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Posts Tagged ‘Bettie Serveert’

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

Ratchet

Bloc Party exchange extended play for extended hiatus

Photo By Marley KateMarley KateI don’t know if anyone has pointed this out to Bloc Party, but four years isn’t really an abnormally long time for a veteran rock band to go between albums. So the dramatics that played out in the media between 2008’s Intimacy and last year’s Four – Kele’s gone solo! Kele’s been fired! Kele’s back in the band! – really weren’t necessary; they could have just quietly gone about their individual business and regrouped when they felt like it and no one really would have batted an eye or wagged a tongue. But that’s not their style, I guess, so it’s not a big surprise that they announced earlier this month that when this Summer’s festival circuit draws to a close, they’d be going back on a hiatus. Kind of like most bands do when their promotional commitments are done.

But however long this break lasts, at least they’re leaving parting gifts. A few weeks after their last scheduled gig in mid-July – August 13, to be precise – they’ll release a new five-song EP in The Nextwave Sessions, which gives some of the new songs they’d been performing throughout the Four tours a properly-recorded incarnation. Pitchfork has specifics, and you can watch the trippy first video from it below. If this is indeed their swan song – I don’t believe it, personally, but why not indulge their dramatics – then it’s a pretty strong note to go out on.

Video: Bloc Party – “Ratchet”

Camera Obscura talks to Filter, The Colorado Springs Independent, Denver Post, and Georgia Straight about their new album Desire Lines. They play The Toronto Urban Roots Fest at Garrison Common on July 4.

M.I.A. has followed up the first stream from her new album Matangi with a new video. The album is out sometime this year, but more definitely she plays The Danforth Music Hall on July 18.

Video: M.I.A. – “Bring The Noize”

The Lab talks to Natasha Khan of Bat For Lashes; she’s here at The Molson Amphitheatre on September 1 opening for Depeche Mode.

Glasvegas have given their latest effort Later…When The TV Turns To Static a North American release date of September 3, with tour dates to follow. You can stream a track from the new album below and read an interview with the band at The Glaswegian.

Stream: Glasvegas – “If”

German cheery pop duo BOY have slated their third show in Toronto – four if you count both their CMF appearances – in seven months behind their debut Mutual Friend with a show at The Mod Club on October 11.

Video: BOY – “Little Numbers”

The Line Of Best Fit helpfully points to video of an acoustic Jessie Ware show from atop The Gherkin in London. She’s in town at The Sound Academy on November 6.

Swedish duo jj have released some details on their next album V – mainly that it exists and will be out later this year – but are also giving the first track from it away to download, and there’s a trailer for the new record if you’re into that sort of thing.

MP3: jj – “Fågelsången”
Trailer: jj / V

Swede dance-pop star Robyn isn’t quite ready to announce details of her follow-up to 2010’s Body Talk, but this new single at least confirms that something is coming. And Snoop Dogg is part of it. Update: old song, new video. Apologies for my Robyn ignorance.

Video: Robyn – “U Should Know Better”

DIY, The Scotsman, and Spin talk to Empire Of The Sun about their just-released second album Ice On The Dune; they play some of the new songs in a video session for Yahoo Music. And oh, the band will also apparently be scoring Dumb & Dumber 2, because of course they are.

The Von Pip Musical Express talks to Ladytron’s Helen Marnie – aka Marnie – about her solo record Crystal World, which is officially out digitally and in the process of being manufactured in physical media.

Paste and Time talk to Sigur Rós about their new record Kveikur.

Sigur Rós collaborators Amiina discuss their new record The Lighthouse Project with The Line Of Best Fit.

Tone Deaf chats with Iceland’s Of Monsters & Men.

The Line Of Best Fit has premiered the new and characteristically fantastical video from Swedish duo The Deer Tracks, taken from their latest The Archer Trilogy, Pt. 3.

Video: The Deer Tracks – “W”

DIY has premiered the new video from British Sea Power’s latest effort Machineries Of Joy.

Video: British Sea Power – “Loving Animals”

Tone Deaf interviews Beady Eye drummer Chris Sharrock.

The Alternate Side has an interview and session with Still Corners.

Caught In The Carousel talks to Carol Van Dyk of Bettie Serveert.

Labrador Records is celebrating the onset of Summer with a current label sampler which you can stream below or download for keeping.

Stream: Labrador Records Summer Sampler 2013

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

The Way We Are

Win passes to see Kate Boy; find out who Kate Boy are

Photo via FacebookFacebookLike the act they’re frequently compared to – The Knife circa Silent Shout – Aussie-fronted Swedes Kate Boy put a lot of stock in image and mystery, and the intersection of the two. And so while assumptions might be that the band’s name is a pseudonym for frontwoman Kate Akhurst, they in fact insist it represents an entirely fictional fifth member because why not. Their visual aesthetic also speaks to the strength of the concept behind it, their greyscaled, silhouetted, and baseball-capped guises being well-maintained through their press photos and three videos.

But it’s their sound that has elicited the Knife comparisons, and yeah – there’s definitely something of the Dreijer siblings’ influence in their spooky, yet hooky, electro-pop built on synth tones whose square waves have the edges left on. Whether there’s more to them than that remains to be seen – three singles do not an identity make, but it is enough to create a solid amount of buzz. A full-length is expected out before year’s end and the band just played their first show ever a month ago, but they’ve already got a short North American tour booked and will be in Toronto at Wrongbar on Sunday night, June 9.

Tickets for the show are $12.50 in advance but courtesy of LiveNation, 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 to see Kate Boy” in the subject line and your full name in the body, and have that to me by midnight, June 6. And if you’re curious how their look translates live, Pitchfork has some photos from a show in Berlin last week.

MP3: Kate Boy – “Northern Lights”
Video: Kate Boy – “The Way We Are”
Video: Kate Boy – “In Your Eyes”
Video: Kate Boy – “Northern Lights”

Consequence Of Sound and Interview talk to Tracyanne Campbell of Camera Obscura, whose new album Desire Lines is out today. They play the Toronto Urban Roots Fest at Garrison Common on July 4.

Mr. Porter solicits some musical suggestions from Jamie Smith of The xx. They play Echo Beach on Thursday night, June 6. Denver Westword also grabs an interview.

Pet Shop Boys are streaming a second single from their new album Electric, lined up for a July 15 release date. They’re here at The Sony Centre on September 25.

Stream: Pet Shop Boys – “Vocal”

Exclaim has a pair of features gleaned from an interview with Jehnny Beth of Savages. She leads her band into The Mod Club on July 16.

A new, non-album single from Hot Chip has been made available to stream; Pitchfork has details on the 12″ or 10″ EP, depending on where you live, which will be released July 22. Hot Chip are in Toronto to play The Grove Fest at Garrison Common on August 3.

Stream: Hot Chip – “Dark & Stormy”

English gloom merchants White Lies have announced an August 21 release date for their third album, Big TV. The Line Of Best Fit has details and the first track is available to download below.

MP3: White Lies – “Getting Even”

There’s Something Hard In There has an interview with Carol and Peter of Bettie Serveert.

NPR welcomes Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds for a World Cafe session.

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

If You Still Want Me

Veronica Falls not Waiting to drop second album

Photo via FacebookFacebookEveryone has heard the old saw about bands having “a lifetime to write the first album, a year to write the second”. Similarly, most people can think of an instance or two of “sophomore slump” being more than just a clever bit of alliteration. London’s Veronica Falls seem set on not letting the former be any kind of obstacle and sidestepping the latter entirely. Their self-titled debut came out just over a year ago, but they’ve just announced the follow-up.

Waiting For Something To Happen will be out on February 12 of next year and the first teaser track from it has been made available to stream, and as expected/hoped it’s another slice of deliciously retro, garage-punk-jangle-pop that might sound a bit sunnier with more major key wistfulness than you would have found on the debut, but it’s only one song of thirteen – there’s surely at least some of their trademark darkness still lurking in the corners. Exclaim has the full tracklisting, album art, and other bits and bobs announced about the record.

Stream: Veronica Falls – “Teenage”

A Music Blog, Yea runs some questions by guitarist Paul Rains of Allo Darlin’.

The Joy Formidable have released a new video from their own sophomore effort, Wolf’s Law. It’s out January 23 and they’re at The Sound Academy on November 25 supporting The Gaslight Anthem.

Video: The Joy Formidable – “The Ladder Is Ours”

Natasha Khan of Bat For Lashes talks about her experience in the music industry with Exclaim. A new track from The Haunted Man has also been made available to download.

MP3: Bat For Lashes – “Oh Yeah”

MXDWN and Los Angeles Magazine talk to Laura Marling.

NPR welcomes Neil Halstead for a World Cafe session.

Johnny Marr has released a video for the title track from his solo debut The Messenger, due out February 26. Hear that, son? That’s the jangle.

Video: Johnny Marr – “The Messenger”

DIY has some updates on the next album from Primal Scream, targeted for release in Summer of next year.

Atlanta Music Guide has a short interview with Ash; they’re at Lee’s Palace this Saturday night, November 17.

The Fly interviews Trailer Trash Tracys.

One of the tracks from Charli XCX’s new Super Ultra Mixtape has been made available for download, if you prefer things in sub-three minute chunks.

MP3: Charli XCX – “Glow”

Rolling Stone talks to Richard Thompson about his new album Electricity – due out February 5 – and also have a stream of one of the new songs on it.

Stream: Richard Thompson – “Good Things Happen To Bad People”

Blurt reports that Dutch indie-rock veterans Bettie Serveert have targeted a February release for their new album Oh, Mayhem! and released a first video from it. Here’s hoping they take this opportunity to make up that 2010 Toronto show canceled at the eleventh hour due to visa issues.

Video: Bettie Serveert – “Had2Byou”

Sambassadeur have made the flipside of their forthcoming single “Memories”/”Hours Away” available to stream, helping to tide you over until the single is out November 20 and the new album is out sometime next year.

Stream: Sambassadeur – “Hours Away”

Under The Radar talks to Carl and Adam of Shout Out Louds about how work is progressing on their fourth album. They hope to release it near the end of February 2013.

Much Sigur Rós to report; they’ve premiered another video from the Valtari Mystery Film Experient over at Nowness, this one set to four of the songs from Valtari. Maybe it will be one of those screened at The Bloor on December 8. Further, the band have announced another North American tour for next Spring. The band made a total triumph of their last visit to Echo Beach in August, but instead of returning to their former home of Massey Hall for indoor digs, they’ll be setting up at the Air Canada Centre on March 30, albeit in the more-intimate theatre configuration. And lest you worry that arenas in any configuration are acoustic nightmares, know that The National made the same setup sound amazing last December and the magical elves that work sound for Sigur Rós did wonders with Echo Beach’s PA, so I have full confidence that this will sound incredible. Ticket details still forthcoming but public on-sale is this Saturday, so they’ll be available soon. And on top of all that, they will release a new EP to go with the tour on March 22. Hoo-rah.

MP3: Sigur Rós – “Hoppípolla”
Video: Sigur Rós – “Valtari”

Björk has also rolled out a new video from last year’s Biophilia.

Video: Björk – “Mutual Core”

Tame Impala have released a new video from Lonerism; The Chicago Tribune also has an interview.

Video: Tame Impala – “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards”

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

Dig You Out

Male Bonding, Love Inks, Neon Windbreaker and Huddle at The Horseshoe in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangA number of things I hadn’t done in a while: gone to a show; gone to a show at The Horseshoe; gone to a show whose bill was filled with bands I’d never seen before. Friday night, I kicked off Labour Day weekend by addressing all three of these things by seeing London’s Male Bonding, Austin’s Love Inks and locals Neon Windbreaker and Huddle. At the ‘Shoe. In case that wasn’t clear. This isn’t to say I had no backstory with the bands. I was in a band with one of Huddle’s guitarists for some years, years ago, and have a couple of friends in the Neon Windbreaker camp – the fact that I’d yet to see either of them play before, despite ample opportunity, kind of speaks volumes about how good a friend I am. But I digress.

I’d been sent a few tracks from Huddle’s Fault Lines EP some time ago and been impressed by how sophisticated it sounded for a band that hadn’t been around for very long, though it was comprised of some experienced players. Since they recorded that sampler, they’ve finished a very accomplished full-length in All These Fires – a debut that’s insidiously catchy at times – and were looking to bring some of that studio savvy onto the stage. And indeed, one of the first things I noticed was the sophistication and attention to detail in their arrangements – little flourishes in the percussion and keyboards that you might not consciously notice but definitely feel in the bigger picture. The electro-pop sheen that’s up front on the recordings was pleasantly roughed up a bit live and the band have got things covered in the polish and pop hooks departments; if there’s a shortcoming it’s in the overall presence – though plenty friendly, they didn’t offer a whole lot of personality up there. This isn’t to suggest that a contrived image would be a step up, but with the songs and musicianship well covered, that would be something to look at next.

And way over at the opposite end of spectrum with a surplus of personality dwells Neon Windbreaker. Originally conceived as a hardcore concept/novelty act, it’s grown – perhaps despite themselves – into a real(ish) band with actual songs and musical proficiency. Well, somewhat – everyone can clearly play even if it’s not called for in this outfit – it’s unclear if frontman Eric Warner can actually sing but he’s got the screaming thing down pretty well – and when they let the anarchic aesthetic drop and allow something genuinely tuneful to come through, it’s surprising and confusing. Again, this may be the point. In any case, they were entertaining and didn’t overstay their welcome, though I suspect their cover of Harvey Danger’s “Flagpole Sitta” was a bit sloppier than even they intended. Or not.

The stage presence yo-yo went back to its other extreme for the third act of the night, Texan trio Love Inks, and one can only presume their opening cover of David Essex’s “Rock On” was ironic as rocking on was rather the last thing they had in mind. Their sound as captured on debut album ESP is built on live bass and guitar over skeletal, sequenced beats and since Kevin Dehan and Adam Linnell prefer to tend to their duties while standing off the the stage sides, safely ensconced in shadow, the figurative and literal spotlight fell on singer/drum machine triggerer Sherry LaBlanc. Thankfully, her vocal approach is not icy and detached, as so many who ply simliar terrain are, but wide-eyed and emotive and imbuing their songs with some genuine feeling. That said, they were still very low-key in presentation and considering most were there for their decidedly punked-up tourmates, it was just as well their set ran a very efficient half-hour.

On any given day, I might say that Male Bonding are too lo-fi for my tastes, but with the increased sonic clarity and bigger pop hooks on their just-released second album Endless Now over their debut Nothing Hurts, they were very much what I was in the mood for this evening. But though they may have tidied things up in the studio a bit this time out, live they tilted very much back towards the punk side of their equation while retaining just the right amount of airiness in their harmonies and hooks. With the addition of a second guitarist, things were decidedly weightier and louder for both new material and old – the set was split about evenly between both – and propelled by the relentless drumming of Robin Christian. He wasn’t hugely fancy or varied back there, but was unquestionably huge as he laid down a monstrous groove for his bandmates to work in and the four-piece powered through a set of meaty, punk-pop with the unquestionable highlight being the irresistible “Bones”, which must have been exhausting for both the band on stage and dancers in the audience. How they managed to keep playing after that marathon is beyond me, but they did and closed out with a rare (according to them) encore. Then I imagine they went backstage and collapsed.

Exclaim also has a writeup of the show and The Liverpool Echo has an interview with Love Inks.

Photos: Male Bonding, Love Inks, Neon Windbreaker, Huddle @ The Horseshoe – September 2, 2011
MP3: Male Bonding – “Tame The Sun”
MP3: Male Bonding – “Bones”
MP3: Male Bonding – “Franklin”
MP3: Male Bonding – “Year’s Not Long”
MP3: Love Inks – “Blackeye”
MP3: Neon Windbreaker – “Furniture”
MP3: Huddle – “Islands”
Video: Male Bonding – “All Things This Way”
Video: Male Bonding – “Pirate Key”
Video: Male Bonding – “Weird Feelings”
Video: Male Bonding – “Year’s Not Long”
Video: Love Inks – “Blackeye”
Video: Love Inks – “Leather Glove”

With next week being one of the big new release days of the Fall, there’s plenty of much-anticipated records available to preview by way of streams. First, there’s St. Vincent’s latest Strange Mercy, which is up over at NPR. Pitchfork also has a feature interview.

Stream: St. Vincent / Strange Mercy

The New York Times has paired their feature piece on Laura Marling with a stream of her latest A Creature I Don’t Know. She is at The Great Hall on September 23.

Stream: Laura Marling / A Creature I Don’t Know

If you were at all intrigued by my writeup of Slow Club’s new record Paradise from last week, it’s up for listening over at NME.

Stream: Slow Club / Paradise

The second single from Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds is now available to stream at NME. It’s on the strength of this and the rest of the self-titled debut, out November 8, that Gallagher will be playing two shows at Massey Hall on November 7 and 8.

Stream: Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – “AKA… What A Life!”

Not technically an album stream and certainly not a new release, but video of Bettie Serveert’s recital of their debut Palomine at the Into The Great Wide Open festival in The Netherlands this past weekend is available to watch online. Oh ’90s.

Baeble Music is streaming a video interview and session with Ellie Goulding.

Monday, November 8th, 2010

To The Grain

Junip and Sharon Van Etten at Lee’s Palace in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangWith a wealth of options on the Toronto social calendar last Friday night, I rather feared that posting up Lee’s Palace might draw the short end of the stick. I didn’t know how much draw Junip would have, but I needn’t have worried. With their main attraction – frontman José Gonzalez – having not released a new record under his own name in some three years, there was apparently a good amount of pent-up appetite to see and hear him in any configuration.

Happily, this resulted in a good-sized crowd already in place for opener Sharon Van Etten, whom I will freely admit was the main draw for me just as she was when I saw her open for Megafaun at The Horseshoe back in April. Unlike that show, however, this time Van Etten was operating in a three-piece band format rather than solo, a change necessary to recreate the broader sonic palette of her gorgeous second album Epic. And though the full band format sounded glorious when Megafaun backed her for one song at the Horseshoe show, that she was only a few shows into the tour with these players was evident at times – mainly in the bassist and drummer playing too loudly and at the expense of the delicacy and nuance that’s essential to Van Etten’s songs. It’s a sensitivity that will no doubt come with time, but on this night at least the comfort level wasn’t where one would have liked. That said, the beauty of the songs still came through, particularly on the harmonium-led “Love More”, and by choosing to close her set solo and with a couple of audience requests from Because I Was In Love, her set ended on a beautiful note.

I don’t think it’s untoward to use Jose Gonzalez’s solo output as a reference point for Junip; the differences lie not in him or his songwriting but in what he surrounds himself with. Solo, it’s just that – Gonzalez, classical guitar, space and silence. With Junip and their debut Fields, those elements remain the centre but the addition of drums and keys, courtesy of Elias Araya and Tobias Winterkorn respectively, do allow the band to be its own distinctive thing. Live, the sound was expanded even further with the addition of a percussionist and bassist and if you were to compare Junip to an acoustic Zero 7, the English electronic outfit that introduced Gonzalez to much of his fanbase, you wouldn’t be wrong. Their set lasted only an hour but it felt much longer – in a good way – as they held the audience with their rhythmic, droning take on folk music. Understated but hypnotic, it sounded like Gonzalez being remixed live, his distinctive meditative vocals being utilized like another instrument in the mix. While I expect that many/most came to the show as José Gonzalez fans, they left as Junip fans. And hopefully Sharon Van Etten fans.

City Pages talks to Junip drummer Elias Araya while The Georgia Straight has an interview with Sharon Van Etten.

Photos: Junip, Sharon Van Etten @ Lee’s Palace – November 5, 2010
MP3: Junip – “Rope & Summit
MP3: Sharon Van Etten – “Love More”
MP3: Sharon Van Etten – “Don’t Do It”
MP3: Sharon Van Etten – “I Couldn’t Save You”
MP3: Sharon Van Etten – “For You”
MP3: Sharon Van Etten – “Consolation Prize”
Video: Junip – “Always”
Video: Junip – “Black Refuge”
Video: Sharon Van Etten – “For You”
MySpace: Junip
MySpace: Sharon Van Etten

Sorry to everyone excited about that Rhett Miller & Murry Hammond acoustic show at the El Mocambo announced a few weeks ago – its been cancelled.

Husband-and-wife retro pop duo Tennis have made a date at the Drake Underground for December 8 to build up anticipation for their debut Cape Dory, due out on January 18. Check out their Daytrotter session from earlier this Fall.

Phantogram return to town for their fourth and probably final Toronto show of the year, stopping in at Wrongbar on December 11 – tickets $15.50 in advance.

MP3: Phantogram – “When I’m Small”

The Music Tapes are putting together a North American “Lullabies and Bedsides” tour that is eschewing conventional venues in favour of house shows and sleepover parties – check out Merge for details on how it’ll work, but the itinerary calls for a Toronto date on January 2 of the new year.

MP3: The Music Tapes – “Majesty”

Call it some coincidence, call it prescience, but barely a day after posting about goings-on in The Radio Dept. camp, the full dates for their 2011 North American tour were revealed. There will be much rejoicing when the reclusive Swedes make their Toronto debut at Lee’s Palace on February 7, 2011. Update: Pitchfork has the tracklisting of the Passive Aggressive: Singles 2002-2010 compilation coming out early next year.

MP3: The Radio Dept. – “Heaven’s On Fire”

The Tallest Man On Earth has released a video from his new Sometimes The Blues Is Just A Passing Bird EP, out tomorrow.

Video: The Tallest Man On Earth “Love Is All”

Jonsi will release a live document of his 2010 solo tours on November 29; Go Live will include a CD and DVD and be available exclusively through his website. He talks to the Detroit News about creating his live show.

Trailer: Jonsi / Go Live

The Dumbing Of America and News Times chat with Bettie Serveert.

The Scotsman talks to Scotsman James Graham of The Twilight Sad.

Clash has an interview with White Lies, whose sophomore effort Ritual comes out January 18. They will be at the Mod Club on January 29 to promote – tickets $25.

Duffy discusses the dancier direction of her second album with Billboard. Endlessly arrives December 7.

Pulp are back. London or Barcelona. London or Barcelona. This must happen. Dates for both Wireless and Primavera are convenient as far as timing and holidays go, both are bloody expensive to get to, never mind accommodations, and either one might snooker my Japan plans for Autumn 2011… but, um, PULP. WWJCD?