Pharrell Williams keeps fans happy with surprise new album GIRL
The Week in Music: Pharrell Williams releases first album in eight years
What with Beyoncé's unannounced, surprise album release in December and Prince popping up all over London from the Electric Ballroom to Ronnie Scott's this past fortnight, lately it's been all about shaking up the music industry, cutting out the well-oiled machinery of PR and focusing on the music.
GIRL will be the Daft Punk collaborator's first solo album in eight years, since 2006's In My Mind, and includes his No 1 hit "Happy" – and a string orchestra, as shown by a teaser video of the making of the album.
Rowland goes from no-hoper to screen star
"I was a no-hoper. Prison was a possibility…an absolute possibility. It probably was 50-50. I was considered a failure – I left school at 15 with no qualifications," says Kevin Rowland as he ties the laces of his monochrome brogues. As far as trailers go, this one for Nowhere Is Home, the forthcoming film on Dexys, who played some of the most incendiary shows of last year, directed by Kieran Evans and Paul Kelly, is pretty captivating. Expect the film this coming autumn.
Slow-burning sounds tug the heartstrings
Howling Bells emerged in 2006 with their debut album of gothic-indie-folk recalling Mazzy Star with the intoxicating velvet vocals of Juanita Stein. They are releasing their fourth album, Heartstrings, in June, and the intense new single, "Slow Burner", out on 7 April, which is streaming now at Drownedinsound.com, shows the band at their potent best.
The Specials go on tour this November, including a show at the London Roundhouse where they've never played despite filming the video for their 1979 hit "A Message to You Rudy" there. Tickets are on sale today.
Gig of the week
Jon Hopkins's 2013-released Immunity, a powerful album of propulsive techno, was a landmark moment in modern British electronic music and earned him a Mercury Prize nomination. Prior to the Mercury nod, Hopkins had sold fewer than 20,000 copies, and his sell-out show at London's Forum tomorrow is his biggest to date.
TV reviewBroadcasting House was preparing for a visit from Prince Charles spoiler alert
Glastonbury Michael Eavis reveals final headline act 'most likely' British pair
Film Ewan McGregor joins star-studded Beauty and the Beast cast as Lumiere
TVThe Island with Bear Grylls under fire after male contestants kill and eat rare crocodile
Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Frank Lampard's face drops when Holly Willoughby introduces him as a 'Man City legend'
- 2 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 3 UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
- 4 Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
- 5 Stephen Hawking endorses Labour in the General Election
Fast & Furious 7 overtakes Frozen to become 5th highest grossing movie of all time
Poldark, series 1 finale, review: How a costume drama became a Sunday night swoon-fest
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
Game of Thrones season 5 episode 3, review: Sansa and manhood-lopping torturer Ramsay Bolton - really?
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
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding