Five years ago, when Sam Smith and Disclosure were still teen unknowns, fellow Brits Years & Years were an indie-leaning quintet with live guitars and drums. Now that soulful house music is among England's chief exports, and the group has morphed into an electronic trio with a knack for emotive dance singles, it's tempting to accuse Years & Years of opportunism. But they've got their own thing, and that's one reason their debut, 'Communion,' stands out.
The swashbuckling image of a pirate has a different meaning in the music biz, where it generally involves computer nerds and music geeks. So it's a credit to first-time author Stephen Witt that 'How Music Got Free' makes such a suspenseful, entertaining read out of forbiddingly dense source material.
The stalled momentum of 2013's alt-radio breakouts Imagine Dragons has left the door open for another genre-neutral act to invade the airwaves, further redefining what a rock band in 2015 can be. Enter X Ambassadors, who share the Dragons' same producer (Alex Da Kid) and label, not to mention the built-in commercial appeal.
From the full-moon DJ raves in Tulum to pop-up music venues deep in the Sian Ka'an bio-reserve, the Mayan Riviera, on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, is up there with Ibiza as a top music vacay destination.