Heading into Saturday’s Eurovision finals in Turin, Italy, the Ukrainian folk-rap group were heavily favored to stand victorious among the 25 countries still in competition. Ukraine previously won the annual song contest in 2004 and 2016.
U.K. singer/TikTok sensation Sam Ryder finished second in the competition with his song “Spaceman.” Ryder led the competition following the countries’ vote, but the public vote pushed the Ukrainian group into the winners’ circle.
In April, ahead of the Eurovision Song Contest, Kalush Orchestra frontman Oleh Psiuk spoke to the Times U.K. about competing in the famed singing competition amid a Russian invasion raging in their homeland.
“We needed to leave Ukraine to promote our country and I feel I am being useful — then we will go back right away,” Psiuk said, noting that Kalush Orchestra’s concerts both pre- and post-Eurovision to raise money for Ukraine relief efforts.
Prior to leaving Ukraine, Psiuk launched a volunteer organization that helped Ukrainians driven homeless by the invasion find shelter, transportation and medicine. Another member of Kalush Orchestra, dancer Slavik Hnatenko, missed the Eurovision performance after enlisting in the Kyiv territorial defense force, the Times U.K. reported.
The group won the Eurovision Song Contest on the strength of “Stefania,” which was also inspired by the invasion. “When the war started it began to acquire new meanings as lots of people perceived the mother in the song to be Ukraine, or became emotional thinking about their mothers,” Psiuk said. “That is why I hope this song will be loved by Europeans now as well.”
While 25 countries competed in the Eurovision finals, Russia was not one of them after the nation was barred from this year’s competition as a result of the invasion. “I think Russia not taking part in Eurovision is a very nice gesture from Europe. Maybe there are some Russians who don’t understand what is happening because of the information war. This way they will know something is wrong.” Psiuk said.
This Friday evening at 4 p.m., the Empire State Building (ESB) will host a lighting ceremony to honor the 50th birthday of the Notorious B.I.G. (Biggie), in partnership with Bad Boy / Atlantic / Rhino Records and the Christopher Wallace Estate.
The Empire State Building Observatory Experience will feature a life-size photorealistic avatar of Biggie for guest viewing and photographs on Friday, May 20, and Saturday, May 21, from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Also, on Friday and Saturday, fans can purchase exclusive Biggie x ESB hats, t-shirts, and sweatshirts, sold only at the Observatory. Biggie’s 11x platinum album Life After Death will be available to purchase on cassette, along with the preorder for the 8-LP Deluxe.
Fifteen minutes after sunset on Saturday, May 21 – what would have been Biggie’s 50th birthday – the Empire State Building will light up in dynamic red and white with a rotating crown and the number “50” in the mast.
Angel Olsen has released a new song, “Through the Fires,” from her upcoming album, Big Time, which arrives on June 3 via Jagjaguwar. It’s the third single from the album following the title track and “All the Good Times.“
Olsen called the heartfelt song about persevering and finding resilience a “centerpiece statement” for Big Time. “It’s a song I wrote to remind myself that this life is temporary, the past is not something to dwell on, that it’s important to keep moving, keep searching for the people that are also searching, and to notice the moments that are lighter and bigger than whatever trouble I’ve encountered,” she said in a statement.
Olsen’s “Through the Fires” contemplative lyrics convey the importance of acknowledging one’s past in order to move forward. “To remember the ghost/Who exists in the past,” she sings. “But be freed from the longing/For one moment to last.”
Along with the sone, Olsen also released a lyric video, shot by Angela Ricciardi.
Olsen previously shared that she wrote Big Time as she navigated queer love and grief: Olsen came out to her parents and, shortly after, lost both of them within weeks of each other. Co-produced by Jonathan Wilson, it follows Whole New Mess and All Mirrors.
A film titled after the album is set to premiere on June 2, presented by Amazon Music. That evening at 9:30 p.m. ET, Amazon Music channel on Twitch will feature a watch party and Q&A with Olsen and director Kimberly Stuckwisch, followed by a concert airing from the premiere party. This summer, Olsen hits the road on the Wild Hearts tour with Sharon Van Etten and Julien Baker, beginning in Vienna, Virginia, on July 21.
Directed by Andre Bato, the clip opens with Post Malone performing the song as he strolls around an apartment space that boasts an extremely chic vibe, but looks like its sitting in the midst of a giant abyss. There are some quick flashes of figures that appear to be lying in wait in the distance, though Roddy Ricch is the first to arrive on the scene. Rather than some unexpected horror from the dark depths appearing next though, the video ends with a horde of red-clad partiers entering the apartment for a final blowout.
“Cooped Up” was released last week, marking the first offering since Post Malone officially announced his new album, Twelve Carat Toothache, set to arrive June 3. The only other album cut Posty has released so far is the Weeknd-featuring single, “One Right Now,” which arrived last year. But over the weekend, Post Malone used his Saturday Night Live debut to perform another new song, “Love/Hate Letter to Alcohol,” which features the indie group Fleet Foxes.
Twelve Carat Toothache will be Post Malone’s fourth studio album and first in three years, following 2019’s Hollywood’s Bleeding. In an interview with Billboard earlier this year, the musician said the record would “speak more to how I’m feeling at the moment: the ups and downs and the disarray and the bipolar aspect of being an artist in the mainstream.”