Legendary songwriter Neil Young’s music has been removed from streaming giant Spotify following the platform’s exclusive partnership with controversial podcaster Joe Rogan.
The Buffalo Springfield star had previously sent a letter to Spotify’s bosses regarding Mr Rogan’s podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience, which has been slated by medical experts and scientists for spreading false information about the Covid-19 vaccine.
Spotify then confirmed that Mr Young’s discography would be taken down from the platform. Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter a spokesperson said: “We want all the world’s music and audio content to be available to Spotify users, with that comes great responsibility in balancing both safety for listeners and freedom for creators.
“We regret Neil’s decision to remove his music from Spotify, but hope to welcome him back soon.”
On 24th January Mr Young posted a statement on his website requesting that his record label and management team immediately look into the matter.
The Grammy award-winning songwriter wrote: “I am doing this because Spotify is spreading fake information about vaccines – potentially causing death to those who believe the disinformation being spread by them. Please act on this immediately today and keep me informed of the time schedule. I want all my music off their platform. They can have (Joe) Rogan or Young. Not both.” as reported by Rolling Stone.
Every now and again there will be that one song that shouts higher and louder than the thousands that rush through the promo doors. Something that genuinely hooks, that strives to innovate, that is actively seeking to destroy all trace of complacency and repetition; enter ‘Alternative Facts’ from the wizards at Mangoseed.
In just three and a half minutes the band not only serves up a fantastic first tease to ‘Dreamers’, the record from which it originates, but also makes a great case for the novelty of combining elements of ska, rock, punk and jungle into an eclectic smorgasbord worthy of lauding. This comes packed with reggae style hooks to keep the heads bobbing but also serves up a bitter political undertone when the lines are read between which is well complimented by the generous helping of bass lines and electronic glitching and screeches.
But for some it will be the poignancy that accompanies the sharp political undertones that do the track’s heavy lifting. Frontman Nicholai La Barrie has no issue with blending his hypnotically smooth deliveries with piercing blows against the social zeitgeist; he does not mince words and nor should he do so.
This is a concept that stretches out beyond the three and a half minute boundaries that the song finds itself between and into the greater picture of Dreamers’ 11 tracks. Nicholai explains: “Most of our lives are governed by some kind of political decision that we had nothing to do with. It’s really important to say that out loud and ask questions so we feel with and for people and bring them together. There is healing power in music. You can find bliss in everybody jumping, singing, and dancing together.”
An indelible message from an unequally unforgettable band. ‘Alternative Facts’ deserves to be played loud and proud by all; so grab your speakers and turn the to 11.
It’s not every day that you stumble across something as wonderful as the photographs of David Hicks, whose work captures music and motion in striking and unusual ways. Hicks’ shots are often taken from unexpected angles, or at times not often documented by standard pictures. See, for example, his visual documents of Cuban musicians, music and dance. “In Cuba,” says Hicks, “they live for their music. It’s everything to them, and they’re very good at it.” After the initial outlay of buying the instrument of choice,” he goes on, “it’s very cheap to enjoy. There’s not much in the way of other distractions so practise is easy.”
You can view Hicks’ fascinating photographs here. Says Hicks: “I tried to avoid the obvious photographs of the average Cuban bands doing their thing.” In many of his shots, Hicks has succeeded in capturing wonderfully suspended moments in time, just before the music starts, or just after it has finished. Please do check out the work of this singular photographer.
Howdy folks! Just wanted to share something quite brilliant with all you music-lovers out there. If, like me, you have an extensive collection of physical media (in my case, CDs), then chances are you’re precious collection is stored in some generic flat-pack shelving units. There’s nothing wrong with that – they do the job, but that’s all they do. Fance upgrading to something ultra-stylish, hand-made and purpose-built for music fans by a music fan. Meet Tunetables!
What we have here are bespoke tables that double as storage for CDs, tapes or vinyl. Each one is based on the aesthetic of music-equipment flight-cases – you know the sort of thing. I have to say, they look amazing. “The Tunetables idea was borne,” says inventor and Tunetables head, Rob Chappelhow, “out of a personal desire to have my music collection around me once again.” That’s something we can all appreciate. If you have a moment, head over to their website and check them out. Yes, you will be paying more than the price of a flat-pack, but then you are getting a whole lot more for your money.
iLana Armida proves herself once again as a master of smooth, summery pop music. Fresh off of writing for Doja Cat’s smash hit album Planet Her, her new single Summertime Love continues to prove her ear for pop music. In this case, she once again brings the smooth, summery vibes to create an inviting love song.
iLana’s breathy, soothing vocals perfectly match the airy synths and light beat, crafting a perfect song to evoke a blissful summer day. iLana is, of course, the master of this formula, having racked up 7.6 million Spotify plays on songs she co-wrote. Her choice to remain an independent artist, like other artists like Tinashe, has allowed her to create every aspect of her artistry – including by mixing cultural influence. The label system, traditionally bad at handling any mix of styles (see the aforementioned Tinashe as an example), probably would not know how to handle her mix of influences from around the globe. iLana herself is of mixed heritage, and her ability to stay ambiguous culturally and take influence from everywhere serves to create a welcoming sonic environment for all.
In her words, “I sing songs that incorporate multiple languages and genres purposefully so that people of all cultures and backgrounds and ethnicities can feel connected to the music…I want everyone to feel accepted and united.“
London-based artist Alan Dweck returns with a remaster of a song from his last album, ‘Entangled Moments’. The song (and especially the remaster) reflect Dweck’s vast variety of influences, both musical and from his travels around the world. Years after his band became one of the first western ones to tour Eastern Europe after the fall of the Berlin Wall, his diverse array of international influences continue to seep into his work. His Blues, Jazz, and Progressive roots all come through on the track, which he has called his ‘tribute to some of the great blues and soul songs of the past’.
The track itself is an incredibly touching slice of his music. The fresh mix reemphasizes the strengths of the original while breathing new life into the track. His ever poignant lyrics continue to touch the hearts of his listeners across the world, while the instrumentals fill the listener with vivid images of their own.
“Alan Dweck paints visceral imagery through his music. Narrative driven, at times almost theatrical nod to piano driven cinematic soundscapes and acoustic guitar licks spliced with Progressive, Jazz and Blues. Alan has always pursued a symbiotic combination of the sonic and visual arts.”
The Fabulous Red Diesel have outdone themselves. The four-piece band, in releasing their new single “Mama Josie Said”, have decided to share a music video featuring their acclaimed live show at Brighton Fringe. The song itself is, of course, smooth, laid-back, and stunning, but the group’s performances are out of this world. Mixing trapeze, modern dance, and projections with their music leads to an incredible experience.
The group, made up of husband-and-wife team Ms. Kitty (vocals, keys, flute) and Duke Bloom (drums), transgender musician Miss Bea-Have (double bass, tuba, trumpet), and Rabbi Jaffa Delicious (guitar and trumpet), create a song and performance environment that stand out completely as uniquely “Fabulous Red Diesel”. On the topic of the song’s lyrics, Ms. Kitty said “The theory is that when you raise your own vibration, it affects everyone around you, they want to raise theirs, by doing what they love and finding peace.”
The Fabulous Red Diesel will be performing their live show “Sparkly Bird” various Pop Up Theaters (including ones at Broomgrove Estate and The Stade, Hastings for the Coastal Current Arts Festival) free of charge, emphasizing their belief that live music should be available to everyone.
SHOWS: Frome Festival– 08/07/21 Green Gathering –30/07/21, 01/08/21 Sparkly Bird Pop Up Theatre – Broomgrove Estate, 11/08/21 Rye Jazz Festival (Jazz/Funk Day) – Supporting Incognito and Courtney Pine,28/08/21 Sparkly Bird Pop Up Theatre – The Stade Hastings 11/09/21
Welsh noise rock and industrial band Purple Glass have returned with their new single Laundering Diamonds, a single that looks at often overlooked aspects of society. Members Evan Davies and Randell Denning craft a single that, while clear in its purpose, never talks down to the listener and allows them to draw their own conclusions. The duo, who are currently working on an album, use this single to show what they do best.
The duo allows the vocals and lyrics to be front and center in this song, leaning on the simpler side for the riff/rhythms. This is not to say those are weaker by any means – by contrast, the simplicity of the riffs allows them to become universal, bringing forth visions of dancing in mosh pits. This song scratches an itch of sorts that very few bands really do, making this an easy recommendation for any fan of acts like Nine Inch Nails.
The group aims to “represent where we believe is a lack of experimental yet, concise rock music in the guise of the noise and industrial subgenres on the radio and we believe our music represents a gap in the market and what we ourselves enjoy listening to. We provide thought provoking social commentary that doesn’t ask you to pick a side merely to understand the nuances of situations and events and come to your own conclusions.”
A Flock of Seagulls, the decade defining synthpop and new wave band, are back on August 20th with their second orchestral album String Theory after 2018’s Ascension. This album, once again, features the Prague Orchestra (among others) to add new instrumental backing to 11 new recordings of classics and fan favorites. The album, like Ascension, features all four original members, including lead vocalist and hairdresser Mike Score, his brother drummer Ali Score, fellow hairdresser and bassist Frank Maudsley, and guitarist Paul Reynolds.
From their genre codifying hit singles such as “I Ran (So Far Away)” to their distinctive visuals that were constantly played on MTV to lead singer Mike Score’s outrageous haircut, all of which are referenced in pop culture to this day, the group helped make the 1980’s what they were aesthetically. The group, interestingly enough, continues to examine what their classic songs would sound like in a more timeless format.
The answer is largely that the songs, including “Say You Love Me”, “Messages”, “The More You Live, The More You Love”, “Remember David” and “The Story of A Young Heart”, gain a new coat of paint that only enriches the already well loved tracks. This is a lovely gift to hardcore fans and casual enjoyers of their hits alike.
After releasing his acclaimed album “Norwegian Pop” earlier this year, LearningToDive is back with a much more introspective song. Bravo Bonez, the one behind the LearningToDive project, wrote the song for the 80’s pop and post-punk inspired album, but realized that it was unique enough to merit its own moment as a standalone single. The song’s atmospheric yet sparse sound, mixing genres like country and sophisti-pop, makes the song as gorgeous and meaningful as it is.
The song itself is a reflection on being united with family. Bonez’s longing performance, along with Alba Rose’s otherworldly backing vocals, help to underscore the song’s message of wanting to return to a life left behind. The song’s video provides an interesting lens into this – it was filmed in Ocean Sound Recording Studio, the Norwegian studio where the album was recorded, far away from his loved ones. The song has elements of melancholy, but it provides a sense of hope.
About the song, Bonez said that “‘You Said It Best’ is an uplifting, heartwarming message incorporating themes of self-acceptance, forgiveness and gratitude, and is about coming back to one’s roots and working out what really matters.”