Music


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Françoise Hardy, ‘close to the end’ of her life, argues for assisted suicide

The French singer says radiation has left her in immense pain, and fears a natural death would bring ‘even more physical suffering’Françoise Hardy, the French pop songwriter who found fame in the 60s yé-yé movement, has said she feels “close to the end” of her life in a new interview.Hardy, 77, told Femme Actuelle that in 2018 she was diagnosed with a tumour in her ear. It followed her diagnosis with lymphatic cancer in the mid-2000s, and a hospitalisation in 2015 that led to her being placed in...
Tags: Europe, Music, Law, France, Society, World news, Culture, Pop and rock, Assisted dying, Hardy, Françoise Hardy, Femme Actuelle


Laura Mvula’s teenage obsessions: ‘I thought a briefcase was the most buff thing ever’

The singer-songwriter recalls the life-changing joy of playing in an orchestra, the beauty of her first braids and being empowered by EternalThe first orchestra I played in was Birmingham School, a concert orchestra. The first time I played in a symphony orchestra was this powerful, life-changing experience, like the first time I took a plane – you know, when the engine kicks in and you’re about to take off? Playing with the brass section behind us and full woodwind, I was blown away by the magn...
Tags: Fashion, Music, Culture, Michael Jackson, Whoopi Goldberg, Laura Mvula, Birmingham School


Robert Altman’s 20 best films – ranked!

From The Long Goodbye to Short Cuts, Altman’s innovative movies have influenced a generation of film-makers. With the re-release of Nashville and a BFI tribute, we rank the work of one of America’s greatest directors Continue reading...
Tags: Music, Film, Country, America, US news, Culture, Nashville, Robert Altman, Altman, Drama films


Joan Armatrading: Consequences review – strikingly inventive songwriter deserves her due

(BMG)The 70-year-old Brit may cut an unassuming figure, but she refuses to trade on comfort, essaying pop head-on without ever sounding like a trend-chasing heritage actIt seems a strange thing to say about someone who was awarded a CBE last October, is still in possession of a major label contract at 70 and clearly has no problem selling out venues whenever she chooses to tour, but Joan Armatrading still feels like a weirdly under-sung figure in pop history. It’s not just that she was a genuine...
Tags: Music, Culture, Pop and rock, Bmg, Joan Armatrading, Armatrading


New York, New Music: how the city became a hotbed for music in the 80s

In a new exhibition, the city’s more well-known breakout artists are celebrated alongside a richer, and lesser reported, strain of experimental musicIn Kid Creole and the Coconuts’ irrepressible 1980 song Darrio, a klatch of female backup singers bouncingly plead with the titular gentleman to get them into Studio 54. The otherwise obliging Darrio enumerates why he cannot (“That’s the only thing that money can’t buy”), before finally admitting “my kind of heaven is Club 57,” the late-70s/early-80...
Tags: Art, Music, New York, Culture, Art and design, New York Times, Bob Marley, Kingston, East Village, Marx Brothers, Carmen Miranda, Kid Creole and the Coconuts, Darrio


‘Frances made this happen!’ Jo Whiley on how her sister saved lives in the pandemic

The DJ was offered a vaccine before her learning disabled sister, who caught the disease. She discusses Frances’s illness, the campaign to change the priority list and the return of GlastonburyThere is a lot of joy in little glimmers of normality these days. For Jo Whiley’s sister, Frances, this includes being able to go back to bingo. “It means the world to her,” says Whiley, the BBC Radio 2 DJ. “And she won £30 last week, which was like she’d won a trillion pounds; she was so happy!” It was on...
Tags: Health, Music, Media, Society, Bbc, Disability, Culture, Festivals, Glastonbury festival, Music Festivals, Vaccines and immunisation, Radio industry, Learning disability, Radio 2, Northamptonshire, BBC Radio


‘I don’t want to remember these things’: dark pop poet John Murry on surviving rape, heroin and family strife

The singer-songwriter talks about his relative William Faulkner, his violent childhood and drugs – and saves a surprise until the endIf you’re after cheery crowdpleasers, John Murry is not your man. Murry is 41, barely known, and has never come close to denting the charts. Yet he has been compared to the great existential pop poets Nick Cave, Leonard Cohen and Scott Walker. And with good reason – he has a rich baritone, writes gorgeous ballads and is half in love with death. The titles of his fi...
Tags: Books, Music, Drugs, Society, Culture, Scott Walker, Folk Music, Oscar Wilde, Leonard Cohen, PJ Harvey, Nick Cave, William Faulkner, Murry, John Murry, Nick Cave Leonard Cohen, William Faulkner Like Faulkner


Subwoofers at the ready! The jungle and drum’n’bass revival is upon us

With turbocharged tracks storming the charts, both genres are having a boom – but did they ever really go away?Jungle and drum’n’bass are back, back, BACK! High Contrast’s Notes from the Underground album – its elegiac 90s rave moods created with vintage 90s tech – was a dance chart success at the end of 2020. Chase & Status’s RTRN II FABRIC mix, which turbocharged jungle classics, was huge last year, too. Harmony by Origin8a and Propa ft Benny Page is everywhere lately and it’s far from the onl...
Tags: Music, Culture, Dance music, Electronic Music, Dubstep, Benny Page, Drum'n'bass


Nigerian rapper Olamide: ‘People have a very limited understanding of the ghetto’

From a Lagos slum, Olamide became one of Africa’s biggest music stars. A new, global deal is taking his vivid pop to the wider worldBariga, a sprawling northern suburb of Lagos, Nigeria that is home to more than 700,000 people, is infamous for its impoverished housing and gang culture – and for pushing a raw, jarring sound into the Nigerian mainstream. Olamide, long one of Africa’s biggest music stars, was one of the kids responsible for that shift: 13 years ago, he was walking the streets of Ba...
Tags: Music, New York, London, Nigeria, Africa, World news, Rap, Culture, Pop and rock, Mumbai, Lagos, Lagos Nigeria, Bariga, OLAMIDÉ


The best albums of 2021 so far

From drill’s high watermark to Tuareg rock, Colombian pop and London jazz, here are our music editors’ picks of the best LPs from the first half of the year Continue reading...
Tags: Music, Metal, London, Rap, Culture, Pop and rock, Psychedelia, Indie, Jazz, Folk Music, Electronic Music, St Vincent, Experimental music, Nick Cave, Wolf Alice, Dry Cleaning


Polo G: ‘Death and depression made me lean towards music. It became therapeutic’

The Chicago rapper’s last album spent 47 weeks in the UK chart, testament to the power of his raw, introspective tracks. He discusses his journey out of crime and drug use towards being one of rap’s biggest stars“Every day a battle, I’m exhausted and I’m weary / Make sure I smile in public, when alone, my eyes teary / I fought through it all, but that shit hurt me severely.” Even acknowledging the widespread vulnerability and emotional honesty in today’s rap scene, these are still startling lyri...
Tags: Music, UK, US, US news, Rap, Chicago, Culture, Pop and rock, Hip-hop, Lil Peep, Juice WRLD


The push to archive the history of jungle and drum’n’bass

Historians aim to document small labels, record shops, pirate radio and clubs that helped scene thriveChingford Sainsbury’s may be an unlikely setting for an encounter that helped capture a key part of British cultural history, but MC Navigator’s weekly shopping trip to his local supermarket would prove crucial.Navigator, who was one of the leading figures in the jungle and drum’n’bass scene in the 1990s, bumped into Uncle 22 – another important player – who had been under the radar for years an...
Tags: Music, Culture, Hip-hop, Sainsbury, Dance music, Drum'n'bass, MC Navigator


‘Scotland should win everything’: famous football fans predict Euro 2020

Who’ll be player of the tournament? How will Wales do? And is World in Motion better than Three Lions? We consult a panel that includes Krept and Konan, Shura and Alex HorneNot into the Euros? Here’s what to watch insteadWho’s going to win Euro 2020?Russia are going to win the thing. I watch my kids playing football a lot and always pre-judge the opposition team. If I saw them lining up against Russia, I’d be very nervous; their captain, Artyom Dzyuba, is 6ft 6in. I’m always scared of tall men. ...
Tags: Music, Comedy, Television, Wales, Scotland, Russia, Culture, Three Lions, Artyom Dzyuba, TV Comedy, Euro 2020, Konan Shura, Alex HorneNot


Prue Leith, Lemn Sissay and Alison Moyet recognised in Queen’s birthday honours

Key figures in UK arts, culture and sport rewarded in list dominated by heroes and heroines of pandemicThe Great British Bake Off judge Prue Leith, the poet Lemn Sissay and the singer-songwriter Alison Moyet are among notable figures in the arts to have been recognised in the Queen’s birthday honours list.In a list dominated once again by the heroes and heroines of the coronavirus pandemic, and particularly key players in Britain’s successful vaccine rollout, there remained room to laud the achi...
Tags: Food, Books, Music, UK, Poetry, Football, Sport, UK News, Culture, Britain, Stage, Roy Hodgson, Rugby league, Queen's Birthday Honours List, Lemn Sissay, Engelbert Humperdinck


Lorde’s comeback single is a lesson in letting pop stars take their time

Solar Power delivers a statement of loose-limbed maturity from a mercurial star who is much imitated but utterly uniqueLorde has said she was “waiting for the right moment” to release her comeback single, Solar Power, and opted for 11 June to coincide with the year’s only solar eclipse (although leaks may have forced her hand). Her chosen date resonates beyond the obvious thematic associations of her hazy, sun-worshipping comeback single and its cheeky cover art.Pop stars, especially young women...
Tags: Music, Lorde, Culture, Pop and rock, The Rolling Stones, New Zealand, Solar Power, Primal Scream, George Michael, Olivia Rodrigo


Bake Off to Inside No 9: what to watch instead of the Euros

A football-free cultural guide to the week ahead, from comedy podcasts to Sean Bean dramasListen, I’m with you. I have no interest in Euro 2020 either. But luckily, over the years I’ve perfected the art of finding other things to do. Here’s a day-by-day alternative viewing guide for the first week of the tournament (after that, you’re on your own). Continue reading...
Tags: Games, Music, Television, Podcasts, Culture, Television & radio, Euro 2020, Sean Bean dramasListen


Daryl Hall & John Oates: ‘We had a lethal ability to experiment’

Their 80s hits are now hitting the billion-streams mark, but the duo’s genre-resistant pop often chafed against the zeitgeist. They recall the triumphs – and makeup choices – of the past 50 yearsI’m half an hour into my interview with John Oates when he insists I need to look at YouTube as a matter of extreme urgency. “You’ve never seen this?” he says, incredulous, down the phone from his home in Nashville. “My friend, I don’t know you very well, but you’re missing a great moment in music histor...
Tags: Music, World news, US news, Culture, Pop and rock, Daryl Hall, John Oates, Nashville, Oates, Daryl Hall John Oates, Oates Daryl Hall, Sara Allen Hall


The greatest ever songs of the summer – ranked!

From Don Henley to Drake, we rate the hottest sounds of the seasonFor a fleeting moment Brooklyn’s the Drums were the skinny jean-sporting indie band du jour. This is their crowning moment, all pogoing bass, petal-soft whistle riffs and a lyric about waking up on a sunny morning and running to the beach. “Oh mama I don’t care about nothing” feels like a very summer 2021 mantra, too. Continue reading...
Tags: Music, Beyonce, Rihanna, Beach Boys, Daft Punk, Jay-z, Culture, Brooklyn, Pop and rock, Indie, Spice Girls, Dance music, Take That, Drake, Reggae, Carly Rae Jepsen


Eurovision winners Måneskin: ‘Cocaine? Damiano barely drinks beer!’

Already multiplatinum in their native Italy, the swaggering rock quartet now have two singles in the UK chart. They discuss their rise to success – and that drug-taking allegationBefore their momentous Eurovision victory with Zitti e Buoni, placing Italian rock back on the world stage and earning praise from Simon Le Bon and Miley Cyrus; before a baseless accusation of snorting cocaine almost veered into a full-blown diplomatic crisis; and before their post-win ping-pong tournament became a twee...
Tags: Music, UK, Culture, Pop and rock, Television & radio, Italy, Miley Cyrus, Eurovision, Rotterdam, Simon Le Bon, De Angelis, Damiano, Måneskin, Zitti, Victoria De Angelis


Behind the rise of hyperpop

The past decade has seen the formation of a vibrant and strange genre of music called hyperpop. Its growth has been spurred on by the internet – through Soundcloud, Twitter and now Spotify – and it has been linked to some of the most exciting young artists worldwide.Freelance music writer Shaad D’Souza speaks to Laura Murphy-Oates about the rise of hyperpop and what it tells us about the influence of big corporations such as Spotify.You can also read: Continue reading...
Tags: Spotify, Business, Music, Technology, Internet, Australia news, Music Industry, Culture, Pop and rock, Digital music and audio, Australian Music, Laura Murphy Oates, Soundcloud Twitter, Shaad D'Souza


From My Fair Lady to Grease 2: Guardian writers on their favourite movie musicals

To celebrate the release of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s upbeat musical In the Heights, Guardian writers have picked their favourite examples of the genre Continue reading...
Tags: Music, Musicals, Film, Culture, Cabaret, Coen Brothers, Lin Manuel Miranda, Liza Minnelli, Singin' in the Rain


Sinéad O’Connor retracts retirement announcement

The Irish musician said her statement, made on 5 June, was a ‘kneejerk reaction’ against the UK and Irish media’s ‘constant abuse and invalidation’ of her mental healthSinéad O’Connor has retracted her announcement, made over the weekend, that she would retire from music and live performance.In a new statement posted to Twitter, the Irish musician explained to fans that she had felt “badly triggered” by a series of interviews regarding her new memoir, Rememberings, in which she writes of survivi...
Tags: Music, UK, Media, Society, Newspapers & magazines, Newspapers, Bbc, Mental Health, Culture, Sinead O'connor, Telegraph Media Group, O'Connor


‘This sounds like a human synthesiser’: the evolution of rap, one verse at a time

A rap tutor and a language expert dissect the various eras of music’s ever-shifting genre, from Beastie Boys to Giggs and Nicki MinajHe sound like a mosquito if it had access to a studio!”; “I played 645AR at your crib and all the mice in your walls started dancing”; “He sound like Future’s bed bugs”: not your standard rap fan comments, but the Bronx via Atlanta rapper-singer 645AR is … innovative. His lyrics may cover fierce street narratives and narcotic meanderings, but his vocal style is mor...
Tags: Music, Atlanta, Rap, Culture, Houston, Bronx, Giggs, Minnie Mouse, Nicki MinajHe


The look of glove: Nick Cave’s moving first photobook – in pictures

When the Bad Seeds singer found a solitary child’s glove hanging over a road sign he felt a ‘jolt of grief’ which led him on a photographic journey. He talks us through it Continue reading...
Tags: Photography, Music, Culture, Art and design, Nick Cave


How we made Three Lions: David Baddiel and Ian Broudie on England’s Euro 96 anthem

‘I heard German fans singing it after they knocked England out. I had to resist throwing a TV out of the window’I knew that New Order had done a football song [Italia 1990’s World in Motion], but I was hesitant when the FA asked me to do Euro 96. Fantasy Football with Frank Skinner and David Baddiel was big on TV at the time, so I thought they should sing it and the band could go uncredited. But everybody was like, “No. It’s got to be the Lightning Seeds as well.” Continue reading...
Tags: Music, England, Football, Sport, Society, UK News, Culture, Pop and rock, British identity and society, David Baddiel, New Order, Frank Skinner, Ian Broudie, Lightning Seeds


Martina Topley-Bird: ‘I wasn’t trying to be famous. I was embarrassingly earnest about being authentic’

The vocalist breaks her long silence to talk about grieving for her daughter, her pioneering work with Tricky on Maxinquaye and finally making an album she’s 98% happy with…Martina Topley-Bird is struggling with her voice today. “It was awful last night,” she says, croakily, down the line from her home in Valencia. “My first interview in 11 years and then this happens!” As it turns out, Topley-Bird’s will hold out for well over an hour. But it won’t always take her to where she wants to go. She’...
Tags: Music, Culture, Pop and rock, Electronic Music, Valencia, Tricky, Darlington, Mina, West Park, Martina Topley Bird, Mazy, Topley Bird


Angélique Kidjo: Mother Nature review – hip-hop exuberance meets African tradition

The veteran Benin singer emerges as leader of a new generation of African musicians in this joyful blend of new and old soundsWith a booming population that is overwhelmingly young, it’s only a matter of time before west Africa produces a global pop star as universally renowned as Beyoncé or Prince. When that happens, she or he will owe a big debt to Benin’s Angélique Kidjo who, now aged 60, has been a trailblazer for the continent over the course of 14 albums.Kidjo has always been about inclusi...
Tags: Music, Beyonce, Indonesia, Africa, Culture, Pop and rock, Benin, Philip Glass, Celia Cruz, Angelique Kidjo, Celia, Kidjo, Anggun


On my radar: Omari Douglas’s cultural highlights

The It’s a Sin actor on loving Eurovision, going back to 1971 with Asif Kapadia, and Channel 4’s female Muslim punk comedyActor Omari Douglas was born in Wolverhampton in 1994 and trained at the Arts Educational Schools in London, graduating in 2015. Earlier this year he made his TV debut playing Roscoe Babatunde in It’s a Sin, Russell T Davies’s Channel 4 drama about the 80s Aids crisis. His theatre credits include Rush (King’s Head theatre), Jesus Christ Superstar (Regent’s Park Open Air) and ...
Tags: Music, London, Apple TV, Culture, Television & radio, Channel 4, Wolverhampton, Eurovision, Jesus Christ, Russell T Davies, Davies, Vic, Asif Kapadia, Emma Rice, Vintage Fashion, Omari Douglas


One to Watch: Loraine James

Enfield’s electronic adventurer produces dreamlike, fractured soundscapes flavoured with free jazz, jungle and moreYou wouldn’t know it from her fragmented crushes of electronic sound, but Loraine James’s musical journey began with an unexpected choice: 2000s emo band Death Cab for Cutie. Then came the diverse tastes of her mum, who played anything from calypso to heavy metal in the Enfield tower block where James grew up, and where she also came out in her teens. The brightly hued Alma Road Est...
Tags: Music, Culture, Electronic Music, James, IDM, Enfield, Loraine james


Powfu: the lo-fi rapper who became a Covid-era star without leaving his bedroom

Last year the Canadian musician scored a global hit with Death Bed (Coffee for Your Head) – now he’s finally ready to meet his fansFor the lockdown superstar, omnipresent fame feels very much like obscurity used to. “I’ve been waiting a long time to go play with the fans,” says Powfu – AKA 22-year-old, Canadian lo-fi rapper Isaiah Faber – gazing around at the same four walls he was staring at before his breakthrough track Death Bed (Coffee for Your Head) unexpectedly racked up 360m YouTube strea...
Tags: Music, Rap, Culture, Pop and rock, Powfu, Isaiah Faber



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