TUESDAY 8 SEPTEMBER 2020 COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM
TODAY'S TOP STORY: The big bust up between 'Fortnite' maker Epic Games and Apple continues. Epic has filed new court papers again asking a judge to issue an injunction that would stop Apple from enforcing sanctions against the gaming firm while a lawsuit over the tech giant's App Store rules continues to go through the motions... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Fortnite maker again asks a judge to force Apple to reinstate the game in its App Store
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LEGAL UK Music backs amendment to immigration bill that ensures touring musicians are on the government's agenda
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LABELS & PUBLISHERS Ted Cockle and Amy Thomson join Hipgnosis
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LIVE BUSINESS ISM welcomes government efforts to fully re-open concert halls, but warns financial support for musicians still necessary
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DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES ROXi announces Sky deal, service added to broadcaster's set-top boxes
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INDUSTRY PEOPLE Featured Artists Coalition and Attitude Is Everything launch strategic partnership
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RELEASES Micachu And The Shapes return (sort of)
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ONE LINERS Townsend Music, Steps, Aurora, more
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AND FINALLY... National Album Day adds more 80s ambassadors to the party
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Check out all the latest job opportunities with CMU Jobs. To advertise your job opportunities here email advertising@unlimitedmedia.co.uk or call 020 7099 9060.
   
RIGHTSAPP - IMPLEMENTATION PROJECT & ACCOUNT MANAGER (LIVERPOOL)
RightsApp - part of the Sentric Music Group - is transforming the traditional models for royalty collection and accounting. This new role will be accountable for the creation and management of a high quality implementation programme for RightsApp as well as supporting clients thereafter.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
ANJUNABEATS - A&R & RECORDINGS MANAGER (LONDON)
Anjunabeats is seeking and A&R and Recordings Manager to work directly with key talent as they develop as artists, with an appreciation of what it takes to be a global act in 2020.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
ANJUNABEATS - DIGITAL DELIVERIES & RIGHTS MANAGER (LONDON)
Anjunabeats is seeking an experienced, meticulous and solutions-oriented individual to bolster our digital supply chain and rights management capabilities.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
EMUBANDS - CONTENT ASSISTANT (GLASGOW)
EmuBands currently has an opportunity for a detail-oriented, focussed individual to join the company as a Content Assistant. You'll perform a wide range of administrative tasks relating to digital music assets and metadata, helping to ensure that releases are delivered quickly and accurately to stores.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
SSB - SOLICITOR (LONDON)
Music and entertainment law firm SSB is is seeking a full-time solicitor admitted in England and Wales with two to five years PQE to join its dynamic team in West London.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
BELIEVE - DIGITAL STRATEGIST CONTENT CREATOR (LONDON)
The Believe-owned Nuclear Blast label is looking for maternity cover for a year, commencing in August 2020. The Digital Strategist's role will focus on all digital aspects of an artist and product release – balancing both creative and commercial objectives through the setting and achieving of campaign-specific objectives and results.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
3TONE RECORDS - PUBLICIST (BRISTOL)
3tone Records is looking for an inhouse publicist to join us, working closely with our Marketing, A&R and Publishing departments to provide inventive and dynamic campaigns spanning online and print media, enhancing and furthering the aims of our artists and the label itself.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
MATERIAL - MARKETING MANAGER (LONDON)
To aid in the expansion of its growing roster of artists and brands, Material is seeking an exceptional, results-focused marketing individual to power the business forward and deliver for its artists.

For more information and to apply click here.

Expand your knowledge about the inner workings of the music business, best practice across the music industry, and all the latest trends and developments, with CMU’s weekly webinars.

Taking place every Tuesday afternoon at 2.30pm London time, these one hour online training sessions are delivered by CMU's Chris Cooke.

Each webinar presents timely and easy-to-understand insights about a different music business topic, with plenty of opportunity to ask questions.

Attendees can also access online resources - including downloadable slides - and a recording of the webinar available for a month after the live session.

BOOK NOW at early bird rates - access to each individual webinar is just £25, plus you can book into four webinars for £75 and all nine for just £150.

THE RIGHTS OF SONGWRITERS AND PERFORMERS
Tuesday 22 Sep | 2.30pm | BOOK TICKETS
Artists and songwriters often assign the copyrights they create to business partners: labels, publishers and collecting societies. But music-makers have rights over their music even when they no longer own the copyright. What are those and how do they work? Find out in this webinar.
DIGITAL MUSIC IN EMERGING MARKETS
Tuesday 29 Sep | 2.30pm | BOOK TICKETS
Markets like China, India, Russia, South Korea and Brazil have played a key role in the revival of the record industry's fortunes, while markets in Africa are set to become increasingly important in the years ahead. Which services and what models dominate in these countries?
STREAMING SERVICE PLAYLISTS
Tuesday 6 Oct | 2.30pm | BOOK TICKETS
We all know playlists drive a lot of plays on the streaming services, with playlister pitching now a key part of any music marketing campaign. But how do streaming service playlists work? And how is the evolution of playlist curation impacting on the future of music marketing?
BUILDING A FANBASE FOR NEW ARTISTS
Tuesday 13 Oct | 2.30pm | BOOK TICKETS
How do artists go about building a fanbase in 2020? In this webinar we'll talk through the fanbase building process, from when artists are working truly DIY, through the involvement of different music industry business partners like management, distributors, labels, promoters and specialist agencies.
UNDERSTANDING BRAND PARTNERSHIPS
Tuesday 20 Oct | 2.30pm | BOOK TICKETS
Brands see the value of music as part of their marketing activity. But how do brand partnerships work? What do brands want from these partnerships and how does that impact who they do the deal with? And what can artists expect in return when they ally with consumer brands?
BUILDING A DIRECT-TO-FAN BUSINESS
Tuesday 27 Oct | 2.30pm | BOOK TICKETS
The biggest impact digital has had on music is the direct-to-fan relationship – but are artists and their business partners truly realising the potential of D2F? This webinar explains how data and digital tools can be used to drive extra revenue for each artist business.
TOP FIVE MUSIC INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENTS IN 2020
Tuesday 3 Nov | 2.30pm | BOOK TICKETS
In a year dominated by the impact of COVID-19, what have been the key developments in the wider music industry in 2020? As the live industry restarts, what will it look like? And what impact will the challenges of 2020 have long-term on all the other strands of the music industry?
TOP FIVE STREAMING DEVELOPMENTS IN 2020
Tuesday 10 Nov | 2.30pm | BOOK TICKETS
While the streaming boom continues, led by Spotify-style services, the digital music market is diversifying again. New streaming products and business models present both challenges and opportunities, while lingering questions about Spotify-style streaming increasingly need to be answered.
TOP FIVE COPYRIGHT DEVELOPMENTS IN 2020
Tuesday 17 Nov | 2.30pm | BOOK TICKETS
The music rights business has been more stable during the COVID-19 crisis, though certain revenue streams have taken a hit. Meanwhile, copyright law and the music industry's licensing systems continue to evolve. Get a speedy update on all the key developments in music rights with this webinar.
Navigate and understand the music business with guides and reports from CMU...
NEW! Music Rights Data In Ten Steps
A ten step guide to music rights data, data standards and databases
Music Industry Basics In Ten Steps
A ten step guide to all the different strands of the modern music industry
Streaming Challenges In Ten Steps
A ten step guide to the challenges facing the streaming business in 2020
Collective Licensing In Ten Steps
A ten step guide to the collective licensing system
Brand Partnerships In Ten Steps
A ten step guide to artist/brand partnerships
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Fortnite maker again asks a judge to force Apple to reinstate the game in its App Store
The big bust up between 'Fortnite' maker Epic Games and Apple continues. Epic has filed new court papers again asking a judge to issue an injunction that would stop Apple from enforcing sanctions against the gaming firm while a lawsuit over the tech giant's App Store rules continues to go through the motions.

Epic has, of course, gone to war with Apple over those App Store rules, and in particular what they say regarding in-app payments. Like Spotify before it, Epic argues that Apple's insistence that in-app payments on iOS devices are made via the tech giant's own commission-charging payment platform, and that companies can't even sign-post alternative payment options from within their iOS apps, is anti-competitive.

As well as suing over those allegedly anti-competitive rules, Epic also went out of its way to break them by adding an alternative payment option to its 'Fortnite' iOS app, knowing that doing so would result in said app being kicked out of Apple's store. Once that had happened, Epic went back to court seeking an injunction preventing Apple from banning the 'Fortnite' app and instigating any other sanctions while the competition law dispute proceeds.

A judge considered that injunction request last month. Apple countered that Epic could have sued over its App Store rules without first breaking them, and therefore any negative impact caused by the resulting App Store ban was the gaming company's own fault. In legal terms, Epic did not have "clean hands" in this dispute, making its request for an injection less compelling.

Having heard both sides' arguments, the judge made a short-term temporary decision that was something of a compromise. She agreed that Epic had basically brought the App Store ban upon itself, so said that could stay in place for the time being. However, she said that Apple shouldn't implement any more wide-ranging sanctions that could impact on Epic beyond its apps, in particular in relation to the Unreal Engine that a multitude of other third party software developers rely upon.

At the same time though, another hearing on the matter was put in the diary for 28 Sep. Which is why Epic has now submitted new papers to the court, again seeking a wider preliminary injunction that would ban all Apple bans while the wider competition law litigation progresses.

Most of the latest legal filing goes back through why the big bad evil monopolist that is Apple is big and bad and evil and a monopolist, and how its sanctions against Epic are a further example of how big and bad and evil a monopolist Apple really is. With that in mind, and given Epic will definitely win the wider legal battle against Apple, the gaming firm should get the wider preliminary injunction it wants, it argues.

Although, of course, the real issue here is Apple's counter-argument that Epic could have sued over the App Store rules without breaking those rules. And, if it ultimately won that lawsuit, then seek damages to recoup any commissions it had paid Apple - via payments taken through its iOS app - in the period between the lawsuit being filed and any judgement being made.

There is a relatively small section on that point in the new legal filing, in which Epic's lawyers cite various legal precedents that say having "unclean hands" in a competition law dispute isn't sufficient to stop you from getting an injunction to stop allegedly anti-competitive practices. Or something like that. It remains to be seen if the judge accepts those crucial legal arguments, while also processing all the ways in which Epic argues Apple is big and bad and evil and a monopolist.

For its part, Apple is, unsurprisingly, standing its ground, with its most recent statement on the dispute declaring: "The court recommended that Epic comply with the App Store guidelines while their case moves forward, guidelines they've followed for the past decade until they created this situation. Epic has refused".

"Instead they repeatedly submit Fortnite updates designed to violate the guidelines of the App Store", Apple goes on. "This is not fair to all other developers on the App Store and is putting customers in the middle of their fight. We hope that we can work together again in the future, but unfortunately that is not possible today".

And so the dispute continues!

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UK Music backs amendment to immigration bill that ensures touring musicians are on the government's agenda
With all the COVID shenanigans and the catastrophic impact the pandemic has had on the live music sector, it's become easy to forget that the clusterfuck that is Brexit is still looming. But, hey, don't forget people, the clusterfuck that is Brexit is still looming. And plenty of questions remain regarding what it will mean for UK artists touring the rest of Europe, and European artists touring here.

Although the Brexit process officially began on 31 Jan, we are - of course - still in a transition period, meaning nothing to date has really changed. Those changes will kick in on 1 Jan 2021, though no one really knows what that will mean because negotiations regarding the future relationship between the UK and the EU are ongoing, and there remains the very real chance that no new deal will be in place by the start of next year.

For the music industry there remains the risk that, just as live music starts to get going again post-COVID, a whole load of extra bureaucracy and costs will kick in whenever British artists perform in the EU, and artists from EU countries tour the UK. And some reckon that will be a nice new catastrophe ready and waiting to take over just as the COVID catastrophe ends.

Of relevance to all this on the UK side is the Immigration And Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill which, among other things, officially brings to an end the automatic right of EU citizens to work in the UK.

For the current UK government, this is a key part of the Brexit adventure as "let's stop all those foreigners working here" was a big part of the Brexit pitch ahead of the EU referendum in 2016. Of course, that pitch ignores the fact that the very same agenda takes away the automatic right of every UK citizen to work anywhere in the EU.

That is a bit of a fucker. Although less so for the wealthy backers of the Brexit project who are all pretty certain that their money and influence will ensure they can always sort it out for their kids to work in Barcelona, Bucharest or Berlin, should they want to.

But what about British musicians who just want to play some songs on a stage somewhere else in Europe? Well, we don't really know. However, as the Immigration And Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill works its way through the House Of Lords, efforts are underway to ensure that the government at least has the impact of Brexit on touring musicians very much on its agenda.

Supporting those moves, cross-sector trade body UK Music explains: "A group of peers led by Tim Clement-Jones is spearheading a move to amend the government's bill to help safeguard the UK music industry. The proposed changes would compel the Home Secretary Priti Patel to report on the government's assessment of the impact on musicians and others in the creative industries of the ending of rights to free movement of people across the EU within a month of the bill becoming law".

"The amendment", it goes on, "puts pressure on the government to explain how they intend for music industry workers from EU nations to get permission to work in the UK in the new year. It also calls on the government to outline details of any deals made by the government concerning the ability of British musicians and others to work in the EU".

Expanding on all that, acting UK Music CEO Tom Kiehl says: "Thousands of people in the UK music industry need to move quickly and easily across Europe for their work. There is a real fear that without a new trading relationship in place the government's post-Brexit changes will seriously impede that ability and damage our world-leading industry and the music industry's export trade which is worth £2.7 billion a year".

"The proposed amendment to the government's legislation", he goes on, "would pave the way for a swift assessment of the extent of any damage caused by new restrictions on movement and support calls for there to be an agreement between the UK and EU nations on this matter. We are grateful to Lord Clement-Jones and his colleagues for raising this crucial issue in the House Of Lords and we urge the government to adopt it to ensure the music industry does not suffer as a result of these changes".

Clement-Jones himself adds: "Post-Brexit negotiations will need to take place, but all of us hope for the sake of our music industry that the outcome of the amendment and any review carried out as a result will ensure that a scheme at least equivalent to the vital touring arrangements which currently exist are put in place".

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Ted Cockle and Amy Thomson join Hipgnosis
Despite being rather busy signing deals with every single veteran songwriter and artist who ever wrote a song or recorded a track or just accidentally hummed something that sounded nice, Hipgnosis Song Funds founder Merck Mercuriadis has found a little time in his hectic schedule to hire some people to help manage the rapidly expanding catalogue of music rights he's acquired.

First up is Ted Cockle, who until recently headed up Universal Music's Virgin EMI division, departing as the mega-major relaunched that label as just EMI. He becomes President of the Hipgnosis company. Meanwhile, artist manager and music marketeer Amy Thomson, perhaps best known for managing Swedish House Mafia, becomes the firm's Chief Catalogue Officer.

Announcing the appointments, Mercuriadis says: "It's a testament to the iconic song catalogue that we have assembled over the last two-plus years, and our songwriters, that we have been able to attract executives with the extraordinary talent, pedigree and success of Ted and Amy".

"I've been very vocal about disrupting the world of traditional publishing with 'song management'", he goes on. "In song management, we actively manage our songs with great responsibility to higher levels of success. I don't believe there's a traditional publisher that has brought together this level of expertise to manage its songs. Our results have been strong and with Ted and Amy now on board I look forward to everything their passion and know-how will help us to achieve".

Cockle adds: "Each year of my career, I've witnessed how the excellence and magic of individual songs proves to be the catalyst for streaming success, album sales, artist careers, filled venues and growing market shares. Alongside Merck, Amy and the Hipgnosis team I'm very much looking forward to help re-establish and to help grow the value of these classic songs".

And Thomson chips in: "I genuinely love managing songs. They're like stories to me, chapters in the life of the songwriter and the impact they have in creating new stories for the listener. Over the last three years I became obsessed with diving into the care of catalogue as we see songs become pensions. The care and attention of nurturing it for its entire life. Songs are legacies and managing them as if each one was its own artist has become a passion and now I have a chance to work on some of the greatest catalogues on earth with Merck and Ted and I cannot wait to start".

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ISM welcomes government efforts to fully re-open concert halls, but warns financial support for musicians still necessary
The Incorporated Society Of Musicians has welcomed Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden's article in the Mail On Sunday at the weekend, in which he enthusiastically discussed plans to get live music and theatre working at full capacity again as soon as possible.

However, the organisation says that his hopes to have theatre productions and concerts in the schedule over the Christmas period overlook the long lead times of many shows. And that moves to allow full capacity events to take place again should not be used as an excuse to ignore the financial support that will still be needed by many musicians.

Of course, indoor events have been allowed again in England since last month as the government lifted more of the COVID restrictions that had previously been in place.

However, social distancing rules remain, meaning that many venues - although they can in theory re-open - can't afford to do so in a commercially viable way. Dowden's article, therefore, was mainly focused on how capacities could be safely increased to allow the theatre and live music industries to start to properly re-open.

In his article, Dowden said that he is "keen to take some of the best experimental ideas for getting people into our theatres safely and put them into practice", adding that the government "will throw everything at making them work".

"We've got to consider every idea and back several horses", he went on. "We'll also need organisers who can take on this challenge. There are people waiting in the wings to get full performances back on during the crucial Christmas period – and I want to support them. My officials are working on 'Operation Sleeping Beauty' which aims to bring back some of the magic of theatre for families this Christmas, and I hope to share more progress soon".

It is hinted that initiatives such as quick turn-around COVID testing - an area where Dowden says there have been "exciting advances", although no such tests are currently commercially available - could have venues up and running at full capacity by the beginning of November. The issue, of course, is that it's already September and COVID-19 cases are rising, which places many layers of doubt on top of Dowden's apparent optimism.

ISM chief exec Deborah Annetts says in a statement: "It is encouraging to hear that the government has responded to the ISM's relentless campaigning by announcing its intention to safely reopen theatres and other live performance venues without social distancing from 1 Nov. Many of our members are in despair, having had no work since March, and this news is therefore a welcome step for ensuring that venues can make a sustainable income and for freelance musicians to start earning a living through live performance".

"However", she goes on, "unlike other industries, the re-opening of venues and live performances cannot happen overnight. In fact, planning for the Christmas shows, often the most profitable time of year, began much earlier in the year and many venues have already announced their cancellation. While concerts typically take less time to prepare, this should still be a key consideration for the government".

"That is precisely why we need a tailored financial support scheme for freelancers, who are the lifeblood of the performing arts, until venues can fully re-open", she urges. "We urge the government to work with the ISM and other industry leaders so that we can make this proposal a success and see a return to incredible experiences for audiences, and prevent the devastation of our world-leading sector".

There have been many calls for the government to extend financial support schemes for musicians and live music industry freelancers in recent months (many of whom have not actually been eligible for any support to date).

One consideration is that, even if venues are all able to operate at full capacity in less than two months' time, if every musician starts performing immediately there won't be enough audiences to go around. It will take many months to get live music back to anything live normal, even if it becomes safe for the industry to operate as it did pre-pandemic in the near future.

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ROXi announces Sky deal, service added to broadcaster's set-top boxes
ROXi, the TV-set-centric music streaming service that evolved from a thing called Electric Jukebox, which you'd probably all forgotten about until I just reminded you about it there, has announced a big old deal with Sky. Which makes sense. Sky is quite TV-set-centric too, I guess.

It means that Sky customers will be able to access the ROXi service via their Sky Q set-top box, without having to buy a separate ROXi device.

The tie-up is "revolutionary", says ROXi. Revolutionary for it, because it gets its service in front of millions of UK consumers. Revolutionary for Sky because the broadcaster can now offer its customers an add-on music service delivered via their Sky-connected TVs. Vive la révolution.

Reckons ROXi boss Rob Lewis: "The next revolution in digital entertainment is about shared entertainment experiences that bring friends and family together for great fun times, delivered on the biggest screen in the home - the television".

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Featured Artists Coalition and Attitude Is Everything launch strategic partnership
The Featured Artists Coalition and disability-led music charity Attitude Is Everything have announced a new strategic partnership.

The two organisations will work together to try to ensure that the rights and interests of deaf and disabled music-makers are represented within the music industry. As part of the partnership, disabled musicians Ali Hersz and Rob Maddison have come on board as ambassadors of FAC.

"The culture of music and the world of the music industry will only be enriched by including artists from all sorts of backgrounds and with differing experiences of living", says AIE Artist Development Manager Rich Legate. "Artists and musicians who are disabled people are currently not able to move through this industry without facing numerous barriers that either restrict their success, or convince them to give up".

"Working collaboratively with the FAC", he goes on, "we will be able to amplify the voices of disabled artists, supporting their creativity and making sure they have a seat at the table to shape the future of this industry alongside their peers".

FAC General Manager David Martin adds: "As the UK artist trade body, it is crucial that the FAC works for the whole artist community. Our mission is to represent the rights and interests of all artists and this partnership helps us to provide a voice for deaf and disabled artists in an industry which has too often left them out of the conversation".

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Approved: Liraz
Liraz released her debut album, 'Naz', in 2018, on which she blended modern music with 70s Iranian pop sounds to striking effect. Now she is set to release the follow-up, 'Zan', this year, the results of a project that saw her secretly collaborate with musicians in Iran to add new depth to her sound.

Although born and raised in Tel Aviv, a connection to her family's Persian roots was awakened while she was living in Los Angeles working as an actor. There she discovered a large Iranian community.

"I heard this music from before the revolution and I started to collect it", she says. "Some was by women who didn't stop singing after the revolution, as they were supposed to do. They left Iran so they could continue and I heard the courage in their voices. That made me realise I didn't want to act, I wanted to sing".

She then began making music of her own, singing entirely in Farsi - "the language of my parents [and] the only way I could connect to my heritage", she says - which resulted in 'Naz'. After that album was released, musicians living in Iran began to get in touch and the idea of working together remotely began to form.

"At first the idea seemed like a fantasy", she explains. "But I had a lot of luck. Some people in Iran had found 'Naz' and got in touch online. Musicians sent me videos; some wrote every day. I posted questions, asking about different players and instruments".

"Over a year and a half, the songs for 'Zan' took shape", she adds. "Some were scared, since helping like this was against the law, and asked me not to use their names".

The songs on the album tell the stories of women in Liraz's family, as told to her through her life by her parents. "I sing because of these women, to them, for them", she says.

"My grandmothers were engaged when they were eleven and twelve and married at fifteen", she continues. "They both had many children, but they had so much passion for life. I grew up with so many crazy stories about these women. My mother broke down the walls around women. So did my aunt. I watched them since I was a child. They fought for their freedom, and I'm fighting for mine, telling the stories about them in my songs".

The first single from the album, 'Zan, Bezan' ('Women, Sing'), was released last year. The finished ten track LP will be released through Glitterbeat on 13 Nov. Listen to new single, 'Injah' ('Here'), here.

Stay up to date with all of the artists featured in the CMU Approved column by subscribing to our Spotify playlist.
 

Micachu And The Shapes return (sort of)
Micachu And The Shapes are back! Kind of. Five years on from their third album, 'Good Sad Happy Bad', they have returned under the new name - coincidentally - Good Sad Happy Bad.

They actually announced the name change in 2016, but whatever, we were distracted by band leader Mica Levi's burgeoning career as an in-demand Hollywood soundtrack composer back then. They're actively doing stuff again now, though, so this is the time to talk about it.

In some ways, it's a different band, with some shifting around of roles. Keyboard player Raisa Khan now takes on lead vocals, leaving Levi to concentrate on guitar, while Marc Pell remains on drums. They are also joined by multi-instrumentalist CJ Calderwood to bring them up to a quartet.

"Like the band name the songs are either good, sad, happy or bad", say the band. "And", they go on, "sometimes either slow, fast, heavy or light, and sometimes cold, hot, warm or freezing, and sometimes tasty, nasty, bland or spicy".

Hopefully "bad" and "bland" don't feature too frequently. You'll get to find out when they release their new/debut album 'Shades' on 16 Oct. The title track is out now.

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APPOINTMENTS

Direct-to-fan company Townsend Music has hired Paul Barnes as Head Of Digital. He was previously at Transistor Music and PledgeMusic, and is also a member of the band Sonic Boom Six. "Barney's skills and insight in this field will be instrumental in helping us expand the Townsend community and the reach we can offer our clients", says Sales Director Bruce McKenzie.

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RELEASES

Steps have announced that they will release a new album, 'What The Future Holds', on 27 Nov. "We were so THRILLED that the last album [in 2017] was a success and it gave us a new lease of life", say the group. "We're also THRILLED to have Sophie Ellis-Bextor as our special guest on the 'What The Future Holds' 2021 Tour. We are so excited for everyone to hear this new album and to come join us on tour". Yeah, they're touring UK arenas in Nov 2021 too, assuming touring is a thing by then. Here's new single 'What The Future Holds'.

Aurora has a new track out called 'The Secret Garden'. It features on the soundtrack of the new film of the same name. "Aurora is such a unique and inspiring singer-songwriter, and we were THRILLED when 'The Secret Garden' sparked this collaboration with her", says the film's producer Rosie Alison. "True to the spirit of the story, her exquisite song conjures nature's mysterious power in our lives".

Paul Epworth has released new single 'Mars & Venus', featuring Vince Staples, Ishmael and Elle Yaya. The track is taken from the producer's debut solo album, 'Voyager', which is out this Friday. "'Mars & Venus' was the first track I made for 'Voyager' and without Vince the record wouldn't have even been started", says Epworth.

Moonchild Sanelly has released new single 'Thunda Thighs'. Her new EP, 'Nüdes', is out this week.

PAV4N has released new single '2020 Fe Dead'. "The pandemic has created the perfect setting for nefarious action from powers that be", he says. "Whether they are eschewing science and health over profit, passing questionable laws under the noses of a distracted population, or outsourcing life-saving measures to the old boys' network".

Vritra has released the video for 'Air Raid' from his new album 'Sonar'.

Makola have released new single 'Everyday Legend'. "It's important for us to look at the legends of the past that have paved the way to allow us the opportunity to be legends ourselves", say they. "No matter what you do or where you come from we can all become legends in our own right". Their new EP is due in October.

Ava Lily has released new single 'Closure'. "When I wrote this song I was going through the motions of a break-up", she says. "I was in this space where I knew we couldn't be together but I needed to know he was alone, so I could sleep sound. It was kind of a selfish energy, I didn't wanna be the only one suffering. I was trying to convince myself that if we just spent one more night, then that would be the closure I needed to let go".

Chloe Lilac has released the video for 'Douchbag', taken from her latest EP 'D-Bag'.

Niji No Conquistador have released the video for 'Summer Towa Kimi To Watashinari!', taken from their latest album 'Rainbow Gravity'.

Jenny Banai has released new single 'Paper Plain'. The track, she says, "is a poetic stream of consciousness exposing my paper-thin human heart and its desire to express love freely, but in reality, my feelings are faded words stuck inside crumpled ideas".

Ailbhe Reddy has released new single 'Looking Happy'. "The song is all about watching someone's life from afar post-break up", she says. "We should all know by now that what people present online is a shiny, happy version of events, but sometimes it's impossible to have that logic when you're hurting. Most people have probably ended up scrolling through the online profile of an ex and feeling like their life is full of fun parties and holidays, because that's all people show of their life online".

Winnie And The Rockettes have released new single 'Hold My Drink'. "We wanted it to sound cosmic, where you feel the space and get deep into imagining the story of the song", they say. "Aside from listening to current music, we listen to a lot of music from different ages and we wanted the song to be a reflection of that".

Check out our weekly Spotify playlist of new music featured in the CMU Daily - updated every Friday.

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National Album Day adds more 80s ambassadors to the party
The third edition of National Album Day will take place on 10 Oct and, remember, this year it's an 80s special. All day it will be illegal to listen to anything but albums from the 80s. Well, listening to LPs from the 1980s will be strongly encouraged. I'm not completely certain on the actual legalities.

What I am certain about, however, is that Jazzie B, Kim Wilde, Martin Fry and Carol Decker have just been named as ambassadors of the whole thing. In that role, they join already announced Billy Ocean, Psychedelic Furs, Toyah Wilcox and non-80s chancers Blossoms and La Roux.

"I've always loved albums", says Jazzie B, getting stuck right in.

"An album can be a ticket for the greatest journey that lasts a lifetime", adds Kim Wilde, in a joint statement with her dad Marty, for some reason.

"I am proud to have been a small part of the most diversely creative era in music", chips in Carol Decker, somewhat controversially.

"Growing up listening to everything from Bowie to the Buzzcocks there were albums released that, hand on heart, saved my life", reckons Martin Fry, slightly unconvincingly.

So, you heard them, get yourself a ticket and love some albums from the most diversely creative era in music - it's guaranteed to save your life. For younger readers, there is information on what albums actually are here.

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