Happy Sunlighter Sunday! In the spirit of today’s artist of the week, we’re sharing a reminder that if you’re going to any upcoming concerts, you should always show up on time for the opening acts. You just might find your next favorite artist.
Rating Rationale: Jack Johnson has an effortless way of inviting listeners into his world: one where you’re immediately at ease, carefree with palm trees in the background, and probably eating banana pancakes, too. Meet The Moonlight marks his eighth studio album, and it introduces fans to an elevated, yet effervescent sound through his newfound friendship with producer Blake Mills (Alabama Shakes, Marcus Mumford, Daisy Jones & The Six), who Jack says is one of the greatest guitar players alive.
Anticipation for Pink Friday 2 Deluxe, Ye & Ty Dolla $ign reveal joint album tracklist
To celebrate her 41st birthday, Nicki Minaj dropped her 13-year-long-awaited sequel, Pink Friday 2 (we think it’s really good). Nicki is already building the hype for the deluxe version, hinting at four more songs, including collaborations with 50 Cent, Keyshia Cole, and Monica.
Separately, Ty Dolla $ign, who previously archived most of his posts on Instagram, has recently made a few cryptic posts leading up to the release of his joint album with Kanye West. Yesterday, he dropped the tracklist for their upcoming album. We’re still waiting on a release date, so get ready.
The Electric Forest headliners are out, Fred again.. links up with Baby Keem
On Tuesday, the organizers of Electric Forest announced the headliners for next year’s festival, including Ludacris, Nelly Furtado, and Subtronics along with collaborative duo DJ sets like Everything Always (Dom Dolla + John Summit), PSYREN (CloZee + LSDREAM), and Gigantic NGHTMRE (Big Gigantic + NGHTMRE).
The Last Dinner Party wins The BRITs Rising Star 2024 award
After being shortlisted for the honor last week, The Last Dinner Party, a five-piece all-female group from South London, was announced as the winner of the BRITs Rising Star Award. Their highly anticipated debut album, Prelude To Ecstasy, will be released next February, a month before The BRIT Awards ceremony in March.
Primer: For us, sometimes the best artists to follow are the ones you discover unexpectedly. During SXSW 2018, we were covering press and received word that Billie Eilish (before she was mainstream) would be performing a midnight set at a church in downtown Austin. After securing our seats in the pews, we happened to discover the British band, Flyte. The Central Presbyterian Church in Austin, Texas made a perfect setting for the echoes of Flyte’s perfectly blended performance of pop-folk acoustic and a cappella songs from their debut album, The Loved Ones. Recorded in just ten days, the band released their third self-titled studio album this past October in celebration of their 10th anniversary.
Genre: You’ll notice a myriad of genres while listening to Flyte’s discography, from pop to alternative indie and hints of folk.
Influences: Lennon-McCartney, Serge Gainsbourg, and Elliott Smith
Current Label: Nettwerk Music Group
Audience: ~515,600 monthly listeners on Spotify
What’s Next: If you’re in Europe this winter (or plan to fly across the pond), you’re in luck. Flyte has twelve remaining tour dates promoting their most recent album. In the meantime, check out their rendition of “Tough Love” with Academy/BAFTA nominated actress and long-time Flyte fan, Florence Pugh.
✂️ Industry Layoffs: Block, the parent company of TIDAL, announced cost-saving measures that resulted in cutting 10% of TIDAL staff. Spotify also announced a round of layoffs, which included a 17% cut in staff to slash expenses, a move that came in right before an announcement that the CFO would be stepping down.
🌐 Web3 Updates: Warner Music Group and TheSandbox are teaming up to launch a ‘90s side-scrolling video game celebrating The Notorious B.I.G. called Breakin’ B.I.G. On Thursday, Michael Jackson’s original demo of “Big Boy” was released as a digital vinyl on Anotherblock.
YG 🤝 BLACKPINK: After reports of rocky contract renewal negotiations, BLACKPINK will officially renew their contract with YG Entertainment at a critical juncture for YG to keep pace in the increasingly competitive K-pop space.
💆 Music Survey Results: Global recorded music establishment, IFPI, conducted a >43K responder study across 26 countries finding 74% of respondents believing “AI should not be used to clone or impersonate an artist without authorization.” UK-based charity, Youth Music, published data on their survey of 16-24 year-olds, finding 73% of their responders found that “listening to, reading, or writing lyrics enables them to process difficult feelings and emotions.”
🔮 Future Focused: Universal Music Group is planning to build a $250 million entertainment and education campus in Nashville, which will feature state-of-the-art recording and video studio facilities, an audio technology research and development lab, and a scoring stage. Additionally, they announced a joint venture this week with DnB Allstars focusing on talent from the drum and bass (DnB) genre.
🛒 Catalog Purchases: Last week, CTM Outlander purchased the publishing catalog of Sam Hunt. This week, MediaNet Partners raised a $20 million fund to purchase the music rights of Latin American artists.
💰 Securing the Bag: Sona, a web3 music streaming platform founded by TOKiMONSTA, raised $6.9 million to continue building a novel economic model of streaming and connecting with superfans 🤔. Separately, superfan-focused music platform, Renaissance, raised $1.7 million across two funding rounds led by Panache Ventures.
The Christmas classics are back
📈 After 65 years, Brenda Lee’s “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” finally hits #1, a first for the 78-year-old singer. She now becomes the oldest recording artist to top the Billboard chart and was only 13 years old when she originally recorded the song in 1958 🤯
🚨 Surprise Drops: beabadoobee brings fans into the final Beatopia North American Tour stop at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, CA with Live in LA album drop.
🚶 Show Announcements: SAULT, a British music collective speculated to be comprised of award-winning producer, Inflo (Little Simz, Jungle, Adele), Cleo Sol, and Kid Sister share plans to make their first public performance this Thursday, December 14 in London.
The Merch Table
📕 The Spirit of Life: Leading up to the July 2024 festival, electronic music festival Tomorrowland is publishing its second fantasy novel, The Spirit of Life, available for pre-order now and will officially release in May 2024. This book serves as a follow-up to last year’s release of The Rise of Adscendo.
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