What’s Going On: Duran Duran, Cher, John Roberts, Erasure, Years & Years and Kylie Minogue

In this week’s instalment of What’s Going On, I’ve got brand new singles from Duran Duran, Erasure, and Cher. No, I can assure you we haven’t gone back to 1988. Those legacy acts have all recently dropped incredible material. I’ll also get into the latest from John Roberts and a collaboration between Years & Years and Kylie Minogue. As always, if you like what you hear, be sure to stream and follow the artists.

Duran Duran – Pop legends Duran Duran dropped their new single “Invisible” and announced their forthcoming 15th studio album Future Past, due out on October 22. With the band newly signed to BMG, Duranies around the world are waiting with bated breath for the band’s first new album in six years. Always taking risks and evolving, the Erol Alkan-produced “Invisible” manages to capture the Duran Duran essence without ever sounding like a retread of what they’ve done before. Discussing the new single, keyboardist Nick Rhodes says: “Sonic architecture has always been incredibly important to Duran Duran. I think, with “INVISIBLE”, we really have managed to carve the sculpture the way we wanted it. Sonically, it’s a very unusual piece of music. I think when you merge all the instruments together, it creates an overall sound that perhaps you haven’t heard before.” 

Listen to Duran Duran’s new single “Invisible” below.

Cher – Originally recorded in 2017 in conjunction with the Free The Wild foundation and having been featured in the TV special Cher & The Loneliest Elephant, Cher has now released “Walls” as her latest single. If you haven’t been keeping up with Cher on Twitter, you’re not only missing out on her hilarious stream of consciousness tweets but you’re likely not aware of how hard Cher has been campaigning to save a mistreated elephant named Kaavan who had been kept captive in chains for decades. If the Kaavan’s tale doesn’t tug on your heartstrings, “Walls” certainly will. A beautiful and relatively stripped-down ballad, it’s in stark contrast from the glittery Abba covers that have consumed Cher’s career in recent years. Via a statement, Cher says: “I won’t just save one elephant. I will save more elephants. And now, I will know a little bit more about how to cut down the time (it takes).”

Listen to Cher’s new single “Walls” below.

John Roberts – When he’s not voicing Linda Belcher on Bob’s Burgers, talented actor John Roberts is making killer dance tracks, the latest of which is “Divide People.” Produced by Junior Sanchez, “Divide People” has a timely political message and looks to unite people on the dance floor. Think of it as Depeche Mode’s “People Are People” but on poppers. On why “Divide People” is the right song for this moment in time, John Roberts says: “It’s just a message that we need to hear more. I’m a child of the civil rights movement, so it’s just crazy that here we are still fighting the same kind of things. We need to come together. Everyone’s getting their own tailored version of the story, so it’s really about community and using your eyes, your ears, your brain, and your heart to bring people together.” Roberts’ album Lights Out is due out on June 4.

Listen to John Roberts’ new single “Divide People” below.

Erasure – Synthpop legends Erasure have announced the release of The Neon Remixed, a remix album of their 2020 LP The Neon. The leadoff track is a new original song, “Secrets.” In the perfect world, “Secrets” would be the song of the summer. The shimmery synth-heavy dance song sees Erasure in top form with Andy Bell’s vocals sounding particularly great. The duo announced that we’ll see remixes from Paul Humphreys of OMD, Hifi Sean, Theo Kottis, Kim Ann Foxman, and many more on The Neon Remixed. If you’re in Europe, Erasure will be bringing their The Neon tour to you in October 2021 with dates in the UK, Denmark, Ireland, and Germany. 

Listen to Erasure’s new single “Secrets” below.

Years & Years and Kylie Minogue – 2021 has been a monumental year so far for Olly Alexander of Years & Years. The young pop superstar had a leading role in Channel 4/HBO drama It’s A Sin, collaborated with Sir Elton John on a new version of the Pet Shop Boys classic and now he’s got veteran pop princess Kylie Minogue to jump on a remix of “Starstruck.” It’s everything listeners already loved about “Starstruck” but bigger and, if it’s even possible, gayer. Speaking on how thrilled he was to work with Kylie, Olly says: “Kylie is an icon who has inspired me since I first started making music, so this feels out this world. I asked if Kylie would be interested in doing something on the song and I’m so thankful she said yes!!! I’ve been on cloud nine ever since and she’s really brought so much to the song, her voice is divine and her presence is just magic.”

Listen to Years & Years new single “Starstruck” (Remix) with Kylie Minogue below.

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