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Friday
Feb072014

[Watch] Lily Allen - "Air Balloon" (Official Video) 

I sat on writing this up until the official video came out for Lily Allen's latest single, "Air Balloon", because I was hoping it was going to provide some context, but can anyone out there please explain to me what the actual hell is going on here? Don't get me wrong, the song is insanely catchy, but in terms of depth, this couldn't be more of a polar opposite from her first single, "Hard Out Here". I love absolutely everything about this song until you actually pay attention to what she's singing about. One fo the things I've always appreciated about Allen's music was how quickly one is able to get on board with her. She's typically very straightfoward with what she has to say. However, when I receive the urge to put this song on, I feel uneasy throughout my moment of joyfilled pop bliss. It's like I'm being indoctrinated into some weird cult without my consent. The video (above) is an equally confusing joyride. She goes from aimlessly spinning and singing in a field with butterflies, to pawing on top of a cheetah, to floating around in space? Don't get me wrong, I would love to do all of these things, so maybe I'm just being jealous. I guess it's more that I feel left out because I thought I was on board with her willingness to make such a bold statement with her first single. With no announcement of an album release yet, though, I keep looking from "Hard Out Here", to "Air Ballon, and then to her other recent track on the Girls soundtrack, "L8 CMMR", wondering if she'll make it through this clear experimentational phase unscathed. She's definitely a different woman than she was when her sophmore album, It's Not Me, It's You was released in early 2009, so I'm giving her the benefit of the doubt. Anyway, for now, if you need me, I'll be over here "further researching" this song by playing it 10 times in a row. 
Monday
Feb032014

[News] Pulled Apart By Horses Announce UK Tour

Cast your mind back to the year 2012. It's not that hard. Back to February in that year. That was the last time the UK was graced with the noisemakers known as Pulled Apart By Horses on the live circuit. They've been busy making brand new music for our ear holes but ahead of that they've gone and got all excited and have decided to treat fans to some previews on the road before release. Guitarist James Brown says:

After spending most of 2013 writing the new album, we are now so close to finishing it that we can't wait a moment longer to get sweaty with you guys. So we're excited to announce an intimate little UK warm-up tour. Think of it as some much needed exercise.

Tickets are on sale this Friday 8th Feb., or you can peek a pre-sale on Thursday 7th by checking pulledapartbyhorses.com for more info. You can check out the dates after the jump.

As well as that we can all expect some news about their third album in the very near future. Get excited and prepare yourselves for some awesome new sounds.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Feb032014

[News] Bestival Announces Line-Up Additions; Beck & Foals join Outkast as headliners

Bestival has just announced its initial line-up and it's going to be hard to beat in terms of ending your summer on a high in 2014. Beck and Foals will top the bill at the event, joining the returning duo of Outkast, as announced last week. The rest of the acts announced are Disclosure, Major Lazer, Sam Smith, CHVRCHES, London Grammar, Wild Beasts, Caribou, Clean Bandit and Laura Mvula.

As is tradition with the festival, it will have a theme and this year it's 'Desert Island Disco'. I think opens up a few more options compared to 2013's nautical 'HMS Bestival' theme so get your thinking caps on if you're planning on grabbing a ticket.

Bestival takes place from September 4th-7th on the Isle of Wight and tickets are on sale now.

For more information, head over to Bestival.net

Friday
Jan312014

[Watch] The 1975 - "Settle Down" (Official Video)

The 1975 are back up to their old tricks and have released a black and white clip for their new single, "Settle Down". The video is set in a rural town and it all looks rather bleak as it follows the story of two young boys going about their daily business. It all seems rather average before ending in a strange turn of events. It left me a little confused upon first watch but apparently the video is said to be based on a recurring dream Matt Healy had as a child and this is it coming to life. See what you make of it below. Seems like the beginnings of a pretty good supernatural movie to me.

The 1975's debut is out now and the band are already at work on a follow-up which is sure to impress.

Friday
Jan312014

[Watch] St. Vincent - "Digital Witness" (Official Video)

St. Vincent's new self-titled album is set for release on February 25th via Loma Vista. The second track, the brass filled choppy number, "Digital Witness" has been given the official video treatment now and sees it matching up to the edgy and punchy dynamic of the song. Bold colours of green and yellow are strewn throughout by director Chino Moya and the sharp cuts and movements of the dancers/extras fit the audio well. Can we just have the album already?! I'm getting impatient. 

Bonus video: Did you know Annie Clark is rather good at football? The European kind, Soccer to you people in the US. After quitting at 12, which was actually when she got her first guitar, her energy was solely then focussed on music. Good thing for us, huh?

Friday
Jan312014

[News] Parklife Announces Initial Line-Up including Snoop Dogg, Foals, Kendrick Lamar & More

As we mentioned earlier the festival line-ups are coming in thick and fast and Manchester's very own Parklife Weekender, organised by the people at Warehouse Project, have just released the initial bill. For an event that's been growing year on year since its inception, it seems they've delivered once again as it's pretty damn big! Snoop Dogg and Foals top the bill on the main stage in the evenings while throughout the bill are big names. Bastille, Disclosure, Katy B, Soul II Soul, Danny Brown, Public Enemy, Seth Troxler, Chromeo, Moderat, Maya Jane Coles, London Grammar, Mount Kimbie, and a UK festival exclusive from Kendrick Lamar. It's sure to be a huge weekend. Check out the full line-up so far here.

With more announcements to come, who knows what other surprises the team has in store. The event takes place in Manchester's Heaton Park on the weekend of June 7th-8th and you can pick up tickets from £79.50 for the full weekend, or £49.50 for a day ticket over on parklife.uk.com.

Friday
Jan312014

[News] Live at Leeds 2014 Announces Initial Line-Up 

It's that time of year again when festivals big and small begin to tease their fans with the artists that will be gracing their stages. Of course there are the huge announcements Stateside with Outkast reforming for several dates both on US soil and UK. But here at SKoA we're focussed on the ones close to home; For myself (Shey), that's Live at Leeds. A wonderful event that takes place across the city of (you guessed it,) Leeds, and draws bands from a smorgasbord of genres to venues throughout the city. Last year I had an absolute blast and the event was one of my highlights of the festival calendar. This year looks set to top it as they've announced their initial line-up which you can see above via the fancy new poster.

Making up the bill are Albert Hammond Jr, Blood Red Shoes, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Chloe Howl, Drenge, Pulled Apart By Horses, Wolf Alice, Yuck and hoards of other damn fine bands. 

Taking place in 2014 on the weekend of 2-5th of May, tickets are priced at just £25 and for the stuff you can see for that price, I'd snatch up a ticket fast. Grab them over here.

Friday
Jan242014

[Interview] Hidden In Plain Sight: (Re)Introducing Kenna

It wasn't until I was preparing for my interview with Kenna that I finally sat down and did the math: I have been a fan of his music for over a decade now. This summer it will be 11 years since the day I first encountered "Freetime", from his 2003 debut, New Sacred Cow. I remember the day well. I was sitting in my parents house watching MTV2 with a notepad on the coffee table. This was my ritual when my friends were out of suggestions for new bands to listen to. Every few months, I would sit for about an hour and take note of any bands that were worth possibly buying CDs for and then go out and buy them, but only after quizzing myself a few days later when I would look back at the notepad and try to remember anything about the artist. "Freetime" easily passed my silly test. Soon after picking up New Sacred Cow, I set myself on a course that, unbeknownst to me at the time, would lead me to writing the words you are reading today. After moving to NYC in 2006, I would spend random lonely Friday evenings on my laptop, checking up on any bands in my 3rd gen iPod that hadn't released new albums in awhile. This is how I ended up on the Kenna message boards, which is where I met Rocko shortly thereafter, and around 3 years later, SKOA was born.

Click to read more ...