R.E.M. broke up last week, but don't be too sad. See, lots of people are still making music all the time, much of it noteworthy. Here are a few recent happenings in music that we'd love for you to be up on, if you're not already.
Lana Del Rey Is Causing A Stir
Listen. We can't explain Lana Del Rey any better than Vulture and a trillion music blogs already have, but we can do it faster: She's 24, from New York, real name: Lizzy Grant, the "gangster Nancy Sinatra," somewhat prefabricated, with a 50s pin-up image, quite popular all of a sudden, has a set of lips that Angelina Jolie would kill for, and because of all sorts of specious ideas about "authenticity" that we discussed last week, you'll probably get upset if you think about her too hard. Don't do that to yourself. She's great.
Her much buzzed-about single (oof, that voice), is the ethereal "Video Games." (See above.) It will be released officially on Oct. 11. The video includes that infamous footage of Paz de la Huerta stumbling outside of a 2011 Golden Globes party. The B-side is "Blue Jeans."
Radiohead on the TV
Radiohead was the musical guest on this weekend's SNL season premiere. The revered British band performed "Lotus Flower" from their February album The King of Limbs, and a newer song, "Staircase". Best part: frontman Thom Yorke's mesmerizing dance moves.
The group will play four songs on a special hour-long episode of tonight's The Colbert Report.
Aqua Is Back
The 90s resurgence is not letting up anytime soon. New evidence: the return of Scandinavian dance-pop act Aqua, whose 1997 hit "Barbie Girl" will occupy a small, dusty corner of your mind until you die. The group will release Megalomania, their first album in 11 years, on Universal Music Denmark.
On their new single, "Like a Robot," lead singer Lene Nystrøm wants to know: "why do you still fuck me like a robot?" Somebody had to say it.
Drive: The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Is the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack to End All Original Motion Picture Soundtracks
You can't have a conversation about the movie Drive without talking about its music. Despite its modern-day Los Angeles setting, the film features a dark, 80s-influenced electro score by former Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Cliff Martinez. It's the perfect complement to Ryan Gosling as he methodically navigates downtown streets, all brooding looks and cold detachment. Already out on iTunes, the physical version hits stores tomorrow.
Beyond Martinez's work, the film features a few vocal tracks, like the pervish "Nightcall" by Kavinsky featuring Lovefoxxx. Just as awesome is this jam called "A Real Hero" by College (that's Paris-based producer David Grellier—David, Google-friendly your project is not) featuring Electric Youth, who are from Toronto.
Somebody Give Drake A Hug
On Friday, Drake released the art for his sophomore album, Take Care (which will feature Stevie Wonder, Lil Wayne and Rick Ross, among others). The cover is a photo of the Canadian rapper, downcast yet regal, pharaoh-like, adorned in gold. He's holding what appears to be the Holy Grail from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, which he presumably uses to collect his own teardrops.
Drake included this grandiloquent statement with the artwork:
"Feels like it's been so long. Is life moving so fast in this generation that when we desire something it begins to move in slow motion? Are we just used to getting what we want right away? Or do we require one another to feel right about all that is going on around us? Maybe our anticipation is justified by the fact that we genuinely cannot wait to share a moment again? Either way, your life and mine are scheduled to meet on October 24...I wouldn't miss it for the world. See you soon. Drake"
Translation: I just smoked weed and my new album is out on Oct. 24. Here's "Headlines," the lead single on the album.
[Illustration via Shutterstock.com]