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Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

It Starts And Ends With You

Stream a little stream of Suede, Billy Bragg, Stornoway, and more

Photo By Roger SargentRoger SargentI find it equally amusing/confounding that veteran artists who return after long hiatuses or breakups are almost always initially met with open arms – my favourite band when I was a teenager is back! – but it’s rarely long before that goodwill starts turning a bit sour. Tour the greatest hits that everyone thinks they want to hear, and it’s all “you’re just cashing in on my nostalgia!” but have the audacity to record new material, and with few exceptions the best they can hope for is a tepid, “it’s not as good as your old stuff” or “it just sounds like you”. Which is hilarious because if it didn’t sound like them, the complaint would be, “it doesn’t sound like you”. Who else should they sound like? And how many revolutions do they owe you? 33-1/3 or 45, but that’s it.

I’ve heard the “more of the same” argument leveled against recent releases by My Bloody Valentine and David Bowie – both very good records, by my reckoning – and expect to hear it again now that the release of the first Suede album in over a decade – Bloodsports – is out next week. No, it’s not a return to the glam-rock drama and decadence of their first two albums, nor does it have the, “we’re not dead” defiance that made post-Butler Coming Up such a surprise. It doesn’t even meet the bar of “amazing” that Brett Anderson had said would be needed for the sessions to be released. But it is concise, hooky, and energized in a way that neither Head Music or A New Morning were, and most importantly its swagger and romanticism feel authentically Suede in a way no one else has done in many, many years. And that’s all I would have asked for.

NPR has an advance stream of the new record, and Clash has an interview with the band. And tangentially, Louder Than War has an interview with former Suede guitarist-turned-producer Bernard Butler about what he’s up to these days.

MP3: Suede – “Barriers”
Video: Suede – “It Starts And Ends With You”
Stream: Suede / Bloodsports

In other advance streaming news, CBC Music has a Q&A with Billy Bragg as well as a stream of his new record Tooth and Nail, in stores next week. He’s at The Danforth Music Hall on May 4, and is also interviewed by Music Radar. Update: Apparently the CBC stream is geoblocked to Canada; others should try The Quietus and their Soundcloud-powered stream.

Video: Billy Bragg – “No One Knows Anything Anymore”
Stream: Billy Bragg / Tooth and Nail

PopMatters has got an advance stream of the new Stornoway record Tales From Terra Firma; it’s out March 19 and they play The Horseshoe on May 9. There’s also an interview with frontman Oli Steadman at Music Radar.

Video: Stornoway – “Knock Me On The Head”
Stream: Stornoway / Tales From Terra Firma

Rolling Stone is hosting the advance stream for Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’s new album Specter Af The Feast, out officially on March 19, while Elle has a quick chat with drummer Leah Shapiro. They’ll tour the new album through the Kool Haus on May 9.

Stream: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club / Specter At The Feast

Belfast post-rock instrumentalists And So I Watch You From Afar are streaming their new album All Hail Bright Futures, out March 19, over at Noisey.

Stream: And So I Watch You From Afar / All Hail Bright Futures

And finally for advance listens, NOT out next week but already available to stream is the first album in seven years from The House Of Love. She Paints Words In Red will be out April 1.

Stream: The House Of Love / She Paints Words In Red

Beatroute and The Province talk to Efterklang, coming to town for a Canadian Musicfest show at The Mod Club on March 21.

Ólafur Arnalds offers The Quietus a list of his favourite albums. For Now I Am Winter gets a North American release April 2.

The Knife have released a second, characteristically batshit video from their new record Shaking The Habitual, out April 9.

Video: The Knife – “A Tooth For An Eye”

DIY and Clash have features on Iceage, coming to town for NXNE on June 15 and 16.

Empire Of The Sun have finally, improbably, announced the release of their second album – Ice On The Dune will be out in June, and to get you excited there’s the inevitable album trailer.

Trailer: Empire Of The Sun / Ice On The Dune

By : Frank Yang at 8:30 am
Category: General

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RSS Feed for this post2 Responses.
  1. Brad says:

    Wow, the Billy Bragg stream is geo-locked to Canada only. That’s a first for me. I shake my fist at you, Canadians!

  2. Frank Yang says:

    wow, I’ve never seen that before. and I doubt the technology exists to spoof a Canadian IP because why the hell would anyone want to.