Wednesday, November 29th, 2006
When We Were Wolves
I found it a bit odd that many of the clippings on My Latest Novel’s press page drew comparisons with Arcade Fire because though there are parallels with the Montrealers, to my ears, there’s far more relevant reference points for their debut full-length Wolves to be found in the band’s native Scotland.
Their slow and sweeping orchestration recalls The Zephyrs but with a bit of the darkness and foreboding of Mogwai in their quieter moments. At other points, they sound as though they’re channeling Arab Stap-era Belle & Sebastian, Stuart David’s spoken-word contributions in particular (he should really get royalties for “The Job Mr Kurtz Done”). You can also pick out some Arab Strap (the band, not the album) and Delgados inspiration between the lines if you look.
But even with these myriad influences, the band has managed to distill them into an ambitious and distinctive sound that will serve them quite well as they grow into it. The songwriting is still a bit erratic in terms of quality control, the good tunes standing out quite obviously against their lesser neighbours, but overall the record is an enjoyable and engaging listen. They falter a bit when they try to get aggressive but their gentler, folk-pop numbers are quite lovely and they show some potential with the anthem as well.
The band is actually in Canada this week for the Transmission Festival in Vancouver though will sadly not be venturing any further east. They play the open-to-public block party on the 2nd as well as the industry-only showcase, so if you’re out in the west coast and you haven’t been felled by one of the meteorological plagues that seems to be afflicting Vancouver of late, you should go see them.
MP3: My Latest Novel – “The Hope Edition”
MP3: My Latest Novel – “The Reputation of Ross Francis”
Video: My Latest Novel – “Sister Sneaker Sister Soul” (WMV)
Video: My Latest Novel – “The Reputation of Ross Francis” (WMV)
Video: My Latest Novel – “Pretty In A Panic” (YouTube)
MySpace: My Latest Novel
NME tells us that Idlewild will release their new album Make Another World in February of next year. They left Parlophone in 2005 and signed with the resurrected Pye Records back in July, none of which likely means anything for their North American fans. Just buy the import and be done with it.
A gentle reminder to Torontonians of the Radio Opera fundraiser happening at Lee’s Palace this Saturday afternoon – it’s a benefit for CARE Canada with all proceeds going to humanitarian aid in East Timor. It will feature performances from The Constantines and Jason Collett and based on the number of you who entered my Cons contest earlier this week, I know there’s a goodly number of you who want to see them… so if you’re gonna go this weekend, why not make an afternoon of it and support a worthy cause in the process? Tickets are $16 at Rotate and Soundscapes (and Ticketmaster if you really have to roll that way). More info here and there’s a nifty poster. Torontoist has an interview with organizer, host and former MuchMusic VJ Hannah Sung about CARE, Indonesia and the concert.
Shots Ring Out has assembled a shopping guide for the hard-to-shop-for hipster on your Christmas list.