Blondie: Hosted By

They’re arguably one of the most iconic bands to emerge from the New Wave scene of the late 70s and early 80s, and with a catalogue of hits including Hanging On The Telephone, Atomic and Rapture to call their own, it’s fair to say that Blondie know what they’re on about when it comes to great music.

Originally splitting up in 1982, the band reformed in 1997 to stage one of the most confident comebacks of all time when their single Maria shot to No. 1 in the UK.

Fastforward to 2014 and Blondie are still a creative force to be reckoned with, their tenth studio album Ghosts of Download hitting shelves this week. The record combines a concise Greatest Hits disc alongside thirteen brand new tracks, including a collaboration with the Gossip’s Beth Ditto and a cover of Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s 80s anthem Relax.

To get the low-down on the record, we caught up with none other than Debbie Harry and Chris Stein from the band as they took us through some of their favourite songs alongside key inspirations – all in our exclusive Hosted By station. Tune in below!

Nineties Nostalgia: Part 1 

The decade of oversized bomber jacks, jazzy tracksuits and tiny backpacks is back! There’s no denying 90s is in this summer and over the course of the next few weeks we’ll be featuring several new stations covering the most popular music trends of the decade, from Hip-hop to Dance, Punk-Pop to Garage and all the best Chart Hits in between. 

To celebrate the album releases of legends Ice Cube and The Roots this month, we’re kicking off with….

90s Hip-hop!

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Representing:

1) Boy this track really has a lot of flavour
When it comes to rhythms, Quest is your saviour
Follow us for the funky behaviour
Make a note on the rhythm we gave ya

A Tribe Called Quest – Can I Kick itimage

2) Tossing hams in frying pans

Cypress Hill - Insane In The Brainimageimage

3) Like one of those fly dreams…

Ice Cube - It Was A Good Dayimage

4) One, two, three and to the FO.. 

Dr Dre. Featuring Snoop Dog - Nuthin’ But A G Thangimage

5) And lastly, straight out the dungeons of rap it’s

Nas - N.Y State Of Mindimage

Find the songs, plus many more, in our 90s Hip-hop station here.

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Fancy living it large just like Red and Yellow in the brand new M&M’s advert? Now with a special, limited edition Brazilian edition, you can kick start your summer in style!

Perfect for sharing with mates, they make for an irresistible accompaniment to our Perfect Party station. Jam-packed full of upbeat anthems with a cheeky Latino twist, it’ll have you quickstepping in no time at all!

And the fun doesn’t stop there - the limited edition Brazilian colour mix M&M’s packs feature an amazing on-pack competition offering the chance for lucky winners to samba it up at the M&M’s party mansion.

Also up for grabs are thousands of Brazil party packs as runner-up prizes to get you in the spirit as the World Cup gets going this summer. So, to be in with a chance of winning, be sure to pick up a promotional pack in store!

Next Big Thing - Tourist / Rough Fields / Khushi

Here at blinkbox music, we always like to keep you bang up to date with some of the hottest movers and shakers looking to make it big over the coming year. From hip producers to young indie upstarts bristling with talent, we love surfacing the best of the bunch for your listening pleasure. You’ll find a cracking selection to get your ears around in our Next Big Thing station, including these exciting new additions!

Tourist

Looking to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Disclosure and Rudimental, Tourist – aka William Phillips - is the latest talented young British producer looking to offer up a cultured palate of slick beats and glossy synths. His collaboration with Lianne La Havas – Patterns – sounds like a proper breakthrough moment and has already been tipped by the likes of Annie Mac.

Rough Fields 

From one electronic production maestro to another, James Birchall – working under the moniker Rough Fields – makes sleek, beautifully composed pieces that saw his album Edge of the Firelight win praise from the BBC and a round of funding from the PRS to help him take it on tour.

Khushi

Quickly racking up airplay from both Radio 1 and 6 Music, East Londoner Khushi makes melodic, chilled-out indie pop; strikingly delicate vocals swirling in and out amidst a rich mix of sonic textures.

Brand New & Brilliant this week - Nick Mulvey / Arctic Monkeys / Jake Bugg

After a weekend of Eurovision fun, it’s time to head back to our own shores to take a look at what exciting new tracks are vying for positions in the charts over the next few weeks. 

With our Brand New & Brilliant station, you’ve got a one-stop-shop for all that’s hot right now – and you can even download it straight to your phone; just press the ‘Download Station’ button on our free app and you’re good to go, even when there’s no wi-fi connection!

Nick Mulvey – Meet Me There

From Mercury-nominated member of Portico Quartet to solo singer-songwriter, Nick Mulvey’s career has seen more twists and turns than most. Informed by time spent studying at the School of Oriental and African Studies, his music brings a wide palate of influences to tenderly crafted acoustic melodies.

Arctic Monkeys – Snap Out Of It

As the fifth single to be taken from the band’s monumentally successful AM album, Snap Out of It sees the boys dipping into catchy 70s glam for a number that recalls Bowie at his Ziggy Stardust best. Cracking stuff.

Jake Bugg – Messed Up Kids

The Nottingham-born troubadour offers up another cut of heavily US-influenced tune-craft on Messed Up Kids. A tale of rabble-rousing youths; the cheery, upbeat chorus helps mark this out as one of the better moments on Bugg’s Shangri La album.

Music boffins reveal equation for Eurovision success

All set for the big Eurovision Song Contest final in Copenhagen on Saturday? We certainly are!

If you need a quick reminder of this year’s entries, just tune into our Eurovision station below to hear them all, including the UK’s very own entry; ‘Children of the Universe’ by Molly Smitten-Downes.

As we count down the hours until it all kicks off though, we thought we’d bring you our very own formula for Eurovision success. Working with experts at the London College of Music, we distilled down the winning entries from the past 10 years to find out what made them a cut above the rest.

The key findings? Our study suggests that chorus is key, with winning songs usually focussed around a three note chorus. A sense of familiarity and plenty of cheeky charm always helps too. In short, if you’re looking to create a winner, you could do a lot worse than stick to the following formula: 

(3 minutes long + 3 Note Chorus ) + Sounds Familiar + Cheeky Charm = Win

Or…

3m + 3NCh + SF + CC = W

And it turns out the UK’s entry for this year fares pretty well when stacked up against the formula! 

“This year’s UK entry Molly does this brilliantly,” says Sam Sutton – Senior Lecturer at the London College of Music. “The vocal melody has that familiar quality and only requires one listen before it’s firmly rooted ‘on repeat’ in your brain. It is also three minutes long on the nose, which firmly puts her in the running.”

So, there’s the science behind it all – now it’s time for the tunes. We’ll see you at the party…