Music

Three guitar heroes for a new era

 Serious sophistication: Annie Clark of St Vincent performs at the 2018 Coachella Festival. Photograph: Matt Cowan/Getty Images for Coachella Is the guitar dying? Ten years after the recession, the industry has seen its share of struggle: the 2,633,000 units sold in the US in 2017 falls about 5% short of the 2008 figure, according to Music Trades magazine. But the ... Read More »

Played out? Gibson’s bankruptcy fuels fears for the guitar’s future

Bruce Springsteen on Broadway, guitar in hand: ‘It was the sword in the stone.’ Photograph: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images The industry faces threats from changing musical tastes, online commerce, and the instrument’s own durability. But new talent offers hope Bruce Springsteen stood in a black T-shirt on a Broadway stage and talked about when he first discovered the power of the instrument ... Read More »

Pipa Virtuoso Wu Man Brings Ancient Chinese Music To The Present

Wu Man hopes her use of the pipa will help teach the world more about Chinese culture. Stephen Kahn/Courtesy of the artist Wu Man is recognized as the world’s greatest virtuoso on an instrument that is over 2000 years old: the Chinese pipa. Throughout her career, she’s brought the pear-shaped, 24-fret instrument into the 21st century by collaborating with world class ... Read More »

Lana Del Rey review – ‘Hollywood sadcore’ shines in Australia

While questions of artificiality still seems to arise when discussing Lana Del Rey’s work, on stage her sincerity is undoubtable. Photograph: Alexandre Schneider/Getty Images For hours, throngs of Lana Del Rey devotees have been camped outside Qudos Bank Arena to secure front-row spots to her Sydney show. They are mostly young women, many brandishing the unofficial uniform of the night: flower crowns ... Read More »

Jon Hopkins Teases New Music

Jon Hopkins has shared a four-minute video trailer featuring new music. You can watch it above. The animated clip, which is titled ‘Trailer 2018’, gives fans a chance to hear the first new material from the producer since 2015, and comes five years on from the release of his last studio album, Immunity. “I’m so happy to share some brand new ... Read More »

No alternative: how brands bought out underground music

Timberland hosts rap gigs. Princess Nokia makes films for Maybelline. And Red Bull is the new school of rock. Have brand partnerships destroyed counterculture? Or are they all that’s keeping it alive? Is it possible, in 2017, to sell out? Not so long ago, cosying up to big business was considered the gravest sin an underground artist could commit – ... Read More »

New music to listen to this week: XamVolo

One of my favourite new artists XamVolo is about to drop his best track to date, so it’s a kick that we get to premiere it today on The Independent.  “Feels Good”, the latest single from the Liverpool-based artist, lays all his jazz-influenced cards on the table and samples a rare version of “Thelonius” by Thelonius Monk. Produced with Paul Phamous [To Pimp A Butterly], it’s a ... Read More »

TCA announces new music programme

A new eight-month-long music programme will bring together classical musicians from around the world to perform in Abu Dhabi. Run by the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority, the season includes the return of the concert series Abu Dhabi Classics (running from October 2017 to May 2018), Umsiyat (January 2018) and performances by students and graduates from Bait Al Oud. “Our Music ... Read More »

Fifth Harmony: Fifth Harmony review – frustratingly patchy pop

Fifth Harmony, left to right: Dinah Jane, Normani Kordei, Ally Brooke, Lauren Jauregui. Having been reduced to a four-part harmony following the departure of Camila Cabello, US girl band Fifth Harmony’s self-titled third album simultaneously feels like a statement of intent and a hastily cobbled together swansong. There are flashes of brilliance, on the low-slung, sweaty R&B of He Like That ... Read More »

Songs for the eclipse – 10 of the best

. Bonnie Tyler – Total Eclipse of the Heart Songwriter Jim Steinman originally penned his 1983 smash from the point of view of a despondent vampire for a proposed musical he wrote based on Nosferatu. Tyler’s sore-throated vocals perfectly matched the strained drama of Steinman’s music. Together, they created both a great pop song and a staggering piece of kitsch. Either ... Read More »