Harry Styles kicked off the tour behind his much-anticipated solo debut last night in Basel, Switzerland. His 17-song setlist consisted of material from his debut, old One Direction songs to remind fans of his days as a member of the global sensation, and two covers: the song he wrote for Ariana Grande titled “Just A Little Bit of Your Heart,” and Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain,” which he just won an iHeartRadio Music Award for.
Of course, Styles is that rockstar, having surprised concert-goers with not just one, but two unreleased songs. “Help me take my medicine,” Styles coos on unreleased track “Medicine.” And on “Anna,” he rejects a woman’s sympathy because she doesn’t know exactly the effect she has on him—a consuming-with-desire-for, an aching effect, at that.
They would’ve been good additions to his honest LP. Watch videos of both performances below.
For the people who are bad at remembering faces but terrific at remembering names, here’s one: Blue Madonna.
Garrett Borns, who goes by the stage name BØRNS, has finally announced the title and release date of his long-awaited sophomore effort. Blue Madonna is set to release next year on January 12, but not without already receiving public praise. High-profile fan Lana Del Rey recently promoted his LP, claiming it’s “one of the craziest, best records [she’s] heard in years.”
Earlier in the year, the Michigan native released two singles titled “Faded Heart” and “Sweet Dreams.” Both are illustrative of his ability to find refuge in his falsetto and in poetic, glitzy lyrics.
The glam-rock artist became an instant sensation in 2015 after the virality of his song “Electric Love.” He’s come a long way since then, and while his debut album explored the ideas of love, emotions, and sex, fans are excited to see the identity of his upcoming release.
Banks is no stranger to sultry, albumless singles
Banks is no stranger to sultry, albumless singles. Earlier this year she put out a single titled “Crowded Places” to commemorate the last season of HBO’s Girls. In 2015 she released the sinister and demanding “Better.”
Two days before the one-year anniversary of her sophomore effort, The Altar, the LA songstress released a new track called “Underdog.” It’s slick and synth-heavy, abnormally upbeat compared to the rest of her discography. In less than a week it garnered nearly 1.5 million streams.
During the premiere of the track on Beats 1, Banks explained where the song came from: “There’s a beast inside of me that I haven’t let out fully. And I still haven’t, but I’m allowing it to poke its head above the water a bit more.”
We can’t get enough of Lorde
We can’t get enough of Lorde.
“Those rumors, they have big teeth—hope they bite you” she snarls on new single “Green Light.” Teeth are a common occurrence in her music, having appeared on “Royals” “White Teeth Teens” and “400 Lux” from her debut album. In a tweet to a fan she revealed that she sees teeth as “a big aging motif.”
And aged she has. Though she emerged a prodigy, in due time her work became a considerable feat of the music industry. This first taste of her sophomore album, Melodrama, is catnip for listeners Lorde wants to share her past two, “fluorescent years” with.
While Lorde’s quirky and imaginatively odd lyrics are present, “Green Light” is more upbeat, explosive, and anthemic than her 10-track debut or her Hunger Games masterpiece “Yellow Flicker Beat.” This single, while about a break-up, is liberating nonetheless — it’s a declaration of the change and rebuilding that comes as a result of a difficult history.
Melodrama’s strange little sister, “Liability,” was released without warning nor promo on March 9th. It exhibits how Lorde has lost strength in her numbers and becomes exposed, alienated, and apologetic for being a burden.
Lorde’s sophomore effort is set to be released on June 16th.
2017 is already off to a good start
After a year-long hiatus, Ed Sheeran is set to release his third LP album, Divide.
The announcement of new music came as a surprise to fans when Sheeran posted the same video of him holding a sign that said “new music coming Friday!!” on several social media platforms on New Years Day. A day after, Sheeran posted a 10 second video of the album artwork and reaffirmed a release date of January 6th.
The inner-workings of this album can be dated back to 2014 when Sheeran supposedly leaked the album title. A fan on twitter tweeted a photo of what was meant to be the tracklist of Sheeran’s sophomore album, Multiply, on iTunes, but disclosed the title for Sheeran’s third LP:
Interestingly enough, the third and 12th tracks, “My Love” and “The Hills of Aberfeidy” respectively, under Multiply weren’t on the released album. Fans are left to wonder whether those two tracks were switched out from the songs under the playlist titled DIVIDE, and why they didn’t make the final cut.
Sheeran didn’t specify whether Friday’s release consists of just one song or a whole album, but after a year of radio silence, new music of any kind is better than no new music at all.
Before the hiatus, Sheeran took to social media platforms to proclaim that he’s already begun working on his third album, and it’s “the best thing I have made thus far.”
A friend of mine and I talked about the Grouplove concert I went to last Saturday, and thanks to him, I came to the conclusion that this has been the greatest concert I’ve attended. Is it taboo to consider the latest gig the best? I thought so – but Grouplove are truly back in business, and don’t mess around. Well, actually, they do mess around, but that’s all part of the show.
Continue reading “Concert Review: Grouplove Can Never Stop My World From Spinning”
After writing this review I’ve realized it’s been 27 Hours since I’ve even seen the sun. Get it.
“I started all the wars” Jillian Banks sings on “Poltergeist,” the darkest track on her sophomore effort, The Altar. This release is more adventurous than her debut LP, as well as claustrophobic, with an ambitious R&B aesthetic on par with The Weeknd and FKA Twigs.
Continue reading “Album Review: The Altar – BANKS”
If any of the members of Young the Giant read this, I’m going to be seeing you at Radio City Music Hall in September. Please invite me up on stage to sing “Something to Believe In” with you. I dance really hard to that tune.
The first time I saw Young the Giant live was in the parking lot of my local mall to celebrate the grand opening of a Microsoft Store at that location. It was a sizzling afternoon during the zenith of summer, an ambulance was on the scene, and someone splashed beer on my shoes. Five years later – we’ve come so far.
Continue reading “Album Review: Young the Giant Welcomes Listeners to the Home of the Strange”
“I’ve never been in love with an inanimate object before but I swear, when I get a physical copy of Zayn’s album in my hands, I’ll prove that statement wrong.”
Brief intro, don’t read if you don’t want to: One of the Alyssa’s on the spectrum finds refuge in music and musicians’ mannerisms, and thus, from time to time I feel the need to deeply study the reasons I like songs and albums. For that reason, and my love of writing as a tool of expression, I want to write a review on an album that was recently released – and if I find the turnout to be satisfactory, then, well, there are a number of musicians I listen to who are releasing albums this year, and there is always something to write about.
Let’s move on to what counts: Zayn Malik’s auspicious solo debut, “Mind Of Mine.” Holy shit. Seriously.
Continue reading “Album Review: “Mind Of Mine” – Zayn”