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

 
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Tuesday, Jan 6, 2015
America is a long road; in 2014, First Aid Kit travel it in its cover of Simon & Garfunkel's "America".

First Aid Kit has had a busy and successful 2014, touring hard behind its third album, Stay Gold. To mark Record Store Day/Black Friday, the duo released a cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s “America”. Covers of well-known songs can be difficult, but here First Aid Kit give the song a new, feminine interpretation.


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Monday, Jan 5, 2015
Comprised of sharp, hooky punk, Empires, the newest LP by the New York City punk band Swanky Tiger, balances pop smarts with guitar-diven aggression.

Following an eventful 2014 highlighted by performances at key New York City venues such as The Studio at Webster Hall, Tammany Hall, and Arlene’s Grocery, the young punk outfit Swanky Tiger is starting off the new year with the release of its newest studio offering, Empires. You can stream the album below.


One line in the tune “Glamorous” sounds a little like foreshadowing for this up-and-coming band: “If it’s fame you want / come and take it now”. By the sound of this track, and indeed the LP as a whole, Swanky Tiger is poising itself to do just that.


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Monday, Jan 5, 2015
Mic Phelps' serpentine, nocturnal track "Waterfalls" now has video accompaniment, which pairs the song with stunning visuals of Iceland and Paris.

A fixture of the Detroit hip hop scene for years as both a solo artist and as one-fourth of Cold Men Young, Mic Phelps wrapped 2014 with the release of his full-length debut, a collaboration with producer djkage, The Grand Design. Keeping that momentum going, Phelps (real name Miles Stewart) is kicking off 2015 with the first video from the record, for the song “Waterfall”.


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Monday, Jan 5, 2015
Driven by killer riffs and guy/girl vocal interplay, "Tommy Gun", the newest track by the New York City band Blue & Gold, is a potent injection of vintage-minded rock 'n' roll.

Part of the trick that bands in the so-called rock revival movement in the early ‘00s faced was the balance of paying homage to the rock stylings of the ‘60s and ‘70s without being entirely beholden to them—i.e. writing covers in the guise of originals. The New York City outfit Blue & Gold can count itself as sonic kin of those rock revival groups, but fortunately it pulls off the aforementioned balance with ease. This young quartet writes the kind of rock ‘n’ roll that teenagers first discovering Led Zeppelin hope to write over a garage jam session: straight-to-the-point, catchy rock that knows its way around a good riff. Blue & Gold’s latest number, “Tommy Gun”, features solid guy/girl vocal interplay by vocalists/guitarists Alex Kapelman and Chloe Raynes.


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Tuesday, Dec 30, 2014
The reputable Malian singer Kassé Mady Diabaté has readied his latest studio effort, Kirike, which you can stream a week in advance of its release.

The Malian singer Kassé Mady Diabaté is famous for many reasons. One of the common talking points in relation to his music career is his collaboration with Taj Mahal and Toumani Diabate on the LP Koulandjan, which President Barack Obama cited as one of his favorite albums. However, above all else, Diabaté is notable for his contributions to the West African music scene, particularly in his native Mali. Although he sings in Bambara, the primary language in Southern Mali, his music fuses traditions from within his country, throughout his region, and indeed the whole world. Kirike, Diabaté‘s latest recording, is a continuation of the vocalist’s authentic musical exploration. The album is yet another example of why some people, including his fellow Malian Salif Keita, call him Mali’s greatest living singer.


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