• Former ‘X Factor’ favourite Dean Ray has added more dates to his national tour. The performer hasn’t really slowed his rate of performances since the start of the year, with dates from early next month through New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania. Just added are June shows in both Albury and Mulwala. Discover when he might be popping by a town near you via our auspOp DIARY.
• Up and coming Dutch DJ supremo Martin Garrix has released a new track this week – and he’s roped in a rather high profile vocalist. ‘Don’t Look Down’ features none other than US R&B star Usher on vocals.
• Celebrated songwriter and performer Leonard Cohen will release ‘Can’t Forget : A Souvenir Of The Grand Tour’ in the middle of May. The LP comprises live recordings of a selection of his lesser known songs, recorded on his ‘Old Ideas’ world tour. It’s out May 15.
• Also confirming new albums this week are Zac Brown Band (‘Jekyll + Hyde’, due on Friday May 01), Earl Sweatshirt (‘I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside’, released digitally this Thursday – March 26) and Gang Of Youths (‘The Positions’, dropping on Friday April 17). A quick reminder that you can always keep up to speed with what’s coming and when by visiting our NEW RELEASE SCHEDULE. We update the information as soon as it comes to hand, so you’re constantly up to date.
• Bounce is back next week, with Ministry Of Sound serving up the second helping of their ‘Bounce Sessions’ compilation series (cover pictured above). Mixed by Chardy and JDG, the double disc set features a slew of tunes that are emanating from or that have been inspired by the Melbourne bounce scene. It’s out on Friday (March 27).
• The PPCA and the Australia Council have teamed up to offer five grants to musicians they feel deserve a little leg up in creating their next project. Said grants, valued at $15,000 each, were handed out yesterday and they’ve gone to celebrated vocalist Mia Dyson, Alex Masso of Sydney outfit The Vampires, Genevieve Campbell, Luke Howard and The Growl.
• Melbourne folk/pop duo Pierce Brothers have inked a record deal with Warner Music for Australia and New Zealand and will relocated to Europe for the northern summer. To celebrate their impending departure and two summers in one year, they’ll be hitting the road in April. The tour takes in a few Victorian dates and one at Sol Bar in Maroochydore, along with shows in Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide.
• It’s almost unfathomable to think it, but Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars are still flying the flag atop the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart in the US. The boys notch up an extraordinary 11 straight weeks in the No.1 position, once more holding everyone (including Maroon 5’s latest single ‘Sugar’, which moves up to No.2) at bay. The new version of Sam Smith’s ‘Lay Me Down’, with John Legend providing guest vocals, takes the crown for the biggest mover into the top ten; up from No.58 to No.8, while Fetty Wap’s ‘Trap Queen’ is up from No.12 to No.10.
• Madonna has been prevented from debuting in the No.1 position Stateside this week by the cast of ‘Empire’. Though the Queen Of Pop reportedly did rather well on the sales charts, it was on the streaming side of the equation that the ‘Empire’ team did their most damage. So it’s ‘Empire’ at one, ‘Rebel Heart’ at two and Luke Bryan’s ‘Spring Break : Checkin’ Out’ premiering at No.3. But Kelly Clarkson’s ‘Piece By Piece’, which debuted at No.1 last week, tumbles to No.12 in week number two.
• Naturally, we know how much you love your chart information. That’s why we willingly give up an hour of our time every Saturday to put together the weekly Chart Watch for you. So why not swing by again tonight from 6pm AEDT when you’ll discover who debuted where and what new accreditations have been handed out, as well as this week’s big movers.
Monday March 23 : Ricky Martin (Townsville)
Tuesday March 24 : Jebediah (Nationally)
Thursday March 26 : Imagine Dragons (East Coast)
Thursday March 26 : Kiss (Nationally)
Friday March 27 : Daniel Johns (Sydney)