As it turns out, the 2014 releases Cabinet of Curiosities, a new compilation LP, and We Are Time, a reissue of a 1980 compilation, were but the first few signals that more is to come from Bristol’s legendary the Pop Group. This winter, the band will drop Citizen Zombie, its first studio LP since 1980’s For How Much Longer Will We Tolerate Mass Murder?. The Pop Group’s hiatus, which began in 1981, was broken by a series of shows that began in 2010. With Citizen Zombie, the band shows that their comeback shows were not a one-off for nostalgia’s sake. Below you can stream “Mad Truth”, the latest track to be released off the album; the first was the title cut.
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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.
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.
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.
Gothenburg, Sweden-based musician Adna has caught a lot of attention globally for her moody and beautiful brand of songwriting. Her music’s somewhat chilly melodies in no doubt are informed by her native Sweden, a country renowned for its melancholy musical exports. (Even the otherwise cheery ABBA went out on a gloomy note with their final LP The Visitors.) Following the momentum built up from her debut LP Night, Adna has readied her sophomore outing, Run, Lucifer, for a 2015 release. In addition to the recently released lead single “Living”, Adna has also covered the tune “Thank God for Sending Demons” by the Swedish producer Kleerup to lead in to the release of her new album.