The Song Exploder podcast is one of the best music podcasts out there. The simple idea asks musicians to break down how they made, created and constructed one of their most well-known songs.

Recent episodes include DJ Shadow’s ‘Mutual Slump’, Angel Olsen’s ‘Shut Up Kiss Me’, Jóhann Jóhannson’s ‘Arrival score’ and James Vincent McMorrow’s ‘Get Low’.

This week’s episode features Solange Knowles talking about A Seat At The Table cut ‘Cranes In The Sky’ and its long gestation process, where you hear a cappella vocals from the song, learn that the cranes were inspired by the Miami skyline and how producer Raphael Saadiq lost the stems:

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Posted on January 16th, 2017

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Primavera Sound has just announced its lineup for the  festival in 2017 in Barcelona from 31 May to June 4th next year and it’s ridiculous.

Headliners on the lineup include

  • Arcade Fire
  • Frank Ocean
  • Bon Iver
  • Solange
  • Skepta
  • the xx
  • Aphex Twin
  • Slayer
  • Grace Jones
  • Van Morrison
  • Run The Jewels

Also present and correct:

Flying Lotus, Mac Demarco, The Magnetic Fields, Angel Olsen, Teenage Fanclub, Seu  George plays the Life Aquatic: A Tribute to Bowie, Grandaddy, Tycho, Swans, Bicep, !!!, Badbadnotgood, King Krule, Glass Animals, John Talabot, Fatima Yamaha, Henrik Schwarz, Joy Orbison, Julia Jacklin, Sinkane, Skinny Puppy, Operators, Weyes Blood and Tuff City Kids.

Tickets start at €175 + fees.

Here it is in full:

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Posted on November 30th, 2016

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Sterogum’s 40 best new bands of 2016.


The xx have been sharing short snippets of tracks on Spotify in the past week. The first one is gone but there’s another on Young Turks now.


With the news of Fight Like Apes’ disbanding, Una Mullally looks back at the times she had with the band.


The seven-year stand off between GEMA and Youtube is over. Germans will finally be able to watch music videos in their own country on the platform.


DJ Shadow talks to The Quietus about the weight of Endtroducing’s legacy on his career


Boiler Room Weekender shut down by police


Solange was on Saturday Night Live over the weekend where she performed ‘Cranes In The Sky’ and ‘Don’t Touch My Hair’. Proxy needed for NBC version.


Space Dimension Controller is the latest DJ to participate in The Guardian’s Harangue The DJ series.


Mano Le Tough debuted on the Essential Mix a week back. Here’s his mix.


Twitter bots of note?

Lyrics from Thin Lizzy’s ‘Boys Are Back In Town’ tweeted regularly.

Once In A Lifetime Bot – the lyrics of Talking Heads’ ‘Once In A Lifetime’ reimagined.

Posted on November 7th, 2016

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My favourite songs of the past month. Get the majority of them as a continuous playlists below on Spotify and Soundcloud.

Listen on Spotify

The top songs of the month

  1. Bon Iver – ‘8 Circle’
  2. Young Marco – ‘Dreamless’
  3. 808 State – ‘In Your Face’ (Bicep remix)
  4. Solange – ‘Cranes In The Sky’ (Kaytranada edit)
  5. NxWorries – Anderson Paak & Knxwledge – ‘Lyk Dis’
  6. Banks – ‘Mind Games’

  7. D.D. Dumbo – ‘Walrus’
  8. Solar Bears – ‘Across Yesteryear’
  9. Enemies – ‘itsallwaves’
  10. Midnight Magic – ‘I Gotta Feeling’
  11. Mura Masa – Love$ick (Four Tet Remix)
  12. Basciville – ‘Sweetheart Rodeo’
  13. Nicolas Jaar – ‘Three Sides Of Nazareth’
  14. Beesmunt Soundsystem – ‘Sensual Work’
  15. Bantum feat. Rusangano Family & Senita – ‘Feel Your Rhythm’
  16. Katie Kim – ‘Ghosts’
  17. D.R.A.M. feat Erykah Badu – ‘WiFi’
  18. Run The Jewels – ‘Talk To Me’
  19. Polica – ‘Kind’ (Boys Noize remix)
  20. Austra – ‘Utopia’
  21. Jens Kuross – ‘We Will Run’
  22. Christine & The Queens – ‘Intraquilité’
  23. Danny Brown – ‘Ain’t It Funny’
  24. Ekkah – ‘Can’t Give It Up’
  25. Grace Lightman – ‘Repair Repair’

Posted on November 2nd, 2016

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Solange Knowles’ new album A Seat At The Table, which was surprise released at the end of September arrived at a bitter time in the U.S. where race relations are at boiling point. Where in the election to lead the country, hate, misogyny and racism are spouted all too frequently (and accepted and tolerated). Where people are shouting opinions at each other without listening to responses across political, class and racial divides. Where black people continue to suffer.

In the past, Solange has railed against white music writers writing about R&B or penned an essay about the aggression she’s felt as a black woman, prompted by an experience at a Kraftwerk concert.

“I’ve got a lot to be mad about,” she sings on the Lil Wayne-featuring ‘Mad’. So you wouldn’t be a surprise if her music had some elements of anger in it.

“When they go low, we go high,” Michelle Obama said. Solange Knowles may have already decided to do that earlier this year on her new album. Where her sister Beyoncé makes flashy statements, Solangé is much more understated. Living in a divisive country bellowing at each other, Solange takes the softer, more restrained approach on an album which demands repeated listens.

A self-described “project on identity, empowerment, independence, grief and healing,” A Seat At The Table is an album about race and being black in America. It’s personal and political. It’s informed by black culture, family and the Black Lives Matter movement.

Musically, A Seat At The Table is made of soul, R&B, pop and funk. Its gossamer style is delicate and rich. Spoken word interludes frame the album: encouraging words from Master P of No Limit about how he got to where he is, Solange’s father talks about racial threats and her mother about how being pro-black doesn’t mean anti-white. These statements allow Solange to write less directly from a black woman’s perspective for others like her.

Production is by Raphael Saadiq. Guests include Sampha, Lil Wayne, Kelela, Andre 3000, The Dream, Sean Nicholas Savage, Q-Tip and the likes of Kwes, Kindness, Chairlift’s Patrick Wimberly, Nia Andrews and Dirty Projectors Dave Longstreth contribute. There are multiple highlights from the Andre 3000-featuring synth funk of ‘Junie’, the synth drawl of ‘Don’t Wish Me Well’, the woozy R&B of ‘Weary’, the piano soul of ‘Mad’, the vulnerable vista of ‘Cranes In The Sky’ and the subtle power of ‘Don’t Touch My Hair’.

“Be leery ’bout your place in the world,” she sings on ‘Weary’, yet Solange keeps it serene in defiance of what seems right and wrong around her. A Seat At The Table isn’t something to be unpacked in a week, or even two. It’s an album of defiance, empowerment and beauty.

Posted on October 13th, 2016

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Loose Joints is new podcast hosted by Nialler9 and Sally Cinnamon talking to people about the music they love: old and new.

In our second episode (see episode one), we are joined by booze enthusiast Oisin Davis of Great Irish Beverages (incorporating Irish Cocktail Fest, Irish Whiskey Fest and Irish Gin & Tonic Fest) and the creator of Poacher’s Tonic.

We talk about Oisin’s New Jersey upbringing, grown men crying over beautiful songs stuck in traffic, what it’s like to support Grandmaster Flash, the beauty of a basso profundo voice – the lowest you can get, a Hard Working Class Heroes highlight, the tune Oisin would like his kids to associate with him and a couple of Belfast bangers.

Subscribe in iTunes.

Also available in Stitcher, Pocket Casts and TuneIn.

Download: Loose Joints Podcast #2: Oisin Davis (103MB, 1hr 46mins)

Tracklisting

  1. Yves Tumor – Role in Creation (Sally)
  2. James Vincent McMorrow – Rising Water (Oisin)
  3. Solange – Junie (Niall)
  4. What tune or band takes you back to your youth the most?
    Grandmaster Flash – The Message (Oisin)
  5. A tune that inspires you most?
    St Petersburg Male Choir – A prayer For The Dead (Oisin)
  6. Paul Robeson – Danny Boy (Oisin)
  7. Pional feat Empress Of – The Way That You Like (Sally)
  8. Favourite Irish song:
    Breda Mayock – If Your Heart Belonged To Me by (Oisin)
  9. Favourite Irish album:
    Headgear – Singing In The Drain, Headgear (Oisin)
  10. Le Boom – What They Do (Niall)
  11. Tune you’d like your kids to associate with you:
    The Ink Spots and Ella Fitzgerald – Making Believe (Oisin)
  12. 808 State – In Your Face (Bicep remix) (Niall)
  13. LOR – Moon (Sally)
  14. Bat for Lashes – Joe’s Dream (Oisin)

Special thanks to Sean Corcoran for facilitating recording.

Posted on October 12th, 2016

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Every Thursday night at 10pm, I get two hours of the airwaves on TXFM to play two hours of my favourite new and a bit of old music.

Listen back to the show.

Listen: Hour One

Listen: Hour Two

Here’s what I played:

Hour 1

Fryars – ‘Cool Like Me’
Phantogram – ‘Fall In Love’
Wye Oak –  ‘Glory’
Future Islands –  ‘Doves’
tUnE-yArDs –  ‘Time of Dark’
Talos  – ‘Tethered Bones’
JUCE!  – ‘Call You Out’
Hoodlem –  ‘IGotU’
IYES –  ‘Toys’
ZHU – ‘Paradise Awaits’
The Horrors –  ‘So Now You Know’
#throwbackthursday: Primal Scream  – ‘Autobahn 66’

Hour 2

Little Dragon  – ‘Paris’
Ships –  ‘Space Inside’
Chromeo feat. Solange – ‘Lost On The Way Home’
Girl Band – ‘Lawman’
Eagulls – ‘Hollow Visions’
Ghost Estates – ‘In Your Dreams’
Spies – ‘Distant Shorelines’
Angel Olsen –  ‘Forgiven/Forgotten’
Annie Eve –  ‘Bodyweight’
Ghosts – ‘WLVS’
Akouo – ‘Last Time’
Daphni & Owen Pallett – ‘Julia’

Posted on May 12th, 2014

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I’ve seen Solange play two different shows/festivals this year – South By South West in Texas and Glastonbury in the UK and while she’s a great performer and ‘Losing You’ is an absolute JAM, I don’t think she’s quite ready for the big-time, or what she’s aiming for at least, yet. A lot of her sets were lacking in songs to match that track. Fortunately Solange’s new single ‘Lovers In The Parking Lot’ was one of the couple that did match it. It’s still a very understated track but it’s a memorable one from last year’s True EP. The video was shot in her hometown of Houston by Solange, Peter J. Brant and Emily Kai Bock.

(more…)

Posted on September 18th, 2013

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