By ALEX LYALL

 

Welcome to this bumper edition of The Weekly Music Haul! This time, we have two weeks’ worth of news for you, all the way up to New Year’s Eve Eve. We’re talking about the music so good you’ll find it in Santa’s haul too. 

 

Vagabon – The Embers

This band has a voice that I hope to hear all the time in 2017. It leads The Embers, a song chunky in bass but sharp in melody. The teaming of the band’s stunning vocal work with its fused instrumentation is the song’s selling point, as it highlights the track’s emotional core. The band acknowledges that for now they are just “small fish,” but I would put money on this changing very soon.

 

Wolfmother to open for Guns N’ Roses

The reunion tour that nobody thought would happen is being opened by an act that is probably the most stoked about it. Wolfmother play with a passion that draws from their worship of old-school hard rock. Frontman Andrew Stockdale even played on Slash’s debut solo album. The best opening acts are those with a deep love of the band they’re opening for.

 

George Michael passes away aged 53

There were few more daring than George Michael, but more importantly there were few more fun. His music sent people dancing just as they sent people crying. The fact that his two biggest hits with Wham!, Last Christmas and Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go, are so different speaks to this notion.

 

Run the Jewels drop another diamond

Hip-hop duo Run the Jewels in many ways are a permanent silver lining – bad things happen so EL-P and Killer Mike will be there make something fierce. Donald Trump immediately gets his dues: “Went to war with the Devil and Shaytan/He wore a bad toupee and a spray tan.” The rest of the album decries police brutality and racism, but promotes kick-arse guest stars like Kamasi Washington and BOOTS (with a surprise feature from Zack de la Rocha).

 

2 Chainz sells the world’s best ugly Christmas sweater 

Fancy an ugly Christmas sweater for the limited price of only $90,000 USD? Well, 2 Chainz is your man. The rapper and fashion dealer has loaded this bad-boy with 50 carats of diamond and 250 grams of gold. Your gran may have a few ugly Christmas sweaters tucked away already, but I guarantee she doesn’t have one from 2 Chainz… yet.

 

St. Vincent announces new album

Easily one of the greatest live acts around, guitar-whizz kid St. Vincent has announced a new album for autumn next year. Without revealing its title, she has said of the album that it will be her “deepest and boldest work.” St. Vincent is not known for doing things by half-measure, so believe it when she says it.

 

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame choose inductees

Tupac, Yes, Pearl Jam, Joan Baez and Journey have been accepted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. An honour reserved for the legends only, Tupac and Pearl Jam were nominated in their first year of eligibility. In order to be eligible, an artist must have released their debut album at least 25 years ago.

So well done guys and cheers for all the sweet tunes!

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