Posts filtered by tags: Pop and rock[x]


Olivia Rodrigo: ‘I’m a teenage girl. I feel heartbreak and longing really intensely’

The Drivers License singer reflects on turning her first big breakup into the year’s biggest hit – and how songwriting saved her from the anxieties of being a Disney starDo you remember your first heartbreak? If not, 18-year-old Olivia Rodrigo’s debut single, Drivers License, may awaken some dusty memories. The story of passing her test and driving past the house of the ex she had planned to celebrate with, it filters Adele-scale devastation through Taylor Swift’s wit and Lorde’s mysticism, bala...
Tags: Music, UK, Taylor Swift, Lorde, California, Disney, US, Culture, Pop and rock, Disney Channel, Rodrigo, Olivia Rodrigo

Van Morrison: Latest Record Project Volume 1 review | Alexis Petridis's album of the week

(Exile/BMG)The veteran bluesman loudly wakes up the sheeple with this boring and paranoid double album, reminiscent of a dinner party with a bitter divorceeEven a man as implacably opposed to lockdown as Van Morrison – who spent 2020 releasing songs rubbishing science as “crooked facts”, mocking people for wearing masks and describing the government as “fascist bullies” while also invoking the Berlin Wall – might be forced to concede it had its advantages. After all, it gave him the time to writ...
Tags: Music, Berlin Wall, Soul, Culture, Pop and rock, Blues, Van Morrison, Alexis Petridis

‘MI5 were tapping our phones’: UB40 on starting out, falling out and losing millions

The Brummie reggae stars are back, but in two rival groups. They talk about clocking up 39 hits, partying hard and the bitter splitUB40 are remembering the days when they were dangerous. “MI5 were tapping our phones, watching our houses, all sorts,” says drummer Jimmy Brown. “We thought, ‘Haven’t they got criminals to catch?’ We were just a bunch of potheads, smoking weed and playing music. We weren’t planning the revolution, but if the revolution happened, we knew what side we were going to be ...
Tags: Music, Society, UK News, Culture, Pop and rock, UB40, Birmingham, Reggae, British identity and society, Inequality, Jimmy Brown, David Shayler, Class issues

‘I’m going to follow my mind’: Falle Nioke, the Guinean musician who moved to Margate

The singer spent hard years touring west Africa to pursue his dream of a music career, but a chance holiday meeting – and relocation to the Kent coast – sealed the dealTen years ago, Falle Nioke was sitting with only his bolon drum for company in a Gambian jail cell, some 3,000 miles from the Kent seaside town of Margate where he now lives and light years from his current world of domestic bliss and critical acclaim.Raised in Conakry, Guinea, the 33-year-old singer and percussionist spent most o...
Tags: Music, Africa, Culture, Pop and rock, Guinea, West Africa, Electronic Music, Margate, Kent, CONAKRY Guinea, Nioke, Falle Nioke

‘This is the most exciting moment I’ve experienced’: the artists changing the face of metal

Long mired in sexism, racism and homophobia, the rock genre is being transformed by a wave of progressive artistsMetal likes to think of itself as a family, a safe haven built on inclusivity. Everyone is welcome in the pit. Yet, historically, metal has also been a hostile space for women, people of colour and the LGBTQ+ community. Look below the line on articles published on any big metal website and you’ll find comments riddled with homophobia and transphobia. In 2019, an article published by M...
Tags: Music, Metal, Culture, Pop and rock, Phil Anselmo, Metal Hammer, Sieg Heiling

‘I did the vocals in the nude’ – the Bangles on how they made Eternal Flame

‘It felt like skinny-dipping,’ says singer Susanna Hoffs. ‘I ended up doing it for most of the album’In 1988, it felt like the Bangles had been touring endlessly. Our second album, Different Light, with the singles Manic Monday and Walk Like an Egyptian, had been released two years earlier. Now, finally, we could take a break from living on buses together. Continue reading...
Tags: Music, Culture, Pop and rock, Susanna Hoffs

Paul Weller: ‘Music means more to me since I’ve been sober’

On the eve of his 16th album, the master of English pop takes questions from musicians, politicians and readers on his punk past, quitting booze, and what lockdown does to mod haircutsIn the kitchen of a recording studio, down a long lane, off a village high street, stands the wiry, wired figure of Paul Weller, looking at his shoes. Oxblood fringe-and-buckle loafers. He is explaining the subtle differences between this pair, and another pair he owned a few years ago.“This part here used to be a ...
Tags: Music, Culture, Pop and rock, Paul Weller, The Jam

‘Nature is hurting’: Gojira, the metal band confronting the climate crisis

With stirring songwriting that considers grief, philosophy and ecological collapse, the French quartet have become one of the world’s greatest heavy bands. They discuss their journey so farJoe and Mario Duplantier grew up in a calm idyll – perhaps surprisingly for two of metal’s most forthright rabble-rousers. Born to a sketch-artist father and yoga teacher mother, the brothers were raised in Ondres, a remote commune on France’s western coast. Their house was so rural that, when a journalist vis...
Tags: Music, Metal, Climate Change, France, Environment, Culture, Pop and rock, Mario, Joe, Mario Duplantier, Mike Oldfield, Ondres

‘A blur of legs, arms and adrenaline’: the astonishing history of two-tone

As a new exhibition documents the UK ska-pop sound, stars including the Specials, Elvis Costello and Pauline Black recall how it opened up music, fashion and racial understanding2 Tone Records began in a Coventry flat in 1979 and peaked two years later, when the Specials’ era-defining Ghost Town went to No 1 as riots blazed around a UK in recession. The label launched the Specials and the Selecter from the current City of Culture, plus Londoners Madness, Birmingham’s the Beat and others, all to ...
Tags: Music, UK, Race, Culture, Pop and rock, Birmingham, Reggae, Selecter, Pauline Black, Ghost Town, SKA, Herbert Art Gallery Museum in Coventry

Billie Eilish: Your Power review – chilling ballad seeps under your skin

For the first single from her hugely anticipated second album, Eilish uses a disarmingly dreamy sound to confront a man preying on a young womanTo say that Billie Eilish’s forthcoming third album is eagerly-awaited is an understatement. It wasn’t just that 2019’s triple-Grammy winning When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? was incredibly popular, although it was. Eilish was already a phenomenon among tweenage girls, but its commercial success – it went platinum or multi-platinum in 17 countrie...
Tags: Music, Women, Life and style, Culture, Pop and rock, James Bond, Sexual Harassment, Tyler The Creator, Pete Townshend, Rolling Stone Magazine, Billie Eilish, Eilish, Finneas

Julia Michaels: Not in Chronological Order review | Alexis Petridis's album of the week

(Republic)She’s had billion-streaming hits and written songs with everyone from Dua Lipa to Linkin Park – but Michaels’ pedigree doesn’t translate into an indelible pop personalityThe world of the songwriter for hire is filled with ex-performers: former pop stars, indie rockers and – in the case of Max Martin – glam metal frontmen who slipped gratefully into the background when success, or their desire to be in the spotlight, faded. The sheer number of them suggests it’s a relatively straightfor...
Tags: Music, Culture, Pop and rock, Ed Sheeran, Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, Rita Ora, Linkin Park, Max Martin, Julia Michaels, Michaels, Alexis Petridis, Dua Lipa, Linkin Park Continue

Solange Knowles with her hair clips in: Carlota Guerrero’s best photograph

‘This was used as the cover of A Seat at the Table. We left her clips in to show vulnerability – but she still wanted to have a strong gaze, to look people in the eye’Gallery: the style-setting photography of Carlota GuerreroIn 2016, Solange Knowles’s manager contacted me on Instagram, asking if I wanted to art direct her new album, A Seat at the Table. I was working in Barcelona at the time, and had no idea I had that type of reach. It was my first big international commission. Related: The ...
Tags: Photography, Music, Instagram, Women, Barcelona, Life and style, Culture, Art and design, Pop and rock, Solange Knowles, Carlota Guerrero

‘My energy comes from optimism’: the hopeful music of spring 2021

In part two of our series on the musicians foregrounding hope in their songs, Esperanza Spalding, Rostam and more discuss the importance of positivityI started writing songs after my father died when I was 13. I used music to release the sadness that was flooding my heart and held on to my guitar like it was a float in an ocean. As an artist, I’ve always wanted to provoke chills, because to me that means I’ve connected with the spirit that’s giving me the music. Continue reading...
Tags: Music, Environment, Country, Culture, Pop and rock, Wildfires, Sexuality, Indie, Dance music, Jazz, Folk Music, Clubbing, Vampire Weekend, Coronavirus, Esperanza Spalding Rostam

‘If not hope, then what?’: the musicians finding optimism in dark times

Against a backdrop of Covid, a striking number of musicians, from hard rock to jazz, made music rich with positivity. In the first of a two-part series, they tell their storiesI had really given up on music after my mom passed away [in 2014], and then of course the record that I saw as my death rattle [2017’s Soft Sounds from Another Planet] got picked up in a big way. It was a very bittersweet moment where all these great things were happening in the wake of loss. I didn’t allow myself to feel ...
Tags: Music, Metal, Race, Mental Health, Culture, Pop and rock, Wildfires, Christianity, Indie, Dance music, Jazz, Peru, Folk Music, Americana, Bereavement, Coronavirus

Clapton, Hendrix, Spinal Tap: which is the best ever guitar solo?

Overblown musical pomposity to some, the guitar solo is seen as a benchmark of brilliance to many. But which is best?In the Guide’s weekly Solved! column, we look into a crucial pop-culture question you’ve been burning to know the answer to – and settle it“My solos are my trademark,” announced Nigel Tufnel in 1984’s This Is Spinal Tap. Cue footage of the topless musician performing some signature fret-fondling while curling his lip in satisfaction, then swapping his plectrum for a violin. Before...
Tags: Music, Culture, Pop and rock, Nigel Tufnel, Spinal Tap, Clapton Hendrix

The Who Sell Out: still a searing satire on pop’s commercial breakdown

Filled with product placement and advertising, the band’s newly reissued 1967 album put the pop in pop art, by showing how closely music was entwined with capitalThese days, we think of the period between 1965 and 1967 as one of white-hot musical progress, a dizzying three-year period during which innovation followed innovation, a succession of totemic albums and singles were released and pop music changed irrevocably. But, as Jon Savage’s superb book 1966: The Year the Decade Exploded made clea...
Tags: Music, Media, Advertising, The Who, Culture, Art and design, Pop and rock, The Rolling Stones, Psychedelia, Vinyl, Richard, Savage, Jon Savage, Cliff Richard, Maureen Cleave, Music books

Rochelle Jordan: ‘I had to learn to not let anybody strangle or suffocate my career again’

Illness and toxic deals held the leftfield R&B star back for too long. Now she returns with a radical rethinkRochelle Jordan is ready to let loose – even more than the rest of us right now. Coming after seven years away from the leftfield R&B scene that made her a cult star, her new album Play With the Changes is a mad-scientist merge of weird pop, futurist dance and UK garage. The sunny 2-step of Artful Dodger et al is practically part of Jordan’s DNA. Born in London and raised in Toronto, her ...
Tags: Music, UK, London, Toronto, Culture, Pop and rock, Jordan, Rochelle Jordan

‘It reeked of hope and ambition’: 30 years of riot grrrl label Kill Rock Stars

Born in the Pacific north-west scene that produced grunge – but often in opposition to it – Kill Rock Stars pushed women to the front of the stage, and also gave Elliott Smith a platformIn 1991, something was brewing under the constant clouds of Olympia, Washington. Young people flocked there, DIY bands formed, fanzines were scrawled with fervour, and feminist politics galvanised young women. And a record label was founded to house it all.“Everyone was in a band, usually three,” remembers Tinuvi...
Tags: Music, Women, US, Life and style, Music Industry, Culture, Feminism, Pop and rock, Punk, Indie, Washington State, Seattle, Matthew, Sleater-kinney, Elliott Smith, Pacific North West

Teenage Fanclub’s Norman Blake: ‘My first band was the Spanking Newts’

Back with a new album, the Fannies frontman remembers his teenage years, from the kindness of the Specials to selling guitar strings to John Martyn – and trying to impress with his ice-skating skillsI got my parents to buy me a bass, because I admired the Clash’s Paul Simonon and thought that would be the easiest instrument to learn. McCormack’s was a Glasgow institution: when the Beatles played the Apollo, when it was known as the Green’s Playhouse, the amps came from McCormack’s. I got a cheap...
Tags: Music, Culture, Pop and rock, Indie, Glasgow, Beatles, McCormack, Duglas T Stewart, John Martyn, Paul Simonon, Vaselines, Sean Dickson, Norman Blake, Teenage Fanclub, Francis McKee, Duglas

Girl in Red: ‘If my songs can normalise queerness, that’s amazing’

Whether her theme is desire or depression, Marie Ulven’s honesty, wit and willingness to share her secrets have turned the Norwegian musician into a Gen Z queer icon “I’ve never heard a song with people screaming they want to cut their hands off,” muses the Norwegian singer-songwriter Marie Ulven. Recently, she decided to rectify this with Serotonin, a joyfully effervescent pop-punk track about her long-standing battle with intrusive thoughts (produced by Finneas, Billie Eilish’s brother and col...
Tags: Music, Culture, Pop and rock, Indie, Marie Ulven, Finneas Billie Eilish, Ulven

Jim Steinman, master of the power ballad, gave pop an operatic energy

The brilliant songwriter for Meatloaf, Céline Dion and Bonnie Tyler, who has died aged 73, reminded us that pop music should involve fantasy and a sense of the ridiculousIn 1989, the NME interviewed Jim Steinman. The late journalist Steven Wells found him on fine, very Jim Steinman-ish form. He was presiding over a video shoot for a single by his new project Pandora’s Box, directed by Ken Russell, a man who shared Steinman’s zero-tolerance policy towards subtlety and good taste. Amid Russell’s e...
Tags: Music, Pandora, Culture, Pop and rock, Nme, Celine Dion, Todd Rundgren, Bonnie Tyler, Russell, Cathy, Emily Bronte, Ken Russell, Jim Steinman, Bronte, Wuthering Heights, Steinman

Sparks musical with Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard to open Cannes film festival

Written by Ron and Russell Mael and set in Los Angeles, Annette is the first English-language film by Holy Motors director Leos CaraxThe rescheduled 2021 edition of the Cannes film festival has picked Annette, a new film from Holy Motors director Leos Carax and starring Marion Cotillard and Adam Driver, for its high-profile opening slot.The musical, written by Sparks duo Ron and Russell Mael, is described by the festival as “the story of Henry, a standup comedian with a fierce sense of humour, a...
Tags: Europe, Business, Music, Musicals, Film, France, Los Angeles, World news, Film Industry, Culture, Pop and rock, Festivals, Spike Lee, Cannes film festival, ANN, Marion Cotillard

Today’s pop industry cheats songwriters | Björn Ulvaeus

It’s the song, not the album, that rules modern pop – but payment for writers is dysfunctional at best. We urgently need a new modelIn 1973, Abba were invited to submit a song as Sweden’s entry to the Eurovision song contest. We had a perfect song: it was called Hasta Mañana. It was a ballad, it was catchy, it sounded like the kind of thing that did well in the Eurovision song contest. So we didn’t enter it. We chose Waterloo instead, which sounded like nothing we had ever heard at Eurovision be...
Tags: Spotify, Music, Sweden, Music Industry, Culture, Pop and rock, Digital music and audio, Abba, Waterloo, Björn Ulvaeus

Allison Ponthier: ‘I’ve started making sculptures of little alien people’

The jazz school dropout on her rise from professional Snapchatter to making claymation movies and country musicAllison Ponthier might only have one song in circulation, the high and lonesome Cowboy, but it already sounds like a modern classic. A Phoebe Bridgers-style confessional wrapped up in the country-pop polish of Kacey Musgraves, it tells the tale of this small-town Texan breaking free of her conservative bubble – Ponthier’s high school made 14-year-old students take abstinence pledges – i...
Tags: Music, New York, Kacey Musgraves, Culture, Pop and rock, Allison Ponthier

From Beethoven’s Ninth to Theme from Shaft: the best exercise anthems

Soul classics, German film soundtracks and chugging rap – here’s a workout of bangers to get you off the couch Continue reading...
Tags: Music, Culture, Pop and rock, Beethoven

‘I made my peace’: fans divided over Taylor Swift’s re-recording project

By minting new versions of her albums amid an industry dispute, Swift has moved on from the originals. Can fans with profound connections to them do the same?In early April, Rebs Fisher-Jackson, a 23-year-old, self-identifying Swiftie – the collective name for fans of the singer-songwriter Taylor Swift – listened to her album Fearless for the final time. “I made my peace with it,” she says with the air of a mourner.Rebs was one of millions of fans saying goodbye to a once-beloved album, Swift’s ...
Tags: Spotify, Music, Taylor Swift, Culture, Pop and rock, Swift, Rebs, Fisher Jackson

‘I made my peace’: fans divided over Taylor Swift’s rerecording project

By minting new versions of her albums amid an industry dispute, Swift has moved on from the originals. Can fans with profound connections to them do the same?In early April, Rebs Fisher-Jackson, a 23-year-old, self-identifying Swiftie – the collective name for fans of the singer-songwriter Taylor Swift – listened to her album Fearless for the final time. “I made my peace with it,” she says with the air of a mourner.Rebs was one of millions of fans saying goodbye to a once-beloved album, Swift’s ...
Tags: Spotify, Music, Taylor Swift, Culture, Pop and rock, Swift, Rebs, Fisher Jackson

Platinum pop-punks the Offspring: 'We're outcasts among outcasts'

They scored a UK No 1 single and the biggest-selling independent album ever. Thirty-seven years into their career, the California band ponder middle-aged sex – and being denied respect“It’s very fashionable now to say, ‘When we were young, we didn’t fit in,’” says Dexter Holland, frontman for multi-platinum punk-rockers the Offspring, Zooming from the band’s plush Orange County recording studio. “But it really was true for us in high school, where everything was about looks, athleticism and popu...
Tags: Music, UK, California, Culture, Pop and rock, Punk, Indie, Holland, Orange County, Kevin, Wasserman, Dexter Holland

Rockin' in the free world? Inside the rightwing takeover of protest music

It’s easy to laugh at hardcore patriots misunderstanding Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the USA, but such appropriation is increasingly widespread – and dangerously twisting the truth“Did you know that Born in the USA is actually an anti-Vietnam war anthem?” Since Donald Trump embraced the 1984 Bruce Springsteen song during rallies, the lyrics have prompted so much explanation it now borders on cliche. Yet it’s no less unsettling for it, becoming a prime example of a startlingly widespread trend fo...
Tags: Music, Politics, Usa, Bruce Springsteen, Protest, Barack Obama, Reagan, UK News, US news, Culture, US politics, Ronald Reagan, Pop and rock, New Jersey, Donald Trump, Eric Clapton

Greta Van Fleet on critics: ‘They’re pissed off that we’re doing something’

The Grammy award-winning rock band have received commercial success yet critics haven’t been quite as receptive – can their new album change that?Talk to Josh Kiszka, lead singer of the band Greta Van Fleet, about his time growing up in a small town in the American midwest and you’d think he was describing the life of Huckleberry Finn. “We were outside most of the time, building rafts and taking them down the river,” the 24-year-old told the Guardian. “There wasn’t a lot of television in the hou...
Tags: Music, Culture, Pop and rock, Guardian, Huckleberry Finn, Greta Van Fleet, Josh Kiszka, Kiszka

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