Tuesday, November 30th, 2010
Which Is Why
Lightspeed Champion is dead – long live Blood Orange
Devonté HynesWhen it comes to his art, Dev Hynes is no stranger to abruptly shifting gears. His first band, the sophomoric dance-punk band Test Icicles called it quits in early 2006 just when they were starting to achieve some success, and Hynes would resurface a year later as a solo act operating as Lightspeed Champion. It’s that project that brought Hynes to the attention of most, thanks to the wonderful country-tinged debut, Falling Off The Lavender Bridge. This year’s follow-up Life Is Sweet! Nice To Meet You didn’t quite measure up, feeling overburdened by its more orchestral aspirations, but was hardly a failure. And surely album number three would be better?
Except there apparently won’t be an album three. Even before Life Is Sweet came out, Hynes began writing, recording and gigging under the guise of Blood Orange – it didn’t sound worlds removed from Lightspeed, but the one-man home recordings certainly pointed at it being an outlet for his funkier, more groove-oriented side. And according to this new interview at Interview, Hynes is putting Lightspeed Champion out to pasture and making Blood Orange his main creative outlet – a debut single will be out in January and a full-length will follow in the early part of next year, and that means the Van Dyke Parks-enhanced Bye Bye EP coming out on December 13 will be prophetically-titled.
I will miss Lightspeed – Lavender Bridge remains a favourite from the past few years – and am especially sorry I wasn’t able to see him at the Horseshoe this past Summer, but if Blood Orange is what it – and he – is going to be, then I’ll be there.
BBC reports that Portishead are making plans for album number four and there are also rumours swirling that they’re intending to stage their first North American tour in forever next Fall. Fingers crossed.
British Sea Power have released the first video from their forthcoming Valhalla Dancehall – out January 11 – and I can’t figure out if it’s playful, creepy, romantic or just plain weird. I am going to go with weird.
NME reports that Editors think three studio albums are enough to justify releasing a box set, and will do just that in February of next year – Editors: The Complete Collection will consist of seven 12″ records (album-length or single is unclear) and seven CDs of b-sides, rarities and other Editors ephemera.
The Vaccines, who are apparently set to be the next big thing out of the UK, will be riding the buzz through a free show at the Horseshoe on January 18. The Guardian and Von Pip Musical Express have profiles of the band, which should give you all the background you need to make like you’ve been a fan, like, forever when you’re jammed into the ‘Shoe with all the other Anglophiles in the city.