Spotlight Artist – Jade Bird

Every weekday between 1 and 5pm we play tracks from our #spotlightartist. They’re an artist with a body of work which has stood the test of time. We’ll play the hits – but also some deep cuts. Listen ad-free through New Zealand via @tunein at https://goo.gl/VL6m3NS

Jade Bird performs at the Troubladour in Los Angeles

We normally feature a ‘well worn’ artist as our Spotlight Artist, but this week we’ll showcase a very talented British artist, Jade Bird. She is something a bit different – a young performer from the UK specialising in Americana! With a new album coming in April, we’ll check out her E.P. Something American from last year and assorted singles. You’ll find a great profile of her recently published in the Guardian.

Spotlight Artist: The Arctic Monkeys

Every weekday between 1 and 5pm we play tracks from our #spotlightartist. They’re an artist with a body of work which has stood the test of time. We’ll play the hits – but also some deep cuts. Listen ad-free through New Zealand via @tunein at https://goo.gl/VL6m3NS

There weren’t many “Albums of the Year” lists for 2018 that didn’t have critics swooning over Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino – and rightly so.  The album represented a change of direction. Pitchfork described it as swapping “witty sleaze for absurdist suave “. The Arctic Monkeys formed in 2002 in Sheffield, UK releasing their first album in 2006. This was Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not , an iconic album of its time and the fastest selling debut album in UK history. A further five studio albums have followed, establishing the band as a stalwart of British rock in the 2000s. We look forward to checking out some familiar and lesser known tracks from through the years.

Janelle Monáe

Every weekday between 1 and 5pm we play tracks from our #spotlightartist. They’re an artist with a body of work which has stood the test of time. We’ll play the hits – but also some deep cuts. Listen ad-free through New Zealand via @tunein at https://goo.gl/VL6m3NS

Photo Credit: (NASA/Joel Kowsky)

Janelle Monáe can probably vie credibly for artist of 2018. She certainly isn’t a new artist. Her first (unofficial) album The Audition was released in 2003, and she has already released scores of great singles as well as albums like The ArchAndroid (2010) and The Electric Lady (2013). However this year’s Dirty Computer really captured the zeitgeist. Although the openness of her sexuality undoubtedly helped in raw commercial terms with the publicity regime the album fully deserved its commercial and critical success. It wasn’t the one we listened to the most necessarily, but it certainly stood out for its freshness, sexiness and incredible funk and new wave sounds. This week in our Spotlight Artist spot we’ll track back over some great songs from Monáe’s career, stretching from The ArchAndroid through to today.

Spotlight Artist: The Beach Boys

Every weekday between 1 and 5pm we play tracks from our #spotlightartist. They’re an artist with a body of work which has stood the test of time. We’ll play the hits – but also some deep cuts. Listen ad-free through New Zealand via @tunein at https://goo.gl/VL6m3NS

Three brothers, their cousin and a friend put together a rock band in 1961. It went on to be legendary. From surf songs, they progressed to the incredible creativity of Pet Sounds before Brian Wilson’s attempt to create an even bigger album masterpiece (Smile) collapsed in acrimony and Wilson’s own unstable mental state. They still produced some good tracks after this time though, like “Do It Again” and “Bluebirds Over the Mountain”. With summer well and truly here, what better than the Beach Boys!

Spotlight Year: 1956

Every weekday between 1 and 5pm we play tracks from our #spotlightartist. They’re an artist with a body of work which has stood the test of time. We’ll play the hits – but also some deep cuts. Listen ad-free through New Zealand via @tunein at https://goo.gl/VL6m3NS

Something a bit different this week. We love contemporary music, but just lately have had a bit of a craving for some ‘savoury with the sweet’, good raw simple rock’n’roll with really simple production. This week we’ll Spotlight 1956 and some great pop music and Rock n’ Roll – artists like Carl Perkins, Chuck Berry and The Platters. Nothing like variety – in fact its our passion.

Spotlight Artist: Queen

Every weekday between 1 and 5pm we play tracks from our #spotlightartist. They’re an artist with a body of work which has stood the test of time. We’ll play the hits – but also some deep cuts. Listen ad-free through New Zealand via @tunein at https://goo.gl/VL6m3NS

The new film Bohemian Rhapsody is already the highest grossing music biographical film ever. Undoubtedly the performances and production of the film play a part, but we would say this is largely a reflection of their continued popularity. 36 million monthly listeners on Spotify can’t be wrong, and a recent analysis of their sales and streaming popularity shows they are top tier, well ahead of bands like Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones and U2. We look forward to revisiting the hits, some deep cuts and live versions this week.

Spotlight Artist: Lynyrd Skynyrd

Every weekday between 1 and 5pm we play tracks from our #spotlightartist. They’re an artist with a body of work which has stood the test of time. We’ll play the hits – but also some deep cuts. Listen ad-free through New Zealand via @tunein at https://goo.gl/VL6m3NS

With a name that must frustrate spell-checkers everywhere, Lynyrd Skynyrd have achieved recognition for bringing “Southern Rock” to the forefront in the early 1970s. Their hard rocking image was backed by the songwriting talents of leader Ronnie Van Zant. They formed in high school, their name being a mockery of teacher Leonard Skinner (who didn’t like long hair). They played live for a few years without much success before they were spotted by producer Al Kooper who produced their first album Pronounced Leh-Nerd Skin-Nerd. “Free Bird” off that album was a big success. Dedicated to Duane Allman of The Allman Brothers (who had died in a motorbike crash in 1971) the song became legendary through radio airplay. Their second album (Second Helping, 1974) went multi-platinum and featured the 70s standard “Sweet Home Alabama”.

The band released several more albums over the next few years until on October 17 1977 band members Ronnie Van Zant, Steve Gaines, and his sister Cassie were tragically killed in a plane crash. In those few short years however they produced quintessential Southern Rock. We look forward to enjoying a selection this week.

Spotlight Artist: Fleet Foxes

Every weekday between 1 and 5pm we play tracks from our #spotlightartist. They’re an artist with a body of work which has stood the test of time. We’ll play the hits – but also some deep cuts. Listen ad-free through New Zealand via @tunein at https://goo.gl/VL6m3NS

The Fleet Foxes are an ‘indie folk’ band from Seattle, USA. Their first big impression was with their 2008 EP Sun Giant. Since then they’ve gained a great reputation building a body of beautiful melodic folk. To celebrate the recent release of their box set First Collection 2006-2009 we’ll be enjoying great music from across their musical career.

Spotlight Artist: The Eagles

Every weekday between 1 and 5pm we play tracks from our #spotlightartist. They’re an artist with a body of work which has stood the test of time. We’ll play the hits – but also some deep cuts. Listen ad-free through New Zealand via @tunein at https://goo.gl/VL6m3NS

The Eagles have certainly had their share of compilations over the year. Recently they released a big box set of all their studio albums, three live disks and a collection of single cuts and b-sides. It seems a good excuse to enjoy revisiting the band from Los Angeles. Formed in 1971 the band went on to release six albums in the 1970s, spawning five number one singles, six Grammy’s and five number one albums. After breakup in 1979 (saying they would only perform together again if “hell froze over”) they got back together for 1994’s ‘Hell Freeze’s Over’ tour, which yielded a number one live album and video.

Some don’t like them – perhaps too smooth, or just too overexposed/successful, but there is no doubt that we love their body of great music. Let’s enjoy some this week.

Spotlight Artist: John Mellencamp

Every weekday between 1 and 5pm we play tracks from our #spotlightartist. They’re an artist with a body of work which has stood the test of time. We’ll play the hits – but also some deep cuts. Listen ad-free through New Zealand via @tunein at https://goo.gl/VL6m3NS

Born in 1951, John began performing in the mid 1970s, however his manager insisted he use the name Johnny Cougar, believing the German name Mellencamp was too hard to market. Following albums grew in popularity but his breakthrough came in 1982 with American Fool (featuring “Hurts so Good” and “Jack & Diane”), after which he was allowed to use his own name. Mellencamp’s brand of heartland rock went on to generate 22 Top 40 singles and 13 Grammy Award nominations.

We’ll enjoy some hits and deeper cuts from this legendary artist this week.