It wouldn’t be Christmastime without The Killers, as the band have been churning out their annual holiday singles for the (RED) campaign since 2006. And lo and behold, just when you thought the Las Vegas pop-rockers would never top that very first one, “A Great Big Sled,” they’ve gone and whipped up sentimental tear-jerker “Joel, The Lump Of Coal” with a little help from nighttime talk show host Jimmy Kimmel.
In the nearly-10-minute-long video clip above, there’s a whole intro where Kimmel plays the inept jokester in the recording studio, bringing gifts of tacky Christmas sweaters and terrible lyric ideas. Once you get through that and on to the actual song, though, Brandon Flowers weaves his tale of Joel, a lump of coal doomed by Santa to go live with a bad kid on the Naughty list. More »
certainly doesn’t slack in the music-making department. This past June marked the 10-year anniversary of his band The Killers
‘ debut LP Hot Fuss
, and as a follow up to the quartet’s 2013 compilation Direct Hits
— as well as his own 2010 solo album Flamingo
— the Las Vegas pop-rock crooner has been busying himself by recording another solo LP, this time with Grammy-nominated producer Ariel Rechtshaid
, Kylie Minogue
“He’s taking me out of my comfort zone,” Flowers told NME about working with Rechtshaid, while noting his new album will be out in 2015. “Normally I make demos and they’re pretty similar to how the song ends up. but he’ll take a song and be like, ‘I hear this’. It’s incredible – his palette and his range, what he’s able to say. At first we were butting our heads together, but now we’re hitting it off.” More »
The turkey leftovers have been cleared out, the tree is up and we’re feeling overwhelmed by the sheer amount of cards that need to be dropped in the mail this month. A good excuse to procrastinate on the latter: We decided that no website is complete at this time of year without a festive playlist, and so to truly get in the spirit of the holidays, that’s exactly what we whipped up for you!
Our criteria was simple: This particular roundup of seasonal hits simply had to be pop-oriented, melodic songs that bring about a grand sense of warmth. Whether it’s Justin Bieber feeling lovey-dovey under the “Mistletoe,” Chris Martin crooning beautifully on Coldplay‘s “Christmas Lights,” Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson harmonizing sweetly over their “Winter Song” or Lady Gaga dreaming of a picture-perfect “White Christmas,” each of the songs below, much like the stocking hung by the chimney, were chosen with care.
So head below and hit play to chill out to our yuletide mix. At the very least, it should cure you of of the Bing Crosby blues the elevator ride put you in. More »
In recent years, it seems like people have been particularly egregious with their abuse of the winter calendar, moving right from Halloween decorations to Christmas lights. But not The Killers
. The Killers know that the true season of Noel doesn’t begin until after Thanksgiving, and so they mark the occasion this year with the premiere of their eighth annual Yuletide tune, “Christmas in L.A.”
As they’ve shown with these tracks before, a Christmas song doesn’t have to be all peppy festivity or goopy romance. This one, produced by Steve Lillywhite, is melancholy and bleak, following a struggling actor who doubts he can handle another nice-weather Christmas in L.A., “another pitcher of sangria in an empty beach cafe.”
The song features Dawes, making it a particularly twangy affair, and the Kelly Loosi-directed video stars Owen Wilson. Watch it up top, care of Rolling Stone. More »
Kings of Leon
have taken a page out of The Killers playbook
and straight trashed pop music in a recent overseas interview. Two members of the Followill clan — lead guitarist Matthew and bassist Jared — recently spoke to The Sydney Morning Hearld
and vented about what they think is the sorry state of pop music. “Some pop shows I watch, it feels like the end of the world, it’s fucking awful,” Matthew said. “It’s not even music any more.”
Jared chimed in with his own exasperated take: “They make me cringe. I can’t watch that stuff. Not even just because they’re taking their clothes off, it’s the whole thing, the dance moves, it’s not good.” Matthew even thinks these ills may spread beyond the world of pop music. Because what about the kids? “You would never want your children to watch [shows like that] and I can’t believe that younger kids, even teenagers are watching that stuff,” he said. “It almost seems to be making the world a bad place.” More »
just gave a grand rendition of “Shot At The Night”
on Jimmy Kimmel Live
earlier this week, and they didn’t dial things back for their performance of the M83
-produced track on Ellen
, despite the smaller stage. It was a more intimate setting, but the bevy of backup singers came along, as did Brandon Flowers
‘ lightning bolt keyboard (sadly unused again).
Watch the Vegas band perform the lead single from their 10-year anniversary compilation Direct Hits below. More »
stopped by Jimmy Kimmel Live
to perform their Direct Hits
lead single “Shot At The Night”
Tuesday (November 12). The shimmery M83
-produced track evokes the band’s synthy Nu Romantic early days, so we thought we’d get to see Brandon Flowers
sidle up to that trusty sparkly keyboard once more, but that wasn’t the case. Instead, we got a handful of backup singers adding some oomph to the chorus. Perhaps inspired by the vocal heavyweights, Flowers got mad operatic with a fun improv at the end.
Check it out up top. More »
are a week off from releasing their first singles collection, Direct Hits
(out November 11), and as a follow-up to “Shot At The Night,”
the Las Vegas synth-pop band have premiered new track “Just Another Girl.” British production wiz Stuart Price
, Pet Shop Boys
) lends a hand here, much as he did on frontman Brandon Flowers
‘ 2010 solo album Flamingo
and the two most recent Killers studio LPs, 2008′s Day & Age
and 2012′s Battle Born
. (Longtime fans will no doubt zero in on the similarities between the opening keyboard riff in “Just Another Girl” and that of Price’s classic “Thin White Duke Remix” of 2004′s “Mr. Brightside,” done at the time under his monicker of Jacques Lu Cont.)
All that said, this particular number isn’t really moving the quartet’s sound in a bold new direction. Still, as a hits collection tack-on, it’s a harmless, pleasant enough addition to the lower-end of the compilation’s tracklist. Listen to “Just Another Girl” below. More »
‘s inarguably excellent, critically hailed single “Royals”
sits comfortably atop the Hot 100 for the fifth week in a row, pop-rock quartet The Killers
are none too pleased with the condition of American Top 40 music — and luckily, there’s a hideously outmoded slur that can be used to describe it!
In an interview with The Sun to promote their upcoming greatest hits compilation, frontman Brandon Flowers and drummer Ronnie Vannucci, Jr. explained that they felt good music gets ignored by radio programmers in America: “Breaking in the UK first was great because America is retarded musically,” he said. “It’s upside down. There’s so much great music that doesn’t get the attention. There’s a lot of bullshit on US radio.” More »
are in full promo mode ahead of the release of greatest hits collection Direct Hits
(out November 11), but lead singer Brandon Flowers
is already in solo mode. Flowers told NME
he’s prepping his second solo album, and plans to spend most of 2014 writing it.
The front man didn’t reveal any details, probably because there aren’t any yet, but he’s aiming for a 2015 release for the Flamingo follow-up. “I’m excited about going home,” he said. “I’m looking forward to having a normal year. But I’m going to write. I’m going to be filing those diamonds, It’s my job. I’m just going to put my heart and soul into my solo record.” More »