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Every month brings fresh and new additions to the ever-evolving world of music. Here are my personal favourites of the past month, as well as some classic throwbacks. Enjoy!

 


 

Alex Newell & DJ Cassidy (feat. Nile Rodgers) – “Kill The Lights”
This super-positive Studio54-style disco hit was released hand in hand with the last two episodes of “Vinyl” on HBO. A truly fantastic throwback to the 70s funk phenomenon of NYC underground with Alex Newell absolutely killing them vocals. It makes you love funk again.

 

Foxing – “Night Channels”
The information you can find about a band called “Foxing” states they evolved from a post-rock band called Hunter Gatherer in 2011, released their debut album in 2013, and are now following with their newest LP “Dealer”. “Night Channels” is accompanied by a 11-minute official video, beautifully directed by John Komar together with the bands bassist Josh Coll. It’s an emotion-tearing post-rock ballad, that visually follows the story of a certain love triangle. See for yourself:

 

The 1975 – “Change of Heart”
The 1975 are succesfully continuing the promotion of their new LP “I Like It When You Sleep…..”.
Their newest single is “A Change Of Heart”, with a heart-warming (and heart-breaking) video…

 

Brian Fallon – “Painkillers”
Brian Fallon, of Gaslight Anthem, has parted ways with his alma mater, and is now woking on first ever . After singles “A Wonderful Life” and “Nobody Wins”, he has now released “Painkillers” – the title track of the album, and a wonderful americana-fueled, springsteen-felt, nostalgic tune.
There may not be such a difference between Fallon’s solo works and the Gaslight Anthem discography, but the imminent folk emotion is still very present.

 

Mumford & Sons – There Will Be Time
This is probably one of the biggest surprises of the past month – Mumford&Sons teamed up with Senegalese singer Baaba Maal (and others), to record the EP “Johannesburg” within just two days, during the bands stay in South Africa, last year. So far, we got to hear the first single “There Will Be Time” – a happy, warm and positive UK/Senegal collaboration.

 

 

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Every month brings fresh and new additions to the ever-evolving world of music. Here are my personal favourites of the past month, as well as some classic throwbacks. Enjoy.

 

 

Kaleo – “No Good”

This Icelandic rock/folk revelation is currently featured on the soundtrack of HBO’s “Vinyl with their raw guitar-fueled massive track “No Good“. Kaleo are a pleasing throwback – their sound is convincingly 1970s, while their presence is truly 2016. Many ears will be happy to witness the trendy comeback of traditional rock and roll – and if it’s happening, Kaleo could be the next big thing.

 

The 1975 – The Sound

The third single from The 1975’s second studio album “I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it” is a huge track. The catchy synth-pop anthem gets introduced with a sequence of massive piano chords, followed by an array of 80s synths and climaxing with an unprecedented guitar solo in a 2000s Daft Punk fashion. The official video for “The Sound” is also a treat: The dystopical parody of the modern music industry and the people surrounding it makes you love The 1975 even more.

 

Biffy Clyro – Wolves of Winter
They’re are back! And they’re back with a blast – Biffy Clyro’s new single “Wolves of Winter” is packed with blastingly heavy guitars, great solos and a huge unforgettable chorus. All in the true Biffy fashion.

 

 

Iggy Pop – German Days

Pop’s new album “Post Pop Depression” features the great Josh Homme and also number of great tracks, but “German Days” has something more. Perhaps a bit of Bowie, or just how poetically words such as “champagne on ice” can sound… For someone who never got Iggy, here’s a chance to glance through.

 

Big Star – Thirteen
Also currently brought about by the Vinyl soundtrack, Big Star’s “#1 Record” was apparently a underrated record, that later gained cult-status. Big Star themselves were never commercially successful, but have notably influenced a number of musicians…. “Thirteen” is a wonderful guitar ballad, with the true sound of the sixties and seventies: “Won’t you tell your dad get off my back? Tell him what we said ’bout Paint It Black, rock and roll is here to stay.”

 

 

Spring is coming….

 

 

 

 

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The start of 2016 is proving to be a very unpleasant rollercoaster ride for the world of music. After the passings of Scott Weiland, Natalie Cole and Lemmy Kilmister, yet another great legend has joined the great gig in the sky: The Thin White Duke, Ziggy Stardust, Spaceman, the pioneer of creativity and imagination David Bowie has passed following an 18-month lasting battle with cancer.

 

I was only just unlocking my eyes to a rainy morning in Prague, when my phone alerts me with a breaking news message: “Music legend David Bowie has died”. A shock runs through my body and suddenly the world has gone dark.

You see, David Bowie had a special place in me – being an older soul amongst my millenial friends I would listen to quite an amount of “older” music. Let it be The Beatles, Elton John, my piano idol Billy Joel or Tom Waits, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and others. Amongst them the most important music influence in my coming of age must have been Velvet Underground (their album with Nico) and the duke himself David Bowie. When you’re a teen-something running around a medieval city like Prague, born on the other side of the world and seeking creative excitement in this peculiar society, you will probably take inspiration from something that clearly counter-acts the world around you. Even though that would be definition of a rebelious teenager anywhere around the world, in a country like this the impact is even larger and nontheless important.

I grew up in artistic surroundings – my mother an actress and my father a former theater critic and director. The world was an exciting place to discover, and I was always taught to stay unique and not to fall before the negative factors that surround the modern world. “Don’t expect anything from anyone. You yourself, your personality and character is the greatest gift you could ever have” – those were the words I heard so often, and helped me through an upbringing in the cold, closed and envious enviroment of a central European nation.

You probably know, by now, where Bowie comes in. When I first discovered Ziggy Stardust, when I first heard “Life on Mars” or “Heroes” and when I first saw “Velvet Goldmine”, I was amazed. A whole new world opened, and I soon realised why the kids of the 70s idolised this persona so massively. He was the prince of curiosity, the rebelious character that showed a whole following of outsiders that you can be whatever you ever wanted to be. The infinite amount of invention was transpiring. He showed the world a gentle side of irreverance that was so sought for by anyone who ever found themselves lost in identity or in how to stay true to their dreams in a world that never favoured the outcasts.

Bowie’s artistic freedom, passion, invention and timeless beauty will never fade. His legacy lives inside many souls and can never die. I feel incredibly lucky to say, that I witnessed the life of a legend. An absolute, unforgettable and incredibly inspiring legend.

My love cannot express how much you ment to me. Thank you for everything, Ziggy.

Farewell.

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James Bay Chaos and the CalmThe new-age UK songwriter wonderboy James Bay seems to be breaking grounds with his 2015 debut album “Chaos and the Calm”. The critic’s choice at the 2015 BRIT Awards has scooped 3 Grammy nominations fro 2016 and his heading high after supporting Taylor Swift and Hozier on their 2014 and 2015 tours. That’s what you call kickstarting a career.

But most importantly, there definitely is reason to why this record is so anticipated. You don’t need much time to realise that you’re listening to an unusually crafted piece of music; James Bay’s “Chaos and the Calm” includes a number phenomenal tunes and potential indie-pop and fold-rock anthems. Some of then incredibly catchy, especially the Nutini-style “If You Ever Want To Be In Love” and the hit single “Hold Back The River”. And some of them just pure beauty – the folky melancholic “Move Together” and “Need The Sun To Break” – both great pieces of songwriting, the latter following a dynamic signature of the likes of Biffy Clyro or early Coldplay.

↸ James Bay – “If You Ever Want To Be In Love”

 

James Bay is great representative of the long tradition of great British songwriters – his influences are evident and he has made the perfect step towards taking over and extending the great run. The record also has producer Jaquire King to thank for the success – King has worked with the likes of Tom Waits, Kings of Leon, Norah Jones, Editors or the modern radio matadors Of Monsters & Men and City and Colour. He is responsible for some of the best albums of the 21st century – KoL’s “Only by The Night” or Editors’ “The Weight Of Love”. His signature is strongly engraved, and the way he portrays the emotion in James Bay is extraordinary. Overall they have created a wonderful piece of music, and quite possibly started a journey that can catapult Bay to stardom, the only question remaining is if this record can hit enough notes amongst the general audience. The unhealthy modern music industry hasn’t been too kind to these kinds of musicians, but times are slowly changing and one could maybe hope, that this could be the next big thing.

There is no other way then strongly recommending this album – you won’t need to listen twice, but if you don’t listen at all you may end up missing out on one of the best albums of 2015.

5*

↸ James Bay – “Need The Sun To Break”

 

 

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Troye Sivan se do hledáčku nejednoho hudebního nadšence dostal až během posledních několika měsíců.
Tenhle Australský “wonder-boy”, vzešlý z okruhu youtuberské smetánky, se skrz svojí nesmírnou digitální popularitu probojoval až ke smlouvě s Australskou odnoží Universal Music.

Po dvou úspěšných EP, milionech shlédnutí na YT a pár hereckých angažmá, nyní vydává své debutové album “Blue Neighbourhood”, ke kterému se váže stejnojmenná trilogie videoklipů.
Singly “Wild”, “Fools” “Talk Me Down” tvoří pozoruhodný příběh dvou chlapců z prostředí pracující třídy a předměstského života – jeho pointu netřeba prozrazovat. Jde ale o velmi emotivní téma, které je v dnešním světě stále neuvěřitelně aktuální.
Potřeba je snad jen říct, že se Troye Sivan vydává velmi zajímavou cestou, a vytváří výbornou vizitku nové LGBT vlně ve světové pop-music, která prozatím stále zůstává v pozadí.

Podívejte se na trilogii “Blue Neighbourhood”:

WILD

FOOLS

TALK ME DOWN

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The Rollings Stones - 1973Asi není třeba představovat Rolling Stones, ani jejich album Let It Bleed z roku 1969. Stejně tak asi není potřeba zmiňovat neméně známou píseň, která na tomto albu vyšla. Mám na mysli You Can’t Always Get What You Want – balada, která původně vyšla jako B-side k Honky-Tonk Woman, a která se nakonec stala jednou z nejikoničtějších rockových balad všech dob.

Když v roce 1973 vyráželi stouni na své evropské turné, tak asi netušili, že se po jedné příhodě z vanou plnou Dom Perignonu rozloučí s Bobby Keysem, a netušili ani to, že to bude na dlouhou dobu poslední turné s Mickem Taylorem, který se až do roku 1981 po boku kapely neobjeví.
Což, to už je rock’n’roll. Ale jinak tohle turné vlastně až tak zajímavé nebylo; jedinou zajímavostí byla snad dvouset-librová pokuta Keithu Richardsovi (a jeho přítelkyni Anitě Pallenberg) za neoprávněné držení zbraní a drog, a ona příhoda s vanou plnou Dom Perignona – jakási kratochvíle saxofonisty Bobbyho keyse, která způsobila jeho brzký odchod zhruba v polovině turné.
Na Rolling Stones vlastně ještě docela pohodička.

Rolling Stones kvůli drogově aféře Richardse a Pallenberg nebyl povolen vstup do Francie, a tak se rozhodli uspořádat dva koncerty pro francouzské poslouchače v sousední Belgii.
17. Října 1973 odehráli RS svůj první koncert v Bruselu, ze kterého vznikl živák “A Brussels Affair” – a právě na něm můžete mimojiné najít unikátní verzi You Can’t Always Get What You Want, na které hraje dechová sekce původně sestavená Bobby Keysem (na saxofon Trevor Lawrence a na trubku Steve Madaio), a rovněž taky Billy Preston na varhany a klarinet.
Nezvyklé nástrojové obsazení a vrcholná forma Micka Taylora (sólová kytara) vytvořily pozoruhodnou a naprosto unikátní verzi – mnohdy označovanou za jednu z nejlepších vůbec.

Tak tedy – You Can’t Always Get What You Want  – live from Brussels, 1973 :

 

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Editors - IN DREAM

Editors jsou zpět. Po dvou letech a veleúspěšném albu “The Weight Of Your Love” se vrací s novou deskou.
Jestliže ale předchozí deska zcela naplnila očekávání, tak bylo o něco těžší odhadovat jak a kam bude směřovat deska následující.

Koneckonců, ti co byli při příležitosti minulého tour na Pražském koncertě Editors, tak jej mají určite stále v živé paměti. Sám kytarista Justin Lockey v nedávném rozhovoru pro časpois Headliner zmínil:

“Naposledy, když jsme hráli v Praze, to byl nejlepší koncert z turné. Ta atmosféra z publika v malém klubu byla neuvěřitelná a intenzivní”

Koncert to byl fantastický. Atmosféra se dala skutečně krájet – dusno a temno prořezávaly zvuky nabroušených kytar a úderných tónu klavíru Toma Smithe. Zdálo se, že Lucerna Music Bar byl pro takový koncert jako stvořený – každý track z tehdy nové desky fungoval v tomto prostředí naprosto neuvěřitelně.

Ale kam dál? Těžko překonávat tak vynikající počin, jakým byl “The Weight Of Your Love”. 

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