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Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

Forward Is All

Review of Sambassadeur’s European

Photo By Kjeli B PerssonKjeli B PerssonWhile it’s factually correct for Sambassadeur to have named their latest album European, it’s also a bit redundant. For from the moment album opener “Stranded”‘s power ballad piano intro segues into the sprightly orchestrally-inclined power pop verse, there’s no questioning what side of the Atlantic this record was crafted on. Or even which country.

There is something about Sambassadeur that is so very Swedish, beyond the obvious reference point of singer Anna Persson’s accent and precise, ever-so-slightly forlorn delivery. There’s the way the songs manage to be so richly appointed without becoming overburdened or overthought and they’re so wonderfully efficient in how they deliver their many irresistible hooks without ever feeling rushed. And while each song stands in pop splendour on their own, strung together they make European a delightful listening experience from start to end, a journey that lasts not even 34 minutes but easily justifies many round trips.

I had thought that Sambassadeur had reached their apex with 2007’s Migration, but clearly I underestimated them. This would normally be the part of the review where I’d say something along the lines of “I can’t wait to hear what they do next”, but I actually can because I’m perfectly happy to just keep spinning European for the foreseeable future. It’s a gem.

MP3: Sambassadeur – “Days”
MP3: Sambassadeur – “Stranded”
Video: Sambassadeur – “I Can Try”
MySpace: Sambassadeur

Spin are offering for download an unreleased track from jj, recorded circa their album jj No 2. That’s the one that got everyone excited about them, not to be confused with jj No 3, which got everyone indifferent to them. It will be getting a reissue on August 3.

MP3: jj – “Baby”
MP3: jj – “Ecstasy”

NPR has posted a World Cafe session with Shout Out Louds.

The Bellingham Herald interviews Norway’s Casiokids, who have set a date at Supermarket for August 27 in support of Topp Stemning Pa Lokal Bar.

MP3: Casiokids – “Fot i hose”
MP3: Casiokids – “Finn bikkjen!”

Serena-Maneesh return to Toronto in support of S-M 2: Abyss In B Minor with a date at The Garrison on October 1, part of a co-headline tour with Wovenhand.

MP3: Serena Maneesh – “I Just Want To See Your Face”
MP3: Serena-Maneesh – “Ayisha Abyss”

Last week, PitchforkTV ran a Cemetery Gates video session series with Jonsi and altsounds an interview.

PitchforkTV is streaming the Vincent Moon-directed Mogwai feature Adelia: I Want To Love. Their new concert film/album Burning/Special Moves is out August 24 and there’ll be a screening of the film on September 14 at the Drake Underground.

Video: Adelia: I Want To Love

Interview talks to Neil Tennant of Pet Shop Boys.

The Pipettes have rolled out a new video from their just-released new album Earth Vs. the Pipettes

Video: The Pipettes – “Call Me”

The Fly serves up a courtyard video session with Johnny Flynn.

If you thought the July 19 show at the Horseshoe with We Are Scientists was undersized, it’s even moreso now that Lightspeed Champion has been announced as support. He’s got a number of North American dates in support of this year’s Life Is Sweet! Nice To Meet You.

Video: Lightspeed Champion – “Madame Van Damme”

Spinner continues to get mileage out af an interview with The Joy Formidable. And I continue to enable them.

Chart and Exclaim chat with Kele. He plays the Mod Club solo on July 27.

Mumford & Sons tell BBC they might try something different with album number two.

Beth Orton’s August 12 show at the Mod Club has been cancelled.

By : Frank Yang at 8:31 am
Category: General

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