Inside Track: Elisa Bray
Has penning movie soundtracks become a must-do for musicians? Arcade Fire and Jon Hopkins join the bandwagon
Arcade Fire have written the music for Spike Jonze's Her
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.
Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air
Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression
tv Singer could become the most unlikely star of Westeros
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 I've been called an abusive and dangerous parent, when all I did was listen to my transgender child
- 2 Why this father didn’t hide his daughter’s heroin overdose in her obituary
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 4 Teaching profession headed for crisis as numbers continue to drop and working lives become 'unbearable'
- 5 The most powerful passports in the world
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins
Al Pacino admits he was nearly fired from The Godfather and it's still his most 'difficult role'
Warner Music owner Len Blavatnik tops Sunday Times Rich List
London Marathon: Best running songs from Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar to 'Uptown Funk'
Oldest footage of London landmarks released
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove