Today sees the release of new music from Gorillaz: a 3-track EP titled Meanwhile celebrating Carnival and West London comprising tracks Déjà Vu ft. Alicaì Harley recorded live in London; the steel pan-infused Jimmy Jimmy ft. AJ Tracey; and title track Meanwhile ft Jelani Blackman with Barrington Levy.
Gorillaz frontman 2D said “Meanwhile Gardens are just round the corner from Memory Lane. If you get to Crawley you’ve gone too far.”
Following Gorillaz’ triumphant return to the stage earlier this month, the band’s 20th anniversary party continues with Murdoc, Russel, Noodle and 2D today sharing a very special EP of all-new music. Meanwhile is a joyous homage to the iconic Notting Hill Carnival, paused this year due to the pandemic, and West London, home to the band’s Kong Studios. The 2000 Carnival signalled the start of something big for Gorillaz with their first ever outing, a performance of ‘Clint Eastwood’ at the Middle Row Records soundsystem in Meanwhile Gardens, W10 alongside Sweetie Irie. This new EP of three tracks collectively titled Meanwhile in recognition of that special moment, is a celebration of the unique and inclusive spirit of Carnival andfeatures Ladbroke Grove’s AJ Tracey and Jelani Blackman, as well as Jamaica-born, London-based dancehall star Alicaì Harley.
Meanwhile EP Tracklisting:
Meanwhile (ft. Jelani Blackman with Barrington Levy)
Jimmy Jimmy (ft. AJ Tracey)
Déjà Vu (ft. Alicaì Harley) Live from NW10
Gorillaz made an emotional return to the live stage earlier this month with two sold-out shows at London’s O2 Arena. The performance on 10th August, to thank and recognise all NHS staff who continue to work tirelessly to keep us all safe, saw the band debut all three new tracks, with Damon Albarn and the Gorillaz live band joined onstage by AJ Tracey, Jelani Blackman and Alicaì Harley, bringing a roof-raising Carnival-esque atmosphere to the South London arena.
“…the two new songs… are an unmissable spectacle. In tribute to the Notting Hill roots of the band, the stage becomes a carnival, filled with flags and steel bands, while Jamaican singer Alicaì Harley parades the stage in a white fur hat so large, it might reverse global warming single-handed.” – The Independent, 4/5 stars
“… rising West London rapper Jelani Blackman… features on ‘Meanwhile’, a new song previewed tonight that capture the spirit of carnival the vibrant optimism of the steel band underpinning his confident bars.” – NME, 4/5 stars
“Two new songs… celebrated London’s carnival traditions, briefly transforming the arena into a Notting Hill side-street complete with soca rhythms, flags and air horns.” – Financial Times, 5/5 stars
Multi-instrumentalist, award-winning singer songwriter Sharon Corr today releases the 2ND single from her upcoming third studio album: listen to brand new single ‘FREEFALLHERE – The album, of the same name, is out 24th September and is available to pre-order now.
The new track is a potent depiction of the end of a relationship; a brutally honest yet poetic reflection of life’s imperfections. Written on a plane amidst stormy turbulence, Sharon’s vocals blend beautifully with the rousing piano motif.
Speaking on the new single, Sharon said: I’m sitting in an airplane at the stand in Madrid airport bound for Montreux via Geneva. There’s a terrible storm, thunder and lightning, we cannot take off. I sit in my seat waiting, I am wretched. Torn from the events of the day before, the tears are piercing my skin like icicles. Again I am at one with the elements. Only this time my heart has been shattered into a million fractured pieces, never to return to who I was.
Also announced were details of Sharon’s third studio album, The Fool and the Scorpion,due to be released on 24th September. The album is available for pre-order now.
Driven by songwriting greats such as Nick Drake and Joni Mitchell, Sharon drew from a period of time she calls “the biggest storm of her life” for the album’s inspiration. As a result, the record is a cohesive body of work; a journey which centres on the desire to push on, to have faith and belief in yourself and your purpose. The 10-track album was recorded live in just 20 days at The Village in LA, with Larry Klein (Norah Jones, Tracy Chapman, Joni Mitchell) on producing duties and Tim Pierce (Bon Jovi, Celine Dion, Selena Gomez) on guitar. The album’s musicality highlights Sharon’s accomplishments as a multi-instrumentalist with over 30 years of songwriting behind her.
Sharon said: It is my intention that you enjoy listening to the fruits of The Fool and The Scorpion as an entire album. As Albert Camus said: “In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.”
Alongside her siblings, Sharon was awarded an MBE in recognition of The Corrs’ musical success and charitable work. The band also secured two GRAMMY nominations and won countless other awards, including Best International Group at the BRIT Awards. In 2019 Sharon was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Open University in recognition of her contribution to education and culture.
As part of The Corrs, Sharon sold in excess of 45 million albums, toured arenas and stadiums across the globe and became a household name on every continent. With two solo albums under her belt, Sharon has enjoyed the freedom of total artistic expression with beautifully crafted melodies and intimate lyrics at the heart of her songwriting. The Fool and the Scorpion promises to be an example of her storytelling prowess as she invites the listener to share in her joy, her heartache, and everything in between.
CONFIRMED FOR RELEASE ON 29th OCTOBER THROUGH ASYLUM RECORDS PRE ORDER
DROPS NEW TRACK ‘VISITING HOURS’ TOGETHER WITH PERFORMANCE VIDEO
Ed Sheeran has announced details of his new album ‘=’ (Equals), confirmed for release on 29th October through Asylum Records (pre-order). To coincide with today’s album news, Ed has dropped his emotionally charged track ‘Visiting Hours’[that’ll feature on the album]alongside a performance video.
‘=’ – the fourth installment in Sheeran’s symbol album series – is Ed’s most accomplished work yet; the evolution of an artist who continues to tread new ground. A body of tracks that were made over a four-year period following his seminal ‘÷’ (Divide) album era, thematically, ‘=’ finds Ed taking stock of his life and the people in it as he explores the varying degrees of love (‘The Joker And The Queen’, ‘First Times’, ‘2step’), loss (‘Visiting Hours’), resilience (‘Can’t Stop The Rain’) and fatherhood (‘Sandman’, ‘Leave Your Life’), while also processing his reality and career (‘Tides’). Sonically, ‘=’ encapsulates Ed’s versatile musical palette, spanning signature, guitar-led tracks and world-class balladry to weightier, euphoric production moments, as first showcased on this summer’s emphatic comeback track, ‘Bad Habits’.
Embracing Ed’s own truths, ‘=’ seamlessly captures both the intimate and every day; elevating universal experiences to a higher plane as reflected by ‘Visiting Hours’ – a track that finds Ed coming to terms with the loss of his mentor and friend, Michael Gudinski, and written shortly after his passing: “I wish that heaven had visiting hours / So I can just swing by and ask your advice”. Performed for the first time at a tribute concert for Michael in March, the poignant track, which is joined by a stripped performance video (watch here), features backing vocals from Michael’s close friends, Kylie Minogue and Jimmy Barnes.
Written and recorded across Suffolk, London, Sweden and LA, the album’s executive production comes from Ed Sheeran, FRED (No.6 Collaborations Project) and Johnny McDaid (Divide), with additional writing and/or production provided by Steve Mac, Joe Rubel, Amy Wadge, Foy Vance, Elvira Anderfjard, David Hodges, Andrew Watt, Lou Bell, Natalie Hemby and Ben Kweller. Sheeran’s brother, Matthew, a composer, also contributes stunning string arrangements on ‘First Times’ and ‘The Joker And The Queen’. The album artwork is a vivid collage of butterfly imagery symbolising the albums’ thread of ‘new life’ and is backdropped by one of Ed’s own abstract paintings.
Ed Sheeran commented – “= (Equals) is a really personal record and one that means a lot to me. My life changed greatly over the past few years – I got married, became a father, experienced loss, and I reflect on these topics over the course of the album. I see it as my coming-of-age record, and I can’t wait to share this next chapter with you.”
In June, Ed Sheeran released his 10th UK No.1 single, ‘Bad Habits’. Spending seven consecutive weeks at the top of the UK and Ireland’s Official Singles Chart and counting, it has since become the fastest track to reach half a million sales in the UK of the year so far (OCC). Looking ahead, on 2nd September, Sheeran will play an intimate fan show at London’s O2 Shepherds Bush Empire to celebrate the 10th anniversary of his debut album ‘+’.
‘=’ Official Tracklisting
3. First Times
4. Bad Habits
5. Overpass Graffiti
6. The Joker And The Queen
7. Leave Your Life
10. Stop The Rain
11. Love In Slow Motion
12. Visiting Hours
14. Be Right Now
About Ed Sheeran
Ed Sheeran is an era-defining artist. Through his fusion of thought-provoking songwriting, universal pop and multi-genre influence, his rich tapestry is not only perfectly suited to his audience but it’s something that transcends generations.
Since surfacing on the UK circuit in 2010 with his ‘No.5 Collaborations Project’ – an eight-track EP featuring his favourite grime artists of the time – the Suffolk-raised recording artist has resonated with fans across the world through his peerless songcraft and versatility. And now, with four UK No.1 albums to his name – ‘+’ (2011), ‘x’ (2014), ‘÷’ (2017) and ‘No.6 Collaborations Project’ (2019) – he has sold over 45 million albums and 150 million singles across the world.
Most notably, Ed’s 2017 blockbuster release, ‘÷’ (Divide), saw Ed reign supreme as one of the most in-demand pop stars on the planet – a feat he has continued to sustain ever since. Crowned as the fastest-selling album, ever, by a male artist in the UK, the chart-shattering album housed a swarm of singles including ‘Castle on the Hill’, ‘Perfect’ and ‘Shape of You’, with the latter becoming Spotify’s most-streamed song of all time.
But it’s not just his recorded music that’s seen the former Glastonbury headliner become one of the sought-after artists of the 21st century either. Possessing a mystical ability to turn 90,000 capacity venues into the pub back-rooms that he first started playing in, Ed made history in 2015 after becoming the first-ever artist to play Wembley Stadium solo – without a band and with just his guitar and loop pedal – over three, consecutive sold out nights. Move forward to the summer of 2019 and Ed would re-enter history books after the completion of his mammoth two-year Divide tour, officially becoming the most-attended tour of all time after it culminated with special homecoming shows in Ipswich, Suffolk.
Ed Sheeran – who was awarded an MBE for his services to music and charity in 2017 – is the proud recipient of 1 x IFPI Award (best-selling global artist of 2017); 4 x Grammys; 4 x Ivor Novello’s; 6 x BRIT Awards (including two consecutive wins for ‘Global Success’ in 2018 and 2019); 7 x Billboard Awards + more.
At the end of 2019, Sheeran was presented with the Official Chart Company’s first-ever‘No.1 Artist of the Decade’award following a host of accomplishments in his native UK including the most No.1’s across the UK’s Official Singles and Albums chart from the years 2010-2019.
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