Back to The 1975

Posted in Breakthrough Artist, Not to be Missed, Off The Beaten Track with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 21, 2014 by midnightradiostar

If you haven’t heard of The 1975, you’re missing out on some of the greatest music this generation has to offer.

This Indie band from Manchester is the ultimate drug-mix of Indie, alternative rock, R&B and a bit of electro-pop. I can’t stop listening to them because their sound is uniquely retro, refreshing and with lyrics about sex, love, life and death: all the good things we’re obsessed with.

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Lead singer of The 1975, Matt Healy

With their debut self-titled album hitting #1 on the UK charts, this band made an unforgettable impression on the music scene with their understated look and sound. The elegance in their sound reminds me a lot of the Arctic Monkeys and a little bit of The Bravery. Their monochromatic visual aesthetic is extremely eye-catching and stands out in today’s world of blaring colours and flashy music videos, and appeals to those who need to get off the train called ‘LOUD’.

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Their song ‘Chocolate’ off their first studio album The 1975 is definitely my favourite and (for me) combines everything this band is about.

I cannot express how much in love I am with this song. It makes me want to tap my feet, nod my head, get up and do a little jig even if I’m sitting in the middle of my office. I love the quality of Matt Healy’s voice and the fact that it’s much deeper than one would think just by looking at him. A lot of people find the lyrics difficult to discern because of his accent, but it simply increases the appeal for me because unlike what happens usually when I listen to music, this band’s sound appeals to me more than the words of the songs.

They took a little bit of a detour from their black and white videos with ‘Girl’. It’s in colour and definitely a little more pop with a bit of a 80s vibe to it in both sounds and visuals with a little bit of humour; I absolutely adore it.

With an eye and ear for details, this band is definitely worth a listen.

The Digital Resurrection of Michael Jackson

Posted in Back With A Vengeance!, Being a Fan, Concerts and Other Happenings, Losing A Legend with tags , , , , , , on May 19, 2014 by midnightradiostar

If you guys caught the 2014 Billboard Music Awards on the 18th of May, 2014 there’s a good chance you witnessed the digital resurrection of the King of Pop, Michael Jackson. I’ve talked about how it’s possible to bring back the stars that are no longer with us on Midnight HeartBEAT recently, and it is incredibly wicked to see one of my favourite artists of all time perform again this way.

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I cried my heart out on the day MJ died. It was one of the greatest losses the music industry has ever faced and something a lot of fans will never get over. To celebrate the release of his new posthumous album Xscape, MJ performed a track off the album called ‘Slave to the Rhythm’. The spectacular performance raised a standing ovation from the audience, along with a lot of emotions ranging from happy tears to screams of jubilation.

On film it falls a little short of quality, but that is always the case with projections and holograms; you need to be there.  Regardless, it was beautiful to see him perform again, and I know I was grinning like a little loon throughout.

One thing’s for sure: We will always love Michael Jackson, and that’s what makes him immortal.

Andrew Garfield dresses in drag for Arcade Fire’s upcoming video

Posted in Collaborations, Let's Get Personal, LGBT, Not to be Missed with tags , , , , , , on May 9, 2014 by midnightradiostar

So if you haven’t seen it yet, here’s Andrew Garfield in drag in the preview for Arcade Fire’s upcoming video for ‘We Exist’. It looks exciting, dark and deep, and I can hardly wait for the whole thing.

Ghost in the Machine?

Posted in ...And A Legend Was Born., Being a Fan, Breakthrough Artist, Collaborations, Concerts and Other Happenings, Constructive Crtitisism, Let's Take it Back to the Start, Losing A Legend, Off The Beaten Track, Technology, Then and Now with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 16, 2014 by midnightradiostar

Something that has me quite excited and slightly terrified is projected images of artists at concerts. I think the first time I ever saw something like it was during the 2006 GRAMMY Awards when Gorillaz and Madonna performed together. Images of the Gorillaz and Madonna were projected onstage to make it look like they were actually there and giving the effect of Madonna being able to dance around and interact with the animated avatars of the Gorillaz. I was amazed at the potential of these ‘holograms’, at the sheer creativity and incredible technology behind it. Here’s the video:

 

This video got me thinking about the possibilities of resurrecting the beloved musicians we have lost. Would it be possible to bring back legends for the future generations to witness ‘live’? Of course it had to happen. During Coachella in 2012, Tupac Shakur was ‘resurrected’ to perform once more for old fans and new through the brilliance of modern CGI technology. Now granted these images of Tupac at Coachella and Madonna and the Gorillaz weren’t strictly holograms; they were a result of a projection technique called Pepper’s Ghost which uses glass, mirrors, screens and other reflective surfaces with light to create and project illusions. You can read more about it here.

This is Tupac’s performance at Coachella:

 

 

There are also many bands today who use this technology to project concerts to different locations. German band Tokio Hotel tied up with a company called Musion to create mini virtual concerts in stores/malls across various cities including Berlin and Barcelona and this till today remains one of the coolest things they have ever done [at least in my opinion]:

 

 

Of course with the birth and popularity of such technology, comes the literal rise of the machines. Leave it to the Japanese to create one of the most revolutionary pop-icons of the world, and when I say create I mean an amalgamation of imagination and a whole lot of hi-tech software. A particular software called Vocaloid led to the creation of  the completely computer-generated Hatsune Miku, a Japanese pop singing sensation. Although artificially generated and technically not a living artist, Miku has millions of fans around the world and is even going to be touring with Lady Gaga for her upcoming ARTPOP Ball. You can read more about Hatsune Miku and her fellow digital pop-stars, also products of Vocaloid, here.

This is a video of Miku performing one of her super hit songs, ‘World is Mine’ :

 

Do let me know in the comments below what you thought of Miku. I know I was completely shocked when I first saw this video and filled with wonder laced with fear. It is incredible what technology can do these days, but is it possible they are doing too much? Does Hatsune Miku mean the end of musicians as we know them? If a musician can be created and cater to a record company’s every whim and cause no problems like drug addiction, death, controversy etc, then it very well could mean that we are on our way to replacing our human artists. Although all this seems quite probable, we need to remember there’s nothing quite like a human being. The joy of meeting your favourite artist, shaking their hand or maybe even hugging them and talking to them is torn away. Eye-contact during concerts is next to impossible and projections do not reach their hands out for you to hold. Just watch the concerts I’ve linked you to and compare them to concerts you’ve been to or concerts with human artists. There is definitely a huge difference.

While I do love the evolutionary technology involved behind all these concerts, I believe they should be limited to perhaps something an artist does once in a while, like Madonna and Tokio Hotel, or something to help us see ghosts of artists dead and gone. A virtual ghost like Miku is a unique addition to the musicians of the world, but she cannot be a replacement for the real thing; she is better as an act on her own or a collaborative act with an artist like Lady Gaga. Technology has changed the face of music and will keep doing so for hundreds of years to come!

 


 

 

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Worshiping Lorde

Posted in ...And A Legend Was Born., Breakthrough Artist with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 25, 2014 by midnightradiostar

First of, I want to start by wishing everyone a very Happy New Year. I know I haven’t blogged in a long time, and I admit I have been feeling rather uninspired. Couple that with exams and an endless mountain of assignments, you have a very lazy blogger!

But I want to post really quick about someone who’s taken the music industry by storm: Lorde. She is the first 16-year-old to enter the industry in recent years who has great song-writing talent. You can tell by her hit single ‘Royals’ that this girl has got talent and means business.

She sort of reminds me of a younger Lana Del Rey, where the angst is all teen without being about boys and high school which is so refreshing, I can’t even communicate it enough. We have Taylor Swift and Selina Gomez for all the whining, I think we need something a little hardcore to really relate to, especially us who don’t whine and cry about relationships.

The best thing about ‘Royals is how much truth it contains. A lot musicians today sing about ‘jet planes, islands, tigers on a gold leash’ which Lorde points out are beyond the reach of us mere mortals who live ordinary lives simply dreaming for something better. The song is also something my friends and I sing as a group every time it plays because it’s catchy and the lyrics are almost hypnotic in their frank disregard for the life of luxury.

I also find ‘Tennis Court’ quite fascinating because it’s dark and hardcore, two things that you don’t see in many 16 year olds. She seems to get life, if I may put it that way, its complexity and its simplicity. I also find the music video extremely fascinating.

Some of the best memories I have with my friends is driving into the night blaring ‘Royals’ and singing along for all we’re worth, harmonies and all. I’ll admit Lorde and her album Pure Heroin are acquired tastes, but for those who like a little something different, she is a breath of fresh air.

You Wrecked Me

Posted in 2013, Classy as f***, Let's Get Personal, Then and Now with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 16, 2013 by midnightradiostar

I know there’s a lot of shit going around about Miley Cyrus, and I am no innocent bystander in the process of throwing piles of hot, steaming slander at her through the years. I’m not going to talk about her evolution or ‘devolution’ as many prefer to term it, because frankly it’s been discussed too much for my liking. Talking about it isn’t going to do anything because like she has rightly said, it’s her life and she can do what she wants. If we expect the same freedom, I guess so can she. And you know what, people change. #Life.

Behaviour aside I really want to talk about her new song ‘Wrecking Ball’ from her upcoming album Bangerz, and here’s the shocker: I love it. I feel it’s one of the most honest and raw songs she’s come up with. Like a lot of songs about heartbreak, there is regret and tears, but there is also anger and the bitter tinge of masochism in self-destruction along with the demolition of a relationship. I think love is extremely destructive, and the comparison of her to a wrecking ball signifies that destructive, invasive power a lover has over the other.

True, it’s not often that we connect the word ‘deep’ to Miley Cyrus, but I feel in this song at least she has succeeded in touching a depth she seldom does. It reminds me a little of ‘When I Look At You’, and I absolutely loved that song, although not her vocals. She has improved greatly and sounds way less nasal than she used to. She also looks incredible in the video. She’s got a fantastic body and an attitude sharp enough to cut. Although a lot of people were disapproving of her nudity [I'll admit I wasn't too sure about it initially, either] watching the video again just showed me that we can safely say that her new image and vocals leave Hannah Montana in the dust, and for that I cannot be more grateful.

Maybe the ‘Disney Death’ was the goal, [though I think the VMAs did that job already] or maybe it really is a rendition of her feelings on her break up with Liam Hemsworth, all I know is that I love it, the video, the song, everything.

The only thing that irks me is when she licks the hammer at one point, but then again the masochism is evident in the action. Terry Richardson as a director focuses on the raw core of an artist when he captures them on film, and this video is no different. I wouldn’t recommend watching it with your parents.

The New Kidd On The Block

Posted in ...And A Legend Was Born., 2013, Breakthrough Artist, Classy as f***, Collaborations, Off The Beaten Track, What Women Want with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 26, 2013 by midnightradiostar

Someone who I’m absolutely in love with at the moment is Vince Kidd. If any of you guys have watched the Voice UK then you’ll remember him as Jessie J’s finalist in 2012. Leather clad and wearing enough eyeliner to put Adam Lambert to shame, he got all judges to turn for him when he sang his own version of Madonna’s ‘Like A Virgin’. I never thought a man would sing this song, and I was just as stunned as the judges by his song choice. Like Will.i.am said, Vince completely changed an iconic pop song into a signature soul piece. Absolutely brilliant. And that falsetto is out of this world.

He’s got this delicious edgy, alternative look with bits of grunge thrown in along with eyes that are so gorgeous they’ll sweep you off your feet even if his voice doesn’t. I can’t tell you how blown away I am by him. He’s got the whole package: talent, looks and stage presence. He’s like a mix of Adam Lambert and Bill Kaulitz with a bit of Billy Idol thrown in for good measure and I’d say that’s a pretty fantastic blend.

His music is vibrant and soulful, along with being tracks you can dance along with. What I love most about him is his versatility. Vocally he reminds me of Daley and Robin Thicke but the most accurate way to describe him would be to say he’s like a male version of Jessie J herself, which is why I felt she was the perfect coach for him on the Voice.

His latest video for ‘The Zoo’ ft Vanessa White is absolutely crazy and infectious. The beat is intoxicating and I have not been able to stop listening to it all day. It’s full of energy and colour, very much like Vince himself and I believe this song really suits him and has given him more freedom to explore his space as an artist. I highly recommend listening to this song and watching the video.

He’s definitely an artist who deserves more recognition and album sales, so do tell your friends to check out his music because I think he’s absolutely worth it. He’s got a certain charm you just don’t see in musicians these days. If you’re looking for something a little soft and mellow, you can check out his performance of ‘Smother Me’.

Needless to say he really has knocked my socks off, and I look forward to the day that I get to see him sing live in front of me.

Cheers!

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