Will Young Hub

Will Young Tries to Find Himself: VIDEO


The latest video from the UK's Will Young is directed by Henry Scholfield for his new track "Losing Myself". Young has never sounded better than his last couple of tracks imho.

Check it out, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Will Young Tries to Find Himself: VIDEO" »

Towleroad Guide to the Tube #993

WILL YOUNG: His new video for "Come On".

DAVID ARQUETTE: Talks DWTS, giggles on Chelsea Lately.

METH LAB: Do you think the grilled raccoon gave it away?

SPIRIT: Fred Karger's new campaign ad.

For recent Guides to the Tube, click HERE.

MUSIC NEWS: Nicola Roberts, Bloc Party, Swedish House Mafia, Little Boots, Rostam Batmanglij, Will Young, Sigur Rós, Lights, Björk

Nicola Roberts


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.


Nicola Roberts Cinderella's Eyes (A&M UK) Cinderellas Eyes

Girls Aloud may be one of the biggest U.K. pop groups of all time, but in America, they're somewhat of a curiosity: They were a girl group manufactured by a 2002 reality television competition. They were a hit-making machine whose underlying hit-making production machine, Xenomania, became almost as famous as the girls themselves. And perhaps less endearingly, they were the band that spawned Cheryl Cole, who is now best known on these shores for lasting half an episode as a judge on the U.S. X Factor before being sent back to England. Despite all this, we should care. Because when Girls Aloud were great — and they did, indeed, have their fair share of transcendent moments — they embodied everything we love about pop music.

Nicola Roberts wasn't Girls Aloud's Beyoncé — or their Kelly Rowland, for that matter — which is all the more reason why Cinderella's Eyes has already positioned itself as somewhat of a coup. Unlike Cole's post-GA output — which is only as good as you think Will.I.Am is good — Roberts made an album that doesn't depart from the blueprint as much as it sends it up-to-date: The Diplo–produced "Beat Of My Drum" is a raucous freestyle affair, while "Lucky Day" — co-written by Canadian electro trio Dragonette — takes the spirit of 2008's Girls Aloud/Pet Shop Boys collaboration out of Neil Tennant's sullen range and into an elated place. That said, formulas work for a reason, and when Roberts teams up with former Xenomania member Jon Shave for "Say It Out Loud" — an impossibly pleasurable synthpop track, the caliber of which we haven't heard since "Dancing On My Own" — it's like she's no longer a struggling solo artist from a multiplatinum group, but the star of a group who never got her due.

Also out today: Feist — Metals (Cherrytree/Interscope), Björk — Biophilia (Nonesuch), MGMT — Late Night Tales (LNT/EMI), Lights — Siberia (Last Gang), Indigo Girls — Beauty Queen Sister (IG/Vanguard), Zola Jesus — Conatus (Sacred Bones), Craig Wedren — Wand (Megaforce), Death In Vegas — Trans Love Energies (Drone)


Bloc Party Road Bloc Party have only marginally cleared up rumors of Kele Okereke's dismissal, with guitarist Russell Lissack saying that while he hasn't spoken to Kele in a couple of months, and while there are "no bad vibes," the remaining three members are still auditioning new singers. "It's not really a secret because Kele's been pretty busy doing solo stuff," he explains. "The other three of us wanted to meet up and make music." On his blog, Kele still sounds confused: "A big part of me is laughing hard at all of this, but another part of me is all like WTF?"

Rostam Road This week in free downloads: Vampire Weekend's out keyboardist/producer Rostam Batmanglij took to his Tumblr this week to introduce a new Indian raga–influenced solo track called "Wood." DJ A-Trak remixed The Rapture's latest single,"How Deep Is Your Love?" and dedicated the Dub mix to recently departed Ed Banger producer and DJ Mehdi. Meanwhile, New York duo Ford & Lopatin get the French remix treatment on "Too Much Midi (Please Forgive Me)"courtesy of Alan Braxe.

Road Little Boots resurfaces with an emotive piano rendition of Robyn's "Call Your Girlfriend."

Will Young Road Will Young cops to the Pet Shop Boys and Bronski Beat influence on his excellent new album, Echoes, but still isn't sure he can express his sexuality more openly: "You're still a minority. There are lots of people who don't want to think about" — he pauses and laughs — "anal sex, to be honest. And I don't have a problem with that."

Road Sigur Rós premiered their latest feature film, Inni, in Reykjavik, Iceland, last week. A 2CD+DVD package for Inni will get its release on November 15, and features music from the movie as well as bonus tracks and a previously unreleased song called "Lúppulagid." 

Jake elton Road The Scissor Sisters made an appearance at the New Yorker Festival this weekend to dish about Elton John, who recently brought Jake Shears and Babydaddy a box full of sweaters and shoes ("He's like your favorite grandma"), as well a shared moment with Gore Vidal: "At moments he was delighted by me, at moments he was disgusted by me," Shears said.

Road Commercial house music makes another bold leap into the mainstream: Swedish House Mafia — the trio of Sebastian Ingrosso, Axwell, and Steve Angello — have announced two "One Night Stand" performance dates at Madison Square Garden in New York and the Milton Keynes National Bowl in England.


Lights — "Toes"

She's gone on tour with Owl City, but don't hold that against her: Lights Valerie Poxleitner — that's Lights to you — released an incredible sophomore album called Siberia today, and "Toes" is a pretty solid example of what this self-written/self-produced album achieves: Tightly-programmed beats and shoegaze tendencies underlie a solid pop proficiency, while Toronto's Holy F*ck — no strangers to a sequencer themselves — lend a hand.

Björk — "Moon"

I have yet to really dig into Björk's new album Biophilia, also out today, but a lot of that has to do with the overwhelming idea of discovering an album with an iPad app for each song. That's not easy listening! Which is probably the point: The harp-plucked "Moon" is more of a linear movement than your standard recursive pop song, and it's Björk's willingness to go there that keeps us willing to follow the path she forges.

Cher Lloyd — "With Ur Love" (feat. Mike Posner)

A runner-up from last year's X Factor in the U.K., Cher Lloyd's first single was the most regrettable song to rhyme "swagger" with "Jagger" in recent memory — and there have been quite a few entries in that race! But follow-up single "With Ur Love" is a much-needed rebound, ostensibly meant to remind us that Lloyd didn't get as far as she did on the X Factor for her rapping: If London street-pop wasn't a thing before, it is now.

Holy Ghost! — "Hold My Breath"

DFA's resident electrodisco duo Holy Ghost! have known each since they were six years old, and that shows in this song's impeccable tightness and intuitive phrasings. The music owes its debts to Sheffield and Manchester, of course, but these references suits the video's evocative collection of still and moving pictures: It would almost be nostalgic if it weren't happening right now.


MUSIC NEWS: Will Young, Active Child, Stephin Merritt, Bright Light Bright Light, Leona Lewis, Tayisha Busay, Snow Patrol, Chromeo



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.


Will Young Echoes (RCA) Will-young-echoes

He's still largely anonymous in America, but after selling more than 8 million albums everywhere else in the world — and celebrating this achievement with 2009's excellent The Hits compilation — now seems as a good a time as any for Will Young to rock the boat. On his fifth studio effort, Echoes, the out gay pop star has done just that: For one thing, hiring electropop maestro Richard X to helm production duties for the entire album was a bold move — not only because Richard X has never produced an entire full-length album for an artist of this size before, but because Young's sole experience with making electronic music before this album was a one-song collaboration with Groove Armada. And perhaps therein lies the genius. Echoes is the sound of a clean slate and the reintroduction to a Will Young that sounds more inspired than we've ever heard him. Opener (and lead single) "Jealousy" is a solid barometer for the album's tone, managing to convey sorrow through all of the musical signifiers we associate with euphoria, while the electro-disco "Runaway" showcases Young's soulful vocal chops utilizing an entirely fresh palette. But it's "Come On" that, by track 2, perfectly fuses past and present — retaining Young's classic sensibility, although trading in the stadium-sized string sections for synths. It's far too early to make any predictions, but this far into 2011, track for track in its entirety, I have yet to hear a more exciting and cohesive commercial pop album. Echoes will be called a reinvention, but it's actually just insanely good.


Att24180 Road Eager to get her new single out — or just conceding to the fact that they did pretty much steal someone else's song — Leona Lewis (alongside label head Simon Cowell) have resolved their legal dispute with 22-year-old Swedish producer Avicii over "Collide," the lead single from Lewis' forthcoming third album. Complete details of the agreement have not been disclosed, but only a few days after leaving court new artwork for the single emerged, crediting the song to "Leona Lewis/Avicii." No word on whether or not Ministry of Sound still plans to release "Fade Into Darkness," the original Avicii composition at the center of this dispute.

Road Have James Blake and Bon Iver teamed up to form a new band? According to Blake's Twitter feed, the duo has planned something for tomorrow, August 24, under the name Fall Creek Boys Choir.

Bright+Light+Bright+Light+Bright+Light Road If you haven't heard Bright Light Bright Light yet, make it a priority: the London-based electropop songwriter recently released the impeccable "Disco Moment" as lead single for his forthcoming debut, and this week, he whipped up a DJ mix for BUTT magazine, who also get down to some need-to-know facts — like, "Have you ever had sex in the toilets?" — for a concise Q&A.

Road New York's Tayisha Busay have been fixtures in the city's indie dance and queer nightlife scene for some time now, but with the release of their forthcoming debut album, Focus/Virus, the trio are finally poised to hit the national stage. "Focus" is the first taste from the album, and it's a stunner that draws from vintage Kraftwerk and early New York proto-freestyle along the lines of Dominatrix. Stream it now from Soundcloud, and expect to hear much more from Tayisha Busay later this year.

Matt-Cardle-X-Factor Road Last year's winner of the UK X Factor, Matt Cardle, has announced an October 17 release date for his debut album, Letters, which includes lead single "Run For Your Life," written by current X Factor judge and Take That mainman Gary Barlow. "We had 99% of the album finished, then the track came through from Gary," Cardle says. "I was nearly in tears recording the vocals."

Road When it comes to battling biopics, Truman Capote has nothing on the late, lamented Jeff Buckley. There are three films about the highly influential singer currently in production, including Greetings from Tim Buckley (starring Penn Badgley as Jeff), A Pure Drop (directed by Australian auteur Brendan Fletcher), and an as-yet-unnamed production helmed by Ridley Scott's son, Jake — the only one to earn its blessings from the Buckley estate.

Victor willis Road Victor Willis — better known as the original cop in the Village People — is suing someone again this week, but this time, he might actually make history! Citing a federal copyright provision that allows songwriters to regain control of registered titles beginning in 1978, Willis filed papers to regain control of his share of songs like "Y.M.C.A.," "In The Navy," and "Go West," which continue to accumulate millions of dollars annually. The companies currently holding the copyrights, of course, are fighting the claim, calling Willis an "adapter of French songs" that are not subject to U.S. law. But Willis' legal counsel counters this claim with a compelling challenge: "I dare you to go to Paris and find a Y.M.C.A."


Active+child_you+are+all+i+see Pat Grossi is a a true postmodernist — which is to say that on You Are All I See, his debut album as Active Child, there is no one dominant narrative, but a string of coexisting, albeit seemingly divergent ideas. It's not that classical harp, '80s synthpop, and slow-jam R&B are incapable of getting along, but more that before Grossi, no one ever put them in the same room. The end result is chilling at times — with Grossi's inimitable choir-like falsetto grimly anchoring standouts like "Way Too Fast" and the title track — but when the lights go down on "Playing House," it's like moving out of the church and into the bedroom. Throughout decades of rock 'n' roll history, there's still nothing like unexpected sex.

Stephin-Merritt-Obscurities Obscurities is the latest release by acclaimed (and out) singer-songwriter Stephin Merritt, and if you're interested in tracing artistic trajectories, this 14-song collection will come in handy: Assembling the many compilation appearances, outtakes, and previously unreleased material that led up to the release of Magnetic Fields' universally loved and impossibly epic — 69 Love Songs boxset, Obscurities reassesses what it means to be a castoff. In less capable hands, songs like "I Don't Believe You" and "Take Ecstasy With Me" could be centerpieces for a "proper" album.

Also out today: Various Artists — Muppets: The Green Album (Walt Disney), Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks — Mirror Traffic (Matador), CSS — La Liberación (Fontana), Goldie — Fabriclive 58 (Fabric), Austra — Sparkle EP (Domino)


Mirror Mirror — "Interiors"

I missed this one when it came out earlier this month, so let's correct that wrong right now: From their second album Interiors, due out next week, New York's Mirror Mirror make atmospheric neo-psych with a gentle gothic touch — a perfect backdrop, then, for this noir-inspired clip starring Rumi Missabu, one of the final survivors from San Francisco's legendary drag collective The Cockettes. Seriously, it's a work of art.

Snow Patrol — "Called Out In The Dark"

They came into mainstream prominence as the Scottish answer to Coldplay, so skeptics might be quick to call foul on the disco-fused lead single from Snow Patrol's forthcoming sixth album — as if they were riding trends or something. But if Gary Lightbody proves anything on "Called Out In The Dark," it's that he knows a little something about club music: Years before Snow Patrol, Lightbody was a house music DJ and even wrote a song for UK house stalwarts Freeform Five. The authenticity — and playfulness — on his band's latest single shows.

Chromeo — "When The Night Falls" (feat. Solange Knowles)

Fresh from her collaboration with Rewards for the DFA label, Beyoncé's little sister moves further down the indie-dance rabbithole with a cameo on the latest single by French Canadian electro-funk duo Chromeo. "When The Night Falls" is the fourth single from Business Casual, but the first to feature a street gang of angry pregnant women.

Matt & Kim, Andrew WK & Soulja Boy — "I'm A Goner"

This week's unlikely collaboration: Brooklyn's cutest power pop duo Matt & Kim team up with the frequently bloody Andrew WK and Atlanta rap prodigy-cum-whipping post Soulja Boy for "I'm A Goner." The surprisingly successful song is available as a free download now, and its video reestablishes Matt & Kim's lock on feel-good filmmaking — even if everyone in the clip is technically dead. It's like "Thriller" for hipsters.

MUSIC NEWS: Court Yard Hounds, Toni Braxton, Chely Wright, Will Young, Greg Laswell, Moby, Free Energy

GuestbloggerMODERN TONIC

The editors of Modern Tonic — a free daily email that serves up eclectic pop-culture picks with a homo slant — present a weekly music update here on Towleroad.

CourtIt’s never easy to leave what you love behind — whether it’s a partner or a popular country group. But that’s what Martie Maguire and Emily Robison — two thirds of the Dixie Chicks — have gone and done. While lead singer Natalie Maines raises her children, Maguire and Robison have flown the coop for a side-project as steeped in folk-rock and upbeat pop as their fiddle-scratching roots.
Their self-titled debut, Court Yard Hounds, works the confessional tropes of songwriters like Joni Mitchell and Shawn Colvin to explore an unpleasant subject: Robison’s divorce. Gentle, finger-picked acoustic opener "Skyline" sets the stage with the plaintive question ‘What am I doing here in such a lonely place?’ But Court Yard Hounds, like the group that spawned them, don’t wallow in darkness. Maguire and Robison set sad tales to some of the most rollicking country-pop since Dixie Chicks’ Grammy-winning Taking the Long Way.

ToniIt’s been 10 years since Toni Braxton’s had a big commercial smash, and Pulse may put an end to the drought. She’s already had a minor hit on the R&B charts with the mid-tempo, piano-heavy "Yesterday." She’s been inspired by Alicia Keys on not only that song but also “Hands Tied” and "Wardrobe" and that’s quite all right. It isn’t often an established artist admits to being influenced by a younger one, with whom — according to Digital Spy — she hopes to duet in the near future. Elsewhere, Braxton lights up the club-burner "Make My Heart," pulls a Beyoncé with the galloping "Lookin’ At Me" and revs up a quiet storm with her trademark ballads, including the empowering "Woman." "Revive it," she sings on the sultry title track, and though you know it’s about holding on to love, it could just as easily be about this stage of her career.  

ChelyThe blogosphere’s a-twitter with country singer Chely Wright’s coming out in the latest People (news of which leaked early). Wright won a Top New Female Vocalist American Country Music award (1994), scored a Country chart Number One with "Single White Female" and had been romantically linked with Brad Paisley. Now she’s the first U.S. country star to burst through the closet door since kd lang in 1992. What’s on the other side of the closet for Wright? Only time will tell, but her memoir’s out today, Like Me: Confessions of a Heartland Country Singer, along with a new album, Lifted Off the Ground. If you want juicy details about her life, spring for the book. Music lovers will get a more restrained, emotionally nuanced report from the resonant Lifted Off the Ground. "I’m waging war up in my head," she confesses on the soft-rock opener "Broken." The object of "Damn Liar" — a blistering Appalachian foot-stomper — could well be herself after years of hiding. And the finger-picked waltz "Like Me" underscores the tough decision at its center. "Who’s going to end up holding your hand," Wright asks, "a beautiful woman or a tall handsome man?" Thanks to our high-speed press, we all know the gender of her waltzing partner. We look forward to the day when all that matters is her rich, incisive music.


RoadYouTube is soon expanding its pay-to-view capabilities, which would allow content providers to charge viewers to watch their videos.

Road 106847-glee-madonna-express-617_409 The massive success of Glee's Madonna episode and accompanying EP have stars clamoring to get involved with the super-hot series.

RoadApple recently bought, then shut down, popular music site Lala.com. Speculation suggests Apple will leverage the site's technology to create an iTunes cloud-based music service. But the music business may not be so happy about this.

Road Shakira announces 2010 tour dates, on sale this Friday.

RoadChristina Aguilera will perform current single "Not Myself Tonight" at the 2010 MTV Movie Awards on June 6, two days before her album "Bionic" drops.

QuartetAB RoadOut singer/songwriter Levi Kreis (on left in photo) was nominated today for a Best Supporting Actor in a Musical Tony Award for his role as Jerry Lee Lewis in Broadway's Million Dollar Quartet.

RoadThe first official soundtrack to Jersey Shore will be released July 20 (the same day as the season one DVD) with lead single, Enrique Iglesias' "I Like It" (featuring Pitbull) on iTunes May 25. Season two premieres July 29.


WillyoungThe out singer/first-season Pop Idol winner/hottie Will Young releases Leave Right Now, a digital-only EP of eight past U.K. hit singles. The collection is led by the title track, this season’s American Idol exit song.

For those who couldn’t get in to her exclusive club engagement last year, the CD/DVD set One Night Only Barbra Streisand and Quartet at The Village Vanguard September 26, 2009 will make you all — sniffle — verklempt.

Dolly Parton pays tribute to her favorite place – heaven, not Dollywood – on Letter to Heaven: Songs of Faith & Inspiration.

Broken Social Scene — the rotating Canadian collective that includes Feist, Emily Haines of Metric and others — releases their fourth and best batch of alt-rocking odes, Forgiveness Rock Record.

GregHusky-voiced San Diegan Greg Laswell — no stranger to soundtracks from Grey’s Anatomy to My Sister’s Keeper — releases Take A Bow, his fourth disc of brutally honest introspection.

Moby releases an EP of mixes of his single "Wait For Me" (the title track of his 2009 ambient album) in support of his forthcoming collection Wait For Me. Remixes! (out May 18), which features livelier versions of last year's album tracks.

Power chords and a cowbell open Stuck On Nothing, the debut from Philadelphia rockers Free Energy, finally out on CD today. That song — ”Free Energy” — and the rest of the album, is a throwback to ‘70s AM radio gold.

Also released:  The New Pornographers — Together; The Hold Steady — Heaven Is Whenever; Deftones — Diamond Eyes; Josh Ritter — So Runs the World Away; a-ha — The Singles 1984-2004; Joy Formidable — A Balloon Called Moaning


Hurts — "Better Than Love"
The first single from the Manchester duo’s forthcoming debut is a chilly Ultravox rip with a video straight from the head of Duran Duran. In other words: artsy, impenetrable and très stylish.

The Good Natured — "Your Body Is a Machine"
With hair even more awe-inspiring than La Roux’s, U.K.’s The Good Natured (aka Sarah McIntosh) gets all Goth and glittery on this minor-key New Wave rave-up.

Operator Please — "Back and Forth"
On this happy little tune, the Aussie popsters make like The Smiths fronted by Betty Boop. Vocalist Amandah Wilkinson leads her quintet on a nautical-themed stage, while girls in blue bathing suits perform synchronized-swimming moves out of water.

Sub Focus — "Splash" (feat. Coco)
The spawn of Sting — Coco Sumner — guests on this twitchy tune from drums’n’bass producer Sub Focus (aka Nick Douwma). The clip’s basically a performance in front of a Union Jack, but Coco’s got Daddy’s chops circa Ghost in the Machine.

News: R-71, Gordon Brown, D.C., David Hockney, Will Young, Toronto


Justice Kennedy refers R-71 names case to full Supreme Court?


Excitement over Thai AIDS vaccine fades: "Now, two other analyses of the trial data suggests that the results could have been due to pure chance, and therefore the vaccine may not have conferred protection to people after all. The additional data are published today in the New England Journal of Medicine and will be more fully discussed today by researchers attending an AIDS meeting in Paris."



Twins wreak havoc on X-Factor with their cover of "Oops, I Did It Again".


Toronto chosen for World Pride 2014.


Man pleads guilty to 2008 gay bashing in Springville, New York.


Prime Minister Gordon Brown backs opening Parliament to gay weddings: "The Prime Minister will insist that it is unfair only heterosexual couples can marry inside the Palace of Westminster. Mr Brown will be speaking at a Parliamentary inquiry into how to increase the representation of gay people, ethnic minorities, women and the disabled at Westminster."


Joss Whedon to direct Glee.


Daniel Radcliffe purchases third NYC residence.


Threats on President's life up 400%: "The Boston Globe reports that a new internal Congressional Research Service report and government sources say there are an unprecedented number of death threats against President Obama -- and that the Secret Service is insufficiently funded and staffed to deal with them."



Astronomers find 32 planets outside our solar system.


Transgender woman found strangled to death in her flat in Brighton, UK by firefighters responding to a blaze. Police have arrested a 42-year-old man: "The body of Andrea Waddell, 29, who had a masters degree and worked as a prostitute, was found just before midnight on Thursday by firefighters. The man in custody, from Brighton, was held on Saturday night, police said."


Big Brother 9 winner Adam Jasinski used his $500,000 prize to fuel his oxycodone drug-dealing business.


Elvis hair: it sells for $15,000.


John Mayer releases augmented reality music video.


More of Lance Bass in the boxing ring.


Character on Law and Order: SVU to come out of the closet.



Inside David Hockney's iPhone obsession.

D.C. activists oppose phase-out of domestic partnerships, fearing that failure of same-sex marriage law would leave gays and lesbians with nothing.


Singer Will Young guest edits Attitude magazine: "Explaining why he took on the job, Will says: 'The first time I bought Attitude I was 15 and Chris O'Donnell was dressed as Robin on the front cover. I didn't know it was a gay magazine at the time. It is never easy adjusting to being different but things have changed so quickly over the last 10 years. I dedicate this issue to the people who were at the forefront of that change by being brave enough to be themselves."


Adam Lambert album to be called For Your Entertainment.


Fashion chat: Paul Smith blabs with Simon Doonan.


Lesbian couple attacked in Brighton, UK: " The couple, who are aged 18 and 22, were walking hand in hand at about 3am on October 7. When they turned towards the three men shouting homophobic insults at them, two of the men attacked them, punching them both in the head. Even when the young women begged the third man, who had a large brown dog, to stop his friends, he did not intervene."


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