Wild Beasts: Kendal rockers have lost none of their animal magnetism
The Week in Music
It took me a while to succumb to Wild Beasts' charms. But seeing them live back in 2009, the art-rock of their Mercury-nominated album Two Dancers made perfect sense and I couldn't keep my feet still. It's nearly three years since the Kendal four-piece released Smother, and fans will be delighted to hear that their new, fourth, album, Present Tense is out on 24 February. They've dropped the first single "Wanderlust" which it lives up to their promise of being more pop and melody-oriented, with an intense, synth-driven sound, with the help of their new producers Lexxx (Björk) and Leo Abrahams (Brian Eno, Jon Hopkins). Tickets for their tour from 26 March to 1 April are on sale today.
Daft Punk memories move the disco king
One of the stars of Daft Punk's Random Access Memories was disco composer Giorgio Moroder. On Monday, the 73-year-old appears on the last episode of Sky Arts 1's excellent Talks Music series. Moroder wasn't sure what to expect from his collaboration with pop's most enigmatic duo. "They didn't say if I was to sing or compose," he tells me. "Then one day they called and told me I had to tell the story of my life." He didn't get to hear the track until six months after recording. "I knew they would do something with my voice, maybe cut it up and do some effects, so when I heard myself talking about my life it was beautiful and I was a little emotional."
Africa's soulful sounds in the spotlight again
After December's Africa Express album release, African music returns to the spotlight with BBC 6 Music's 6 Music Celebrates African Music. Tune in from next Friday to Sunday for highlights including the soulful singer Rokia Traoré, Songhoy Blues with their Desert blues from the north of Mali. Dave Maclean of Django Django mixing Afrobeat and Malian sounds and Damon Albarn, Tony Allen and Baaba Maal discussing their inspirations.
Ed Sheeran returns with a new album later this year, and has just announced an 11-day tour in October. Tickets are on sale today.
Gig of the week
Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks play their first UK tour in more than two years next week, showcasing their new album, Wig Out at Jagbags. Also not to be missed is the enigmatic literary American singer-songwriter Cass McCombs at Queen Elizabeth Hall on Monday.
Arts & Ents blogs
One Direction urge fans to lobby George Osborne about corporate tax avoidance
What are the best first lines in fiction?
EDL Girls: Don't Call Me Racist, BBC3 - TV review: EDL Angel gets into a right muddle
Russell Crowe's Noah banned in three Arab countries before worldwide premiere
Call The Midwife: Jessica Raine leaves in series three finale
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Exclusive: Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’
Katie Hopkins continues campaign to become Britain's most hated talking head with poorly timed Bob Crow tweet
Ukraine crisis: Russia pledges to 'retaliate against sanctions' as Ukrainian president says Crimea vote will not be recognised
The quiet diplomat: Catherine Ashton - recognised and admired in all the world’s troubled countries, yet ridiculed at home
Grace Dent: Who cares if she spells it Barraco Barner? Gemma Worrall is more employable than some bookish arts graduate
- 1 Bad cattitude: Family call police after crazed and 'hostile cat with a history of violence' attacks baby before attempting to 'flee custody'
- 2 Family forced to flee home after discovering 'terrifying' nest of spiders in bananas
- 3 First Kiss: Filmmaker gets 20 strangers to make out on YouTube with awkward results
- 4 Grace Dent: Who cares if she spells it Barraco Barner? Gemma Worrall is more employable than some bookish arts graduate
- 5 Bob Crow death: 'Admired by his members, feared by employers' - Tributes pour in for RMT union leader and 'working class hero' Bob Crow