Sia, Diplo And Labrinth Visit A World Of Giants In ‘No New Friends’ Video

LSD – the unorthodox group made up of Sia, Diplo, and Labrinth – have released a kooky, wacky, and there are perhaps not enough words in the human language to properly explain it, video for “No New Friends.” It’s a grimly titled tune with a visual that couldn’t be farther from it, resting somewhere between the territories of Dr. Seuss and Roald Dahl. That’s not quite it. Think Lord of the Rings on helium. That’s more like it.

This world, this impossible place, on display in “No New Friends”  has soft pink skies, giant vines with furry meatballs on them, and giant women in yellow dresses and grotesquely large bowties. Think back to your scariest childhood nightmares, but worse. That’s it. The giant woman is Maddie Ziegler, Sia’s body double who appears as the singer’s voice floats. Ziegler has pink and blue ribbons tied around her ankles and a curious, nose-upturned look. She’s focused on Labrinth, the happily-frolicking miniature man in royal caveman garb, strolling through this land with a smile on his face. After locking eyes and mimicking each other, a fast friendship is struck.

What follows is a tale of two unlikely friends reveling in each other’s company. Labrinth grooves with Ziegler’s fingers while the vibrant music plays in one scene, the pair watch miniature versions of Ziegler dancing while wearing purple dresses in another. Eventually, it’s revealed that Ziegler isn’t the only big fish in town. Diplo’s the divine man living in the moon and the sun wearing tacky suits to signify the switch from day to night time. It’s even kookier as you watch it than it is to write about it, trust me.

“No New Friends” is the cheery fifth single shared from their recently released LP, Labrinth, Sia & Diplo Present… LSD.  On April 24, the world will get its first live television debut of the new trio when they perform this number on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. To see more of the group’s absurd fantasy world, you’ll want to check out the video for “Thunderclouds” that they released in August.

Take a look at the world of “No New Friends” up above.

Clairo On Her Coachella Debut, New Music, and Upcoming Arena Tour With Khalid

By Kat Bein

Clairo broke out in late 2017 with the heartwarmingly DIY viral video “Pretty Girl,” and her lo-fi productions and raspy whisper have since captured the attention of elder tastemakers and Gen Z superfans alike. The 20-year-old singer-songwriter has the sharp mind of a woman and the warm soul of a folk hero. She’s a humble but powerful presence, taking each chance to speak her mind, nurture her voice, support her peers, and stay open along the way.

Backstage at Coachella, Clairo was giggly and excited, gushing about how Rosalía is the best performer of our generation, but when she takes the stage or talks about female empowerment and trans rights, a calm inner wisdom shines through. During her set, she stood strong and proud, guitar in hand, in a shimmering beige suit with embroidered roses and rhinestones. Fans were treated to four new songs from Clairo’s forthcoming project, which aims to push her production techniques forward and dig deeper than the usual love songs to tell a more complete human story. And she’ll be sharing more soon on an arena tour in support of her friend Khalid, which kicks off in Phoenix on June 20. Ahead of her Coachella debut, we caught up with Clairo to hear more about her journey.

MTV News: We heard this is your first Coachella ever, both as a fan and a performer. What does this festival man to you?

Clairo: I didn’t really know what to expect, but what I’ve noticed so far is that women have been dominating this year’s festival. All the performances from the women have been mind-blowing. Rosalía; Christine and the Queens was amazing; I loved Kacey Musgraves; I loved Billie [Eilish]; I loved Maggie Rogers. Everyone killed it, and it’s inspiring to be on a lineup with them and being able to talk to them. Offering support to other women on the lineup is the No. 1 thing I want to do at any festival I play. I want to make sure that every other female musician is getting positive energy from me if they want it.

MTV News: I believe it. I read that you’re part of a group called Production Princesses.

Clairo: Yeah! This musician named Sophie Meyers started the group. She’s great. There are about 20 members from all over the world. It’s a Twitter group. All the people involved are really sweet and want to learn more about production, and Sophie is more than willing to offer that advice, and same here. If anyone has questions about my journey or my experience, I’m more than happy to give them advice. Sometimes, I’ll even go in there and I’ll be like, I don’t know why this is happening to me and just vent about my experience, and the women in that group are more than willing to give me that emotional support that I’m not getting elsewhere.

Women are insanely amazing when it comes to emotional support, and I think it’s important that Sophie created this platform that lets girls feel more comfortable in a production space. They’re afraid to ask questions to guys about sidechaining or other things about production, little things that they would feel stupid for not knowing. No one deserves to feel stupid for not knowing something. No one deserves to be put down because they’re trying to learn.

MTV News: You’re promising to play some new music in your set today.

Clairo: I am. Four new songs.

MTV News: That’s a bold choice for your first Coachella.

Clairo: It just happened to be the time where we were supposed to do it. Landing on Coachella is a big moment, but it ended up happening that way. We played the songs for the first time at the El Rey [Theatre] in Los Angeles on Thursday. People seem to like them, so I’ll be interested to see how Coachella reacts, but so far so good.

MTV News: You released a few songs already this year. You’ve got “Bubble Gum” and “Sis.”

Clairo: Those are songs I actually wrote around four years ago and just decided to put on streaming recently.

MTV News: Did you change them at all?

Clairo: No, they’re exactly the same. They were on SoundCloud for a long time, but my followers really wanted me to put them on streaming. It was a cool moment. Everyone was really excited. Most of my older ones are on SoundCloud still.

MTV News: The newer songs that you’re premiering, are they part of a bigger project you’re putting together?

Clairo: They are. I can’t give too much away but, yes, I definitely have a collection of songs. I’ve been hiding away for a little bit. I feel like these new songs are talking a lot about my personal experiences outside of relationships, like my sexuality, my arthritis – it’s very strong. I have a weird mutation in my genes, I guess. I’m talking about things and diving deeper with my struggles and what I’ve been going through in the last year, so I connect a lot with the music and it feels a lot more like me as a person. And I’m working really hard on the production to make it reach its full potential and not just putting out songs because they sound like a good enough demo to post. I’m really taking my time, so I’m really gassed about it.

MTV News: You’re about to go on tour with the great Khalid. What is that relationship like?

Clairo: It’s great. He’s a good friend of mine. He’s been a supporter since forever. He’s someone I look up to, and he’s a really, really positive person. It’s going to be really nice to have him around and to be able to get advice from him about this experience – at least have a close friend around that I can hang out with when we’re playing these huge arenas. It won’t be so scary, because I’m very scared. It’s really terrifying. [laughs]

MTV News: You’ve done a lot of work with the Transgender Law Center, too. You recently did a show with them and the ACLU. Why is that issue close to your heart?

Clairo: “Pretty Girl” was put out on a compilation tape called The Le Sigh Vol. III. We donated the proceeds to the Transgender Law Center, and I wanted to continue that support with the show Thursday. Some of my close friends are in that community, and I think it has to be talked about. It’s a necessary conversation that someone with a platform needs to talk about. Trans women are killed all the time, and I can’t have a platform and not use it. I can’t physically allow myself to have followers that aren’t aware of these situations that are happening. Anything I can do to help other people and use my platform to lift other people up and make people aware of the world outside their own bubble – if I can get inside those bubbles that people have in their small towns and bring to light things they probably wouldn’t read about otherwise, that’s all I can do.

Zayn Swoons Over The Curves Of The Earth’s Terrain In ‘Stand Still’ Video

Zayn‘s “Stand Still” is an enchanting spell that whispers about the Earth to explain a sudden and constricting love. He has shared a video that shows this infatuation, but instead of with a person, it’s with the world itself. He takes it a step further and then plays with the construction of his world and, in the process, creates a captivating, romantic film that romanticizes the many skies of our planet.

There aren’t many words that can describe the beauty of “Stand Still.” In this homage to our space rock, there are people, the size of ants, standing in a vast array of environments. Foresty mountains with clusters of trees and vast amounts of open soil, snow-blanketed white fields, and gigantic sand dunes under cloudy skies are a few of the planet’s many faces on display. Zayn himself is absent but his voice is the soft wind that blows through each locale. Soon, the environments fold over, becoming mirrored. This warped depiction of nature is all the proof we need that we have a beautiful planet. We need to savor it.

“Stand Still” comes from Zayn’s 2018 album Icarus FallsIn January, the singer released a cinematic, heartbreaking visual for “Satisfaction” that followed the tale of two lovers separated by violence.

Check out the eerily calm video for “Stand Still” up above.

Tyga Brings The Temperature Up 40 Degrees With Toasty Anthem ‘Goddamn’

Tyga is forever having fun on rap records, often sounding like he’s smiling as he’s recording. It’s why his most recent records have a tropical leisurely feel as if it’s siesta time in the middle of the day and he’s at the beach with his feet in the water. That feeling is here on “Goddamn,” his latest smooth-talking party record. Blueface may lick his fingertips and split his eyebrows in real life, but Tyga does it while he’s rapping. It’s a nearly impossible feat.

“Goddamn” is good, cheery fun. Surprisingly, there’s a violin and other, distinct live instruments inside. For something that’s the tempo to make you shake your rear end, it’s surprising, but not totally unheard of. Tyga gets his smooth-talking shtick on, putting together the kind of confident lines and playboy demeanor that makes his music roll out of speakers in resort parties so effortlessly. It’s not as steamy and overtly sexual as, say, “Taste” or “Girls Have Fun.” But it’s in a similar sensual atmosphere that’s a little more vulgar and brash, yet less steamy.

Tyga recently appeared on stage during YG‘s set at Coachella. Last year he had quite the year, releasing three different summer anthems in “Taste,” Swish,” and “Dip.” Earlier this year, he released “Girls Have Fun.”

Listen to the smooth new tune up above.

Schoolboy Q Is A Paper Bag-Wearing Psycho In New Crash Talk Album Trailer

On April 26, Schoolboy Q returns in all of his high voiced, manic rapping splendor. His new album Crash Talk has been announced to hit streaming services then. The rapper released a brief, head-scratching trailer confirming that finally, after nearly three years, and a few recent singles, reveals that he’s back and ready for more.

The 40-second trailer is made of two kinds of faces. The first is a bag head, or a person (presumably Schoolboy Q) with a brown paper bag with eye cutouts staring out of the dark room. It’s disorientating. The second kind of face is Schoolboy Q’s grizzled moniker. Flashing lights and rapidly switching faces – first from bagged to Q, then Q to bagged – make it an unsettling visual. With Q’s psychotic rapping playing through the brief clip, it heightens the tension in the air. Like driving before colliding. A crash that’s about to happen. It’s then revealed that Crash Test is coming.

Last month, Schoolboy Q gave the world two tastes of his new musical craziness with “Numb Numb Juice” and “Chopstix” with Travis Scott. Schoolboy Q’s last album, Black Face LP, came out in 2016.

Check out the short trailer up above.

Madonna Is A Secret Spy Named Madame X In New Album Trailer

Madonna has returned! The legendary singer is a globe-traveling secret agent for a nefarious corporation, her face the same composition as a stone in the trailer for Madame X, a new album that’s set to drop. It’s a hell of an announcement that signals the theatricality the world loves from Madonna. Her return is sure to be a grand one. There’s a snippet of music in here to give you just a taste.

The video, titled “Welcome to the World of Madame X” is a minute long and paints a picture of this spy-thriller world where The Bourne Identity meets Salt. Madonna has many faces and many names and wears some leather gloves that hint at nefarious intentions. Our favorite look is the suit and eyepatch combo. It’s very Bond villainous and lets us know that Madame X will be an extravagant adventure. Something well worth the wait. The snippet of chilling vocals played at the beginning could be an indicator of the direction that the album will go.

Madame X follows Madonna’s 2015 album Rebel Heart. It’s finally time to revisit the heroic singer’s world. Things are moved around this time for the better, designed to intrigue. For now, all we have is a snippet to latch on to; that, and a trailer of looks and identities. Madame X will be a mysterious return to form.

Check out the trailer up above.

Ariana Grande Led A Surprise NSYNC Reunion At Coachella

Last night (April 14), Ariana Grande cast a spell over the audience with her microphone, a musician’s wand, at Coachella during her headlining set. She intertwined the music of yesterday and today when she brought out NSYNC during her set for a reunion (sans Justin Timberlake) for the ages. Using her own song “Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I’m Bored” as the bridge, she embraced the ’90s heartthrobs in a performance bursting with the kind of nostalgic splendor that brings tear after salty tear.

“I’ve been rehearsing my entire motherfucking life for this moment,” she announced to deafening cries from the crowd. “Coachella, NSYNC!” Grande announced as four of the five members stormed the stage. Grande weaved them into her set expertly. She performed her Thank U, Next hit “Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I’m Bored,” which samples the band’s 2000 hit, “It Makes Me Ill.” Then came the announcement and stage takeover that took the audience back in time 19 years with early aughts choreography of sharp movements and sharper facial expressions. After a performance of “Tearin’ Up My Heart,” the band exited, not before saying, “Coachella, this has been a dream of ours.” Grande was equally stunned. “I can die now,” she breathed into the mic.

NYSNC were the talk of the town, but they weren’t the only guests that Grande brought with her on stage. Nicki Minaj came on later to perform “Side To Side” and “Bang Bang,” although reported technical difficulties marred this chapter of the set. Grande rounded out her time by bringing out Diddy and Mase for a trio performance of “Mo Money Mo Problems.” This flashy throwback to the ’90s ended with Diddy giving special shoutouts to Biggie, 2Pac, and Mac Miller.

Grande is heading back out on the road for her Sweetener World Tour after her additional performance this upcoming weekend at Coachella.

Gesaffelstein And Pharrell Take Turns Being The Creepiest People In The Future In ‘Blast Off’ Video

Record producer, songwriter, and disc jockey Gesaffelstein premiered the visual for his recently released single “Blast Off” after his Coachella set on yesterday (April 14). The dystopian futuristic sounding tune features Pharrell who is the star of the accompanying visual that matches the song’s intensity. It’s not quite Blade RunneriRobot, or TRON, but it’s still an unsettling look at a dark future. Beware the man on the piano. Beware the eyes behind the sunshades.

The video for “Blast Off” is every bit as sharp and futuristic as the song already is. Someone, presumably Gesaffelstein, stands in the background, almost out of frame, playing a keyboard that looks like a high-end auctionable item from The Jetsons. Hands, legs, and entire people made of neon colored dots move quickly and unhumanly like androids at 1.5x speed. We, as viewers, keep seeing what looks a circuit board or symbol network that changes colors at it expands. Whatever kind of dark world this is, Pharrell acts as the normalcy beacon that keeps us grounded. Well…initially. He’s dancing around in futuristic glasses for the first verse but by the second the glasses are removed, revealing his eyes to be burning pools of sunlight. If you stare directly into them, you’ll be in danger of going blind.

Gesaffelstein just dropped his second studio album Hyperion in March. It features The Weeknd, HAIM, and Electric Youth. His debut LP, Aleph, came out in 2013.

Take a look at the robotic video up above.

BTS Make History And Shatter Cultural Barriers With Rousing Saturday Night Live Performances

Saturday Night Live is a notoriously tricky stage to master. It’s small — if you think Studio 8H looks small on television, it’s even smaller in real life — and the sound mix is always slightly off. And most importantly, it’s live, which means anything can happen. Still, performing on SNL is an important test for an artist, and for those who can transcend the stage’s shortcomings and create a truly memorable performance it’s a defining moment in their career.

For Korean artists BTS, the stakes were even higher on Saturday night (April 13). As the first K-pop group to perform as musical guests on SNL, it was a chance to be taken seriously by the industry at large. But if they were nervous, BTS didn’t show it.

In fact, there was a general sense of ease as BTS performed their latest single “Boy With Luv.” The septet — consisting of members RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V, and Jungkook — charmed audiences with their boundless energy, on-stage charisma, playful choreography, and slick precision. They didn’t have to do anything extra with the stage, or try and turn it into three-minute performance art to make something visually arresting. Just purple lights — the signature color of the group and their fans, known as ARMY — and a live band, thereby putting Western perceptions of the “manufactured K-pop machine” to rest. (They even invited songwriter Melanie Fontana, who co-wrote “Boy With Luv,” to sing backup vocals for them on stage.)

History aside, perhaps their most miraculous feat was just how well it all worked in that tiny, hallowed studio. With seven members, BTS somehow made the SNL stage feel larger than life.

If “Boy With Luv” was a feel-good celebration — an introduction to the world’s biggest boy band — then their second performance, “Mic Drop,” was a fiery coronation. As the group’s first certified platinum hit in the U.S., the hip-hop track “Mic Drop” (released first in 2017, then again with a Steve Aoki remix in 2018) was a sensible choice for the group. But beyond it being one of their most well-known songs in the U.S., it’s also a choice display of the group’s duality: Sure, they can be playful, but they’re also fierce and they have swagger — and they can dance.

For Western audiences longing for the days of actual boy band choreography (and if so, you should maybe get into Korean pop music), BTS brought an epic, electrifying dance break to Studio 8H:

Of course, SNL is only the latest stop on the group’s history-making journey. They were the first Korean act to have a No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 — a feat so impressive they did it again — and they’re also the first Korean group to hold a stadium concert in the U.S. — again, they broke their own record by announcing a full-on global stadium tour, selling out dates in England, France, and the U.S.

But there’s something remarkable about the kind of visibility SNL affords an artist. And for Korean Americans watching at home — who have never grown up with a full-time Asian cast member on Saturday Night Live — seeing seven Korean men joyously sing in Korean and represent their culture was a milestone you can’t begin to quantify with records and charts.

There’s a lot to be said about where BTS goes from here, how they channel this fame and visibility into tangible results. Their goals are ambitious, but not unlikely: a No. 1 single on the Billboard Hot 100 (“Boy With Luv” will arguably get them closer than ever before); a chance to perform on the Grammy stage; and a coveted Grammy nomination for their music.

But what of Korean music in general? Now that BTS have busted down barriers that previously prevented Korean artists from making it big in the U.S. — and changed Western perceptions about K-pop in the process — there’s no telling who or what will break through next as BTS continue their quest for total world domination. But one thing is certain: The musical landscape is better for it.

BTS are the firsts, but their SNL performances ensured they won’t be the lasts.