Wednesday, January 9th, 2013
Lovers In The Parking Lot
Solange is coming; it’s True.
Elias TahanThere are many routes to Solange. Some may know her because of the surname she shares with her superstar sister. Others for her thespian endeavours which so far, have peaked with the starring role in the third chapter of the competitive cheerleading saga Bring It On. And her music career – two albums since 2003 – have sold hundreds of thousands of copies, so she’s got fans there, too. But it’s her recent turns covering Dirty Projectors and collaborating with Of Montreal that have garnered her scores of new followers in the indie realm.
She only came to my attention, however, when word got out that she was working with Dev Hynes as producer and co-writer. I had originally been a bit wary of his shift from the folk/orchestral indie-rock stylings of Lightspeed Champion to the ’80s-vintage disco-soul of of Lightspeed Champion and Blood Orange, but Coastal Grooves, his debut in that guise, was so irresistibly slick and funky – and at minimal cost to his guitar heroics – that the prospect of pairing those skills with an up-and-coming soul diva such as Knowles had so much potential.
The full-length fruits of their labours is still forthcoming, but the mini-album True, released digitally last November and out physically as of yesterday, certainly shows that promise is being fulfilled. It sounds like a companion piece to Coastal Grooves in style, but the use of an actual studio rather than Hynes’ home environs and Knowles’ vocals makes it a different creature entirely – smooth and expressive while eschewing the diva excesses so typical of her peers. It’s a bit of a subtle release, but that’s also what makes it refreshing and it doesn’t take but a few listens for the hooks to sink in and once they’re in, that’s it.
With the record’s release, Solange has announced a Winter tour that brings her – and presumably Hynes, who has been in her band for past live appearances – to The Hoxton on February 22. Tickets for that – which will go fast, you best believe – are $23 and go on sale this Friday at 10AM.
The Guardian has a feature piece on how Knowles came to work with Hynes, and if you’re curious about how their styles compare, know that the closing track on True is a Blood Orange cover of a 7-inch single; you can stream the original below. Solange’s performance of “Losing You” on Jimmy Fallon last year – with Hynes at her side – is also worth watching.
With his/their third album Dormarion due out April 2, power-pop maestro Benjamin Michael Lerner – aka Telekinesis – has slated a Spring tour that stops in at the Horseshoe on May 12; tickets $11.50. A new song is also available to stream.
Stream: Yo La Tengo / Fade
The Stool Pigeon, New York Times, Red Eye, and The 405 interview Christopher Owens, whose solo debut Lysandre is out next Tuesday and who plays The Mod Club on January 18. The Line Of Best Fit has got a stream of the album right now.
Stream: Christopher Owens / Lysandre
Stream: Ra Ra Riot – “Dance With Me”
Stream: Widowspeak – “Thick As Thieves”
Stream: Jim James – “A New Life”
Spin talks to Caitlin Rose about expanding her country horizons on her second album The Stand-In, due out February 25, and the Arctic Monkeys cover that’s part of that. Watch the video for that one below, and see her at The Garrison on April 5.
Stream: The Men – “Electric”
Apparently that first taste in December of Low’s forthcoming The Invisible Way was unofficial because this new stream is being called the first official release from their new record, out March 19. They also just announced a live date at The Great Hall on March 16.
Stream: Low – “Just Make It Stop”
Rolling Stone talks to Black Rebel Motorcycle Club frontman Robert Been about writing and recording their new album, still untitled but due out this March, in the wake of his father’s sudden death in 2010. Update: Turns out it does have a name, as well as release date: Specter At The Feast is out March 18.