Spotlight Artist: Vampire Weekend

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

Vampire Weekend from New York started out in 2006. Their self-titled first album from 2008 received critical acclaim for its diverse musical influences and debuted at number 17 on the Billboard 200, not bad for a first album. Since then they’ve gone on to release Contra (2010), Modern Vampires of the City (2013) and soon to come Father of the Bride. We’re enjoying one of the early singles “Harmony Hall” at the moment – this week we’ll take the chance to look back over their interesting career.

Spotlight Artist: Roy Orbison

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 “Big O”, Roy Orbison is a musical legend. Born in Texas, he began singing in a rockabilly band in high school. He was signed by the legendary Sam Phillips (of Elvis fame) in 1956 but achieved his first wave of success with Monument Records beginning in 1960. He had writing credit of many of the singles in this era that hit the top 10 including “Only the Lonely”, “Crying”, “Running Scared”, “In Dreams” and “Oh, Pretty Woman”. Roy Orbison: The Monument Singles Collection is a great compilation to access this era.

Following the tragic loss of his wife, Orbison’s tour went into decline until the 1980s when cover versions of his song re-ignited interest. In 1988 he co-founded the Travelling Wilburys supergroup with Tom Petty, Jeff Lynn, George Harrison and Bob Dylan to great acclaim. Tragically he died of a heart attack in December 1988. One month later “You Got It” hit the top 10, the first time a solo Orbison song had achieved this for 25 years.

Spotlight Artist: Lana Del Rey

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

From New York, Lana Del Rey achieved her first success with 2011’s single “Video Games”. Her first album Born To Die released in 2012 was a hit around the world and launched a successful career, dubbed the “Queen of Indie Pop”. We’ve enjoyed her fantastic cinematic music over the years, and look forward to checking out a range of popular and deeper cuts through the week.

Spotlight Artist: Simon and Garfunkel

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

Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel both grew up in Forest Hills, Queens, New York just blocks away from each other. They became friends in 1953 and wrote their first song in 1956. Initially they recorded under the name Tom & Jerry, releasing “Hey Schoolgirl” in 1957.

They continued recording, and after graduating from University released their debut as Simon and Garfunkel, Wednesday Morning, 3A.M. Initially not a big seller, a remix of “The Sound of Silence” began receiving radio play, eventually topping the Hot 100. From here through to 1970 the duo recorded a total of five studio albums, along with the soundtrack to the film The Graduate.

Although they grew apart, they went on to solo careers, in Paul Simon’s case extremely successful. We’ll enjoy a range of their music as a duo this week in our Spotlight Artist spot.

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.