• Welcome to your Easter Saturday serve of The Purge, our twice-weekly music news wrap. And we’re kicking it off this weekend with ‘Pray’ the official new single for British superstar Sam Smith. You may remember the single peaking just outside the top 40 when it was released as a grat track for Sam’s latest album ‘The Thrill Of It All’ late last year. Now, however, it’s been given a refresh and an appearance from US rapper Logic. “We are all looking around at what’s happening in the world and it is just messed,” Sam explains. “You’ve got no choice but to look up to the sky and put your hands together and pray for something to happen, because I feel helpless as a human right now.” The new version of ‘Pray’ is out now.
• Ahead of his upcoming appearance at Coachella, The Weeknd has dropped a new project entitled ‘My Dear Melancholy’. The six tracker, available digitally now, features collaborations with producers Frank Dukes, Mike Will Made-It, Skrillex, Gesaffelstein, Daheala and Guy-Manuel de-Homem-Christo. A physical edition will follow on April 13.
• Garbage has confirmed the upcoming release of a 20th anniversary edition of their sophomore album ‘Version 2.0’. “‘Version 2.0 is in my opinion the quintessential garbage record,” lead singer Shirley Manson says. “We are all very grateful to the millions of people who took it to their hearts at the time it was released and to those who continue to love on it still.” It’ll be released in digital, physical CD and vinyl formats and will include the original album’s tracklisting, along with a swag of b-sides from the time, including ‘Lick The Pavement’, originally the b-side to the album’s lead single ‘Push It’. The 20th anniversary edition of ‘Version 2.0’ is out June 22.
• Organisers of this year’s Groovin The Moo have added a swag more talent to the line-ups of all six events; locals ready to rock crowds across the country. In Adelaide, for example, extra acts include Electric Fields, Playback 808, Godlands, Cats DJs and more. Audiences in Maitland will be treated to performances from Jayteehazard, Kwame, Rackett, Ribongia, Ebony Boadu and more. In Canberra, local acts include Aviva, Lime Cordiale, Groove City, Andy Garvey and Mookhi. Headed to Bendigo? You’ll see Capital B, Darcy Baylis, Kira Puru, Mimi, Whiskey Houston and more. In Townsville, the likes of Carmouflage Tose, Jesswar, Rosie Kate, Very Casual DJs and Volac are now on the bill. While WA audiences will catch Azüra, Hanzo, Watts, Father Figures and LMC at the Bunbury event. The 2018 Groovin The Moo proceedings kick off in Adelaide on Friday April 27.
• R&B songstress H.E.R. will bring her smooth sounds down under in late May for her first ever Australian shows. She’s set to play Eatons Hill Hotel in Brisbane on May 25, the Forum Theatre in Melbourne on May 26 and the Sydney Opera House as part of the Vivid Live festival on Tuesday May 29. Live Nation members get first access to a pre-sale from 1pm on Tuesday April 03 ahead of general public sales, which go live at 2pm on Wednesday, April 04.
• And music festival Download will be back in 2019, after a successful debut in Melbourne last weekend. With more than 30,000 fans on hand for the event, organisers have confirmed that not only will it return to Melbourne next year, but it’ll also make its way to Sydney. “We can’t thank everyone enough for their behaviour yesterday and we are excited to confirm that Download will return to Melbourne and also make its Sydney debut in 2019,” event programmer Nigel Melder said in a statement.
• After nine weeks dominating the UK singles chart, Drake’s smash ‘God’s Plan’ finally relinquishes its grip. And it does so in spectacular fashion, dropping from No.1 to No.10 (it’s almost as though someone turned the streaming/downloading tap off). Drake’s drop, of course allows everyone else to make their charge for the top. And it’s Rudimental, Jess Glynne, Macklemore and Dan Caplen who capitalise best; their single ‘These Days’ finally hitting No.1 after improving from No.2. But they might be under attack already, with George Ezra’s new single ‘Paradise’ bulleting again from No.5 to No.2. Lil Dicky’s ‘Freaky Friday’ is also on the move. It debuted at No.16 last week, but is up into the top ten – to No.5. Sigala & Paloma Faith’s ‘Lullaby’ also hits the ten (No.13 to No.9). Shawn Mendes’ new single ‘In My Blood’ debuts best this week – at No.13.
• There’s a lot of love for George Ezra’s single ‘Paradise’ on the UK singles chart, so it perhaps comes as no surprise that the album it’s lifted from, ‘Staying At Tamara’s’, debuts in the No.1 position over on the UK albums chart. It knocks the ‘Greatest Showman’ soundtrack off its perch after an eleven week stay in top spot. It’s down to No.2, with Ed Sheeran at three and debuts in positions four and five for Rick Parfitt’s ‘Over And Out’ and Jack White’s ‘Boarding House Reach’ respectively. A new ‘Kidz Bop’ compilation enters in the No.8 spot, with Lissie’s new long player ‘Castles’ right behind it at No.9.
• It will perhaps come as no surprise to see Drake still atop the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart with his international smash ‘God’s Plan’; the single wedged there for a ninth consecutive week ahead of Bebe Rexha and Florida Georgia Line’s ‘Meant To Be’, which edges from No.4 to No.2. Ed Sheeran’s ‘Perfect’ and Bruno Mars’ ‘Finesse’ both lose a position as a result, with Post Malone steady at No.5 with ‘Psycho’. XXXTentacion certainly won’t be ‘Sad’ to see his latest single rocket from No.19 to No.7, neither will Lil Dicky, who squeezes his way into the top ten with a No.9 debut for ‘Freaky Friday’. The Migos track ‘Walk It Talk It’ is in a big hurry, bulleting from No.69 to No.20.
• Was there any question mark hanging over the No.1 debut of the XXXTentacion album ‘?’ on the Billboard 200 albums chart this week? The album chart Stateside has undergone a shake-up over recent weeks, after a steady No.1 stint for the ‘Greatest Showman’ soundtrack. So Metallica’s ‘Hardwired…To Self-Destruct’ jumps massively from No.42 to No.2, with the ‘Black Panther’ soundtrack, Logic and Migos filling out positions three through five. Former ‘American Idol’ winner Scotty McCreery still enjoys some home country support; his latest album ‘Seasons Change’ debuting at No.7, while the new album from The Decemberists, ‘I’ll Be Your Girl’, lobs at No.9. Lil Yachty’s ‘Lil Boat’ is already sinking, losing ten places from last week’s No.2 debut.
• Yes it’s Easter weekend. And yes, most of the country is somewhere relaxing with family and friends. Not us. Oh no. We’re here to bring you your weekly Saturday music news treats. And that includes ARIA Chart Watch, due on the site at 5pm this afternoon.
TUESDAY APRIL 03 : Iron & Wine (Nationally)
WEDNESDAY APRIL 04 : Above & Beyond (Sydney, Melbourne)
WEDNESDAY APRIL 04 : H.E.R. (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane)