According to Poliça's lead vocalist Channy Leaneagh the band's name comes from the Polish for "policy", and she sees it as a reference to an unwritten code that guides the members when they play together, as well as its work ethic. Combine that factual nugget with Leaneagh's recently stated in an interview that feminist activist Shulamith Firestone (who died in 2012) was her “mentor from the grave" and you get the idea that this is a band that takes itself and its art pretty seriously. And you'd be right, but don't let that put you off.
17 year old teen star Luke Friend has hit the headlines again - in ITV’s The X Factor! The X Factor judging panel praised the star, including Sharon Osbourne saying “Luke I am crazy about you! You are quite fabulous.” West Country boy Luke Friend has just come off the back of being crowned the winner of the singing competition TeenStar, the nationwide competition for teens and pre-teens. The TeenStar singing competition’s Grand Final took place within The O2 in London and gave acts the chance to play in front of a massive crowd and music industry judging panel. Here, Luke tells us about himself in his own words….
Open Mic UK winner Birdy, is still soaring towards stardom as she reveals her brand new album – Fire Within. The new album follows Birdy’s eponymous 2011 debut which saw the young star rise to success, hitting the Top 20 in the UK and fluttering to the top spot in Belgium and Holland. The album achieved Gold status in the UK, Platinum status throughout Europe and resulted in a gargantuan 150 million views on her YouTube channel.
In one of the most intriguing collaborations in recent memory, superstar producer Jordan Crisp is set to team up with independent Ghanaian artist Nana D for new track ‘Ngoma’. The track, released December 2nd, sees Crisp’s electronic dance sensibilities married to traditional African drum beats and a hook sung by Nana D, creating a rhythmic, energetic track which has the potential to hit the club charts hard.
The smaller iPad that Steve Jobs said Apple would never make is back, new and improved in the form of the iPad mini 2 Retina. The first iPad mini was successful because of its iPad-like design and its lightness but despite a slightly low-rez screen and rather limp processor. Compared to the new Nexus 7 it looked and felt like last year's tech, which fair play of course it was. So, has Apple addressed those issues and made the iPad mini something you would now buy for any reason other than you couldn't afford a real iPad? In a word, yes.
Santa and his Christmas Crackers say ‘Let There Be Christmas’ with new LP, November 25th. After almost 200 years delivering gifts around the world to all the well behaved children on December 24th, Santa Claus has this year decided to add to his prodigious workload by releasing his first ever album.
If you're sick and tired of the A-list female pop singers desperately trying to re-inventing themselves (I'm thinking of Katy Perry, Beyonce, Lady Gaga, and Lana Del Rey specifically here but God alone knows the list is one hell of a lot longer...) then prepare to be refreshed and relieved by Lorde, a New Zealander who's only slight miss-step is to think she is so cool that she only needs a one-word name. Because that small stumble aside this is a bloody good record by a very interesting new talent.
Combining aspects of dancehall, R&B and hip-hop, Bashment Ladies is the infectious new single from talented singer Elena. Growing up in Kingston, Jamaica, Elena was exposed to a range of music which quickly inspired her to pen her own tunes. Moving to the UK in 1999, Elena’s passion for music became insatiable and she proceeded to write and record many new songs.
After rising to prominence in the 1970’s, Earth, Wind & Fire quickly made a name for themselves as a band at the forefront of the pop/funk scene, releasing a string of huge hits that were influenced by pop, funk, soul, jazz and some good old rhythm & blues for good measure. They recently released their brand new album ‘Now, Then & Forever’ which retains the same energetic sound of its predecessors, and My Dad Rocks has three copies to give away.
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Quickly building a reputation for themselves through their work ethic and constant gigging, The Retrospectives are a Sheffield based rock trio chock full of energy and passion. Raised on and inspired by the music of Elvis Costello, Tom Petty and The Rolling Stones, The Retrospectives have been named by Q Magazine as one of the top five bands in the city to watch and have now released their second EP, Turn Me Up.
Taking a satirical swipe at the excesses and vices of the USA, Dirty Louie has released new rock ‘n’ roll single Suck It For The USA. Based in Venezuela, which is probably the best place to be if you plan on taking the proverbial out of the USA, Dirty Louie experiences his chosen target through the eyes of an outsider, an immigrant with a twisted view of The American Dream.
The brainchild of Beetroot Records head honcho Alfonso Araujo, The Dice is a dark, quirky collaboration project that brings together some of the brightest up and coming artists in the urban-electronica field. Combining everything from synth lines to dirty blues guitar, their three track debut release blends together a host of influences to create a truly varied sound. The lead single, ‘Roll The Dice’, springs from a gritty and truly urban creative wellspring.
Forty years have passed since The Wicker Man was released, the "best British horror film ever made” according to Empire Magazine. This 1973 horror classic, though the horror is as more psychological than physical, tends to stick in the mind of anyone who watches it and is much more highly regarded now than when it was released, unlike the rather poor 2006 remake with Nicolas Cage. This anniversary expanded and restored edition then is very much to be welcomed.
It's not often that My Dad Rocks gets invited anywhere nice (and still less frequently that we get invited back. Ed.) but after a very pleasant day at nearby Sturmer Hall we though we ought to give it a shout-out.
Situated in Haverhill, close to Cambridge, the historic venue of Sturmer Hall offers a unique setting for events, blending tradition with a distinctly contemporary edge.
November 4th. Put that date in your diary because it's the day the debut album from Toronto-based electro-pop act Gold & Youth drops in the UK and it's a record you are going to want to own, trust me. A moody, melodic collection of tracks Beyond Wilderness treads a similar path to that walked by the best albums from the likes of the Pet Shop Boys and Depeche Mode but is absolutely contemporary in both its sound and shape. It's one of the best albums I've heard this year.
Google's high-end Chromebook Pixel raised a few eyebrows when it hit the shelves earlier in the year. Despite being a beautiful device with a crystal clear HD IPS display many, including me, questioned whether a machine running Google's internet-reliant Chrome OS could justify a hefty £1,000 price tag. Luckily for the less well off we now have HP's Chromebook 11, a machine "inspired" by the Pixel's design. It's a device I was immediately drawn to for its clean and stylish looks, which are particularly attractive considering it costs just £229.
What albums do Enya and Virginia Astley fans listen to these days? I've no idea. But what they should be listening to, as should anyone else with even a modicum of interest in modern music is Julianna Barwick. The title of Barwick’s previous album The Magic Place, referred to a tree on the Louisiana farm where she grew up. It was her place of escape, of refuge and the album it to some extent inspired was that, too: a collection offering temporary release from the real world. That is still Barwick's calling card, an ethereal, almost choral sound that is truly, truly beautiful.