Music, Pop

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5 reasons to go see Future Islands

22 May 2014

Samuel T Herring and co are much more than just a viral phenomenon

1. You saw it, right? Tell us you saw it. Saw what? Why, Future Islands’ career-breaking turn closing The Late Show with David Letterman back in March, of course – one of music’s viral moments of the year, currently at almost one and a half million…

Interview: Phillip Taylor of PAWS talks We Are Scientists, Weezer and the Morrissey incident

21 May 2014

'It’s nice to receive support from the press... It’s not why we play music'

Your new album Youth Culture Forever is out soon in the UK, how are you feeling ahead of the release? Phillip Taylor, frontman: I’m really excited for it to come out. Hopefully people that liked our first record will like this one also. It’s a strange…

Foxes - Glorious

15 May 20142 stars

Louisa Rose Allen's debut album is a pale conflation of Lykke Li, Florence Welch and Ellie Goulding

To date, Foxes has proved herself as a favoured ‘featuring’ vocalist – so favoured that she won a Grammy for featuring on the dance hit ‘Clarity’ by Zedd. Since her breakthrough, she has done some other ‘featuring stuff’ with the likes of Rudimental and…

Michael Bublé announces two dates in London as part of 2014 world tour

1 Apr 2014

Tickets for the December dates at The O2 will go on sale from Fri 4 Apr

After ten sold out shows at The O2 last year, Michael Bublé is coming back to the venue to play two nights in December (Mon 15 & Tue 16) as part of his new UK arena tour. These dates, plus an already-announced show in Belfast, are his only confirmed…

Wild Beasts - The Arches, Glasgow, Thu 27 Mar 2014

31 Mar 20145 stars

Hayden Thorpe and co play a special set of celestial songs from new album Present Tense

Present Tense, Wild Beast's fourth album, has been showered with acclaim since its release earlier this month. Rightfully so too, it's an exquisite record which cements the Kendal group's gradual evolution from carnal, loquacious, indie upstarts, into…

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Interview: Edinburgh guitar-pop four-piece Kid Canaveral

28 May 2014

The 2013 SAY Award nominees discuss skeleton-filled cupboards, throwing parties and blowing £20,000

Edinburgh guitar-pop four-piece Kid Canaveral are among the contenders for the 2013 Scottish Album of the Year Award, having made it onto the longlist with their second album, Now That You Are A Dancer. The SAY Award process is currently in the 72-hour…

Radio 1’s Big Weekend - Glasgow Green, Sat 24 May & Sun 25 May 2014

27 May 20143 stars

A big, bouncy, blaring, bargainous bumper bill featuring Coldplay, Katy Perry, Pharrell and more

Radio 1’s Big Weekend delivered a big, bouncy, blaring, bargainous bumper bill to those listeners who were quick off the mark in claiming the 50,000 free tickets dispensed across the two days - and a shock to the system of anyone who deserted the…

Exposure: singer-songwriter Angel Olsen

22 May 2014

Olsen's recent output salutes the work of Mazzy Star, The Everly Brothers and Leonard Cohen

No one on earth could feel like this. I’m thrown and overblown with – well, to be honest, bliss doesn’t cover it, but let me tell you, Angel Olsen must be playing with my heart. The American singer-songwriter and guitarist – think Loretta Lynn…

Pharrell Williams announces UK leg of Dear G I R L tour

21 May 2014

Tickets for the UK dates will go on sale from Fri 23 May

Pop king Pharrell Williams has announced details of his upcoming UK/European tour, 'Dear G I R L' which sets off in September 2014. Despite his tendency to produce and collaborate with other big names in pop and hip hop, Pharrell will be travelling…

Katy Perry – Hydro, Glasgow, Sat 17 May 2014

20 May 20145 stars

The pop queen's live show is visually and sonically overwhelming, and jaw-droppingly vast

I’m not meant to be here. I go to a lot of gigs, but most of them are small-scale affairs: filthy, subterranean rooms in which filthy, subterranean people make filthy, subterranean noises, usually for love rather than money. I’ve not set foot in an…

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The Phantom Band - Strange Friend

19 May 20144 stars

A sterling Scottische-pop LP from the genre-exploring sextet

The stellar third long-player from The Phantom Band, our six strange (invisible) friends from Scotland-via-Saturn's rings, maps out, explores and downright rules across a motley realm of far-flung deserts ('Atacama') and archipelagos ('Galapagos'), with…

Kylie Minogue - Kiss Me Once

13 May 20143 stars

Kylie's 12th studio album displays ambition: territorial, musical and commercial

There are some artists – Rihanna, Haim, Alicia Keys, Kanye – whose albums serve as a sort of pop music AGM keynote, an appraisal of 'where we are now' in ambitious contemporary music. These are releases concerned little with the personality, vision or…

Family tree: Scotland's indie-pop scene

2 May 2014

Featuring Belle and Sebastian, Camera Obscura, The Vaselines, The Pastels and Franz Ferdinand

Scottish indie-pop scene-makers Belle and Sebastian continue to keep an active profile 18 years after their inception, with individual members cropping up to perform DJ sets or solo engagements fairly frequently. They’re one of many Scottish acts with…

Goldfrapp - Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow, Fri 4 Apr 2014

2 May 20144 stars

The grown up popstar performs a varied set with a constant mixing and balancing of moods

Alison Goldfrapp has some very, very loyal fans. As Britten’s Peter and the Wolf fades out, she trips on stage to excitable screams and cries of ‘we love you Alison’ that emanate somewhat unexpectedly from a crowd that is more than just greying round…

Miley Cyrus and Courtney Love: proof that there's still a sexist double standard in music

24 Apr 2014

Despite their vast musical differences, Cyrus and Love share a lack of PR/media filter

At this very moment, Miley Cyrus is probably the most famous pop star on the planet. She twerked her way into the global consciousness grinding up against Robin Thicke in flesh-toned rubber pants at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards. The former Hannah…

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Kelis - Food

24 Apr 20143 stars

A Dave Sitek-produced R&B/pop/soul combo that's finger-licking good when it finds its form

With her fierce musical and sartorial style, Kelis always felt a little bit too free-thinking, too sassy, too strange, too damn cool for the pure pop mainstream. There was almost a sense of infiltration about hearing songs as smartly unconventional as…

Damon Albarn - Everyday Robots

23 Apr 20144 stars

Debut solo album of understatement and maturity that never completely leaves low gear

It’s taken him more than two decades in the music industry to arrive at his debut solo album, which leads us to the rather strange experience of hearing sometime Blur frontman Damon Albarn’s new release being trailed with terms like ‘long-awaited’, as…

All Saints, Atomic Kitten, East 17 and more confirmed for Another Time, Another Place UK tour

14 Apr 2014

The pop nostalgia fest will take place in November 2014; tickets are on sale now

All Saints, Atomic Kitten, East 17, Let Loose, Big Brovaz, and Jenny Berggren (Ace of Base) have united for Another Time, Another Place, a night of 90s and 00s pop taking place at London’s O2 on Fri 11 Apr. Expect to hear all the hits, from East 17’s…

Franz Ferdinand - Barrowland, Glasgow, Tue 25 Mar 2014

4 Apr 20144 stars

A triumphant hometown show for Glasgow's indie kingpins

‘Alright Glasgow? It’s good to see you!’ Frontman Alex Kapranos beams at a rapturous reception from a sold-out Barrowlands. Dressed impeccably – in matching black, white and grey suits and looking no older than they did 10 years ago – Franz Ferdinand…

Exposure: dream-pop trio Magic Eye

27 Mar 2014

The band, who have links with Errors and NAKED, have signed with LA DIY label Not Not Fun

This haze-addled Edinburgh dream-pop trio are easy to love, and to (lose) focus on. Formed a couple of years ago, and currently under the jurisdiction of Los Angeles DIY paradise Not Not Fun, Magic Eye channel a day-glo fug of exotica, as attested by…

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Banks - O2 ABC2, Glasgow, Sun 23 Mar 2014

25 Mar 20144 stars

The rising R&B pop starlet showcases and amazing vocal range at this intimate gig

Jillian Banks is the friend in your group that is shy the one minute, then after a few drinks is up on the dancefloor, totally wrapped up in the music as you look on in amazement, sipping on your vodka and Coke. Replace the drinks with a couple of lines…

Metronomy - O2 ABC, Glasgow, Wed 19 Mar 2014

25 Mar 20143 stars

A few bum notes can't stop Joe Mount and co achieving the dreamy, the euphoric and the bittersweet

Try to create the perfect pop machine and you might come up with something not too far from Metronomy. But how to make this precision instrument perform live, with all the character and spirit required of a gig? As the very name suggests, Metronomy’s…

Paolo Nutini - Caustic Love

25 Mar 20144 stars

A record of tonal weirdness that does great things for Nutini as a vocalist of versatility and soul

The underwhelming cod-bluesery of Paolo Nutini’s comeback single ‘Scream (Funk My Life Up)’ opens his third album, and it’s hard to overstate just how much this limp effort fails to sell a record which is by some margin his most interesting yet. It…

Chvrches - Barrowland, Glasgow, Sat 8 Mar 2014

21 Mar 20144 stars

A wonderful, confident homecoming show from the electro-pop trio

Quite how much of a good impression Chvrches have made upon their home city is illustrated by this, their ‘first ever show at the Barrowlands’, as described with pride by singer Lauren Mayberry, and a wonderful, confident show it is too. The music…

Rufus Wainwright - Usher Hall, Edinburgh, Wed 5 Mar 2014

21 Mar 20144 stars

The baroque pop artiste imbues his modern material with class and elegance

Rufus Wainwright may have dabbled in musicals, operas and orchestras but tonight is stripped back to basics. No backing band, just the purity of one man singing at a grand piano. He sometimes switches to guitar, and is joined by his half-sister Lucy…