Elisa Bray

Elisa Bray is The Independent's Rock & Pop Editor

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Man in black: Nick Cave

The Week in Music: Nick Cave is No 1 with a brooding classic that reaches for the sky

It's that time of year when music magazines and websites report their best of 2013 lists. In its latest issue, NME picks Arctic Monkeys' AM as their No 1 album of the year – expected given their rave 10/10 review on its release.

Rita Ora joins Fifty Shades of Grey cast: how she made the big time

From stage school to Jay-Z school, here's how she got there

Phosphorescent, gig review- 'rich and powerful'

Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London

Heart and soul: Jessie Ware

The Week in Music: Jessie Ware is still pulling all the strings

With Mercury and Brit nominations, Jessie Ware has had a stellar year. The singer is unveiling her latest song, written with the Blue Nile's Paul Buchanan, at the ASOS All-Nighter (an online house party) on 12 December. She's dedicated the next few months to writing the follow-up to her debut album. "I want my album out next year," she tells me. "It's definitely going to be electronic, but if I can have strings I'm definitely going to!" Expect more collaborating with Julio Bashmore, Kid Harpoon and Dave Okumu.

Jake Bugg burst onto the scene aged 18

The Jake Bugg effect: The young bards bugged by emotion

The success of Jake Bugg and Ben Howard has given rise to a new wave of male singer-songwriters who are queueing up to show off their sensitive sides

The week in music: Damon's aboard for the Mali express

Damon Albarn is a busy man. In between touring with Blur – and work ing on an upcoming solo album – last month he was in Mali recording Africa Express Presents: Maison Des Jeunes, the second album by the collective of African and Western musicians and producers. The album, download-able on 9 December, includes Lobi Traoré Band and Moussa Traoré alongside Brian Eno, Django Django's David Maclean, Ghostpoet and Yeah Yeah Yeahs' Nick Zinner. The same day, a launch show at Oval Space, east London, will feature Songhoy Blues and Kankou Kouyate's first ever UK performances, Ghostpoet and Maclean, and the premiere of the film of the 2012 train tour. The physical release will follow in early 2014.

Out of this world: Morrissey

The Week in Music: Morrissey adds his velvet tones to the Lou Reed love-in

We've had covers of songs by the late Lou Reed from My Morning Jacket, Pearl Jam, Arctic Monkeys and Twin Shadow (with a woozy version of “Perfect Day”).

The Killers performing live in concert at the Hammersmith Apollo

Music review: The Killers, Eventim Apollo

'Here's to another ten years'

Anna Calvi in quiet mode

Interview: Anna Calvi - 'I don't mind people thinking I'm scary, it's better than being boring'

On stage, and on her second album, Anna Calvi lets rip. Yet in person she is a model of quiet restraint

Arcade Fire (William and Win Butler pictured) have penned a film soundtrack

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

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Day In a Page

The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on