7 The Sound

Paolo Nutini is back and sounding better than ever

By , Music Editor
Paolo Nutini 'Caustic Love' album artwork.

"I'll be gone in a while," Paolo Nutini croons over a rockaby serenade of bass and wallowing strings on his new album Caustic Love. It's not exactly the sentiment we were hoping to hear on the new collection, considering it has been five years since his last album.

Thankfully, he's making the proclamation to his beau on new song 'One Day', a soulful lullaby of weeping violins and ticking beats. It marks a darker sound from the singer-songwriter for his third outing, which follows 2009's Sunny Side Up.

Paolo Nutini 'Scream (Funk My Life Up)' music video still.

The Scot was just 22 years old when he charmed the nation into buying 1.9 million copies of the aforementioned LP with its bouncy, ska-flecked ditties, but after getting an advanced preview of his new album, we've learned that growing into his late 20s has come with grander ideas of love and redemption.

On first listen, Caustic Love very much feels like his true coming-of-age record in some respects. The mature-o-meter levels have been dialled up and the influences have been refined. Lead single 'Scream (Funk My Life Up)' was a sign that Paolo is sounding more fearless than ever before, and that continues to be very much the case. Whether it's his '60s swagger on 'Numpty', or the smoky, jazz club ambience of 'Diana', Paolo's standing as one of the UK's best male performers has come to full fruition.

Paolo Nutini performs live

© Dan Massie

Naturally, with a title like Caustic Love, Nutini's heart is placed at the centre of proceedings. "She makes me smile," he admits on 'Better Man' over light guitar and swirling organs, which is shrouded in carefree bohemia. And if he's not cooing over his squeeze, he's talking about her high-flying, stylish aura on 'Fashion'.

If you haven't watched Paolo's performance of new track 'Iron Sky', then you should do so immediately. The glorious composition hits home that no person can escape human emotion. We're all a slave to the heart really. It's one of those tracks with a message that transcends the average ideas a popular song usually has - and it had the internet in a tizz a few weeks back as they got suitably excited for the rest of the album.

So you'll be glad to hear that Paolo's grand notions continue to be the highlight throughout Caustic Love. "We are broken by others, but we mend ourselves," he notes on 'Let Me Down Easy', while asking, "Do you believe in love and passion?" on 'Diana'. His narrative and concepts have evolved with his sound, and it results in some truly great moments.

Signs of Paolo's jolliness that we all loved on his previous albums are still very much alive on Caustic Love, but his fervour for raspy blues numbers and even a bit of psychedelia in places is a credit to his influences and own development as an artist. He manages to channel classic soul and rock, without it sounding like a tribute - and the last time we heard that done successfully was Amy Winehouse's Back To Black.

Basically, what we're trying to say is that Paolo Nutini is back and he's sounding better than ever. April 14 can't come soon enough.

Listen to Paolo Nutini's new single 'Scream (Funk Your Life Up)' below:

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3 The Sound

5 amazing pop remixes: Little Mix, Coldplay, more

Listen to five of our favourite new pop remixes below, including tracks by Little Mix, Coldplay and more.

Little Mix: 'Word Up!' (The Alias Extended Mix)
The group's cover of Cameo's 1986 hit may be in aid of Sport Relief, but for those who like their workouts to be a little more high-octane, The Alias (who did an excellent job with their recent single 'Move') have dialled up the BPM and added some extra sparkle to the track.

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5 The Sound

Playlist: 10 tracks you need to hear - Coldplay, Pharrell and more

By and , Music Editor
Listen to ten of our favourite new songs below, including tracks from Coldplay, Shakira, MNEK, Lykke Li and more:

Coldplay: 'Magic' (out now, album Ghost Stories out May 19)
Truth be told, after they popped up the eerie and meandering 'Midnight' online last week, we feared the worst for Coldplay's new material. Fortunately, the soothing alt-R&B beats, dreamy guitar riff and Chris Martin's intimate vocal on new single 'Magic' have considerably allayed our concerns for the project.

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5 The Sound

Who will be number one on the charts on Sunday?

On Wednesday's update, Pharrell Williams was on course to return to the top of the singles chart, while Beck was out in front on the album tally.

Ahead of Sunday's Official Chart, Digital Spy takes a look at Friday's midweeks to see what's changed.

Pharrell's 'Happy' is still at number one, 14,000 copies ahead of Sam Smith's 'Money On My Mind' at two.
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11 The Sound

Glastonbury 2014 lineup: Who's rumoured to be playing?

By , Music Editor
The Eavis family finally ticked off another artist on their Glastonbury wish list this morning, after Dolly Parton confirmed she will be joining the Worthy Farm lineup on June 29.

Arcade Fire are the only confirmed headliners for the festival's Pyramid Stage on the Friday night, but there are plenty of names floating around the web when it comes to the remaining two bill-toppers.

Glastonbury festival-goers at the Pyramid Stage

© PA Images / Ben Birchall / PA Archive

Festival-goers at Glastonbury's Pyramid Stage

In what has become an annual tradition, Prince leads the rumour mill for a headline spot at Glastonbury 2014. He has been quick to vehemently deny playing the festival in recent years, but considering his surprise Hit And Run tour across the UK earlier this month, maybe he'll shock us all by actually agreeing to appear at Worthy Farm with his band 3RDEYEGIRL in June.

Michael Eavis previously stated that the three headliners are in place and haven't appeared in the Glastonbury top slot before. Kasabian quickly emerged as frontrunners to be one of the golden three, after they announced plans to release their fifth studio album in June.

Prince performing at the Mohegan Sun Casino


Kasabian perform at Snowbombing 2013.

© Andrew Whitton


Another band with a new album on the horizon, but yet to headline Glastonbury, are the Foo Fighters. The Dave Grohl-fronted group are festival favourites, but have yet to confirm any live dates in the UK for 2014 so far. Their back catalogue is packed with anthems and Grohl has a reputation as the most likeable man in rock, so a Pyramid set could be spectacular.

Dolly Parton had been rumoured for a fair long while before she confirmed her appearance this morning. That was mainly down to the fact her UK dates for her Blue Smoke world tour had a convenient gap for a Glasto drop-by. If we use that logic elsewhere, the Eagles have a similar gap in their UK tour schedule come this June. Could they be filling the Heritage Headliner hole?

Dave Grohl from Foo Fighters playing Reading festival main stage.

© Alex de Mora

Dave Grohl, Foo Fighters

The Eagles

The Eagles

Glastonbury 2014 could quite possibly be a chance for some acts to wrap up unfinished business. Stone Roses pulled out of the event in 1995, but with whispers that their new studio album could be imminent, it would provide the perfect opportunity for them to play fresh material this June. Kylie Minogue was scheduled to play in 2005 before she was diagnosed with breast cancer, so with new album KIss Me Once out next month, maybe the Aussie starlet will tick the pop-booking box.

Elsewhere, Depeche Mode's name has been continuously thrown in the ring as a Glasto headliner contender. Rumours of their participation have died down in recent months, but considering they are a classic act that has yet to grace the Pyramid Stage, they certainly fit Eavis's criteria.

Daft Punk and  Pharrell Williams at the Grammy Awards

© Mark Davis/WireImage

Daft Punk & Pharrell

Kylie Minogue plays a surprise gig in The Old Blue Last in Shoreditch, London

© Getty Images / David M. Benett

Kylie Minogue

Last, but most certainly not least, the Daft Punk at Glastonbury speculation continues to rumble on. The Robots have yet to play any live shows for their 2013 hit album Random Access Memories, but maybe they are waiting for a particular pyramid-shaped stage to be constructed in order to execute their spectacle? Taking into account the tremendous popularity of Nile Rodgers and Chic at last year's Glastonbury, and Pharrell's current standing as music's artist du jour, the time seems right for the French duo to get the team together and light up Worthy Farm.

Glastonbury 2014 will take place over the weekend of June 27-29, so we'll probably be finding out who's slipping on their wellies for the British festival blow-out very soon.

Who do you hope will headline Glastonbury 2014? Leave your comments in the box below:
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36 The Sound

Coldplay's new song 'Midnight': What does it mean?

By , Music Editor
Completely unannounced - and quite possibly on the advice of Beyoncé - Coldplay decided to plonk a new track on the internet this afternoon.

Okay, so Beyoncé probably didn't have a hand in it, but once we recovered from the initial shock of there being new Coldplay available for our ears, we had to try and decipher the change in sound the band have seemingly taken.

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10 The Sound

Why Pharrell Williams' new album G I R L is really, really good

Pharrell Williams 'G I R L' album artwork.

2013 saw Pharrell Williams rise somewhat spectacularly out of a career slump and dominate charts across the globe with three of the year's biggest hits; guesting on Daft Punk's 'Get Lucky' and Robin Thicke's 'Blurred Lines' as well as releasing his own hit 'Happy'.

Unsurprisingly then, he's not hanging out with his second solo album G I R L, which he announced last week with a release date of next Monday (March 3). In short, it's brilliant - and here's why:

It's funky
Fans of his recent work will particularly enjoy this album, which is packed to the brim with finger-snapping beats, infectious guitar riffs and slinky funk-pop hooks throughout, mostly courtesy of the same people who mixed Daft Punk's Random Access Memories. In particular, the Justin Timberlake-assisted 'My Love' sounds like the attention-seeking sibling of 'Happy'; a mashup of beatboxing, horns and interweaving falsetto that results in something that - like its counterpart - is undeniably joyous.
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