Fontaines D.C. have shared their new single 'Televised Mind'.

The band will release new album 'A Hero's Death' on July 31st, with 2021 promising some of their biggest live shows to date.

The album was produced by Dan Carey, someone who is known for aiming for a live sound in the studio.

New single 'Televised Mind' certainly has that raw feel, with the barbed guitar lines interweaving around the driving, surging drums.

Pitched somewhere between Brian Jonestown Massacre and – curiously – The Prodigy, it sounds like a concert anthem-in-waiting.

Fontaines D.C. frontman Grian Chatten comments…

“This song is about the echo chamber, and how personality gets stripped away by surrounding approval. People’s opinions get reinforced by constant agreement, and we’re robbed of our ability to feel wrong. We’re never really given the education of our own fallibility. People feign these great beliefs in order to appear trendy, as opposed to independently arriving at their own thoughts.”

“We were listening to a lot of The Prodigy and The Brian Jonestown Massacre, specifically their song 'Open Heart Surgery'. I was interested in extrapolating those types of chord progressions and capturing this droning, hypnotic feel. That last line repeated over and over [“What ya call it”] is a buffer expression that people used here in Dublin. It’s sort of like “umm” or “well…” – it’s what people say when they’re distracted.”

Tune in now.

'A Hero's Death' will be released on July 31st.

Photo Credit: Ellius Grace

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Music Venues Trust warn that Boris Johnson's plans could threaten live music infrastructure.

With the country beginning to come out of lockdown, the Prime Minister has unveiled a series of plans dubbed 'project speed'.

Amongst the proposals is the suggestion that developers will be able to demolish and rebuild vacant/redundant commercial buildings, providing that they are re-built as homes.

The sweeping plans seemingly allow a wider range of commercial buildings to switch to house, all done without a full planning application.

Sound familiar? Well, that's essentially the Permitted Development Right, which music venues fought to gain exemption from less than 18 months ago.

Music Venues Trust are furious, and have issued a damning statement on Boris Johnson's plans. MVT CEO Mark Davyd said:

“This is a replica of the Permitted Development Right which closed hundreds of venues before the government acted to exempt them in 2018. The decision to exempt them was taken after a long campaign supported by, among others, Boris Johnson.”

“We need urgent clarification from the government that they do not intend to change the National Planning Policy Framework and intend to leave the protections for music venues in place.”

UK Music acting CEO Tom Kiehl joined the condemnations, telling MusicWeek: “Hard won protections need to be maintained or ‘build, build, build’ will mean music venues come crashing down.”

It comes as the live music infrastructure across the country is put under colossal pressure, with the Music Venues Trust warning that an immediate cash injection of £50 million is needed to prevent the immediate loss of countless venues.

Related: Boris Johnon's Coronavirus Fumble Is Crushing Live Music In The UK

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Washed Out will release new album 'Purple Noon' on August 7th.

The American producer will release his first full length project in three years later this summer, and it's a highly personal document.

A song cycle that charts the disintegration and demise of a relationship, 'Purple Noon' contains 10 songs, produced and recorded by Washed Out himself.

Later mixed by Ben H. Allen, the album is led by the gentle ache of new single 'Time To Walk Away'.

Riley Blakeway shot the video, a reinterpretation of a previous short film he had constructed.

Watch it below.

Washed Out will release new album 'Purple Noon' on August 7th.

Photo Credit: Blair Greene

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Icelandic artist Daði Freyr has shared his cover of 'Volcano Man'.

The song is the centre-piece of a new Netflix comedy, one that centres on the bizarre but entertaining world of Eurovision.

Eurovision Song Contest: The Story Of Fire Saga follows two Icelandic singers – Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams – who are picked to represent their country.

Dubbed Fire Saga, their actually-quite-catchy single 'Volcano Man' has become a viral hit in its own right.

As we all know, however, Eurovision didn't happen this year – although if it did, we reckon Iceland's entry Daði Freyr definitely would have won.

In a remarkable but extremely apt twist, Daði has now covered 'Volcano Man', the kind of life-imitating-art-imitating-life that we can really get on board with.

Check it out now.

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Dream Wife are music obsessives. At any given point their songs – and presence – surprise and make you think again.

Having spent a large part of 2018 in the live environment playing packed-out shows all over the world, there’s a sense of restlessness. The next thing can’t come soon enough. Outspoken about the inclusion of women and non-binary people in the creative industries, it’s clear that they mean business.

With a gender divide in music production currently estimated at around 95% male to 5% female, their second album ‘So When You Gonna…’ addresses this, with Dream Wife working alongside an all-female production team. Things took off in big ways, and the result speaks for itself.

After a stimulating, prolific spell of studio recording work Rakel Mjöll, Alice Go and Bella Podpadec are back with a blistering, joyous statement of electro-pop and punk sentiments that will cement with force their powerful messages and voice.

Clash caught the group one afternoon to get the insider’s guide to empowerment, not forgetting those wise, informative podcasts they’re making.

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Last two years were pretty full on. What’s it like to release an album right now?

Rakel: We spent some of it writing and recording. We thought this was going to be the year we were gonna be play live. We’re excited to release this album, it’s a great thing to get it out. Looking at it under a microscope, away from it and having others listening, is gonna be great.

What has it been like to work with an all-female team?

Rakel: Working with Marta Salogni was incredible. She picked an engineer called Grace Banks, she recommended Heba Kadry. The team was right, the egos were left at the doorstep. We spent a month in the studio, it was a great mentally and physically. What we created was fun. We haven’t been able to play much of it live, a song’s always growing and breathing, so this is new to us too.

‘So When You Gonna…’ is so consistent, it’s your sound. How did you achieve it?

Alice: When we started writing again, it was exciting to get back to the creative space. We’ve been a live band for two years. Spending so much time together, we had a sense of trust in our writing and recording. It delves into much, it pushes these extremes sonically. It’s clashes of light and shade. There was space for us to make it in a way that felt right. Working in the recording space with Marta felt organic, like an ongoing conversation. She helped us elevate our ideas.

Rakel: She’s funny and direct as a producer. When you go in to record, everyone knows what they’re doing. We enjoyed the time and allowed ourselves to feel good. Marta is always cracking jokes and allowing you to build trust. Trust is important for recording to get the emotion you wanna portray.

What’s it like to tackle serious topics?

Rakel: You want to go into that emotion and be present. A song like ‘Temporary’ is about hope, strength and continuing waves of crashes. It’s about a friend of ours, who had multiple miscarriages. Talking about such topics, you need to walk away feeling that you did it justice, ensure the story has vulnerability and strengh. We went to art school, that helps us dive into ideas and conversations.

We know each other, many lyrics are based upon conversations that we’ve been having. When you speak about something, you understand it. Songs are about that too. Lyrics often depend on things in your mind, they become clear when they’ve left your lips, and they’re out there. It becomes more of a conversation. With your band mates too.

Like you say ‘Temporary’ is complex. Did you approach the topic differently?

Rakel: We started writing it in a retreat in Ireland. Difficult things were happening back home that we weren’t beginning to grasp. A friend of ours was going through brain surgery. Another was being told that her fetus couldn’t live, she was waiting for the abortion procedure. I remember being excited about writing, but there was this weight of what was happening.

We flew back, the lyrics came together once we looked at the song. It’s about people going through obstacles, challenges, they’re pushed but have hope.

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Who do you view as key influences this time?

Alice: Blondie in a big way. Writing these songs and thinking of their roots, it’s a band with the type of songwriting that we like. A lot of what we do comes back to them, there’s a sensibility because of the ‘80s pop element.

Dream Wife encourage women to seek opportunities in music. Do you feel progress is being made?

Rakel: It’s practising what you preach. You can’t just talk about the fact that festival bills are lacking in female representation and non-binary musicians. You’ve gotta do something, use a platform to encourage others. The industry needs to be fairer. There aren’t many women doing what we’re doing, we need role models and representation.

We started a podcast series. I’d have loved to hear them when I was 14. They would have made a difference to me as a woman and musician. They’re highly relevant.

How has the response been?

Alice: Really great. We’ve had this conversation, it feels good to give access to people who haven’t had this as teenagers. It feels important to just hear these conversations in the creative industry.

Do you select festivals and live shows based on inclusion and representation?

Rakel: We did Primavera last summer. The audience was incredible, we had the best time. Walking around the festival site with your friends watching FKA Twigs, Christine and the Queens, Erykah Badu. Walking from stage to stage, listening to music that you’re blown away by. At the end of the day you realise you only saw women on stage. That made me emotional, as if that was normal.

Following hard work and determination you’ve established yourselves as musicians. What’s the transition been like?

Alice: When we formed this band it was a rebellion against the institution.We were all studying art. For us this band was just super. It was challenging, but we were operating creatively. You start questioning art, what’s the point of this insular world? Our dream from the start was always real. It’s born out of something that wasn’t just fine art. It felt empowering to us and was too fun to stop. We wanted to do more, it snowboarded from there.

That’s an incredible way to rise and evolve.

Rakel: It’s the most natural way to evolve. When we started out we played house parties. We had to learn about promoters, the importance of tour vans, the role of a tour manager. We learnt it the hard way, going across Europe, playing shows in the middle of nowhere. It’s made us grateful for whatever came.

When we got a tour manager, we were impressed, we don’t take anything for granted. We didn’t release an album until we knew what we had was something we were proud of.

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'So When You Gonna…' will be released on July 3rd.

Words: Susan Hansen

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Kanye West has shared his new single 'Wash Us In Blood'.

Yeezy has been dropping hints about his incoming studio album, with 'God's Country' slated to drop later this year.

His 10th studio album, it's led by new single 'Wash Us In Blood', featuring Kanye alongside Travis Scott.

The production is typically colossal, the warped melody recalling a flute in its organic innocence.

"Rain down on us," raps Kanye before asking: "Holy Spirit come down…"

An explicit revelation of faith, it also leads into Black Lives Matter themes, with Travis Scott's verse discussing America's prison policy.

Kanye says at one point: "Don't take me the wrong way / Cos God took me the long way…"

An exercise in stadium-filling minimalism, 'Wash Us In Blood' raises a lot of questions for 'God's Country'.

Tune in now.

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Big Zuu hosts a fantastic round-table Q&A on the new episode of Agenda, with Beats By Dre.

Agenda is the trend-setting, cutting edge playlist on Apple Music, and it has now expanded to absorb a conversation-led podcast.

Grime star Big Zuu is the host, and he's joined by some big hitters – rap giant Ghetts, Zeze Millz, and actor Asim Chaudhry.

The wide-ranging discussion feels potent, honest, and timely, with the Q&A tackling artistic responsibility, type-casting, and colourism.

Big Zuu comments: “We are moving forward and there are things that are kind of changing the outlook of what it is to be an ethnic minority in Britain…”

Laid down on May 27th via video-conferencing, it's a thought-provoking discussion, featuring four potent figures from the creative arts.

As Zeze Millz puts it: “If you want black women to enjoy the skin that they’re in and understand that they’re beautiful, we have to see it in a wider world…”

Ghetts adds: “We are conflicted people. Today we don’t want to do Martin Luther, today we want to do Malcolm X!”

Check out the opening episode of Agenda, with Beats By Dre below.

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Run The Jewels have opened up to Phil Taggart about their new album.

The broadcaster, DJ, and all-round new music enthusiast runs the Slacker podcast, offering an off piste take on the latest releases.

The Northern Irish personality is a huge Run The Jewels fan, so naturally the group were a shoe-in for some Slacker conversation.

El-P took part in the chat, and he was frank about the methodology behind their new album, 'RTJ4'.

The rapper/producer spoke about Zack De La Rocha's relationship with the band, and what it was like recording with the Rage Against The Machine frontman.

Find a snippet below – get involved with Slacker HERE.

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Manchester's Codex have shared their new single 'Airport'.

Essentially a duo, Codex have expanded and contracted as they see fit, essentially revolving around the central partnership of Shahriar Parast (vocals, multi-instrumentalist, production) and Adam Mayer (multi-instrumentalist, production).

Breathy electronics with an opaque sense of beauty, the pair's smeared colour palette offers suggestion and allusion at every turn.

A DIY project, Codex are continuously focussed on fresh ideas, and their new single was born of a happy accident.

Splintered digital melodies, the vocals are refracted with studio effects, reminiscent of '808s & Heartbreak' era Kanye.

The duo comment:

"The composition of this track was made up of a lot of accidents that just fit together, it’s hard to pinpoint the vibe of the track as it shifts through a level of ferocity and melancholy. Finding the balance between these feelings, and the transitions from one to the other is the essence of the track."

A sign of their blossoming artistry, you can check out 'Airport' below.

Codex · Airport

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Sufjan Stevens will release new album 'The Ascension' on September 25th.

The noted American songwriter continues his current creative streak, including the recent Lowell Brams collaboration 'Aporia'.

New album 'The Ascension' is out later this year, and it's the long-awaited follow up to his wonderful, hugely emotional 'Carrie & Lowell'.

Out on September 25th via Asthmatic Kitty Records, it's set to be led by new single 'America'.

'America' will be released on Friday (July 3rd) at 2pm, and you can pre-order 'The Ascension' HERE.

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