PoP RECOMMENDS | THE NEW ROCK N ROLL : THE OBSERVATORY X MOE – SHADOWS

Two experimental artrock bands get together to make sweet music together.

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PoPTV | POP LEGENDS : SIMPLE MINDS – MAGIC [OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO]

Simple Minds have announced a new album – Walk Between Worlds – to be released on 2nd February, with the new single, “Magic”.

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PoPTV | THE NEW ROCK N ROLL : PAPER SPOOK – ANDY WARHOL

Uh-oh. Berlin duo Paper Spook make all the right noises with new album No Romantics, due in September.

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PoP RECOMMENDS | POP POWER !!! : GRIZZLY BEAR – PAINTED RUINS

Comforting to note that Grizzly Bear have about two million monthly listeners at Spotify – which means that their brand of eclectic experimental pop music does have an audience.

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THE LISTENING BOOTH | ROCK AS ART : NINE INCH NAILS – THIS ISN’T THE PLACE

Photo credit: John Crawford

Considering that Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (who are Nine Inch Nails) do quite a bit of soundtrack work nowadays, no surprise then that the new EP, Add Violence, has a very cinematic sound.

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THE LISTENING BOOTH | POP POWER !!! : LEDGES – NOTHING TO SAY

Akron, Ohio indie rock trio Ledges will release their debut album Homecoming on September 1st, but their soaring, anthemic new single “Nothing To Say” is now available to listen to.

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SINGAPORE MUSIC SPOTLIGHT | SUB:SHAMAN – APNEA

“Progressive rock”. A music genre born, nurtured & killed over 40 years ago. Which oddly enough appears to apply to whatever you want to call the music made by sub:shaman on its new album, apnea.

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PoP RECOMMENDS | THE NEW ROCK N ROLL : BRITISH SEA POWER – LET THE DANCERS INHERIT THE PARTY

Art-rockers British Sea Power are back with a brand new album – its sixth – and it’s a glorious return to the exhilarating, bright-minded guitar music that earned them their breakout nomination for the 2003 Mercury Music Prize as they cover subject matter ranging from the stars in the night sky to the methodology of media manipulation. 

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PoPTV | THE NEW ROCK N ROLL : DUTCH UNCLES – BIG BALLOON

2017 promises to be an exciting year for #THENEWROCKNROLL and the upcoming new album from Manchester’s Dutch Uncles provides more evidence for optimism!

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PoPTV | THE NEW ROCK N ROLL : BRITISH SEA POWER – BAD BOHEMIAN

Photo credit: Mayumi Hirata

One band that fulfilled the immense promise of the so-called ‘post-punk revival’ of the noughties – acclaimed UK rock outfit British Sea Power are back with the forthcoming LP Let The Dancers Inherit The Party out March 31st on Golden Chariot (via Caroline International).

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LISTENING BOOTH – THE NEW ROCK N ROLL FT. BENT KNEE, THE HARLOTS, THE BLACK BLACK, WONS PHREELY + THE HORSES & INNER OCEANS!!!

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Rock ‘n’ roll might not have the same commercial or cultural impact it used to have but we promise to keep the flag flying.

Here are streams of new music you should be listening to that expresses the spirit of rock ‘n’ roll. Enjoy!

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POWER OF POP INTERVIEW – JULIA VIDAL/THE SALT RIOT

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Seattle’s The Salt Riot released one of the most memorable albums in recent times – Dead Star – that lives up to the promise of what we call ‘The New Rock N Roll’. We connected with lead singer-songwriter and guitarist Julia Vidal via email to gain insight into this intriguing emerging band. 

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ALBUM REVIEW: BRIAN ENO – THE SHIP

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Background
One of popular music’s most influential and innovative figures, musician/composer/record producer/singer/writer Brian Eno has been responsible for some of the most cutting-edge music ever made. On The Ship, Eno once more develops the musical form he pioneered, ambient electronica.

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ALBUM REVIEW: THE OBSERVATORY – AUGUST IS THE CRUELLEST

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Philipp Aldrup

“… we wanted the music to embody the extremities of our current realities. Conflict, pain, anguish, heartbreak, discrimination together with moments of loneliness, gentleness, helplessness and melancholy. A perspective that is not just solely Singaporean, but human.Leslie Low, The Observatory.

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ALBUM REVIEW: DAVID BOWIE – BLACKSTAR

Bowie Blackstar

The legendary David Bowie thrilled all his fans with his fabulous comeback album The Next Day back in 2013 and diehards have been hoping and praying that the LP was not a one-off. Thankfully, Bowie is back with a new album for 2016 – Blackstar!

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ROCK HISTORY: JAPAN – QUIET LIFE (1979)

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English band Japan never hid their influences, with The New York Dolls, Roxy Music, David Bowie and The Velvet Underground, readily apparent from their image and music. Consisting of David Sylvian (lead vocals, guitar), Richard Barbieri (synths, keyboards), Mick Karn (bass, sax, flute, backing vocals), Steve Jansen (drums, percussion, backing vocals) and Rob Dean (guitar), the band would in turn inspire many of the 80s New Romantics (Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet etc) though the band themselves swore off that label.

Quiet Life, their 3rd LP, is significant as it signalled a shift in style as Japan eschewed the glam-rock of their first two LPs in favour of a more experimental synth-based approach, which bordered on art rock. This allowed the creativity of Karn and Barbieri to shine through in their instrumental work and Sylvian began to step of the shadow of his #1 vocal inspiration, Bryan Ferry. Guitars were no longer used to provide chordal accompaniment and where utilised would be more atmospheric in nature. This change in direction probably led to guitarist Dean leaving, subsequent to the album’s release.

Songs like the dance-rocking title track, the mutant groovy “In Vogue” and the Roxy-channeling “Halloween” provided the album highlights, whilst the sublime cover of the Velvets’ “All Tomorrow’s Parties” would make for a particularly memorable single.

As a quartet, Japan would go on to release the successful Gentlemen Take Polaroids and Tin Drum albums before splitting up in 1982 to explore even more progressive rock territories individually.

… still there’s more… 

THE OBSERVATORY: OSCILLA ALBUM LAUNCH

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Art-rockers The Observatory return with a new line-up and a new album. Founding members Leslie Low, Vivian Wang and Dharma are joined by SA’s Cheryl Ong on drums and Yuen Chee Wai on electronics/synths for this latest chapter of the band’s amazing journey.

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Oscilla will be released in various formats – a limited colour vinyl release alongside regular black vinyl LPs, CDs and for the very first time, a limited run of cassettes with free download – on 15th August, which will be supported by two performances on 15th and 16th at The Substation.

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