Thursday, July 10th, 2008
God Save The Clientele
Photo by Andy Willsher
The whole blogging thing usually necessitates looking straight ahead, musically speaking, for whatever’s coming up next be it a new artist, a new album, a new tour, whatever. New new new. But sometimes that’s at the expense of a record that’s either not gotten to or doesn’t click until after the so-called “press cycle” for the album has already elapsed, and commentary on it seems dated.
Case in point, The Clientele and their 2007 album God Save The Clientele though the aforementioned scenario doesn’t exactly apply. While I was completely nonplussed by them the first time I saw them opening for Spoon in 2005, I was won over by God Save early enough to thoroughly enjoy their set at last year’s V Fest. But in the past month or so, I’ve found myself craving the album more than I ever did last year for reasons that aren’t entirely clear to me, and it’s been living in fairly heavy rotation. Sufficed to say, I am completely turned around on this band.
Perhaps it’s partly some nostalgia for my recent visit to the UK. The Clientele are so very distinctly and classically English, evoking a London that I didn’t actually experience and quite possibly/probably doesn’t exist – of long walks along the Thames in the fog, warm pints by a fire or watching sunsets on Hampstead Heath – but the romantic in me still very much yearns for. Less metaphorically, it’s a lovely and cozy blanket of a record, all low-rise structures of classic pop built around Alasdair Maclean’s warm vocals and shimmering guitar work. There are enough string and key embellishments to earn it the appellation of chamber pop, but the record is extroverted enough that that doesn’t quite fit – it’s like it got tired of hanging out in the chamber and went to the local for a smoke and a beer.
Of course, since I’m well past the press and touring cycle for this album, there’s not a whole lot to report but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing. The band has made a habit of releasing between-album EPs and will do so again with That Night A Forest Grew, due out on the Spanish Acuarela label on July 21 or thereabouts. No idea when the next full-length is due out, but lucky for me in the meantime I’ve got their entire back catalog to explore and it’s entirely possible I’ll be spending all of this month’s eMusic subscription on it.
Though NME has no one but themselves to blame for building hype (and the ensuing disappointment) around Bloc Party’s recent countdown stunt, a new single and video is nothing to be upset about. Billboard has some details about the new song, “Mercury”, and indicate that the band’s third album should be due out before year’s end. Hopefully the new song is being released on its own because it doesn’t fit in with the new album on account of the fact that it’s not very good and the album material is… hopefully. They’ll be playing day one of V Fest at the Toronto Islands on September 6.
Video: Bloc Party – “Mercury”
Tiny Mix Tapes and The Daily Yomiuri talk to Jason Pierce of Spiritualized, also gracing the stage on the first day of V Fest. And over at www.spiritualizedharmonies.com, they’re running a contest to give away a pretty comprehensive Songs In A & E prize pack, consisting of two CD versions and the LP along with an autographed poster.
The Verve, continuing with a pretty steady stream of newsworthy activity leading up to the release of Forth on August 19, have released a video for the the first single from the aforementioned album, “Love Is Noise”.
Video: The Verve – “Love Is Noise”
If Amazon.co.uk is to be believed, the My Bloody Valentine reissues will now be out September 1. Still plenty of time to get acquainted with the material before their show at Ricoh Coliseum on September 25… Oh wait, that’s what we’ve been doing for the past 20 years. Right.
Glasgow’s Glasvegas – who piqued my interest way back in December – have finally completed their debut full-length and will release the self-titled album in the UK on September 9. NME has details and I, for one, am curious to see if I still care. They’ve just released a new vid, as well.
Video: Glasvegas – “Geraldine”
Deaf Indie Elephants has got a bunch of live recordings of new Mogwai songs available to download, to hold you over until the release of the Batcat EP on September 9, which will hold you over until the release of The Hawk Is Howling on September 23, which will hold you over until they play the Kool Haus on September 24.
This week’s Spinner album previews include both a David Bowie live album and tribute album.
The National Post examines the Summer of music festival saturation from the point of view of some of the Canadian events, namely Hillside in Guelph (July 25 to 27), Rogers Picnic in Toronto (July 20) and Osheaga in Montreal (August 4 and 5).