ARTIST OF THE WEEK: THE WEATHER STATION
This artist has been prodding persistently at my conscious for a month. I was introduced to The Weather Station, aka Tamara Lindeman, by a colleague at work, and at first, her morose quality pushed me away. But I kept on watching and listening and slowly, like when you discover you are friends with someone you didn’t like at first, it clicked. This song “Robber” is perhaps the most approachable song from the album, but it still requires some heavy lifting on the part of the listener. The beat is loose and jazzy. The piano lays down the minimum chords required to keep the song together. Strings drive the emotion and a saxophone makes a subtle cameo appearance in between verse/choruses. Combined with singer Lindeman’s distinctive breathy vocals, you get a sound that is as original as it is unsettling. This is Weather Station’s fifth album and based on glowing reviews by The Guardian and Pitchfork, it may be the one that pushes this artist into the mainstream.
AD OF THE WEEK: DRAW KETCHUP
We all know ketchup and we all know what it looks like. What this clever ad from Heinz and agency Rethink reveals is the extent to which Heinz ketchup dominates this category. The experiment was conducted across five continents, and none of the participants were told of Heinz’s involvement. Heinz says “most” of the subjects drew a bright red bottle with Heinz from memory. Others sketched the keystone label, a tomato hanging from a vine, or the number 57 on the neck of a glass bottle. The best 250 drawings will win a custom box and bottle with their drawing on the label. Anyone fancy a try?
DAFT PUNK ANNOUNCE THEY ARE CALLING IT QUITS
Legendary dance duo has called it quits 28 years after forming in Paris
Daft Punk, the Parisian duo responsible for some of the most popular dance and pop songs ever made, have split. They broke the news with an 8-minute video titled “Epilogue,” excerpted from their 2006 film Electroma. Asked if Daft Punk were no more, their longtime publicist Kathryn Frazier confirmed the news to Pitchfork but gave no reason for the breakup.
Beyond the singles, their visual identity, interstellar mystique, and party-music ethos inspired generations of artists across genres. LCD Soundsystem’s breakout song, “Daft Punk Is Playing at My House,” captured the duo’s paradoxical embodiment of hipster cool even as their singles dominated airwaves. They released several batches of incredible holiday merch. They were sampled by R&B greats Janet Jackson and Jazmine Sullivan, parodied in Family Guy and Powerpuff Girls, and celebrated in art galleries around the world. Watch their farewell video below.
NIGHTCLUBS AND FESTIVALS CAN REOPEN FROM JUNE 21
Nightclubs and festivals in England will be able to reopen from June 21.
In the roadmap announced this week by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the government hopes to lift all legal limits on social contact by June 21.
The government also wants large events to be able to go ahead by this date. This means that nightclubs could reopen and restrictions on music festivals could be lifted as long as coronavirus cases, deaths, and hospital admissions continue to fall. If this is the case, nightclubs and festivals will reopen from June 21 at the earliest.
SPOTIFY OFFICIALLY INTRODUCES HIFI SOUND QUALITY UPGRADE
Spotify is finally set to introduce lossless quality music with Spotify HiFi.
The digital streaming platform (DSP) announced the awaited news during its Stream On event, revealing that the feature will be made available to Premium subscribers in select markets later this 2021. Spotify promises “more depth and clarity” for its catalog, will enable HiFi for Spotify Connect-enabled speakers and will couple it with the platform’s “seamless user experience, building on our commitment to make sure users can listen to the music they love in the way they want to enjoy it.”
Billie Eilish and FINNEAS also spoke on Spotify HiFi in a short video.
LEGO RELEASE RELAXING THREE-HOUR PLAYLIST OF BRICK SOUNDS
Building block legends LEGO have released a new playlist of ASMR-friendly block sounds on their official Spotify account. Described as a solution for those looking for a “new way to destress”, LEGO said the playlist “is composed of a series of audio tracks created using nothing but the iconic sounds that the LEGO brick makes, sounds that are recognized by generations all over the world.”
The iconic sounds make up a 210-minute playlist, perfect for putting on before you drift off the sleep, the sounds of everyone’s childhood echoing through the darkness. LEGO also added, “Each LEGO element makes a unique noise, which is why designers experimented with over 10,000 in their quest for the perfect soothing sounds. The result is a soundscape that includes tracks such as ‘It All Clicks’ which perfectly captures the joyous sound of two LEGO elements joining together, and ‘The Waterfall’ created by pouring thousands of LEGO bricks on top of each other.”
Written by Anthony Vanger
Additional reporting by Adam “Badger” Woolf
Artwork by Gustav Balderdash