IN RETROSPECT: Gwen Stefani – Love. Angel. Music. Baby.

The 2000s was an important time in popular music. There was so much quality and so much of it to choose from. Pop music could be anything, anything at all. And by anyone at all. Competition within the industry definitely existed, but overall, there was a lot more variety across the board, an abundance of artistic individuality, all combined with original, well-crafted compositions.

At that time, there was also ‘just a girl’ who exemplified the aforementioned characteristics. She also happened to be the lead singer of an already established ska/punk/rock band. If you know anything about me, you’ll know I was a huge fan while I was growing up. Yes, we’re talking about Gwen Stefani.

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Leaks, Covers & Mixtapes: Una Breve Guía de las Canciones No Oficiales de JoJo

Apenas terminada su gira con Armed Forces Entertainment en Japón y Okinawa, Joanna “JoJo” Levesque recientemente anunció que está lista para volver de gira de forma bastante distinta. Agárraos las pelucas…

Los que conocen bien el trayecto de la cantante de R&B/pop, sabrán que después de irrumpir en la escena con su canción más conocida “Leave (Get Out) -con tan solo 13 años- y posteriormente haber lanzado dos álbumes exitosos JoJo (2004) y The High Road (2006) con Blackground Records, Levesque se encontró con un “problema pasajero” digamos, a causa de su sello discográfico, lo cual le impidió que lanzase un tercer álbum de estudio. Durante esa época, después de haber trabajado implacablemente para montar varias versiones de un LP completo, con aspiraciones de empezar la nueva etapa en su carrera musical, se mantenía productiva y sacó unos mixtapes para sacarles de apuro a sus fans leales, cantó varios covers… y, desafortunadamente, se filtraba una gran cantidad del material en el que estaba trabajando.

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Leaks, Covers & Mixtapes: A Brief Guide to JoJo’s Unofficial Releases

Fresh from touring in Japan and Okinawa with Armed Forces Entertainment, Joanna “JoJo” Levesque recently announced that she is ready to get back on the road for a new tour with a distinct twist. Hold on to your wigs…

Those well-accustomed to the R&B/pop singer’s journey will know that after crashing onto the scene at the age of 13 in 2004 with arguably her most popular song “Leave (Get Out)” and subsequently releasing two successful albums JoJo (2004) and The High Road (2006) on Blackground Records, Levesque hit what we shall now call a blip in the form of label troubles, which for seven years prevented her from releasing a third studio album. During that time, having tired relentlessly to put together several versions of a full LP with hopes of starting the next phase in her music career, she stayed proactive and released mixtapes to tide her loyal fans over, performed various covers… and unfortunately had a lot of the material that she was working on leaked.

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IN RETROSPECT: The Weepies – Hideaway

The Weepies are currently in the middle of a 10-year anniversary tour for their album Hideaway (2008), so I thought it would be apt to revisit one of the folk-pop duo’s best known projects and share some of my favourite picks from it!

Weepies Steve Tannen and Deb Talan1
Photo credit: The Weepies

If you’re not familiar with The Weepies, they are an American band comprised of husband and wife musicians (how awesome!) Steve Tannen and Deb Talan. Yes, their names were already kismetically like that before they met. Even spookier is that the two were fans of each other’s music – again, before they’d even met. That obviously made it easier for them to eventually meet, which was at one of Tannen’s shows back in the early 2000s. They decided to join forces and if we fast-forward to today, they’ve released five studio albums (2015’s Sirens, the latest), got three kids, and as I mentioned before are now on this tour to celebrate 10 years since the release of Hideaway… I’m almost certain you’ve probably heard them on one of your favourite TV shows.

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Pariis Opera House release music video for “Your Body, My Tune”

Pariis Opera House is an electronic band hailing from London. Their latest release, “Your Body, My Tune” is taken from the album MIRRORS (2017), which the band have described as “the soundtrack to life and love in our digital age”.

Founded in 2011, the duo have played festivals and shows across the UK, received regular play on BBC Introducing and BBC Radio 6 Music, and had their songs featured on television and in films, such as Hello, My Name is Doris.

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INTERVIEW: Annalise Lam

Annalise Lam is a remarkable young jazz and pop violinist based in the musical city of Bristol. Having been involved in music since she was very young, she’s an intuitive and dedicated talent with a spirited energy and inquisitive attitude to music in many of its styles. She has played at a number of festivals, and with orchestras and a quite a few local bands and musicians, including Immigrant Swing, Julia Turner – and myself.

Last week I’d scheduled to rehearse with Lam (who also happens to be my friend) and I asked if she’d be so kind as to let me interview her – gladly she agreed. I thought it would be a great opportunity to get to know her a little better… or in other words have a slightly more formal and thus potentially awkward chat.

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FEATURED SONG: JoJo – “Mad Love.”

All is right in the world. Order has been restored. Finally, thankfully, gladly after 10 long years, it can be said with near absolute certainty that Joanna “JoJo” Levesque is releasing her third studio album.

There’s a lot that’s happened in the gap between The High Road (2006), which was JoJo’s last official LP, and the forthcoming Mad Love (out 14th October). In short, while dealing with legal troubles – without a doubt the main reason for her lengthy mainstream absence – she never let that stop her from creating and releasing music to her fans. She put out the mixtapes Can’t Take That Away from Me (2010) and Agápē (2012), followed by the EPs LoveJo (2014), III (2015) and LoveJo2 (2015).

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