REVIEW: THE SCRIPT – SUNSETS & FULL MOONS 0 56

It’s been a decidedly difficult year for Irish band The Script with both front-man Danny O’Donoghue and drummer Glen Power losing their mum and dad respectively. However, despite the hardship and the heartbreak, the trio, completed by guitarist Mark Sheehan, have long since proven themselves to be the masters of chanelling their emotions into their music – and they do so again on their sixth studio album Sunsets & Full Moons.

“Something Unreal”, which the band previewed a few days before the album was officially released yesterday, starts things off, and is followed by the collections’ lead single “The Last Time” which is sure to go down a storm at the trio’s live shows next year.

The most honest and emotive track on the album comes in the form of “Run Through Walls”, which Danny has said he wrote just a week after the death of his mum. The lyrics read almost like a diary; a whirlpool of thoughts and feelings and of deep and heartfelt appreciation for those who were there for him at such a difficult time. As someone who still struggles with the loss of their dad two years ago, I’m not afraid to admit this song made me cry and has encouraged me to express my gratitude towards my friends more often.

“If You Don’t Love Yourself” is very much a self-love music mantra – both an admittance that people can and do treat themselves badly and judge themselves harshly and perhaps also a call for those who listen to the track – and everyone in general – to be kinder to themselves with the lyric: “you don’t lose if you learn from ye mistakes” being one sure to resonate with a lot of people. “Hurt People Hurt People” meanwhile has a VERY honest title – anyone who’s ever had a bad word said about them by anyone else will agree – and the power with which Danny sings: “Don’t worry I know just how you feel, I’ve been hurt before” is testament to how true such a statement and experience is and has been for him.

The tempo of the album slows somewhat with the arrival of “Same Time”, but with the instrumentation stripped back, the thought-provoking lyrics and Danny’s delivery of them take centre stage and present the listener with a song they can sit back and reflect on. “Underdog” will strike a chord with anyone who has ever been bullied or belittled; told they can’t do something or that they won’t or wouldn’t amount to anything. It’s a rousing reminder – and one I personally appreciate – that more often than not, the underdogs come out on top and they’ll always be better than the bullies or those that mistreat others around them.

Anyone who’s been in a powerful, meaningful relationship with someone that’s ended, need it be years ago or fairly recently, will identify with the lyrics of “The Hurt Game” and for this reason alone the track is easily a highlight of the album; no band can write and sing about love and heartbreak quite like The Script can.

Summer might be over but there’s a distinctly ‘laid back’ feel to closing number “Summer Nights” and as a result of the simplistic instrumentation, it’s not hard to imagine thousands upon thousands of people providing a track long hand-clap backdrop to the song as they sing along when it’s performed on the bands’ tour next year.

While many artists might find themselves struggling to maintain both their fan-base and artistic standards after more than a decade in the industry, Sunsets and Full Moons is proof that The Script are still as strong, as relevant and as honest as ever – something which in this day and age is very rare and special indeed.

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NEW MYTHS UNVEIL THEIR COVER OF EMF’S CLASSIC “UNBELIEVABLE” 0 66

Since making their mark on the music scene back in 2012, New Rock rock trio Myths have gone on to achieve a strong following of fans and support from radio stations – including BBC Radio 6 – and publications on both sides of the Atlantic.

Their live shows, including those at festivals such as SXSW, have seen them wow audiences of all sizes and perform alongside the likes of B-52’s singer Cindy Wilson and earlier this year they headed out on the road as support for The Joy Formidable.

More recently, as they prepare to release their sophomore album, New Myths recorded a cover of the EMF track “Unbelievable”, which they’ve chosen to release as a single, and ThisIsTheLatest are delighted to host its premiere.

While the original version is an up-tempo classic, The New Myths rework presents “Unbelievable” in a whole new way, and has the group put their own unique twist on a track that remains one of the most popular of the 90’s.

Asked how and why they chose to cover the track, the trio said:

“We were in the studio recording new original tracks and decided we wanted to try a cover which we hadn’t done yet. We couldn’t seem to agree on anything but then when Brit brought up “Unbelievable” we were all in agreement that we all love the song and we also wanted to cover a song that we could completely change up and make our own. Once we decided to slow down, reharmonize, and grunge-ify “Unbelievable,” we were all super down and really into it.”

Give “Unbelievable” a listen below and for more information on New Myths, visit their website, give their page a like on Facebook or follow them on Twitter. Header photo credit: Lissy Elle Laricchia.

AMERICAN MUSIC AWARDS 2019: THE NOMINATIONS REVEALED 0 36

As the kick-off to this year’s highly anticipated “2019 American Music Awards,” chart-topping artist and AMA nominee Ella Mai today announced the “2019 American Music Awards” nominees in four categories LIVE on ABC’s “Good Morning America” followed by additional nominees announced via the AMAs social media accounts, including three categories which launched the AMAs TikTok profile. Rounding out the morning, Mai also announced nominees via Billboard Magazine’s social media platforms. The “2019 American Music Awards” will broadcast live on ABC from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Sunday, November 24 at 8:00 p.m. ET on ABC.

Two-time AMA winner, Post Malone, is the most nominated artist this year with seven total nominations, including Artist of the Year, Collaboration of the Year and Favorite Male Artist – Pop/Rock. Three-time AMA winner, Ariana Grande, and first-time AMA nominee, Billie Eilish, each received six nods including Favorite Music Video, Favorite Social Artist, Favorite Female Artist – Pop/Rock and Favorite Album – Pop/Rock. Lil Nas X and Taylor Swift are tied with five nominations each, followed by Billy Ray Cyrus, Khalid and Ella Mai with four each.

Nominees for the coveted Artist of the Year category are Drake, Ariana Grande, Halsey, Post Malone and Taylor Swift. Swift is the current record holder for most wins in this category with four wins. Swift could also go on to surpass Michael Jackson’s record for most AMA wins of all time, 24, should she win in two of the five categories she’s nominated in. Swift and Alabama are currently tied with 23 all-time AMA wins.

The American Music Awards, the world’s largest fan-voted awards show, is where music enthusiasts watch their favorite artists and pop culture icons come together to honor idols, newcomers and record-breakers in the contemporary music scene. From Pop and Rock, to Country, Hip Hop and beyond, this year’s show will celebrate some of the best moments in music with appearances by today’s brightest stars and live performances from the biggest names in the industry.

American Music Awards nominees are based on key fan interactions as reflected on Billboard.com, including streaming, album and digital song sales, radio airplay, social activity and touring. These measurements are tracked by Billboard and its data partners, including Nielsen Music and Next Big Sound, and reflect the time period of September 28, 2018 through September 26, 2019. The American Music Awards winners are voted entirely by fans.

Voting is now open for all AMA categories. Fans can access the official voting ballot for the AMAs directly by visiting goo.gle/AMAsVote or by going to Google.com and using the search terms “AMAs Vote” or “[Nominee Name] AMAs Vote.” Fans can submit up to 30 votes per category per day per Google account while voting is open. Voting will close on Wednesday, November 20, 2019 at 11:59:59 p.m. PT.

2019 AMERICAN MUSIC AWARDS TOP NOMINATED ARTISTS CHART FACTS:

Post Malone
Two-time American Music Award winner Post Malone comes into the 2019 AMAs with a field-leading seven nominations – and it’s no wonder, as he’s chalked up what could be considered his biggest year yet in music. 2019 started off with his third No. 1 single on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, “Sunflower (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse)” with Swae Lee, and he followed it up with four more top 10s. Further, his third album, Hollywood’s Bleeding, stormed in atop the Billboard 200 chart, giving the artist his second No. 1. Concurrent with the album’s bow at No. 1, all 17 of the set’s songs debuted on the Hot 100 chart.

Ariana Grande
Ariana Grande, a current six-time American Music Award nominee this year, wasted no time in the past year. The pop superstar’s thank u, next album debuted at No. 1 less than six months after her last album, Sweetener, started at No. 1 – the shortest gap between new No. 1 albums by a female artist since 1975. Further, when thank u, next charged in at No. 1, it broke the record for the largest streaming week ever earned for a pop album, according to Nielsen Music. The three-time AMA winner collected her first two No. 1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 chart with thank u, next’s title track, and its follow-up hit, “7 Rings.”

Billie Eilish
It was a big year on the charts for six-time 2019 American Music Award nominee Billie Eilish. The 17-year old singer-songwriter debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart with When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? and logged a smash No. 1 single on the Billboard Hot 100 with the set’s breakout hit “Bad Guy.” When We All Fall Asleep has collected more than 2 billion on-demand audio streams for its songs in the U.S., including a half-billion alone for “Bad Guy.” Also impressive: when “Bad Guy” hit No. 1 on the Alternative Songs airplay chart, it followed her previous No. 1, “Bury a Friend,” which made Eilish only the third woman to score multiple No. 1s in the 30-plus year history of the chart.

Lil Nas X
Five-time American Music Award nominee Lil Nas X re-wrote the chart history books in 2019, as his ubiquitous single “Old Town Road” broke the long-standing record for the most weeks at No. 1 in the 60-plus-year history of the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Fueled by the runaway popularity of the song’s remix featuring Billy Ray Cyrus, the song spent 19 weeks at No. 1 on the tally, surpassing the previous record-holders, Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s “Despacito,” featuring Justin Bieber, and Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men’s “One Sweet Day,” each with 16 weeks at No. 1. But Lil Nas X didn’t stop there – he followed “Old Town” with another top 10 hit, “Panini,” and a debut EP, 7, which opened at No. 1 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.

Taylor Swift
23-time American Music Award winner Taylor Swift had another super-sized year on the charts, thanks to the 2019 five-time nominee’s massive album Lover and its singles. The set blasted in at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, securing the superstar her sixth No. 1 on the list. Further, when it launched at No. 1, it did so with the biggest week earned by an album since her own last release, reputation, in 2017. The Lover era kicked off with its first single, “ME!,” featuring Brendon Urie, notching Swift her 23rd top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100. She then followed it up with two more top 10s so far, her 24th and 25th total, “You Need to Calm Down” and the album’s title track.

Billy Ray Cyrus
Two-time American Music Award winner Billy Ray Cyrus returned to the top of the Billboard charts in a major way in 2019, thanks to an unlikely collaboration: his teaming with Lil Nas X on a remix of the enormous hit “Old Town Road.” The tune spent a record 19 weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and brought 2019 four-time AMA nominee Cyrus back to the chart’s top 10 for the first time since 1992, when his debut hit “Achy Breaky Heart” reached No. 4.

Ella Mai
Four-time American Music Award nominee Ella Mai broke through in mid-2018 with her chart-dominating hit “Boo’d Up,” which spent 13 weeks at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot R&B Songs chart. The singer-songwriter followed it up with a string of further hits on the list, including “Trip” (No. 1 for 14 weeks) and “Shot Clock” (No. 3). Plus, her self-titled full-length album arrived and spent 11 weeks at No. 1 on the Top R&B Albums chart, while also hitting No. 5 on the Billboard 200.

Khalid
Khalid made waves on the charts in 2019, as the American Music Award-winner landed his first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart with Free Spirit, and his highest charting single as a lead artist on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Talk” (peaking at No. 3). With Free Spirit, the singer-songwriter also logged the first R&B album to top the Billboard 200 in nearly a year, and scored one of the largest streaming weeks ever for an R&B album, according to Nielsen Music. “Talk” also spent 18 weeks at No. 1 on the Hot R&B Songs chart – one of over a dozen top 20-charting hits in 2019 for the current four-time AMA nominee.

The complete list of nominations for the 2019 American Music Awards is below.

ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Drake
Ariana Grande
Halsey
Post Malone
Taylor Swift

NEW ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Luke Combs
Billie Eilish
Lil Nas X
Lizzo
Ella Mai

COLLABORATION OF THE YEAR
Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper “Shallow”
Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus “Old Town Road”
Marshmello & Bastille “Happier”
Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello “Señorita”
Post Malone & Swae Lee “Sunflower (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse)”

TOUR OF THE YEAR
BTS
Ariana Grande
Elton John
P!nk
Ed Sheeran

FAVORITE MUSIC VIDEO
Billie Eilish “bad guy”
Ariana Grande “7 rings”
Halsey “Without Me”
Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus “Old Town Road”
Taylor Swift “You Need to Calm Down”

FAVORITE SOCIAL ARTIST
BTS
Billie Eilish
EXO
Ariana Grande
Shawn Mendes

FAVORITE MALE ARTIST – POP/ROCK
Drake
Khalid
Post Malone

FAVORITE FEMALE ARTIST – POP/ROCK
Billie Eilish
Ariana Grande
Taylor Swift

FAVORITE DUO OR GROUP – POP/ROCK
BTS
Jonas Brothers
Panic! At The Disco

FAVORITE ALBUM – POP/ROCK
Billie Eilish “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?”
Ariana Grande “thank u, next”
Taylor Swift “Lover”

FAVORITE SONG – POP/ROCK
Halsey “Without Me”
Jonas Brothers “Sucker”
Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus “Old Town Road”
Panic! At The Disco “High Hopes”
Post Malone & Swae Lee “Sunflower (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse)”

FAVORITE MALE ARTIST – COUNTRY
Kane Brown
Luke Combs
Thomas Rhett

FAVORITE FEMALE ARTIST – COUNTRY
Kelsea Ballerini
Maren Morris
Carrie Underwood

FAVORITE DUO or GROUP – COUNTRY
Dan + Shay
Florida Georgia Line
Old Dominion

FAVORITE ALBUM – COUNTRY
Kane Brown “Experiment”
Dan + Shay “Dan + Shay”
Carrie Underwood “Cry Pretty”

FAVORITE SONG – COUNTRY
Luke Combs “Beautiful Crazy”
Dan + Shay “Speechless”
Blake Shelton “God’s Country”

FAVORITE ARTIST – RAP/HIP-HOP
Cardi B
Drake
Post Malone

FAVORITE ALBUM – RAP/HIP-HOP
Meek Mill “Championships”
Post Malone “Hollywood’s Bleeding”
Travis Scott “Astroworld”

FAVORITE SONG – RAP/HIP-HOP
Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus “Old Town Road”
Post Malone “Wow.”
Travis Scott “SICKO MODE”

FAVORITE MALE ARTIST – SOUL/R&B
Chris Brown
Khalid
Bruno Mars

FAVORITE FEMALE ARTIST – SOUL/R&B
Beyoncé
Lizzo
Ella Mai

FAVORITE ALBUM – SOUL/R&B
Chris Brown “Indigo”
Khalid “Free Spirit”
Ella Mai “Ella Mai”

FAVORITE SONG – SOUL/R&B
Khalid “Talk”
Lizzo “Juice”
Ella Mai “Trip”

FAVORITE ARTIST – ALTERNATIVE ROCK
Billie Eilish
Imagine Dragons
Panic! At The Disco

FAVORITE ARTIST – ADULT CONTEMPORARY
Maroon 5
P!nk
Taylor Swift

FAVORITE ARTIST – LATIN
Bad Bunny
J Balvin
Ozuna

FAVORITE ARTIST – CONTEMPORARY INSPIRATIONAL
Lauren Daigle
for KING & COUNTRY
MercyMe

FAVORITE ARTIST – ELECTRONIC DANCE MUSIC (EDM)
Avicii
Marshmello
The Chainsmokers

FAVORITE SOUNDTRACK
“A Star is Born” by Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper
“Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen
“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”