Monday, September 4th, 2006
No Looking Back
The cover of Lay Of The Land, the 2004 debut from Nottingham, UK’s Seachange on Matador looks familiar, but that may be because I’ve seen it peeking out from a used CD bin or two in my time. Well next time I see it I will be sure to pick it up because what I’ve heard from this band lately is pretty damn good. There’s something of British Sea Power’s grand romanticism in Seachange’s sound as well as some of the punkish energy of early Idlewild. Johanna Cormack’s violin adds some chamber-rock moodiness that sets them apart a bit but it’s Dan Eastop’s vocals that really stand out to me. It’s not that he has a huge range or any technically unique or distinctive quality – it’s more just his delivery, his phrasing, his accent. They sound arrogantly humble, confidently confused, powerfully vulnerable and passionately indifferent – they just sound intensely real and human, which you’d think would be more common considering most bands are comprised of real humans, but not so much so.
I was directed to a track from their new album On Fire, With Love and while that song, “No Looking Back”, was alright it was a track streaming off their MySpace – “In” – that really caught my ear. It’s one of those understated anthems that the British seem to have bred in their bones, chorus-less and rich with singularly English lyricism and built on a simple, insistent guitar figure with a bend in just the right spot. If the rest of On Fire, With Love can measure up this its finale (“In” is the last track on the album), then it’s one worth hunting down.
The band seems to be in a bit of a label limbo at the moment, having distribution on mainland Europe but the rest of the world can only buy copies of the new record off their website at the moment. There will be a proper UK release on the band’s own label on October 16 but North Americans will have to pony up import prices for a hard copy – I guess Matador declined the option for the sophomore record. But happily, eMusic has On Fire, With Love in their catalog for those of us willing to make do with a digital copy for the time being.
MP3: Seachange – “No Backward Glances” (from On Fire, With Live)
MP3: Seachange – “News From Nowhere” (from Lay Of The Land)
MP3: Seachange – “Glitterball” (from Glitterball EP)
Video: Seachange – “Glitterball” (YouTube)
Tanya Donelly is taking a break from making babies (her second child was born in March – congratulations!) to finally release the live album she recorded back in the Fall of 2004. It’s called This Hungry Life and is composed (I believe) of all new songs recorded in front of a live studio audience – just like the sitcoms of yore. It’ll be out October 17 on Eleven Thirty Records, which I think will mark the first time in a long, long time that one of Tanya’s records wasn’t released by 4AD.
The Portland Mercury loves Feist, and doesn’t care who knows it (via LHB). Rbally also loves Feist, but would prefer to express his affection in the form of a complete live show from Chicago of stunning audio quality. If only all bootlegs sounded this good.
A couple show announcements – Thunderbirds Are Now!i will be at Sneaky Dee’s on November 6 and The Album Leaf, whose new one Into The Blue Again is out next Tuesday, will be at Lee’s Palace on November 9. SubPop is offering an MP3 from the record:
MP3: The Album Leaf – “Always For You” (from Into The Blue Again)
And still running up the phone bills to down under, Okkervil River’s Will Sheff talks to Rave Magazine. It’s fascinating to follow Will’s efforts to re-establish a home base in Austin via what he’s doing while conducting these Australian interviews, while still finding the time to take a shot at Billy Corgan’s poetry and celebrate George Michael. Also note that their Aussie-only EP Overboard And Down is now available to order online.
And a gentle reminder that the episode of The New Music which has a small interview with yours truly airs tonight at 9:30PM on MuchMusic. And Sonic Youth are the main feature, so there’s actually a good reason to watch (Chart also has an interview). It will repeat this Saturday at 1:30PM ET on CityTV. Also note that this is one of host Hannah Sung’s final episodes, so again – another legitimate reason to watch. Update: Apparently due to a logistical error, an old episode ran instead of the new one. Proper airdates are “Saturday on CityTV at 1:30pm ET, then on MuchMusic next Monday at 12:30pm ET and next Tuesday at 11:30am again on CityTV” (words of the producer).