Tuesday, February 8th, 2011
In The Dark Places
PJ Harvey Shakes out preview of new record
Seamus MurphyThroughout her career, Polly Jean Harvey has managed the difficult feat of being artistically chameleon-like from one to the next, each often stylistically miles removed from that which came before it, while remaining consistently interesting and by and large excellent throughout. Her last effort, 2007’s fragile piano-led White Chalk, certainly didn’t hint at what Let England Shake – out next week – has to offer.
Just posted to stream in its entirety at NPR, it’s a strange yet immediately compelling collection built around themes of nationalism and war. While has echoes of her past works – the urgency of her early records, the melody of her middle-period works and the stark beauty of recent recordings – it sounds completely fresh, with Harvey favouring the higher registers of her voice in a way that I, at least, haven’t heard before. I’m only a few listens in and already I’m finding myself connecting with it in way that I haven’t with her stuff before. This is an exciting development.
She’s only got three North American tour dates scheduled right now (Los Angeles, Coachella and New York) but considering she’s not toured over here properly in forever – her last Toronto date was in 2004 – I have to think or at least hope that more will be coming.
The Quietus goes over their debut Violet Cries track by track with Esben & The Witch while Drowned In Sound gave them the keys to their whole website last week. Paste just interviews them. They’re also at Wrongbar on March 11 for Canadian Musicfest.
Billboard has a cover story on Adele in advance of the February 22 release of 21. NPR is streaming the album in its entirety as well as a half-hour live performance from the singer, who’s just announced a North American tour in suport of album number two, including a May 18 date at The Kool Haus in Toronto.
Stream: Adele / 21
Micachu & The Shapes are still working on the follow-up to 2009’s left-field gem Jewellery, but in the interim will be releasing Chopped & Screwed, a collaboration with The London Sinfonetta that will be coming out on March 22. What’s it sound like? Click below and read this piece on the collaboration at Clash.
The Boxer Rebellion have made a date at The Horseshoe for April 18 in support of their new record The Cold Still; tickets $13.50.
Toronto fans disappointed there’s no official stop here for the upcoming Trash Can Sinatras tour would do well to look at their itinerary, email the address noted on the right and ask themselves just how much seeing them play an intimate house show is worth to them.
Spinner reports that Manic Street Preachers bassist Nicky Wire is disappointed that their last single didn’t chart in the UK; perhaps they overestimated the appeal of an Ian McCulloch duet? Time to dig up Nina Persson’s phone number again, methinks.