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Posts Tagged ‘Billy Bragg’

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

Metal & Dust

Review of London Grammar’s If You Wait

Photo By Paolo ZerbiniPaolo ZerbiniI’m sure it’s purely coincidence, but it’s a hell of one that the title of If You Wait, the 2013 debut from London Grammar, is but one word apart from If You Leave, the 2013 debut Daughter. After all, both are London-based, female-fronted three-pieces with atmospheric aesthetics, singular vocal signatures, and who plumb the depths of the heart’s frailties for lyrical inspiration.

But while they occupy a similar space, London Grammar stake out their own territory. A ways away from Elena Tonra’s wistful sigh of a voice, Hannah Reid’s rich, husky alto is clearly a powerful instrument akin to Florence Welch’s but rather than use it to blow the doors off, she keeps it set on a deep and steady soul-infused smoulder that expresses her wounded sentiments in rich tones. The musical accompaniment, built largely around guitar and piano, is sparse by default but more than able to swell for effect and works well in adding to the twilight ambience. One does wish that Dan Rothman’s lines and style – palm-muted and echoed – was a little less xx-marks-the-spot, but there’s no arguing its effectiveness in this context.

If there’s a complaint to be made about If You Wait, it’s in that the London Grammar aesthetic is a little too defined and consistently applied and over the course of the record starts feeling a bit monochromatic. It feels like a photograph of something beautiful, viewable from a single angle, than a living, breathing thing – more than acceptable for now, but a limitation they’ll have to transcend sooner rather than later.

NME reports that If You Wait is presently the odds-on favourite to win the Mercury Prize, the shortlist of which will be announced tomorrow and whose winner will be announced October 30. The West Australian and The Guardian have feature pieces on London Grammar and The Line Of Best Fit has a video of their covering La Roux for BBC’s Live Lounge. If You Wait is out today, September 10, and their inaugural North American tour brings them to Toronto for a show at The Great Hall on October 4.

Video: London Grammar – “Strong”
Video: London Grammar – “Wasting My Young Years”

The Guardian has a stream of Summer Camp’s second self-titled album, out now, while The Fly has a feature piece on the duo and Noisey gets them to go through and comment on their old photo albums.

Stream: Summer Camp / Summer Camp

Interview, Spin, The Telegraph, Tone Deaf, and The Fly mark today’s release of Arctic Monkeys’ AM with feature interviews; they play The Kool Haus on September 15.

DIY and vita.mn talk to CHVRCHES as the September 24 release date of their debut The Bones Of What You Believe draws near; but first they play The Danforth Music Hall on September 15.

NPR is streaming the new Elvis Costello/Roots collaboration Wise Up Ghost ahead of its September 17 release date.

Stream: Elvis Costello with The Roots / Wise Up Ghost

Peter Hook updates The Hollywood Reporter on the attempts to take possession of those Joy Division/New Order master tapes rescued from the trash recently. And as you can assume from the word “attempts”, they’re not going well. Hook plays The Hoxton on September 18.

Pitchfork has got a stream of another new track from Laura Groves, nee Blue Roses, taken from her new EP Thinking About Thinking, due out September 30.

Stream: Laura Groves – “Pale Shadows”

Yuck has released an in-studio video of them getting their New Order on; their second album Glow & Behold comes out September 30.

Video: Yuck – “Age Of Consent”

Frightened Rabbit play a video session for The Line Of Best Fit from a pirate ship at the End Of The Road festival; they are at The Kool Haus on October 21.

The 405 talks to Polly Scattergood, who has released a new video from her second album Arrows, originally set for a June release but now locked in to an October 21 street date.

Video: Polly Scattergood – “Cocoon”

MTV Hive has an interview and NPR a World Cafe session with Franz Ferdinand, who’ve just put out a new video from Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action; they play The Kool Haus October 24.

Video: Franz Ferdinand – “Evil Eye”

Though still coy about details of a new album, The High Wire have made another new song available to download.

MP3: The High Wire – “The Thames & The Tide”

The xx tell NME they’re already at work on album number three.

Little Boots has released a new video from Nocturnes.

Video: Little Boots – “Satellite”

NME and Billboard talk to Billy Bragg about being recognized for his “outstanding contribution to music” by the UK’s Association of Independent Music.

The Guardian talks to James Allan of Glasvegas.

God Is In The TV has an interview with Chris Olley of Six By Seven.

The Wedding Present are streaming a new single which will be available for sale as a 7″ on their upcoming UK tour.

Stream: The Wedding Present – “Two Bridges”

NPR marks the 20th anniversary of Britpop with a playlist of the scene’s best.

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

The Universe Expanded

While I was out… featuring Franz Ferdinand and things of a British nature

Photo By Andrew KnowlesAndrew KnowlesThe biggest releases of last week both happened to be Scottish in nationality. There was Franz Ferdinand’s fourth long-player Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action, which was the topic of conversation with Alex Kaparnos at NPR, Billboard, Canada.com, and DIY, while Kapranos and Bob Hardy both chat with Stereogum and Paul Thomson answers the phone when CBC calls. Further, Pitchfork has video of that acoustic Grimes cover the band played for French radio that everyone was linking to last week. They play The Kool Haus come October 24.

Meanwhile, with their new b-sides comp The Third Eye Centre finally out, Belle & Sebastian have released a new video featuring Hannah Murray from Skins and Game Of Thrones. Under The Radar has compiled their multi-part interview with the band into a single piece, PopMatters has a chat with Richard Colburn, and over at The Quietus, Stuart Murdoch opts to talk about other peoples’ records rather than his own.

Video: Belle & Sebastian – “Your Cover’s Blown” (Miaoux Miaoux remix)

James Allan talks to The Quietus, MusicRadar, and Yahoo! about Glasvegas’ new album Later… When The TV Turns To Static. It wasn’t alluded to in the lede, despite being Scottish, because a) it came out this week and not last week, and b) not many people care anymore.

Arctic Monkeys are streaming a new b-side which doesn’t appear on AM, due out September 10. And if you only care about the songs which do appear on the album, you’re in luck – the whole thing is now streaming at iTunes. Arctic Monkeys are at The Kool Haus on September 15.

Stream: Arctic Monkeys – “Stop The World I Want To Get Off With You”
Stream: Arctic Monkeys / AM

Drowned In Sound talks to London Grammar, who are offering a full stream of their debut album If You Wait via their own website with just a few hoops to jump through. The record is out September 10 and they play The Great Hall on October 4.

Stream: London Grammar / If You Wait

In a video session for Gigwise, Frightened Rabbit offer up a cover of Jessie Ware’s “Wildest Moments” and another track from the Late March, Death March EP, out September 10, is available to stream via Stereogum. They play The Kool Haus on October 17.

Stream: Frightened Rabbit – “Candlelit”

Savages have premiered a new performance video from Silence Yourself at Pitchfork; they play The Opera House on September 12.

Video: Savages – “I Am Here”

Gigwise and MusicRadar check in with CHVRCHES, whose debut The Bones Of What You Believe is almost finally out on September 24 but not before they headline the Danforth Music Hall on September 15.

James Dean Bradfield of Manic Street Preachers talks to Wales Online about their new album Rewind The Film, while Nicky Wire takes The Quietus through the new record track by track. And NME has posted the whole of their recent Wire-led Twitter Q&A. Rewind The Film is out September 16.

The Quietus looks at the many, many collaborations Elvis Costello has undertaken in his career, the latest of which is Wise Up Ghost with The Roots, due out September 17. Costello talks to The Brisbane Times about the new record.

Peter Hook talks about matters past, present, future, and legal with Billboard, Pitchfork, The Huffington Post, Exclaim, and The Dumbing Of America. He leads his new band The Light through old material at The Hoxton on September 18.

Daughter are streaming a new b-side; they play The Phoenix on September 29.

Stream: Daughter – “Smoke”

Yuck talks to Rolling Stone about carrying on without their original frontman, as documented on their new album Glow & Behold, out September 30.

Two Door Cinema Club have released a video for the title track of their new Changing Of The Seasons EP, due out September 30; NME has details. They play The Danforth Music Hall on October 15.

Video: Two Door Cinema Club – “Changing Of The Seasons”

Anna Calvi has released the first video from her forthcoming One Breath, out October 7.

Video: Anna Calvi – “Eliza”

Lanterns On The Lake have released a video for the title track of their new album Until The Colours Run, which is due out on October 7 in the UK and will get a North American release early next year on January 14.

Video: Lanterns On The Lake – “Until The Colours Run”

The Line Of Best Fit reports Suede will finally reissue their entire catalog on vinyl on October 21, but the catch is you have to buy them all in one super-expensive box set, it’s only available in the UK, and you have to take A New Morning with the rest. And oh, they released a new video from Bloodsports.

Video: Suede – “For The Strangers”

Los Campesinos! have confirmed an October 29 release date for their new record No Blues, and have made the first track from it available to stream.

Stream: Los Campesinos! – “What Death Leaves Behind”

M.I.A. is streaming another new track from her forthcoming Matangi, out November 5.

Stream: M.I.A. – “Come Walk With Me”

The Charli XCX show originally scheduled for September 16 at The Hoxton has been rescheduled to Saturday, November 9, and will now take place at Wrongbar. All previous tickets will be honoured and all the new dates can be seen at Exclaim.

MP3: Charli XCX – “Valentine”

Drowned In Sound checks in with Josh Hayward of The Horrors on the status of their next album, due out in early 2014.

Drowned In Sound chats with David Gedge of The Wedding Present, who will be undertaking an exhaustive reissue series of their back catalog in the near future; FACT has details on that.

Tessa Murray talks to Vogue about the new Still Corners video from Strange Pleasures.

Video: Still Corners – “Fireflies”

Under The Radar and Pitchfork talk to Bobby Gillespie of Primal Scream.

With the assistance of Hefner’s Darren Hayman, Allo Darlin’ frontwoman Elizabeth Morris has put together a solo EP entitled Optimism, available for digital purchase now.

eMusic has an interview with Billy Bragg.

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

Brief Encounters

Franz Ferdinand, Frightened Rabbit, and Travis lead an Autumn Scottish invasion

Photo By Andrew KnowlesAndrew KnowlesIt was amusing to me to hear portions of the internet get all worked up a few weeks ago when Franz Ferdinand announced the August 27 release of their fourth album Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action, because those people most excited are almost certainly the same ones who will be first to declare it to be, for the third time, inferior to their 2004 self-titled debut. And it may well be true, but it’s strange that those who’d purport to be the Scottish quartet’s biggest fans are also the first to be disappointed by them. I feel for the band, I do.

But it could also be they’re less excited about the prospect of new songs than the band heaving an excuse to hit the road again – after all, whatever you think of their records, there’s no denying that the band remain a phenomenal live band – this I was reminded of last Summer when I saw them at Osheaga. And so fans will be pleased to know the band have announced a Fall tour that brings them back to Toronto for the first time since V Fest 2009; they’ll be at The Kool Haus on October 24, tickets $35 in advance.

The band have not offered an official taste of the new record, but they did just release a little behind-the-scenes video featurette to whet your appetite, assuming your appetite is whetted by things like this.

Video: Franz Ferdinand – “Walk Away”
Video: Franz Ferdinand’s A Weekend In Glasgow

Buzzy Scots CHVRCHES have just released details about their debut album. The Bones of What You Believe, as well as more North American dates including September 15 at the Danforth Music Hall in Toronto. The album is out on September 24 and this is the newest video from it. The Guardian also has an interview.

MP3: CHVRCHES – “The Mother We Share”
Video: CHVRCHES – “Gun”

Veteran Scots Travis have also regrouped for a new album, their first since 2008’s Ode To J. Smith. Where You Stand will be released on August 19 and be accompanied by a North American tour; their first Toronto show in over four years will be on September 25 at the Sound Academy, tickets $30 general admission and $45 VIP.

MP3: Travis – “Driftwood”
Video: Travis – “Where You Stand”

Frightened Rabbit aren’t as firm believers in absence making the heart grow fonder as their countrymen; Selkirk’s most famous rock band will be back for their third visit in a year with a show at The Kool Haus on October 17, still in support of this year’s Pedestrian Verse. Tickets for that are $25 in advance and Under The Radar has the rest of their tour itinerary. They culled through some live footage recorded on an Australian tour for their latest video.

MP3: Frightened Rabbit – “Scottish Winds”
Video: Frightened Rabbit – “Late March, Death March”

M.I.A. may continue to have problems getting her fourth album Matangi released – Maya Arulpragasam talks to The Guardian about why she thinks that is – but she’s still released the first single to stream and is undertaking a small North American tour, including a stop at Toronto’s Danforth Music Hall on July 18; tickets $35 in advance.

Stream: M.I.A. – “Bring The Noize”

Up-and-coming British electronic duo AlunaGeorge have put together a North American tour in support of their debut album Body Music, which comes out July 29 and has just yielded a new video. Exclaim has the full dates, which include a September 9 stop at The Hoxton. Admission will be $20 in advance.

MP3: AlunaGeorge – “You Know You Like It”
Video: AlunaGeorge – “You Know You Like It”

After high-profile supporting slots for M83 last summer and Marina & The Diamonds last month, Charli XCX is finally ready for the spotlight – she’ll make her local headlining debut in support of True Romance on September 16 at The Hoxton, tickets $15. Exclaim has the complete dates and Billboard and Idolator have conversations with the singer.

MP3: Charli XCX – “Glow”

Editors have released a new video from their forthcoming The Weight Of Your Love, out July 2.

Video: Editors – “The Weight”

Aquarium Drunkard, Willamette Weekly, The Portland Mercury, San Francisco Examiner, and Santa Barbara Independent have interviews with Camera Obscura. They play Garrison Common for the Toronto Urban Roots Fest on July 4.

Guitar Player has an interview with Richard Thompson, who opens up the Bob Dylan/Wilco/My Morning Jacket tour that hits The Molson Amphitheatre on July 15.

Pet Shop Boys have released a new video from their forthcoming Electric, out July 16. They play The Sony Centre on September 25.

Video: Pet Shop Boys – “Vocal”

White Lies are streaming another song from their new record Big TV, out August 21. They play The Opera House on October 1.

Stream: White Lies – “There Goes Our Love”

Bella Union has offered details on the second album from orch-pop ensemble Lanterns On The Lake. Until The Colours Run will be out on September 9.

Also out September 9 will be Summer Camp, the second album from Summer Camp. The Line Of Best Fit have details on the release, or you can just watch the trailer.

Trailer: Summer Camp / Summer Camp

Daughter have released a new video from If You Leave; they play The Phoenix on September 29.

Video: Daughter – “Youth”

They’re not tipping their hat as to a new album that it be taken from, but Arctic Monkeys have released a video to go with a brand new new single.

Video: Arctic Monkeys – “Do I Wanna Know?”

Fans of top-notch dreampop in the Mojave 3 vein take note: Pigeons & Planes has premiered a new song from Anglo-Canadian dreampop outfit The High Wire, with details of a new full-length hopefully to come soon.

Stream: The High Wire – “LNOE”

Gigwise gets Richard Hawley to share his true feelings about festivals like Glastonbury – spoiler alert, not positively – and also about his contributions to the new Manic Street Preachers albums, whenever they come out.

And whilst on the topic of Manic Street Preachers, The Guardian talks to James Dean Bradfield and Tone Deaf to Sean Moore about rugby and music.

Despite being one of the busiest producers and sidemen going, DIY reports that Dev Hynes will release a second Blood Orange record this year, possibly with the title of Cupid Deluxe.

Noisey meets Bobby Gillespie of Primal Scream, whose latest More Light got a North American release this week.

Alex James confirms to Contact Music that Blur did, indeed, hit the studio in Hong Kong recently and that the sessions went “very well”.

Clash and GQ chat with the lads of Beady Eye about their new album BE.

The Guardian has premiered the new video from Foals, taken from this year’s Holy Fire.

Video: Foals – “Bad Habit”

NPR has posted a Tiny Desk Concert with Billy Bragg.

The Guardian chats with Stornoway frontman Brian Briggs.

Figure 8 chats with Dave Gedge of The Wedding Present.

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

In Your Eyes

Kate Boy and Gold & Youth at Wrongbar in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangIt might seem like an act of massive hubris for a brand-new band from abroad to book a North American tour with no official release, not even a handful of released songs, and barely a month’s worth of experience performing live, but Sweden’s Kate Boy did just that in rolling into Wrongbar on Sunday night for the third of six dates on this continent. But when each of those three singles and videos have been met with immensely positive response and the right outlets are paying attention, maybe it’s less an act of starry-eyed optimism than a canny first move in a well-orchestrated, long-term marketing strategy.

Though I was intrigued by the aforementioned singles – particular with them on repeat whilst writing this – it took the announcement of Vancouver’s Gold & Youth as support to cement my attendance. Though they were hardly going to be strangers to Toronto stages over this week, opening up the Arts & Crafts Field Trip fest on Saturday and also playing NXNE, the odds of my catching any of those shows was going to slim. And I wanted to see them – their just-released debut Beyond Wilderness being a solid if not life-altering document of ’80s-ish synth-pop that I suspected would come across stronger live than on record. And indeed, it did. Utilizing a conventional band lineup augmented by synths and samples, rather than the other way around, their live show was more energetic and brought their musicianship to the fore, if also laying bare their Cure, New Order, and Depeche Mode influences. Danceable without being dance music, the affirmed themselves as a band with a great if familiar sound, and good to very good songs that should just get better.

Just as it wouldn’t have surprised me if Wrongbar had been empty for Kate Boy’s Canadian debut, it also didn’t surprise me that there was a very respectable-sized crowd by the time the foursome took the stage, uniform of black t-shirts and baseball caps intact. I was surprised, though, that much of the audience seemed not to be the curious out to be convinced, but genuine fans wanting to have their belief confirmed – looks like three songs can really go a long way. Thankfully, the band had more than that in their repertoire, and their 40-minute set was tightly choreographed and impressively crafted – what was that about having only played their first-ever gig in May? The three singles were spaced out so as to be able to keep the momentum up, and basically performed live as extended remixes to effectively balance familiarity and freshness. The rest of the material adhered to the same formula of big heavy beats and even bigger choruses, so if you liked one you were pretty much going to like them all.

While her bandmates kept their Scandinavian cool whilst manning their synths, drums, and bass with laser focus, frontwoman Kate Akhurst was all smiles and arm-waving dance moves, clearly less concerned with maintaining their icy aesthetic than having and giving a good time. And it’s a pretty safe bet that for everyone in attendance, a good time was had. There’s probably not ever going to be a narrative around Kate Boy that casts them as the scrappy, DIY upstarts. There’s something very calculated about their career trajectory so far, and even though they’re currently signed to Los Angeles indie IAMSOUND for their singles, five will get you six that like label alumnus Florence & The Machine, Charli XCX, and Little Boots, their debut will be on a major. Not that that matters, really – all that does is they’ve got the look, they’ve got the sound, and they’ve got the show. Everything is going according to plan.

Exclaim also has a review of the show while Idolator and Chicago Now have posted interviews with the band. MSN gets to know Louise Burns as both a member of Gold & Youth and solo artist, whose second album The Midnight Mass comes out July 9.

Photos: Kate Boy, Gold & Youth @ Wrongbar – June 9, 2013
MP3: Kate Boy – “Northern Lights”
Video: Kate Boy – “The Way We Are”
Video: Kate Boy – “In Your Eyes”
Video: Kate Boy – “Northern Lights”
Video: Gold & Youth – “Jewel”
Video: Gold & Youth – “Time To Kill”

Exclaim has an advance stream of Beady Eye album BE, though since the album is now out as of this week – in the UK, at least – it’s not so advance. The Independent has an interview with Liam Gallagher where he sounds off on this and that.

Stream: Beady Eye / BE

Drowned In Sound talks to CHVRCHES, in town tomorrow night – June 12 – for a show at The Hoxton.

Sigur Rós have turned to their live show projections for the video to the title track and to CBC Music to host an advance stream of their new album Kveikur, coming June 18. The stream is probably geoblocked to Canada, but rest of the world can be sure that their territories will be attended to shortly. Update: Try Amazon.

Video: Sigur Rós – “Kveikur”
Stream: Sigur Rós / Kveikur

Rolling Stone and Refinery 29 have feature pieces on Empire Of The Sun and their new album Ice On The Dune, out June 18 and available to stream now at Rolling Stone. Yahoo, meanwhile, gets a look behind the scenes at the band’s visual presentation.

Stream: Empire Of The Sun / Ice On The Dune

Also out next week – at least domestically in North America – and doing the advance stream thing now is More Light, the new record from Primal Scream. That’s up at NPR.

Stream: Primal Scream / More Light

Editors are streaming a new b-side from the first single for their forthcoming The Weight Of Your Love. The new album is out July 1.

Stream: Editors – “The Sting”

TOY and Bat For Lashes’ Natasha Khan have teamed up for a cover of Iranian artist Amir Rassaei. It’s out on July 1 as a 7″ single. More details at Pitchfork.

Stream: TOY with Natasha Khan – “The Bride”

The Line Of Best Fit gets to know Camera Obscura. They play the Toronto Urban Roots Fest at Garrison Common on July 4.

Icona Pop discuss the inspiration behind their hit, “I Don’t Care”, with MTV. They play Garrison Common on August 3 as part of The Grove Fest.

Beatroute, Scout Magazine, and Vita.mn have interviews with José González of Junip.

The National Post and Canada.com have interviews with The xx, who premiered a new video from Coexist last week via Noisey.

Video: The xx – “Fiction”

Metro interviews Bloc Party, who tell Canada.com that following this Summer’s touring commitments, they’re going back on indefinite hiatus.

NME talks to the director of the new video from Billy Bragg’s Tooth & Nail; NPR also has a Mountain Stage video session with the singer-songwriter.

Video: Billy Bragg – “Handyman’s Blues”

DIY has a feature interview with Laura Marling.

The Guardian welcomes Suede to their studios for a video session.

The Joy Formidable have released a live video of them performing an acoustic cover of Echo & The Bunnymen’s “The Killing Moon”.

Video: The Joy Formidable – “The Killing Moon” (live)

Clash invites Frightened Rabbit frontman Scott Hutchison to take a swing at some of the songs currently on the UK charts.

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

Every Weekday

Camera Obscura defeats the slow news day with Desire Lines stream

Photo By Anna Isola CrollaAnna Isola CrollaWith yesterday being both Memorial Day in the US and a Bank Holiday in the UK, the internet was understandably reasonably quiet, at least from a music news perspective. If you covered, say, municipal affairs in Toronto, then it was far from it. But I digress.

If you were to have only one noteworthy item to lead off a post, however, you could do far worse than to announce that Scotland’s Camera Obscura have made their new long-player of elegant indie-pop Desire Lines – the first since 2009’s My Maudlin Career – available to stream in whole via NPR before its formal release date of next Tuesday, June 4. And the perfect accompaniment for that listening session would be these feature pieces on the band in The Scotsman and The List, and the knowledge that in just over a month’s time – July 4 – they’ll be in town opening up for She & Him on the first night of the Toronto Urban Roots Fest at Garrison Commons.

MP3: Camera Obscura – “Fifth In Line To The Throne”
Stream: Camera Obscura / Desire Lines

Consequence Of Sound interviews Laura Marling as her new record Once I Was An Eagle is officially out in North America as of today.

Beady Eye have released a second video from their second album BE, due out in the UK on June 10.

Video: Beady Eye – “Second Bite Of The Apple”

CHVRCHES have rolled out another track that will presumably appear on their forthcoming debut album when it comes out this Fall. Which also means you will recognize one more song they play at The Hoxton on June 12. Counteract has an interview with the band.

Stream: CHVRCHES – “Gun”

Iceage explains to aux.tv why they’re not fascists, which really, is exactly what a fascist would say. They’re at The Horseshoe on June 15 for NXNE.

Spin, The Scotsman, and Liverpool Echo talk to Bobby Gillespie about the new Primal Scream album More Light – out now abroad and June 18 in North America – while The Guardian welcomes the band for an acoustic video session.

MTV Hive chats with Palma Violets, who’ve released a new video from their debut 180. They make their third local appearance of the year on August 3 at Garrison Commons as part of The Grove Fest.

Video: Palma Violets – “Best Of Friends”

Thomas Mars of Phoenix – who are headlining The Grove Fest at Garrison Commons on August 3 – recounts the soundtrack of his life for The Guardian.

Consequence Of Sound and The Boston Globe talk to James Blake, who has been announced as one of the featured acts at this year’s Drake-assembled OVO Fest at The Molson Amphitheatre on August 4. NPR is also streaming a complete concert in HD from DC recently.

By way of Elizabeth Sankey’s blog, Summer Camp report that their second album is done, with release details still to come.

The Daily Star reports that Manic Street Preachers will break their hiatus which began after 2010’s Postcards From a Young Man with two new albums, being recorded simultaneously – one mostly acoustic, the other mostly not.

Brett Anderson discusses the success of the Suede reunion with Drowned In Sound.

NPR has a World Cafe session with Frightened Rabbit.

MusicOmh interviews Victoria Hesketh of Little Boots.

NOW previewed Charli XCX’s visit last week with an interview, while Stereogum captured a Backstreet Boys cover in a video session. She also just released a new video from her debut True Romance.

Video: Charli XCX – “Take My Hand”

Rolling Stone grabbed a wide-ranging Q&A with Damon Albarn before Blur’s Coachella appearances last month where he reflects on projects past and future, including a new Blur record and his first solo album.

British Sea Power have rolled out a new video from their latest album, Machineries Of Joy.

Video: British Sea Power – “Hail Holy Queen”

Allo Darlin’ unveil a new song via a video session for BalconyTV.

The Alternate Side has a session and interview with and The Georgia Straight a feature piece on Daughter.

Daytrotter has a session with Billy Bragg.

CBC Music got to know Iceland’s Of Monsters & Men before they played their festival this past weekend.

The 405 meets The Raveonettes.

The Fly has a feature piece on Denmark’s Vår.