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Posts Tagged ‘Chromatics’

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

Common Burn

Mazzy Star will release their new album when they’re good and ready. And they’re good and ready.

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangWell you certainly can’t accuse Mazzy Star of rushing it. The California duo of David Roback and Hope Sandoval released their last studio album of narcoleptic dream-pop Among My Swan in 1996, and while they were actively touring as late as 2000, it was presumed that with Sandoval’s unveiling of her solo project with The Warm Intentions and Roback’s general staying off the radar that the band itself was no longer a going concern.

But then in 2009, while doing press behind the second Warm Intentions record Through The Devil Softly, Sandoval mentioned that she and Roback were working together on a fourth Mazzy Star record, proof of which would come fully two years later with the release of the “Common Burn” single, which featured not one but two new Mazzy Star songs. Surely more wouldn’t be far behind? Sure, if you operate in geological time. Though the band did return to the stage for some US dates around Coachella 2012 and a number of European dates that Summer, nary a word was breathed about the status of that fourth record… until now.

Acting like it’s no big deal, Mazzy Star have announced the September 24 release of Seasons Of Your Day as well as a preview of one of the new songs that will appear on it. Spin has more details and the track listing, which confirms that both sides of their 2012 single will also be on the record. Meaning that when their first album in 17 years finally comes out, you’ll have already heard almost a third of it. Oh well.

Stream: Mazzy Star – “California”
Stream: Mazzy Star – “Common Burn”
Stream: Mazzy Star – “Lay Myself Down”

With the reissue of The Mountain Goats’ All Hail West Texas today, John Darnielle has dug up an unreleased We Shall All Be Healed-era tune to stream. He took to Tumblr to explain the track.

Stream: The Mountain Goats – “You & Me On A High Balcony”

Also out today is the new “Chained To Love” 12″ from Divine Fits. Both sides are now available to stream via lyric videos.

Lyric Video: Divine Fits – “Ain’t That The Way”
Lyric Video: Divine Fits – “Chained To Love”

NPR and The Cleveland Plains Dealer talk with Jason Isbell. He’s in town at Lee’s Palace on August 2.

Pitchfork follows Will Sheff of Okkervil River to some open mic nights where he plays songs from The Silver Gymnasium with a childhood friend. The record is out September 3 and they – Okkervil River proper, not Will and bud – play The Phoenix on September 28.

Funny Or Die gets Neko Case to play one of their Dressing Room Sessions. No, that’s not a real thing. Her new record The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You is out September 3.

Paste have premiered the new video from Lissie’s forthcoming Return To Forever, out September 10.

Video: Lissie – “Further Away (Romance Police)”

Janelle Monáe discusses her new album The Electric Lady with The Fly. It’s out September 10.

NME gets to know Speedy Ortiz, who are in town in support of Chelsea Light Moving at The Horseshoe on September 15.

Rolling Stone talks to The Dismemberment Plan about their album Uncanney Valley, due out October 15. You can now stream the formerly telephone-only first preview of it without a phone.

Stream: The Dismemberment Plan – “Waiting”

Noisey has an in-depth interview with Johnny Jewel of Chromatics, as well as a million other bands.

MTV Hive talks to Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips about his forthcoming comic book endeavours and Stereogum has premiered a new video of a relatively old Devo cover because if you have videos of Devo covers lying around, you may as well release them.

Video: The Flaming Lips – “Gates Of Steel”

Low plays a video session for Pitchfork’s City Of Music series.

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

The Sound Of Giving Way

Who needs to see Overseas when you can hear Overseas

Image By Frank YangFrank YangTo the best of my knowledge, there does not exist a remotely official image of the outfit calling themselves Overseas, but anyone who’s paid any sort of attention to the American indie rock scene over the past twenty-some years knows exactly what they look like, and that’s because the each of the band’s members has a formidable resume behind them: Will Johnson of Centro-Matic, South San Gabriel, Will Johnson, and Monsters Of Folk; David Bazan of Pedro The Lion and David Bazan; and Matt and Bubba Kadane of Bedhead and The New Year. And if you don’t know any of those acts but are assuming they’re a bunch of white, bearded dudes with guitars… well, yeah.

As to the more important question of what Overseas sound like, their self-titled debut sounds pretty much exactly as you’d expect given the personalities involved, with either Johnson’s weary rasp or Bazan’s mournful growl – they trade off lead vocal duties – overtop the steady whirlpool created by the Kadanes’ signature slow, spidery guitars. Or, in a word and if you’re predisposed to what any of the principals do, gorgeous. Even though the project was announced over a year ago, the finished product is only going to coming out next week, on June 11, and Paste has the advance stream of the whole thing. Do listen. A handful of live dates are planned for August but I’m not holding my breath for more extensive itineraries.

D Magazine has an interview with Bazan about the for-lack-of-a-better-term, “supergroup”.

MP3: Overseas – “Old Love”
Video: Overseas – “Ghost To Be”
Stream: Overseas / Overseas

Paste has an advance stream of John Vanderslice’s new joint, Dagger Beach – it’s out on June 11. The Bay Bridged talks to Vanderslice about the 15th anniversary of his Tiny Telephone studio.

MP3: John Vanderslice – “Raw Wood”
Stream: John Vanderslice / Dagger Beach

NOW, Spin, Interview, Black Book, and DIY have interviews with The National, whose Perfume Genius cover – released as bonus track on the Japanese edition of Trouble Will Find Me – is streaming and well worth hearing. They headline Yonge-Dundas Square for NXNE on June 14.

Stream: The National – “Learning”

Sebadoh have come clean on details of their first new album in 14 years; following the June 25 release of The Secret EP,the new full-length Defend Yourself will be out September 17. Joyful Noise – who are releasing the album – have a Q&A with Lou Barlow about the new record and Spin also has an interview and stream of the EP.

Stream: Sebadoh / The Secret EP

Stereogum talks to Smith Westerns about their forthcoming Soft Will, out June 25. They play Lee’s on July 29.

Salon chats with Stephin Merritt about the new Future Bible Heroes album Partygoing, and Vulture has an animated Merritt dressed as an elephant singing a song about Thomas Edison from Bob’s Burgers because of course they do. Future Bible Heroes are at Lee’s Palace on July 22; Merritt will not be with them.

Spin reports that Divine Fits are putting out some new tunes in the form a 12″ single due out July 23, though digital formats are available now. You can hear the new tunes performed live on Conan via Pitchfork.

Spin and Vita.mn get to know Father John Misty, who has just released a new video from last year’s Fear Fun and will be at The Danforth Music Hall on August 3.

Video: Father John Misty – “Funtimes In Babylon”

The first track from Superchunk’s new record I Hate Music is now available to stream; it’s out August 20.

Stream: Superchunk – “FOH”

Confirming the life cycle of profitable farewell tour to profitable reunion tour at barely four years, Nine Inch Nails will return with a new album in Hesitation Marks on September 3 – stream the first single below – and have scheduled an extensive North American arena tour to support. The Toronto date comes October 4 at The Air Canada Centre with Explosions In The Sky opening up.

MP3: Nine Inch Nails – “Starsuckers, Inc.”
MP3: Explosions In The Sky – “Memorial”
Stream: Nine Inch Nails – “Came Back Haunted”

Drowned In Sound has an interview and NPR a video session with Wild Nothing, in town supporting Local Natives at The Kool Haus on September 21.

The context is a little weird – a compilation released by Toyota automobile imprint Scion – but hey, a new Chromatics tune is a new Chromatics tune.

MP3: Chromatics – “Red Car”

Monday, December 10th, 2012

2012

Chromewaves’ favourite albums of 2012

2012

I’ve always said when compiling my year-end list that I don’t choose my favourite albums of the year so much as they declare themselves to me. If it requires too much thought, it’s probably more a case of trying to justify adding something that I know probably doesn’t belong. But those albums that do pass muster are not, as you might think, necessarily the albums that I can’t stop listening to. Rather, they’re often the ones that I try to listen to the least, or at least sparingly, lest that intangible magic that I feel within its notes should evaporate with growing familiarity and what I thought was special turns out to be more ordinary. This happens more often than I’d like, but then there are those that don’t only sparkle on the surface, that offer up more the further you delve into them, the records that contain multitudes.

These are not ten of those records. Some of them are, but to expect more than a handful of those a year to cross my path and get the attention they demand/deserve would be asking too much. The rest are simply albums that, be they challenging or comforting, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this year. Which ones are which is for me to know and you to guess – as always, they’re ordered alphabetically rather than by rank – but were the world to indeed end in a couple of weeks like the gullible and lunatic among us believe, they’d comprise ten records that I’d be content clutching as the skies rained down fire upon us.

And I tried to do something more ambitious with the graphic treatment of this year’s list, but as it turns out my Photoshop skills – which have always kind of sucked – are actually getting worse. So alas, this is all we get.

(more…)

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

These Streets Will Never Look the Same

Review of Chromatics’ Kill For Love

Photo By Richard BernardinRichard BernardinAs someone who is ostensibly in the business of finding and sharing new music, it’s a bit embarrassing that I’m just getting around to covering Portland’s Chromatics now. And I didn’t just miss out on their latest effort, Kill For Love, since it was released back in March. The whole Johnny Jewel extended family of Glass Candy, Desire, what have you, the extensive Italians Do It Better catalog, the fact that “Tick Of The Clock” from 2007’s Night Drive is apparently omnipresent in film soundtracks and ads. No idea of any of it. All I knew was that people around the internets really seemed to like Kill For Love, that it sounded like the sort of thing I might like, and so a few months ago I finally got around to giving the Soundcloud stream a spin.

Damn, son.

I’ve seen Kill For Love described as disco, noir, electro, retro, indie, post-punk, and dream-pop, amongst other descriptors – almost always coupled with “cinematic” and “widescreen” – and it is all of these things and more, but what gets me about it is how it manages to be so impossibly slick and synthetic, yet raw and resonant in a way that I can’t pinpoint. It operates under its own laws of emotional physics, simultaneously unending neon, urban sprawl and intense, almost smothering intimacy. Sometimes making its 77 minute running time feel like an eternity, other times a half a blink, all depending on how you’re feeling.

It works its magic through Jewel’s impossibly glamorous production, all perfectly textured keyboards and sculpted waveforms, gleaming guitars, and layered atmosphere, and singer/guitarist Ruth Radelet’s voice. In keeping with the music, it’s a study in contradictions – superficially simple in both timbre and the melodies it carries, and yet so rich and evocative, it can’t help but make a body shiver; it sounds like sex but tastes like love with the scent of regret. And while singling out specifics, I should mention that I don’t often get obsessed with individual guitar tones anymore, there’s a high probability that I’ll be breaking into the band’s studio sometime in the near future just to see what the hell Adam Miller is playing through. I probably shouldn’t have admitted that in public. Each full listen of Kill For Love is a pretty major commitment, but always worth it and offering up something new each time out.

Most likely, none of this is news to anyone who’s been following the music zeitgeist this year; the only reason I’m putting this down as a matter of record now is so that I don’t find myself justifying the appearance of a record on my year-end list (ooh, spoilers!) that I’ve never so much as mentioned. Though maybe that’d be kind of fun, too. So yes, late to the party but it’s been ongoing all year – just recently, a new mixtape entitled Running From The Sun containing alternate versions of Kill For Love tracks and unreleased tracks was made available to download, and just this week they released a new MP3 and video from the forthcoming Italians Do It Better label sampler After Dark 2, due out before the end of the year. And it’s also a small comfort to know that I didn’t miss a local live date, since there hasn’t been one. Maybe next year.

Johnny Jewel is a pretty interesting interview, as well. I’ve been catching up on his and the band’s background via these pieces from over the year at The Quietus, Self-Titled, Pitchfork, and about.com. There was also a recent interview with Radelet at The Huffington Post.

MP3: Chromatics – “Cherry”
MP3: Chromatics – “Kill For Love”
MP3: Chromatics / Running From The Sun
Video: Chromatics – “Cherry”
Video: Chromatics – “After Dark”
Stream: Chromatics / Kill For Love

New York post-hardcore outfit Quicksand are the latest ’90s act to pull a reunion together, heading out on a North American tour that comes to The Phoenix on January 9, tickets $29.

Video: Quicksand – “Delusional”

With a new album in Wonderful, Glorious due out on February 5, Eels have announced a North American tour that brings them to The Phoenix on February 25.

Stream: Eels – “Peach Blossom”

City Pages and Reverb interview Paul Banks in the capacity of both solo artist and Interpol frontman. The 10th anniversary Turn On The Bright Lights deluxe set is out December 4.

NPR welcomes Calexico to the World Cafe.