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Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

In The Dark Places

PJ Harvey Shakes out preview of new record

Photo By Seamus MurphySeamus 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.

MP3: PJ Harvey – “Written On The Forehead”
Stream: PJ Harvey / Let England Shake

The Guardian and State interview Anna Calvi, whose self-titled debut is due out on March 1 and who will be at Wrongbar on March 11 as part of Canadian Musicfest.

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

NPR has a World Cafe session with Duffy.

PopMatters interviews Kate Nash.

Spinner talks to Mira Aroyo of Ladytron about their forthcoming Best of Ladytron: 00-10 compilation, due out March 29.

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.

MP3: Micachu – “Everything”

Pitchfork talks to Jamie Smith of The xx about stuff both xx and not xx.

The Fly checks in with Friendly Fires, who are finishing up their second record Pala, due out in the Spring – certainly before their May 30 date at The Phoenix.

The Fly and The Scotsman profile The Joy Formidable, who follow up the North American release of The Big Roar with a date at The Horseshoe on April 2.

Magnet handed over the editorial chair of their website to White Lies last week. The Mirror has an interview.

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.

Video: The Boxer Rebellion – “Step Out Of The Car”

State, Exclaim and Clash interview The Go! Team, who bring their new record Rolling Blackouts to The Opera House on April 10. They’ve released a couple new videos and an MP3 from said record.

MP3: The Go! Team – “T.O.R.N.A.D.O.”
Video: The Go! Team – “Super Triangle”
Video: The Go! Team – “Secretary Song”

Guy Garvey discusses Elbow’s forthcoming new record build a rocket boys!, out March 8, with The Quietus.

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.

Liam Gallagher of Beady Eye discusses his new band’s debut Different Gear, Still Speeding with Spin. The record is out March 1.

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.

The Quietus contemplates the legacy of Teenage Fanclub while The Line Of Best Fit has an acoustic session with Fanny side-project Jonny. Their self-titled debut is out April 12.

Billboard profiles Mumford & Sons.

NPR puts folk-rock legend Richard Thompson behind a Tiny Desk and makes him play a concert. The indignity.

By : Frank Yang at 3:31 am
Category: General

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RSS Feed for this post7 Responses.
  1. stalevar says:

    Anna Calvi and Esben are on March 11, not March 9

  2. martin says:

    Love The Boxer Rebellion!!

  3. stu says:

    Hey Frank,
    noticed you’ve added Low at the Mod Club to your list of shows there. Have you heard anything about tickets for that?

  4. Frank says:

    Just got the PR now- $16.50 on sale Friday

  5. stu says:

    think Low tix will be via ticketmaster?

  6. Frank Yang says:

    there will be, yes – Tm-Rt-Ss-Hs

  7. PJ Harvey – ‘Let England Shake’ Review « The VPME says:

    […] PJ Harvey Shakes out preview of new record (chromewaves.net) […]