The Feeling Hub

MUSIC NEWS: Erasure, Björk, Washington, Lady Gaga, The Feeling, Kylie Minogue, Phoenix, Body Language, When Saints Go Machine

Erasure 2011 tomorrows world


Guestblogger Norman Brannon is a pop critic, musician, and author based in New York City. He presents a weekly music update here on Towleroad and writes regularly at Nervous Acid.  

Follow Norman on Twitter at @nervousacid.


Usually, I'd dedicate this space to one new release for a more in-depth evaluation, but this week — for the first time in a long time — there were actually so many new albums coming out that I could talk about, I didn't feel like choosing only one. So instead, here's a list of Three Albums You Would Absolutely Not Be Wasting Your Money On — all of which are in stores today:

Erasure Tomorrow's World (Mute) Erasure-tomorrows-world_jpg_300x300_crop-smart_q85

WHO: Legendary synthpop pioneers celebrate 25 years and 25 million records sold with their fourteenth album.

WHY: Even with producer Frankmusik behind the boards, the inimitable Erasure blueprint is alive and well and arguably better. Vince Clarke's musical vision — which draws from classic pop, soul, and teutonic techno — appears here in a sharp, refined model, while Andy Bell's influence on the current generation of music-makers is frighteningly obvious from the start of album opener "Be With You": If it reminds you of recent hits from Rihanna or Katy Perry, it's because there'd be no Stargate without The Innocents.

START WITH: "Be With You" / "What Will I Say When You're Gone"

BjorkBiophilia Björk Biophilia (One Little Indian/Nonesuch)

WHO: Quite possibly the most successful eccentric musician to ever make music by recording the sound of stepping on glass returns with her ninth album.

WHY: The beauty of a new Björk album often lies in the sheer unexpectedness of it and Biophilia continues this tradition by reinventing what it means to be a full-length album. As if the music — in which she literally invented new musical instruments to compose with — wasn't enough, there is also an iOS app designed to accompany each song. But don't let that scare you: Even without the apps, Biophilia returns to the emotionally resonant and celestially-inspired mood that propelled Vespertine while charting an entirely modern course.

START WITH: "Moon" / "Thunderbolt"

Washington Washington I Believe You Liar (Universal Republic)

WHO: An Australian singer-songwriter deploys on American shores with the debut album that went platinum back home.

WHY: There aren't a lot of freshman records that arrive with this much complex self-awareness, but Washington's debut — a joyful pop record that flirts with jazz, soul, indie, and Broadway panache in equal measures — is a difficult-to-pigeonhole and satisfyingly idiosyncratic statement from an artist that's only scratched the surface. It's the kind of album that makes critics just inarticulate enough to say things like, Hey. This is f**king awesome.

START WITH: "Holy Moses" / "Sunday Best" / "How To Tame Lions"

Also out today: Tayisha Busay — Focus/Virus (Control Top), Radiohead — TKOL RMX 1234567 (XL/Ticker Tape), Ryan Adams — Ashes & Fire (Pax-Am/Capitol), Beni — House of Beni (Modular), Britney Spears — B in the Mix: The Remixes Vol. 2 (Jive), The B-52s — With the Wild Crowd: Live In Athens, GA (Eagle), The Smiths — Complete: Super Deluxe Collector's Box Set (Rhino)


Brian-May-Lady-gaga Road A new report suggests that Queen are in talks to go back on the road — with Lady Gaga in the late Freddie Mercury's shoes.

Road SPIN ran a special report on homophobia in indie rock this week, while also celebrating the genre's uncommonly queer visibility: "This sphere has more out figures than virtually any other major art form, except possibly theater: Stephin Merrit, Beth Ditto, Antony Hegarty, Mark Eitzel, Tegan & Sara, Bloc Party's Kele Okereke, Grizzly Bear's Ed Droste, Le Tigre's JD Samson, Sigur Rós' Jonsi Birgisson, Wild Flag's Carrie Brownstein, Patrick Wolf, Ani DiFranco, Owen Pallett, the Hidden Cameras' Joel Gibb, and Bob Mould, who is comfortable enough to detail his 45th birthday present to himself — a male escort — in his recently published memoir."

Dan_gillespie_sells Road The Feeling's out frontman Dan Gillespie Sells has shown up on fashion shoots before, but this collaboration is somewhat groundbreaking: Burberry will be releasing his band's new single, "Rosé," becoming the first-ever designer label to do so.

Road Kylie Minogue can add a new title to her already-impressive CV: This week, the pop singer was presented with an honorary Doctorate of Health Sciences from Anglia Ruskin University in Essex for her work promoting breast cancer awareness following her own bout with the disease.

Road This week in essential streams: Before his work with M.I.A., Major Lazer, and Beyoncé, Switch was better known for making fidgety house records and running the esteemed Dubsided record label. This week, he resurrects both projects with "I Still Love You," featuring Andrea Martin. Kate Bush's forthcoming album, 50 Words for Snow, features guest turns by Elton John and Stephen Fry; this week, she released the lead single "Wild Man." And finally, Justice's Audio, Video, Disco doesn't drop for another two weeks, but two more tracks have leaked: Check out "Canon" and "Newlands" — both of which attest to the classic hard rock influence that the duo have threatened us with in the press.

Phoenix-band-01 Road A new film documenting the rise of Phoenix and their universally lauded fourth album, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, now has a trailer. From a Mess to the Masses premieres on European TV later this week.

Road Best known for his soundtrack work, Jon Brion is also a celebrated producer for the likes of Fiona Apple, Rufus Wainwright, and Kanye West. This week, it was announced that Brion has signed on to produce the next full-length album by Best Coast.


DOWNLOAD | Body Language — "Falling Out" (Honey Soundsytem Remix) [OM Records]

Brooklyn's Body Language release their debut album, Social Studies, next week — an organic blast of nu-disco funk and vintage R&B swagger — but this week, we're giving you a free download: The Honey Soundsystem remix of "Falling Out" runs on the kind of ethereal deep house aesthetic that put San Francisco house on the map and irretrievably added psychedelia to the city's house lexicon. If you've ever danced outdoors to Doc Martin or Dubtribe, you definitely know what I'm saying.


When Saints Go Machine — "Parix"

"Parix" is one of a handful of songs that I was actually obsessed with this year — a near-perfect crystallization of Antony-styled falsetto and low-slung R&B beat-making, Scandinavian avant-garde and recursive pop hooks. It sounds impossible on paper largely because no one else sounds like this band.

Florence & The Machine — "Shake It Out"

The second single from the forthcoming Ceremonials — out October 28 — gets a neo-gothic clip that doesn't reflect Florence's darker tone as much as it helps in producing it. There's either a party or a possession going on, but "Shake It Out" most likely sets out to blur the distinction.

Junior Boys — "Banana Ripple"

The epic nine-minute climax of this year's It's All True, "Banana Ripple" is like the realization of a New Order 12" on Germany's Kompakt label. The video — which basically marvels over the nature of ice — is somewhat more confounding.

Icona Pop — "Nights Like This"

Sweden may never have another Robyn, but Icona Pop's newest single is a worthy successor to her electropop canon. The video is more grindhouse than house party, and the song itself is genuinely irrepressible, suggesting that this duo are more than the sum parts of their Pro Tools rig — as if the Knife took off their masks and decided to have some fun.

News: Edible Martini, Prince Harry, Food War, Goldfrapp, Alzheimer's

road.jpg Illinois state senator Dave Koehler proposes legislation legalizing civil unions in that state. Koehler: "This is going to be controversial because people are going to try to get all other kinds of issues about the morality of being gay. I hope that can stay to the sideline, because that's not the full intent of this bill. This bill is merely to recognize there are long-term committed relationships that right now do not have the law behind them."

Martiniroad.jpg Meet the edible martini: looking pretty good about now.

road.jpg The History of War told through food, quite literally.

road.jpg Britain's defense chief pulls Prince Harry from duty in Afghanistan saying media coverage puts him and his fellow soldiers at risk: "Air Chief Marshal Jock Stirrup, chief of the Defense Staff, said he decided to withdraw the prince after senior commanders assessed the risks, the Defense Ministry said in a statement. Harry, third in line to the British throne, has been serving on the front line with an army unit in Afghanistan's southern Helmand province since mid-December. He was originally due to return to Britain within weeks, but 'the situation has now clearly changed,' the statement said."

road.jpg David Beckham hits South Korea to show off a shiny new phone.

Stamosroad.jpg John Stamos takes a kayak break in Hawaii.

road.jpg UPenn students urge university to examine how FDA's ban on blood donation from gay men conflicts with the school's anti-discrimination policies: "Despite a national blood shortage, millions are prohibited from donating by the Federal Drug Administration's lifetime ban on men who have had sex with men (MSM) since 1977. The FDA argues that this type of sexual activity puts them at a higher risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases that could be then transmitted through blood transfusions. After a controversial, lengthy debate, the Blood Donor Discrimination Proposal passed by a margin of 17 to 9 with three abstentions, College senior and UA chairman Jason Karsh said. When Lambda Alliance first raised the blood policy issue at a University Council meeting last March, the UC never followed up, said Wharton and College junior, UA member and DP columnist Lisa Zhu, who coauthored the proposal on behalf of the UA. The proposal is an attempt to revive the University-wide debate and "pressure the administration to reevaluate their stance," said Karsh."

Danb_gillespie_sellsroad.jpg The Feeling's Dan Gillespie-Sells covers the new issue of Attitude.

road.jpg A look at the new Goldfrapp album, Seventh Tree.

road.jpg LGBT Latinos unify in support of Obama.

road.jpg Janet Jackson hopes her drag queen kicks Madonna's drag queen's ass.

road.jpg More rumors surface about Florida Governor Charlie Crist's sexuality: "I just wish he would come out and admit it. That would be a great thing if he did."

road.jpg Anti-gay marriage group in Iowa which staged demonstration at the Supreme Court accuses lawmakers of holding up proposed amendment banning gay marriage: "Several legislative leaders quickly denounced the group's claims, calling their tactics hateful. 'I have a problem when people say, 'We are good, they are evil,' House Majority Speaker Pat Murphy, a Dubuque Democrat, said in response to the group. 'The bottom line is, I believe that every person should be treated with dignity and respect in this state.'"

road.jpg Could Alzheimer's Disease be cured with a 'reset button' for the brain?

Music News: Sarah Cracknell And The Feeling Banking On Hits In '08, Plus Radiohead, Juno, Apple, Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey


GuestbloggerPlease welcome Robbie Daw, who will be penning weekly music posts for us here on Towleroad! Robbie runs his own pop music site called Chart Rigger.

While everyone's currently bedazzled by Radiohead's In Rainbows and the new Janet Jackson video, here are a couple alternatives you might have missed when their clips popped up over the busy holidays.

Mark Brown featuring Sarah Cracknell - "The Journey Continues": Built around a piece of classical music composed by Elena Kats Chernin that's currently being used in commercials by U.K. insurance firm Lloyd's, DJ and dance label head Mark Brown wisely chose Saint Etienne frontwoman Sarah Cracknell to sing over the haunting track. It's already become a radio hit abroad, ahead of its February 4 single release. We stateside folk can download "The Journey Continues" from 7 Digital. Incidentally, The Sun reports that the video is made up of 30,000 still photographs. Cracknell herself makes a Hitchcockian, blink-and-you'll-miss-it appearance during the second verse.

The Feeling - "I Thought It Was Over": Last month I posted a fan-made YouTube clip of the first single off The Feeling's upcoming sophomore album Join With Us, but here now is the official video. Openly-gay lead singer Dan Gillespie Sells has some fun with tongue-in-cheek wordplay during the chorus. While Interscope put out the band's debut album here in the States last year, there's no word yet on a domestic release for Join With Us yet. The album is out in the U.K. February 18, a week after "I Thought It Was Over" is made available digitally and in stores.

road.jpg Billboard reports today that Radiohead's In Rainbows has debuted atop the album chart after it was finally made available in retail outlets and on iTunes. The publication also points out that In Rainbows only sold 122,000 copies compared to the 300,000 first-week copies 2003's Hail To The Thief moved, though the new album has been selling untracked by SoundScan for two months already at

Mariah_4road.jpg Meanwhile, the Juno soundtrack, which has been dominating the iTunes download chart for a couple weeks, makes a somewhat official debut on the Billboard tally. Though it was only available digitally until yesterday, several retailers violated the physical CD's street date and put it out last week. The soundtrack enters the official Top 200 Albums chart at #8.

road.jpg Apple drops iTunes prices in the U.K. to avoid an expensive antitrust conflict.

road.jpg Mariah Carey to People on the reported J. Lo "pig" comment: "This is just some internet gossip and it's pathetic that people actually entertain the thought that this could be real. This is another sad example of two strong women being pitted against each other." She'll probably save the real zingers for this spring, when her new album is expected to drop alongside Madonna's.

road.jpg Former American Idols Ruben Studdard and Taylor Hicks have been let go from J Records, making Hicks the first winner not to make a second album while signed to a major label.

road.jpg The YouTube "teaser" clip for next month's 25th Anniversary Edition of Michael Jackson's Thriller contains lots of fluffy commentary by Mary J. Blige, Wyclef Jean and Pharrell Williams, as well as some interesting tidbits from Quincy Jones.


Kate_nashIf you love Lily Allen, then Kate Nash's Made Of Bricks will be right up your alley. The 19-year-old Irish singer and her annunciated accent finally wash onto American shores this week, after having a major U.K. smash last year with "Foundations."

Sia's third studio release, Some People Have Real Problems, via Starbucks' Hear Music label. The album contains "Day Too Soon," which was initially put out in EP form last fall.

"The Silence Between Us," a new single from former Hüsker Dü and Sugar frontman Bob Mould.

The World's Top DJs compilation from dance label Ultra. If you haven't already, be sure to check out the retro-rave-y "I Found U" by Axwell.

Highlights from the 2007 Coachella Music & Arts Festival


Guestblogger_2[by Arjan Writes, guest blogger] Over the last few years, the Coachella Music & Arts Festival has grown into one of the biggest outdoor music festivals in the country. When Madonna appeared last year, she added a mainstream flavor to the event and brought a whole new audience with her. This gave organizers the confidence to grow the event and turn it from a 2 to 3 day event. Set in the scorching desert three hours east of Los Angeles, this year's event was action-packed with some of the hottest talents of the moment perform.

There were many great moment, but here are a few of the highlights (click images to enlarge):

Bjork returned to Coachella playing on Friday night wowing the crowd with new tracks ("Earth Intruders") and old favorites ("Hunter," "Army Of Me," "Pagan Poetry"). She appeared in a costume that looked like The Last Emperor meets Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. 

The Red Hot Chili Peppers played an energetic set on Saturday. They mixed it up a little and covered Stevie Wonder's "Higher Ground" with a few bars of Donna Summer's "I Feel Love."


Perfectly coiffed and styled, The Feeling turned it up a few notches for their show on Sunday afternoon. Openly-gay frontman Dan Gillespie-Sells (above and right) stayed true to form. He introduced the last song "Love It When You Call" with "I will leave you with this little tune, my darlings."


Mika (left) appeared a little earlier on the mainstage. Dressed in a simple white tee and "cartoon motion" military pants, he went over very well with the crowd of boarder dudes and rock chicks who had settled early in front of the stage in anticipation of Rage Against the Machine later that day.

Break out act The Klaxons (below, right) presented a fresh, exhilarating sound on Sunday that had me dizzy on my feet from beginning to end. Set included the delicious "Golden Skans." This is a band to watch.

Members of British band Placebo have never made a secret of their sexuality. Singer Brian Molko (below, left) is bisexual and bassist Stefan Olsdal is openly gay. The group played a tight, soaring rock set that included a remake of Kate Bush's "Running Up That Hill."

Placebo_brianmolko Klaxons

Tiesto made the Dutch proud when he headlined the mainstage and closed the Saturday program. This was the first time a DJ was chosen in favor of a rock act to get this honor. Tiesto played a pre-programmed set that was timed in conjunction with compelling visual effects. He included older fan favorites and tracks from his new album "Elements of Life."

PeachesPeaches (left) rocked her set on Friday night. This chicks knows how to bring it. The brash performer kept a steady pace accompanied by the handsome JD Samson on keys and drummer Sam Maloney. After opening the show with her light saber routine, she jumped on the drum set while chanting "Impeach my bush, impeach my bush."

Rufus Wainwright played songs from his new album "Release The Stars" on Saturday in a packed Mojave tent. Appearing in a robed "gay messiah" costume, he played the piano and acoustic guitar. He was backed by a full band including a horn section. He was quoted saying, "It's great to be here in the desert, where all the rejects had to go and the Jews and the homosexuals."

Dance lovers were in for a treat well with kicky sets by French DJ David Guetta, Felix da Housecat and Paul van Dyk. Faithless delivered a powerful performance on Friday night, sending the crowd into frenzy with live renditions of "Mass Destruction" and the pumping " Insomnia."


Arjan is the author of the music blog Arjan Writes, where you can find new music, free downloads, album reviews, and artist interviews. More on each of these artists there.

Feeling Frontman Dan Gillespie-Sells Currently Not Lonely

Dan_gillespie_sellsThe frontman for the British pop band The Feeling, Dan Gillespie-Sells, came out of the closet in 2006 but just recently began talking about his love life. In a lengthy interview for blog Chart Rigger, Gillespie-Sells talks about pop music, Trevor Horn, and modeling for Marks & Spencer, but blogger J'ason D'luv also cracks the enigma code and gets the singer to open up about his love life.

Says Gillespie-Sells: "I have a boyfriend. This is a fairly recent thing. I started dating someone on New Year's Eve. I've never told anyone before, because no one ever asked directly. This is really pathetic, but it's probably the first proper boyfriend I've really ever had, because I've just totally scuttered around the whole thing for so many years. And I'm 28 years old and I'm, like, talking about my first real boyfriend...but certainly, it's the first relationship that I've been really happy to talk about. I met him once before and then I invited him to a TV show that I was filming on New Year's Eve. It's great being in this business because you can invite people to really posh things! It was someone's house on The Thames, and we were playing the New Year on BBC 1. It was 10 million viewers, and I remember getting ready to play just before the strike of midnight, bringing in 2007, but I was much more nervous about the date than I was about the TV show. It's going really well."

Above, the video for The Feeling track "Never be Lonely".

Chart Rigger Exclusive: In Conversation With The Feeling's Dan Gillespie-Sells [chart rigger]


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