Friday Jan 8th daily news highlights.

1. Martin Gore releases haunting new track ‘Howler’

MARTIN GORE, songwriter and founding member of Depeche Mode, releases the haunting ‘Howler’ today on Mute. It’s taken from the forthcoming 5 track instrumental EP, The Third Chimpanzee, out 29 January 2021.

Howler was the first track I recorded for The Third Chimpanzee EP,” Martin says. “I resynthesized some vocals that almost sounded human, but not quite. That’s why I decided to name the track after a monkey. I thought that would be a good theme to carry on with the rest of the tracks.

Like the entire EP, ‘Howler’ paints a cinematic musical landscape that sounds like a new dawn. Written and produced by Martin Gore, it was recorded at Electric Ladyboy in Santa Barbara, California.

The Third Chimpanzee EP is available for pre order now on CD and a limited edition 12” Azure blue vinyl which includes an art print. The sleeve was designed by Pockets Warhol.

2. Linkin Park release One Step Closer (100 gecs Reanimation)

Linkin Park continue the Hybrid Theory 20th Anniversary Celebration with the release of One Step Closer (100 gecs Reanimation). One Step Closer was the lead single from the band’s debut album, Hybrid TheoryOne Step Closer (100 gecs Reanimation) available HERE via Warner Records. 

The band recruited the critically adored, groundbreaking pioneers to re-envision, reimagine, and reanimate this generational anthem as they see fit. The results bridge the gap between eras of musical revolution as 100 gecs—Dylan Brady and Laura Les—cook up an otherworldly interpretation of One Step Closer, which preserves the signature intensity of the original as it pushes into new territory altogether with gecs adding their own vocals in addition to production. As kindred spirits, Linkin Park set a precedent for genre-bending in 2000, and 100 gecs pick up this mantle and run with it in 2021.

“Part of the spirit of Reanimation was to take the Hybrid Theory songs that people knew so well, and let innovative artists flip them in ways nobody expected,”said Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park“I think 100 gecs did exactly that.”

100 gecs also created the official visualiser, which debuts with the reanimation’s arrival. 

Additional remakes from other disruptors are in the works and could very well materialise soon. Stay tuned for more, as the next era of Linkin Park dawns now.

3. Saweetie joins forces with Doja Cat for ‘Best Friend’

The multi-platinum artist and global trendsetter Saweetie returns with her club-ready banger ‘Best Friend’, featuring the Grammy-nominated Doja Cat. An empowering anthem, ‘Best Friend’ is primed for the wildest girls’ night out (or in). The chemistry and confidence of these two rising superstars pumping each other up is undeniable, making for a perfect prelude to Saweetie’s forthcoming debut album ‘Pretty B*tch Music’ which will be released on ICY / Warner Records.

Over slapping drums, Saweetie and Doja Cat trade bars that celebrate the other’s success, beauty and independence. Saweetie spits clever lines throughout, including the catchy hook: “That’s my best friend, she a real bad b*tch / Drive her own car, she don’t need no Lyft.” Doja Cat matches her with equally sharp rhymes: “If she ride for me, she don’t need a key.”

‘Best Friend’ continues Saweetie’s streak of anthemic collaborations and social domination. Over the summer, she dropped the thundering ‘Tap In’ remix with DaBaby, Post Malone and Jack Harlow, accompanied by an animated music video, which hit the UK Official Charts Top 40.

4. Ryland James releases new single Blame

Critically acclaimed breakout star Ryland James released a brand new single, Blame, via 21 Entertainment / Republic Records / EMI and Universal Music Canada. Listen to the single HERE.

Blame, comes after a busy holiday season that saw Ryland release his first-ever holiday EP, A Little Christmas. The project had Ryland revisit and recharge four seasonal classics, including his 2019 smash rendition of Please Come Home For Christmas, which garnered over 10 million streams.

With a new single and a new year, Ryland is ready to top the banner year he had in 2020. He amplified his voice worldwide with the release of his self-titled debut EP, Ryland James. In addition to peaking at #1 on Shazam Canada’s Top 200 Chart, the lead single In My Head recently picked up a platinum certification in Canada, while his catalogue eclipsed 50 million global streams in a little over a year’s time. In 2019, he performed in venues across North America supporting multi-platinum star Alessia Cara and bringing crowds to their feet on a nightly basis.

5. Rxseboy shares new release ‘Jimmy feat. Sarcastic Sounds’

Lo-fi rapper Rxseboy has shared his first release via RCA Records/Robots + Humans with new single Jimmy feat. Sarcastic Sounds.

A staple name in the growing lo-fi scene, amidst friends Powfu and Sarcastic Sounds, Rxseboy has already achieved over 2.7 million monthly listeners on Spotify and built a cult following through his three self-released EPs. Florida based Rxseboy, whose real name is Anthony Tubbs, is also known for his features on tracks by the likes of Dermot KennedyAlec Benjamin and of course, Powfu.

His laid-back, conspiratorial raps about sadness, failed romance and emotional confessions are like a history of diary entries, which are given a timeless texture by his classic, crackling jazz era beats. On new single Jimmy, which samples a 2007 hit by Moriarty of the same name, Sarcastic Sounds’ unique country-inspired lo-fi beat adds an upbeat flow to Rxseboy’s distinctive and melodic vocals. He says;

“I really wanted to make something interesting that I felt nobody’s really heard before. Putting a country twist on lofi was that unique idea I was searching for, and Sarcastic Sounds had to be the person to help it come to life.”

Jimmy is the first release from his forthcoming first major label EP – expect to get to know the name Rxseboy a whole lot more in 2021.

6. Gary Numan announces new album ‘Intruder’

Gary Numan is set to release his brand new album ‘Intruder’ on May 21st. The album is now available to pre-order here, and its title track and lead single will be unveiled on Monday. 

‘Intruder’is Numan’s 18th solo studio album and follows 2017’s ‘Savage: Songs From A Broken World’, which became his highest charting set in almost forty years when it debuted at #2 on the Official Albums Chart. That commercial success was complemented with wide-reaching critical acclaim from Mojo, The Quietus, Pop Matters and more. 

Whereas ‘Savage’ depicted earth as a barren wasteland in which humanity and culture had been largely crushed by the effects of global warming, ‘Intruder’ presents a fresh but complementary narrative. It’s a philosophical examination of a potential future apocalypse: the planet can only survive by purging its inhabitants. 

Numan explains: “‘Intruder’ looks at climate change from the planet’s point of view. If Earth could speak, and feel things the way we do, what would it say? How would it feel? The songs, for the most part, attempt to be that voice, or at least try to express what I believe the earth must feel at the moment. 

The planet sees us as its children now grown into callous selfishness, with a total disregard for it’s well being. It feels betrayed, hurt and ravaged. Disillusioned and heartbroken it is now fighting back. Essentially, it considers human kind to be a virus attacking the planet. Climate change is the undeniable sign of the Earth saying enough is enough, and finally doing what it needs to do to get rid of us, and explaining why it feels it has to do it.” 

The title track and lead single provides a tantalising taster of what to expect. As austere synths loom like shadows and industrial beats are detonated, Numan’s beguiling hook towers like a beacon in the darkness. It’s visionary, fierce and fascinating: three traits that have become hallmarks of the musician’s influential career. The song, he says, finds “the Earth angry and hostile, and more than willing to fight back.” 

Partially written and recorded during lockdown, it’s no surprise that current circumstances have been assimilated into its themes. It’s especially evident in ‘The Gift’, which evolves from a sparse introduction into a resonant Middle-Eastern sonic motif. It imagines Covid-19 as the first weapon that the planet deploys in order to eradicate mankind and once again flourish. 

7. Slick Rick Partners With Clark Originals

Slick Rick, one the most recognized storytellers, rappers and fashion influencers to date, embarks on a new journey with Clarks Originals, kicking off with a mini-documentary (curated and cultivated by The Ruler himself) titled Mind-Body-Sole” that focuses on Slick Ricks longstanding relationship with the footwear brand. The vignette style visual, directed by Katherine Mateo of PURRRR and shot by Jordan Riggs and NoLedge Productions follows Slick Rick around landmark locations synonymous with his upbringing in the Bronx, New York – ultimately making his way to the garment district in Manhattan, an area that greatly influenced Slick Ricks love for fashion and design. Mind-Body-Sole” is a story of heritage, community and purpose above all. 

Along the journey, Slick Rick speaks in-depth about his relationship with Clarks Originals, specifically the Wallabee , a shoe that he has been wearing and customizing since his emergence onto the scene in the early 1980s. Urban culture equates Slick Ricks early personalization of the Clarks Wallabee with the success of the shoe; in this visual, Rick discusses the root of his affinity with Clarks in hopes that his personal style and unique approach continue to inspire others to chase their dreams and follow in his footsteps. 

The Mind-Body-Sole” visual nears an end back in the Bronx, following Slick Rick into the boroughs military recruitment office. Filmed in the thick of the holiday season, Slick Rick took it upon himself to spread cheer to a group of government officials who he feels are often overlooked, underserved and underappreciated. Young soldiers hold a place in Slick Ricks heart, and with the help of Clarks Originals, gifted each of them his favorite styles to show his appreciation for their contributions to society. 

8. Passenger release ‘Songs For The Drunk and Brokenhearted’

Platinum-selling singer-songwriter Passenger (Mike Rosenberg) releases his anticipated full-length Songs for the Drunk and Broken Hearted, an album populated by drunk and broken-hearted characters and comprised of tracks mostly written when Rosenberg was newly single. The album was originally slated for a May 2020 release, but when the global pandemic turned the world upside-down, Rosenberg decided the album wasn’t quite done after all. A few songs no longer seemed to fit and came off. More importantly, three new songs were added, including album opener “Sword from the Stone,” which he wrote during quarantine and performed for the first time during one of his YouTube Isolation Sessions earlier this year. Watch the official video for “Sword from the Stone”

Next Friday, January 15th, Passenger will release “Sword from the Stone (Gingerbread Mix),” a special single version of the album track produced by Ed Sheeran and Joe Rubel and mixed by Spike Stent.Now kicking off at Ulster Hall, Belfast on 26th August 2021, Passenger’s rescheduled tour dates for 2021 can be viewed HERE, it includes a headline show at London O2 Brixton Academy on 8th September 2021

9. Morgan Wallen releases ‘Dangerous’

Nearly three years in the making, Big Loud/Republic Records’ Multi-Platinum superstar Morgan Wallen is unleashing today “one of country music’s most anticipated albums of 2021” (Rolling Stone), Dangerous: The Double Album, available everywhere now.

“Started writing for this album two and a half years ago and had no idea what those two and a half years were going to bring,” shares Wallen. “I tried to put all of those emotions from that time into one album but couldn’t — so we decided to make two. I hope you listen and it brings you some escape, some joy, some peace. That’s what I’ve found in it. Thanks for all of the support and I can’t wait to play these for y’all live one day.”

Grounded by the Tennessee native’s gravelly, tobacco-tinged voice and rooted in his hometown tendencies, the 30-track double shot pushes boundaries across the board, marrying modern production styles, classic Country lyricism, and Wallen’s wide range of influences on over 90 minutes of new music. GQ raves, “Wallen is that rare country artist with the range to pull off arena rock, easy-vibes Americana and traditional country ballads.”

Doubling down, Wallen tallies 16 credits as a songwriter on the collection alongside a highlight reel of Nashville’s finest collaborators, including Ashley Gorley, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne, Rodney Clawson, and close friend Michael Hardy. Produced entirely by Joey Moi, with co-production on select tracks by Dave Cohen, Matt Dragstrem, Jacob Durrett, and Charlie Handsome, Dangerous is a continuation of the signature sound Wallen and Moi crafted on his Platinum-certified #1 debut, If I Know Me.

10. Kings of Leon announce eighth studio album ‘When You See Yourself’

Grammy Award-winning, multi-platinum selling rock band KINGS OF LEON have officially announced their highly anticipated eighth studio album When You See Yourself, set for release on 5th March. Lead single, The Bandit is available now, with an accompanying music video that sets the sonic and visual tone for the album. The band has also made a second track, 100,000 People available as well. Recorded at Nashville’s famed Blackbird Studios and produced by Grammy Award-winning Markus Dravs (Arcade Fire, Coldplay, Florence + the Machine) the album propels Kings of Leon into 2021 with a modern evolution of their sound.

Pre-order When You See Yourself HERE.
Listen to The Bandit & 100,000 People HERE.

The album, which comes four years after the band’s UK number 1 album WALLS, has been teased in various formats over the past few weeks. The band even began announcing the album directly through their fans, with a special t-shirt mailer revealing album tracks and lyrics, using the moment to raise awareness and money for Live Nation’s Crew Nation relief fund for live music crews.

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