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Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

Worry 'Til Spring

An Introduction to Sprengjuhollin

Photo via MySpaceMySpaceIf it were possible to monetize pure musical oddity, then not only would Iceland’s economic problems be a thing of the past, they might well be the world’s top fiscal superpower. Yes, the likes of Bjork and Sigur Ros would guarantee a GDP many times greater than the rest of the planet, but the tiny country’s smaller exports would also help push things forward – case in point, Sprengjuhollin (it’s pronounced the way it’s spelled. Go on, try).

The Reykjav√≠k quintet don’t wave their freak flag nearly as high as their more famous countrymen, preferring to draw inspiration from their no-doubt substantial collection of Mod-era LPs rather than by communing with snow fairies out on the fjords, but assuming them to be straight pop purveyors, as their English-language singles might imply, would be unwise. Because while tracks like the orchestral folk-pop of “Worry Till Spring” might act as an easily accessible point of entry for their second self-titled album, once inside it’s a much stranger place. The majority of songs are in Icelandic and are given to more warped trajectories, at times recalling Dungen in their psychedelic inclinations, but always remaining concise and more importantly, hooky. You don’t need to speak the language to hum along.

Sprengjuhollin were around back in the Winter for Canadian Musicfest and both won folks over and were won over themselves – they’re returning for an eastern Canadian tour that will start and end in the Maritimes but swing through Ontario next week for a couple of Toronto dates – one on October 24 at the Rivoli and another on October 25 at Rancho Relaxo. The band were also an eMusic Selects pick last Summer – check out the feature piece for an interview with the band and a guided tour of the last record.

MP3: Sprengjuhollin – “Worry ‘Til Spring”
MP3: Sprengjuhollin – “Tonight”

Peter Bjorn & John have released a video for the title track of their latest Living Thing, which they’ll (again) bring to the Phoenix on November 11.

Video: Peter Bjorn & John – “Living Thing”

The National Post has an interview with Sune Rose Wagner of The Raveonettes, whose new album In And Out Of Control is shockingly good. By shockingly, I mean they no longer sound like a band that I always feel like I should like more than I do, and like a band that I could actually really like. They’re at the Phoenix on October 22.

MP3: The Raveonettes – “Last Dance”
Video: The Raveonettes – “Last Dance”

Spinner is featuring an Interface session with Mew. Babelgum is also presenting a 30-minute feature on the band recorded at a special gig at London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts.

Donewaiting has an interview with Wye Oak.

The deluxe edition of School Of Seven Bells’ 2008 debut Alpinisms is out today and available to stream – second disc of remixes and bonus tracks included – at Spinner. They also recently announced they’ve given their second album, due out next year, a title – Disconnect From Desire – expect to hear some of those new songs on Thursday night when they play Lee’s Palace.

Stream: School Of Seven Bells / Alpinisms

Anika In London discusses matters of cosmic import, such as take-out food, with The Antlers.

Clash talks to Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips. Embryonic is out today

The Decemberists have released a first video from this year’s The Hazards Of Love.

Video: The Decemberists – “The Rake’s Song”

John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats gives eMusic a list of his favourite religiously-themed records and offers a more conventional interview to Tiny Mix Tapes.

Over at Asthmatic Kitty, Sufjan Stevens interviews current tourmate and bandmate Nedelle Torisi of Cryptacize. They’re at the El Mocambo on November 7.

Ume – the toast of both SxSW and NXNE if I’m to be believed – are embarking on another northeast/Canadian tour and will be at the Horseshoe on November 3 for a free show. The occasion is the Canadian release of their Sunshower EP on October 27.

MP3: Ume – “Pendulum”
MP3: Ume – “The Conductor”

The Dodos talk to Spinner, Chartattack, New York Press, The Brooklyn Paper, The AV Club and The Diamondback. They’re at Lee’s Palace on Friday Saturday night.

I Heart Music has ripped a CBC session from Woodpigeon for you to keep for your very own. Their new album Die Stadt Muzikanten is out January 12.

The first part of the Wooden Sky tour documentary A Documentary In Pieces is now online for your viewing pleasure. They have a date at Lee’s Palace on November 13

In addition to their November 7 show at the North York Central Library, Bruce Peninsula have set two dates at the Music Gallery for November 27 and 28.

By : Frank Yang at 8:44 am
Category: General

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RSS Feed for this post5 Responses.
  1. Patrick says:

    Q&A with John Stirratt of Wilco also at National Post

    http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/theampersand/archive/2009/10/13/q-amp-a-john-stirratt-of-wilco.aspx

  2. Joe says:

    Re: Ume. I’m sure your vigourous championing helped make this happen, Frank. Looking forward to seeing them again.

  3. Anonymous says:

    The Dodo’s are playing on Saturday night. It’s Two Hours Traffic on Friday night.

  4. Pete Smith says:

    Sprengjuhollin…..Worry Til Spring is a little gem :-)

  5. Lee says:

    Sprengjuhollin sound like Sea Wolf at times.

    Which is a really good thing, in my book.