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On July 3rd 2018, following an undisclosed illness, the incredibly prolific indie artist Richard Swift tragically passed away. Swift has a substantial solo catalogue and has worked with a myriad of beloved musicians – such as The Black Keys and The Shins – so he will be sorely missed by innumerable music fans. For the most part, I’m not very familiar with Swift’s work. However, I have one very significant connection to him: he produced Foxygen’s Take The Kids Off Broadway, one of my favourite albums of all time.
Much like their fellow indie icons MGMT, Arctic Monkeys had been away for a long time. Until this year, both bands hadn’t released an album since 2013 and their fans were getting decidedly restless. However, whilst MGMT used their latest album Little Dark Age to revive their synth-pop roots, Arctic Monkeys have returned with a completely new sound. Jettisoning any traces of the post-punk revival they were born out of, Arctic Monkeys’ sixth studio album Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino leans heavily into space age lounge music. Alongside an aesthetic inspired by ’70s sci-fi and frontman Alex Turner sporting a beard, this a bold new direction for the band. Does it pay off?
We were invited to run our unique Music Journalism workshops at the Writing East Midlands Writer’s Den at the weekend. This year’s event took place at The University of Derby on Saturday 16 June. We chose the mighty Beyonce to inspire and guide the young writers taking part in the Writing East Midlands Writer’s Den. But we found that this team of 40 young writers were pretty much #flawless already.
In 2001, after their least commercially successful album Warning had been released, pioneers of pop-punk Green Day hit the studio again to record their follow-up album, with the working title of Cigarettes and Valentines. Sadly, towards the end of the album’s recording, all the demo recordings were stolen by an unknown culprit. Rather than re-recording all their songs from memory, Singer Billie Joe, Drummer Tre Cool and Bassist Mike Dirnt decided to start from scratch. Hence, American Idiot.
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