Live4ever’s 2021 News Round-Up: Part 1 feat. Glastonbury, HAIM, Daft Punk and more

Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury 2019 (Richard Bowes for Live4ever)

Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury 2019 (Richard Bowes for Live4ever)

As a new year dawned, little else had changed in a world still in the grip of lockdown thanks to a Covid variant which had seemingly hit the reset button and made the holiday season a depressingly solitary one for many people (imagine that…).

But in the music world, January immediately brought big plans for the 2021 ahead as two of the US’ rock heavyweights – Foo Fighters and Kings Of Leon – laid the foundations for new album releases.

“This is the kind of song that just resides in all of us and if it makes sense at the time, we let it out,” Dave Grohl said of No Son Of Mine.

“Lyrically it’s meant to poke at the hypocrisy of self righteous leaders, people that are guilty of committing the crimes they’re supposedly against.”

The Followills introduced their eighth studio album with two of its tracks; The Bandit and 100,000 People both previewing When You See Yourself, which was due out in March after sessions at Nashville’s Blackbird Studios in the company of producer Markus Dravs.

But the live music struggles which would continue to plague artists during the coming 12 months were never far away, and The 1975 and Glastonbury were two of earliest, and biggest, casualties.

“These are incredibly difficult times for a lot of people, and until we can be sure that we will be able to play shows in a way that is safe for our fans and crew, we have decided the best course of action is to cancel our touring so that, where possible, everyone can get their tickets refunded sooner rather than later,” The 1975 wrote on social media when cancelling all their 2021 shows.

“With great regret, we must announce that this year’s Glastonbury Festival will not take place, and that this will be another enforced fallow year for us,” the Eavis family’s own statement read.

“In spite of our efforts to move Heaven & Earth, it has become clear that we simply will not be able to make the Festival happen this year. We are so sorry to let you all down.”

The month ended though with some more positive news as The Coral announced the details of an album which would go on to feature on many end-of-year lists.

The inhabitants of Coral Island were set to be gradually introduced to us during the coming weeks via audio and visual portraits conceived and created by artist Edwin Burdis.

Starting with Faceless Angel, the first single from the new double album which was recorded at Parr Street Studios in Liverpool.

Into February, and a surprise from Sebastien Grainger and Jesse F. Keeler who announced their next Death From Above 1979 LP Is 4 Lovers with its first single One + One.

“It’s the karmic sequel to Romantic Rights,” Grainger said. “My wife, Eva, became pregnant not long after we started working on the song and after hearing an early version she said, ‘I wish this song was dancier’.”

Big names made the shortlist for the year’s Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame, including Jay-Z, Foo Fighters and Tina Turner.

Foo Fighters and Jay-Z were on the ballot in their first year of eligibility, whilst there was a second appearance for Kate Bush, Devo, Carole King and the New York Dolls, and a third for Todd Rundgren, Rage Against The Machine and Chaka Khan.

HAIM unveiled an expanded version of the previous year’s Women In Music Pt. III album, adding newly recorded versions of Gasoline and 3AM to the Grammy-nominated LP.

But Daft Punk did little to boost the mood of these early winter months, the music world was hailing their influence after the electronic dance duo confirmed that they had parted ways.

Amongst the many reflecting on Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo’s career together was Mark Ronson, who called their legacy ‘flawless’.

March would take in many new album announcements, starting with St. Vincent who set her sixth record Daddy’s Home for release on May 14th.

The news came with a first single entitled Pay Your Way In Pain, one of a collection of ‘stories of being down and out in downtown NYC’ which would go on to make up the album.

Live music was still remote, and the 6 Music Festival went digital for 2021 with new sets from Bicep, Michael Kiwanuka, Laura Marling, Black Country New Road, Dry Cleaning, Shame, Working Men’s Club and more across its platforms between the 26th-28th.

The performances from Bicep, Kiwanuka and Marling were filmed at Alexandra Palace, the rest recorded at the BBC Radio Theatre.

Beyonce became the most-awarded woman in the ceremony’s history whilst Taylor Swift picked up a third Album Of The Year prize at the 2021 Grammy Awards.

These records were the big headlines on a night when Billie Eilish also added to her growing collection, getting Record Of The Year for Everything I Wanted, and H.E.R won Song Of The Year for I Can’t Breathe.

Sure enough, the month ended with another new album, black midi setting their second record Cavalcade for release on May 28th.

Work had begun in the same year as their debut album, initially built from the improv habits of their live sets but later added to by each member’s own home sketches which were brought to the rehearsal table.

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