Shoko IshikawaIf you’ve been reading this site for a little while, you may have noted that as of this Saturday – rapture notwithstanding – I’ll be en route to (hopefully) sunny Barcelona for a week and then on to London for a few days as a chaser. And if you’ve been reading this site for a while longer, you may recall that no other band more vividly conjures memories of my last visit to the England than The Clientele. Which is why the existence of Amor de Días, which is the musical pairing of Clientele frontman Alasdair MacLean and Lupe Núñez-Fernández, the Spanish half of Pipas, seems like it should be the perfect soundtrack for this trip.
As you might expect from the pairing of two artists known for delicately-rendered, beautiful pop, their debut Street Of The Love Of Days is an idyllic, gossamer-sounding collection of songs that somehow manages to sound equally English and Spanish without overtly trying (okay, the lyrics sung in Spanish was probably deliberate, but you know what I mean). And though the album is about four years in the making, recorded in the downtime between other projects, it feels breezy enough that if told it was tracked over the course of a week in some countryside villa, you’d have no reason to doubt it. No reason except for the understated but meticulous craftsmanship thats gone into it, that is – though the instrumentation is primarily acoustic, lightly orchestrated and relatively sparse, the dreamlike atmosphere that it’s used to create is sumptuous. This is the sound of long days, open skies and grassy fields; not necessarily what my actual trip will entail, but if it’s as peaceful and lovely as this record, I will happily take it.
All that said, this silver lining is not without its cloud – while I am heading over to their home and native lands, Amor de Días will be coming to mine and I will be missing their show at The Horseshoe on May 25, where they’ll be opening up for fellow musical couple Damon & Naomi. Everyone who’s said how envious they are of my trip ought to go to this show if just to spite me.
Allmusic gets the pair to list off some of the influences on their sound, complete with video samples, while TBD talks to Núñez-Fernández.
MP3: Amor de Días – “Bunhill Fields”
MP3: Amor de Días – “New Wine”
Video: Amor de Días – “Late Mornings”
Stream: Amor de Días / Street Of The Love Of Days
WBUR talks to Damon & Naomi about the Galaxie 500 days. And back in the duo’s present, News & Observer talks to them about their new record False Beats & True Hearts is out now and available to stream. As noted above, they’re at The Horseshoe on May 25.
MP3: Damon & Naomi – “Walking Backwards”
Video: Damon & Naomi – “Nettles & Ivy”
Stream: Damon & Naomi / False Beats and True Hearts
Spin sits Will Sheff of Okkervil River and Steve Earle down together for a chat while The Chronicle Herald and Riverfront Times talk to Sheff and Earle on their own, respectively. Okkervil are at The Phoenix on June 10, Earle at the Molson Amphitheatre August 20.
Pitchfork talks to Whitey McConnaughy, director of the cats-gone-wild video for Superchunk’s “Crossed Wires”.
Video: Superchunk – “Crossed Wires”
Check out the first MP3 from the new David Bazan record Strange Negotiations, due out May 24. He plays Lee’s Palace on June 14.
MP3: David Bazan – “Wolves At The Door”
Also in town on June 14, though at The Mod Club, are The Antlers. PopMatters has an interview with frontman Peter Silberman.
Spin, The Chicago Tribune and JAM talk to Death Cab For Cutie frontman Ben Gibbard. They play The Phoenix tonight and the Molson Amphitheatre on July 29. Codes & Keys is out May 31.
The Sentimentalist interviews The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, in town at The Opera House on August 2.
The Radio Dept. will be reissuing their entire catalog – all three albums – on vinyl come June 7, excellent news for those who like their fuzzy pop in the highest fidelity. Lesser Matters, Pet Grief and Clinging To A Scheme will all be available on wax come June 7 and this is particularly good news since Pet Grief has never been available on LP. Thank the band with a hug when they play The Horseshoe on May 29.
MP3: The Radio Dept. – “Why Won’t You Talk About It?”
MP3: The Radio Dept. – “The Worst Taste In Music”
MP3: The Radio Dept. – “Heaven’s On Fire”
It’s good of NME to want to introduce you to Sweden’s I Break Horses by way of a download of their track “Hearts”, but if you maybe don’t want a 39MB .WAV file, I’ve gone ahead and made an MP3 for you below. Think grand, M83-ish synth-gaze. It’s nice.
MP3: I Break Horses – “Hearts”
Video: I Break Horses – “Hearts”
Pitchfork has got a couple new MP3s from jj, who’re giving them away just because.
MP3: jj – “No One Can Touch Us Tonight”
MP3: jj – “Ice”
The Washington Examiner and Phoenix profile Lykke Li, in town at The Phoenix for a sold-out show on May 22.
Blurt reports that New York-based Japanese pop act Cibo Matto have reunited after more than a decade for a tour and a new album, due out sometime next year. In the meantime, catch them at
The Mod Club Lee’s Palace on July 16, tickets $20 in advance.
Video: Cibo Matto – “Know Your Chicken”
Also Japanese-bred, New York-based and just a little odd are Peelander-Z; they’re coming back to town for NXNE and will be at The Silver Dollar on June 18 at midnight. Tampa Bay Online has an interview with Peelander Red and for the uninitiated, The AV Club has a Peelander primer.
MP3: Peelander-Z – “Tacos Tacos Tacos”
Grinderman have a new video. It’s animated. It’s not for kids.
Video: Grinderman – “Mickey Mouse And The Goodbye Man”
And continuing with the Nick Cave, just out and currently streaming are the four latest Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds reissues, though not the bonus material. And the fancy remastering may not have survived after the digital streaming compressions. But if you’re in the mood for some Bad Seeds and don’t have any handy, it’s your lucky day.
Stream: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds / Let Love In
Stream: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds / Murder Ballads
Stream: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds / The Boatman’s Call
Stream: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds / No More Shall We Part
Spinner talks to Howling Bells frontwoman Juanita Stein about making album number three, due out sometime this Summer.