korea’s pro-democracy movement. As a result of the controversy, a number of sponsors have dropped the show and a petition posted to the Blue House that called for its cancellation has garnered over 200,000 signatures.

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Don McLean announces ‘American Pie’ 50th anniversary world tour

Don McLean has announced details of a 2022 world tour celebrating 50 years of his iconic hit ‘American Pie’.

Next year marks half a century since the song hit Number One on the US Billboard charts alongside the album of the same name.

To celebrate, McLean and his band will play a run of shows throughout 2022, beginning in Hawaii in late January and heading through North America before heading to the UK and Europe.

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“After spending the past 18 months at home, I am thrilled to be getting back on the road with my band,” McLean said in a statement.

“2022 marks the 50th anniversary from when American Pie landed at the #1 spot on the Billboard chart and we will be celebrating on tour all year long. We will be performing all the songs from the American Pie album plus many of the other hits that fans will be expecting to hear.”

See the full list of Don McLean’s 2022 world tour dates below. Tickets are on sale now here.

JANUARY 2022
28 – Honolulu, Blue Note Hawaii
29 – Honolulu, Blue Note Hawaii
30 – Honolulu, Blue Note Hawaii

FEBRUARY 2022
03 – Clear Lake, Surf Ballroom
05 – Grand Forks, Chester Fritz Auditorium
11 – The Villages, Sharon L. Morse Performing Arts Center
12 – Ponte Vedra Beach, Ponte Vedra Concert Hall
14 – Port Canaveral, Rock Legends Cruise
15 – Port Canaveral, Rock Legends Cruise
16 – Port Canaveral, Rock Legends Cruise
17 – Port Canaveral, Rock Legends Cruise
18 – Port Canaveral, Rock Legends Cruise
19 – Clearwater, Bilheimer Capitol Theatre
24 – Tucson, Fox Tucson Theatre

APRIL 2022
29 – Kansas City, Uptown Theatre

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MAY 2022
01 – Indianapolis, Clowes Memorial Hall
07 – Toronto, John W H Bassett Theatre
12 – Nashville, Ryman Auditorium
13 – Atlanta, Symphony Hall
19 – St. Louis, Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center
20 – Springfield, Gillioz Theatre

JUNE 2022
02 – Albany, The Egg
03 – Boston, Shubert Theatre
04 – New York, Town Hall
11 – Baltimore, The Lyric
12 – Tysons, Capital One Hall
17 – Grand Rapids, DeVos Performance Hall
17 – Milwaukee, The Pabst Theatre
24 – San Antonio, Tobin Center for the Performing Arts
25 – Houston, Cullen Performance Hall
26 – Austin, Paramount Theatre

JULY 2022
07 – Austin, Paramount Theatre
09 – Phoenix, Orpheum Theatre

SEPTEMBER 2022
11 – Cardiff, St. Davids
13 – Ipswich, Regent Theatre
14 – Birmingham, Symphony Hall
16 – Bath, Forum
17 – Torquay, Princess Theatre
18 – Bournemouth, Pavilion
20 – Brighton, Dome
21 – Southend, Cliffs Pavilion
23 – Manchester, Bridgewater Hall
24 – Gateshead, Sage
25 – Glasgow, Royal Concert Hall
27 – Edinburgh, Usher Hall
28 – York, Barbican
30 – Leicester, De Montfort Hall

OCTOBER 2022
01 – Sheffield, City Hall
02 – Liverpool, Philharmonic Hall
04 – London, Palladium
07 – Dublin, 3Arena
9 – Nijmegen, Concertgebouw de Vereeniging
10 – Amsterdam, Koninklijk Theater Carré
14 – Bergen, Peer Gynt Salen
15 – Stavanger, Stavanger Kuppelhallen
16 – Oslo, Sentrum Scene
18 – Gothenburg, Lorensbergsteatern
20 – Turku, Logomo
21 – Helsinki, Kulttuuritalo
23 – Stockholm, Göta Lejon
24 – Malmö, Palladium
25 – Greve, Portalen
27 – Hamburg, Fabrik
28 – Neuruppin, Kulturkirche
29 – Berlin, Admiralspalast

NOVEMBER 2022
01 – Antwerp, De Singel
11 – Munich, Prinzregententheater
13 – Linz, Posthof

Elsewhere, Taylor Swift recently took the title for the longest Number One entry on the Billboard Hot 100 to date with ‘All Too Well (10 Minute Version)’, dethroning previous record-holder McLean whose eight-minute track ‘American Pie (Parts I & II)’ held the top position for four weeks back in 1972.

After the record was broken, Swift sent McLean flowers and a handwritten message, telling Billboard: “There is something to be said for a great song that has staying power. ‘American Pie’ remained on the top for 50 years and now Taylor Swift has unseated such a historic piece of artistry.”

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Avril Lavigne on her new Green Day inspired album: “It’s a love letter to women”

Avril Lavigne has shared more details about her upcoming pop-punk album, saying it’s inspired by Green Day and that “it’s a love letter to women”.

Lavigne’s seventh record is due “at the top” of 2022 on Travis Barker’s label DTA Records (home of fellow pop-punker Jxdn). In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, Lavigne explained: “I really went back to what sounds I originally was influenced by at the beginning of my career [for this album].”

“To the core, I’m a kid from a small town who listened to bands like Blink-182 and Green Day and NOFX in high school, and I tapped into that.”

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She continued: “It’s fast. It’s fun. It’s just pure rock & roll from front to back. There’s a lot of reflecting upon different relationships that I have gone through and where I’m at, and even though there’s songs about past love experiences that didn’t work out, I’m in such a good place in my life that it’s still just fun and feisty and light. I’m kind of poking fun at myself that I’ve gone through a lot in love.”

Lavigne went on to say that she wants “people to feel empowered” by her as-of-yet-untitled seventh album.

“My message is know who you are and trust who you are. A lot of these songs are about having the strength to walk away if someone doesn’t see that. I wanted to make sure I wrote music that people could relate to. It’s about valuing yourself and knowing you’re enough. It’s really a love letter to women.”

Speaking to NME recently Willow, who collaborated with Lavigne and Barker on ‘Grow’ from her fourth album ‘Lately I Feel Everything’, called Avril “pop-punk royalty. The proficiency and efficiency that they both have with their art and the execution of their vision is extremely inspiring.”

Returning the compliment, Lavigne said: “It’s great to see somebody like her, another female, in this genre at the moment killing it.”

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In February, it was announced that Lavigne had finished recording her album, which will apparently feature a collaboration with Machine Gun Kelly. So far, she’s released just one track from it – the angsty ‘Bite Me’ which features Barker on drums.

Lavigne has also shared plans to turn her iconic track ‘Sk8r Boi’ into a full-length movie.

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Tears For Fears on how personal and political trauma shaped new album ‘The Tipping Point’

Tears For Fears release new single ‘No Small Thing‘, founding member Curtis Smith has spoken to NME about how personal and political trauma shaped their new album ‘The Tipping Point’.

Now 17 years after their last album, ‘The Tipping Point’ is a 10-song collection riven with personal tragedy and political upheaval. Smith – who formed the band with Roland Orzabal as teenagers in Bath in 1981 – told NME that the years of turmoil, which includes the death of Orzabal’s wife in 2017,  “gave us a lot to write about”. Much of the new material came from the duo going back-to-basics.

Of the new single in particular, Smith said: “‘No Small Thing’ was a song myself and Roland wrote together. It was the very beginning of 2020 and we were at this point where we had effectively an album’s worth of material that we didn’t particularly like – and we were trying to find a direction.

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“So we decided for the first time since we were 18-years-old to sit in a room, both of us with acoustic guitars, and try and write something. It’s the opening track on the album and an important one in that it gave us a direction, but because of the way we approached it, it sounds more Johnny Cash than Tears For Fears.”

 

In the summer of 2017, Orzabal’s wife Caroline passed away. When she hit the menopause, she was prescribed medication that you shouldn’t drink alcohol with while taking. Nevertheless, she did and experienced crippling depression before developing cirrhosis of the liver, then alcohol-related dementia. Orzabal became her carer for five years and started writing songs that would surface on ‘The Tipping Point’ as a distraction and release: the eponymous first single and gut-wrenching ‘Please Be Happy’ both painfully address watching someone you love deteriorate.

Speaking to NME via Zoom from his home in Los Angeles, Smith explained how ‘No Small Thing’ was an attempt to re-discover themselves after a string of failed attempts to write with hitmakers, while ‘The Tipping Point’’s touchstones take in everything from The 1975 to toxic masculinity.

Tears For Fears. Credit: Frank W.Ockenfels
Tears For Fears. Credit: Frank W.Ockenfels

Before you hit that crisis-point of sitting with acoustic guitars, you had been working with by-committee songwriters at the behest of your management. Why didn’t it work?

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“We’d worked with some people who’d worked with The Weeknd, and one of the guys from Bastille [frontman Dan Smith – who they’d previously collaborated with on the 2017 Tears For Fears song ‘I Love You But I’m Lost’ and with whom they’ve written an unreleased song called ‘Your Skull’s A Drum’]. They call it musical ‘speed-dating’. Some of them were quite good, but the rest just sounded like us making this vain attempt to do something modern, which ended up sounding dishonest to is.

“We’re not knocking it, because we did learn what we didn’t want to do – sometimes when you go into an album, that’s half the battle! We were working with modern producers who were heavily based around electronic sequencing, so our next step was to go in the opposite direction and sit in a room with two acoustic guitars – which led us to ‘No Small Thing’.”

Musically, who were you influenced by for ‘The Tipping Point’? 

“We’re influenced by everything we listen to and that includes certain amounts of modern music. I’m not someone who’s sentimental about a certain decade. I’m a big The 1975 fan, so that’s going to be an influence. I like Phoebe Bridgers, Bon Iver, Rex Orange County – so some of that stuff will unconsciously rub off.”

Tragedy looms over the album, such as Roland experiencing the illness and death of his wife. How do you feel it affected the record?

“In a big way. If you can find nothing to write about after what we went through in the past few years – personally, with Roland’s wife passing and also globally, with Black Lives Matter with the #MeToo movement, with Donald Trump being in power for four years, the rise of the right-wing worldwide, and the climate crisis; then you shouldn’t be songwriters. It’s been a bunch of years with a lot of turmoil – personally as well as politically – which has given us a lot to write about.”

Did recording those songs about Roland’s late wife, Caroline, feel emotional?

“It’s incredibly emotional when you’re writing about someone you’ve known for that long. It’s not like an acquaintance or someone you’ve known for a few fears – this was Caroline. This was someone I knew since I was 13-years-old; and Roland the same. Apart from family members, who else can you say that about? In that sense, it’s far more devastating when you lose someone like that, because not only do you mourn their loss, but you’re left thinking about your own mortality and what you can do to allow that to not happen to you. It’s a difficult thing to get over.”

Has it brought you and Roland closer?

“Yes, because it was something both of us had in common. Obviously I wasn’t married to Caroline and didn’t spent as much time with her as he has to any degree, but she’s from both of our childhoods. There was a sense that nobody knew her as well as I did, apart from Roland; so we related to each other over that.”

Tears For Fears at Festival Beauregard 2019. Credit: Derek Bremner

Did you talk to each other about those personal songs and what they meant?

“No. The songs and their meanings were obvious. That’s the strength of the bond we have – that you don’t need to explain those things. They’re blatantly obvious to us.”

The album track ‘Break The Man’ is about shattering the patriarchy. What needs to change?

“Four years of living through Donald Trump and also the #MeToo movement sparked that song. I’m lucky to be in a family surrounded by strong women: my wife and daughters. Women have this calm wiseness about them that men don’t, because we’re too busy showing how big our dicks are most of the time. We saw so much of that with Trump in America: the idea of ‘we are real men’, and the trouble it caused.

“This toxic masculinity spurred wars and the hatred of others – the idea of: ‘I’m stronger and I need people weaker than me and I’m going to show them they’re weaker than me’. In America, that became everyone hating immigrants and the notion that a woman’s place is in the home. It’s nonsense, and we could do with a more empathetic leadership – preferably from a woman. That was where that song came from.”

Did you witness any of that toxic masculinity in the music industry in the ‘80s?

“I mean, I saw it go on. My wife [marketing executive Laura Pennington] experienced it once when she bailed out of somebody’s hotel room when they asked her for a meeting and she realised it wasn’t quite what they said they intended, so luckily she was never abused. I hope it’s generational to a certain degree, so that the younger generation of women are on a far more equal footing.”

‘Stay’, the closing track of ‘’The Tipping Point’ (remixed from a version that appears on the 2017 greatest hits compilation ‘Rule the World’) was written about a time when you were considering leaving Tears For Fears again. Why?

“We’d been through the speed-dating process and I didn’t like where it was going. People might think I threw a tantrum, but it wasn’t like that it. I said to Roland: ‘If you want to do that, then go ahead, but I’m not feeling it. It’s not representative of me, it’s not something I like and I can’t be involved in putting out something I don’t like. It’s a pointless exercise. I don’t need to do it, so why should I?’ I got to a point where I said: ‘If you feel it’s the right thing to put out, I would have to step away form it’. Which is a fairer way of putting it than just: ‘That’s it! I’m going to leave!’

“I was thinking about walking away and realising how sad that is. That song’s about the sadness you feel about leaving something behind that you’ve invested so much time and energy into and that’s been a huge part of your life.”

‘The Tipping Point’ is released February 22, 2022, via Concord Records. The band tour the UK in July. Check back at NME soon for them sitting our Does Rock’N’Roll Kill Braincells?! feature.

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Self Esteem announces debut US tour dates for 2022

Self Esteem has announced her first US headline shows – see all the details below.

  • READ MORE: The NME Big Read – Self Esteem: “I want to use the palatable nature of pop to Trojan horse in my agenda”

The Sheffield – real name Rebecca Lucy Taylor – will head to America next March in support of her critically-acclaimed second album, ‘Prioritise Pleasure’, which came out on October 22.

“Much like Robbie and Cheryl before me, it’s time to take this chart topping talent stateside,” Taylor wrote on social media. “Looking forward to never coming back and having a house of Gucci / star is born trajectory and or coming back with my tail between my legs.”

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The run of gigs will begin at Baby’s All Right, in Brooklyn, New York on March 10 before Self Esteem visits the Moroccan Lounge in Los Angeles (March 14) and Austin’s SXSW (March 15-19).

Tickets go on sale this coming Friday (December 3) at 10am local time – you can buy yours from here.

Taylor is currently out on the road in the UK and will return for further gigs in the new year.
Self Esteem’s 2022 tour dates are as follows:

February 2022
28 – The Parish, Huddersfield

March 2022

1 – St Lukes, Glasgow
2 – Stylus, Leeds
3 – CHALK, Brighton
4 – Trinity, Bristol
10 – Baby’s All Right, Brooklyn, New York (new date)
14 – Moroccan Lounge, Los Angeles (new date)
15-19 – SXSW, Austin, TX (new date)
23 – Cathedral, Manchester
24 – The Forum, London
25 – Octagon, Sheffield

In a five-star review, NME hailed the singer’s appearance at Heaven in London last month as a “meticulously well-rehearsed show” and “a masterclass in joyful excess”.

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Meanwhile, Self Esteem has recently been announced for All Points East, TRNSMT, Tramlines and Liverpool’s Sound City 2022. She’ll play a debut festival headline set at the latter event alongside The Lathums.

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Halsey on making new record and film simultaneously: “I was almost method acting my album”

Halsey has recalled the experience of making ‘If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power’ and its accompanying film at the same time, saying that they were “almost method acting my album”.

The singer-songwriter released her fourth studio effort over the summer alongside If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power, an hour-long visual piece about “the lifelong social labyrinth of sexuality and birth”.

  • READ MORE: The NME Big Read – Halsey: “I’ve always been driven to reinvent myself and reinvent my genre”

Speaking in last week’s NME Big Read interview, Halsey explained: “I’ve wanted to do a film for an album since [debut album] ‘Badlands’ but, to be frank, I haven’t had the financial resources to do it.

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“This was the thing where it was like, ‘OK, people want to give you money to make art – what are you going to make?’”

Halsey went on to recall how the movie influenced their latest record. “I was almost method acting my album, which I think is super douche-y but is what was happening,” they told NME.

Halsey
Halsey on the cover of NME

“It was really cool to make a record in tandem that way because you’re not going back and drawing connections that aren’t there and trying to fill in holes to make stuff work. All of it is so cohesive and coherent the entire time.”

The singer said that making the film resulted in ‘If I Can’t Have Love…’ feeling like a concept album. “The most important thing to me is that this album has tension – it needs to be visceral, or I’m doing a disservice to the message,” she told NME.

Speaking of enlisting Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross – who produced the LP – she remembered: “First of all, I thought I was writing a letter to Santa being like, ‘I’ve been a very good girl’.

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“I was just really honest and said I was a huge fan and I’ve been plagiarising you guys for years – badly – and I’m not arrogant enough to believe that I have anything new to offer you, but this album is about pregnancy, gender identity, body horror.”

NME hailed Halsey for creating “an endlessly compelling artistic statement” with ‘If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power’. Check out our four-star review here.

Elsewhere in the Big Read interview, Halsey spoke about the honour of receiving the Innovation Award at the BandLab NME Awards 2022, which they will pick up during a ceremony at the O2 Academy Brixton in London on March 2.

Halsey told NME that she “wasn’t expecting” the award and was “very surprised” to be recognised with the nod. “But it’s really, really awesome,” she added.

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Punk fan goes viral after dropping band names into chat on conservative radio

A punk fan has gone viral after calling into a conservative morning radio show and dropping various band names into his chat with its hosts.

Illustrator Rob Dobi – using the name Bill – dialled into WSMN’s Life With Liz show yesterday (November 24) with the idea to “name as many punk bands as I could before they caught on”.

From the less conspicuous (Sick Of It All, Rancid, Misfits and Minor Threat) to the easily identifiable (Blink-182, Reel Big Fish and Fall Out Boy), he managed to sneak in quite a few band names without the New Hampshire show’s hosts catching on.

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“One of my main problems is… I’m a Republican in a fairly liberal area, sometimes I feel like everyone is just Against Me!,” Dobi told Liz Gabert.

“I feel like what we need to do is listen to what our Descendents told us. ​’Cause in the past we Refused to live a Life Of Agony. I’m Sick Of It All. Im sick of people thinking we’re just a Minor Threat. Enough of that Fugazi. A lot of these people just got Bad Brains, that are Misfits that waive Black Flag and they’re practically Anti-Flag. I think we need to Converge and help the Youth Of Today because every time you blink, 182 kids, they go missing…”

You can watch the clip below:

Elsewhere, Fall Out Boy‘s 2003 mini album ‘Evening Out With Your Girlfriend’ landed on streaming services in full for the very first time earlier this month.

The band’s nine-track project was originally released a couple of months before their official debut album ‘Take This To Your Grave’, which arrived on May 6, 2003 via Fueled By Ramen.

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Meanwhile, Duran Duran have recalled how their style and musical focus shifted after punk “got a bit dull” for them.

Speaking in a recent interview, frontman Simon Le Bon discussed how the band once found the rebellious genre exciting but after a while it became boring to them.

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Watch Avril Lavigne and Travis Barker perform ‘Bite Me’ on ‘Fallon’

Avril Lavigne has performed her new single ‘Bite Me’ on the latest episode of The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.

For the appearance on Wednesday (November 24), she brought along collaborator Travis Barker. The Blink-182 drummer co-produced the track, along with John Feldmann and Mod Sun.

‘Bite Me’ is also Lavigne’s first single since she signed to Barker’s label DTA Records. Watch their Fallon performance from a graffiti-filled set below.

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Earlier this month, Lavigne unveiled the music video for ‘Bite Me’. It shows her, Barker and a weapon-wielding group men as they pay a visit to one of Lavigne’s exes.

In July, Lavigne and Barker performed with Willow Smith on the song ‘Grow’ from her latest album ‘Lately I Feel Everything’.

Lavigne also has her seventh studio album on the way, which sees the musician return to her pop-punk roots first shown in 2002’s ‘Let Go’. The upcoming album will be her first since 2019’s ‘Head Above Water’.

Last year, she was also seen recording new music with Machine Gun Kelly, which has yet to surface.

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Lavigne is set to tour the UK and Europe in 2022, which including three nights at the O2 Academy Brixton in London as well as a show at Manchester’s O2 Apollo.

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Lindsay Buckingham gives retroactive credit and payment to songwriters after accidental plagiarism

Lindsey Buckingham has given retroactive credits to two songwriters whose track he’d accidentally plagiarised after forgetting that it wasn’t his demo.

  • READ MORE: 20 insanely great Fleetwood Mac songs

The former Fleetwood Mac guitarist/vocalist, who released his seventh solo album in September, has paid Blinker The Star’s Jordon Zadorozny and Medicine’s Brad Laner a flat monetary sum. He also provided them with co-writing credits and a portion of publishing for his song ‘Swan Song’, which was found to have plagiarised the pair’s ‘Mind’s Eye’.

Zadorozny noticed that Buckingham’s song, which appears on his new self-titled album, sounded remarkably similar to the collaborative track that he wrote with Laner more than 20 years ago [via Spin].

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It even had similar lyrics. On ‘Mind’s Eye’, the chorus goes: “It isn’t right to keep me waiting/ Do you have to hold out on me so long now?/ Is it right to keep me waiting?/ In the shadow of our mind’s eye.

‘Swan Song’, meanwhile, goes: “But is it right to keep me waiting?/ Is it right to make me hold out so long?/ Yeah, is it right to keep me waiting/ In the shadow of our swan song.

Per Spin, it transpired that Zadorozny met Buckingham in 2000 when he signed to DreamWorks. The label’s president, Lenny Waronker, asked him who he wanted to produce his next record and Zadorozny picked Buckingham.

“It’s something I used to think about as a high school kid going to bed at night,” he told the publication. “It was pure fantasy. ‘Out of all my heroes, who could I work with?’ And then it was, ‘Wow, this is actually happening.'”

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Buckingham agreed to produce two songs for Zadorozny. The pair then went into the studio to record with Medicine’s Laner on bass. After the recording sessions Laner gave Buckingham a CD of songs that he’d written with Zadorozny in case Buckingham wanted to ever cover one of them.

Fast forward two decades and Zadorozny had heard Buckingham’s ‘Swan Song’, realising that his demo with Laner had been snapped up by the veteran musician.

“He’s got years of integrity and no reason to be stealing songs from anyone, especially us,” Zadorozny said. “He’d taken our song, made a demo himself of it, put it away for a rainy day and, as it turns out, 16 or 17 years later found that demo and thought, ‘This is a cool thing I did back in 2000.'”

Buckingham’s management explained the mishap in a statement sent to Spin.

“Following the recent release of Lindsey’s self titled album, it was brought to his attention that significant elements of the song ‘Swan Song,’ had come from a song that had been shared with him more than 20 years ago while he was working in a Los Angeles studio, producing some music for Brad Laner and Jordon Zadorozny.

“When this unintentional and inadvertent usage was raised to Lindsey, he quickly realised his mistake and a friendly resolution was made by all parties.”

In other news, Buckingham recently teamed up with Halsey for a performance of ‘Darling’ on ‘SNL’.

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Jared Leto says Thirty Seconds To Mars have written 200 new songs

Jared Leto has revealed that Thirty Seconds To Mars have written around 200 tracks for their upcoming new album.

  • READ MORE: House Of Gucci review: Lady Gaga’s bad romance soon turns ugly

The musician/actor was speaking to NME about Ridley Scott’s House Of Gucci, which he stars in as Paolo Gucci alongside Lady Gaga (Patrizia Reggiani), Adam Driver (Maurizio Gucci) and more.

Discussing the film’s ’70s and ’80s soundtrack – including songs by Eurythmics, Blondie and George Michael – Leto explained that “listening to Italian hits” of that era created “a well of inspiration”.

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“There are a lot of those sounds that definitely are on the new [Thirty Seconds To Mars] album,” he told NME. “My first instrument was a Roland Juno 106, which is a synthesiser from the ’80s. I really cherished that instrument, and those sounds are so nostalgic.

“Those sounds [from that decade] are kinda embedded in our psyche, and they really speak directly to our heart sometimes. They take us back to the films that we grew up on. So I love to pull from that stuff.”

Later, Leto told NME that Thirty Seconds To Mars had written around 200 tracks. “So we have so many songs now,” he said. “We really took advantage of that time in lockdown, and hunkered down and started writing.”

As for a potential release date for the follow-up to 2018’s ‘America’, the singer explained: “We’re really just waiting for the right opportunity, the right time to put music out.”

When asked if there could be a Thirty Seconds To Mars collaboration with his House Of Gucci co-star Gaga, Leto replied: “I mean, that would be fun. I danced with her already so that was enough for me.

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“But that would be fun. She’s a terrific artist and I think she’s just a real talent. I have a lot of respect for her…her bravery.”

Leto also recalled TSTM’s most recent UK headline tour back in 2018, describing their performance at London’s O2 Arena as “one of the best shows of our lives”.

Lady Gaga Gucci
Lady Gaga in ‘House of Gucci’. Credit: Warner Bros

“I never would have thought that one of the best shows of our lives would be this far on into our career, but it was absolutely magical and we can’t wait to come back and play,” he continued.

“Manchester was another great one. We just had a phenomenal tour in the UK and Europe in 2018.”

Leto added: “The songs are built for the stage. We’re really a live band, and touring is an essential part of what we do. Our shows are really physical and immersive; we just have a lot of fun with it.”

Watch the full NME interview with Jared Leto at the top of the page.

House Of Gucci is released in UK cinemas this Friday (November 26). You can read NME‘s four-star review here.

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Kelly Lee Owens wins Welsh Music Prize 2021 with ‘Inner Song’

Kelly Lee Owens has won the Welsh Music Prize 2021 for her latest album ‘Inner Song’.

  • READ MORE: The NME Big Read – Kelly Lee Owens: “I genuinely feel magic around me at all times”

The musician and producer’s 2020 studio effort was nominated alongside The Anchoress‘ ‘The Art Of Losing’, Gruff Rhys‘ ‘Seeking New Gods’, Private World’s ‘Aleph’ and more at the 11th edition of the annual awards.

During a live ceremony in Cardiff last night (November 23), Owens was announced as the winner out of the 12 shortlisted artists. She did not attend the event as she’s currently out on a UK tour.

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“DIOLCH YN FAWR!!!! [Thank you very much] I am absolutely over the moon to have won the 2021 @welshmusicprize!” Owens wrote on social media following her victory.

“Being recognised by my homeland in this way is so so special! Wales has shaped me as an artist & continues to be a place of inspiration to me. My nana Jeannette would be so proud.”

You can see that post below.

While accepting the prize over Zoom, the musician said: “I’m so passionate about Wales and I want everyone to know where I’m from.” She described the accolade as “the greatest honour”.

Owens, who is from Bagillt, Flintshire, received the Welsh Music Prize’s first-ever prize fund of £10,000.

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Huw Stephens, the co-founder of the awards, said: “We are thrilled for Kelly Lee Owens. The judges were all astounded by this album (via BBC).

“Kelly Lee Owens has been so critically acclaimed for this record, and we are so happy that she is the 2021 Welsh Music Prize winner.”

Owens opened up about her “deep connection” to Wales during a Big Read cover interview with NME last year. “I come from a place that is full of fighters and really tough people who have been through a lot,” she explained.

“There’s magic there, but it’s complicated. I have a deep connection with it now but I’m still only just discovering the story of where I come from and it’s not all pretty and not all poetic, but being someone who is unafraid of that is the journey that I think is necessary to go.”

She continued: “We’ve always understood what the land gives us. Anyone who stands next to a mountainous area feels small but in the most humbling beautiful way. I think we need to be reminded that we are not bigger than ‘it’.”

In a glowing five-star review, NME haled ‘Inner Song’ as “a perfectly-arranged album where each track has a part to play: an emotive-yet-euphoric collection that’s made for late-night reflection, Kelly Lee Owens has made one of the most beautiful records of the year.”

Meanwhile, Kelly Lee Owens recently shared her new theme for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023, ‘Unity’.

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Watch Puddle Of Mudd singer abandon gig after onstage rant about lights

Puddle Of Mudd’s singer walked off stage during the band’s set on Saturday night (November 20) after arguing with a lighting technician.

According to fans who were there, Puddle Of Mudd took to the stage over half an hour late for their headline show at the EPIC Event Centre in Green Bay, Wisconsin before singer Wes Scantlin walked offstage after only five songs.

In footage shot by someone in the front row of the concert, Scantlin can be seen performing the entirety of 2009 single ‘Spaceship’ with his hands covering his face, before he can be heard complaining about the onstage lights and apparently arguing with the lighting technician.

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“I don’t know why the lights have to be blinding me for this whole show. If you guys were standing up here where I am right now, it’s like a fucking flashlight blinking in your fucking head. And I don’t think that’s fucking cool,” he said.

The footage shows Scantlin then pointing towards the back of the room, calling someone a “douchebag fuck” and bragging “I’ve got a flashlight too motherfucker”.

After performing 2019’s ‘Uh Oh’, Scantlin then walked offstage without addressing the audience – watch the whole incident below:

This isn’t the first time Puddle Of Mudd have stopped a gig early. In 2017, Scantlin walked offstage midway through a performance of 2001’s ‘She Hates Me’ and the year before the rest of the band left him onstage following his erratic behaviour.

Around the same time Scantlin had several encounters with the law. He got sober towards the end of 2017 [via Kerrang!]

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Earlier this year, however, Scantlin revealed that Puddle Of Mudd had written 75 new songs, mostly during the pandemic, before admitting that he’d caught coronavirus two or three times.

Elsewhere in the interview, Scantlin was asked if he’d ever make a film about his life. “I’m desperately trying to get Fred Durst [who helped break Puddle Of Mudd] to get involved, and we can do some kind of a little movie or something,” he said.

“A lot of dreams came true in a lot of our lives – even Korn and Staind and Limp Bizkit, and Puddle Of Mudd. It would be a great little movie.”

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FKA Twigs shares “theatrical” new single ‘Measure Of A Man’ featuring Central Cee

FKA Twigs has shared a new single from the upcoming film The King’s Man – listen to ‘Measure Of A Man’ featuring Central Cee below.

  • READ MORE: Central Cee: Big Sean-endorsed west London rapper whose career finally thrived during lockdown

Teased on TikTok earlier this month, the dramatic standalone track will feature in the forthcoming Kingsman prequel. Starring Ralph Fiennes, the Matthew Vaughn-directed movie is released in the UK on December 22.

“This song has such a different sound, which is a challenge; you’ve got to really embody the song,” FKA Twigs explained in a statement. “For me especially with my vocals, I had to pull a different side of my artistry out.”

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Central Cee said: “What I listen to when it comes to trying to find beats is something theatrical, it needs to sound like a movie. And that’s exactly what’s going on with this song, it sounds like it’s made for a movie regardless.”

Central Cee, who’s from west London, released his debut mixtape ‘Wild West’ back in March. In a four-star review, NME wrote: “Central Cee clearly has the tenacity and notoriety to resonate, while leaving room for allure; it makes his approach to the mic all the more fascinating.”

The rapper is nominated in four categories at the MOBO Awards 2021: Best Male Act, Song Of The Year (‘Commitment Issues’), Best Newcomer and Best Drill Act. This year’s ceremony takes place in Coventry on December 5.

FKA Twigs, meanwhile, recently joined a global campaign to help prevent domestic and sexual violence.

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The ‘Join The Chorus’ initiative was spearheaded by an animated short film featuring the singer to raise awareness of the need “for collective power to stop the violence that one in three women experience in their lifetimes”.

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Listen to Willow’s new ‘Transparent Soul’ remix featuring Kid Cudi

Willow has shared a new remix of ‘Transparent Soul’ featuring Kid Cudi – you can listen to it below.

  • READ MORE: The musical evolution of Willow Smith: how a child star became a pop sensation

The pop-punk-inspired single appears on the singer’s fourth studio album, ‘Lately I Feel Everything’, which came out back in July.

Willow’s new take on the track boasts contributions from Cudi and Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker, the latter of whom appeared on the original track.

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“I am so grateful for this song because it was created during such an introspective time during quarantine,” Willow explained in a statement. “The solitude allowed me to introspect and really let go of the insecurities I had about making a project in this genre.

“I am humbled and grateful that Kid Cudi is now able to bring his magic to this remix.”

Willow is set to return to the UK next month for a one-off headline show at the Electric Ballroom in Camden, London. Tickets are now sold out.

Next year, the Los Angeles artist will support Billie Eilish at a number of US shows on her ‘Happier Than Ever’ world tour. Both singers appeared at Las Vegas’ Life Is Beautiful festival in September.

In a four-star review of ‘Lately I Feel Everything’, NME wrote: “With [this album], the child star-turned-music-innovator sends a fond farewell to adolescence. It was a risky move, switching from conscious R&B star to grungy punk beau, but Willow has knocked all doubts out of the park – again.”

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The album also contains a team-up with Avril Lavigne, ‘Grow’. Its Dana Trippe-directed official video arrived last month.

Meanwhile, Kid Cudi has collaborated with Ariana Grande on a forthcoming track called ‘Just Look Up’. The song will appear on Netflix’s Don’t Look Up, which comes out next month.

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Silk Sonic announce limited radio show on Apple Music

Silk Sonic have announced a new limited radio series on Apple Music 1, An Evening With Silk Sonic.

The group – comprised of Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak – released their debut album ‘An Evening With Silk Sonic’ last Friday (November 12).

  • READ MORE: Silk Sonic – ‘An Evening With Silk Sonic’ review: an unashamedly retro delight

Today (November 17) it’s been confirmed that the duo will launch their own radio show of the same name at 3am GMT tomorrow (November 18). You can tune in here.

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Silk Sonic will present four, hour-long episodes during which they’ll play a genre-spanning collection of their favourite music and speak to “surprise guests [with] even more surprising conversations”.

Mars and .Paak are set to be joined by Bootsy Collins on the debut instalment of An Evening With Silk Sonic. Check out an official trailer in the post below.

“Apple Music asked us to host a radio show to talk about the album. We had so much fun that we’ve decided to retire from music and become full-time radio personalities,” explained Mars in a statement.

“We want to thank Apple Music for helping us find our new calling. Goodbye cruel world of music. Hello, radio. See you at the top.”

.Paak added: When we come together on those rare instances when the clouds open and the stars unite, we go as Silk Sonic. It’s been a long time coming, but it’s never too late to turn it around, and speaking of never too late, I think we right on time.”

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In a five-star review of ‘An Evening With Silk Sonic’, NME wrote: “The songs are radiant and full of joy, formed from the synergy of two relentlessly creative minds.

“The album glows with appreciation for the simple but irreplaceable power of working alongside someone you trust and respect like no other — and it sounds as effortless and rewarding as an old friendship.”

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Listen to Avril Lavigne take down an ex on punky new single ‘Bite Me’

Avril Lavigne has released her brand new single ‘Bite Me’ – you can listen to it below.

  • READ MORE: Avril Lavigne – ‘Head Above Water’ review

The track – which was co-produced by Travis Barker, John Feldmann and Mod Sun – comes after the Canadian singer-songwriter revealed last week (November 3) that she has signed to Barker’s label DTA Records.

With the announcement – which followed her performance on the Blink-182 drummer’s House Of Horrors live-stream – she teased the arrival of a new song, writing on Instagram: “Should I drop my first single next week?”

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Lavigne then shared a further teaser on Friday (November 5), revealing the name of the track – her first since 2019 – along with its artwork.

The pop-punk takedown of an ex hears Lavigne sing: “Hey you, you should’ve known better, better to mess with someonе like me/ Hey you, forеver and ever you’re gonna wish I was your wifey/ Should’ve held on, should’ve treated me right/ I gave you one chance, you don’t get it twice/ Hey you, and we’ll be together never, so baby, you can bite me.

You can listen to ‘Bite Me’ below:

Travis Barker teamed up with Elektra to launch DTA Records in 2019. “I wanted a label partner that I trusted with true artist development,” he said at the time. “As an artist, it’s important to me that an artist’s vision is protected at all costs.”

He said of Lavigne joining DTA: “Avril and I have been friends for a long time, but I think I’ve been a fan of hers even longer! She’s a true badass and an icon as a performer, songwriter, and presence.

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“We had gotten in the studio earlier this year, and we were having so much fun that I knew I wanted to ask her to join the DTA team. I’m so stoked she’s now part of the label. I can’t wait for everybody to experience the incredible music she’s about to drop.”

Lavigne recently joined forces with Barker on Williow’s pop-punk single ‘Grow’. Back in December 2020, she was pictured in the studio with the sticksman’s friend and collaborator Machine Gun Kelly.

“So are we ready for new music in the new year or what?” she asked fans at the time. “Lemme know.”

In February, Lavigne confirmed that her seventh album was “done”. It will follow on from 2019’s ‘Head Above Water’.

Last month she announced a UK and European tour for 2022, which includes a three-night billing at the O2 Academy Brixton in London as well as a show at Manchester’s O2 Apollo.

Avril Lavigne’s 2022 tour dates are as follows:

MARCH 2022
25 – Manchester, O2 Apollo
27 – London, O2 Academy Brixton
28 – London, O2 Academy Brixton
29 – London, O2 Academy Brixton

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Tributes paid to UB40 toaster Astro who has died

UB40 singer, trumpeter, percussionist and toaster Astro has died, following “a very short illness”, it has been confirmed.

Astro – whose real name was Terence Wilson – died today (November 6). He was 64 years old.

A tweet on the Ali Campbell and Astro Twitter account shared the sad news with fans, saying they were “absolutely devastated and completely heartbroken” by his death. “The world will never be the same without him,” they added. “We ask you to please respect his family’s privacy at this incredibly difficult time.”

A message was also posted on the official UB40 Twitter account. “RIP ASTRO,” it read. “We have heard tonight, the sad news that ex-member of UB40, Terence Wilson, better know as Astro, has passed away after a short illness. Our sincere condolences to his family.”

The musician was a founding member of the Birmingham reggae and pop group in 1979, remaining in the line-up until 2013. He later formed a new version of the band with Campbell and Mickey Virtue.

With the original version of UB40, Astro released 18 studio albums, including the 1983 chart-topper ‘Labour Of Love’, which spawned the Number One single ‘Red Red Wine’, and 1985’s ‘Baggariddim’, which boasted the Chrissie Hynde collaboration ‘I Got You Babe’. His last record with the band was 2013’s ‘Getting Over The Storm’.

In a statement announcing his decision to leave the band, Astro said the group was like a “rudderless ship” and cited a “serious lack of communication between the band and management”, as well as the musical direction the band had gone in on ‘Getting Over The Storm’.

Tributes have begun to be paid online following the news of Astro’s death, with fans calling the Birmingham musician a “Brum legend”.

“Sad to read of Astro’s passing,” one Twitter user said. “I grew up listening to UB40, Signing Off is such a brilliant album today. Saw him a few times down the Blues, always with a smile and always got a great reception.”

Another added: “UB40 were the bedrock of my youth. They’ve been integral to my adult years. Anyone who knows me will have unfortunately suffered either my poor karaoke or 3am control of the remote. Astro is a hero. Gutted. RIP.”

See more tributes below.

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Radiohead finally release fan favourite ‘Follow Me Around’

Radiohead have finally shared ‘Follow Me Around’, a track written during the ‘OK Computer’ era but never officially released – listen below.

  • READ MORE: The 50 best music documentaries of all time

The track comes ahead of the release of Radiohead’s ‘Kid A Mnesia’ record, a triple album reissue of ‘Kid A’ and ‘Amnesiac’ alongside a bonus disc titled ‘Kid Amnesiae’, which will comprise of unearthed material culled from those album sessions.

The official video for ‘Follow Me Around’ starring Guy Pearce and can be seen below:

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‘Follow Me Around’ has only ever been performed live a handful of times, and while it’s never been officially released, a recorded version does feature on Radiohead’s 1998 film Meeting People Is Easy.

Recorded during soundcheck at Fukuoka Crossing Hall, Japan, on January 21 1998, the band uploaded the clip to YouTube yesterday (October 31).

‘Follow Me Around’ has also been performed by Atoms For Peace and more recently, Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood during a 2017 live session.

The band also recently shared ‘If You Say The Word’.

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Speaking about the creation of ‘Kid A’ in a recent interview, Yorke said: “I was sort of trapped in my own particular labyrinth, followed by this weird sort of [inner] monologue, a criticism of everything I did.”

“It came from being sort of propelled into this weird state where people were projecting things onto me in a particular way. I didn’t have the right sort of support mechanisms to deal with it, so I internalised a lot of it.”

In other news, Kelly Clarkson has covered Radiohead’s ‘Karma Police’ on her TV show, The Kelly Clarkson Show

The cover came as part of the ‘Kellyoke’ section, which has recently seen her take on versions of tracks by The Weeknd, Depeche Mode and more. Backed by a live band, Clarkson belted out an impassioned and emotional cover of the ‘OK Computer’ track that largely stayed true to its original recording.

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Subway employee trashes restaurant in bizarre attempt to get signed by Meek Mill

A Subway employee has been fired after trashing his workplace in a bizarre attempt to get signed by rapper Meek Mill.

  • READ MORE: Meek Mill – ‘Expensive Pain’ review: a rushed and haphazard fifth album

YouTube personality Jumanne Way filmed himself at a Rhode Island Subway walking on sandwich fillings, throwing food and bread on the ground, and putting meat and cheese on a toilet seat.

In the since-deleted video, Way called on Meek Mill for help. “Tell Meek Mill to sign me,” he said. “Let him know, I’m trying to get signed to DreamChasers. Fuck all this Subway shit. Fuck all this Subway shit, bro. At Meek Mill, let him know I’m trying to get signed. I’m deadass. I’m done working at Subway. Deadass.”

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Way then insisted that he didn’t trash the store clout. “I’m not with none of this clout-chasing shit, bro. All of this clout-chasing shit is temporary, bro. Deadass. I don’t want to do this. I really don’t want to be doing none of this,” he said, before showing the final result of his rampage.

According to TooFab, who said Way’s actions came just two months after he started working there, he also allegedly appeared “to rob the tills of cash… while criticising working for minimum wage.”

You can see a behind-the-scenes clip from the incident below:

In a statement to TooFab, Subway has since confirmed that Way has been fired following the videos.

“Subway and our network of franchisees take health and food safety extremely seriously and don’t condone any behavior that violates our strict policies in these areas,” a spokesperson for the fast food chain said.

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“While Subway restaurants are individually owned and operated, we have confirmed with the franchisee of this location that the employee was immediately terminated after he learned of the employee’s actions.”

Back in August, Way posted a video in which he admitted he was nervous about his interview at Subway due to having a criminal record.

“Today I have a job interview at Subway. I am a little nervous about it because I do have a criminal record, and it is hard to explain what I did and why I did it,” he said in the clip. “There’s no justification for what I’ve done, so I just hope that I am able to get the job, and maybe they don’t do a background check,” he said in the clip, which also shows his first day on the job.”

In the video, Way posted a screenshot from a 2019 North Providence Police Department Facebook post that alleges he stole electronic equipment from a T-Mobile store.

TooFab said they asked Subway if they performed a background check prior to Way’s hiring. As of today (October 25), the publication has said they are still awaiting a reply.

Meanwhile, Meek Mill recently compared the premise of the hit Netflix TV show Squid Game to “hood poverty”, claiming that it represents “the exact same thing”.

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Sports Team among acts to pull out of Hit The North Festival over SSD Concerts allegations

Sports Team are among the many acts to have pulled out of today’s Hit The North Festival over allegations levelled at the event’s promoters, SSD Concerts.

The managing director of the northeast-based company, Steve Davis, resigned with “immediate effect” back in April, shortly after former staff members accused SSD of “underpaying” workers and making them feel “uncomfortable” while doing their job.

The promoters initially denied the claims, calling them “false and malicious”, and insisting that they do “not tolerate bullying, harassment or discrimination in any form”. Artists including Sam Fender, IDLES and Kelly Lee Owens subsequently severed ties with SSD.

SSD Concerts then said that an independent investigation would be held, writing in a statement to NME: “The wellbeing of our team is of the upmost importance and any allegations of this nature must be investigated thoroughly.”

The company explained that it would be “taking steps to ensure that all shows will go ahead” and is promoting Hit The North Festival 2021, which is taking place in Newcastle today (October 23).

SSD Concerts
SSD Concerts – Credit: Twitter/Press

It comes after SSD yesterday (October 22) addressed “serious sexual allegations”. The promoters wrote that “no evidence of racism, misogyny or sexual misconduct was found against the managing director” during an independent HR investigation. SSD did, however, acknowledge that it “could and should have done better” in relation to poor business practices (via Chronicle Live).

Following the statement, the likes of Sports Team, Oscar Lang, NOISY and Vistas have taken to social media to boycott Hit The North Festival 2021 due to its link to SSD Concerts.

“We will not be playing Hit The North today,” wrote Sports Team, who were set to sub-headline beneath DMA’S. “Apologies for those who had tickets to see us, will try to rearrange something in Newcastle as soon as we can.”

Announcing that he had withdrawn from the festival, Lang tweeted: “As much as we love playing shows, we don’t love supporting sexual misconduct allegations. Newcastle we love you and we will be back xxx.”

NOISY, meanwhile, said that they would instead be performing their own free show at Newcastle’s Head Of Steam at 7pm. “See you later for beers,” they wrote.

The Goa Express explained that they had pulled out of Hit The North Festival “due to the ongoing issues surrounding SSD”, adding: “Thank you to those informing us and bringing light to the situation.”

Poppy Jo, who’s the lead singer of Manchester group HI SIENNA, shared a “personal statement regarding my band having to pull out of Hit The North”.

“It’s absolutely heartbreaking to see so many people attacking artists for just trying to do their thing and play their music, having nothing to do with any accusations or alleged knowledge of wrongful behaviour,” she wrote.

The singer called on fans to “please keep supporting the music, the bands are small artists”, who have suffered “a huge loss” as a result of cancelling their performances. You can see her full statement along with more posts below.

Hit The North Festival is yet to comment on the mass cancellations. NME has contacted the event for comment.

Following the HR investigation, Steve Davis said in a statement: This has been a very sobering process to go through. I haven’t always got things right and if this has affected anyone, I am sorry. I thank all staff past and present for their honesty and feedback which will help the business move forward.”

Investigators concluded their report: “Overall, the level of familiarity between employees and Steve Davis as managing director has blurred the boundaries of professional relationships within the workplace which has been exacerbated by the industry within which they work.

“Some ACAS courses were booked for attendance by Steve Davis and other employees with management responsibilities. This would go some way to help provide some understanding with regards to the issues related to harassment, equality, diversity, and inclusivity.”

They continued: “The reflections of Steve Davis are reassuring. He has a level of awareness from this process and these events and will not engage in any contact or conversation that could lend itself to misinterpretation again in the future, reinforced by the fact there is now executive director awareness and oversight.”

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IDLES’ Joe Talbot says ‘Ultra Mono’ “translated badly” in the absence of live music

IDLES‘ Joe Talbot has explained that he thinks ‘Ultra Mono’ “translated badly” in the absence of live music last year.

  • READ MORE: IDLES: “Loads of people don’t fucking like us”

Speaking to Mojo magazine, the frontman reflected on the setbacks of releasing the album in September 2020 – when concerts were still banned in the UK in a bid to curb coronavirus cases.

“I think that album translated badly as a home-listening device. The whole point of that record was to build a narrative with our audience,” he said (via Contact Music).

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“The album itself was a caricature of what people thought of us and we wanted to kind of twist that up and then burn that effigy so we would start [upcoming fourth album] ‘Crawler’.”

IDLES
IDLES. CREDIT: Gary Miller/Getty Images

Talbot continued: “We can’t make another ‘Joy’ [As An Act Of Resistance], we can’t make another ‘Ultra Mono’. We just can’t go back. Because we’ve done it. To death.

“We’ve done the biggest loudest most brash big rock album version of ourselves we can and we won’t go back there. We have to move forward.”

As for ‘Crawler’, Talbot explained that the record delves into “the worst years of [his] life but also the best, the most brilliant”. “If you don’t like hearing tales of struggle then you won’t like it,” he added. “But it makes me feel happy because I’m here. I’m alive.”

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Set for release on November 12, IDLES’ fourth studio effort has been previewed with the single ‘The Beachland Ballroom’, which arrived with an accompanying two-part video. The album was co-produced by Kenny Beats and IDLES guitarist Mark Bowen.

IDLES will embark on a UK and Ireland headline tour in early 2022 – you can see the full schedule below.

JANUARY 2022

16 – O2 Academy Brixton, London
17 – O2 Academy Brixton, London
18 – O2 Academy Brixton, London
19 – O2 Academy Brixton, London
21 – Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff
22 – O2 Academy, Birmingham
24 – Vicar Street, Dublin
25 – Vicar Street, Dublin
26 – Vicar Street, Dublin
28 – O2 Victoria Warehouse, Manchester
29 – O2 Victoria Warehouse, Manchester
30 – O2 Victoria Warehouse, Manchester

FEBRUARY 2022

1 – O2 Academy, Sheffield
2 – O2 City Hall, Newcastle
3 – Barrowland Ballroom, Glasgow
4 – Barrowland Ballroom, Glasgow
5 – Barrowland Ballroom, Glasgow

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Elton John confirms Christmas duet with Ed Sheeran and jokes about LadBaby battle

Elton John has confirmed to NME that he and Ed Sheeran are working on a Christmas song together, and joked about a battle for Number One with LadBaby.

Sheeran revealed the news this month in an interview with Dutch radio station NPO Radio 2, saying that John reached out to him for the collaboration last year after he discovered that his own Christmas song ‘Step Into Christmas’ had hit the UK Top 10 for the first time ever.

  • READ MORE: Elton John: “I’m not interested in the past – not even Elton John’s past”

Speaking to NME for this week’s Big Read cover feature, John says he was surprised that Sheeran revealed the news, as he himself was sworn to secrecy over the track.

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“Yeah, he let the cat out of the bag didn’t he?” John told NME. “I was sworn to secrecy and then big mouth fucking Sheeran goes to the Netherlands! It’s supposed to come out – we haven’t finished it yet, so there’s still work to be done.”

Teasing the track, John added: “I can’t say any more than that because it’s in his hands,” before discussing a potential battle for UK Number One with LadBaby, who has picked up the last three Christmas Number Ones with his novelty songs.

“We’ve got the sausage roll man to deal with, haven’t we? We’ve got LadBaby to deal with!” John laughed. “Once we bump him off, we might have a clear path to a hit record. He seems to have the monopoly on Christmas records. And good for him!”

NME Cover 2021 Elton John

John is on the cover of NME to celebrate his new collaborative album ‘The Lockdown Sessions’, out today.

Discussing the album in the interview, he said: “Everything’s been a bonus with this record. Whether it sells one copy or a million copies, it doesn’t matter to me. I had so much fun and I learnt so much from doing it.”

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Elsewhere, last week Sheeran asked for people in the UK to help Elton John knock him off the top of the singles chart.

Sheeran occupied the top spot in the UK for the past 15 weeks, firstly with his comeback single ‘Bad Habits’ and more recently with his latest track ‘Shivers’, but, as was his wish, John’s ‘Cold Heart (PNAU Remix)’ featuring Dua Lipa went and topped the charts.

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Police investigate multiple reports of needle attacks in Nottingham nightclubs

Police in Nottingham are investigating multiple reports of needle attacks in some of the city’s nightclubs.

In a new BBC News report, a number of people have claimed they were injected with a needle while on a night out.

Zara Owen, a 19-year-old student, recalled blacking out shortly after arriving at Pryzm nightclub in Nottingham on October 10. She said the next thing she remembers is waking up in her bed with pain in her leg before discovering a pinprick mark.

“I’m genuinely really scared. It’s one of those things that you hear about but never think will happen to you,” Owen told the BBC. “It makes you question yourself. Why me and how?”
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She has called for security to be bolstered at nightclubs with extra bag and pocket searches.

In another incident, the sister of an unnamed student from Derby said her 19-year-old sibling believes she was injected with a mystery liquid during a night out as she left Stealth nightclub on October 12.

Ellie Simpson said her sister, who does not want to be named, blacked out and was taken to hospital after she felt a “pinch on the back of her arm” as she left the club.

“I don’t think it’s quite yet sunk in what’s happened to her,” Simpson said. “It’s really frightening because I don’t know how you’re meant to prevent it.”

She added: “Obviously you can put your hand over your drink but how do you stop somebody stabbing you with a needle?”

Police tape
CREDIT: Matthew Horwood/Getty Images
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Stealth nightclub confirmed to the BBC that it has received two reports within the past two weeks from customers who thought they may have been spiked by a needle. The nightclub said it takes reports of spiking “very seriously” and will continue to carry out thorough searches and capture CCTV footage to aid police investigations.

A spokesman for Rekom UK, which owns Pryzm, said: “While these incidents are incredibly rare, we take all reports of this nature very seriously and will do all we can to make sure that they don’t happen in our clubs.”

Nottinghamshire Police has confirmed it was looking into multiple reports of people being “spiked physically”.

“We are currently investigating reports of individuals suspecting that their drinks have been spiked,” Supt Kathryn Craner told the BBC. “Linked to this a small number of victims have said that they may have felt a scratching sensation as if someone may have spiked them physically.”

She added: “We do not believe that these are targeted incidents. They are distinctly different from anything we have seen previously as victims have disclosed a physical scratch type sensation before feeling very unwell.

“This is subtly different from feelings of intoxication through alcohol according to some victims.”

Police said a 20-year-old man had been arrested “on suspicion of possession of class A and class B and cause [to] administer poison or noxious thing with intent to injure, aggrieve and annoy” following an incident in Lower Parliament Street on October 16. He has since been released on bail.

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One dead, two injured at Phish concert in San Francisco

One man has died and two people have been injured at a Phish show that took place in San Francisco on Sunday (October 17).

As reported by the San Francisco Chronicle, police officers found an adult male who had sustained injuries from a possible fall at the city’s Chase Center venue just before 9pm. Officials have now confirmed that the unidentified man died – no foul play was suspected.

Officers were subsequently alerted to a separate incident at the venue, which is located in San Francisco’s Mission Bay neighbourhood, at 9.45pm, with another adult male having suffered from injuries caused by a fall.

He was transported to a hospital with what are said to be “non-life-threatening” injuries. The second concertgoer fell onto another man who was also admitted to hospital, officials told the SFC.

Multiple fans took to social media following the gig to claim that that the two individuals fell from an area in the venue’s upper levels. Further details on the incident have not been confirmed.

“We extend our heartfelt condolences to the guest’s loved ones,” said Golden State Warriors and Chase Center spokesperson Kimberly Veale, who confirmed the death via the San Francisco Medical Examiner’s Office. “We are working with the local authorities to determine exactly what happened.”

Juliet Biton, who attended Phish’s show on Sunday, told the SFC that she noticed a commotion as the band played ‘Destiny Unbound’. According to Setlist.FM, this was the sixth song of a 15-track setlist that night.

The report claimed that more than a dozen fans had their phone torches on and were “moving frantically around” the area of the venue in question. Chase Center staff are said to have cleared the section within two minutes and placed a black tarp over the seats.
A medical team then began performing lifesaving measures.

“As I was walking around the concourse I saw several people seemingly inconsolable, walking out of the venue,” Biton remembered.

Posting on Twitter, attendee Bobby Moen recalled witnessing a man “quickly and intentionally put his feet on the glass barricade and [jump] off the edge down into the crowd”.

He added in a follow-up tweet: “Wife and I went to a new spot across the arena, still up high, to try to move on and saw ANOTHER guy fall off a barricade. Accidental this time. shorter distance. But still – 20 feet onto concrete on his back. He is getting medical help now. We are shaken up, heading home early.”

Phish had also performed at the Chase Center the previous night (October 16). The band have not yet commented publicly on the two incidents.

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Travis Barker announces ‘House Of Horrors’ Halloween livestream with Machine Gun Kelly, Mark Hoppus

Travis Barker has announced details of a new Halloween livestream show featuring Avril Lavigne, Machine Gun Kelly, Mark Hoppus and more.

‘Travis Barker’s House of Horrors’ will take place via the digital platform NoCap on October 28 at 7pm PST/10pm EST/midday BST.

Also set to feature on the stream are Blackbear, Iann Dior, JXDN and more, with the event dubbed “an exclusive Halloween broadcast from a private Haunted Estate.”

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See a preview of the event below, and get tickets here.

The ‘House Of Horrors’ is set to be Mark Hoppus’ first public event since he revealed he was cancer free this week.

The Blink-182 bassist took to social media on Wednesday (September 29) to explain that he received the good news after visiting his oncologist. He confirmed in July that he’d been diagnosed with 4-A diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, subsequently telling fans that “chemo [was] working!”.

“Just saw my oncologist and I’m cancer free!!” Hoppus wrote this evening. “Thank you God and universe and friends and family and everyone who sent support and kindness and love.”

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Elsewhere, Machine Gun Kelly and Travis Barker recently teamed up to perform ‘Papercuts’ at this year’s MTV Video Music Awards at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

The performance also seemingly paid tribute to Nirvana, with the trees and flowers from the ‘Heart-Shaped Box’ video, and Kelly smashing his guitar at the song’s conclusion.

Baker released ‘Papercuts’, the lead single from his forthcoming album ‘Born with Horns’, in August. He also announced the album last month, with he and Barker getting matching forearm tattoos to mark the occasion.

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Alt-J share new single ‘U&ME’ from upcoming fourth album ‘The Dream’

Alt-J have announced their fourth album, ‘The Dream’, and shared its first track ‘U&ME’ – you can listen to it below.

  • READ MORE: Every single Mercury Prize winner: what happened next?

The new single is described as the trio’s “most honest song to date” and arrives with an accompanying music video, directed by Prosper Unger-Hamilton, the brother of band member Gus.

“It’s about being at a festival with your best friends, having a good time, togetherness, and the feeling in life that nothing could be any better than it is right now,” Gus explained of ‘U&ME’.

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The track emerged during soundchecks for Alt-J shows across the globe, with frontman Joe Newman saying that it then “gathered momentum on its own”.

As for Alt-J’s upcoming record, ‘The Dream’ presents “both beauty and darkness […] often seamlessly merging on the same track, a purposeful choice that pays dividends across the record”.

The project will feature “true-crime inspired stories and tales of Hollywood and the Chateau Marmont”, while offering fans some of the trio’s “more personal moments to-date”.

‘The Dream’ is set for release on February 11 – you can pre-order/pre-save it here and see the official artwork below.

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Alt-J have also announced a North American headline tour for 2022, which will kick off in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on February 25.

The full schedule is as follows:

FEBRUARY 2022
25  – Pittsburgh – Petersen Event Center
26  – Washington DC – The Anthem

MARCH 2022
01  – Nashville TN – Nashville Municipal Auditorium
02  – Atlanta GA  – State Farm Arena
04  – Tampa FL – Yuengling Center
05  – Hollywood FL – Hard Rock Live
06  – Orlando FL – Orlando Amphitheater
09  –  Dallas TX-  The Factory in Deep Ellum
12  – Austin TX – Germania Insurance Amphitheater
13  – Houston TX – White Oak Music Hall
15  – St Louis MS – Chaifetz Arena
16  – Detroit MI – Masonic Temple Detroit
19  – Chicago IL – Credit Union 1 Arena
20  – Minneapolis MN – The Armory
23  – Denver CO – 1STBANK Center
25  – San Diego CA – Pechanga Arena San Diego
26  – Santa Barbara CA – Santa Barbara Bowl
27  – Los Angeles CA – Staples Center
29  – Seattle WA – Wamu Theater
30  – Vancouver VA – Pacific Coliseum

APRIL 2022
01  – San Francisco CA – Bill Graham Civic Auditorium
03  – Las Vegas NV – The Theater at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas
05  – Salt Lake City UT – UCCU Center
07  –  Kansas City KS – Cable Dahmer Arena
08 – Cincinnati OH – PromoWest Pavillion at Ovation
09  – Columbus OH – Schottenstein Center
11  – New York NY – Madison Square Garden
13  –  Philadelphia PA – TC Pavilion at The Mann
14  – Boston MA – Agganis Arena
15  – Montreal QC – Place Bell
17  – Toronto ON – Coca-Cola Coliseum

Alt-J teased their comeback last week, sharing the ‘U&ME’ title and release date on social media.

The band’s previous album, ‘Relaxer’, came out in 2017. In a four-star review, NME wrote: “[It’s] a tight 40 minutes of music that builds a very modern wall of sound. Great album, if not entirely relaxing.”

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Sons of Slipknot’s Corey Taylor and Clown release debut single as the band Vended

Corey Taylor‘s son Griffin and Shawn ‘Clown’ Crahan’s son Simon have shared their debut single ‘Asylum’ from their band Vended.

The track, which you can listen to below, has shades of Slipknot with its hard-hitting rhythmic patterns.

Vended’s lineup, which is completed by Cole Espeland (lead guitar), Connor Grodzicki (rhythm guitar), and Jeramiah Pugh (bass), performed their first headline gig back in March at the Vaudeville Mews club in Des Moines, Iowa, where Slipknot were formed.

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The band first formed in 2018, with Taylor and Crahan posting videos of their group online including covers of their dads’ band.

Vended are set to take the stage again for Knotfest Iowa this weekend and Knotfest Los Angeles in November.

Meanwhile, Corey Taylor recently got into a feud with Machine Gun Kelly after MGK hit out at the frontman at Chicago’s Riot Fest.

“You wanna know what I’m really happy that I’m not doing? Being 50 years old wearing a fucking weird mask on a fucking stage, talking shit,” Kelly told the crowd.

His onstage diss came after Taylor appeared to dismissively allude to Kelly in an interview earlier this year: “I hate all new rock for the most part. I [hate] the artists who failed in one genre and decided to go rock and I think he knows who he is.”

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MGK later said the beef goes back to a “fucking terrible” guest verse Taylor recorded for him, which he subsequently didn’t use – a narrative that Taylor disputes.

“Corey did a verse for a song on tickets to my downfall album, it was fucking terrible, so i didn’t use it,” he wrote on Twitter.

“He got mad about it, and talked shit to a magazine about the same album he was almost on. yalls stories are all off. just admit he’s bitter.”

Taylor then responded to Kelly’s claims by sharing screenshots of a purported email exchange with blink-182‘s Travis Barker, who had executive produced ‘Tickets To My Downfall’ and appeared to be communicating with Taylor on Kelly’s behalf.

Sharing the screenshots of the emails on Twitter, Taylor wrote, “I don’t like people airing private shit like a child. So this is all I’ll say: I didn’t do the track because I don’t like when people try to ‘write’ for me.”

“I said NO to THEM. So without further ado…. #receipts” he continued, before saying that this is all he’ll say on the matter.

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Inside Rollin’ & Tumblin’, our new free CD with 15 tracks of new-school Blues

Blues has always been a vital channel of protest and nonconformity, and in recent years a powerful new group of artists have risen up to rail against the problems of the 21st century. There are plain-speaking singer-songwriters such as Buffalo Nichols, whose self-titled debut is our Album Of The Month, Tré Burt, Amythyst Kiah and Allison Russell; guitarists like Gwenifer Raymond and Cameron Knowler taking on the instrumental might of the blues; and those harnessing the raw, ragged power of the sound, from The Black Keys to Eight Point Star.

  • CLICK HERE TO GET THE NEW UNCUT DELIVERED DIRECT TO YOUR DOOR

We’ve put together 15 tracks of the finest new-school blues on this month’s free CD – time to, as Burnside puts it, get down.

1 GWENIFER RAYMOND
Sweep It Up
This short instrumental slide blues is a highlight of the Welsh guitarist’s debut album, 2018’s You Never Were Much Of A Dancer, and a fine vignette with which to kick off the CD.

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2 CEDRIC BURNSIDE
Get Down
Grandson of legendary blues auteur RL Burnside, Cedric can certainly kick up his own joyous racket. Here’s a ferocious piece from his most recent record, this year’s I Be Trying.

3 VALERIE JUNE
Shakedown
June’s latest record, The Moon And Stars: Prescriptions For Dreamers, was our Album Of The Month earlier this year, but here’s a selection from her bluesier 2017 offering, The Order Of Time, with June’s soulfulness in full flower.

4 RILEY DOWNING
Deep Breath
The debut solo album from the lynchpin of New Orleans’ The Deslondes is a down-home, dusty triumph, and this sun-baked, swooning 12-bar is one of its most ear-catching tracks.

5 ALLISON RUSSELL
All Of The Women
This Montreal-born songwriter has long been part of a swathe of strong rootsy groups, from Birds Of Chicago to Our Native Daughters. Outside Child is her first solo album, and this track’s a potent example of the treasures within.

6 BUFFALO NICHOLS
How To Love
Nichols’ sparse and serious debut LP is our Album Of The Month on page 18. As Stephen Deusner puts it in his review, this isn’t a blues-revival record, more a blues record, and all the better for it.

7 THE BLACK KEYS
Poor Boy A Long Way From Home (featuring Kenny Brown & Eric Deaton)
An RL Burnside song from their recent Delta Kream album, this cut shows off the Keys’ impressive way with a cover; even after all their success, they can harness the power of the blues like few of their rock contemporaries.

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8 ODETTA HARTMAN
Widow’s Peak
Named after Odetta Holmes, ‘the voice of the civil rights movement’, Hartman put a modern, experimental spin on blues with her 2018 album, Old Rockhounds Never Die; deep, electronic kick drums and strings spice up this spectral ballad.

9 TRÉ BURT
Ransom Blues
Signed to John Prine’s Oh Boy label, Burt mixes traditional country blues with themes of modern protest. Second album You, Yeah, You serves as a fine introduction to this former mailman’s world.

10 AMYTHYST KIAH
Hangover Blues
Another member of Our Native Daughters, the Chattanooga, Tennessee, singer-songwriter enlisted the likes of guitarist Blake Mills for her new album Wary + Strange, a bold record in both sound and content.

11 JOACHIM COODER
Heartaching Blues
Last year’s Over That Road I’m Bound is a collection of Uncle Dave Macon songs, given a junkyard twist by percussionist Cooder. Heartaching Blues is a highlight, in all its clanking, wonky glory.

12 EIGHT POINT STAR
Brand New Shirt
This ‘cosmic Appalachian’ string band, clustered around Mike Gangloff of Pelt, Black Twig Pickers and more, tackle quite a few forms of American roots music on their self-titled album, but Brand New Shirt is most definitely rowdy, raucous blues.

13 ADIA VICTORIA
Carolina Bound
A Southern Gothic is the third album by this South Carolina singer-songwriter. The record’s been executive produced by T Bone Burnett, and Adia’s previously worked with Aaron Dessner – it’s not hard to hear what caught their ears.

14 SAM AMIDON
Light Rain Blues
A Taj Mahal cover from the multi-instrumentalist’s recent self-titled album, this mixes blues with the ambient Americana charted on our covermount CD from earlier in 2021. A floating, restorative delight.

15 CAMERON KNOWLER
Don Bishop A
Places Of Consequence
is the debut solo album from this solo acoustic picker. He grew up in southern Arizona and Texas, and the dust of the Mexican border can be heard in his plaintive, unhurried playing.

This issue of Uncut is available to buy by clicking here – with FREE delivery to the UK and reduced delivery charges for the rest of the world.

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Bop Shop VMA Edition: Songs From Chlöe, Lorde, Polo G, And More

The 2021 VMAs kick off on September 12 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on MTV, and this year's list of nominees is, as usual, long and stellar. It's also a handy reminder of the songs and videos we've obsessed over this year — or as we like to call them, bops. In honor of the show we're excited about, the MTV News team brings you a special VMA edition of Bop Shop, featuring nominees and performers.

Get ready to revisit some of the biggest musical moments of the year ahead of the VMAs. The Bop Shop is now open for business.

  • Chlöe: "Have Mercy"
    https://youtu.be/FfesqRkdSEk

    With her debut solo foray after years of making serene R&B cuts with her sister Halle Bailey, Chlöe has arrived. This song is a viciously sexy pop statement, and it’s all about the chorus, which features a sinfully repetitive call and response. Chlöe climbs the scales operatically like a stairway to heaven, as she sings about "all this ass up in my jeans." Lord, have mercy. —Coco Romack

  • Kacey Musgraves: “There Is a Light”
    https://youtu.be/vRCgBRL0NUo

    On Star-Crossed, VMA performer Kacey Musgraves sings about broken hearts, painful memories on her phone’s camera roll, and wishing to go back to simpler times like hanging at the local mall. However, the penultimate track on the album, “There is a Light” is a joyful celebration, a spiritual sequel to Golden Hour’s danciest track, “High Horse.” With the “Ventura Highway”-esque guitar intro, “There is a Light” sounds like a lost America song, one that will have you grooving along in your seat, especially when the whistling flute kicks in halfway through. Kacey sings, “There is a light at the end of the tunnel / There is a light inside of me,” a good reminder in these dark times that sometimes the brightest light can be found within. —Chris Rudolph

  • Silk Sonic (Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak): "Skate"
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CEw-7cMnBDY

    When eventual three-time VMA nominee "Leave the Door Open" dropped in March, shiny and lightly funky and soulful as hell, it literally opened the door (sorry) for the Silk Sonic superduo to follow up with something even more lush and symphonic a few months later. And they delivered! "Skate" is so perfectly cast in polyester that it might as well have been delivered in a time machine. Even if we have to wait a bit longer for the full Silk Sonic album, two songs that sound like this make the waiting part actually pretty easy. —Patrick Hosken

  • Lorde: “Secrets From a Girl (Who’s Seen It All)”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNIP_e66bUE

    Solar Power, Lorde’s long-awaited third album, is no Melodrama, but that’s kind of the whole point. The reclusive Kiwi pop singer and Best Cinematography nominee has come of age, an inevitability she addresses directly in “Secrets From a Girl (Who’s Seen It All).” It’s a gentle, guitar-led cut addressed to Lorde’s teenage self, although she knows her advice will likely go unheeded (“You can take it if you want it, these are just / Secrets from a girl who’s seen it all”). Does the song tiptoe into cheesy territory? Definitely, but as a longtime Lorde fan and fellow 25-year-old who also “couldn’t wait to turn 15 / Then you blink and it’s been 10 years,” I’m here for it. Come for the tender introspection, and stay for the free therapy (“Everybody wants the best for you / But you gotta want it for yourself, my love”). —Sam Manzella

  • Lisa: “Lalisa”
    https://youtu.be/awkkyBH2zEo

    Pop the champagne — “Lalisa” is finally here! The solo debut by Lisa, one-quarter of VMA nominees Blackpink, is nothing short of explosive. This earworm of a track is an anthemic, “I’m a fucking badass, watch me shine” type of bop. And she isn’t wrong. I didn’t expect anything less, and yet she still surprised and impressed me. Lisa has already left an exciting mark on pop, and if you didn’t know who she is yet, you’re soon sure to remember and have "Lalisa, love me / Lalisa, love me" on loop. So “sip sip” and drink her up. I’m sure there will be more where this came from. —Daniel Head

  • Taylor Swift: “Ivy”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9nIOx-ezlzA

    Between a record-breaking Grammy win and her plans for re-recording her first six albums, it’s been a busy year for Artist of the Year nominee Taylor Swift. The “Willow” singer has supplied us with so many tunes that it might be easy to overlook “Ivy,” a warm and folksy cut from last year’s Evermore. Over a charming rubber-bridge guitar lick, Swift weaves a bittersweet and tension-filled tale of a “magnificently cursed” affair: a blooming romance between an enchanting lover and a dreamer who’s set to marry someone else. It’s a slow build to an intoxicating bridge as the threat of changing seasons intertwines with a looming end: “Spring breaks loose, but so does fear / He’s gonna burn this house to the ground.” Swift finally issues an untimely ultimatum: “Tell me to run / Or dare to sit and watch what we’ll become / And drink my husband’s wine,” before twisting its addictive chorus into a final impassioned plea featuring, perhaps, the best use of the word “goddamn” modern music has ever seen. —Carson Mlnarik

  • Polo G & Lil Wayne: "Gang Gang"
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQE456q4n5U

    Imagine getting to rap with your heroes. Best New Artist nominee Polo G has lived that reality for years; his three albums boast features from Nicki Minaj and Young Thug. But none are more essential to the story of the Chicago rapper's rise than Lil Wayne, with whom he shares the dynamic "Gang Gang." "Runnin' from the jakes, block hot like I'm Wayne," he repeats on the refrain before Tunechi himself shows up to take everything home. —Patrick Hosken

  • Girl in Red: “Hornylovesickmess”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ugi7CJFZUM8

    Girl in Red is nominated for Push Performance of the Year for a candid rendition of “Serotonin” from her debut If I Could Make It Go Quiet, but it’s been self-deprecating and brutally honest album cut “Hornylovesickmess” that I can’t get out of my head. Over deceptively cheery piano chords, the Norwegian indie-pop singer reckons with changes in her life and the desperation that strikes late at night: “I don’t wanna be the type of person who calls you up / Every time I need to get off but / I guess that’s who I’m turning into.” Admitting to one’s less attractive facades is no easy feat, but with raw candor, she turns the feeling of “horny lovesick mess” into a mask that’s not only redeemable, but relatable. —Carson Mlnarik

  • Monsta X: “One Day”
    https://youtu.be/U4_pc_Gqrvk

    First of all, I’d just like to have some very strong words with whoever broke Monsta X’s hearts? Like, I want to fight. Anyway, “One Day,” the latest English release from the K-pop sextet explores the complicated feelings with a breakup everyone knew was the best choice for you — except you. It’s a somber reflection on coming to terms that it wasn’t the right fit. It’s also emo AF. “They say hindsight's 20/20,” the boys croon, and even though it's over and everyone’s moving on, it’s still OK to feel sad sometimes. Maybe “one day, one day” you’ll see them again. And when that day comes, I think it will all feel just right, boys. —Daniel Head

  • Foo Fighters: "Floaty"
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bLmiOuLAO3A

    When's the last time you listened to Dave Grohl's 1995 self-titled debut as Foo Fighters, the one on which he played every instrument? If it's been a while, you gotta put it on, man — not just in their honor, as the 2021 VMA Global Icon recipients, but because it simply rules. Take "Floaty," a strummy alt near-classic that captures everything that's made Grohl an icon for decades: the patented growl, a liftoff chorus, never-ending urgency. It's no "Everlong" (what could be?), but for a few minutes, it feels pretty, well, floaty. —Patrick Hosken

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The Stranglers Dark Matters

Even punk didn’t want The Stranglers: the movement for damaged outcasts drew the line at these Surrey brutes, seen as too thuggish, ancient, sexist and straight. Before that, pub-rockers too thought themselves above this glowering crew, with their corduroy-wearing biochemistry graduate singer, 37-year-old jazz drummer with a taste for home-brewing, a brooding bassist ever itching to use his karate skills, and a hippie keyboardist whose unfashionable solos inspired flashbacks of the verboten Doors, though he expressed a preference for Yes. Such faces certainly didn’t fit Malcolm McLaren’s Situationist programme, leaving them as uncomprehending rock press pariahs, blindly lashing out at
their tormentors.

  • ORDER NOW: The Rolling Stones are on the cover of the November 2021 issue of Uncut

This violence climaxed when bassist and karate master JJ Burnel punched main singer-songwriter Hugh Cornwell through a wall in 1990, hastening his swift exit from the band. Today’s Stranglers are the result of a long and dogged climb back, after Burnel fought through his own gloomy indifference to reassert control over the drifting group, Baz Warne, guitarist since 2000, became bullish co-singer too, and Norfolk Coast (2004), their fifth album since entering the post-Cornwell doldrums, showed intent finally worthy of their past, combining rumbling attack, a ruggedly English sensibility and a measure of introspection.

And yet the blows keep coming. Their once terrifying drummer and founder, Jet Black, retired in 2015 with enough health problems to give Python’s Black Knight pause. Like Don Corleone near The Godfather’s end, he no longer runs things, but still offers wise counsel. So when Dave Greenfield, their jazzy, proggy keyboardist, died from Covid-19 on May 3, 2020, it was Black who told the last original Strangler standing, Burnel, to press on.

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The band’s 18th album, Dark Matters, was largely finished before Greenfield died, when lockdown windows allowed Warne to visit Burnel’s French home, and was completed remotely. After the snarling insensitivity that once defined The Stranglers, it’s reflective and poignant. Even if you strip away the late touches acknowledging Greenfield’s loss, the mood is suddenly grave and inevitably valedictory. “We’re a bunch of old guys now,” Burnel agrees, “and I wanted our music to reflect that.”

Greenfield might have generally been the quietest member of the band, but when they started to play, it was him, head bowed at the keyboard, who always set the mood, his fairground swirl energising the others. So it still is on Dark Matters, as the opener Water sees his playing surge and then explode into a mighty Stranglers riff, Warne’s guitar and the keyboard then trading slashing blows. In an album that took nine years to cohere, Burnel’s lyric, with water a metaphor for the Arab Spring’s thirst for democracy, sounds sadly stranded in history.

And If You Should See Dave… is the most notable posthumous addition, with Burnel considering “things that should have been said, eternal regrets”; “This is where your solo would go”, he adds, the lush music arranged around that gaping absence. “Innocence has left this house, to wander among the stars”, begins Burnel’s other new lyric, on If Something’s Gonna Kill Me (It Might As Well Be Love), showing Greenfield’s almost sanctified Strangler status, somehow stood apart from their bruising battles. “Our glory’s far behind us”, Burnel acknowledges, “and I miss ya”.

The Sunderland snap of Warne’s vocal bites down with relish on This Song, a co-write with Mathew Seamarks that imagines burying feelings for a sundered relationship with manic completeness. The Stranglers’ bracing, unapologetic bile rises here. Payday, too, rains contempt on callous leaders with a nod to the history-steeped lyrics of No More Heroes: “Alexander was never the same after he speared his old companion/It led
to Ptolemy and Cleopatra…”

But it’s Burnel’s husky, burnt-out ballad voice that defines Dark Matters. The Lines counts life’s cost in the face in the mirror, Greenfield’s honky-tonk organ shadowing a country strum. Down is a sunken elegy sung to Spanish guitar, ’til hopes rise again like the sun. Breathe is the best and last song here, beginning as a ’60s pop chanson. Greenfield’s synths dance above its final minutes, the keyboardist both in a world of his own and with his bandmates one last time, until the only sound left is a transmission signal, blinking out, leaving the survivors in limbo. If wouldn’t be the worst way for a last Stranglers album to close.

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BLACKPINK’s Lisa has finally made her solo debut with ‘Lalisa’

BLACKPINK’s Lisa has finally made her highly anticipated solo debut with the release of her first-ever single album, ‘Lalisa’.

  • READ MORE: BLACKPINK’s Rosé takes things back to basics on captivating solo debut, ‘R’

The project features four tracks, including the title track ‘Lalisa’ and B-side ‘Money’, alongside their instrumental versions. ‘Lalisa’ was written by frequent BLACKPINK collaborators 24, Bekuh Boom and Teddy Park, while ‘Money’ was helmed by 24, Boom, R.Tee and Vince.

The single album dropped alongside a music video for the title track ‘Lalisa’. During a press conference prior to the project’s release, the Thai-born singer said she hopes the song would “show the strength of my name and my confident side”, as translated by Soompi.

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“I hope that people will hear the song and think, ‘Wow, this is it. This is something only Lisa can do’,” she added. The BLACKPINK member also spoke about the music video, noting that “the set and outfits… capture that Thai vibe well”.

During the press conference, Lisa also spoke about what she hopes to achieve through her solo debut. “Rather than focusing on rankings, I hope that people will see that Lisa has this side to her as well. If I can make BLINKs happy with my songs and performances, I’m satisfied,” she said.

The K-pop idol is the third member of BLACKPINK to make her solo debut. Earlier this year, Rosé released her first solo single album ‘R’, which featured the smash hit ‘On The Ground’. Meanwhile, Jennie went solo in 2018 with the song ‘Solo’. It’s currently unclear when Jisoo is set to make her solo debut.

In the first four days of it going up for pre-order, ‘Lalisa’ racked up more than 700,000 sales. According to her label YG Entertainment, pre-orders came from many regions outside of South Korea, including the United States, China, Japan, Europe and Southeast Asia.

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In May, producer DJ Snake claimed he had collaborated with Lisa on a new song in a since-deleted string of tweets. It is currently unknown when the collaboration will be released, if ever.

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Travis Barker says Kourtney Kardashian gave him the “strength” to take a flight again

Travis Barker has opened up about how girlfriend Kourtney Kardashian helped the Blink-182 drummer to take a flight for the first time in 13 years.

Last month, Barker and Kardashian flew from Los Angeles to Cabo San Lucas in Mexico on Kylie Jenner’s private jet, marking Barker’s first flight since he survived a deadly plane crash in 2008.

The crash saw the plane’s two pilots and two of its four passengers killed instantly, with Barker and fellow passenger DJ AM suffering serious injuries. Barker then spent 11 weeks in a hospital, undergoing 26 surgeries and a number of skin grafts.

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Following the flight, Barker shared a photo of him and Kardashian in front of the jet to Instagram, with the drummer writing: “With you, anything is possible.”

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A post shared by travisbarker (@travisbarker)

Now, in a new interview with Nylon earlier this week, Barker detailed the process of learning to fly again with Kardashian’s help.

“It’s still something very new to me, but having something that gives me the strength and hope to be able to overcome things that were so traumatic in my life, it just says a ton,” Barker said.

“She’s definitely that for me. I’m invincible when I’m with her. It’s like I never dreamed, I never even considered flying again.”

Barker goes on to describe the two-hour flight to Cabo as “the easiest thing ever”. The couple have also taken trips to Italy and Paris, and in the Nylon interview, Barker talks about how he and Kardashian made a deal to help him get back on a plane.

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“She had just said to me, ‘I would love to do so much traveling with you. I want to go to Italy with you. I want to go to Cabo with you. I want to go to Paris with you. I want to go to Bora Bora with you,'” Barker said.

“I said, ‘Well, when the day comes you want to fly, I’m telling you I’ll do it with you. I would do anything with you. Just give me 24 hours’ notice,’ and that’s what she did.”

Last month, Barker appeared in the video for Machine Gun Kelly‘s latest single ‘Papercuts’. The track is the first preview of Kelly’s forthcoming album ‘Born with Horns’, which Barker is producing after working with the rapper-turned-pop-punk-artist on his 2020 album ‘Tickets to My Downfall’.

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TikTok passes Youtube for average watch time in UK and US

TikTok is now watched on average longer than YouTube by users in both the UK and US, according to a new report.

  • READ MORE: TikTok is nostalgic for the noughties school experience. Believe me, it wasn’t that great

According to app monitoring firm App Annie, the average time per user spent on the apps is higher for TikTok, indicating high levels of engagement.

YouTube retains the top spot for overall time spent on apps – not per user – as it has more users overall than TikTok, with an estimated two billion monthly users – TikTok has somewhere around 700 million.

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“YouTube still leads TikTok in overall time spent, including in the UK,” Jamie MacEwan, from Enders Analysis, explained to the BBC. “YouTube’s mass audience means it’s getting more demographics that are comparatively light internet users… it’s just reaching everyone who’s online.”

He added that the most-invested YouTube users probably “match or surpass” the engagement of TikTok users. “TikTok was spending big to attract users, but they were not necessarily hanging around for long compared to other social media,” he said. “Now we know that in the US and UK, TikTok has overhauled YouTube, and is reeling in Facebook… that’s a huge seal of approval.”

YouTube
YouTube. CREDIT: Getty Images

App Annie’s report showed that TikTok – which is also currently ranked the most downloaded app worldwide since 2020 – surpassed YouTube in the UK back in June 2020, and has continued to maintain its dominance since. In the US, the two apps traded places a number of times late last year before TikTok emerged on top in April 2021.

Another metric examined included consumer spending. The report suggests that apps with live-streaming – including TikTok – are helping to fuel a surge in money spent on creators. Apps that have live-streaming as “a prominent feature” accounted for three-quarters of money spent in the top 25 social apps in the first half of 2021, according to the report.

App Annie said: “Live-streaming is driving growth in engagement for social apps, which sets them up for consumer spend.”

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App Annie specialises in apps analysis. The “time spent” metric in its report solely accounts for Android phones – and also does not include China, where TikTok – known locally as Douyin – is a major app.

Earlier this summer, TikTok responded to criticism from a comedian which claimed that phrases including ‘Black Lives Matter’ and “Black success” were banned from the platform.

Ziggi Tyler recently called out TikTok in videos showing that the app allowed words including “neo-Nazi”, “pro-white” and “white supremacist” to be included in the bios of content creators on the app’s Creator Marketplace.

The videos went on to show that terms including “pro-Black”, “Black Lives Matter”, “Black success” and “Black people” were flagged as being inappropriate or banned.

In response to the controversy, TikTok shared a statement with Forbes. It read: “Our TikTok Creator Marketplace protections, which flag phrases typically associated with hate speech, were erroneously set to flag phrases without respect to word order.

“We recognise and apologise for how frustrating this was to experience, and our team has fixed this significant error. To be clear, Black Lives Matter does not violate our policies and currently has over 27 billion views on our platform.”

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Mark Hoppus says he’s finished his chemotherapy treatment

Blink-182‘s Mark Hoppus has finished his chemotherapy treatment, according to text messages from former bandmate Tom DeLonge.

Back in June, Hoppus confirmed his cancer diagnosis and said he’d begun undergoing chemotherapy for what he later clarified was stage four diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.

Following Hoppus’ initial statement, both blink-182 drummer Travis Barker and former guitarist Tom DeLonge voiced their support for their friend, and DeLonge has now shared text conversations with Hoppus online, appearing to confirm that the band’s bassist has finished his treatment.

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“I wanted to be a good friend to Mark Hoppus and just give some modest advice on what he should do next, now that his Chemo treatments have subsided and it looks like they may have worked wonderfully,” DeLonge wrote on Instagram.

Mark Hoppus
Mark Hoppus performs live. CREDIT: Getty

Alongside the caption were screenshots of messages the pair sent to each other. “No more treatments right?” DeLonge writes to Hoppus, to which his former bandmate responds: “No more planned.”

“Doctor said I can take my port out,” he added. “I think because he thinks the chemo did the trick and I’m done but also if the chemo didn’t work we do a different treatment entirely?”

Regarding the advice given to Hoppus by DeLonge, he said: “u need to fuck as many things as possible. Shoes, gopher holes, golfers. Anything u can catch.”

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A post shared by Official Tom DeLonge (@tomdelonge)

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Following Hoppus’ initial statement revealing his diagnosis, both Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker and former guitarist Tom DeLonge voiced their support for their friend.

In July, Hoppus gave an update on his condition, saying that scans indicated the chemotherapy was working. “I still have months of treatment ahead, but it’s the best possible news,” the bassist said.

Later that month, Hoppus shared a video of himself playing bass for the first time since his diagnosis, performing Blink’s 2005 track ‘Not Now’ while appearing on a Twitch stream.

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Alkaline Trio and Taking Back Sunday announce co-headline 2022 UK tour

Alkaline Trio and Taking Back Sunday have announced details of a co-headline UK tour set for spring 2022 – see the dates below.

The two bands will head to these shores next March for five gigs, ending with a huge London show at Brixton Academy. It follows Alkaline Trio’s return to the UK this weekend for Slam Dunk Festival.

  • READ MORE: Alkaline Trio’s Matt Skiba: “Our new songs are inspired by The Strokes”

“We are so excited to tour the UK again!” Alkaline Trio’s Dan Andriano said in a statement. “It’s been WAY too long and we look forward to seeing some familiar faces and some new ones too. And with our pals in Taking Back Sunday, it will make the return even sweeter! We can’t wait!!”

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Taking Back Sunday’s Shaun Cooper added: “We have been very lucky to be able to play shows with Alkaline Trio since 2001.  We are always honoured to share a stage with a band that inspired us early on and continues to do so with every album they put out.  We cannot wait to share stages throughout the United Kingdom in 2022!”

See the band’s co-headlining 2022 UK tour dates below. Pre-sale tickets will be available via O2 from 10am BST on Wednesday, September 8 before a general sale here on Friday, September 10.

MARCH 2022
1 – Newcastle, O2 City Hall
2 – Glasgow, O2 Academy
4 – Manchester, O2 Victoria Warehouse
5 – Birmingham, O2 Academy
6 – London, O2 Academy Brixton

In a recent interview with NME, Alkaline Trio frontman Matt Skiba discussed the band’s new music, saying it’s inspired by The Strokes.

“There’s a lot of really cool stuff on that latest record (2020’s ‘The New Abnormal’) and when I’m just tinkering around the guitar, I catch myself referencing it,” he said.

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“There’s some mid-tempo songs that may or may not be on the new Trio record that were definitely inspired by The Strokes.”

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DMA’s launch surprise EP with ‘We Are Midnight’ video: “It encapsulates everything we are”

DMA’s have shared the video for new singe ‘We Are Midnight’ from their surprise new EP. See it first on NME below along with our interview with guitarist Johnny Took.

Last week saw the Aussie trio share surprise new EP ‘I Love You Unconditionally, Sure Am Going To Miss You’ as an unexpected follow up to the band’s third album ‘The Glow’, which hit Number Four in the UK charts in 2020. Leading single ‘We Are Midnight’, as Took told us, is a “deeply innocent” track and one of the first love songs he’s written.

“I just remember sitting on the couch in Melbourne and playing my partner’s guitar when we’d just started going out,” Took told NME. “If anyone is listening to a song about new love, it’s pretty relatable and open and we wanted to capture that through the music.”

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The accompanying video is made up of a montage of grainy VHS shot clips of their time experiences during lockdown. “It was giving a snapshot of each of our personal lives through the pandemic”, Took said of the concept. “I feel like it’s quite an innocent video. We’re not a big talking band really, we don’t say much at gigs and we don’t give a lot away so I think it’s nice for people to see a more personal side to us.”

Took went on to tell us how the “noisy as fuck” new EP is intended as a “gift for original fans of the band.”

“It was born out of the pandemic but also our third album,” he told NME. “We had strayed away from our original sound with ‘The Glow’, which was natural because we were working with the producer Stuart Price [Dua Lipa, The Killers, New Order] who is very dynamic and mostly known for his electronic stuff which was important for us to explore.”

The guitarist explained that the possibilities felt “limitless” while working with Price, but that ultimately the band selected songs that would play to the strengths of the producer. “It’s important for us to keep pushing the boundaries and changing what we do, but at the same time we left some fans wanting that noisier, guitar-driven, raucous sound.”

The band themselves also missed that element of their early sound, with Took explaining how the new four-track release marks a “nostalgic trip back to their roots” brought on by the quiet life of the pandemic. “We realised we weren’t going to be able to tour – and for the first time ever we’re actually at the stage where you can surprise drop an EP and it might have some impact,” he said.

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Not only is the release a return to their early sound musically, the band also self-produced in the same place where they made their debut album ‘Hills End’. “It was funny going back to the same studio to our early practices but we’re all seven years more experienced,” said Took. “So as much as you try and rekindle that early energy, it’s never going to be the same thing – because you’ve naturally grown and changed as people.”

He continued: “It felt like we could do anything, not that there are any rules usually, but you’d be conscious of going ‘this is the kind of album we’re going to make’ with certain producers. This EP was all about us and our fans. It was just us having fun and doing what we do best.”

DMA's Live at brixton live album london concert
DMA’S. CREDIT: Andy Cotterill/Press

As for the lengthy title of the EP, Took explained how it was inspired by harkening back to their formative years with a fair share of nostalgia.

“My good friend was going overseas to see her family and she left that note on a piece of paper for me and I had it stuck on a white pin-board,” he said, describing the EP’s artwork. Eagle-eyed fans will have recognised the hand-written note from a blink-and-you-miss it still from the video their debut single ‘Delete’. “Now the board is completely covered in faded photos from that era of when the band first started and we were living in this apartment at 37 Buckland Lane – it’s basically where the band started and we first started writing songs,” he revealed.

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A post shared by DMA'S (@dmasmusic)

Fans might also be pleased to hear that the sound of the new EP could be a sign of things to come on their fourth album.

“When you have an experience like making this EP, it’s amazing how much you learn about yourself, it makes you realise where you’re at and what path of music you want to write,” said Took. “I want to work with a big producer on the next record but I don’t want to forget the parts of going back to our roots and the noise and anarchy that we’ve made in some of these tracks on the EP. It was us checking in with ourselves a bit – not getting too carried away and going too far down the pop road or something like that.”

Looking forward, DMA’s immediate focus is on their long-awaited return to the UK and Ireland this year. “It really blows us away every time, we’ve just been wanting to get back over there again as quickly as possible,” said Took. “We didn’t want to disappoint the fans that we’ve got over there, it’s pretty cool that we’re going to be coming back with a fresh release as well as playing ‘The Glow’.”

Took added: “Having more of that electronic element in there is really exciting for me. Bringing that into the live set has made it more three dimensional, we’ve got the singalong ballads, we’ve got the rock and roll stuff where it’s just back to basics.

“I’m just really proud of where the live set is now. It’s really tied the whole show together and I just can’t wait to get out there and play it to people.”

‘I Love You Unconditionally, Sure Am Going To Miss You’ is out now. DMA’s will be returning to the UK for an extensive rescheduled tour in October.

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Travis Barker flies on a plane for the first time since 2008 crash

Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker has flown on an aeroplane for the first time since a deadly 2008 plane crash which left him with critical injuries, reports say.

The crash saw the plane’s two pilots and two of its four passengers killed instantly, with Barker and fellow passenger DJ AM suffering serious injuries. Barker then spent 11 weeks in a hospital, undergoing 26 surgeries a number of skin grafts.

Since then, the drummer has sworn off flying. Back in 2016, Blink-182 shared plans to tour Europe by boat to avoid flying, while Barker dropped out of a tour of Australia in 2013 due to his fear. In 2011, he said he was considering hypnotherapy so he could fly again.

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Earlier this year, Barker hinted that he may be ready to step on a plane again after over a decade, tweeting: “I might fly again.”

Now, according to TMZ, Barker took a flight on Saturday (August 14), heading to Cabo in Mexico from Los Angeles with his girlfriend Kourtney Kardashian.

“It’s a huge deal that Travis flew to Cabo. The plane crash many years ago was extremely traumatising. He has needed a lot of help to get to this point,” a source told PEOPLE. “Kourtney has been very supportive. She never pushed for him to fly. They have managed to travel in the US without having to fly and Kourtney has been totally fine with it.”

“I was dark,” Barker told Men’s Health earlier this year of his experiences following the crash. “I couldn’t walk down the street. If I saw a plane [in the sky], I was determined it was going to crash, and I just didn’t want to see it.

“The closer I was to it, it felt like I was closer to the bad stuff than I am to the good stuff,” he added. “I felt closer to the experience of trying to escape, [to] being in an accident and being burned, trying to grab my friends from a burning plane.”

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Barker has shared a number of collaborations this year, most recently teaming up once again with Machine Gun Kelly this month on new track ‘Papercuts’, the first preview of Kelly’s next album ‘Born With Horns’.

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Watch Machine Gun Kelly and Travis Barker team up in video for new single ‘Papercuts’

Machine Gun Kelly has shared the video for his new single ‘Papercuts’, which features Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker – you can watch the clip below.

The track is the first preview of Kelly’s next album ‘Born With Horns’, which he announced earlier this week.

  • READ MORE: Machine Gun Kelly: “I’ve been jumping up and down on the table, believing in myself, for-fucking-ever”

Kelly has now shared ‘Papercuts’ along with a Cole Bennett-directed video which features Barker, who is executively producing ‘Born With Horns’, playing drums. Kelly is also seen in the clip sporting a shaved head, a look he first showed off on social media earlier this week.

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You can watch Machine Gun Kelly’s video for ‘Papercuts’ below.

Kelly and Barker showed off their matching ‘Born With Horns’ tattoos earlier this week to celebrate the announcement of the former’s new album, which will be the follow-up to last year’s ‘Tickets To My Downfall’.

Last month Machine Gun Kelly surprised fans with a last-minute set at Chicago’s Lollapalooza Festival. He took to the Bud Light Seltzer Sessions side stage to perform to a crowd “20 times” what the space allowed for, according to Billboard.

Kelly’s eight-track set included the ‘Tickets To My Downfall’ track ‘Kiss Kiss’ and a cover of Paramore‘s ‘Misery Business’. MGK then ran through several other cuts from his latest album, including ‘Bloody Valentine’ and ‘My Ex’s Best Friend’.

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Jxdn Went From TikTok To Punk Rock, With A Little Help From Travis Barker

“I didn’t listen to punk music growing up at all.”

That’s become one of the more interesting revelations about Jxdn, the 20-year-old ascendent pop-punk superstar bolstered by TikTok and boosted into the pop sphere by Blink-182’s Travis Barker. For the singer born Jaden Hossler, MTV’s Push artist for August 2021, the time since then has been a quick education.

What got Jxdn into punk music was an ex-girlfriend introducing him to Blink-182 once he first moved to Los Angeles. Little did he know that Barker would eventually take an interest in his work after hearing his breakout hit “Comatose.” “It was the first time I heard of Blink consciously. I knew their songs in passing but it was the first time I ever heard them,” he tells MTV. “And then my manager calls me and she was like, ‘Travis Barker just called and wants to be talking to you about working with you.’”

Jxdn especially enjoyed collaborating and making “Think About Me” with the Blink-182 drummer. “It was such a fun track. I remember that’s when Travis was like,  ‘We’re gonna make some pop-punk.’ So we did.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RrEOJryT-XM

“When writing and producing ‘Think About Me,’ it really gave me a lot of confidence for the rest of my music,” he said, “because the music you have affects the music you're gonna make.”

Jxdn talks about how he does not follow a specific format writing his music. To him, having a connection to co-writers and producers also matters a lot. “Sometimes we’re [working] from scratch, and I’ll have an idea of just words, and Travis is like, ‘Oh, bet,’” he said. “Travis produces a lot, which people don’t understand. Every single song of mine he’s produced. It’s about having the right connection. I don’t use a lot of writers, I’ve probably been in with two. It’s not about [that] I think I’m better. My music has to have a connection and it has to be coming from a real space. It just takes a minute to get there sometimes.”

Looking back at “Think About Me,” which has kept him on the mainstream radar, Jxdn wonders if he could go back and do it differently. But he sees it as a pivotal point in gaining a sense of strength and love for himself, along with satisfaction on what he has been able to do.

“This song is exactly what it needs to be, and the music video that came with it was the first time I ever felt confident about what I was wearing,” he says about the soft boy aesthetic he sports in the "Think About Me" visual. “I was always really reaching for stuff before. But I just decided I’m gonna paint my nails differently. I’m gonna wear a cardigan and look kind of like emasculine and not very strong, and I felt more confident, and I feel like I gave off a such more organic strength than I ever had before.”

Discovering pop punk brought so much happiness into Jxdn, and he hopes that others are able to see that: “I want my music to speak for itself, which I hope it does, and I don’t want it to distract from that.”

Watch Jxdn’s spirited performance of “Think About Me” with Barker on drums (naturally), and get to know him more in the MTV Push interview above.

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Bop Shop: Songs From Jamila Woods, Syd, Kyle, And More

The search for the ever-elusive "bop" is difficult. Playlists and streaming-service recommendations can only do so much. They often leave a lingering question: Are these songs really good, or are they just new?

Enter Bop Shop, a hand-picked selection of songs from the MTV News team. This weekly collection doesn't discriminate by genre and can include anything — it's a snapshot of what's on our minds and what sounds good. We'll keep it fresh with the latest music, but expect a few oldies (but goodies) every once in a while, too. Get ready: The Bop Shop is now open for business.

  • Syd: "Fast Car"
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXgA3koewAo

    Syd's "Fast Car," while not a Tracy Chapman cover, may yet become likewise iconic. Its steamy video opens with Syd and a partner acting out the lyrics — getting romantic in the front seat — even as fellow travelers in traffic stare. "Hope they're all watching / Help me take my seatbelt off," Syd sings, "We gon' piss some people off / But right now that's where we belong." Much like its 1988 namesake, "Fast Car" revels in its title location as a shelter, a safe haven, and a powerful place; where Chapman "had a feeling that [she] belonged," Syd repeats a simple desire: "Take me there." That hazy sense of desire is echoed by Syd's scorching guitar squalls that resound through the nighttime California sky. —Patrick Hosken

  • Jamila Woods: "Fast Car" (Tracy Chapman cover)

    Here's an actual Tracy Chapman cover — a heart-swelling take on the folk-pop hit that subs out sighing acoustic guitar for wounded keyboard. Jamila Woods, the Chicago artist known for her neo-soul explorations, keeps the urgency of the original intact; she repeats the chorus-ending "be someone" multiple times, upping the drama, even as the general vibe remains sedate. It's a fitting tribute to Chapman's legacy and appears on the upcoming Join the Ritual album honoring the artists that inspired the Jagjaguwar label, out in September. —Patrick Hosken

  • Tanerélle: “Good Good”
    https://youtu.be/LH_3v0V0W1Y

    If a song is like a tapestry, Tanerélle's voice is the silk that weaves notes and lyrics together. Her latest track "Good Good" is a slow and mellow mood-setter about catering to a partner. With a steady bass accompanied by simple chords, she lays out the blueprint for prioritizing your significant other, maximizing pleasure, and making them "feel good." She sings, "Let's wash off your day and get right," and later adds, "Take a hit of me and get high." And we are floating on cloud nine, somewhere between the airy chorus and the passion of summer. —Virginia Lowman

  • BTS: “I’ll Be Missing You” (Puff Daddy, Faith Evans, 112 cover)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EN5Ga6OMwhA

    With their cover of the 1998 classic “I’ll Be Missing You,” international superstars BTS leave an emotional mark on the BBC Live Lounge. With a song so emotionally charged (penned in remembrance of legendary rapper Biggie Smalls) and wholeheartedly beloved by a generation, the Bangtan Boys had the eyes of the world on their stage. But as expected, the group delivered a riveting performance expertly executed. While still paying homage to the original, the addition of rappers Suga and J-Hope’s Korean verses, as well as Jimin’s angelic vocals, added some artistic flair to the performance, while fellow members RM, Jin, V, and Jungkook held it down with the English rap, melody, and ad-libs. Touching the hearts of music-lovers around the world, BTS’s performance further proves that music is universal and knows no bounds, borders, or language. —Sarina Bhutani

  • Leadr: “I’m Alright”

    After surviving a toxic relationship, queer Vietnamese-American singer Leadr is here to take back their control with this empowering breakup anthem. “You pushed me in the deep end / And I found mysеlf there / I didn’t drown,” he sings. Despite the hurt from the abuse, they have something to say to their ex-partner: “Your words, they try to burn me / Never did you wrong / You gave me many reasons / Taught me how to move on.” In the end, Leadr is completely all right and better off with a more mature mindset. If you’re going through the end of a terrible relationship, this is the perfect song for you. —Athena Serrano

  • Miss Madeline: “Bad Girls”

    “I found God in the basement of a rave,” proclaims Miss Madeline on this heavenly hyperpop cut. For one of the “Bad Girls,” the Slayyyter-approved pop singer paints a damn good picture of a sexy post-vax night out. Press play to be instantly transported to your dimly lit dance floor of choice, no clubbing attire or $50 Uber ride home required. —Sam Manzella

  • Will Joseph Cook ft. Chloe Moriondo: “Be Around Me”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HGy1BNNaEn8

    Will Joseph Cook and Chloe Moriondo are effortlessly effervescent from the start of their colorful collab “Be Around Me.” Over a drum beat that won’t quit, a sly bassline, and an assortment of handclaps, the duo take turns trading compliments, outdoing the other’s effusiveness line by line: “Oh my god, did you call me baby / Maybe / Oh / Is that OK? / Yeah it’s cool.” Though each lyric reads like a text you’d nervously send to a crush, the track’s addictively sweet chorus lingers long after the first listen. Sometimes it’s just as simple as “I’m around, be around / Come around, be around me.” —Carson Mlnarik

  • Kyle: “Love Me Like You Say You Love Me”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TSghtE_7SsU

    We’ve all had that moment when being in love seemed too hard but breaking up was even harder. If you’ve ever needed the right words to let that love go, Kyle has you covered with this melodic heartbreak single. Taking a step outside the box, the Los Angeles rapper tapped into his emotional side, recently mentioning he was “back at it again with the love songs.” —Taura J

  • Parisalexa: “...Better Than Being in Love”

    Parisalexa throws it back to the ’90s with this confident R&B anthem. “I love me / Heard they don’t like me / Well I just don’t care, yeah,” she sings. Parisalexa is aware why she might have haters: “I understand why you act that way / And if I were you I’d be bitter too.” But really, she doesn’t give a damn that you’re mad at her because she loves herself — and has no time for you. Overall, Parisalexa brings an influential message that self-love is often better than being in love. —Athena Serrano

  • Drinking Boys and Girls Choir: "There Is No Spring"
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-q_xru3TiSQ

    In 2019, Daegu punk trio Drinking Boys and Girls Choir told MTV News that the freedom to play shows helped liberate them from the grueling churn of their day jobs. "If anybody listens to my song, and I can play, I'm just really happy," bassist and vocalist Meena said at the time. In fact, the band's rousing live shows are their cornerstone; when the pandemic took them away, DBGC instead suped up their studio sound on new album Marriage License, an exhilarating and elevated pop-punk masterstroke that's not afraid to get chunky. Standout "There Is No Spring" is melodious as an April breeze, arch and playful, and the exact amount of frenetic needed to sustain the energy and the accompanying freedom. —Patrick Hosken

  • Willow and Avril Lavigne ft. Travis Barker: “Grow”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jKmM46695sU

    Spanning bombastic pop and moody neo-soul, Willow has proven herself as a chameleonic artist. But her recent embrace of her mom’s rock roots on Lately I Feel Everything is perhaps her most interesting turn yet. Her voice sounds both wizened and authoritative on “Grow,” a drum-driven, 2000s pop-rock-inspired anthem that harkens back to a sound honed by the greats like Avril Lavigne. It’s only fitting that both Lavigne and Blink-182’s Travis Barker are featured on the track — which absolutely shreds. “I hope you know you’re not alone / Being confused ain’t right or wrong,” Willow sings, before asserting, “You’ll find that you’re your own best friend / And no, that ain’t a fuckin’ metaphor.” The track radiates the same inspiration and wisdom Jimmy Eat World espoused with “The Middle” 20 years ago this month, and it’s nice to hear it again through Willow’s modern lens. —Carson Mlnarik

  • Dirty Nice: “Tulips”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lC6O5aPOnA8

    London alt-pop duo Dirty Nice deliver a whimsical, playful love song that is great to listen to with your summer fling. “We just wanna make it worth our while / Food stuck in our teeth when we smile,” vocalists Charlie Pelling and Mark Thompson sing. They know life flies by so fast, but they are eager to buy you some tulips and watch fond memories bloom. —Athena Serrano

  • Octavio the Dweeb: “Slow Drag”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ebd2ii0YPBQ

    “Stress is more dangerous than smoking that cig,” Octavio the Dweeb sings about a relationship that took a turn for the worst. He’s trying to take a breather to remind myself everything will be fine and he should find something to distract and heal from the breakup. Just take a slow drag and breathe out. —Athena Serrano

  • Indigo De Souza: "Hold U"
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZstVTHCCcGs

    Asheville singer-songwriter Indigo De Souza grounded her 2018 debut, I Love My Mom, in confessional guitar tunes and an overall airiness. The result was a collection of memorable probes into her psyche. For her follow-up, Any Shape You Take (out August 27), she's bulked things up; on "Hold U," a kinetic rhythm runs throughout, changing slightly to match the unfolding intimacy of Indigo's lyrics. By the end, buried under layers of motion, the whole thing feels airy in a new way, and no less potent. —Patrick Hosken

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Lorde reveals she wants to collaborate with Harry Styles

Lorde has revealed a wish to collaborate with Harry Styles.

  • READ MORE: Lorde’s new song ‘Solar Power’ is a gorgeous, sun-kissed rebirth

In a recent episode of Vogue’s 73 Questions video series, the New Zealander spilled the beans on the artist she most wants to collaborate with, the first song to make her cry, the sound of her upcoming album ‘Solar Power’ and more.

At one point during the nearly 13-minute segment, Lorde responded “I kinda want to talk to Harry Styles,” when asked which artist she’s “dying to collaborate with”. She also revealed that she was the most starstruck when she met Taylor Swift for the first time.

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Watch the complete interview below.

Lorde went on to share more about the songs, performances, and albums that have had a huge impact on her so far. Her pick for the best concert she’s ever attended was Arcade Fire’s headlining set at Coachella in 2014, when she was just 17 years old.

The first song to make her cry was Lou Reed’s ‘Perfect Day’, while she noted that she wishes she had written Paul Simon’s ‘Graceland’. Lorde also thinks that George Harrison’s ‘All Things Must Pass’ gets the nod for the greatest album cover ever, while David Bowie has the best style among musicians – living or dead.

  • READ MORE: Lorde: her best cover songs, from Nirvana to Sheryl Crow

Lorde also briefly described her upcoming highly anticipated third album, ‘Solar Power’. When asked to sum up the record in a single word, she said “reverent”, and called the recording process a “calm” experience. She also picked ‘California’ as the song she’s most looking forward to dancing to off ‘Solar Power’.

In June, it was revealed that ‘Solar Power’ would not be released on CDs in favour of “an environmentally kind, forward-thinking alternative”, Lorde said on social media. When asked about the decision, Lorde told Vogue, “Everything that I make physically, I want it to be something that I have in my house and I don’t have any CDs at my house.”

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‘Solar Power’ is set to be released on August 20. The album’s title track arrived last month, marking Lorde’s first new material since her acclaimed 2017 album ‘Melodrama’. Last week, Lorde shared a second single off the album, ‘Stoned At The Nail Salon’.

The Vogue video comes after Lorde performed ‘Solar Power’ on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and after she joined Seth Meyers for his show’s boozy ‘Day Drinking’ segment.

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Young Thug premieres tracks from forthcoming punk album during Tiny Desk Concert

Young Thug is the latest act to perform for NPR’s Tiny Desk (Home) Concert series, where he premiered a number of new tracks from his forthcoming punk album.

The concert was filmed in the gardens of the Houdini Estate in Los Angeles. The setlist included four new songs – ‘Die Slow’, ‘Droppin’ Jewels’, ‘Hate The Game’, ‘Tick Tock’ – and a reworked version of ‘Ski’, where the rapper was joined by blink-182 drummer Travis Barker.

Watch the performance below:

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According to the video’s description – as well as the back of Young Thug’s shirt – ‘Punk’ is due out October 15. It follows on from his 2019 solo album ‘So Much Fun’.

  • READ MORE: Young Thug – ‘So Much Fun’ review

“Thug is using his Tiny Desk debut to usher in his next era, one that’s meant to represent ‘authenticity, consciousness and overall purity’,” Tiny Desk producer Sidney Madden wrote.

“The Grammy winner’s rhymes slither along smoothly no matter how rough the music, taking fans on a journey of energy and emotion.”

Young Thug has mentioned releasing a punk album as far as 2019, when he discussed the project with The FADER.

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“It’s most definitely touching music,” he said. “It’s music that the world is going to embrace.

“[‘Punk’] means brave, not self-centered; conscious. Very, very neglected; very misunderstood. Very patient; very authentic.”

The rapper also previewed ‘Tick Tock’ during his performance at Rolling Loud Miami over the weekend.

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Watch Mark Hoppus play bass for first time since cancer diagnosis

Mark Hoppus has shared a video of himself playing bass for the first time since being diagnosed with cancer.

The Blink-182 musician told fans in a statement last month that he had been undergoing chemotherapy, and later confirmed he’d been diagnosed with 4-A diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.

Earlier this month, Hoppus provided an update in which he said that his treatment appeared to be working, saying it was “the best possible news” to have received.

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Appearing on a Twitch stream yesterday (July 26), the bassist was seen with his instrument in hand while addressing fans. He then performed Blink’s 2005 track ‘Not Now’, which appeared on the band’s ‘Greatest Hits’ album.

“Not only is this the first time that I’ve tried to play these songs in well over a year, this is the first time that I’ve felt well enough to play my bass since I was diagnosed,” Hoppus explained.

He added that “this is the first time I’ve picked up my bass in a few months, even”. You can watch the clip above.

Sharing a statement on his condition last week (July 19), Hoppus wrote: “Scans indicate that the chemo is working! I still have months of treatment ahead, but it’s the best possible news.

“I’m so grateful and confused and also sick from last week’s chemo. But the poison the doctors pump into me and the kind thoughts and wishes of people around me are destroying this cancer.”

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Hoppus, who has the same type of cancer that his mother recovered from, said in a separate message: “I’m going to beat this through chemotherapy or through bone marrow transplants, but either way I’m determined to kick cancer’s ass directly in the nuts. Love to you all. Let’s. Heckin. Go.”

As the Lymphoma Research Foundation explain, diffuse large B-cell lymphoma is the most common type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma patients are diagnosed with around the globe, with 18,000 cases reported every year. It’s an aggressive form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma that targets white blood cells, deteriorating the body’s immune system and its ability to fight infection.

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James Blake announces new album and shares lead single ‘Say What You Will’

James Blake has announced the release of a new album called ‘Friends That Break Your Heart’ – listen to lead single, ‘Say What You Will’, below.

  • READ MORE: James Blake: “There’s always been more to me than sadness”

The upcoming album, which is set to arrive on September 10, is the singer, songwriter and producer’s first since 2019’s ‘Assume Form’, and follows on from the two EPs he released last year, ‘Before’ and ‘Covers EP’.

‘Friends That Break Your Heart’ includes features from SZA, JID, SwaVay and Monica Martin, and its artwork, which Blake worked on with artist Miles Johnston, is “a visual encapsulation of the emotions brought forth throughout the body of work,” according to a press release.

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Previewing the album with new single ‘Say What You Will’, Blake puts on social blinkers as he sets out to find peace in his own success.

I can find my way with no superpowers/ I can take my place without becoming sour/ I might not make those psychopaths proud/ At least I can see the faces of the smaller crowds,” he sings over the moody, crawling soundscape.

“The song is about finding peace with who you are and where you’re at regardless of how well other people seem to be doing. Comparison really is the thief of joy,” Blake said in a press release.

You can watch the ‘Say What You Will’ video, starring Finneas, below:

‘Friends That Break Your Heart’ is released on September 10 via Republic Records. You can see the tracklisting below and pre-order it here.

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1. ‘Famous Last Words’
2. ‘Life Is Not The Same’
3. ‘Coming Back’ (feat. SZA)
4. ‘Funeral’
5. ‘Frozen’ (feat. JID & SwaVay)
6. ‘I’m So Blessed You’re Mine’
7. ‘Foot Forward’
8. ‘Show Me’ (feat. Monica Martin)
9. ‘Say What You Will’
10. ‘Lost Angel Nights’
11. ‘Friends That Break Your Heart’
12. ‘If I’m Insecure’

Blake has also announced a 2021 North American tour to support the upcoming new album. The 15 city tour will kick off in San Diego on September 16, making stops in Seattle, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, before wrapping up in Atlanta on October 15. See a full list of dates below.

Fans can sign up for early access to tickets here, with presale beginning on July 26 at 10am local time and ending on July 29 at 10pm local time. Tickets go on general sale on July 30 at 10am local time here.

SEPTEMBER 2021

16 – San Diego, CA – The Observatory North Park
19 – San Francisco, CA – Greek Theatre
21 – Portland, OR – Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
22 – Seattle, WA – Paramount Theatre
25 – Los Angeles, CA – Hollywood Bowl
28 – Denver, CO – The Fillmore
30 – Minneapolis, MN – The State Theatre

OCTOBER 2021

2 – Detroit, MI – Fillmore Auditorium
3 – Chicago, IL – Chicago Theatre
6 – Boston, MA – Boch Center Wang Theatre
8 – Philadelphia, PA – The Fillmore Philadelphia
9 – New York, NY – Radio City Music Hall
12 – Washington, DC – The Anthem
13 – Charlotte, NC – Belk Theater at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center
15 – Atlanta, GA – Tabernacle

In a four-star review of last year’s ‘Before’ EP, NME‘s Will Richards said that Blake “takes this newfound freedom, albatross firmly removed from around his neck, and dives back into his love for club culture, bringing with him everything he’s learned along the way.”

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Sex Pistols are “probably gone for good” amid legal dispute over Danny Boyle series

Sex Pistols drummer Paul Cook has said that the band is “probably gone for good” amid the ongoing legal dispute with John Lydon.

Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten) is being sued by two of his former bandmates – Cook and guitarist Steve Jones – after refusing to license the group’s music for inclusion in Danny Boyle’s biopic series, Pistol.

  • READ MORE: Soundtrack Of My Life: Sex Pistols’ Glen Matlock

The Pistols’ original bassist Glen Matlock and the estate of late bassist Sid Vicious both support their music being featured in Boyle’s show. Lydon, however, argues that the licensing cannot be granted without his consent.

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While giving evidence at the High Court in London today (July 20), Cook was reportedly asked by Lydon’s representative whether Sex Pistols were “gone for good”. He replied: “Probably” (via Metro).

It is claimed by Cook and Jones that the band had a “majority rules agreement” in place over the rights to the Pistols’ material.

“I thought that our relationship with John would get worse when we used it,” Cook said in his witness statement. “Maybe Steve [Jones] and I have been too nice to John over the years in trying to maintain good relations and that we should have been tougher.”

He added: “I am unhappy that he would behave like this over an important personal project for Steve, particularly as we have always backed his personal projects.”

Mark Cunningham QC, who is representing Lydon, told Cook: “You don’t much care how John cares about the Pistol project.”

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He replied: “No, you’re wrong.”

Boyle’s six-part series is based on Steve Jones’ 2016 memoir Lonely Boy: Tales From a Sex Pistol, which Lydon claimed via his lawyer “depicts him in a hostile and unflattering light”.  He referred to a passage in the book that describes him as an “annoying little brat with the great bone structure who’s always asking for more”.

Lydon first hit out at the project in April, calling it the “most disrespectful shit I’ve ever had to endure”. He told The Sunday Times that neither his participation nor consent was requested.

“Speaking in court, however, Cook denied “concealing” the TV project from Lydon. “He had plenty of time to get on board,” he claimed.”

Directed by Boyle (Slumdog MillionnaireTrainspotting), Pistol stars Game of Thrones Maisie Williams as Jordan Mooney (aka Pamela Rooke) and Babyteeth‘s Toby Wallace as Jones. Anson Boon will play Lydon, while Louis Partridge depicts the late Vicious.

It is expected to be broadcast on Disney-owned channel FX next year.

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CRAVITY to make a comeback next month, Starship Entertainment confirms

South Korean boyband CRAVITY are preparing to make their return with new music next month.

  • READ MORE: MONSTA X – ‘One Of A Kind’ review: a high-stakes gamble that more than pays off

On July 19, their agency Starship Entertainment confirmed that the nine-member act will make their comeback in Augsut. “CRAVITY have finalised their plans for a comeback in August and is currently busily preparing for it,” the company told South Korean news outlet Newsen, as translated by Soompi.

“Please look forward to a new transformation by CRAVITY, who will return with more evolved music and performances,” Starship Entertainment added. No other details were been revealed, but more information is expected to be unveiled in the coming weeks.

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The confirmation follows a June 30 report by OSEN, which stated that the K-pop boyband were in the middle of preparations of a new album, set to drop in August. The report had also noted that the upcoming release will also showcase the group’s musical growth and their unique worldview.

This forthcoming release will be CRAVITY’s second comeback this year, following the mini-album ‘Season 3. Hideout: Be Our Voice’ in January. Featuring lead single ‘My Turn’, the project was the third instalment of the boyband’s ‘Hideout’ series.

In other K-pop news, All 13 members of South Korean boyband SEVENTEEN have renewed their contracts with their agency Pledis Entertainment. According to Pledis, the group decided to re-sign with after “deep discussion”, ahead of the expiration of their seven-year contracts in 2022.

In the same statement, SEVENTEEN also spoke about their decision to re-sign with the company, citing the group’s “trust” and “strong teamwork”, among other reasons. “As ‘One Team’ SEVENTEEN will continue to strive to bring great music and fantastic performances to fans around the world,” the boyband added.

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Trippie Redd links up with Lil Uzi Vert for poppy new single ‘Holy Smokes’

Trippie Redd has released a synth-driven new single titled ‘Holy Smokes’, featuring guest vocals from Lil Uzi Vert.

  • READ MORE: From Trippie Redd to Lil Uzi Vert, rap-rock is back. And this time, it doesn’t suck

The track follows ‘Miss The Rage’ – a collaboration with Playboi Carti that Redd dropped back in May – as the second single from Redd’s anticipated fourth album ‘Trip At Knight’, which is due for release later in 2021.

Listen to the track below:

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In a recent interview with XXL, Redd praised Uzi as an inspiration on his own musicality. “Listening to Uzi’s shit back in 2015-16, that shit was different,” he told the publication.

“And [Playboi] Carti, at that time. They was on some other shit for the young niggas. They did some crazy shit for us. They really opened doors for us to do a lot of shit that we do. You know, the niggas from the SoundCloud era might not say it too much, but definitely, they some of the G.O.A.T.s from our era.”

Though a release date for the LP is yet to be confirmed, ‘Trip At Knight’ – a sequel to Redd’s 2018 debut album, ‘Life’s A Trip’ – is slated to land before the rapper embarks on a 25-date headline tour across the US next month.

He revealed the project’s cover art on Twitter last month, teasing that he’d post the full tracklist once it reached 100,000 pre-saves.

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Redd put out his most recent album, ‘Pegasus’, last October. NME gave the record a three-star review upon release, saying: “A better effort than his previous two records, ‘Pegasus’ is a soppy love album that doesn’t stray too far from Trippie’s original emo ethos.”

The LP was followed up in February of 2021 with a rock-centric expansion titled ‘Neon Shark’, featuring 11 new tracks co-written, produced and performed with Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker. The record also featured collaborations from the likes of Machine Gun Kelly and Scarlxrd, and the single ‘Geronimo’ with Deftones frontman Chino Morino.

Redd also recently made an appearance on the Fast & Furious 9 soundtrack, contributing to the track ‘Hit Em Hard’ alongside Offset, Kevin Gates, Lil Durk and King Von.

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Mark Hoppus shares more details of cancer diagnosis: “I’m stage 4”

Mark Hoppus has shared more details on his recent cancer diagnosis, confirming to fans in a Twitch stream that he has 4-A diffuse large B-cell lymphoma – the same type of cancer his mother had battled (and eventually beat).

As the Lymphoma Research Foundation explain, diffuse large B-cell lymphoma is the most common type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma patients are diagnosed with around the globe, with 18,000 cases reported every year. It’s an aggressive form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma that targets white blood cells, deteriorating the body’s immune system and its ability to fight infection.

Hoppus shared the news in a Q&A session with fans, saying: “It’s entered enough parts of my body that I’m stage 4, which is, I think, the highest that it goes.”

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The Blink-182 bassist is adamant on maintaining his positivity, however. “We’re beating this cancer,” he added. “It’s just a matter of time.”

Watch Hoppus’ full Twitch stream below:

Word of Hoppus’ diagnosis follows an update he gave last week, wherein he revealed he was getting ready to undergo a test “that may very well determine if I live or die”. He spoke further on the details of such in his Twitch stream on Tuesday (July 13), saying: “The test is to find out if my chemotherapy is working at all. And if it is, then I go back for at least three more rounds.

“Ideally, I go in tomorrow and they say, ‘Congratulations! Your chemotherapy has worked and you are all done, and you’ll never have to think about this cancer again for the rest of your life.’ I hope.”

Regardless of how Hoppus’ chemotherapy – which he’s been receiving for at least three months thus far – is progressing, he clarified that still has at least three more rounds to go.

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“If I go in tomorrow and they’re like, ‘It’s kinda working, we think it’s working,’ we’ll see,” he said. “Then I’ll still do three more rounds, I think. And if they say, ‘Well it’s really not working like we’d hoped,’ then I have to go and talk about other options. Which I guess means a bone marrow transplant.”

Hoppus also spoke about his experiences with chemo thus far, saying he felt like “a zombie that fell onto an electric fence” after his first session.

“The second round of chemo, I just felt very weak and tired. Really just like the worst flu ever,” he said. “The third round of chemo, I started retching. Nauseous and that whole thing.”

Hoppus first revealed his cancer diagnosis on June 23, telling fans in a statement: “It sucks and I’m scared, and at the same time I’m blessed with incredible doctors and family and friends to get me through this.”

Travis Barker and Tom DeLonge both voiced their support for Hoppus afterwards, and Hoppus shared his first photo since the news broke on July 4.

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Listen to Iron Maiden’s first track in six years, ‘The Writing On The Wall’

Iron Maiden have released their first new music in six years with the track ‘The Writing On The Wall’ – listen below.

The metal band, whose 16th album ‘The Book Of Souls’ arrived in 2015, teased back in April that they had something “very, very exciting” in the works. “I think it’ll be worth the wait, put it like that,” said guitarist Adrian Smith.

It came after frontman Bruce Dickinson revealed last year that the group were back in the studio working on new material.

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Today (July 15), Iron Maiden made their long-awaited return with a spectacular, six-minute single after teasing their comeback online. ‘The Writing On The Wall’ was written by Smith and Dickinson, with Kevin Shirley and bassist Steve Harris on production duties.

The song arrives with a suitably epic animated video, the creation of a collaborative team including former Pixar executives Mark Andrews and Andrew Gordon (The Incredibles, Monsters IncFinding Nemo).

Dickinson explained: “I had a pretty clear idea of the concept to accompany the song and when I met Mark and Andrew, on Zoom, it quickly became clear we were all very much on the same wavelength, and this was reinforced with the addition of Nicos and his young BlinkInk team. Our weekly team Zoom meetings were then usually both highly creative and a lot of fun!

“I’m very proud of the way the video turned out, it’s more like a mini-film really. I knew it was going to work out as soon as Mark brought my treatment to life with his incredible storyboards – I thought we could make something very special together. I think we did and hope our fans will agree. In fact it’s pretty much created by Maiden fans!!”

Details of Iron Maiden’s upcoming new album are yet to be revealed.

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Speaking back in October 2020, Dickinson said that Iron Maiden had been “working together a little bit in the studio” after the band was forced to cancel last year’s ‘Legacy Of The Beast’ tour (the Europen leg was recently postponed until 2022).

“In the meantime, what are we doing? Well, we’re doing bits of writing,” Dickinson said. “I’m talking to Steve [Harris, bass]. We’ve been working together a little bit in the studio. On what, I can’t tell you, ’cause they’d have to kill me.”

In April, Adrian Smith said that fans would be “delighted” over what was to come.

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Blackpink’s The Movie Will Be In Your Area (And Theaters) This August

Blackpink is coming to your area — in theaters!

YG Entertainment dropped a trailer today (July 14) for Blackpink’s upcoming documentary film as part of the girl group’s fifth debut anniversary, which they’re calling “4+1 Project.”

The trailer shows footage from Blackpink’s tours and rehearsals, along with members Jisoo, Jennie, Rosé, and Lisa looking back on their journey since debuting in 2016 and becoming one of the biggest girl groups in the world.  Each member can be heard saying something positive about their experiences. Lead singer Jennie said, “Performing onstage is one of the best parts.” Meanwhile, vocalist Rosé shared, “I really tried to pour my heart and soul into it.”

Jisoo, another vocalist, remarked how it was the greatest when they got together. “I think we shine the most when the four of us get together and challenge ourselves with new things,” she said.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHncNFal0ms

The documentary film is set to reveal exclusive, intimate features such as “The Room of Memories,” drawing on their last five years; “Beauty” photo shoots of each member; and exclusive interviews for their fans.

Blackpink debuted on August 8, 2016 with their single album Square One, which included tracks “Whistle” and “Boombayah.” The latter became the group’s first No. 1 hit on the Billboard World Digital Song Sales Chart. In 2020, their lead single “How You Like That,” from the group’s first album The Album, won Song of the Summer at the VMAs. The Album debuted at No. 2 on the U.S. Billboard 200 and went on to be one of the biggest albums of the year.

While Blackpink as a group has been reaching the music charts, some of its members have committed to solo work. Jennie made her solo debut with “Solo” in 2018, and Rosé became the first artist to reach No. 1 on the Billboard Global 200 as a soloist with her single album R, which was released this past March.

YG Entertainment confirmed that Lisa is the next member set to make a solo debut, set to be released later this summer. The music video for her new song is being filmed this week, per Soompi.

From the looks of the film and the group’s ongoing projects, Blackpink will continue to go places in their career. “I want to say thank you for always supporting me,” Lisa says in the trailer through id in joyful tears, thanking their dedicated Blinks.

Blackpink: The Movie will be released in theaters on August 4 in South Korea and worldwide. Tickets are currently available to purchase here.

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Mark Hoppus on his cancer diagnosis: “This week I’ll take a test that may very well determine if I live or die”

Blink-182’s Mark Hoppus has shared an update on his cancer diagnosis, saying he will be taking a crucial medical test later this week.

Hoppus publicly confirmed his diagnosis in June, and has been undergoing chemotherapy for at least three months now.

On social media yesterday (July 11), the vocalist said he is about to take a test “that may very well determine if I live or die”. Nevertheless, he is confident he will “kick cancer’s ass” either through chemo or bone marrow transplants.

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Hoppus also shared a medical image of the tumour, which is located around his shoulder.

“Thanks to everyone for the positive thoughts and encouragement. I read all your replies and it means the world to me,” he said on Twitter.

“I’m going to beat this through chemotherapy or through bone marrow transplants, but either way I’m determined to kick cancer’s ass directly in the nuts. Love to you all. Let’s. Heckin. Go.”

Since first announcing the diagnosis, Hoppus hasn’t revealed much else about what kind of cancer it is, or what stage it has progressed to.

“It sucks and I’m scared, and at the same time I’m blessed with incredible doctors and friends to get me through this,” Hoppus said last month.

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“I still have months of treatment ahead of me but I’m trying to remain hopeful and positive. Can’t wait to be cancer free and see you all at a concert in the near future. Love to you all.”

Fellow musicians including his Simple Creatures bandmate Alex Gaskarth (also of All Time Low) and members of A Day To Remember, Of Mice & Men and Good Charlotte have voiced their support. Travis Barker and Tom DeLonge have also made statements issuing their support for their Blink-182 bandmate.

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Royal Blood announce intimate UK tour for this summer

Royal Blood have announced a string of intimate UK dates for this summer – check out the full details below.

  • The NME Big Read: Royal Blood: “Without sobriety, this album or this band wouldn’t exist. It was all quite scary”

The Brighton duo, whose third album ‘Typhoons’ came out in April, confirmed new shows in Bristol, Newcastle, Norwich and Hastings after the government outlined its proposed easing of COVID restrictions for July 19 yesterday (July 5).

It comes as Mike Kerr and Ben Thatcher prepare to return to the stage for performances at Reading & Leeds, Tramlines and Victorious Festival.

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In a video posted to Twitter today (July 6), frontman Kerr said he was “very excited to be announcing some intimate shows this July and August” while asking fans to “look after each other and play it safe” as full-capacity concerts return.

“If you have any COVID symptoms, please stay at home [and] self-isolate,” he added. “You can re-sell your tickets via Twickets or on the Ticketmaster fan-to-fan platform.

“We look forward to seeing you very, very much – it’s gonna be wild.”

Tickets go on general sale at 9am BST this coming Friday (July 9) from here. A pre-sale is accessible to fans who ordered the ‘Typhoons’ album from the band’s official store at the same time tomorrow (July 7).

Tigercub will appear at the shows as special guests – see the official tour poster below.

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Royal Blood will embark on a UK arena tour in March 2022 following a string of headline dates across Europe.

In a four-star review of ‘Typhoons’, NME hailed the album as Royal Blood’s best work to date, praising the band for “[showing] what can really be achieved if you break your own walls down and let a little light in”.

Last month, the record featured in NME‘s Best Albums of 2021 (so far!) list.

 

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Mark Hoppus shares first photo since confirming cancer diagnosis

Mark Hoppus has shared the first photo of himself since he announced his cancer diagnosis last month.

The Blink-182 bassist told his fans about his diagnosis in a post on his social media channels on June 23, writing: “For the past three months I’ve been undergoing chemotherapy for cancer. I have cancer.

“It sucks and I’m scared, and at the same time I’m blessed with incredible doctors and family and friends to get me through this.”

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Posting on social media yesterday (July 4) to mark Independence Day in the US, Hoppus shared an image of himself with the caption: “The Cancer Haver wishes you all a very happy Fourth of July weekend.”

Hoppus, who in the photo is seen with a bald head as a side effect of his chemotherapy treatment, tweeted last Friday (July 2) about his experience of undergoing chemotherapy, writing: “Everything about chemo sucks except the part where it hopefully saves my life.”

The bassist recently gave viewers on a Twitch stream an update about his current health condition, saying: “How am I feeling today? I feel much better than yesterday. Yesterday was hellish for me and I woke up today feeling better – I went for a walk, and I had a decent breakfast, and I haven’t felt like I was going to throw up today, so we’ll take it as a win.”

Hoppus went on to thank one fan for their “kind wish of a speedy recovery”, adding: “We’re doing this.”

Travis Barker and Tom DeLonge both voiced their support for Hoppus last month after he confirmed his cancer diagnosis.

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