Posts By Zara Golden

by (@zaragolden)

Backstreet Boys Are Back In The Studio, Alright!

Brothers, sisters, everybody sing: Backstreet’s back! This morning on Good Morning America, the OG boybanders Backstreet Boys shared the good news that they are back to work on a new album, their first with all five original members since 2005. With a hand from Mary J. Blige and Train producer Martin Terefe, they hope to have the album set for release by the band’s 20th anniversary next spring. And before then, they will play their first of surely many comeback shows on GMA this August 31st. Alright! Read more…

by (@zaragolden)

Finally! Somebody Has Made That Gotye/Carly Rae Jepsen We Needed

Somebody hit that button they maybe shouldn’t have and all we can do now is thank them. That somebody is the indie band Pomplamoose, and what they did was combine the year’s two biggest hits into one, quite lovely mash-up. If you thought that the lush melodies of Gotye‘s  “Somebody That I Used To Love” and Carly Rae Jepsen‘s bouyant “Call Me Maybe” could not be combined — hit play above — you are wrong. And if you worried that maybe they shouldn’t be, if only for the sake of a YouTube viewership already all too happy to spend their summer watching only those two videos — well, it’s too late. There’s only one video we need now. Because here we have it: the “Somebody That I Used To Know Call Me Maybe” mash-up of our dreams. Finally!

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by (@zaragolden)

It’s Hugs All Around For No Doubt In Their New “Settle Down” Video

At last, No Doubt are steady on their return! Yesterday they dropped “Settle Down,” their first new track in over decade, and today we get the accompanying video. Directed by “Don’t Speak”, “Simple Kind Of Life” and “Underneath It All” director Sophie Muller, the clip casts the band’s four members as truck drivers looking to reconnect at some sort of LED-lit, carnival-esque parking lot party. It’s hugs all around when they get there, and then onto some skanking and an impromptu performance in a truck-bed.

Two kids later and bra-straps forever sliding out from her tank, Gwen Stefani looks and sounds almost exactly as she did when we last left her. And to be sure, that verve of hers is only in part thanks to the shiny red L’Oreal Paris Infallible lip gloss she flashes around. Time truly has not touched these guys, and they are still repping a similar sound and the same dance moves. And most of all, they still look cooler than we could ever hope to be. We are so glad to have the good influence of Gwen and her boys back in rotation!

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by (@zaragolden)

You Oughta Know Live: The Lumineers Push Through “Stubborn Love”

It’s no secret that we love July and August You Oughta Know artists The Lumineers‘ “Ho Hey!” So joyous and ever infectious, they stomped their way straight to our hearts. We would be remiss, though, if we didn’t share also The Lumineers’ more plaintive side. At VH1 headquarters for their You Oughta Know Live performance, they slowed things down for “Stubborn Love,” a beautiful and yearning song about love that won’t give up. “She’ll tear a hole in you, the one you can’t repair,” it so goes, “but I still love her, I don’t really care.” Refusing to give in and raised by a crescendo of drums and cello, they insist that you “Keep your head up, keep your love” because “It’s better to feel pain than nothing at all.” And when Wesley Schultz wails that, “The opposite of love is indifference,” you can’t help but feel moved.

The rising American folk rock trio also performed “Ho Hey!” and “Slow It Down” off their self-titled debut. Check out their full session here!
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by (@zaragolden)

Nas Brings “Daughters” To David Letterman

Nas celebrated the eve of his album release on The Late Show With David Letterman. “Look at this cover, that’s me everynight,” Letterman laughed, poking fun at the Life Is Good album cover, which features a photo of the king of Queensbridge with his ex-wife Keliswedding dress draped over his lap. Chest puffed out with pride, perhaps for his 10th album, or maybe for precious little girl, Nas hit the stage in a pair of shades and glowing white pants and shoes. He performed his confessional “Daughters” with a live band behind him, and he sure sounded serious when he warned, “When she date, we wait behind the door with a sawed-off, because we think nobody is good enough for our own daughter.” Our hearts melted when, with a smile and a hand over his heart, he punctuated the performance with, “LOVE!” Aww!

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by (@zaragolden)

Last Lap: 50 Cent Shows Love For Frank Ocean

50 CENT SHOWS SUPPORT FOR FRANK OCEAN
Haters be warned that, unless you want a taste of that famous 50 beef, you may want to give the Channel Orange artist a second chance, because 50 thinks that “Anyone that has an issue with Frank Ocean is an idiot.” [MTV]

ARETHA FRANKLIN WANTS TO BE AN IDOL JUDGE
Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler are both out, and so Aretha Franklin figures she and Patti LaBelle should have in at the Idol judging table. Why not! [CNN]
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by (@zaragolden)

The xx Debut Pretty New Single “Angels”

We’ve been waiting for this! The xx have finally debuted proper “Angels,” a pretty first single off their much anticipated sophomore effort Coexist. Much like their eponymous debut album — and even some of their blockbuster side projects since — the oh-so-delicate love song is a carefully crafted and coy affair. “The end comes to soon, like dreaming of angels,” sings a yearning Romy Madley Croft‘s, before adding a long few beats later, “and leaving without them.” Tantalizing in how spare it is, the song builds slowly to a cluster of drum rolls before it gently decrescendos like an exhale to the close.

Coexist is out September 11th in the U.S. via Young Turks. Enjoy “Angels” above, and check out the album’s cover and tracklist below.

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by (@zaragolden)

Mumford and Sons Are Set To Return With Babel This Fall


Since their 2007 debut, Mumford & Sons have exploded from London porch-stomping, You Oughta Know artists past into the Grammy nominated, chart-topping, Unplugged playing, movie star marrying, scene-leaders they are today. And all this with just one album, Sigh No More, to their name. To be sure, all these years later we still have those twelve tracks in regular rotation on our iPods. But it’s time that the “Dust Bowl Dance” goes on. Thankfully, the Mumford & Sons have at long last confirmed that a sophomore album is on the way. Babel will hit shelves September 25th and will include twelve new songs to take us into the fall.

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by (@zaragolden)

Green Day Are Back With “Oh Love”

Like No Doubt, Green Day, too, are back and doing the 90s proud. The pop-punk heroes have a trilogy of albums called ¡Uno!, ¡Dos!, and ¡Tre! lined-up for release beginning this fall (September 25th, November 13th, and January 15th, respectively), and today they debuted the first cut from the bunch. “Oh Love” finds the band back in fine form.

This Rob Cavallo-produced single is a bit more produced than some of the band’s earlier stuff, and the punchy-guitars might sound straight classic rock were it not for Billie Joe Armstrong‘s still distinctive — and at times almost pained sounding — voice and trademark angst. “Far away, far away/ waste away tonight/ I am wearing my heart on a noose,” goes the chorus, and you know that Green Day have still got it.
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by (@zaragolden)

No Doubt Won’t “Settle Down” With Their New Single

No Doubt don’t want to “Settle Down,” and we are thankful for that! It’s been more than a decade since Rock Steady, but today the band is back with the first single off their upcoming album Push and Shove and they clearly have wasted no time getting back into their grove.

“I’m a rough and tough, and nothin’s gonna knock this girl down,” sings Gwen Stefani on the hook of “Settle Down,” declaring herself back. The bouncy, six-minute reggae-inflected jam should sound right at home on the radio this summer. Particularly so between songs like Maroon 5‘s “One More Night” and Santigold’s “The Riot’s Gone.” As Stereogum’s Tom Breihan wisely points out, “The track echoes Santigold in the same way that Santigold’s music echoes No Doubt.” This is probably so because, in the many years since we’ve last heard No Doubt, the music-scape has evolved to include their influence and their upbeat, dance-hall inspired sound has become popular in pop music. That doesn’t mean we haven’t missed Stefani’s own stylings, though. It’s hella nice to have the originals back on the scene, making fresh music again.

The video, directed by long time No Doubt collaborator Sophie Muller, drops later today. Until then, have a listen below and let us know what you think of No Doubt’s return.
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