Nerd pop is a thing. We can't deny its existence any more. With bands like Fun doing well in the charts and the abomination that is Glee being as popular as ever, I know it is a thing as much as any one else - I just don't like to admit it, because it hurts my ears so damn much. As A Great Big World start their venture into the musical world with their début album Is Anybody Out There? I have been forced to admit the existence of such a musical genre. It is very clear that if you like nerd pop then you will utterly adore this album, as it is more of the same stuff - only from a band with a long name.

Rachel Sermanni slipped under the radar in 2012 when her début album Under Mountains failed to give her the recognition she so truly deserves. Since then, folk has grown into a generic genre and acoustic music has been popularised to a state of stagnancy. Now, Rachel is back. And she's about to change the game completely. 'Everything Changes' is a courageous EP that cleverly combines American carnivalesque with Scottish folk-ness.    

Music still sees a bitter, bitchy and unending feud between the musician and the manufactured star. Though one (the first) has more talent in a single strand of hair than their opponent, it is the latter that time and time again sells, sells, sells. However, amassing to present glory doesn’t always guarantee the eternal CRITICAL legacy of greats like Johnny Cash and David Bowie.

So I needed a new album to review, and as I used to live near a place called Canterbury I thought I would give these guys a listen. The first album I have reviewed in 2014 and it is clear that British rock is only going to be getting better and better. 2013 was something of a big year with bands like Don Broco and Mallory Knox coming out with huge début albums. Canterbury are on their third album since emerging in 2009 and it is clear that there is a lot to come from this band. As this album has moments where it truly shines.

US rapper, Angel Haze, took music industry matters into her own hands when she leaked her début album via SoundCloud last month. Haze had finished recording Dirty Gold in the summer of 2013, but the labels weren't happy to drop the album until March of this year. Blazed with rage, Angel served up her music on 18th December, as promised to her fans: "So sorry to Island/Republic Records, but fuck you. I got here doing this for my fans and if you guys don't feel the same, it won't stop me." 

Generic and commercial or unique and fearless? It's time you had a warning about Neon Jungle.

 

Now there are split opinions around the world in regards to pop icons One Direction and it is certainly a topic which I have noticed has sparked considerable debate as to whether to love or hate them. However, should we hate them just because they are huge global super-stars who reached where they are through a television programme which has also been a graveyard for musicians in the past and also produce (debatable) shitty mainstream music? Or, should we respect them for how they have played the beast that is the Music Industry and through an incredibly tactical and talented management team (amongst other factors) have become - what some would argue - is the modern day equivalent of the Beatles?

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