On ‘Jessica Rabbit’ Sleigh Bells have chosen to tone down the noise in favour of a more R&B and pop-influenced record.
by Ed Biggs For nearly fifty years, David Bowie has made a career from leaving his past behind him and forging a path for the future, for music as well as himself, making some of the most forward-thinking and celebrated and varied pop in the history of the genre and inspiring countless hundreds of other innovative artists. Truly, his is one of the most totemic reputations in all of popular culture,
by Ed Biggs Hertfordshire-born singer-songwriter James Bay, this year’s recipient of the Brit Awards’ ‘Critics Choice’ Award, has got virtually all of the music press baffled. Just who on earth are these ‘critics’? Do they simply mean Republic’s A&R men? Because aside from looking photogenic and wearing a jaunty hat, nobody seems to be able to explain why Bay deserves any kind of special attention at all. A fellow graduate
by Ed Biggs Following her resplendent fourth album Once I Was An Eagle, which was our second highest-ranked album of 2013 and had critics drawing breathless (and justified) comparisons with the great Joni Mitchell, British alt-folk heroine Laura Marling was suffering from exhaustion. Dissatisfied with the initial batch of songs she wrote in the aftermath, she recharged her batteries in Los Angeles by travelling, meeting people and accumulating experiences and
by Ed Biggs The narrative arc of Depeche Mode is one of the most intriguing evolutions in pop history. When they began their long career in 1980, they were at the lighter end of the post-punk backlash against guitars, often critically derided but achieving commercial success with simple, upbeat synth-pop hits like ‘New Life’ and ‘Just Can’t Get Enough’. But after one album they were left stranded by their original
by Ed Biggs Boy, has Chris Martin got a lot to answer for. Irish ‘alternative rock’ quartet Kodaline, having found chart success with their brand of polished, radio-friendly pop-guitar ballads with their first full-length In A Perfect World, give us a follow-up less than two years later. But as with that, their second album Coming Up For Air must rank as one of the most egregious instances of musical mis-labelling
by Matthew Langham Former Fleet Foxes member Josh Tillman, a.k.a. Father John Misty, returns with I Love You, Honeybear, his follow-up to his 2012 debut record Fear Fun, the second under his latest moniker. The self-described concept record is more of a confessional, offering his revelations on love and life following his marriage. This doesn’t make it a soppy record exactly, but it gives a very visual context to his