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Posts Tagged ‘Blood Red Shoes’

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

Frozen Atmosphere

‘Tis the season for TOY(s), and streams thereof

Photo By Steve GullickSteve GullickOkay, since it’s now December I can grudgingly accept that it’s the holiday season and, helping that mental shift along are London’s TOY. I had thought it odd that the band, who built up a good bit of attention with last year’s self-titled debut and its mandate of filling deep, Kraut-y grooves with space-psych songcraft, had opted to release their second album Join The Dots on the exceedingly late date of December 9. Most music writers are in full retrospective mode by this point in the year and incapable of processing anything new, and it effectively eliminated them from any year-end list consideration.

But it’s entirely possible the band doesn’t care, and just want to get the record out into the world. Which is great for those who’ve been waiting to hear it, but I do hope it doesn’t end up getting lost in the shuffle because after a few initial listens, it certainly feels a lot better than their first one. The debut had a lot of pieces I liked but didn’t put them together in an engrossing-enough fashion to win me over the way it did many, but this one is bigger, deeper, broader, and just does it.

But don’t take my word for it – The Guardian has an advance stream of the record before it comes out next week, and their North American tour announced last week will bring them to Toronto for a show at The Horseshoe on January 14.

Stream: TOY / Join The Dots

Kate Nash has a new Christmas EP out called Have Faith This Christmas and is streaming one of the tracks from it to get you in the holiday spirit.

Stream: Kate Nash – “Faith”

Rolling Stone talks to Matt Bellamy of Muse about making the Live At Rome Olympic Stadium DVD/CD set coming out this week.

Video: Muse – “Madness” (live at Rome Olympic Stadium)

Spin has premiered a new video from Lanterns On The Lake’s second album Until The Colours Run, which gets a North American release on January 14 and brings them to The Drake Underground on February 1.

Video: Lanterns On The Lake – “Buffalo Days”

Yuck takes Clash through their second album Glow and Behold, track-by-track. They’re in town at The Garrison on January 17.

Noisey have premiered the new video and second sample of Mogwai’s forthcoming Rave Tapes. It’s out January 21 and they’ll be on tour for it at The Danforth Music Hall on May 13.

Video: Mogwai – “The Lord Is Out Of Control”

Paste gets to know Temples, whose debut Sun Structures is out February 11.

NME has details on the new album from Band Of Skulls, entitled Himalayan and due out March 31. They’ve just released a first video from the record.

Video: Band Of Skulls – “Asleep At The Wheel”

Brighton duo Blood Red Shoes are currently working on a new record – which Live4Ever reports will be self-titled and out in March – but have taken the time to stream a new song for their fans via their website.

Stream: Blood Red Shoes – “The Perfect Mess”

The Guardian profiles one of 2013’s new band success stories, London Grammar. They’re at The Phoenix on April 7.

Stereogum have got the new video from Primal Scream’s latest album More Light.

Video: Primal Scream – “Goodbye Johnny”

The Guardian gets to know Charli XCX.

Everything Is Chemical has an interview with Black Hearted Brother, and gets Neil Halstead to pin the chances of a Slowdive reunion at a qualified “improbable”.

TYCI talks to Katie Harkin of Sky Larkin.

And finally, a moment for Andrew Youssef, Los Angeles-based music photographer for Stereogum and OC Weekly, who succumbed to colon cancer this weekend. He documented his fight in the “Last Shot” column at OC Weekly, and it was as inspiring as it was saddening to read as he kept going to shows and shooting, refusing to let the cancer get the better of him until it did. I had the pleasure of meeting and hanging with Andrew back in 2010 at Matador at 21 in Las Vegas, and chatting with him via Twitter over the past few years and was pleased to learn he’d grown up – for a few years, at least – in Toronto, not far from where I did (though a few years apart). I wish I’d been able to know him better and my condolences to those who did and will miss him. OC Weekly has a fine memoriam for their photographer, as well as a slideshow of his best work. Godspeed, Andrew.

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

Sunset

The xx and Grizzly Bear will be out standing in their field; win a chance to join them

Photo By Jamie-James MedinaJamie-James MedinaBoth The xx and Grizzly Bear have pretty well established their bona fides as a couple of the biggest names in what we colloquially call “indie rock” circa 2013, and while neither are quite at the point where they could headline a top-tier festival, they can sure as heck team up for a pretty impressive standalone bill in a festival setting. En route to New York City to play the Governor’s Ball, the two acts – last seen hereabouts in the elegant setting of Massey Hall both – will show off their big outdoor stage chops with a show at Downsview Park the evening of June 6, in support of last year’s Coexist and Shields, respectively.

Tickets for the show are $59.50 in advance for general admission and $99.50 VIP, though a limited number of early bird GAs will be available this Friday for $49.50. Courtesy of Collective Concerts, however, I’ve got one pair of VIP passes plus a copy of Coexist on vinyl to give away ahead of the on-sale. To enter, email me at contests@chromewaves.net with “I want to see The xx and Grizzly Bear” in the subject line and your full name in the body and have that in to me before midnight, February 14 – winners will be notified before tickets go on And note that while the general admission area is all-ages, VIP is 19+ so you must be of age to enter.

And if you’re wondering what The xx would be like on a big outdoor stage, it’ll probably be the complete opposite of this Tiny Desk Concert they played for NPR.

And please note that management is not responsible for any sexytimes that may ensue in the grass, in the dark, during The xx’s set.

MP3: The xx – “Reconsider”
MP3: Grizzly Bear – “Yet Again”

Ducktails – perhaps better known as the solo endeavour of Real Estate guitarist Matt Mondanile – will be hitting the road in support of the just-released The Flower Lane. Exclaim has all the tour dates, which include an April 3 date at The Garrison, tickets for which are $12.50. DIY has an interview with Mondanile.

Stream: Ducktails – “The Flower Lane”

Any way you look at it, whether counting off eight months from the release of their excellent Researching The Blues, the almost five years since they played a one-off NXNE appearance, or the who knows how long it’s been since an east coast tour – well over a decade – it’s great to be able to welcome Redd Kross back to town – they’ll be at The Horseshoe on April 11.

MP3: Redd Kross – “Stay Away From Downtown”

Brighton two-piece rock machine Blood Red Shoes are back again on April 23 – this time at The Horseshoe – again in support of last year’s In Time To Voices but also their new Water EP, which they give DIY a track-by-track guide through and which you can stream below. Tickets $11.50 in advance.

Video: Blood Red Shoes – “In Time To Voices”
Stream: Blood Red Shoes / Water

In today’s good news/bad news department, Foals have announced a North American tour in support of Holy Fire – out today – and will be at The Kool Haus on May 11, tickets $24. The bad news, besides it being the same night as Charles Bradley and The Breeders, is their support act will be Surfer Blood, who were terrible even before their singer’s predilection for domestica abuse came to light. Go see Foals, by all means, but feel free to turn around or talk right through Surfer Blood’s set, and if you find you have some litter with you, the stage is as good a place as any to discard it. Clash and Filter have feature pieces on Foals, the Filter one with a rather unfortunate headline all things considered.

MP3: Foals – “Inhaler”

Trevor Powers, aka Youth Lagoon, is prepping for the March 5 release of his new album Wondrous Bughouse and has announced a brace of North American dates – May 13 at The Great Hall, Toronto, $16.50 in advance – as well as made a couple new track from the album available to stream. CMJ also has an interview.

Stream: Youth Lagoon – “Mute”
Stream: Youth Lagoon – “Dropla”

Twin Shadow has announced a return engagement in support of last year’s Confess – he and his dad (really) will be at The Phoenix on June 7, tickets $26.50 in advance.

MP3: Twin Shadow – “Changes”

Buoyed by the success of the first four installments – and the fact that March is still mostly part of Winter – Fucked Up has extended their Long Winter concert series to include, well, March. No details on the who, what, or when, but if the scheduling pattern holds it will be on March 8 at The Great Hall. Update: Pattern schmattern – it’s March 23. Which is not Winter.

Speaking of scheduling, Canadian Musicfest – running March 19 to 23 – has published their first pass at the festival schedule and I’m excited to see that a handful of acts I’d been happy to see on the initial artist listings are now nowhere to be found. Way to keep with tradition, CMF! Still, there’s some good stuff in there and not all of it is opposite Nick Cave, so if you’re attending, have a look.

Friday, August 24th, 2012

Wolf's Law

The Joy Formidable lay down the Law

Photo via FacebookFacebookLet it never be said that The Joy Formidable are lacking in work ethic. Having toured endlessly and constantly behind their 2011 debut The Big Roar as late as the end of April this year – they hit Toronto alone four times in the preceding two years – it’s an understatement to say that the Welsh trio were due a break. But instead they headed straight back into the studio, put lie to the old adage that you have a lifetime to write your first record and a year to write your second and have apparently already banged out the so-called “difficult” second album.

And further, they’re already sharing some of it. Well, sort of. The new track “Wolf’s Law” may be the title track of the new record – it’s also called Wolf’s Law – it won’t actually appear on the album. Of course, the record isn’t due out until early next year so there’s plenty of time to change their minds about that. But even so, the relatively somber, piano-led arrangement points to an interesting direction for a band who’d made their name with massive, aggressive, guitar heroics. It certainly intrigues, and while it’s nice they’ve given their fans such a treat – in both video and downloadable form, no less – it also makes the likely half-year wait for the rest of the new record that much more difficult. Thanks?

MP3: The Joy Formidable – “Wolf’s Law”
Video: The Joy Formidable – “Wolf’s Law”

Billboard, LAist, The National Post, and Interview all want to talk to Bloc Party about their just-released new album Four. They bring it to the Danforth Music Hall on September 10 and 11.

Rolling Stone, MTV, and Pitchfork talk to The xx about their forthcoming album Coexist, out September 11. They’ve just released a video of them playing the lead track in a hotel room in Japan.

Video: The xx – “Angels” (live in Tokyo)

TOY is a hotly-tipped new British outfit whose self-titled debut gets a North American release on September 11; think a sunnier, more psychedelic Horrors. At least that’s what I think. Check out a couple of their videos, listen to their Daytrotter session, and read a feature at DIY whilst you decide for yourself.

Video: TOY – “Lose My Way”
Video: TOY – “Left Myself Behind”
Video: TOY – “Motoring”

Interview talks to The Heavy. They play Lee’s on September 23.

Patrick Wolf has released the first video from his forthcoming Sundark & Riverlight, an acoustic reworking of the lead track from The Magic Position. The album is out September 25, the same day he plays The Music Gallery, and The Sydney Morning Herald has an interview.

Video: Patrick Wolf – “Overture”

Blood Red Shoes have released a video for the title track from their latest, In Time To Voices. That record brings them to the Drake Underground on September 26.

Video: Blood Red Shoes – “In Time To Voices”

New Order have added a second show at The Sony Centre on October 24. Just like the one on the 23rd, tickets range from $55.50 to $99.50 and go on sale Monday at 10AM.

Video: New Order – “Blue Monday”

Darren Hayman is offering up a second track to preview his forthcoming album The Violence, out November 5.

Stream: Darren Hayman & The Long Parliament – “How Long Have You Been Fighting For?”

Drowned In Sound examines the tools of and i-D has a video session with Little Boots.

Beth Jeans Houghton has released a new video from her debut, Yours Truly, Cellophane Nose. It already had a video, but now it has a new one. She also chooses six meaningful songs for The Guardian.

Video: Beth Jeans Houghton – “Dodecahedron”

Spinner has a chat with Charli XCX.

Stevie Jackson talks to PopMatters about his solo forays.

Monday, July 30th, 2012

Coexist

The xx and Jacques Greene at The Phoenix in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangThe arc around The xx’s 2009 debut xx was a narratively perfect one, rich with mystery, sex, and drama as the London trio vaulted from obscurity to Mercury and, most prestigiously, a place on my year-end list. And perhaps most crucially for a perfect story, they ended. Or at least went away for a while.

Real life differs from stories, however, in that it generally doesn’t let you just ride off into the sunset, and so after some deserved downtime – okay, Jamie Smith, aka Jamie xx, continued to establish himself as a highly sought-after DJ, remixer, and producer but his bandmates Romy Madley-Croft and Oliver Sim did a pretty good job of staying out of sight – the trio announced their second album would be entitled Coexist and be out on September 11. But before that and between a slew of European festival appearances, a compact tour of the new world to refresh their fans’ memories, if it was needed. And if you don’t feel like reading the rest of the review, I’ll offer a spoiler – it wasn’t.

Support for the tour came from Montreal’s Jacques Greene, and while he’s done a job of establishing his name as both a producer and artist, live he was a two-man operation, accompanied by labelmate Ango on working the samplers and sequencers to create solid grooves of electronic, R&B beats. He was also the de facto frontman when the pair shifted gears a couple times for some slow jams that didn’t astonish, but did offer a nice change of pace from the rest of their set. If you came to The xx from their indie guitar-based side, it might have been a bit unexpected as an opener but if you focused on their dancier side and turned the BPM up a bit, it made perfect sense. And both Greene and Ango looked like they could be stunt doubles for Oliver Sim, so there was that too.

Considering that by the end of the xx cycle, The xx were selling out Massey Hall, returning to a room the size of The Phoenix where they made their Toronto debut opening for Friendly Fires in December 2009 should have been a great chance to recapture some of the intimacy that so suits their music before they’re lost forever to much larger venues, but one of the things that this show made quite clear is that it’s very difficult to create that sort of intense, minimalist vibe when you have a thousand people singing along – and that wasn’t only for the old material. The show opened with the first official taste of Coexist, the week-old “Angels”, and even on that Madley-Croft had an unofficial backing choir of hundreds who’d already committed its lyrics to heart.

The one-hour, ten-minute show gave the audience pretty much everything they could have wanted. There was xx in its entirety, but with a few tracks essentially remixed live – “Crystalised” was essentially transformed into an ambient piece and others were more subtly transformed for greater dynamics and dramatic effect – and a half dozen selections to preview Coexist. In broad strokes, the new material doesn’t sound too far removed from the old – certainly it will take a copy of the finished album and a good pair of speakers or headphones to fully appreciate the growth in their songwriting and production – but comments that Smith had made in the press about this record being more dance-influenced were not idle. While Madley-Croft and Sim’s roles as frontpersons remained as they ever were, Smith made it clear through how his beats – including some on acoustic drums – drove the show that he was their musical backbone, their man behind the curtain (or perspex ‘X’ DJ tables), and wherever he wanted to take them would be where they went. And circa Coexist, he’s feeling the dance – main set closer “Swept Away” was pretty much a rave.

While neither Madley-Croft or Sims have ever seemed particularly fussed about their onstage charisma – some complain about their understatedness but I’ve always found it to be perfectly suited to their music – they certainly seemed to have more presence this time than their past visits. Certainly part of this was the elaborate lighting effects, projections, and smoke machines that accompany them onstage, but also a result of their continued growth and comfort level as performers. And it’s a good thing they seem to be feeling comfortable up there – based on the strength of this preview of Coexist and the obvious appetite their fanbase still has for them, The xx are going to be on the road for a long time.

The Toronto Sun, The National Post, Exclaim, and NOW were also in attendance and has some thoughts.

Photos: The xx, Jacques Greene @ The Phoenix – July 28, 2012
MP3: The xx – “Angels”
MP3: The xx – “Open Eyes” (demo)
MP3: The xx – “Basic Space”
MP3: Jacques Greene – “Motivation”
MP3: Jacques Greene – “Sorted”
MP3: Jacques Greene – “Arrow”
MP3: Jacques Greene – “Another Girl”
Video: The xx – “Islands”
Video: The xx – “Basic Space”
Video: The xx – “Crystalised”
Video: Jacques Greene – “Another Girl”
Video: Jacques Greene – “Tell Me”

Bloc Party are streaming a new track from Four, out August 21. They play The Danforth Music Hall on September 10.

Stream: Bloc Party – “Day Four”

Japanese classical post-rock quartet Mono will release their new album For My Parents on September 4 and stage a massive North American tour with a stop at The Horseshoe on September 12; Chris Brokaw of Come/Codeine/The New Year fame will open up. Mono’s last visit in May 2010 was epic, and not in that hyperbolic way that the word is typically used nowadays. It was literally epic.

MP3: Mono – “Ashes In The Snow”
MP3: Chris Brokaw – “Bricks”

The Quietus has an interview with Lætitia Sadier, in town at The Drake on September 18.

Very disappointed to report that I Break Horses have cancelled the whole of their Fall North American tour, including September 19 at The Drake. They’re promising to make it up in 2013 though, so there’s that.

Daytrotter has a session with Blood Red Shoes, in town at The Drake Underground on September 26.

Taken By Trees have released the first video from Other Worlds, out October 2. She plays The Phoenix on October 4.

Video: Taken By Trees – “Dreams”

The first single from Bat For Lashes’ new album The Haunted Man is now available to download. It’s out October 23.

MP3: Bat For Lashes – “Laura”

Rolling Stone has premiered the new video from Ladyhawke’s Anxiety.

Video: Ladyhawke – “Blue Eyes”

The Sun talks to the members of Blur about their thoughts on the Olympics and the state of their reunion.

Loud & Quiet have an interview with Mica Levi of Micachu & The Shapes.

Gameological talks games with Elizabeth Morris of Allo Darlin’.

Uprooted Music Revue and Drowned In Sound talk to Stevie Jackson about his solo efforts.

Spinner has a feature on 2:54.

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

Find Me The Pulse Of The Universe

Lætitia Sadier declares Silencio

Photo By David ThayerDavid ThayerSome artists might take the end of an almost 20-year musical project as an opportunity to withdraw from the public eye and regroup for a bit, but the Lætitia Sadier isn’t like most artists. After the singular Stereolab went on indefinite and probably permanent hiatus in 2009, instead of turning her focus to her long-running side-project Monade, Sadier also put an end to that identity and instead set to work on The Trip, her first true solo record released under her own name in the Fall of 2010.

And having established herself outside of either of her former bands, she’s not slowing down a bit. Her second solo record Silencio has been targeted for a July 24 release and she’ll be accompanying it with a full North American tour, which includes a September 18 stop at the Drake Underground in Toronto, a rare opportunity to see her in such an intimate setting – the Drake is a fraction of the size of the rooms that Stereolab used to play.

A couple of preview tracks from the new record are available to download; they’re decidedly less synth-infused and arguably more conventional than anything she did with Stereolab, but the voice in unmistakeable.

MP3: Lætitia Sadier – “Find Me The Pulse Of The Universe”
MP3: Lætitia Sadier – “There Is A Price To Pay For Freedom (And It Isn’t Security)”

Natasha Khan has released details of the third Bat For Lashes record – it will be entitled The Haunted Man and be out on October 15. Three new songs were captured live and committed to the internet last night; The 405 has the decent-sounding clips.

The buzz behind British electro-pop artist Charli XCX was only barely started to pick up steam in North America when I saw her at SXSW in March, but it seems to have picked up considerably more momentum since then. Her debut album is a ways off – it’s looking like October in the UK but not until Spring in North America – but she’s just put out a new mixtape in Heartbreaks & Earthquakes and is getting added to a number of Summer festival bills, including the Justice/M83-headlined Hard Fest at Fort York in Toronto on August 4. So if you were going or thinking about going, there’s a little more on the bill to entice you. There’s interviews with Charli XCX at eMusic and Interview.

MP3: Charli XCX – “I’ll Never Know”
MP3: Charli XCX – “Valentine”
MP3: Charli XCX – “Nuclear Seasons”
Mixtape: Charli XCX / Heartbreaks & Earthquakes

Mystery Jets have released a new video from their latest effort Radlands. They’re at The Sound Academy on June 19 supporting Keane.

Video: Mystery Jets – “Greatest Hits”

Drowned In Sound has a two-part interview with Blood Red Shoes, in town at The Drake on September 26.

DIY and Spin interview Orlando Higginbottom, the guy behind Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, who’ve just announced a date at the Hoxton August 10.

Video: Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs – “America Dream Part II”

Gorilla Vs Bear has details on the new Taken By Trees album; it’s called Other Worlds and will be out October 2. Yes, there’s a trailer.

Trailer: Taken By Trees / Other Worlds

Interview talks to Anna Ternheim about her new record The Night Visitor. She’s just debuted a new video from it at IFC

Video: Anna Ternheim – “The Fingerpicking Party”

The Raveonettes give Spin the goods on their next record, entitled Observator and due out on September 11. They play The Phoenix on October 2.

Aux.tv gets some commentary on the video for “Little Talks” from Of Monsters & Men. The band also plays a Field Recordings video session at Sasquatch for NPR.

And if you need a little more Icelandic flavour – don’t we all? – there’s a new Made In Iceland compilation streaming over at Iceland Music Export.