Hit of the week: Stormzy ‘Crown’

Stormzy has released his second song of 2019. ‘Crown’ was produced by UKG pioneer MJ Cole and Jimmy Napes and features the grime MC singing alongside a gospel choir. The track follows ‘Vossi Bop’, which was released earlier this year.

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Festival Cruïlla 2019

The favourite summer festival of Barcelona locals, Cruïlla, proudly waves the flag of eclecticism, and this year puts on its tenth edition from July 3 to 6 at the Parc del Fòrum with a line-up filled with performances of all types of trends and musical styles.

The festival added an extra day this year to kick things off with a star act. Back in Barcelona a decade after their last performances, it’s the Black Eyed Peas. Fergie’s not with the band, but you won’t want to miss the founding MCs, Will.i.am, Apl.de.ap and producer Taboo, authors of hits like ‘I Gotta Feeling’ and ‘Pump It’, as they present their first album in eight years. Opening for them is young Norwegian artist Aurora, making her debut in Spain with her mix of folk and electronica.

This year Cruce perform on Thursday the 4th in a day dedicated to urban sounds and young audiences. Also confirmed for Thursday are rappers Natos and Waor, Ayax and Prok from Granada, and Lildami, who is popular on the Catalan trap scene.

Rock is the star of the day on Friday the 5th, with bands like the UK’s Bastille, presenting their expert live show; and you can also catch the return of Scottish outfit Garbage, 13 years after their last visit to Barcelona. Shirley Manson and company are back with a show full of nostalgia, where their best-known album – ‘Version 2.0’ – will shine two decades after its initial release, and you’ll also get to know some new tracks off their upcoming 2019 release. Keep an eye out for the first concert in Barcelona in more than three years by Oxford-based five-piece band Foals, where you can discover new songs from their forthcoming fifth album; Vetusta Morla, one of Spanish rock’s top bands in recent years, also celebrating their tenth birthday; and the mix of alternative pop with classic folk from Xoel López. Other confirmed names include Gang of Youths from Australia, who’ve become better known after having gone on tour with Foo Fighters; France’s Zaz, presenting ‘Effet miroir’ (2018); Catalan classics Els Pets; Dublin singer Dermot Kennedy; Iseo & DodosSound, who are embassadors of reggae in Spain; and DJ Amable.

A more eclectic line-up features on the final day, Australian pop diva Kylie Minogue, who’s one of the headliners on Saturday. This is also Kylie’s first and only big concert in Spain she’ll give to present her latest album, ‘Golden’ (2018). Also taking the stage are British band Years & Years; soul artist Michael Kiwanuka; the Brazilian festival that is Seu Jorge, who’s coming along with his band to show off the power of samba; Jorge Drexler, who recently won two Latin Grammys for ‘Salvavidas de Hielo’ (2017); Parov Stelar, the creator of electro swing; Marcelo D2, a legendary figure in Brazilian music and activism; Malian singer Oumou Sangare; duo Elyella; epic riffs from Cala Vento; metaphysical pop from El Petit de Cal Eril; and two big local bands: Love of Lesbian celebrate Cruïlla’s tenth anniversary by growing their live act to include a trio of horns (sax, trumpet, trombone), percussion, vibraphone and steel guitar; and Dorian, who filled Razzmatazz to the limit to present their album ‘Justicia universal’ (2018) in their home town.

Music by Bergman: Beirut

Beirut, the musical project led by Zach Condon, announce the return of its magical folk of Balkan reminiscences with epic sections of winds. After several years of silence and with No, No, No (4AD, 2015) as the last recording reference, the Santa Fe band will release in 2019 their fifth studio album Gallipoli (4AD, 2019). An album recorded between New York, Berlin and Puglia that presents, according to Zach himself, a more “extreme” approach to their sound making imperfections part of the songs. This friday in concert at Vida Festival.

Divus Julius presents: Marlon Williams

Love hurts and Marlon Williams knows it. After having experienced a breakup with Aldous Harding, the young New Zealand singer-songwriter could not avoid a broad palette of mixed feelings from taking over his second studio album, Make Way For Love (Dead Oceans, 2018). Desire, infidelity and lust, among others, converge in an album where Marlon speaks honestly about his relationship using both his mature and privileged voice -similar to crooners such as Leonard Coehn or Elvis Presley- and rock, folk or country. This friday at Vida Festival.

Introducing…Sløtface

From performing for inmates in a Norwegian gaol chapel to hitting up the best musical festivals around Europe, Sløtface don’t do things by halves. Informed, intellectual, badass and upfront, the young band from Norway’s Stavanger have not only made waves thanks to their pop punk hooks and sharp, relatable lyrics, but also their steadfast belief that a band can do more than just make music.

Having released two years ago a debut that’s playful, gritty and socially-conscious, Sløtface return with Telepathetic’ their first new single since their debut album ‘Try Not To Freak Out’,

The muses of La Musa: Róisín Murphy

Róisín Murphy had never planned on being a singer. However, the echoes of that Sing it Back that made her famous with Moloko can still be heard all the way back from the 90s. Later, Róisín began a solo career of her own with which she achieved a privileged position in electronics: eclectic, experimental, daring and sometimes even misunderstood.

From a very young age she took a path that would lead her to many places: from experimental landscapes to the romantic territory of Italian ballads. Always ahead of the curve, Róisín has taken her interest in innovative designers and new talents to the stage, making her looks a fundamental part of her performances and turning herself into an icon of fashion.

As an artist, she has demonstrated excellent plasticity and has thus forged a name as legit as it is mysterious. Róisín is a clear disco reminiscence, an inevitable rhythmic flirtation and a singular force. On stage, she performs a dance pop exercise that shows her love for funk and disco. She has shared her swaggering new DJ Parrot produced single ‘Incapable’.

Music by Bergman: The Good, The Bad & The Queen

The Good, The Bad & The Queen are a supergroup that need no introduction, made up of Damon Albarn (Blur, Gorillaz), Paul Simonon (The Clash), Tony Allen (Fela Kuti), and Simon Tong (The Verve). This project first saw the light in 2007 in the form of a debut album The Observer called “one of the most surprising and magical albums Damon Albarn has been responsible for.” After eleven years of silence, this past November they released Merrie Land, their highly anticipated comeback and an album unquestionably influenced by the current political and social landscape. Straddling the line between melancholy and hope, this work is a reflection upon what it means to be British in our times, an era of indeterminacy as evidenced by Brexit and the international panorama.

Radio Magazine about Barcelona's indie and alternative music & culture scene. Live broadcast every Thursday from 10.00PM to 11.00PM and Saturdays from 1.00PM t0 2.00PM at Barcelona FM 100.5