News Bleed

So here we are, already into the second week of 2011 – before you know it, it’ll be Christmas and you’ll be 63. But before you tuck into your shortbread and slippers, I have a slew of news and it keeps bleeding out of me – so to stem the flow, I thought I’d smear it onto the web. Here goes…

Introducing Keren Ann

New to you (probably) is EMI artist Keren Ann who has a marvellously shiny bowl of dark hair along with some exquisitely wispy, haunting vocals to bring to the table of pop. Now on her sixth album, Keren is no stranger to the world of musique and bases herself in Paris, New York and Tel Aviv, as only pop stars can. Her new album 101 is out in April and is plump with tender, lilting odes to modern life including the powerful My Name Is Trouble. This is in stark contrast to its cover, however, which sees Keren wielding a pistol. Who can say what it all means? For more: www.kerenann.com

Introducing Young The Giant

More new music from the US of A, Young The Giant are a Californian quintet who mix up Indian, Persian, English and French-Canadian heritage and the resulting sound is some soaringly ace indie rock. The lads have already opened for Kings Of Leon at Chicago’s House Of Blues and are signed to the Roadrunner label in the US. February sees them grace UK shores, with shows lined up at London’s Koko (4th), Water Rats (8th) and Proud Galleries (9th). To hear what their sound’s about, check out the above session or click here for more.

Keri Hilson Returns

New year, new album from Ms Hilson, produced by among others Mssrs Timbaland, Legend and Ne-Yo and featuring the likes of Rick Ross and Kanye West, no doubt singing through his bejewelled teeth. No Boys Allowed is the album’s title, although with the list of collaborators we can only assume Ms Hilson was a bit slack with the rules on this project, letting boys in to sing, play and twiddle knobs. Lead single Pretty Girl Rock is produced by Ne-Yo and the long-player is out today. Says Hilson: “I write from a female perspective, but I’m also telling men what women are really thinking and feeling about them.” The return of feminism clearly starts here…

First Aid Kit Go Blue

We loved First Aid Kit last year, so we’re sure that the Swedish sister twosome are still just as worthy of our affections in 2011. Exciting news has reached us that their next project is with Jack White, who’s producing a special series of 7-inch singles recorded at his own Third Man Studios in Nashville, entitled the Third Man Records’ Blue Series. First Aid Kit have signed up to said project, following in the wake of the likes of Wanda Jackson, Laura Marling and Secret Sisters. For their Blue Series 7-inch, the duo recorded spine-tingling covers of Buffy Sainte-Marie’s Universal Soldier (made famous in 1965 by Donovan) and classic blues standard It Hurts Me Too, a song much loved by fans of Karen Dalton’s 1969 folk-blues version – their single will be released on January 18th. First Aid Kit’s debut full-length album The Big Black And The Blue was really quite special – find out more about the Third Man series at www.thirdmanrecords.com; and about First Aid Kit at  www.thisisfirstaidkit.com

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