Thursday, August 16th, 2007
Run Run Run
New Zealand’s Goldenhorse appeared in my MySpace “friend request” list one morning a few months ago and on a whim, as I sometimes do, I clicked through to their profile rather than deny the request, as I usually do. And it’s a damn good thing that the music player was working because while I was checking my mail or something, the sound of gloriously jangly guitars astride galloping drums began cascading out of my speakers and when the vocals came in, well that was it. The song was “Run Run Run” and if I have musical buttons that can be pushed, that song did it. I had their self-titled album downloaded from eMusic before I left for work and had a hard copy via eBay within a couple weeks.
As it happens, Goldenhorse are not an unknown new act bursting onto the scene – they’ve been together since 2000 and Goldenhorse, released in late 2006 in Europe and this past February in the UK, is a compilation of songs from their first two records, Riverhead and Out Of The Moon, released in 2002 and 2005 respectively and both of which have gone platinum (or multi-platinum) in New Zealand. But despite their success at home, they seem to be almost completely unknown elsewhere – I didn’t think it was possible for a band to not register at all at Elbo.ws or Hype Machine, but they don’t.
And that’s a damn shame because Goldenhorse craft some stunning pop music that happily incorporates rock, country and orchestral stylings and rides Kirsten Morrelle’s elastic and expressive voice (and that wonderful Kiwi accent) to great effect. Given that it’s not a proper album, Goldenhorse isn’t as cohesive as I’d normally like but as a collection of singles or potential singles, the high points – and there are many – more than compensate. In addition to “Run Run Run”, still far and away the highlight of the record and maybe one of the best singles I’ve heard this year, there’s the folkish bounce of “Maybe Tomorrow”, the sweetly plaintive “Out Of The Moon”… Really, almost everything in these thirteen tracks has something to recommend it be it a particular melodic twist, a perfectly placed swell of strings or even just the way Morrelle pronounces a certain syllable.
You can also tell the older tracks from the newer ones as there’s a distinct shift in songwriting and production choices between material from the two albums, the newer material showing more focus and perhaps a harder edge which bodes well for album number three which is currently being recorded. Whether that record gets a proper international release or not, now that Goldenhorse is on my radar I won’t be missing out on it.
Some digging has turned up an interview with JAM! circa Canadian Music Week, 2004 when the band was in Toronto for a show at the Rivoli (their debut Riverhead was/is released domestically here).
MP3: Goldenhorse – “Don’t Wake Me Up”
MP3: Goldenhorse – “Fish”
Video: Goldenhorse – “Run Run Run” (YouTube)
Video: Goldenhorse – “Maybe Tomorrow” version 1 (YouTube)
Video: Goldenhorse – “Maybe Tomorrow” version 2 (YouTube)
Video: Goldenhorse – “Wake Up Brother” (MOV)
Saturday Looks Good To Me’s new one Fill Up The Room has been quietly pushed back from the original release date of September 11 to October 23. They are, however, streaming a new song from the record on their MySpace.
There’s another track available from the Guilt By Association from whence this week’s MP3 of the week comes – Petra Haden doing Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin'” a capella. As good as you might hope. And contrary to what I say in the writeup for the MP3 of the week, the record didn’t come out last week – it’s now slated for a September 4 release.
And NME brings word of another interesting covers compilation coming our way, this one more mainstream start-studded and celebrating 40 years of BBC Radio 1. Radio 1. Established 1967 is out September 30 and will feature such interpretations as Editors doing The Cure’s “Lullabye” and Maximo Park redoing Justin Timberlake.
Under The Radar talks to Rogue Wave about the creation of their new album Asleep At Heaven’s Gate, out September 18. I’ve got an MP3 from the record below and Stereogum has another. They’re at the Mod Club on October 26.
Mercury Prize nominee Fionn Rega returns to Toronto for a show at the Horseshoe on September. On November 8, Say Hi To Your Mom, The Velvet Teen and The A-Sides stop in at Sneaky Dee’s. Jose Gonzalez will warm up the cold night of December 7 with a show at the Mod Club (via For The Records).
And my Okkervil River finally showed up yesterday! YAY.