The Big Read

The Big Read – James Bay: “It’s an artist’s duty to push boundaries”

It’s James Bay! Without his hat! Cavorting with a Stranger Things star?! Channeling Kanye?! Writing the best Strokes song The Strokes never wrote?! Dan Stubbs meets a man of big ambition and sweet-smelling feet

The Big Read – Chvrches: “The coven is pissed, the reckoning is coming”

"The punk-rock Joan of Arc of pop" ...That’s how Dave Stewart, formerly of The Eurythmics, summed up Lauren Mayberry after meeting her to work on ideas for Chvrches’ third album. And he may be on to something; ‘Love Is Dead’ filters religion, the refugee crisis and righteous politics through the band’s electropop-filter. The result? Grandstanding built for festival headline slots. Emily Mackay meets them in London.

The Big Read – Arctic Monkeys: “Science fiction allows you to explore the real world”

Arctic Monkeys are back – but wait… with a piano? And sci-fi themes? And, gulp, no riffs? Kevin EG Perry meets Alex Turner at the iconic Hollywood Forever Cemetery to talk about ‘Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino’, the album that’s set to delight, confuse and cement his genius forever.

The Big Read: Blossoms – Friends Like These

Stockport five-piece Blossoms are having a bloody ball. Having last week unveiled second LP ‘Cool Like You’, a massive album of synth-pop bangers that’s more Kylie Minogue than Oasis, they tell Jordan Bassett how they’re living the dream – and why they pretended to fall out before its release.

The Big Read – Courtney Barnett: “My goal? To make people realise they’re not so alone”

Courtney Barnett is the allergy-afflicted singer-songwriter whose music mixes ennui and activism. Alex Flood meets Australia’s wittiest slacker-rock star

The Big Read – Manic Street Preachers: “Tech companies scare me more than politicians”

The Manics’ 13th album aims to find beauty and positivity in a bleak-as-fuck post-truth world. Andrew Trendell finds Nicky Wire and James Dean Bradfield rockin’ in the not-so-free world. 

The Big Read – Jared Leto & 30 Seconds To Mars: “We are in a time of revolution”

Jared Leto on 30 Seconds To Mars’ big ambition, being tech obsessed and #MeToo

The Big Read: The Vaccines on band beef, their new record and why they’re better than other indie bands

Lost band members, wilderness years and even a fist fight hasn’t knocked The Vaccines’ spirit. As they release fourth album ‘Combat Sports’, they tell Larry Bartleet how they got back on top form

The Big Read: Brooklyn’s Sunflower Bean on their glorious second album ’Twenty-two in Blue’

On the sly, Sunflower Bean have proven themselves one of the world's coolest, funnest and, er, hard-workingest bands. Following the brilliant 'Twentytwo In Blue' – a Top Five entry in NME's Albums Of 2018 – the New York trio today release the rocking follow-up EP, 'King Of The Dudes'. Rhian Daly meets them in Brooklyn to talk about music, patriarchy-smashing and that time at band camp.

The Big Read – Is George Ezra the nicest man in rock’n’roll?

Is George Ezra the nicest young man in rock ’n’ roll? Jonny Ensall goes in search of the wild side of a wandering troubadour