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Posts Tagged ‘Club 8’

Friday, May 17th, 2013

Stop Taking My Time

This is the new Club 8 record and now I am on holiday

Photo By Kjell B PerssonKjell B PerssonKnow what the worst thing about not going to SXSW this Spring was? Not missing SXSW, but not having my previously annual late-Winter vacation. In fact, save for a weekend jaunt to New York last November, the last time I got out of the 416 was Labour Day – that’s well over eight months ago, and right mental. And while I’d like to say that the European theme of this post is a hint as to where I’m getting away to, it unfortunately is not. I still hope to make it across the Atlantic later this Summer – who wants to go to Stockholm? – but for now, an extra-long weekend getaway to Chicago is going to have to scratch my “get out of EDT” itch. I’ll check back in before next week’s end, but we be going dark for a bit after this. Or after tomorrow, because I have a quick contest to put up. Anyways.

To keep you company – and to build up the Swedish travel karma – you can now stream in whole Above The City, the new near-perfect blend of dancefloor beats and indie-pop moping from Swede-pop veterans Club 8, which is officially out on May 21. And to go along with the stream, the Johan Angergård half of the band talks to Billboard about his and Karolina Komstedt’s first record in three years, the status of his other project The Legends, and what’s coming next from his label Labrador, and over at DIY he offers a track-by-track walkthrough of the record.

Stream: Club 8 / Above The City

With their debut album No One Dances Quite Like My Brothers out now, Copenhagen’s Vår have posted the thing up at Pitchfork for your streaming pleasure.

Stream: Vår / No One Dances Quite Like My Brothers

The Vancouver Sun and The Province interview Icelandic ambassadors Of Monsters & Men, in town at Echo Beach for CBCMusic.ca Fest at Echo Beach on May 25.

Camera Obscura have made another new track from their forthcoming Desire Lines available to stream. The record is out June 4 and they play Garrison Commons for TURF on July 4.

Stream: Camera Obscura – “Fifth In Line To The Throne”

Russell Lissack talks to The Miami New times about new music that Bloc Party might be releasing later this Summer. They play the Arts & Crafts Field Trip fest at Garrison Commons on June 8.

Though of small comfort to those of us who missed out on seeing it in person thanks to the illness that tanked their show during CMF, 4AD has announced they will release a live Efterklang album recorded in Fall 2012 with the Copenhagen Philharmonic. The Piramida Concert will be available as a digital download and vinyl package and be out June 10.

Stream: Efterklang – “The Living Layer + Vælv” (live)

Jónsi þór Birgisson gives Premier Guitar a guided tour of his live guitar rig with Sigur Rós. Their new record Kveikur is out June 18, and they’re on The Simpsons this Sunday night.

Stereogum talks to Bobby Gillespie of Primal Scream, whose new album More Light is out in North America on June 18.

The Los Angeles Times reports that former Belle & Sebastian bassist Stuart David will be writing his memoirs about his time in the band, which started from its very inception – he founded it with Stuart Murdoch in 1996 – through his departure following Fold Your Hands Child, You Walk Like A Peasant in 2000.

aux.tv has a feature-length interview and NPR a video session with Savages, coming to town for a show at The Mod Club on July 16.

Billboard and USA Today check in with the ladies of Icona Pop, coming to town as part of the Grove Fest lineup at Garrison Common on August 3.

Franz Ferdinand have announced the August 27 release of their fourth record, Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action; The Line Of Best Fit has details and Domino has an album trailer, but the important thing is it’s only three more months until people can complain that the new record isn’t as good as their first.

Trailer: Franz Ferdinand / Right Thoughts, Right Words Right Action

Dreamy English folk-pop purveyors Lanterns On The Lake aren’t offering any specifics on their second album besides that it’ll be out later this year, but they have released a first video from it.

Video: Lanterns On The Lake – “Another Tale From Another English Town”

Melody’s Echo Chamber have a new video from last year’s self-titled debut.

Video: Melody’s Echo Chamber – “Some Time Alone, Alone”

The Quietus gets an interview with The Knife.

The Independent profiles Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds.

The Line Of Best Fit grabs Neil Halstead for a video session.

The Line Of Best Fit interviews British Sea Power.

The Province, Seattle Weekly, and The San Francisco Examiner interview Kate Nash.

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

If You Leave

Daughter and Wilsen at The Great Hall in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangThings move quickly these days; this I know and understand, and yet it still manages to astound me sometimes. The ascent of London’s Daughter, for example. It wasn’t much over a year ago that the trio was still largely unknown, only getting on my radar by old-fashioned word of mouth and becoming one of my favourite discoveries of SXSW 2012. When they came around to make their Toronto debut last October – still a ways off from releasing their debut album or making any real promotional push – they still managed to sell out The Drake, albeit with the help of a fairly buzzy supporting bill. Still, that was a pretty good tip off that by the time the band returned on Tuesday evening, just a week after the domestic release of If You Leave, the only surprise would be not that they had sold out the much larger Great Hall, but that they hadn’t moved the show to even bigger environs.

Benefitting from the packed house were Wilsen, a band of Americans fronted by Englishwoman Tamsin Wilson who were really as good of a RIYL pairing for Daughter as you could hope to find. Their dark, atmospheric folk music came from a similar place as the headliners, but distinguished themselves with a tonally lighter touch, not to mention Wilson’s whistling skills and guitarist Johnny Simon Jr’s penchant for playing his guitar with coffee cans, tobacco tins, whatever. Unexpected and quite effective was a stately cover of Grimes’ “Oblivion”, and by the close of their 40-minute set, many new fans were made and a more than a few copies of last year’s mini-album Sirens were sold.

I don’t think I’m the only one who, to some degree, conflates a band’s sound with their appearance. In Daughter’s case, it’s hard not to compare their sound to frontwoman Elena Tonra’s appearance: beautiful, elegant, and demure, yet with an unquestionable strength and steeliness just under the surface. They’re traits evident throughout If You Leave, which bolsters Tonra’s gorgeous vocals and emotionally raw songwriting with Igor Haefeli’s billowing guitarwork and Remi Aguilella’s subtly powerful percussion to become something expansive, yet intimate. It’s an aesthetic that fits very well with that of their European label 4AD, and that’s the context in which I tend to think of them. In North America, however, they’re on Glassnote and if you’ve no idea what difference that makes, well I didn’t give it a second thought either, until Tuesday night.

Glassnote may not have the history and personality of 4AD, but they do know how to reach the Mumford & Sons demographic. And when, midway through the set during “Landfill”, much of the room loudly sang along with “I want you so much/but I hate your guts”, did I realize that this was a Mumford audience – surprisingly young, definitely excitable, and preferring to experience the music as a boisterous community. Tonra’s songs might be delivered like a private and intensely personal conversation, but they were being shouted and cheered back. It wasn’t necessarily off-putting – okay a little – but it certainly recontextualized my experience of the songs; rather than enveloping me completely, they now needed to act as a sort of barrier to shut out the background noise.

Tonra herself may have seemed taken aback by the intensity of their reception – her “thank you”s were almost inaudible squeaks – but seemingly happily so. Opening with Leave closer “Shallows”, Daughter sounded as brilliant as ever, mixing material from the album with selections from the Wild Youth and His Young Heart EPs. The band was bolstered by a utility player on bass, guitar, and keys, but even with those extra hands, the show had no shortage of instrument swapping; their sound might be skeletal, but it’s arranged precisely and impeccably so.

Only during “Winter” were the band really knocked off their game, as The Great Hall’s lighting rig seemed to pick up a poltergeist, going from black to blinding and causing Tonra to crack up several times (Haefeli was visibly less amused), though to their credit they finished the song, even though ditching would have been totally understandable, and both stage lights and band pulled it back together to wrap up the set with a crashing, cathartic “Home”. A satisfying show, but one that left me wondering if I’d choose to see them again next time in an inevitably bigger room, or if staying home, alone, with the curtains drawn and the record turned up might not be more the Daughter experience I’d prefer.

Photos: Daughter, Wilsen @ The Great Hall – May 7, 2013
MP3: Daughter – “Love”
Video: Daughter – “Still”
Stream: Wilsen – “Dusk”
Stream: Wilsen – “Anahita”

Soundcheck WNYC is streaming a radio session with Little Boots, while Consequence Of Sound has an interview.

Sweden’s Club 8 are streaming another new song from their forthcoming album Above The City, out May 21.

Stream: Club 8 – “I’m Not Gonna Grow Old”

Cheers to Frightened Rabbit for keeping alive the tradition of releasing their singles as proper EPs with b-sides and bonus tracks and the like. Case in point – the next single from Pedestrian Verse will be Late March, Death March, and DIY has details on the EP for it that’ll be out on June 4.

The Guardian asks Romy from The xx about her experiences playing festivals; they play a sorta-fest at Downsview Park on June 6 with Grizzly Bear.

Stereogum has premiered a new track from Swedish electro act Kate Boy, who are making their Toronto debut at Wrongbar on June 9.

Stream: Kate Boy – “The Way We Are”

Interview has a feature on Palma Violets, who were just here last week but are back August 3 as part of the Grove Fest at Garrison Commons.

The Alternate Side has an interview and session with Phoenix, who are headlining the aforementioned Grove Fest on August 3.

NPR has a World Cafe session with Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, who’ve premiered their new video from Push The Sky Away – recorded at their Los Angeles concert this past March – at Rolling Stone.

Video: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – “Mermaids”

David Bowie has released the video for the title track of his latest The Next Day, and proves not only that he can still cause plenty of controversy, but that he’s got much cooler friends than pretty much everyone else.

Video: David Bowie – “The Next Day”

Ólafur Arnalds has a new video from For Now I Am Winter, and NPR is streaming a live concert by Arnalds wherein he and an orchestra performed the whole of the new album live in New York earlier this Spring.

Video: Ólafur Arnalds – “Only The Winds”

Stereogum has premiered the new video from The Mary Onettes’ latest Hit The Waves.

Video: The Mary Onettes – “Don’t Forget (To Forget About Me)”

A Music Blog, Yea has an interview with Mystery Jets.

Friday, April 19th, 2013

Do It Again

This, that, and the new Camera Obscura single thing

Photo By Anna Isola CrollaAnna Isola CrollaIf you were thinking that Friday meant another housecleaning, link-aggregating post – this time from all points abroad – then you are correct. You get a cookie. From someone else. I have no cookies to give.

Nor do I technically have the new single from Camera Obscura to give, since it’s not mine to allocate, but since it was rolled out in streamable form to the internet earlier this week, I can certainly point you to it. It comes from their forthcoming fifth album Desire Lines, and while it’s been four years since My Maudlin Career, that time hasn’t been spent reinventing their sound. “Do It Again” is very much in keeping with the big, buoyant pop side of their skill set, but if you have a problem with more singles along the lines of “French Navy” or “Lloyd, I’m Ready To Be Heartbroken”, well God, Jed, I don’t even wanna know you.

Desire Lines is out June 4, and while the band had to cancel a brace of North American dates in March around SXSW, their Summer tour supporting She & Him is all systems go and will bring them to Garrison Commons at Fort York on July 4 to open the inaugural Toronto Urban Roots Fest.

Stream: Camera Obscura – “Do It Again”

Consequence Of Sound, Pretty Much Amazing, Gigwise, and DIY have interviews with Charli XCX, whose debut True Romance hit the shelves earlier this week. She opens for Marina & The Diamonds at Echo Beach on May 23.

Under The Radar and Billboard talk to Jessie Ware on the occasion of the North American release of Devotion earlier this week.

Pitchfork checks in with Anthony Gonzalez of M83 about the experience of scoring a big Hollywood film. Said film – Oblivion – is out today.

Sweden’s Junip have been streaming their forthcoming self-titled album over at Pitchfork ahead of its formal release on April 23. They’re in town at The Great Hall on May 10.

MP3: Junip – “Your Life Your Call”
MP3: Junip – “Line Of Fire”
Stream: Junip / Junip

Pitchfork and Stuff have feature interviews with Phoenix, who’ve gotten around to making their new album Bankrupt! available to stream via iTunes before it comes out on Tuesday, April 23. They headline the Grove Fest at Fort York on August 3.

Stream: Phoenix / Bankrupt!

Johnny Marr answers questions about Skrillex, Margaret Thatcher, and his solo record from Noisey, Rolling Stone, and The Chicago Tribune, respectively. He plays The Phoenix on April 27.

The Georgia Straight and Filter chat with Palma Violets, coming to town for a headline gig at Lee’s Palace on May 3 and again as part of The Grove Fest at Fort York on August 3.

The 405 interviews Victoria Hesketh of Little Boots about her new album Nocturnes, coming May 7.

Savages have released a new video from their forthcoming debut album Silence Yourself, coming May 7.

Video: Savages – “Shut Up”

Florence & The Machine’s contribution to The Great Gatsby soundtrack has been made available to stream. The album is out May 7, a few days before the film’s release on May 10.

Stream: Florence & The Machine – “Over The Love”

Swede-pop vetereans Club 8 have released the first video from their next record Above The City, coming out May 21.

Video: Club 8 – “Stop Taking My Time”

Spin points out a stream of another new song from Laura Marling’s next record Once I Was An Eagle, out May 28.

Stream: Laura Marling – “Master Hunter”

Spinner has an interview with Stone Roses biographer Simon Spence about researching his book The Stone Roses: War and Peace, while The Guardian has got a trailer for the Made Of Stone documentary coming out June 5 in the UK

Trailer: The Stone Roses: Made Of Stone

Billboard talks to Oliver Sim of The xx about the writing of their third album, Huffington Post to Romy Madley Croft about the band’s success, and Rolling Stone and MTV Hive have some words with Jamie Smith about his projects. They’re at Downsview Park with Grizzly Bear on June 6.

Empire Of The Sun are streaming the first complete sample of their new album Ice On The Dune, out June 17.

Stream: Empire Of The Sun – “Alive”

New Order details their strategy of releasing EPs of new material to justify their continued existence to Billboard.

The Quietus has an interview with Richard Thompson.

The AV Club gets Frightened Rabbit to step into their studio to cover Cheap Trick’s “Surrender”.

Veronica Falls have rolled out a new video from Waiting For Something To Happen.

Video: Veronica Falls – “Waiting For Something To Happen”

Rolling Stone checks in with the lads of Two Door Cinema Club, getting ready to work on album number three.

Filter has a conversation with Nick Cave.

Billboard has a video session and interview with Little Green Cars.

The Knife put out a new video from their latest, Shaking The Habitual.

Video: The Knife – “A Cherry On Top”

Very sad to hear about the passing of Storm Thorgerson, graphic designer of album art for the likes of Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, and Catherine Wheel. This was always my favourite of his pieces. For purely artistic reasons, of course.

And finally, noting that tomorrow is indeed Record Store Day, The Fly interviewed record collecting geeks in British Sea Power, The Joy Formidable, and TOY, amongst others.

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

Canadian Musicfest 2013 Day Two

Sóley, Kool Thing, and more at Canadian Musicfest

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangShow cancellations are pretty much part and parcel of the Canadian Musicfest experience, particularly when you’re most keen on the international acts who’ve been duped coerced into playing the fest, but it’s especially disappointing when it’s a) one of the bands you most wanted to see, b) they were one of the very first acts confirmed for the fest in November, and c) it happens just hours before showtime.

But things like lymph node infections do happen, and with Efterklang singer Casper Clausen out of commission, their showcase at The Mod Club with Nightlands was nixed. I should be pleased for the band and their fans that Clausen recovered in time to pick up the tour in Montreal the next night and that Toronto was the only lost date, but I’m not really. So suddenly left with no plans for the evening, I opted for the in-store at Moog Audio presented by Scandiphile sites Nordic By Nature and Swede + Sour – even if I was going to miss out on the Danes, I could still get my Swede/Norwegian/Icelandic musical fix.

Sweden would get a bit of short shrift, unfortunately. Perhaps in keeping with their tight, Krautrock-influenced sound, Malmö’s This Is Head started precisely on time and I was running late, meaning I missed the first half of their set and was only able to take in a song and a half. Thankfully, their songs were pretty long and while their live sound was more of a conventional rock setup than I’d have expected from what I recalled of their 2010 debut 0001, it was still tight and grooving in the right places. I look forward to hearing their second album The Album ID when it gets released in North America later this Spring.

Photos: This Is Head @ Moog Audio – March 21, 2013
Video: This Is Head – “A-B Version”
Video: This Is Head – “De Trop”
Video: This Is Head – “0011”
Video: This Is Head – “0007”

Whatever it is in the water in the nordic countries that produces idiosyncratic female electro-pop artists, Sandra Kolstad has been drinking it. Fronting a three-piece band comprised of two keyboards and a percussionist, she turned in a set of energetic art-pop made of synths and tight, inventive percussion that may not have stood out from other artists doing similar things, but didn’t pale against them either. And while Kolstad was game for getting naked in her latest video, on this evening it was her drummer who stripped down for the appreciation of those who appreciate tall, half-naked, Scandinavian men.

Photos: Sandra Kolstad @ Moog Audio – March 21, 2013
Stream: Sandra Kolstad – “Right Now”
Video: Sandra Kolstad – “Run Away (Where Are We?)”
Video: Sandra Kolstad – “The Well (We Will Change It All”
Video: Sandra Kolstad – “Fire Burn, Blood Flow”
Video: Sandra Kolstad – “Circles (It’s Got Every Little Part Of Me Running In)”

As enjoyable as the other two acts were, it was mainly Sóley whom I was here to see. Though she had a few other sets over the course of the festival, all were in conflict with something else I wanted to see, so if there was a silver lining to Efterklang’s misfortunes, it was this. For me, at least. Her 2011 album We Sink has been doing regular duty in evoking reminiscences of Iceland for me, and listening to her recreate those songs live I found myself trying to decide if her delicate electro-folk sounded more like a fairy sporting a cybernetic exoskeleton or a space station overrun by moss and trees. With the sound of her layered vocals slowly permeating the room like ghostly echoes, Sóley was understatedly presented, yet sonically perfect. The National Post has an interview with Sóley Stefánsdóttir.

Photos: Sóley @ Moog Audio – March 21, 2013
MP3: Sóley – “Pretty Face”
MP3: Sóley – “Blue Leaves”
Video: Sóley – “I’ll Drown”
Video: Sóley – “Pretty Face”
Video: Sóley – “Smashed Birds”
Video: Sóley – “Blue Leaves”

The in-store complete, I engaged in the only club-hopping I’d do for the festival and hoofed it over to The Drake Underground to catch Irish-German outfit Kool Thing. As it turns out, I didn’t need to rush as their start time was delayed by some manner of broken gear – it’s never a good sign when everyone in the band are standing around, staring down at a single piece of equipment, talking. They eventually got underway, though, and I spent most of their abbreviated set trying to remember why I had wanted to see the duo of Jon Dark and Julie Chance (plus drummer) in the first place. This isn’t to say their faintly electro-goth sound wasn’t alright – their voices blended well and the guitar-keys recipe yielded some nice atmosphere – but it felt played out and obvious. A full set may have allowed them to better demonstrate what they could do, but that wasn’t in the cards this night. And with that, I was home just before – in a perfect world – Efterklang’s set would have begun. Sigh.

Photos: Kool Thing @ The Drake Underground – March 21, 2013
Stream: Kool Thing – “TV Tower”
Video: Kool Thing – “PLAN.LIFE.GO”
Video: Kool Thing – “Light Games”
Video: Kool Thing – “The Sign”

Sigur Rós have added some extra context to the North American tour which brings them to the Air Canada Centre on March 30; instead of a second tour in support of last year’s ambient Valtari, it’s now a pre-release tour in support of their next album, the much heavier Kveikur, due out June 18. Pitchfork has details on the release and the first video from the album can be watched below.

Video: Sigur Rós – “Brennisteinn”

The Guardian and Billboard talk to The Knife about their new record Shaking The Habitual, due out April 9.

April 9 will also be the release date for the soundtrack from the new Tom Cruise vehicle Oblivion, which is only noteworthy in that M83 is doing the score. Pitchfork is streaming the theme song from the film, featuring Norwegian singer Susanne Sundfør.

Stream: M83 featuring Susanne Sundfør – “Oblivion”

The Fly has an interview with Junip, who’ve made a new track from their forthcoming self-titled album, out April 23, available to download. They’ll be at The Great Hall on June 10.

MP3: Junip – “Your Life Your Call”

Swedish pop veterans Club 8 have made the first track from their forthcoming album Above The City available to download. It’s out May 21.

Stream: Club 8 – “Stop Taking My Time”

The Line Of Best Fit has a video session with Of Monsters & Men. They co-headline the CBC Music Festival at Echo Beach on May 25.

Totally Stockholm interviews Elliphant, in town June 7 at The Phoenix opening up for Twin Shadow.

Exclaim and Filter talk to Iceage, coming to Toronto for NXNE on June 15 and 16.

And just because this week’s roundup of concert announcements got pushed down to second-billing to the CMW writeup, don’t think that means that nothing good was revealed. For instance – Memory Tapes will be bring last year’s Grace/Confusion to Wrongbar on April 11. Tickets for that will be $12 in advance.

MP3: Memory Tapes – “Sheila”

Austin’s Pure X – specialists in doing it slow and dreamy – will be at The Silver Dollar on May 7 as part of a North American tour in support of their new album Crawling up the Stairs, out May 14. Tickets for the show are $12.50 in advance.

MP3: Pure X – “Someone Else”
MP3: Pure X – “Things In My Head”

Los Angeles trio Sir Sly – whom I’m not going to pretend I know much about but who seemed to emerge from SXSW as one of the talked-about acts – will be in town at Wrongbar on May 14 as part of a Spring tour. Tickets for that are $10.

MP3: Sir Sly – “Ghost”

Portland’s Thermals have announced the dates for their Spring tour in support of Desperate Ground via Stereogum, and also debuted the first video from the album, out April 16. Look for them at The Horseshoe on May 21, tickets $15.

MP3: The Thermals – “Now We Can See”
Video: The Thermals – “Born To Kill”

British folk sister act The Staves will be at The Great Hall on May 23, presumably as part of a tour in support of the North American release of their debut Dead & Born & Grown, out this month. Tickets for the show are $14.50. Hit Fix, Blogcritics, and examiner.com have interviews with the Staveley-Taylor sisters.

Video: The Staves – “Facing West”

Jonathan Richman, who continues to not have anything resembling an official internet presence in 2013, will be doing things in meatspace at The Great Hall on June 5 and 6.

Stream: Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers – “Roadrunner”

If you were thinking CHVRCHES were just here, you were right. But they’re coming back as part of a Summer tour, and while the June 12 date at The Hoxton may make you think it’s a NXNE show, so far there are no indications that it is – so maybe pony up the $16 for a ticket instead of waving your wristband around. And while that show is still months ahead of their debut album’s release in September, their Recover EP is out now and streaming over at Pitchfork.

MP3: CHVRCHES – “The Mother We Share”
Stream: CHVRCHES / Recover

What IS part of NXNE – and still venue-less at the time of writing – is the June 14 return of Still Corners, whose new album Strange Pleasures will be out May 7.

MP3: Still Corners – “Fireflies”

Space-surf pioneers Man Or Astro-man? are hitting the road and have made a date at Lee’s Palace for June 17, tickets $17.50.

Video: Man Or Astro-Man? – “Spferic Waves”

Darkwavers Cold Cave haven’t said specifically when their new EP Oceans With No End will be coming out, but presumably it’ll be around the time they roll their Summer tour into the Shop Under Parts & Labour – June 26. But Cold Cave isn’t the only thing that Wes Eisold has on the go – his old hardcore band American Nightmare is getting back into action and according to this Exclaim piece, one of the two reunion shows confirmed so far will be on June 6 in Toronto at a venue to be announced The Phoenix.

MP3: Cold Cave – “The Great Pan Is Dead”

And this week’s Toronto Urban Roots Fest additions come from near and far – the (relatively) near being Toronto’s own The Wooden Sky and Nova Scotia’s Matt Mays & El Torpedo, and the absolutely far being Australians The Cat Empire and Xavier Rudd. Early-bird deals on multi-day tickets end tonight at 10PM, and single-day tickets go on sale this Thursday; the day-by-day breakdown is on their schedule.

MP3: The Wooden Sky – “Angelina”
Video: The Cat Empire – “Brighter Than Gold”
Video: Xavier Rudd – “Bow Down”
Video: Matt Mays – “Take It On Faith”

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

III

The Deer Tracks believe good things come in threes

Photo By Angel CeballosAngel CeballosThe serial as a form of structure is hardly uncommon in art these days; it’s the standard for television, has been used as long as books have been published, and is increasingly the norm in cinema. In popular music, however, it’s almost the complete opposite – the three-minute single – which remains the fundamental unit of currency. But don’t tell that to Gävle, Sweden’s The Deer Tracks – the duo of David Lehnberg and Elin Lindfors have spent the last two years crafting an epic song cycle they’ve called The Archer Trilogy, stretching over an EP and two albums and 103 minutes – to say nothing of the 40-minute ambient prologue.

And what’s more remarkable than the ambition – after all, anyone can come up with a grand concept – is how well they’ve pulled it off. The Archer Trilogy is a remarkably stylistically and thematically cohesive arc of distinctly Scandinavian múm-meets-Postal Service synth-pop that’s by turns atmospheric and anthemic, frail and forceful, mysterious and vulnerable, but always beautiful – and all written, recording, and toured worldwide in a few years. The third and final instalment was released in January and while it doesn’t contain the same heart-bursting moments as “Fa-Fire” or “The Archer” from the middle part, it’s more than a satisfying Jedi to Part 2‘s Empire, veering into more thoughtful if marginally less immediate territory as it glides to the finish line.

As The Deer Tracks tour the complete Archer Trilogy across North America, David was kind enough to answer some questions via email about making a trilogy of records. They’re at The Silver Dollar tonight around midnight and you may recall I skipped The Flaming Lips at NXNE last year to see them play and don’t regret it a bit– so consider that an endorsement.

How far in advance did you plan out the three parts of the trilogy? Was it written as you went along, or was it a fully-conceived whole from the beginning?

We planned to do a trilogy from the start. We wanted to do something that would grow with and on to us over a longer period of time. We had the whole idea story behind it mapped out and then we deliberately took different paths to come up with the end result.

Did you have an actual narrative in mind to tie together the three (or four, counting Prologue) parts of “The Archer Trilogy”? If so, is it meant to be discernable to the listener?

If you listen to the whole thing I think everything falls into place what the whole idea with this trilogy is. That there is a deeper meaning to the four parts and that their bond is obvious. It is like an own microcosms with it’s universal cycle of life, death and foreverness.

Did you have a specific aesthetic you wanted stick to across the albums? Did you find yourselves having to shelve good ideas because they didn’t fit, did you make them fit, or did you let the work evolve as you wanted it to?

The work with this trilogy has been lovely, inspirational, brutal, mind twisting, haunting and everything else in between and beyond. To develop a trilogy of a three part recording series (+ an Prologue) was a big adventure. It helped us understand a lot about ourselves as musicians, friends, spiritually beings and as most of all, what it really is to have a musical bond with someone else.

Should fans expect your next work to sound different from The Archer Trilogy? Are there aspects to The Deer Tracks that you’re looking forward to exploring next?

If you truly believe that only your own imagination and musical mind can hold you back, anything is possible in a universe of creativity. Now we can’t wait to share our journey and discoverys with you on another album. That will probably take on a another shape and form both sound and music wise. Creativity and exploring is what we love the most. Repetition is not.

The Huffington Post and Minnesota Daily also have interviews with the band.

MP3: The Deer Tracks – “Dark Passenger”

The Mary Onettes are streaming the title track of their new album Hit The Waves, out March 19.

Stream: The Mary Onettes – “Hit The Waves”

Junip have released the first video from their new self-titled album, due out April 23.

Video: Junip – “Line Of Fire”

El Perro Del Mar has a new video from her latest album, Pale Fire.

Video: El Perro Del Mar – “I Was A Boy”

Swede-pop veterans Club 8 have announced a May 21 release date for their eighth album Above The City.

Elliphant is the stage name of one Elinor Olovosdotter, a new artist from Stockholm who’s another entry in the ever-expanding electropop field; she’s in town opening up for Twin Shadow at The Phoenix on June 7 so if you’re going or thinking about it, have a listen.

MP3: Elliphant – “Down On Life”
Video: Elliphant – “Live Till I Die”
Video: Elliphant – “Down On Life”

Rolling Stone interviews Iceage, in town for NXNE on June 15 and/or 16.

Paste has premiered the new video from Ólafur Arnalds’ forthcoming For Now I Am Winter, available in North America on April 2.

Video: Ólafur Arnalds – “Old Skin”

Drowned In Sound gets Phoenix bassist Deck d’Arcy on the horn to talk about their new album Bankrupt!, out April 22.

Melody’s Echo Chamber have put out a new video from last year’s self-titled debut.

Video: Melody’s Echo Chamber – “Crystallized”

Esquire offers some style tips from the career of Nick Cave. He will be dressed how he’s dressed at Massey Hall on March 23.