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Fans and friends had lots of questions, but Potter remained silent.

Biography of Amy Ray (excerpt)

People kinda freaked out, some in really good ways, some I knew they would and I understood why; this is a bold new sound and for a hardcore fan, it's a big deal. Loyalty has always been really important to me and so has evolution. It's hard sometimes to understand that they don't need to be at odds. The band is an extension of me. They are my family and a huge part of my life.

I have no intention of burning bridges or leaving it in the dust. I've got a lot of different influences and creative impulses and I can't always use my band as my springboard. Sure, I could've called this a GPN record, but why would I slap a sticker on an apple and call it an orange? Just to keep a few people from freaking out? Shit no! I have a responsibility to the legacy we built.

It was hard. It was scary, but it was the right time to jump off with my own momentum — to open the door a little wider so the world can see another side, see what else turns me on. I'm mixing it up, doing something different I've always taken chances and sharp turns.

So here I am again wandering into completely uncharted waters—just laying it all out there because 'why the fuck not? The risk is mine, and I'm taking it with all my heart. After 27 years together, over 14 million albums sold, multiple Juno Awards, and Grammy nominations, "Silverball," the cerebral band's fourteenth album finds the long-standing partnership of Ed Robertson guitar, vocals , Jim Creeggan bass, vocals , Kevin Hearn keyboard, guitar, vocals and Tyler Stewart drums, vocals firing on all cylinders. The album's graying protagonist is battered and bruised by life, but as the opening song, "Get Back Up," indicates, he keeps lifting himself off the campus, Rocky-like, to deliver a flurry of counterpunches, along with a wisecrack or two.

But there's an underlying poignancy to "Silverball" as well. The boxing metaphors come fast and furious in "Get Back Up"; indeed, at one point Robertson wryly rhymes "Muhammed Ali" with "boxing imagery. I play them for the guys I've played with for 27 years, and they call me back and go, 'Dude, these fucking songs are awesome -- we can't wait to make this record. For me, the ultimate goal in trying to write a song is to get those phrases to just fly by, to fit in the rhythm of the song.


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So if I'm futzing around too much with grammar or rhyme, I know that it's not the right line; I need to find a way to say it that sounds like conversation. And it was absolutely the right move. Instead we got 13 beds done, and by the end of January we had all but completed the record. So everything just seemed to go insanely fast. There was a confidence in the band and a boldness to just go for it. We've made so many records at this point that we know when something is working. We trust Gavin in that way. One can sense what this album is about -- and how Robertson appropriates and recontextualizes familiar phrases -- merely by looking at the song titles: "Matter of Time," "Duct Tape Heart," "Toe to Toe," "Piece of Cake," and the lead single, "Say What You Want.

It's about feeling confident, and realizing that you can't control what other people do or say, you can only control how you react to it. It's a very triumphant song for me. The title track references Robertson's obsession with pinball; he's been collecting and refurbishing vintage machines since If you're engaging with a person and you know what you're doing, you light everything up and take it to the next level; that's the metaphor.

Gavin noted that 'Silverball' should be the name of the record.

Tanith Lee

It's just such a cool word; it's nostalgic and evocative. It's a beautiful song -- a heartbreaking song. It's so perfect. It gives you a little insight into how heavy a track that is. And the beauty of that song is that it works on whatever level you take it on. I put the record on and it doesn't sound like anything we've ever done before, and yet it is unmistakably the new Barenaked Ladies record. We made it quickly and effortlessly, and I think it's a great showcase of what this band is capable of.

With the breakout success of their self-titled debut album and widespread acclaim for their exhilarating live shows, Young The Giant has quickly established itself as one of the most exciting new bands of the decade. Featuring the electrifying lead single "It's About Time," the collection of songs finds the young band challenging themselves both lyrically and musically. It is the whole thing It is the perfect tone If there is any justice in the world and we all know there isn't Young The Giant will own most of it Every three thousand years, a band comes along who restore that precious component of faith.

Cypress Hill were notable for being the first Latino hip-hop superstars, but they became notorious for their endorsement of marijuana, which actually isn't a trivial thing. Not only did the group campaign for its legalization, but their slow, rolling bass-and-drum loops pioneered a new, stoned funk that became extraordinary influential in '90s hip-hop — it could be heard in everything from Dr. Dre's G-funk to the chilly layers of English trip-hop.

DJ Muggs crafted the sound, and B Real, with his pinched, nasal voice, was responsible for the rhetoric that made them famous. The pro-pot position became a little ridiculous over time, but there was no denying that the actual music had a strange, eerie power, particularly on the band's first two albums. Although B Real remained an effective lyricist and Muggs' musical skills did not diminish, the group's third album, Temples of Boom, was perceived by many critics as self-parodic, and the group appeared to disintegrate shortly afterward, though Muggs and B Real regrouped toward the end of the '90s to issue more material.

The group began pioneering a fusion of Latin and hip-hop slang, developing their own style by the time Mellow Man Ace left the group in Renaming themselves Cypress Hill after a local street, the group continued to perform around L. Ten years have come and gone since Cold War Kids first took to the stage in their homegrown Southern California scene. Time is typically unkind to indie rock bands.

So how is that Cold War Kids are still here in , selling out tours and releasing their fifth album in a decade amidst these 40 seasons of torrential fate winds, while so many of their peers have vanished? That's our story. Reaping sky-high praise from a mids blogosphere then growing wings as a live show juggernaut, they stand now with their fifth studio album Hold My Home as both a different animal and an unaltered beast all at once.


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The band wrote and recorded the album in their own San Pedro studio, with guitarist Dann Gallucci and Dear Miss Lonelyhearts collaborator Lars Stalfors at the production helm. It is at the same time a more pure and also more bombastic album than anything they have ever made, utilizing their environment, experience, energy and cohesion while still driving home the familiar Cold War Kids sound that has been honed and perfected over this past decade.

Willett admits the alterations, while not easy, have been for the best. The idea of what we're doing evolved. It was the right kind of work for Maust and for me. We're on the same tip that way; we want to live this artistic life. Willett stars as reluctant leader, like Moses in the wilderness, the cerebral center and refined song-crafter, shouldering responsibility; Maust is the spontaneous punk rock locomotive, constantly pushing the group forward as the conducting engine of their artistic spirit; Gallucci, who worked for Cold War Kids doing live sound for three years before officially joining, has the wide experience, taste and encyclopedic knowledge of music to make it all click.

As Willett says, "We have everything we need: hunger, energy, guys that come from bigger bands who know how things should work… There's a lot of space for these guys as musicians to be creative, but we have our musical common ground in that we're serving the song. As Maust understands about art, you elevate it to a place where it's bigger than you and you serve it. One of the final songs to be completed and originally intended as a B-side, Willett calls "First" a "morning-after song with the usual Cold War Kids self-doubt: 'Who am I, what am I doing, who are these people, do they love me, do I love myself?

But it got an immediate reaction.

Adobe and Teardrops: June

I want to still learn what roads I can go down that are working. I feed off of Leonard Cohen but I feed off a good rocker, too. Powerful art often happens accidentally and I have to work to make myself that way. I understand the dynamic of needing criticism or self-awareness but I am reminding myself to be childlike about it. Picking up some essentials along the way, they remain, ultimately, themselves—exemplified by the title track. We're somewhere in this middle ground, which is really great because we still get to do exactly what we want. In that way it does come back to Maust and me.

We've existed 10 years and five records, we're still making art that is very vulnerable and singular but we are ambitious and honest with ourselves, knowing that we want success and to reach people and have them understand our art. There's something great that comes from having to knock on doors, and some of that hunger is back in this record. That's where depth comes from, when you can tap into that place that has you digging deep and trying to find something true. I think Hold My Home is about all those things.

Love's Recovery by Indigo Girls

Singer-songwriter Nathaniel Rateliff has made his way from modest means in Bay, Missouri population 60 to the international stage. After signing with Rounder Records Rateliff toured relentlessly in and supporting his critically acclaimed debut in Memory of Loss; headlining shows and performing major festivals throughout the USA, Canada, UK and Europe. His work has been praised by Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant who called Rateliff's music "fragmented and poignant.

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Rateliff is currently working on his sophomore record which is expected to be released in Spring John and Lana Del Rey. It looks, however, as if The Arcs might be in for a longer haul. If even some of those come to fruition, it could prove to be an enduring, endlessly rewarding collaboration. Only the brave and original survive the indie music maelstrom which either sucks new guitar bands down into the depths or produces identikit sounds capitalising on trends of any given time.


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Bastille have moved away from the common output being churned out by indie bands to create pop songs that are absorbing and genre defining without ever being formulaic.