April began with news from The Official Charts Company that The Killers’ enduring favourite Mr. Brightside had notched up a total of five years in non-consecutive weeks on the Top 100 of the UK’s Singles Chart.
The 260 weeks was a long way ahead of second place – taken up by another mid-noughties indie staple, Snow Patrol‘s Chasing Cars.
And the month also brought Record Store Day organisers’ list of special releases which had been arranged for 2021.
As was the case the previous year, the so-called ‘drop dates’ had been separated in two and offered vinyl fans exclusive toys on June 12th and then July 17th.
Sad news came with the announcement that rapper DMX had died on April 9th. He was 50.
DMX led a new generation on Def Jam as the millennium dawned, landing a long run of US number one albums with the label beginning in 1998.
But looking to the future stars, Little Simz unveiled her new album Sometimes I Might Be Introvert with its first preview Introvert.
It was the follow-up to 2019’s Grey Area, the third studio LP which proved to be a big critical hit and brought a richly deserved Mercury Prize nomination that year.
Two British heavyweights were a part of May‘s headlines, beginning when Noel Gallagher revealed he would be celebrating the first ten years of the High Flying Birds with a ‘best of’ collection that was unveiled along side a brand new track entitled We’re On Our Way Now.
“10 years of Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds?,” Gallagher said. “Blimey! Just think of all the things I COULD have done in that time!”
That month also brought the first signs of the return of live music which many of us would be lucky enough to enjoy as 2021 progressed; Blossoms headlined a gig in front of 5,000 people at Sefton Park.
Those in attendance were not required to wear masks or socially distance, instead asked to produce a negative COVID test 24 hours before the concert.
Manic Street Preachers quickly followed in the footsteps of Noel Gallagher by confirming their own new album The Ultra Vivid Lament for release on September 3rd.
Orwellian was the first single, described by the band as, ‘about the battle to claim meaning, the erasing of context within debate, the overriding sense of factional conflict driven by digital platforms leading to a perpetual state of culture war’.
The US was also starting to see signs of its live music coming back as Foo Fighters, Post Malone, Tyler The Creator and Miley Cyrus were revealed as the headliners for the return of Lollapalooza.
“We are excited about the progress in Chicago as the city continues to reopen,” promoters said.
And a return to the stage was coming for Kasabian too, who announced a tour of the UK during October and November – a significant chapter in the history of the band for remaining members Serge Pizzorno, Chris Edwards, Ian Matthews and Tim Carter.
“We’re incredibly excited to announce these intimate shows,” they said. “We love our band, our music and our fans too much to ever stop!”
Following the wonderfully evocative 2015 album The Race For Space, in June Public Service Broadcasting were once again moving their eyes from the skies to the streets on their next record Bright Magic.
As with the follow-up to The Race For Space – 2017’s Every Valley – J. Willgoose, Esq., Wrigglesworth and JFAbraham were set to be focusing on the cultural heartbeat of a metropolis, this time Berlin in three parts entitled Building A City / Building A Myth / Bright Magic.
As June played out, many artists had made their live comeback announcements, but if there was ever a sign of live music making a return in the UK, it surely had to be The Courteeners unveiling a huge outdoor gig in Manchester.
The band were booked to play the Old Trafford cricket ground on September 25th, 2021.
The details of Peter Jackson’s documentary The Beatles: Get Back were first revealed during this particular month.
Using the same techniques which vividly brought to life the horrors of the Western Front on his They Shall Not Grow Old film, Jackson had also been using the hours of unseen footage from The Beatles’ original Get Back production to put a whole new spin on the underwhelming, gloomy finished product which arrived in 1970 and was quickly labelled as the visual evidence of a band falling apart.
What proved to be one of the year’s most talked about records was unveiled when Lorde confirmed the details of her new album Solar Power and world tour dates for next year.
Her third studio LP was to be released on August 20th, the lead off title-track on there with eleven other new songs such as Fallen Fruit, Dominoes and Mood Ring.