• Royal Blood, Interview, Toyota

    Q&A: Tracing Royal Blood's Unclassifiable Rise to Fame

    The rise of the U.K. duo Royal Blood has been so fast and furious it's practically unclassifiable. Formed in 2013, they played their first show a mere two days after their first practice; saw their band name on a homemade shirt worn by Arctic Monkeys' drummer Matt Helders shortly after that; and released their first single, "Out of the Black," in November of last year. Brash and bluesy, it packed the punch of early Muse, despite being made by just two dudes. "Out of the Black" was the kind of song that sent the British music press into fits of excitement, declaring Royal Blood the saviors of rock 'n' roll.Comprised of Mike Kerr on bass and Ben Thatcher on drums, the band conjures a dizzying array rock of textures considering their minimal sonic arsenal, and they do it without the use of studio tricks or even looping pedals: If they can't pull it off live, they don't put it on record.

  • Pennybirdrabbit Keeps it Real (Cheap)

    Pennybirdrabbit Keeps It Real (Cheap)

    While she got her big break singing on Skrillex's "All I Ask of You," Los Angeles-based Pennybirdrabbit isn't your typical EDM vocalist (except perhaps for her ever-changing hair color). Over the course of three self-produced EPs, she's explored styles ranging from vibrant electro-pop to swinging indie rock, drawing comparisons to Björk, Kimbra, and Imogen Heap. This year's For Love EP is particularly winning: "Look for Love" recalls the Cardigan's sanguine pop, while "Earthquake" is a tender ballad, like the xx fronted by Sia. Proudly DIY, Penny creates music videos for most of her jams. In this clip, produced by Vans for their OffTheWall.tv series, she reveals her secrets for making Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure on a budget.Click here for more Vans #LIVINGOFFTHEWALL documentary series.

  • vans nikki lane

    American Hustle: Nikki Lane on the Value of Honest Work

    You'd think that having your sophomore album produced by the Black Keys' Dan Auerbach would mean you could quit the hustle of your day job, but if your day job is hustling then it's something you're likely to get up for your whole life. On Nikki Lane's arresting All or Nothin', the wily Nashville singer-songwriter winds through tales of misbehavin' over a bed of dusky outlaw country. And while she's spent much of 2014 touring in support of it, her roots as a designer with an eye for vintage fashions are what's kept her afloat as she looks to build her following.In this video, produced by Vans for their OffTheWall.tv series, Lane explains that she'll "do just about any honest form of making money," which includes modeling as well as reselling the clothes and antiques she picks up on the road.Click here for more Vans #LIVINGOFFTHEWALL documentary series

  • Porter Robinson Invents Shoegaze-EDM on Dazzling 'Worlds'

    Porter Robinson Invents Shoegaze-EDM on Dazzling 'Worlds'

    Could there possibly be such a thing as post-EDM? It appears so: The moneymaking genre's erstwhile rookie-of-the-year, Porter Robinson — the one-time Skrillex protégé, a 22-year-old whose 2011 Spitfire EP was prototypical bro-step — has finally released his debut album, and it sounds nothing like anything he or his peers on the EDM circuit (though not outside it) have done before. Swollen and lurching, kaleidoscopic and surreal, it has more in common with the soundtrack to Monument Valley than it does the greasy throb coursing from the speakers at Electric Daisy Carnival.Is this some great schism? Doubtful. While this is a songwriting departure, it's not so much a sonic one — the bass is still concussive, the saw-tooth synths still assaultive — plus Robinson's still cashing checks from the Vegas mega-clubs. But is this some great record? Quite possibly.

  • Wayne Coyne at Outside Lands in San Francisco in August 2014

    Q&A: Wayne Coyne Talks Miley, Ke$ha, and Flaming Lips' 'Sgt. Peppers' Tribute Album

    Over the course of their serpentine, three-decade career, proud Oklahomans the Flaming Lips have been an upstart punk rock act, one-hit-wonders (with their lone radio single "She Don't Use Jelly"), wily experimentalists, an oddball cover band, a surrealist art-pop troupe, and perennial festival favorites. Add to that list celebrity whisperers, as evidenced by seemingly unlikely recent collaborations with big time pop stars like Ke$ha and Miley Cyrus. With their Sgt. Pepper's recreation, With a Little Help From My Fwends, due in October, SPIN sat down with Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne in front of an audience at their Toyota Soundwave stage at Outside Lands to discuss breakfast, weirdness, and why working with Miley makes total sense.What'd you have for breakfast? I didn't really do any breakfast.

  • Lusine

    Lusine Splices Decibel Fest Highlights on Exclusive Mix

    Electronic music festivals come and go (in light of the recent spate of drug-related fatalities, they may soon be doing more of the latter), which is what makes Decibel so special. Since 2003, the Seattle gathering has presented the best in fringe and not-so-fringe beats, from Deadmau5 to Deadbeat, Bonobo to Simian Mobile Disco. The fest's 2014 line-up is no slouch, either, pairing veteran beat freaks like Richie Hawtin and Com Truise with upstarts like Son Lux and Kim Ann Foxman.Fresh off the release of the gorgeous Arterial EP, Seattle resident Lusine, aka Jeff McIlwain, promises to be a Decibel highlight with his squiggly, melodious jams. On this mix, premiered exclusively on SPIN, McIlwain blends tracks from some his Decibel cohorts, including Blue Hawaii, Scuba, and the incomparable Andy Stott.

  • Deadmau5 / Photo by Getty Images

    Deadmau5 Disrupts EDM With the Sprawling, Awesome 'While (1<2)'

    The reason you gotta love Deadmau5 is that he makes it so easy to hate him. To thumb through the yearbook of 2014 EDM stars is to be overwhelmed by the visages of shiny happy people. Who's chiseling these guys' features, Michelangelo? Martin Garrix, Avicii, Hardwell, Calvin Harris, Kaskade, David Guetta, Afrojack — it's like a Florentine sculpture garden drenched in hair gel. Then there's Skrillex, who thankfully looks like a '70s feminist who stuck a fork in an electrical socket. And then there's Deadmau5, who, yes, wears a mouse-head when he performs, but who is equally visually arresting offstage. Tatted up and speed-freak skinny, Joel Zimmerman looks like trouble. He talks trouble, too. He's a walking solar eclipse, throwing shade in every direction.

  • Hundred Waters. L-R: Nicole Miglis, Paul Giese, Zach Tetreault, Trayer Tryon

    Hundred Waters Run Deep

    You can see it driving south on Interstate 17, a cluster of buildings sticking up like a mirage out of the crags and canyons of the Arizona desert: Arcosanti. It's an Urban Laboratory, or, as the official sign that greets you in the parking lot would have it, "An Urban Laboratory?" Per Wikipedia, it's an "Experimental Town." Per those of us who traveled there this past Memorial Day — from Austin, Boulder, San Francisco, New York, Orlando — Arcosanti is a peculiar, remote, but ultimately magical place to stage an album-release show.It's the vision of an Italian-American architect named Paolo Soleri, who in the 1970s developed the concept of Arcology — Architecture + Ecology, man living in harmony with his environment — and decided to build Arcosanti to put his theories into practice.

  • Broken Twin

    Watch Broken Twin's Haunting Cover of 'You Can't Wrap Your Arms Around A Memory'

    Broken Twin is the nom de plume of Danish singer-songwriter Majke Voss Romme, whose stunning debut album, May, was released April 29 on Anti. Dark and stormy, the record is suffused in Romme's melancholy, piano-driven dirges. She applies the same formula to her cover of Johnny Thunder's "You Can't Wrap Your Arms Around A Memory," transforming the power pop track into a haunting ballad. Says Romme, "We shot this while rehearsing for our first show ever as a band. It's always nerve wrecking playing live with new people for the first time. I like those moments. It makes everyone so tense and aware. It's vulnerable. No one wants to be the one fucking up." Watch Romme perform the song in the video above and read our Best New Artist profile of the singer while you're at it.

  • Broken Twin

    Broken Twin Commands Devastating Darkness on 'May'

    There's sad music and then there's sad music; music that's just plain devastating. Death Cab for Cutie made sad music, whereas Elliott Smith's was devastating. James Taylor made some sad music, but Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen and Jim Croce – their stuff was devastating. (Don't pretend you can listen to Croce’s "Time In a Bottle" and not cry.) Sad music sounds hurt; devastating music sounds damaged. Sad music tugs at the heartstrings; devastating music rips them out. Majke Voss Romme, who records as Broken Twin, falls into this latter camp. The singer’s experimental folk songs, as heard on her self-produced debut May, are stark, spectral odes to desolation, loss, heartache -- the whole shebang.

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