CFP: The Legacy of Radiohead's 'The Bends' 20 Years On [Deadlines: 29 Jan / 12 Feb]

 
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Thursday, Jan 29, 2015
The latest video from the Ozark Mountains folk group Pawns or Kings, "Light Over the Ridge", is an intimate depiction of feeling at home -- just as you're about to leave it.

The folk music purveyed in by the quartet Pawns or Kings is certainly befitting of their native Ozark Mountains in the American Midwest. However, the group’s music takes on a curious light when one considers its origins: Pawns or Kings arose from the prog rock outfit the Race to Olvido. Listening to the former band’s newest album, 2014’s Pomme de Terre, it’s hard to imagine the music coming from the world of Dream Theater-esque shredding, but lo and behold these four musicians pulled the transition off.


Below you can watch the video for the Pomme de Terre tune “Light Over the Ridge”, which was filmed at a transitory moment in the life of Pawns or Kings.


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Thursday, Jan 29, 2015
Beatles-esque vocal harmonies meet clap-along rhythms in the latest number by the Los Angeles rock outfit Prima Donna, "Deathless".

In the press materials for their new album, Nine Lives and Forty-Fives, the Los Angeles rock band Prima Donna are described as having a “curriculum [that] includes musical road trips with Eddie and the Hot Rods, Adam Ant, D-Generation and even Green Day, who they supported on two arena tours on two continents.” The influences of those groups are certainly evident in Prima Donna’s music, but on their latest number, “Deathless”, their vocal harmonies bring to mind an influence that few if any rock bands can escape: the Beatles. With this track, Prima Donna tips their cap to their forebears while adding their own driving verve and energy, with some excellent work on the low end by the bass playing of “Lights Out” Levine.


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Thursday, Jan 29, 2015
PopMatters predicts a night of newcomers, huge sweeps, and some love for two theme songs from 2013.

When the nominations for the 57th annual Grammy awards were announced several months ago, the most shocking thing was exactly how unsurprising it all was. The vast majority of the honorees were the most critically acclaimed artists of the year, nominated for the songs and albums that landed on most “Best of 2014” lists. Despite the predictability of it all, one can expect this year’s telecast to focus on a fresher crop of superstars, with newcomers like Sam Smith, Meghan Trainor, and Iggy Azalea stealing the spotlight away from established household names like Usher and Taylor Swift.


The following are some educated guesses as to what will happen in a dozen major categories. As always, though, we’ll have to wait until Sunday 8 February to see how right (or wrong) we are.


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Wednesday, Jan 28, 2015
Need some sonic rays of sunshine to cut through the winter doldrums? The joyous "In the Sun" by the Australian singer Vassy will do just the trick.

Although it’s winter in the United States right now, you might be transported to the summer months by the disposition of the Australian singer Vassy, whose latest single “In the Sun” is the kind of summer jam that’s designed to be blasted out of hatchback car radios and beach boomboxes. Of course, it’s summertime in Vassy’s native Australia, but this buoyant pop jam is enough to make it feel as if the season is spreading all around the world.


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Wednesday, Jan 28, 2015
"Fight for What's Right" begins a six week long behind the scenes exclusive look at the new album by the rising UK sibling trio the Rua.

Having already picked up some attention in their native United Kingdom, the all-sibling trio the Rua, comprised of 22-year old Roseanna Brown (voice and guitar), 24-year old Alanna Brown (piano and backing vocals) and 19-year old Jonathan Brown (violin, guitar, vocals and backing vocals), is preparing to bring their music across the pond. The classically trained trio’s debut LP Essence is being prepared for a spring 2015 release in the States. Already, the Rua have earned comparisons to the likes of Fleetwood Mac from publications like Q Magazine, and the association is certainly not off. Emotionally resonant and harmonically arresting, these siblings have put their best foot forward with their debut LP.


While you wait for Essence‘s release date, tune into PopMatters over the next six weeks for a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the writing and recording of the music. Each week, we’ll premiere a video that features the band explaining a particular song on the album. By the end of this series, you’ll have a pretty strong picture of this preternaturally talented young trio. While certain famous UK sibling acts gained their fame through public rivalries, these three use their familial rapport in the service of writing beautiful songs, with nary a hint of sibling competitiveness to be heard.


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