NEWS ROUNDUP: Kesha Vs. Dr. Luke, New Music, and MORE

New Motions Filed in Kesha / Dr. Luke Legal Battle

Kesha’s ongoing legal battle with Lukasz “Dr. Luke” Gottwald rages on, with a few new developments this week. Though a New York judge sided with Dr. Luke and Sony music following Kesha’s 2014 allegations that the producer had drugged and assaulted her, Dr. Luke is now suing for defamation, and other pop stars have been pulled into the back-and-forth.

Both Lady Gaga and Kesha made statements implying that Dr. Luke had also assaulted Katy Perry, though both Dr. Luke and Perry denied any assault had taken place back in August. This week, Kesha’s lawyers pointed out that this doesn’t mean an assault did not take place, in a response to Gottwald’s summary-judgement motion.

Lady Gaga’s 2017 deposition was also unsealed, and Gaga made some pretty powerful statements in support of Kesha, saying that as a survivor of sexual assault herself, she recognized Kesha’s “depression and fear” as evidence that something terrible had happened between the two. As Luke’s lawyers questioned her testimony, Gaga said they should be ashamed of themselves and that they were all a party to Kesha’s ongoing victimization; and her words are heartening for all survivors of sexual assault: “Well, you know, when men assault women, they don’t invite people over to watch. And when this happens in this industry, it is kept extremely secret, and it is compounded by contracts and manipulative power scenarios that actually include this very situation that we are all in right now…. How about all of the women that are accused of being liars and how she was slut shamed in front of the world, how about that?”

Of course, many have pointed out that while Gaga seems to support assault victims, her willingness to work with accused pedophile R. Kelly sings a different tune. Though Gaga has since apologized for the unfortunately-titled duet “Do What U Want (With My Body)” and removed the 2013 single from streaming platforms, critics say she still has to answer for her collaborations with Chris Brown and photographer Terry Richardson – both of whom have been accused of sexual assault.

Bottom line – though much of the entertainment world is having its Time’s Up moment, the music industry still has a lot of reckoning to do when it comes to the #MeToo movement.

That New New

Rico Nasty burst onto the scene in 2018 with her mixtape Nasty, and so far, 2019 looks promising as well; the rapper’s latest collab with Kenny Beats follows the equally infectious “Guap (LaLaLa).”

Brooklyn post-punks Weeknight have expanded their lineup from a duo to a quartet, opened a bar in Bushwick, and today released their sophomore album Dead Beat Creep.

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard took a short break last year after releasing five (!) albums in 2017, but they’re back with a kitschy new video for “Cyboogie.” They haven’t released further details, but it’s likely there’s a new record (maybe even multiple records?) on the horizon from the Australian psych-rockers.

Yves Tumor released a powerful video tackling police brutality for “Noid,” one of our favorite singles from last year’s excellent Safe In The Hands of Love.

Stella Donnelly shared a video for “Lunch,” from her forthcoming Secretly Canadian debut Beware of the Dogs, which arrives March 8th.

Emily Reo will release Only You Can See It, her follow-up to 2013’s Olive Juice, on April 12 via Carpark Records, and has shared the first single, “Strawberry.”

Animal Collective’s Avey Tare (a.k.a. Dave Portner) announced his latest solo album Cows On Hourglass Pond with a new video.

Empress Of has teamed up with Perfume Genius to record a new version of “When I’m With Him.” The track originally appeared on last year’s album Us.

On the heels of last year’s studio album Marauder, Interpol have released a stand-alone single, “Fine Mess,” to drum up more buzz for the world tour.

Dua Lipa released an epic video for “Swan Song,” from the soundtrack to “Swan Song,” from new movie Alita: Battle Angel, which arrives in theaters on Valentine’s Day.

The Chemical Brothers will release their ninth studio album No Geography on April 12, their first LP in three years. They’ve previously shared singles “Free Yourself” and “MAH.”

The Mountain Goats will release their 578142268539th record via Merge on April 26th. It’s called In League With Dragons and is vaguely themed around a wizard doing normal things like attending a Waylon Jennings show and trying out for a baseball team.

Canadian punks PUP share their vision of a dystopian future in a clip for “KIDS,” from their forthcoming album Morbid Stuff, out February 5.

End Notes

  • Ariana Grande got a shitty, culturally appropriative tattoo and surprise! the Chinese characters don’t mean what she thought they meant. Kingsford Charcoal responded with the best troll ever. The singer released a new remix of “7 Rings” featuring 2 Chainz this week.
  • Tekashi 6ix9ine (rapper Daniel Hernandez) pleaded guilty to nine counts including firearms violations and racketeering stemming from his November arrest. His charges could have resulted in a mandatory minimum of 47 years, but his cooperation with authorities to identify members of his alleged gang may yield a lighter sentence. Tekashi was on probation for a 2015 incident in which he appeared in a sex tape involving a minor.
  • There’s an ABC drama in the works that’s based on John Mayer’s song “Heart of Life,” from his 2006 LP Continuum.
  • Cardi B and Offset are back together… for now. The couple welcomed their daughter, Kulture Kiari, in July, but split soon after due to Offset’s reported infidelity. Cardi recently starred in a Pepsi commercial set to air during this Sunday’s Super Bowl, despite having declined to perform in its halftime show out of solidarity with kneeling players.
  • Portishead’s Beth Gibbons and the National Radio Symphony Orchestra will release a live album titled Henryk Górecki: Symphony No. 3 (Symphony Of Sorrowful Songs) on March 29 via Domino; check out the trailer and interactive website detailing the performance.
  • NPR is streaming Jessica Pratt’s new album Quiet Signs ahead of its February 8 release date.
  • LOTR director Peter Jackson is said to be making a documentary about the Beatles’ Let It Be.

ALBUM REVIEW: Yelle “Complètement Fou”


For the third studio album in their multifaceted and diverse discography, Francophones Yelle have gone insane. The title of their new record says it all: Complètement Fou, out tomorrow on Kemosabe Records, literally translates to completely crazy, insane or bonkers, and perfectly describes Yelle’s unique electric brand. The band, which consists of Julie Budet and Jean-François Perrier, first came on the scene in 2005, and their debut album, Pop Up, was released in 2007. It featured a non-stop array of eccentric, hip-rattling, French glory. Their second album, 2011’s Safari Disco Club reached no.9 in the U.S Billboard 2011 chart in the Dance/Electronic Albums category and gave us zany tracks that we still love, like “Comme Un Enfant”, and lyrics like “animals dance in the safari disco club.”

For Complètement Fou, the duo enlisted all-star pop producer Dr.Luke and features familiar Yelle beats, married with eccentric lyrics (“we danced till we cried tears of joy”) perfectly delivered by Budet in a sunny yet hypnotically sultry voice. The first single from the album, “Bouquet Finale” (Grand Finale) is a beautiful and seductive homage to the empowerment that comes from letting yourself get lost in the moment.

The album’s second and titular single, “Complètement Fou,” perfectly captures Yelle’s growth into a more well-rounded outfit with tighter and more firmly composed tracks. When compared to previous albums, there are subtle differences in the overall sound – no doubt the extra polish of Dr. Luke’s glossy production style – that make the band sound better than ever. And this time around, Budet tapped Tacteel of TTC to co-write lyrics, saying “We used to do everything by ourselves, but we wanted to open the circle this time around because we love people!” They worked together on Pop Up, so it was a natural fit, and no doubt tempered Budet’s characteristic snark just a little.

The whimsical “Ba$$in” and the steamy “Nuit De Baise I” – which is a rather suggestive song about being engulfed in the desire and ecstasy of another – are personal favorites. They both are so completely different from one another, and yet have the ability to make you have the same strong emotional response-auricular bliss. There is something so simplistic yet complex about the valley of rhythms in Yelle’s new album. There is no doubt that this album is the band’s best work yet.

Though I am not 100% fluent in French, I know enough to understand that Yelle has the ability to speak volumes, and reach a vast audience of Francophones and Anglophones alike with their work. Whether you’re a native Frenchie or not, you will be endlessly transported by the music Yelle creates.  Bravo pour Yelle, who has enough talent and spunk to drive one complètement fou indeed.

You can stream Complètement Fou now via Kemosabe records, and don’t forget to catch Yelle when they play Irving Plaza on October 10th.  It’s sure to be a lively time.

TRACK REVIEW: Yelle “Bouquet Final”



Francophone electropop powerhouse band Yelle just graced the world with a new single and it is everything that you would expect out of the quirky and lively band. Yelle’s first album, Pop Up was released in 2007 and featured a non-stop array of electric, hip-rattling beats, with tracks like “Mal Poli” (Rude) to the slower-paced and enticing “Tu est beau” (You Are Beautiful).

Their second album, 2011’s Safari Disco Club reached no.9 in the U.S Billboard 2011 chart in the Dance/Electronic Albums category. The album included the thumping & insanely fun single “Safari Disco Club,” the contagious “Que Veux Tu” (What Do You Want?), and the sing-along-even-if-you-don’t-understand-French track “Comme Un Enfant” (Like a Child).

Yelle has found worldwide success, including opening for Katy Perry on tour, even though they only record in their native French (if you don’t include the bi-lingual track Cooler Couleur). Yelle fans can now rejoice as the band just announced its pretty impressive 2014 North American tour lineup in promotion of their third album, Complètement Fou, set to be released this fall. They play Irving Plaza in October, and I will be the first to admit that this makes me giddy.

The first single off of the new album, “Bouquet Final” (Grand Finale) is classic Yelle. The love song includes a perpetually cool, static-y beat, married with a bouncy synth rhythm that bursts like bubble gum. When accompanied by Julie Budet’s silky voice, the song is pure, intoxicating gold, thanks in to small part to production credits from none other than Dr. Luke, who has helmed projects from pop’s biggest names. The record’s title translates to “Completely Crazy” so there’s little doubt we’re likely to hear some off-the-wall bangers guaranteed to get any party started, whether or not the club is full of native Frenchies. If nothing else, the lyric video below will help you brush up on your French while you wait for Yelle to come through your city; tour dates follow.

10/9 – Boston, MA – Paradise Rock Club
10/10 – New York, NY – Irving Plaza
10/11 – Washington D.C. – 9:30 Club
10/12 – Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer10/14 – Montreal, QC – Corona Theatre
10/15 – Toronto, ON – Virgin Mobile Mod Club
10/17 – Cleveland Heights, OH – Grog Shop
10/18 – Chicago, IL – Bottom Lounge
10/19 – Madison, WI – Majestic Theatre
10/21 – Englewood, CO – Gothic Theatre
10/22 – Salt Lake City, UT – Urban Lounge
10/24 – Seattle, WA – Neumo’s
10/25 – Vancouver, BC – Fortune Sound Club
10/26 – Portland, OR – Wonder Ballroom
10/29 – Santa Cruz, CA – Rio Theatre
10/30 – San Francisco, CA – Regency Ballroom
10/31 – Los Angeles, CA – The Fonda
11/2 – Solana Beach, CA – Belly Up Tavern
11/3 – Phoenix, AZ – The Crescent Ballroom
11/7 – Austin, TX – Fun Fun Fun Fest
11/8 – Dallas, TX – House of Blues
11/10 – Atlanta, GA – The Loft
11/11 – Carrboro, NC – Cat’s Cradle