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LISTEN TO NINE INCH NAILS’ ‘THIS ISN’T THE PLACE’

By Andy Cush, Billboard

“Less Than,” the first single from the upcoming ADD VIOLENCE EP and the last we heard from Nine Inch Nails, gave us the sound of Trent Reznor’s industrial rock institution doing what they do best: sleek sequenced synths, then explosive guitar noise; a tight and sleazy verse, then a big shouted chorus; a lot of tension, then just enough release. “This Isn’t the Place,” the followup single, is a slipperier composition, less “Head Like a Hole” than, say, “11 Ghosts II.”  It’s the kind of Nine Inch Nails song that offers mounting pressure that never seems to resolve, and it’s more powerful for withholding any sort of contrived catharsis.

Aside from some wordless moans, “This Isn’t the Place” waits a full two and a half minutes before introducing Reznor’s singing voice. If only because of this quasi-instrumental opening, it’s likely to remind you of Ghosts I-IV, NIN’s sprawling collection of wordless sketches from 2008, or of Reznor’s work with longtime collaborator Atticus Ross, providing shattered-glass sonics for films like The Social Network and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. These are the works on which Reznor fully embraced his role as tinkerer and sound designer, placing importance on the delicate interactions between a small collection of drones and eerie percussive sounds, rather than the power of bloodletting wails.

“This Isn’t the Place,” too, is conspicuously minimal in its arrangement, with ping-ponging synth accents and a persistent pallor that made me wonder whether its title is a wry play on the utopian Talking Heads classic. When Reznor finally does start singing, it’s in a cracked and uncertain falsetto. He seems more interested in using his voice as just element in the atmosphere, rather than acting as rock’n’roll frontman. Over the course of the song, a swelling string ensemble creeps slowly out from the back of the mix, and for one thrilling moment, it threatens to overtake him completely. Then, the strings recede and dissolve. In short order, so does everything else.

This article originally appeared in Spin.

 

Source: http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/7873037/nine-inch-nails-this-isnt-the-place

Photo: http://www.blumhouse.com/2016/04/01/10-of-the-most-intense-nine-inch-nails-live-performances-ever/

Video: www.youtube.com

CYN, KATY PERRY’S LATEST LABEL SIGNEE, WANTS TO MAKE SINCERE POP MUSIC FOR YOU

By Sadie Bell, Billboard

CYN, born Cynthia Nabozny, is on the brink of cultivating the dreamy music career that nearly every singer daydreams about, but few can seriously fathom. Just a few years ago, CYN was a teenager growing up in the suburbs of Detroit, jotting lyrics in notebooks and escaping the melancholy of middle America through music. But now, because of her delightful voice and unabashed determination, CYN finds herself playing music for Katy Perry in her home and signed to the mega pop star’s label, Unsub Records.

I found myself in Katy Perry’s living room playing my original music on a very colorful piano,” CYN tells Billboard. “It was absolutely surreal, but I got to wake up the next morning and tell myself it wasn’t a dream.”

After attending Perry’s California Dreams Tour in 2011, CYN says she reached out to Perry’s opening act, DJ Skeet Skeet, and after hearing her transformative voice, he knew the up-and-coming artist had something to offer. Over time, she says the two fostered a friendship, Skeet brought her out to L.A. to collaborate, and eventually she was connected to Perry, who fell in love with CYN in just the same way.

Though it may seem like her whirlwind career fell together by way of chance encounters, that narrative negates the singer’s raw artistry. Like many of us, CYN found solace in music and personal reflection in writing — realizing that she had a voice that needed to be heard. “I found in music an emotional understanding,” she says. “As I went through the typical thralls of adolescence, music proved to be my catharsis. It became something so special when it provided me with a means of understanding and relief. Our world is spinning, always — and to me, it makes so much more sense through a rhythm and a melody.”

What came from CYN’s love for singing and composition is a crisp, spirited pop sound carried by her timeless, all-embracing voice and literary lyrics that feel sincere and ripped from the pages of a poetry book.

CYN says she has always found “a voice of understanding” in writing and aims to use the creative vessel to “declare her individuality” as an artist. “The idea of blending in is so painful to me! I love when my word order gets a little weird or when I accidentally turn a noun into a verb.”

Her latest release “Together,” out today (July 14) on Unsub, is a flirtatious, saccharine track, its strings pulled together by the sprightly sound of CYN’s voice and lyrics that feel like a treat. With verses like, “Like the moon in the night / Can’t have one without the other / Like a bird and it’s flight / They just make more sense together,” and references to such classic crooners and comedians as Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, the single embodies the singer’s pop poeticism.

A couple days ago, I was thinking about ‘Together,’ and I came to the conclusion that it is the happiest song I’ve wrote so far,” she says. “I think this reveals an artistic intention that seeks optimism and solutions as opposed to pessimism or dead ends.”

The song is the first release off CYN’s forthcoming EP, which she made in collaboration with Perry’s team at Unsub. “Working with Katy and her team is everything I could have wished for. Katy asks me questions like, ‘Are you finding yourself through your art? Do you feel comfortable?’ These are questions you pray for your label to ask. Katy’s like my older song sister, a mentor who understands that I’m my best when I’m allowed to be myself.”

Though the singer was able to catch the attention of the industry, she intends to create music for other young people searching for understanding, just as she had growing up. “I hope my music can provide understanding for someone else,” says CYN. “I hope someone can make sense of their own feelings through my songs, almost like a melodic representation of feelings otherwise invisible.”

Listen to CYN’s “Together” below.

This article originally appeared on Billboard.

 

Source: http://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/pop/7865983/cyn-katy-perry-label-together-sincere-pop

Photo: http://portafolio.io/cyn/

Video: www.youtube.com

LUCY DACUS

By Billboard

Lucy Dacus is a singer and songwriter who emerged from the thriving indie rock scene of Richmond, Virginia in the mid-2010s. She sports a buttery voice that commands both her thoughtful rock tunes and more intimate confessionals. Born and raised in Mechanicsville just outside of Richmond, her mother was a music teacher, and Dacus grew up singing. She began writing regularly via journaling in the sixth grade, and attended concerts, connecting with the Richmond music scene throughout high school. After graduating, she tried studying film at Virginia Commonwealth University with a plan to make music on the side, but soon dropped out and concentrated on writing songs. Her debut was put together relatively last-minute when a friend who worked at Starstruck Studio in Nashville let her know they had an open day. She had assembled a band from area musicians in guitarist Jacob Blizard, bass player Christine Moad, and drummer Hayden Cotcher, and the songs, which had been written solo, were arranged for the quartet in the week leading up to a ten-hour recording session. The friend at the studio, Collin Pastore, engineered and mixed the album, which was co-produced by Dacus, Pastore, and Blizard. Richmond label Egghunt Records took interest in the results and released No Burden in early 2016. The album quickly received buzz in the indie music press, and the band did an Audiotree Live session in March that was released as a digital EP. That June, 21-year-old Dacus announced she had signed with Matador Records, which reissued No Burden in September 2016. ~ Marcy Donelson, Rovi

This biography originally appeared on Billboard.

 

Source: http://www.billboard.com/artist/7325524/lucy-dacus/biography

Photo: http://matablog.matadorrecords.com/2016/09/09/lucy-dacus-no-burden-lp-reissue-available-today/

Video: www.youtube.com

STANAJ DEBUTS NEW SINGLE “THE WAY I LOVE HER”

By Kristin Corpuz, Billboard

Up-and-coming R&B singer Stanaj has just delivered a knockout follow-up to his EP From a Distance with his new single, “The Way I Love Her,” released Friday (June 30). Coming off a U.S. tour with fellow vocal powerhouse JoJo, Stanaj brings his sultry riffs and smooth tone to the catchy beat, produced and co-written by Simon Wilcox and RedOne.

“Collaborating with RedOne was such a refreshing feeling,” says Stanaj of the venture. “The chemistry came so quickly and naturally; we haven’t stopped working for two months now.”

The Republic Records singer has been publicly endorsed by musical superstars — including Justin Timberlake, Drake, and Chris Brown — as well as NBA athlete Brandon Jennings and social media mogul Kim Kardashian West. Check out the new song below.

This article originally appeared on Billboard.

 

Source: http://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/pop/7850108/stanaj-new-song-the-way-i-love-her

Photo: http://headlineplanet.com/home/2016/10/26/1st-look-stanaj-performs-wednesdays-tonight-show-starring-jimmy-fallon/

Video: www.youtube.com

BRASSTRACKS

By Billboard

You may know them best for producing Chance the Rapper’s smash “No Problem,” but this New York duo also boasts production credits for the likes of Anderson .Paak (“Am I Wrong?”), plus co-signs from GRiZ and Lido. Expect Ivan Jackson (trumpet, production) and Conor Rayne (drums) to make some more funk-infused noise in 2017. – Matt Medved​

This article originally appeared on Billboard.

 

Source: http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/dance/7647002/artists-to-watch-dance-electronic-edm-2017

Photo: https://www.allthingsgomusic.com/photos-jack-garratt-930-club/

http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/dance/7460955/brasstracks-get-your-way-roses-gabor

Video: www.youtube.com