Creating music for films has become a must-endeavour for bands and solo artists of a certain level. Everyone from Nick Cave to Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood has done it. Now Arcade Fire have written the soundtrack for Spike Jonze's film Her, out in the new year, returning the favour for Jonze, who directed their short film Scenes from the Suburbs in 2011. And it's been a busy couple of years for Jon Hopkins, who has proved himself capable of writing everything from driving propulsive techno (on his Mercury-nominated latest, Immunity), to piano-led, delicate folk (with King Creosote on Diamond Mine). He has written the soundtrack to How I Live Now, Kevin Macdonald's new film, starring Saoirse Ronan.
Punk heads for the hills of Americana
Norah Jones and Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong make for an intriguing couple. The punk pop star has made a country album with the singer. Foreverly is a 12-song collection inspired by The Everly Brothers' Songs Our Daddy Taught Us, an album of traditional Americana songs reinterpreted and released in 1958. It's out on 26 November.
Simon Raymonde shows his new plumage
As a big fan of the Cocteau Twins, and the output of UK indie label Bella Union (home to Midlake and Fleet Foxes), I was delighted to hear that the label boss Simon Raymonde has launched his first band since the Cocteau Twins – Snowbird – with singer Stephanie Dosen. The project was inspired by an unexpected baby grand piano falling into Raymonde's hands, and "Porcelain", available to stream now, is gorgeous, with peaceful, flowing piano and ethereal, layered soprano vocals from Dosen which sound remarkably like Elizabeth Fraser's. Their debut album, moon, is due out in January.
Metronomy's just a constellation away
I mentioned Metronomy's new album, due in the spring, and it's exciting to report that the first single is available to listen to on Monday. Only there's a charming twist for you stargazers out there – you need to download the Night Sky app (it identifies the stars, planets, galaxies, constellations and satellites) at 7pm on Monday to hear "I'm Aquarius". Scan the sky, looking for the Aquarius constellation, and click on the constellation to play the single. The track will be on the app for a week. It's a treasure hunt in the sky: what a magical way of hearing a song for the first time.
Gig of the week
Arcade Fire start their short UK tour as The Reflektors at the Roundhouse, north London, on Monday, ending in Blackpool on 27 November.
Capital FM's annual Jingle Bell Ball has announced its star-studded line-up featuring Katy Perry, Disclosure, Tinie Tempah, Ellie Goulding, Rizzle Kicks, Olly Murs, Union J, James Arthur and Naughty Boy. All will perform on 7 December at London’s O2 Arena.