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Thursday, November 18th, 2010

Soulgazing

Review of Gregory & The Hawk’s Leche

Photo By Annie RaczAnnie RaczI liked Gregory & The Hawk’s last record, 2008’s Moenie & Kitchi. Really, I did. The combination of New Yorker Meredith Godreau’s sweet, girlish voice and her gentle, mostly-acoustic, semi-orchestral folk-pop is like kryptonite to me and maybe that’s why I was able to resist it – it’s the sort of record I’ve bought a dozen times before and while it’s not a style that I’m necessarily tired of, it is one that requires some above and beyond to really impress me. Which is why, I guess, I hung onto the record but didn’t write it up or make the 10-minute walk – or 5-minute bike ride – to see them at the El Mocambo last May.

The just-released follow-up Leche won’t be so easily ignored, though. While Goudreau hasn’t changed appreciably changed her approach, the new record is an impressive step forward in pretty much all departments. The arrangements are broader this time out, adding more percussion and both electric and electronic textures in just the right amounts to enhance but not obscure the songs’ simple charms. Not that the songs are as simple this time out; they still have the child-like sense of whimsy and fantastical edge to them, but have more dynamic and emotional range and even offer a whiff of darkness or anger that wasn’t present on Moenie. Add to this more immediate and memorable melodies and an unexpected crib of Cutting Crew’s ’80s hit “(I Just) Died In Your Arms”, and you’ve got a record that demands your attention for its own merits, and not just because it sounds like stuff you already like.

Sloucher has an interview with Goudreau.

MP3: Gregory & The Hawk – “Landscapes”
Video: Gregory & The Hawk – “Soulgazing”
Video: Gregory & The Hawk – “For The Best”
Myspace: Gregory & The Hawk

Spinner talks to Nicole Atkins about her new album Mondo Amore, out January 25, and offers a first look at the album art. Stereogum, meanwhile, has the b-side of her recent “Vultures” single – a Can cover – available to download.

Under The Radar has an interview with Sharon Van Etten.

Pitchfork brings word of a Joanna Newsom tribute album with the terrific title of Versions Of Joanna and featuring contributions fromM Ward, Owen Pallett and Billy Bragg, though the first two are previously released recordings and Bragg’s contribution presumably comes from his contribution to the Voice Project. It will be released digitally in December.

BBC Radio 6 and Pitchfork talk to Lykke Li about her new album, due out on March 1 of next year, which will carry the title Wounded Rhymes. She’s at The Phoenix on May 22.

Prefix talks to The Concretes. They’re at The Horseshoe on January 18.

Love Is All have released a new video from their latest, Two Thousand And Ten Injuries.

Video: Love Is All – “Bigger Bolder”

NPR is streaming the whole of Josni’s recent show at the 9:30 Club in Washington DC.

Daytrotter has got a session up with Suuns; they play the Silver Dollar on November 26.

Exclaim talks to Fucked Up drummer Jonah Falco about how progress is coming on their new record.

The Globe & Mail talks to the director of the Feist documentary Look At What The Light Did Now, screening at the ROM this Sunday night and coming out on DVD/CD on December 7.

Good news: in advance of their show at the Sound Academy that night opening up for Broken Social Scene, Superchunk will be playing an in-store at Sonic Boom on the afternoon of December 9. Bad news: it will be happening at 3PM, making it difficult or impossible to attend if you have a 9-5 job… unless you cut out early like some kind of slack motherfucker.

MP3: Superchunk – “Digging For Something”

Baths, Braids and Star Slinger are teaming up for a show at the El Mocambo on February 19, tickets $12. Baths’ debut Cerulean was released this past Summer, Braids’ debut Native Speaker is out January 18.

MP3: Baths – “Maximalist”
MP3: Braids – “Lemonade”

By : Frank Yang at 8:32 am
Category: General

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  1. Mike says:

    Strange, when I saw the name Annie Racz on your photo, I immediately thought of that old building on Bloor Street (a BMV Bookstore now) that a woman with that name used to own.

    Remember this, Frank?

    http://contests.eyeweekly.com/eye/issue/issue_02.27.03/city/bloorwest.php