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Dido Reflects On Grief, Heartbreak, And Her Love Of Khalid

Music

Her new album 'Still On My Mind' is out today

After five years of silence, Dido Armstrong has finally returned with new music. For those who grew up in the early aughts, the English singer's haunting voice has become a fixture in the folk-pop scene, as she shared cinematic ballads ("Here With Me") and provided snapshots of her gratitude for purely existing ("Thank You").

But Dido's life has become quieter since the early 2000s. She dealt with the death of her father, she had a son, and she stopped touring. In fact, Dido, who once toured nine years in a row, has been off the road now for nearly 15 years. Her last release came in 2013 with her fourth studio album, Girl Who Got Away, which charted in the Top 5 in the U.K.; its release coincided with the birth of her son, though, so she didn't tour.

But now, with her fifth album Still On My Mind, Dido has returned in full-force meditating on heartbreak and hope through the lens of motherhood, still blending the sounds of trip hop, folk, and pop.

Ahead of the album's release, we spoke with Dido about songwriting, motherhood, and getting back on the road.

It's been a while since you put out an album; in between your last record and now, what were you up to?
Well, I'm always writing and the slightly longer gap this time is because I had a kid. So I spent quite a lot of time hanging out with him, and somehow time just slips away.

Is there a theme to your new record Still On My Mind?
I don't know. Other people might get themes. There's a sort of theme [in terms of] the way I made it—a natural, easygoing way. I made it with family and friends. It's an easy record and sort of warm. I'm sure other people will come to me and say there's a theme of something running through that I haven't quite realized I put in there.



Why did you release "Hurricane" before the album release?
I just wanted to put out something that was a flavor of the record. It's just a really good flavor of what's not expected. It goes from the simple, guitar beginnings to the songs at the end. I was just really proud of it, and I was like, It just sums up a lot of the sounds of the record. So it's just a fun track to put out there and see if anyone likes it.

Were there any artists that influenced you in terms of making this record?
I don't think so in that I tend to go into my own head a bit when I'm making a record and gravitate toward songs that move me. You can't help but be influenced as you go about your day. But I think in a funny sort of way, I was more going for the sounds that brought the memories back for me or really moved me. It's a very electronic album, there's a lot of dance sounds on there. The first time I ever heard my voice in public, I'd be in a club and we'd given the DJ the tape of the first song I'd ever done and you'd hear it playing... it was such a special time when I was doing dance music.

Why did you choose Still On My Mind as the record title?
Partly, it's one of my favorite songs on the record, and also it's a reference to the songs I've had on my mind. The fans, the music... it's all still there.

What prompted you to make the breakup anthem "Give You Up?"
I actually didn't write it. Somebody sent it to me. I get sent some songs, and I'm a songwriter, and I'm like, Why would I want to sing someone else's song? [But this] so sums up for me this feeling I've never put into words. It's this moment after a breakup where you're beginning to feel strong again—or you're telling yourself you are. It's about this specific moment in time. This is the only song in my whole career I've not written. I've always seen myself as a songwriter who sings. But I just loved it, singing something someone else had written. It was different from what I have done, but it actually fit in so well with the sort of things I'd write, but the rest of the album I wrote. Then we went and wrote a load of songs together as well.

Why haven't you toured in 15 years?
It was sort of an accident. I love touring, but I toured for nine years pretty much straight, which is a pretty long time to be on the road. There was just a point in 2004, where I was like, I just need to go home. Then my dad was ill, and I just wanted to be with him. So I went home, and it stretched to 15 years. What happened was I made the third record and that was a very personal record. A lot of it was about my dad, and then he died. I just couldn't sing those songs live, and I knew I couldn't tour that album. I just thought, This is a beautiful record I'm really proud of, and if anybody discovers, then great, but I'm not going to do anything around it. The fourth album I had a brand-new baby, so I was like, I'm not going anywhere.

How was collaborating with your brother again?
Really fun, really lovely. We've been writing songs together since I was 16 or 17, so that's 30 years or something. I just feel like we're so lucky we get to make the music we want to make and nobody's telling us what to do. It's a real gift.

How has motherhood influenced this record if at all?
I think in a lot of ways it's just influenced me. Funny enough, it's made me a lot more confident. I find it much easier now to get into the writing and the creative brain really quickly because you have less time. It was amazing how quickly things would actually happen. In a way, being around kids, they're not self-conscious, and they're so honest. They just say what they think, and it's so inspiring. I've learned a lot from being around my fam.

Tell me about the heartbreak we see shine through on the record.
I guess songs like "Still On My Mind," "Give You Up," and "Chances." I can't help myself, there's always little moments of heartbreak everywhere. I've always written songs about that duality. "Thank You" is a classic example. It's a love song saying I'm having the best day. But it's also saying I'm having a bad day and because you're there, I'm having a good day. It's that light and dark that inspires me, so in a lot of songs, there are moments of heartbreak. I think there's a lot of happiness on the record. It's a mix of feelings.

Which artists are you really into right now?
I listen to so much music at home. I really appreciate a great voice and a great song. I love Christine and the Queens. I think her whole vibe is amazing. I love Anne-Marie and Jess Glynne, all these great English singers I get to see live. I'm a real fan of Kendrick Lamar. He did a song on my last album, and I've always really loved his voice.

Who would you love to collaborate with one day?
One of the voices I love is Khalid. That voice! I can literally listen to it all day. He has my favorite voice at the moment.

Do you have plans to make music after this record?
Yes! Thankfully I've made a load. I've already started writing again. Now, it's funny, the floodgates have opened. It's a new start. I'm so excited about writing, recording, and touring again. It feels like a whole new thing again. You sort of forget until you're doing it again.

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Photo by Imani Givertz

Premiering today via NYLON

Small Talks, aka Cayley Spivey, has come a long way since starting a band, then becoming the entire band herself and forging her own fan base from the ground up. On her recent album A Conversation Between Us, she began to unpack any lingering baggage with one particular song: "Teeth." Today, she premieres the accompanying music video exclusively via NYLON.

"'Teeth' is about my personal battle with letting go of the past," Spivey tells NYLON, admitting that it's easily her favorite song off of A Conversation Between Us.

Watch the video for "Teeth" below.

Small Talks - Teeth (Official Music Video) - YouTube www.youtube.com

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FROM THE WORLD WIDE WEB
Photos by Joe Maher/Getty Images, Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for TIME

Must have been pretty awkward

Taylor Swift and Sophie Turner were guests on the U.K.'s The Graham Norton Show together, which must have been awkward for Turner's husband, Joe Jonas, seeing as he also happens to be Swift's ex. I wonder if his name came up?

The interview doesn't come out until Friday night, but promotional photos show the two sharing a couch. Swift is making an appearance to perform her new single, "ME!" while Turner is promoting her new film, X- Men: Dark Phoenix. But it seems necessary for the two to be asked about Jonas.

Swift was just on the Ellen DeGeneres Show earlier this month, where she brought up the fact that she felt bad for putting Jonas "on blast" on DeGeneres' show back in 2008 by telling the audience that he broke up with her in a record-setting short phone call. But, according to Swift, she and Jonas are chill now, since it happened pretty long ago, which means she's probably already hung out with Turner and maybe even gossiped about him with her.

We can only hope that they get the chance to spill some tea on television.

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Screenshot via YouTube, Photo Courtesy of HBO

"That's! His! Auntie!"

Leslie Jones has rewatched the Game of Thrones finale with a beer in hand, Seth Meyers at her side, and a full camera crew ready to take in all her glorious reactions. Spoilers ahead, but, if you haven't watched last week's episode already, that's kind of on you at this point.

When Jon Snow started to make out with Daenerys, also known as his aunt, only to stab her through the chest moments later, it was emotional whiplash for everyone watching. And, Jones' reactions—both from her first and second viewing—sum it all perfectly.

"That's! His! Auntie! [gagging noises]," Jones says before making an aside about calling the police if her uncle ever tried to do the same. But then the knife goes in, and Jones screams. "Did you see that?!" Jones asks, "Yeah bitch, that's a knife in you." Meyers points out the funniest part of all: "Why are you so upset about someone kissing their aunt but totally fine with someone killing their aunt?" Jones replies, "Because that bitch needed to go," and, well, same.

Other highlights from the comedians' rewatch include comparing Dany's victory speech to a bad improv gig, predicting that their dogs would have less of a reaction to their deaths than Drogon did to his mother's, and more.

Watch all of Jones' reactions from this Late Night clip below.

Game of Jones: Leslie Jones and Seth Watch Game of Thrones' Series Finale youtu.be

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These lyrics are a lot

Robbie Tripp, aka Curvy Wife Guy, is back with a music video, titled "Chubby Sexy," starring his wife and a trio of models. In it, Tripp raps about his bold choice to find women with an average body size attractive.

The video begins with a series of statements laid over some pool water: "Curves are the new high fashion," "Chubby is the new sexy," "We Out Here." Tripp posits that these queens deserve an anthem, which they do. What they do not deserve is this Cursed Song. As he lists all the names he knows to call them by (thick, thicc, and BBW), one model (who I really, really hope was paid well) squirts some lotion down her cleavage, and Tripp begins dancing.

"My girl chubby sexy/ Call her bonita gordita," Tripp states in his chorus, before going on to compare "big booty meat" to the peach emoji. Another thing he mentions is that his wife can't find a belt that fits her waist, and that's why he calls her James and the Giant Peach. He then tries to dab. Here are some of the other Cursed highlights from his, uh, verses:

Got those Khaleesi curves/ Knows how to dragon slay
She like a dude that's woke/ We like a girl that's weighty
Some say a chubby girl that's risky/ But they ain't met a curvy girl that's frisky
Imma dunk that donk like I'm Andrew Wiggins.
Thick like an Amazon/ Built like Big Ben.

Tripp says one thing in the video that I couldn't agree more with: "She don't need a man." No, she does not. Please run. If you must, watch the entire video, below. Or send it to your nemesis!

Robbie Tripp - Chubby Sexy (Official Music Video) www.youtube.com

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Photo by Emma McIntyre / Getty Images.

See the promo here

It was bound to happen. The Kadashians and Jenners have committed themselves to letting the cameras roll on their lives, for better or for worse. So if you thought that the Jordyn Woods and Tristan Thompson cheating scandal was off limits, you thought wrong. The trailer for Sunday's episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians was just released, and it involves the famous family working through the fallout of what happened when Woods went to a party at Thompson's house.

The teaser includes the infamous clip of Khloé Kardashian screaming "LIAAAARRRRRR." It's still not explicitly clear who prompted that strong response. She could be responding to Thompson, who clearly isn't always honest. Or she could be reacting to Woods account of the events on Red Table Talk. But the most revealing moment comes when we see Kylie Jenner—who was Woods' best friend before all of this happened—react for the first time.

In a heart-to-heart conversation, momager Kris Jenner says, "For you and Jordyn, it's like a divorce." Kylie only offers this in response: "She fucked up." Based on Woods' version of events—which I'm inclined to believeThompson is the one who fucked up. Still, I'm hoping for some kind of reconciliation between the two longtime friends. Perhaps we'll have to wait until next season for that.

Check out the promo video below.

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