Kanye West performed two songs on Saturday Night Live last night (September 29th).

The rapper was due to release new album 'Yandhi' last night, but – curiously – no new material was forthcoming.

Confirming a name change to Ye, the hip-hop icon instead chose to perform two songs on Saturday Night Live.

Performing 'We Love It' alongside Teyana Taylor, Ye was then joined by Lil Pump and Adele Givens for 'I Love It' – and the rapper was dressed as a bottle of Perrier.

Check out both performances below.

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The Japanese House has shared drifting, serene new synth pop jam 'Lilo' – tune in now.

Amber Bain has spent time honing her voice, releasing four striking, sterling EPs on Dirty Hit, and finding viral fame in the process.

A potent yet still coy songwriting voice, new single 'Lilo' is one of her most open, yet also peaceful, songs yet.

Online now, it's essentially about discovering “everything I needed”, and places this in the form of a synth pop jam packed with serenity.

Amber explains that the song is about “how, to me, her every movement – paired with her approach to life – seemed as serene as the image of a lilo floating across a swimming pool… it is a reminder to me that I am good at falling in love and I can survive falling out of it. I’m good at falling.”

Tune in now.

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Born Stranger was initially a duo, before finding focus as a solo endeavour.

Helmed by Maddox-Jones and signed to Radikal Records, his pop ambition has steered the project into some unusual places.

Producer Yoad Nevo (Sia, Goldfrapp) helps work on new single 'Last Night On Earth', a song inspired by grief but ending in celebration.

It's about grabbing life by both hands, finding common humanity, and cause for celebration – opening with clipped funk-pop guitar line a la Prince it then descends into pristine Depeche Mode style synth pop, and a killer chorus to boot.

Born Stranger explains:

"'Last Night On Earth' was written around a friend of mines house who sadly isn't with us any more. The world has lost a few amazing people recently that were seemingly happy on the surface but battled with depression on the inside. Last Night on Earth is about living in the moment, being there for each other and celebrating humanity."

Tune in now.

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Some people chose minimalism, others have minimalism thrust upon them.

Berlin-based Swede Fredrik Kinbom could be accused of honouring both schools of thought, through his own work and that of a collaborator.

A lap steel player, singer and songwriter, he recently toured with the likes of Gemma Ray, Moulettes, Alberta Cross and Ned Collette, before settling down to record some of his own thoughts.

'Songs For Lap Steel And Harmonium' is due on November 2nd, and the title actually explains the concept running through the record, utilising a remarkably sparse palette.

He explains: "With 'Songs for Lap Steel and Harmonium' I set out to write and record an album where the only instruments accompanying my voice are the lap steel guitar (acoustic and electric) and the harmonium, or pump organ. Both are instruments dear to my heart, and both are sort of on the garbage dump of history (as their respective heydays are long gone)."

"But my music does not look to the past. Nor does it interest me to play the kind of music these instruments are mainly associated with, but rather to tap into their rich textures and combined expressive potential and create my own kind of soundscapes and songs."

'Swede Hollow' appears on the record, and it seems to tap into the core of Fredrik's work, a remarkably subtle piece of songwriting executed with real style.

This video is a live clip, a simply shot effort that lets his music breath – completely gripping, it demonstrates that the most minimal of set ups can still be the most effective.

Tune in now.

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East London trio VRWRK have always linked in to club culture.

It informs their songwriting, from the sounds they choose to the lyrics themselves.

New single 'Fools' is a nostalgic look back at their youth, with singer Salem Khazali lost amid the ravey electronics.

Matching elements of house and techno to that subtle UKG kick, it's a potent brew, one that looks at the past to carve out fresh paths for the future.

The visuals build on this, utilising archive footage from the 90s while digitally adding Salem Khazali to proceedings.

It's oddly moving, wholly eye-catching, and premiering on Clash now.

Catch VRWRK at London's Corsica Studios on November 1st.

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“It’s just one goal. To be a warrior of light – That’s the only mission.” Aurora is very clear on what she wants to happen with the release of her second album.

In a world so filled with darkness and poisonous rhetoric, the purity of Aurora, and her statement are a guiding beacon through the thick fog. While such statements could be attributed to a naivety, the truth is Aurora sees beyond any ‘normal’ plane. Instead, she’s acutely aware of the world. Its misgivings and goodness. It all swells deeply within her mind, to be gently touched and then discarded, or filed away, as required. Most importantly though, she’s all she needs.

“I like quiet places. I like [that] I can recharge my batteries when I’m alone. I love to be alone. I love myself. I love my own company, and I have done since I was three years old. I’ve been quite confident in feeling that I am enough to entertain myself.”

Certainly, words like this can sound narcissistic on the surface, but with her meditative cadence, the sincerity pours through. For Aurora Aksnes, hailing from Norway, itself a wintery paradise that offers as much isolation as it does urban living, being around herself has always come from nature.

“I do enjoy the quietness of where I live. I have a place in the city where I live with my sister, but then I have a place out in the forest which is very beautiful. You can walk naked in the garden, and you can hear nothing but birds and wind out there. There’s no wind or traffic…”

Remaining this isolated, and elusive in 2018, is incredibly impressive. With the connectivity of the world presenting itself as a haven while ultimately remaining a dangerous outlet for most, retaining any form of purity is near on impossible.

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Up in one of the breakout rooms of her label, Aurora is laying on the hard floor. As a bustling London flows on the ground below, she perkily jumps up to introduce herself to Clash. The fact that she’s doing yoga in an environment that is so incredibly stressful for most goes to show the directive of her mind. “It’s very soothing. I’ve been lying on the floor for a little while…feeling how heavy everything is. Even my fingers…” she explains dreamily.

She’s here to discuss her full-length return. A two-part album, the first, ‘Infections of a Different Kind – Step 1’ strips away the complexities of human life and presents them with Aurora’s pure outlook. “It began as a whole, collective piece, and then I did think about it, before making it, that I would like people to have time for every song,” she ponders. “The less you have of something, the more you see what the ‘something’ is made out of, the deeper you can dive into every song which I like the idea of.”

The societal aspects of Aurora ring clear throughout ‘Step 1’, but the sounds – the melding beats and sparse synths, the delicate strings and rousing choruses; they stem from a world away from her secret garden. “I’m very inspired by visiting different places. I can hear, in the music that I make, changes from where the seed of the song came from before it becomes my flower – not my vagina, but a song!” she quickly titters.

The seeds that get planted across her travels make their way eventually into the music she creates. But the moments are left where they first started, and no need for Aurora to unpack, which she astutely states.

“Everything makes more sense in the moment to me. Afterwards, I let go of it. And I leave it. I don’t tend to carry anything else from the past, other than grief. That’s the thing I carry quite close for quite a long time, but not sadness. When I leave a place, I leave it in every way possible, because when I’m home, I am home. When I’m out, I’m out. I don’t miss home.

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For Aurora, setting her creations free into the world is equivalent to being the foster-parent to a child that you adore, but ultimately knowing you’ll have to let go one day. Walking away from her songs and sending them off to be mastered is her final farewell to her children, bar Queendom and Forgotten Love which she admits were a tad delayed after having a re-listen.

“The only way to truly be done with art is to leave it behind,” she says matter-of-factly. “You’re never done with something as wild as art, and as alive. And changing. It’s impossible. The only way for me to accept that I'm done is to leave it. In regards to actual influence from peers and other music, while her record collection may be small, with the likes of Lorde and Childish Gambino being amongst the more modern choices, music still filters in through the day to day world. Even the soothing piano genial playing across the sound-system today.

But, there’s one form of music that truly doesn’t sit right with Aurora. “I’m not into music that worships sadness,” she confesses. “That worships depression, that only helps you dig your hole and stay there in the darkness.”

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“I love the music that allows you to feel what you need to feel. That allows you to cry, and be angry, and all of those fundamental emotions that should not stay inside, because then you explode and die. I’m really into music that helps you a bit further than just the crying part. That helps you beyond it. That you can accept it, and then get to peace with it, shows you there’s a light around the sad.”

“Of course, because it’s music. It will always be many things, whether it’s on purpose or not. People are masterminds of finding their own meanings. It’s kind of like we look for…we see what we need in music.”

Sliding back into the ethereal figurativeness, she refers to herself as a “vessel” for her music to flow through. With no formal training, nor self-understanding of why or how she can do what she does, it’s hard to disagree. “It’s very nice to think about music in the same way, that it doesn’t need to come from the core. Is it …life? Is it a planet? Is it a thing that just kind of lies around, and some people can just pick it up, and put it together. I don’t know; it’s this magical thing with music. It comes out of nothing. It’s like I’m having a little break from existing when I sing.”

Going back to the originating seed that’s grown throughout ‘Step 1’, wherein the world that Aurora has grown up in is so easy to dispose of people; and even for others to just be their own vessels of negativity. With her explanation of the world, 2018 in particular, ‘Step 1’s meaning comes together.

“It’s very hard to be human. It’s tough to find a way if you’re just slightly lost, it can take you far, far away from your path and you end up somewhere where you didn’t want to be.” She says sadly. “Often the best people are the ones who get lost. It’s just like we see in the music industry, there have been many people who died, and are dying, drugs, and depression. It’s the age of mental illness, the time we live in. It’s less about survival instinct and the basic chores of the day, and it’s more complicated because people are feeling a lot of pressure.”

‘Step 1’ is Aurora offering up an understanding, but she has even more advice that reflects her natural surroundings. “Harvesting!” She piques. “They say gardening or harvesting food from your garden, like apples, calms your body down because it brings you back to your roots of being a gatherer, or a harvester. Which we are! That’s what humans are.”

When questioned on if she believes that the position of humans has changed from basic hunter- gatherer to a more ‘what can we offer the world’, the real depth of Aurora comes into play; “It’s much more cynical than that. I feel like many people are bored. We know so much now about everyone else; what they did yesterday compared to what you did, how they look compared to how you look, and it’s peculiar to think that we are letting go of living our own lives because we are spending time comparing our lives to other people.”

"Then it’s very easy to find mistakes because that’s what we do. We are very good at hating ourselves, and it’s very sad to see because people are so beautiful. People are so nice, and they’re so capable of things. We’ve done so many amazing things, next to all the horrible things we’ve done.”

So, with ‘Step 1’ now firmly out in the world; ready for it be dissected and absorbed by all of those who need it, it’s anyone's guess as to what ‘Step 2’ will entail. But you can rest assured that the purity it will bring will continue shining Aurora’s blinding wisened light through the dark world, and will give us all something to ponder.

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'Infections Of A Different Kind – Step I' is out now.

Words: Steven Loftin

For tickets to the latest Aurora shows click HERE.

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Even from a young age Tommi Waring knew he wanted to make music.

Born in Florida, he took this youthful passion to Berklee’s college of music in Boston, honing his skills along the way.

Travelling to London, this trans-Atlantic exchange brought the songwriter new producers, new voices to mingle with.

Pushing his music to fresh limits, new single 'Miami' is a nod to his roots, and a pointer for his future.

Lavish pop with a soulful delivery, the track comes equipped with visuals that have a clear film noir element.

He explains: “The video was inspired by a cinematic vision the director Trev Browning and I conceptualized… we wanted to make something that truly took you into the world of the song Miami but stayed authentic to the feels with paintings of the longing, reflection, and excitement that the city brings…”

Tune in now.

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Hippo Campus wanted to change.

Sure, the band's debut album was a success – with indie rock killers galore who could it fail? – but they wanted to explore other directions.

Entering Steve Albini's legendary Electrical Audio studios in Chicago, Hippo Campus looked inwards, taking on the influence of cultural movements such as #MeToo.

The St. Paul, Minnesota-bred band have returned with an exciting, vital, at times extremely powerful new record, musically confident but lyrically unafraid to be sensitive.

Out today (September 28th), 'Bambi' is a thrilling record, one that will take some time to fully absorb. Here, the band's Nathan Stocker reveals a few of their cultural pursuits…

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Book…

I began reading Trip by Tao Lin a couple months ago. Haven’t finished it, mostly because it subsequently turned me on to Terence McKenna, of whom I’ve been incessantly listening to on YouTube. If you’re into the psychedelic experience, I recommend both the book and Terence’s talks.

TV Show…

Joe Pera Talks With You has been such a beautiful blessing in my life. I just got back from seeing his stand up in St. Paul and he is a mesmerizing human being. I think it’s his insight that makes him hilarious, but the simple way in which he portrays that insight is so genuine and honest that it also moves me to tears. Difficult not to crush on the guy, honestly.

Film…

Lion starring Dev Patel, Rooney Mara, and Nicole Kidman. The film is beautifully edited and wonderfully woven to tell the true story of a lost child on the journey to find his birth family 20 years later. The score was composed by Dustin O’Halloran and Hauschka; two of my favourite ambient artists. I first saw it on a plane ride by from Seattle. Straight weeping on the airplane. Heartbreaking film.

Gadget…

I should say my iPhone just because I never want to take it for granted. I don’t use it to its fullest extent, just like most of my other “gadgets” but I always try to remain conscious of the fact that it is an amazing thing to be able to tuck inside my back pocket considering the amount of time I spend on it doing absolutely nothing worthwhile. Oh, but I also got a guitar pedal called the Count To 5 by Montreal Assembly that’s pretty wicked. So, it’s between my iPhone and that.

Music…

Indigo De Souza from Asheville dropped a great bunch of songs in June called 'I Love My Mom'. Her songs are so solid. The album’s portrayed in a way that feels like it takes place in the last garage to ever exist on earth. I hope she sees this because, hey, Indigo, your songs are cool and can I get your autograph?

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'Bambi' is out now. Hippo Campus will play the following UK shows:

February
14 Manchester 02 Ritz
15 Glasgow The Garage
16 Newcastle The Riverside
18 Birmingham Institute
19 Dublin Academy Green Room
21 London O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire
23 Bristol SWX
24 Brighton Concorde 2

Photo Credit: Pooneh Ghana

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A blur of sound, a tapestry of effects, the fin. have a liquid sound, impossible to pin down as it oozes out of the speakers.

Psychedelic in tone, shoegaze in execution, the Japanese born, British based band break barriers at every turn.

Underneath all this, though, lies some expert songwriting moments, with the fin. able to really hone in on the fine details of their sound.

the fin. showcase these elements on this new acoustic take, delivering a haunted, frosted version of 'Pale Blue'.

Hopelessly beautiful, the simple, stark recording has a pastoral quality, and it emphasises that shorn of the effects the fin. remain musically formidable.

They explain: "I used to play acoustic guitar every single day when I was a student. I covered so many songs and played so many times. I covered happy songs when I was happy, sad songs for sad times. I think the whole process affected my work. So I wanted to pack the feel by recording. Hope you’ll enjoy it."

Tune in now.

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Manchester duo Demons Of Ruby Mae wear their hearts on their sleeves.

As close as they come, these two musical friends knew they had something special, something that could be unlocked with the right combination.

The introduction of Grammy, Brit and Ivor Novello-winning producer James Sanger seemed to do the trick, with the Paris based sessions moving their songwriting to the next level.

New single 'Young Blood' is part of a memorable year for the duo, featuring new music, sold out shows, and plenty of memories.

A vastly uplifting pop hymn, 'Young Blood' is incredibly catchy, a hugely uplifting piece of music from the precocious duo.

In their own words, the track “is about taking a chance on love when you’re young and have nothing to lose.”

Emiliano Bechi Gabrielli directs the video, and we're pleased to have first play – tune in now.

Catch Demons Of Ruby Mae at the following shows:

October
3 Brighton Hope & Ruin
4 London The Black Heart
5 Sheffield Café Totem
6 Manchester The Night and Day Café
11 Glasgow Broadcast

November
1 Nottingham The Chameleon Arts Centre
3 Newcastle Head Of Steam

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