A weekly update on all things music, advertising, and technology coming straight to you from Anthony Vanger at MassiveMusic. #TWIM
ARTIST OF THE WEEK: THE COMET IS COMING
This track sounds like the way I feel right now. Full of clashing sounds and emotions, but somehow managing to hold it together, propelling forwards to an uncertain future. The Comet Is Coming is a London-based band that incorporates elements of jazz, electronica, funk, and psychedelic rock. The band released its debut, Channel the Spirits, in 2016 and was nominated for the prestigious Mercury Prize. Last year they played Glastonbury and rocked the crowd with their unique sound, which has elements of Parliament-Funkadelic, but less funk and more jazz, rock, and pop. And I love the video. No matter where you pause it, every frame could be used as a t-shirt print.
AD OF THE WEEK: ADIDAS | READY FOR SPORT
The void left by the ban on global sports has surprised many by its size and impact. Adidas offers sports fans a ray of light for the future in a new campaign that promises “we’ll compete again.”
The spot, created by agency Iris, is narrated by New York rapper Princess Nokia. “We will run again…we will freeze in the stands again. And spring, and sweat and fly,” she narrates as the scenes move from empty stadiums and locked playgrounds to memories of athletes competing.
Adidas is being hit hard by the effects of the pandemic. Yesterday, it reported first-quarter results that were worse than expected, revealing net profit down 97 percent with 70 percent of its stores closed worldwide. It said the outlook was so uncertain that it could not provide an earnings forecast for the full year. The sports ban is biting even more.
SPOTIFY NOW ENABLES FANS TO PAY ARTISTS MONEY DIRECT, VIA CASH APP AND PAYPAL.ME PARTNERSHIPS
Spotify, which announced yesterday that it has racked up a staggering 130 million subscribers, has another piece of big news, this time for artists – and their bank accounts. The streaming platform has long enabled artists to highlight a piece of music on their profile via the ‘Artist’s Pick’ headline. Now, Spotify has launched a sister version of this feature, ‘Artist Fundraising Pick’, which allows acts to pin a specific destination on their profile where fans can pay them ‘tips’.
Artists wishing to use their Fundraising Pick to encourage their fans to pay money to good causes are welcome to do so – either via GoFundMe, or direct to a range of causes supported by Spotify’s COVID-19 Music Relief project.
AMOEBA MUSIC HAS CLOSED ITS HOLLYWOOD LOCATION
Amoeba Music has shuttered its Hollywood location at 6400 Sunset Blvd.
The news comes after Amoeba confirmed their new 6200 Hollywood Blvd location in late February, with plans to open the space by fall. While plans for the Hollywood Blvd location are still intact, California’s ongoing “safer at home” order has prompted the record store to prematurely close its landmark Sunset Blvd location.
The store was originally allowed to remain at its current location until the upcoming move, a relocation that has been expected since the space was sold back in 2015. Last week, Amoeba launched a GoFundMe campaign to assist with the move and to keep its 400-person staff afloat during the pandemic. (Amoeba is covering health insurance costs for full-time employees during pandemic-related closures.) With the current location closed, Amoeba says, the record store will focus on “hopefully opening in the fall.”
UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP & LEGO STRIKE PARTNERSHIP AROUND UPCOMING TOY LINE
Universal Music Group and The LEGO Group have signed an exclusive global partnership, the companies announced last Sunday.
Though details are scarce, the partnership will leverage UMG’s immense catalog for a new suite of LEGO products slated for release in 2021, with a goal to “celebrate and expand children’s creativity and passion for music.”
“Music plays an integral part in every child’s life from the moment they are born and throughout their development,” said Olivier Robert-Murphy, global head of new business at UMG. “Across the decades, children have continued to explore this passion via vinyl, radio, cassette, music videos, CD’s and streaming. Now through the partnership between the LEGO Group and UMG, we will provide a new interactive way of inspiring the next generation of fans and creative visionaries.”
LA CREATIVE STUDIO HAS DESIGNED A PANDEMIC-PROOF RAVING SUIT
Features include compatibility with vaping and a subwoofer soundsystem
Production Club has unveiled a design for a futuristic, pandemic-proof raving outfit called the Micrashell Futuresuit.
The Los Angeles creative studio has previously produced interactive installations and bright light shows for the likes of Skrillex, SOPHIE and Grimes. Now the music events industry has been put on hold, the designers have diverted their attention to solutions for raving during times of pandemic.
The features of the high-tech concept are geared towards allowing people to party without socially distancing. They include “phone integration, beverage and vape consumption, voice communication, a subwoofer sound system, a video camera, fashion accessories, and a breathable helmet with unobscured views”.
GOOGLE RELEASES ITS SECOND-GEN PIXEL BUDS
Also compatible with the iPhone
Google has just launched the second generation of its AirPods competitor, the Pixel Buds, and it comes with an array of welcomed upgrades.
Designed to sit flush with your ear, Google says it has scanned thousands in order to find the perfect fit, allowing for a low profile aesthetic whilst reducing the chances of you getting them knocked out. In-ear, they come with three different sizes of ear tips to create the perfect seal and environmental sound isolation. Inside, it’s powered by two 12-millimeter dynamic speaker drivers, dual beam-forming microphones, and even a voice accelerometer that tracks the vibrations in your jawbones to provide even better sound quality. They provide convenient access to Google Assistant, support real-time translation, and also boast Adaptive Sound technology which allows the earphones to automatically adjust your music volume depending on the surrounding noise levels.
Available in four colours, each coming with a white wireless charging case, Google’s second-gen Pixel Buds are now available for $180 USD over on Google’s website.
Written by Anthony Vanger
Additional reporting by Adam “Badger” Woolf
Artwork by Gustav Balderdash