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Monday, April 30th, 2012

Daydreaming

Review of We Are Serenades’ Criminal Heaven and giveaway

Photo by Carl von ArbinCarl von ArbinIf you require an introduction to We Are Serenades – which you probably do – then let it be known that they are the collaborative project of Swedes Adam Olenius, whom you may know as frontman of of Shout Out Louds, and Markus Krunegard, who led an outfit called Laakso. If the latter doesn’t mean that much to you, that’s reasonable as I don’t think they made it overseas at all, and really, Shout Out Louds is really the only reference point you really need for We Are Serenades’ (who were called just “Serenades” until earlier this year) debut Criminal Heaven.

Olenius and Krunegard make a point of singing together across most of the tracks, but Olenius’ faintly Robert Smith-y delivery largely defines the vocals and guest vocals from fellow Shout-er Out Loud Bebban Stenborg, most notably on “Daydreaming”, only serve to make proceedings that much more familiar for fans of the outfit. Musically, it’s more of a stylistic hodge-podge with nods to the electro-, orch-, acoustic-, and power- varietals of pop music but the pastiche largely works in favour of the greater whole. As it’s culled from across a few years of writing and recording sessions during the downtime from their main gigs, it was probably a better idea to simply pull together the strongest selections rather than craft a more cohesive statement. Yeah, it may listen more like a compilation than am album but it’s a good listen and will scratch that certain itch until the next Shout Out Louds record comes along.

We Are Serenades are bringing Criminal Heaven to North America for a Spring tour and will be at The Garrison in Toronto on Monday, May 14. Tickets are $10 in advance but courtesy of Embrace, I’ve got two pairs of passes to give away for the show. To enter, email me at contests AT chromewaves.net with “I want Serenades” in the subject line and your full name in the body and have that in to me before midnight, May 9.

MP3: We Are Serenades – “Birds”
MP3: We Are Serenades – “Oceans”
Video: We Are Serenades – “Birds”
Video: We Are Serenades – “Oceans”
Video: We Are Serenades – “Come Home”
Stream: We Are Serenades / Criminal Heaven

Reunions/hiatus-ends are usually trumpeted with press releases/press conferences so that the whole world knows, but I had no idea The Cardigans were back in action until seeing this interview with Nina Persson at The Guardian. It’s just some Scandinavian (and one Russian and two Japanese) festivals where they’ll be performing all of 1998’s Gran Turismo with no promises of further activity when it’s all done, but the idea of The Cardigans as an active concern, even in limited capacity, makes me happy.

The Quietus talks to Ane Brun; her record It All Starts With One is out tomorrow and she’s in town at The Great Hall on May 10.

A second taste of Sigur Rós’ forthcoming Valtari is available as a streamed BBC radio rip; the album is out May 29 and they play Echo Beach on August 1.

Stream: Sigur Rós – “Varúð”

The Guardian and Irish Times are doing their bit to get people excited about the new Richard Hawley record Standing At The Sky’s Edge, with The Guardian augmenting their feature interview with a stream of the album. It’s out May 7.

Stream: Richard Hawley / Standing At The Sky’s Edge

The Line Of Best Fit offers a precis of an interview with Kevin Shields in the pages of the latest Mojo wherein he offers more concrete information on the alleged new My Bloody Valentine album and EP which could be out before the end of the year. The Loveless, Isn’t Anything, and EP’s 1988-1991 remasters are out May 7.

DIY chats with The Cribs about their new record In The Belly Of The Brazen Bull, out May 15.

Maxïmo Park are streaming the new single from their forthcoming The National Health, out June 11.

Stream: Maxïmo Park – “Hips And Lips”

NPR is streaming a World Cafe session with Michael Kiwanuka. He plays The Great Hall on June 19.

The New York Times talks to Dev Hynes about the new, first-person shooter Blood Orange video for “Champagne Coast” from Coastal Grooves.

Video: Blood Orange – “Champagne Coast”

DIY talks to Gerard Love of Lightships.

Magnet Q&As The Twilight Sad as the Scots prepare to take the editorial reins of the magazine’s website this week and fill it with all kinds of doom, gloom, and comic books.

eMusic explores the discography of XTC.

By : Frank Yang at 8:36 am
Category: Contests

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RSS Feed for this post3 Responses.
  1. Steve says:

    Hey Frank,

    That Sigur Ros stream is not working.

  2. Frank Yang says:

    it was a radio rip and unauthorized, guess it got a take-down notice.

  3. Frank Yang says:

    and it’s back