Music

Behind the Song: Robyn – ‘Be Mine!’

Beginning her career in pop music at the age of just sixteen, with her debut album Robyn Is Here first appearing in 1995, Robyn saw early commercial success in the United States. Though she had already released a couple of well-received singles in her native Sweden, and one too in the UK, ‘Do You Know (What It Takes)’ became her debut single in the…

Daily Visual 21.06.15: Taylor Swift’s ‘To Apple, Love Taylor’

Today Taylor Swift became the biggest name to publicly criticise Apple over the company’s plans for its new music streaming service. In an open letter published via her Tumblr page, titled ‘To Apple, Love Taylor’, Swift explained why she intends to withhold her latest album – 1989, released last October – from Apple Music. Taylor Swift’s letter echoes concerns raised by…

Daily Visual 11.06.15: The Death of Ornette Coleman

Ornette Coleman died today, at the age of 85. The cause of his death was reportedly cardiac arrest. Coleman was born on 9 March 1930 in Fort Worth, Texas. His formative years were spent playing the alto and tenor saxophone touring across his home state with a series of rhythm and blues groups. His breakthrough came in 1958, when he recorded…

Culturedarm’s Songs of the Month (May 2015)

And so after a late April comes a late May. But so good. HANA – ‘Clay’ ‘Clay’ is the debut song by HANA, a delicate and spacious ballad produced by her and Blood Diamonds, and released on 12 May. Written by HANA, it features her lucid voice atop the shimmering warmth of the HANA/Blood Diamonds co-production. HANA has been touring with…

Daily Visual 05.06.15: Björk’s ‘Stonemilker’ in Panorama

Back in January Vulnicura, Björk’s eighth studio album proper, emerged suddenly after an internet leak dragged forward its release. It had been intended for March: to coincide with the publication at the beginning of the month of the Björk: Archives retrospective, featuring text by critics including Alex Ross, poetry by frequent Björk collaborator Sjón, and photographs from across Björk’s music videos, record…

Earthy Anecdotes: The Premiere of The Rite of Spring

On 29 May 1913, The Rite of Spring, the ballet and orchestral work composed by Igor Stravinsky, premiered at the newly-opened Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris. With choreography by Vaslav Nijinsky and stage and costume design by Nicholas Roerich, the ballet was part of the 1913 season for Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes. Jeux, the last work for orchestra written by Claude Debussy, also…

In Praise of Letterman: A Musical Top Twenty

With David Letterman’s final Late Show airing on CBS on Wednesday, bringing a close to an unsurpassed thirty-three year career at the forefront of late night, the media over the past week has been full of all things Letterman. There have been tender and laudatory remarks and reminiscences from a whole host of celebrities and, most of all, from his…

Culturedarm’s Songs of the Month (April 2015)

A late edition this month, owing to the UK general election 2015 occupying the last couple of weeks; but here are plenty of words and some excellent songs and videos to – more than, I think – make up for it. Prince – ‘Uptown’ & ‘I Would Die 4 U’ I’ve been listening to these two songs by Prince on…

Behind the Song: Van Morrison – ‘Crazy Love’

‘Crazy Love’ is the third track from Moondance, Van Morrison’s second proper solo release. Astral Weeks had appeared on Warner Bros. in November 1968; with Blowin’ Your Mind! a compilation of recordings Morrison had made for Bang Records, originally intended for release as four singles, but put out as an album in September 1967 by label head Bert Berns without Morrison’s consent. Morrison’s dispute…