Spotify data reveals boom in sleep and relaxation albums

Putting on music is often seen as an energising action to aid dancing, even jogging. But now one of the fastest-growing new album categories features music focused on the opposite goal: putting listeners to sleep. Spotify’s fastest-growing music category is the newly named “environmental/sleep/relaxative” – in the last week alone, 282 albums from the category…

The new queens of Afrobeat

It seemed inevitable that Nigerian-German singer Nneka would make a roots trip album. The 34-year-old accompanied Damian Marley and Nas on their 2010 Distant Relatives tour, a project that updated a well-trodden route of Caribbean to African awakening with a punchy, hip-hop-moulded attitude. This enthusiasm has been manifested within Nneka and so My Fairy Tales…

So what do teenage girls make of Miley Cyrus, Lily Allen and that video?

So we’ve all seen the Miley Cyrus Wrecking Ball music video, which has been attacked for its sexually explicit imagery, and Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines, which has been condemned as misogynist for both its lyrics and its video. Both artists have defended themselves as misunderstood and described themselves as feminists. Everyone talks of the messages…

Lily Allen denies accusations that Hard Out Here music video is racist

Lily Allen has denied accusations that her new music video is racist, insisting that Hard Out Here’s scantily clad black and Asian dancers were chosen for their twerking skills, not the colour of their skin. Criticism of Allen’s video followed almost immediately after its release on Tuesday, with several bloggers and numerous tweeters calling out…