Wednesday, March 13th, 2013
It Starts And Ends With You
Stream a little stream of Suede, Billy Bragg, Stornoway, and more
Roger 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.
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.
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.
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.
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