This Week In Music: 26th May
ARTIST OF THE WEEK: HARRY STYLES
There is no doubt that Harry Styles is popular. His video Sign of The Times has been viewed a staggering 977,237,492 times and at a recent Coachella concert, the screams from what sounded like a predominately female audience, drowned out his performance. What has been in doubt, for me at least (and I know I am in the minority) was whether he was authentic. For such a long time it seemed that his career was charted by handlers, plotting his every move and every sartorial decision. He was a boy band heartthrob, 11 years from his original X Factor audition, pretending to be an incarnation of David Bowie without the vocal chops. But now with his third and latest album, it may be time to give the man his due. The music is shifting away from something derivative into an original sound. No easy feat when you probably have an army of songwriters and producers. This song As it Was, from his album “Harry’s House” marks the moment Styles finally stepped into his own skin.
#harrystyles #harryshouse #onedirection #syco #columbiarecords #fineline
AD OF THE WEEK: B&Q – I’M PREGNANT
This is one of the best ads I have seen in a long time. Not just from a technical point of view, but also in terms of the story, music and punchline. It all fits perfectly and delivers a clear and powerful message. Rotating the house and choreographing the cast’s gravity-defying movement involved an intricate level of craft. To create the set, the team built a 24-ton, six-story house that could fit inside a soccer stadium since regular film studios didn’t have large enough capacity. The film was shot using in-camera effects. Fantastic work from B&Q and agency Uncommon Creative Studio.
VANGELIS, BLADE RUNNER COMPOSER AND SYNTH PIONEER, DIES, AGED 79
Greek composer and synth pioneer Vangelis died last week at the age of 79.
A report by the Associated Press confirmed the news, though his cause of death has not been disclosed. The musician, real name Evángelos Odysséas Papathanassíou, passed away at a French hospital on Tuesday, 17th May.
Papathanassíou was known widely as the legendary composer behind famed synth-driven scores for films such as Blade Runner, Alexanderand Chariots Of Fire. He won an Oscar for his work on the latter film in 1992.
His music career started in a number of rock bands, most notably forming part of the progressive rock band Aphrodite’s Child, who broke up shortly after the release of their 1972 classic ‘666’. Around this time, he began soundtracking films, and also set out on a prolific solo career centred around his evocative synth-based compositions.
Papathanassíou released more than 20 solo studio albums across his career, in addition to his extensive work on scoring films. The records were released through major labels such as RCA and Polydor, as well as on large independent labels like Deutsche Grammophon and Decca. The latter released his most recent album, ‘Juno To Jupiter’, last year.
Listen to Vangelis’ ‘Main Theme’ for the ‘Blade Runner’ soundtrack below.
FYRE FESTIVAL’S BILLY MCFARLAND RELEASED FROM PRISON EARLY
Billy McFarland, co-founder of the infamous Fyre Festival, has been released from prison early. As Pitchfork reports, he is now in a New York halfway house, where he is expected to remain until 30th August.
The controversial figure was responsible for what was sold as an ultra-luxury music event set on an island in the Bahamas. Taking place in 2017, many Fyre ticket holders were unable to reach the location as the promised private flights were oversubscribed and under-resourced. Others were left stranded at a half-built site with no facilities upon arrival.
In May 2017, McFarland was sued alongside Fyre co-founder, rapper Ja Rule, for $100million in a class action law suit on behalf of festival goers. In March 2018 McFarland was sentenced to six years in a federal prison for multiple counts of fraud, having taken around $27million from investors through marketing and sales prior to the event.
SAMSUNG RELEASES GALAXY BUDS 2 POKÉBALL EARPHONE CASE
After introducing the Pokémon-themed Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3, the tech company is expanding its nostalgic offering to include a limited edition pair of Galaxy Buds 2 earphones.
The Galaxy Buds 2 earphones arrive with a separate Pokéball case, sure to pique the interest of nostalgic fans. The earbuds also come with one of various Pokémon stickers including popular characters like Pikachu, Squirtle, Bulbasaur, MewTwo and more so fans can decorate their own cases. The stickers are chosen at random with a one in 11 chance for fans to pick up the holographic MewTwo sticker. The Galaxy Buds 2 also come in five different colors including onyx, olive, white, lavender and graphite. The Pokéball case also fits Galaxy Buds Pro or Galaxy Buds Live earphones for those who do not have the Galaxy Buds 2.
The Pokéball cover package is available on Samsung in limited quantities only
Written by Anthony Vanger
Additional research and reporting by Adam “Badger” Woolf