Freddie Mathews writes from London: Last Wednesday saw the BRIT Awards launch take place at the Savoy and Britain’s music industry stars were out to impress. Acts like Emeli Sande who’s received an impressive 3 nominations, Robbie Williams, Muse, One Direction, Ben Howard and Mumford and Sons were all glammed up and out for a quality night. Tom Odell has already found out his fate winning the Critics’ Choice Award for 2013, which of course was Emeli Sande’s prize at last year’s event. The actual BRIT Awards, with the all-new multi-coloured spotty trophies, takes place on Friday 20 February at the O2 Arena, to be hosted ‘again’ this year by English comedian and actor James Corden.
Tissues at the ready, as London’s near 30 million seller, Dido, returned to the music scene just the other day with news of a new single, Freedom, to be released on 24 February. Even better news for her worldwide fan base is that her eagerly anticipated brand new 4th album, Girl Who Got Away, comes out shortly after on 4 March. On this new material she’s reunited once more with her brother Rollo Armstrong. He was responsible for getting Dido onto his band Faithless’ debut album, Reverence in 1996, paying her with just a curry. Rollo has produced the majority of the album, and other big name involvement includes Brian Eno, Jeff Bhasker, Rick Nowels and Greg Kurstin. What has been created are 11 tracks of soul-baring electro-pop but then we wouldn’t expect anything else from the lyrical genius of Dido. She has an amazing ability to sing the painful things most of us can only think about.
Britain’s X Factor winner James Arthur’s winning song, Impossible, has now broken through the 1 million sales barrier and he becomes only the fourth winner to do so. With that milestone he’s now also confirmed that he decided, after all, to sign a deal with Simon Cowell’s SYCO record label. Hang on, I thought that was the prize that came with his win regardless? Previous 1 million selling, X Factor winners were 2005’s Shayne Ward, 2008’s Alexandra Burke and Matt Cardle in 2010 with Biffy Clyro’s When We Collide. For James Arthur this news couldn’t get any better especially compared to last year’s winners Little Mix, who up until last week had still only sold 468,000 copies of their winning single, Cannonball; although they would seem to be doing a little better for themselves one year down the line with their own material.
1980’s synth pop act Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark, or OMD as they’re commonly called, have just signed a new record deal with BMG to release their next studio album. However their last album, 2010’s History Of Modern, sold a poor 100,000 copies worldwide but the appeal from the deal lies in the band’s immense back catalogue rights, which BMG will also get their hands on. That back catalogue has already sold over 40 million copies, so the label must think that there’s plenty of mileage left in it and quite frankly I would agree.
Adele is back in the music news once again this week but this time with a Grammy nomination, but only because she sang the theme to the James Bond film (yes, I still use the word film) Skyfall. Co-written with Paul Epworth, Adele’s manager, the news was described as “Fantastic.” The song Skyfall is also in the running for Best Original Song award at the Golden Globes. Adele will be making her first public appearance since having her baby last October. I bet she’s more excited by the free bar than anything else!
And finally Welsh band Stereophonics have announced the details of their new material in the form of their 8th studio album called, Graffiti On The Train, out on 4 March. (I always prefer the graffiti in the toilets but maybe Kelly didn’t think it has the same message.) The first single from the album, Indian Summer, is very catchy and very Kelly Jones and you can buy it from 25 February. I’m just hoping after this album they ditch their weird cinematic phase and get back to good old working men’s club rock ‘n roll. Give me The Bartender and The Thief any day of the week.