Move over Florence — Grace Potter has one upped you, and it looks like there’s a new husky voiced diva with soul penetrating vocals in town. Grace Potter and the Nocturnals have premiered their new track “Never Go Back” exclusively with Rolling Stone, and it’s quite inspiring — more than a hit, it’s a great, honest pop song with undertones of retro soul and rock riffs. The track was co-written by The Black Keys‘ Dan Auerbach, who also co-wrote two other songs and produced one song on Potter’s forthcoming album The Lion the Beast the Beat, due to be released on June 12th.
The track is bluesy but at the same time has a spectacularly stadium ready sound, which could possibly be attributed to the Auerbach influence, given The Keys’ recent progression into the sound of epic. Of working with Auerbach, Potter says, “Dan’s studio is a sex shop for gear pervs… I found a tiny old Casio that reminded me of my first-ever keyboard and started playing. He jumped on and started f**king around with the rhythm track, and we wrote ‘Never Go Back’ within the first hour of being in his place… We weren’t thinking, ‘Let’s write a big hit single.’ It was more like, ‘Let’s geek out with some weird gear and see what happens.’ I’m very glad we did.” And so are we! The track is catchy while at the same time retaining a musical honesty that is rare in grand pop anthems.
Listen to Grace Potter and the Nocturnals’ “Never Go Back” here.
Exclusive Premiere: Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, ‘Never Go Back’ [Rolling Stone]
[Photo: Getty Images]
(Clockwise, starting Upper Left: Fallulah, St. Lucia, Of Monsters & Men, The Lumineers)
We’re still recovering from the week we just spent down in Austin, Texas, for the 2012 South By Southwest Music Festival. It’s been four days since we got home, but our ears are still ringing and the taste of barbeque is still fresh in our mouths. During SXSW, most of the headlines were dominated by Fiona Apple’s stunning return to the scene and Eminem’s surprise appearance during 50 Cent’s front-to-back performance of Get Rich Or Die Tryin’, but now that we’ve had a few days to put the fest in perspective, some of our favorite performances came from bands that have not yet reached household name status.
We asked a few members of VH1’s CMI (Creative Music Integration) group —they’re the people who determine which songs appear in our on-air programming— to give us a quick summary of acts that they really enjoyed during their time down in Austin, artists whose music seems likely for future sync opportunities in commercials, TV programs or films. So, fire up your Spotify and start sampling bands that you’re likely to hear a lot more from as 2012 progresses.
Swan Dive, an official SXSW venue, was packed to the brim, sweltering hot, and buzzing with energy in anticipation for Doomtree, a hip hop collective out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Armed with an eclectic sound that blends hip hop, R&B, and bluesy rock, this group of seven distinct MCs preformed with the aggressive energy of a punk act and just the right amount of hip hop swagger. Songs like “Little Mercy” with its blues-inspired vocals and dramatic, motivational lyrics (“We’re so hungry / We’re so thirsty / But I’m gonna hunt until it hurts me”), Doomtree’s music might fit perfectly in a commercial for an upcoming sporting event or a Nike commercial if they went down an edgier route.—Monsé, Creative Music Integration Assistant
For Fans Of: Grieves
This Copenhagen-based songstress impressed a sizable crowd during her short Saturday night set at SXSW. She performed a few songs off her debut album Black Cat Neighbourhood (2010) and one new song although she added, “I suppose it doesn’t really matter because I’m new to all of you.” Songs like “Only Human” and “I Lay My Head” showcased her strong lyrical skills, expressive vocals, and vibrant instrumentation peppered with catchy handclaps and whistling. Fallulah has managed to create a richly layered musical landscape that has the potential to fit nicely within shows where it could add that extra oomph to a light hearted, upbeat scene in a female driven dramaedy (think Grey’s Anatomy) or teen drama (Pretty Little Liars).—Monsé, Creative Music Integration Assistant
For Fans Of: Florence + The Machine, Lykke Li, Marina and the Diamonds
With the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony looming (April 12th), everyone still only has one question — will inductees Guns N’ Roses perform on the night? So far it looks like they won’t, but it seems there’s a “you never know” addendum to their appearance on the night. Drummer Matt Sorum told Billboard, “We’re all sitting at the same table, so it should be cool. After we get a little bit of food in us, hopefully someone will get up and want to play, but I don’t know. I’m not the guy to ask. I just hope it works out.” So according to Sorum, food makes GNR play? We certainly hope so!
He went on to add that, “There’s no real plans,” but the you-never-know uncertainty is, “in tradition, Guns N’ Roses style.” With all original members of GNR attending the induction ceremony, Sorum said, “I feel great about it… I`m glad I made the cut. I don’t know who that secret society is that votes you into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but I’m glad I have some friends in there, somehow. The original band got in and I got in and (keyboardist) Dizzy Reed and that’s it, seven of us. It’ll be a great night.” Finger crossed the boys get up on stage for what we can only image would make for a historical performance.
Guns N’ Roses Have ‘No Real Plans’ For Rock Hall Performance [Billboard]
[Photo: Getty Images]
It’s a week of diss-repealing; after Katy Perry vehemently denied dissing Beyonce and Shakira, The Black Keys have jumped on the bandwagon to sort-of-but-not-really apologize to Nickelback for dissing them earlier this year. Keys drummer Patrick Carney controversially, and now famously, said of Nickelback, “Rock & roll is dying because people became OK with Nickelback being the biggest band in the world,” but now he’s a little bit sorry about his harsh words, but not really. Carney has now said he, “Didn’t mean to single [Nickelback] out. It just came out,” but added a disclaimer, “There’s much worse bands than Nickelback, maybe.” Worst. Apology. Ever. Come on Keys — time to cure that foot-in-mouth disease, we think!
The Black Keys Are Sorry But Not Really Sorry for That Nickelback Dis [Vulture]
[Photos: Getty Images]
Nickelback‘s video for “Lullaby” off their new album, Here And Now, is a dramatic look at life and death, despair and hope. From the outset, Nickelback’s contribution to the story is minimal, the band positioned in a separate scene, a warehouse lit under glittering flood lights. On a side note, we have to mention the 90s throwback chair sitting by Chad Kroeger — we haven’t seen a guy sitting backwards on a chair since The Backstreet Boys made it all the rage! Jokes aside, the video is a very moving narrative of a birth and death; a baby lives, a mother dies, leaving the child’s father as the sole guardian. We warn you: something might catch in your throat as you watch the young father dealing with both the loss of his partner and this new life. Considering adopting, screaming in frustration as the baby cries, there’s a desperation in the tribulations of this story, but also, and most importantly, there is finally and definitively hope at the end.
Earlier this week we reported that Katy Perry was interested in doing a collaboration that was “So iconic” with Rihanna. She was quoted as saying, “I want it to be like that Eurythmics and Aretha Franklin song “Sisters Are Doin’ It For Themselves”, not like [Shakira and Beyonce Knowles‘] “Beautiful Liar””. Immediately, the Internet lit up with stories of the Katy Perry vs. Beyonce beef — but Katy Perry denies the existence of any such conflict. With a biting tone, Katy Tweeted the following in response to the media’s rush to brand her comments as part of some larger animosity:
We think Katy’s anger at the media’s reaction is somewhat justified. She never attacked Bey or Shakira as artists, but rather made a fairly non-emotive, un-embellished comment on their duet, which, in honesty, wasn’t the run away hit it probably should have been. Whatever — it’s clear Katy didn’t mean to stir up as much controversy as she did, and we’re hoping Momma B isn’t too perturbed. We’d hate to have to rule out a Bey-Perry collaboration!
[Photos: Getty Images]
Admit it; this is the moment you cleared your diary for. We know we did, so in the grand tradition of a climax to suspense, may we request a drum roll, please… And here it is! Katy Perry‘s highly anticipated video for her new single off Teenage Dream: The Complete Confection, “Part Of Me.” The song itself is a pure pop girl power anthem in a way we’re fairly nostalgic about, and the video takes feminine strength to all new extremes. After exposing her philandering boyfriend, a very sweet looking Katy sees an advertisement for the marines — at which point she goes all Empire Records and cuts off all her hair. The rest of the video is a montage of Katy doing drills in the army; from obstacle courses to shooting guns to bayoneting dummies, the video has it all. And there’s no need to take it literally, as we get the impression that Katy is talking to a metaphor as scenes cut between her old self bathing and her new army self submerged in water. The video is hopefully — it tells us that heartbreak doesn’t need to ruin us. It can be the thing that makes us stronger.
Watch Janelle Monae Cover Jimi Hendrix’s “Little Wing”
Janelle Monae played a truly sexy, sultry cover of Jimi Hendrix’s “Little Wing” at her concert last night in Papantla, Mexcio. And despite the fan made hand held phone footage, it’s easy to see how wonderfully Monae performed the iconic song, and that you would have had chills coursing down your spine had you seen it live. [CoS]
M83 Is Releasing A Remix EP For Their Track “Reunion”
From Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming, M83 will be releasing a seven song EP of remixes of their track “Reunion,” including versions by Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. and The Naked and The Famous. M83 uber-fans rejoice! [Paste]
Train‘s long-awaited follow-up to 2009’s Save Me San Francisco album will be coming out in less than a month. As a means of road testing their new material, and as a way to play live in significantly more intimate venues than this arena band is used to, the guys made their way down to the 2012 SXSW Music Festival last week for a handful of dates. We caught up with the three guys from Train —from left to right, Jimmy Stafford (guitar), Scott Underwood (drums) and Patrick Monahan (lead vocals)— down in Austin and asked them to tell us a bit about their new record, California 37 (which is due out on April 17, 2012).
“California 37 is a road that brought us to one another,” Pat Monahan explained. “This record is more of an expression than it is a ‘Can we come back?’ [kind of thing]. The songs and the stories are just better. They’re more refined. It’s a dance record, but it’s also singer-songwriter at the same time.” After hearing the propulsive and upbeat first single “Drive By”, we’re excited to see how the rest of the album incorporates the dance-y elements that Monahan referred to in our chat with him.
Now, this is where things got a bit awkward in our interview. You see, we’ve always thought that Train‘s gargantuan 2010 hit, “Hey Soul Sister,” is one of the most subversive songs to get mass airplay since “Summer of ’69.” A few years back, Bryan Adams admitted to a shocked Maggie Rodriguez on CBS’s The Early Show that his song was about a sexual position, NOT a year, so we thought we’d try to get Train to do the same thing about “Hey Soul Sister.” Our theory has always been that the song is about a particularly memorable blowjob, our evidence being the line in the song that goes “Your lipstick stains on the front lobe of my left side brains / I knew I wouldn’t forget you / And so I went and let you blow my mind.” So, is it? See how the band responded in our video below!