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Posts Tagged ‘Darren Hayman’

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

To Here Knows When

My Bloody Valentine’s new album is– no wait, come back.

Photo via FacebookFacebookI don’t think that anyone out there would suggest that Kevin Shields is not a man of his word; it’s just his punctuality that people take issue with. After all – those remastered reissues of My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless, Isn’t Anything, and their collected EPs did eventually see the light of day this Spring – it just happened that they were about four years later than they’d originally been promised.

So when NME came out yesterday and quoted Shields as saying that the new My Bloody Valentine album – the proper follow-up to 1991’s Loveless, which they’ve ostensibly been working on off and on (but mostly off) for the past 20 years – will be out before the end of the calendar year, with a companion EP due out in 2013, it’s hard to figure out if that churning feeling in the stomach is due to excitement, skepticism, or burrito. But wait – he offers details, including the band’s intention to play Tokyo’s Ajinomoto Stadium next Spring, and the fact that it will be released independently via the MBV website. Which, if we dig a little, is what was told to Billboard… in 2007. Well he’s consistent, if nothing else.

More information as it becomes available – if he’s going to be good to his word, there’s not a lot of time left to get this sucker out – but in the meantime, perhaps reflect on the last time MBV were in town, or glance over at that new Godspeed You! Black Emperor record and remind yourself that anything is possible.

Video: My Bloody Valentine – “Soon”

Much more certain is the second album from Amor de Dìas, the project from The Clientele’s Alisdair Maclean and Pipas’ Lupe Núñez-Fernández. They’ll release The House at Sea, the follow up to 2011’s Street Of The Love Of Days, on January 29. Details on the release can be had at Exclaim. And as nice as this will be, it’s with sadness that I note the press materials are now referring to The Clientele in the past tense.

Also locked in for the new year is the new record from Frightened Rabbit. Their first full-length for Atlantic Records will be called Pedestrian Verse and be released on February 5. Details and some words on the record from frontman Scott Hutchison are over at DIY.

English electronic duo Bondax clearly don’t think that December is too late to slate a North American tour; they’ll be at The Drake Underground on December 8.

MP3: Bondax – “All Inside”

When English glam-metal revivalists The Darkness rolled through town back in February, they were still six months off from releasing their comeback record Hot Cakes. Now that it’s out, they’re coming back – look for them again at The Phoenix on January 21, tickets $35, though we all know you’re only going to hear “Street Spirit” and “I Believe In A Thing Called Love”. Who’s kidding who.

Video: The Darkness – “Nothing’s Going To Stop Us”

Charli XCX has made good on her promise to release a new mixtape – Super Ultra Mixtape is available to either stream or download.

Stream: Charli XCX / Super Ultra Mixtape

NPR welcomes Bloc Party for a World Cafe session.

The Quietus and This Is Essex talk to Darren Hayman about his new witch trial-themed album The Violence. The whole thing is available to stream, and a video was recently released.

Video: Darren Hayman & The Long Parliament – “Impossible Times”
Stream: Darren Hayman & The Long Parliament / The Violence

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

The Wild Youth

Daughter breaks curfew, sneaks out of studio for adventures across the pond

Photo By Stacey HatfieldStacey HatfieldAs performing names go, Daughter certainly exists pretty far on the “not very” end of the Google-ability scale, but they’re worth the effort. Originally a pseudonym for London’s Elena Tonra, its scope eventually expanded to include guitarist Igor Haefeli and now, with drummer Remi Aguilella in the fold, represents the trio and is a proper band – one whose dark, quietly dramatic, atmospheric folk turned out to be one of the highlights of this year’s SXSW.

Considering that hot on the heels of their festival appearances came the word that they’d signed on with 4AD worldwide – but on the less legendary but still impressive Glassnote in North America – I expected there’d be much more news and music from them before long. And indeed, their earliest but still fully-realized recordings were released via a couple of EPs – The Wild Youth and His Young Heart – were released in late March, but since then it’s been radio silence.

A silence that is now happily breaking. Though it’s not a debut album – that’ll have to wait until next year as it’s currently in the process of being created – they will release a 7″ single on October 1, the A-side of which has been made available to stream and does an excellent job of taking me right back to that evening in March when I got so very excited by this outfit. And more importantly, it’s enough pretence for the band to embark on a short North American tour which includes an October 22 date at The Drake Underground, tickets $13.50. This will be very good.

Their His Young Heart EP is available to stream in whole below, and three-quarters of The Wild Youth can be heard at the band’s Soundcloud. Oh, for me the correct Daughter comes up in spots two through five in Google, so maybe it’s not such an unworkable name after all.

MP3: Daughter – “Love”
Stream: Daughter – “Smother”
Stream: Daughter / His Young Heart

Bloc Party have made their new record Four ahead of its formal release next Tuesday, August 21. Life And Times and Montreal Gazette have feature interviews with the band and The Guardian solicits six songs of specific purpose from Kele Okereke. Bloc Party play The Danforth Music Hall on September 10 and 11.

Stream: Bloc Party / Four

Billboard has an interview with The Heavy and a stream of their new record The Glorious Dead, due out next week. They play Lee’s Palace on September 23.

Stream: The Heavy / The Glorious Dead

NME and BBC chat with Two Door Cinema Club frontman Alex Trimble. Their new record Beacon – from which they’ve just released a video – is out September 4 and they play The Sound Academy on October 5.

Video: Two Door Cinema Club – “Sleep Alone”

The Fader, Tone Deaf, FasterLouder, Exclaim, and Spin all have features on The xx as the September 11 release of Coexist draws nearer. A second track from the album has been made available to hear via stream.

Stream: The xx – “Chained”

Rolling Stone talks to Mumford & Sons bassist Ted Dwane about their new record Babel, out September 25 and from which they’ve made the first track available to stream.

Stream: Mumford & Sons – “I Will Wait”

Beth Orton has made a new track from her next record Sugaring Season available to stream at Rolling Stone; NPR also has a Tiny Desk Concert from the singer-songwriter. She plays The Mod Club on September 30 and the album is out on October 2.

Stream: Beth Orton – “Magpie”

The Vaccines are hoping to make the wait for the October 2 North American release of Come Of Age a little more bearable by giving away a free EP of covers and whatnot entitled Please Do Not Disturb in exchange for your email address. The Daily Record has a conversation with singer Justin Young.

The Fly has a feature on Ellie Goulding, who has made the first single from Halcyon available to stream at Billboard. The album is out October 9, and though the released clip is technically just a “lyric video”, its audience-sourced Instagram visuals are more entertaining than many peoples’ official videos.

Lyric Video: Ellie Goulding – “Anything Could Happen”

Scotland folk-pop outfit Admiral Fallow will be at The Drake on October 13 in support of their second album Tree Bursts In Snow. Tickets are $13.50 and Filter has their full North American tour itinerary.

Video: Admiral Fallow – “Guest Of The Government”

In indie-pop news, Allo Darlin’ are streaming the b-side of “Northern Lights”, their next single from Europe, while Tender Trap are doing the same for the first single from their next album Ten Songs About Girls, out September 10. And Darren Hayman continues to be prolific in his post-Hefner years, releasing an instrumental album in Lido as a tribute to Britain’s open-air swimming pools and on November 5, will release The Violence, an album about the witch trials of during the 17th century English civil war. Yeah, another one. Exclaim has some details.

Stream: Allo Darlin’ – “Golden Age”
Stream: Tender Trap – “Step One”
Stream: Darren Hayman & The Long Parliament – “We Are Not Evil”

Their possibly last-ever show in the books, Blur have announced plans to release the live set from Hyde Park as a double-live album entitled Parklive in November; Consequence Of Sound has specifics and there’s pre-final show interviews with Graham Coxon at Shortlist and Damon Albarn at The Sun.

Exclaim collects some information on the next M.I.A. album, which will be called Matangi and should be out in December.

This Music Is Love talks to Alisdair Mclean of The Clientele and Amor de Días, whose second album is due out in or around January of 2013.

The Line Of Best Fit has an interview with London’s Spector, whose debut Enjoy It While It Lasts was released in the UK this week and is pretty great in that tailored-trousered, arched-eyebrow, steal-your-girlfriend, throwback Britpop sort of way. I’ve heard nothing about a North American release, but at one point they were supposed to open up some of Florence & The Machine’s Summer dates over here – including Toronto – and while that didn’t end up happening, at least it shows they’ve an eye on us.

Video: Spector – “Chevy Thunder”
Video: Spector – “Never Fade Away”
Video: Spector – “Grey Shirt & Tie”
Video: Spector – “What You Wanted”

Daytrotter has posted a session with Wild Beasts.

2:54 have released a new video from their self-titled debut.

Video: 2:54 – “Sugar”

Summer Camp have made a video for the lead track of their recent Always EP.

Video: Summer Camp – “Life”

The Fader interviews Mica Levi of Micachu & The Shapes.

Clash finds out how Primal Scream has been doing since Mani left the band to rejoin The Stone Roses.

The Space has a lovely video session with Lanterns On The Lake recorded in a disused shipyard.

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

King and Lionheart

Of Monsters & Men and For A Minor Reflection at The El Mocambo in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangIt’s hard to believe it was only a month ago that I was roaming the streets of Reykjavik, getting ready to dive headlong into Iceland Airwaves. Not that long ago, but enough to welcome a reminder of how much fun it all was, which I got from the Toronto Iceland Arts Festival at the El Mocambo on Sunday night, which as part of its celebration of all things Icelandic included the importing of a couple of the country’s finest up-and-coming bands.

I had thought that being the relative veterans, For A Minor Reflection would close out the evening but the quartet was instead up first, perhaps as a public service announcement as to what happens when you forget your earplugs at home. Which is to say they were loud. Really loud. But then volume is necessarily part of the equation for instrumental post-rock bands, and that’s unequivocally what For A Minor Reflection are – imagine Explosions In The Sky without the foreplay, combined with some of the hard rock riffage of Mogwai and you’re about there. Though more dynamic and punishing live than on record, they push no boundaries but are instead deft and enthusiastic practitioners of what’s already been mapped. Or in more appropriate cinematic terms, they’re a genre film that stays true to formula but is superbly executed and thrills all the same.

Of Monsters & Men were the first band I saw at Airwaves and the experience gave me a crash course in just how rabid Icelandic music fans were. Though the band had only just released their first album domestically in My Head Is An Animal, NASA – one of the city’s larger venues – was jammed with fans and the atmosphere was electric. I would later come to understand just how hot this seven-piece was their native land, having just signed a worldwide deal with Universal and being tapped to be the country’s next big musical export. Starting, it would seem, with Canada.

Though the crowd was obviously smaller than they had in Reykjavik, there were still at least a few hundred people in attendance and to judge from their enthusiasm, many seemed to already count themselves as big fans of the band. And it’s not hard to understand why – though I maintain their sound is easily summed up as Stars meets Fanfarlo, thanks to their catchy tunes, big arrangements and the boy-girl lead vocals of Raggi Þórhallsson and Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir, that should in no way diminish its catchiness or ability to inspire swoons from the listener. And while they clearly didn’t have far to go to win over the audience, they came across more focused than I found their hometown set as though they were bound and determined to impress. That was one reason I enjoyed this show more than the Airwaves one, the other being that I wasn’t distracted with trying to acclimate to the Airwaves experience – trust me, 800 screaming Viking descendants at your back are distracting.

Of Monsters & Men didn’t offer any timetable for when My Head Is An Animal might be available in Canada and blamed their not having any copies for sale on their own stupidity but made amends by burning sampler CD-Rs and tossing them into the audience; I know that physical media is passe these days, but it was still fun seeing folks scramble for the freebies. And it was also great to see that the phenomenon I witnessed at Airwaves, of foreign acts arriving in that country to play for the first time without knowing what to expect and being greeted by raving fans, worked in reverse as well.

I miss Iceland. Airwaves 2012 is already scheduled for October 31 to November 4 of next year. You should go.

Photos: Of Monsters & Men, For A Minor Reflection @ The El Mocambo – November 13, 2011
MP3: For A Minor Reflection – “Dansi Dans”
MP3: Of Monsters & Men – “Little Talks”
Video: For A Minor Reflection – “A Moll”

While director Vincent Morriset has handled most of the press duties surrounding the release of Sigur Rós’ live film and album Inni – out today – the band have stepped up to talk to The Wall Street Journal and The Guardian, revealing that they’re intending to release a new album in the Spring. You can also watch a video of the band at a Q&A for the film at the British Film Institute.

And over at NPR, Jonsi has premiered a stream of a new song from the soundtrack to Cameron Crowe’s We Bought A Zoo, the album of which is out December 13.

Stream: Jonsi – “Gathering Stories”

NPR solicits a Tiny Desk Concert from Jens Lekman.

Beat has a quick Q&A with Niki & The Dove.

The San Francisco Chronicle talks to Lykke Li, in town at the Sound Academy tonight.

Head over to The Quietus to download a free compilation of Scandinavian tunes put together by Scandinavian music blog Ja Ja Ja.

France’s Herman Dune have made a date at The Horseshoe for January 19.

Video: Herman Dune – “Be A Doll And Take My Heart”

DIY talks to Twilight Sad frontman James Graham about their new album No One Can Ever Know, which has been given a release date of February 7 – Exclaim has details on the release and the first video from the album has just been made public.

Video: The Twilight Sad – “Sick”

Clash chats with Veronica Falls.

Los Campesinos! are celebrating the release of their new record Hello Sadness with a video for the title track.

Video: Los Campesinos! – “Hello Sadness”

Friendly Fires have released a new video from Pala.

Video: Friendly Fires – “Hurting”

Summer Camp have a new video for a song that doesn’t appear on their just-released debut Welcome To Condale; it was written for a nail polish. But don’t let that put you off – the song and the vid are both super-cute. JUST LIKE THE NAIL POLISH. Wait, what just happened.

Video: Summer Camp – “You Might Get Stuck On Me”

Emmy The Great and Tim Wheeler have premiered a video from their forthcoming This Is Christmas album over at The Guardian.

Video: Emmy The Great & Tim Wheeler – “Home For The Holidays”

And on the “oh no not the holidays already” tip, Darren Hayman has put his Christmas EP Christmas In Haworth up for stream and for sale. And less seasonally, he’s released a new video from his latest album The Ship’s Piano.

Video: Darren Hayman – “I Taught You How To Dance”
Stream: Darren Hayman / Christmas In Haworth

Ladytron have put out a new video from Gravity The Seducer; the band are profiled in The Signal and Rolling Stone.

Video: Ladytron – “Mirage”

The Quietus has an interview with Kate Bush, whose new record 50 Words For Snow is out next week.

Stream: Kate Bush / 50 Words For Snow

The Sydney Morning Herald talks to Florence Welch of Florence & The Machine.

Little Boots has released a stream of the first single from her forthcoming second album, presumably due in 2012. And a sort-of video. But probably not the real video.

Stream: Little Boots – “Shake”
Video: Little Boots – “Shake”

Le Blogotheque have posted a Take Away Show with Wild Beasts.

The Quietus talks to Esben & The Witch about their just-released Hexagons EP.

Noel Gallagher extends an olive branch to brother Liam, telling The Mirror that the guy who attacked him onstage in Toronto in 2008 should have been targeting his younger brother. All in jest. I think. He’s a little more on topic with music and his solo career in this chat with MusicRadar and offers a guide to life via MTV.

Over at The Telegraph, meanwhile, Liam Gallagher talks Beady Eye.

The Von Pip Musical Express interviews The Jezabels, in town at The Phoenix on November 24 and 25 supporting Hey Rosetta!.

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

Ace Of Hz

Review of Ladytron’s Gravity The Seducer and giveaway

Photo By Michele CivettaMichele CivettaYou would be forgiven for assuming that you had Ladytron figured out. It’s all right there in last year’s career-spanning compilation The Best Of Ladytron: 00-10; the Ladytron formula. Thick synths, robotic yet danceable beats and above all, the duelling icy vocals of Helen Marnie and Mira Aroyo (though the edge in detachedness usually went to Aroyo on account of her stern Bulgarian accent). It’s a sound that was perfectly in style when that which they called “electroclash” crested in the early part of the century but managed to outstay the band’s peers thanks to their ability to marry fashion with pop songs that had genuine staying power; four albums of sleek, space-age synth-pop is nothing to shake a stick at.

So it wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect more of the same from their fifth album, the just-released Gravity The Seducer, and indeed the elements at play are familiar, but something feels fundamentally different this time out. It took a few listens to put a finger on what, but what it sounds like is that Ladytron are sad. Gravity dials back the dancefloor bangers that punctuated previous efforts in favour of crafting a unified atmosphere whose prevailing mood is beautifully melancholic, the synths and beats working more towards a dreampop vibe than a krautrock one. To this end, Marnie gets more lead vocal turns than usual and Aroyo’s contributions are more emotive than usual, and a greater emphasis placed on crafting emotionally resonant melodies. Further, there are no less than three instrumentals out of the album’s twelve, the closing number “Aces High” a reprise of sorts to single and perhaps theme song “Ace Of Hz”, that bridge and tie together the album and contribute to its cinematic feel.

I’m not sure other writeups on the record have picked up on this, or if I’m imagining it, but to these ears Gravity sounds like a band taking advantage of a fresh chapter to reorient themselves creatively – not dramatically, but still enough to be noteworthy and to force the listener to approach it with fresh ears. Or it could just be another Ladytron record, equal parts steely, sexy and stoic, but even if so that’s hardly any bad thing.

The whole of the album is available to stream right now at Pitchfork and Ology has an interview with Daniel Hunt. Ladytron are at The Phoenix on October 5, tickets $20 in advance, but courtesy of Embrace I have two pairs of passes to give away to the show. To enter, email me at contests AT chromewaves.net with “I want to be Seduced by Gravity” in the subject line and your full name in the body; contest closes at midnight, September 27.

MP3: Ladytron – “White Elephant”
MP3: Ladytron – “Ace Of Hz”
Video: Ladytron – “White Elephant”
Video: Ladytron – “Ace Of Hz”
Stream: Ladytron / Gravity The Seducer

DIY chats with The Subways on the eve of the release of their new album Money And Celebrity, out September 19.

USA Today has a profile and NPR and The Alternate Side sessions with Laura Marling, who is at The Great Hall on September 23 in support of her new album A Creature I Don’t Know; a short film for the album has also just been released.

Video: A Creature I Don’t Know: A Short Film

Room 205 kicks off a session series with Yuck. They’re at The Horseshoe on September 25 and have a deluxe edition of their self-titled debut out October 11.

We Were Promised Jetpacks have unveiled a new video from their forthcoming second album In The Pit Of The Stomach, out October 4.

Video: We Were Promised Jetpacks – “Medicine”

The Quietus has the video for the title track of The Ship’s Piano, out October 17. There’s also a link to sign up for their newsletter and receive an MP3 of the tune. Artrocker has an interview with the former Hefner frontman.

Video: Darren Hayman – “The Ship’s Piano”

That a new Florence & The Machine record was coming this Fall was already a matter of fact; now Exclaim has the final missing details, specifically that it will be called Ceremonials and be out on October 31 in the UK, presumably but not guaranteed to be out in North America the following day. Update: And a new song from the album is up to stream.

Stream: Florence & The Machine – “Shake It Out”

Spin chats with Noel Gallagher about going solo. His Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds is out November 7 and he plays Massey Hall on November 7 and 8.

Noah & The Whale have released a new video from Last Night On Earth. They’re at The Phoenix on November 8.

Video: Noah & The Whale – “Waiting For My Chance To Come”

The Guardian has premiered the new video from Summer Camp, a clip which was available to pledge supporters of their debut Welcome To Condale a few months ago but is now up for all to see. It’s out in North America on November 8.

Video: Summer Camp – “Better Off Without You”

Interview does their thing with The Kooks; their new album Junk Of The Heart is out now and they’re at The Sound Academy on November 23. The Sun also has an interview and they’ve also released a video for the album’s title track.

Video: The Kooks – “Junk Of The Heart”

New Anna Calvi video, y’all. She’s at Lee’s Palace on December 8.

Video: Anna Calvi – “Suzanne & I”

Pitchfork reports that The Big Pink are back with a new single and video in advance of the release of album number two Future This in January of next year.

Video: The Big Pink – “Stay Gold”

DIY has words – pleasant words, mind – with Peggy Sue.

Rolling Stone and The San Francisco Examiner talk to Patrick Wolf about his brief, acoustic solo US tour. He’s planning a full band excursion over here in 2012 when Lupercalia is released domestically.

DIY has an interview with Slow Club.

The Joy Formidable takes some time out to chat with DIY.

Artrocker interviews The Vaccines.

BBC6 checks in with Jimi Goodwin to see what he’s doing with Doves on hiatus – some soundtrack work and a solo record.

Brett Anderson discusses Suede regrets with The Guardian.

NME reports that Primal Scream are aiming to have a new album out sometime in 2012.

Kate Bush has turned rumour into fact and announced a November 21 release for her new studio album 50 Words For Snow, her first in six years and second in the last 17.

Friday, July 29th, 2011

Passive Aggressive

The Radio Dept. no longer convincing anyone they hate touring

Photo via FacebookFacebookFor the longest time, conventional wisdom about The Radio Dept. said the Swedish three-piece hated to play live, preferring to record, throw out and re-record albums of gorgeously forlorn synth-pop in the safety and comfort of their studio. As such, I undertook a pilgrimage of sorts to New York two Summers ago to see them play what I assumed would be an incredibly rare show.

Even when their long-awaited third album Clinging To A Scheme broke them open to a much larger audience (relative statement but still) following its release last Spring, they seemed to be unwilling to capitalize on the interest, playing only some Asian and European dates in the Spring and another couple of New York shows late in the year. I seriously considered getting on a plane again but was tipped off that 2011 would be year that The Radio Dept became intimately acquainted with North America and indeed, they spent the first half of February traversing the continent and making their Toronto debut in front of a completely sold-out Lee’s Palace.

And then, against all expectations, they came back, playing The Horseshoe in late May. I missed that one on account of being in Europe but I’d like to think that the show was well-attended, perhaps with all the people who couldn’t get into the Lee’s show. Either way, it must have been at least full enough to justify a third go-around because that’s what we’re getting – a third Radio Dept. show in nine months, this one on November 17 at The Mod Club. It’s part of their largest North American tour yet, and if you need an reason beyond “why not”, then how about that first show was to promote Clinging, the second the Passive Aggressive compilation and this one… their vinyl reissues? I hope so, because Pet Grief has been sorely underrepresented in the shows I’ve seen… In any case – even though I won’t assume they’re any more dynamic a live act than in the past, I still highly recommend seeing them because the songs are still sublime and – wealth of recent appearances notwithstanding – who knows when they’ll be back?

The band are offering a recording of their set at Sasquatch this past May – including a new, untitled song – for free download.

MP3: The Radio Dept – “untitled new song” (live at Sasquatch 2011)
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”

Also filling out the November concert calendar a bit – mysterious British rockers WU LYF, whose name is an acronym for World Unite! Lucifer Youth Foundation and not meant to be shouted, have made a date at The Horseshoe for November 12 as part of a Fall tour in support of their debut Go Tell Fire To The Mountain. Spinner has an interview with the band.

MP3: WU LYF – “Summas Bliss”

And The Boxer Rebellion, who were here back in April, will graduate to The Opera House for their November 19 show in support of The Cold Still as well as their just-released live set Live In Tennessee.

MP3: The Boxer Rebellion – “No Harm”

Listen Before You Buy is streaming two sides of a new Frightened Rabbit tour EP, the tour in question being the one that brings them to the Molson Amphitheatre tonight.

Wild Beasts have a new video from their latest Smother. They play The Mod Club on September 29.

Video: Wild Beasts – “Bed Of Nails”

Black Book talks to James Blake, in town for a show at The Phoenix on September 30.

The first video from Ladytron’s new record Gravity The Seducer has been released. The album is out September 13 and they play The Phoenix on October 5.

Video: Ladytron – “White Elephant”

Drowned In Sound has a sit-down with Sons & Daughters drummer David Gow about their new record Mirror Mirror.

There’s a new live in-studio performance video available from Patrick Wolf, showcasing one of the numbers from Lupercalia.

Video: Patrick Wolf – “Time Of My Life” (Live at The Pool Studios, 2011)

The National Post gets to know Anna Calvi.

I’m finally discovering the works of Hefner, though it’s about a decade too late to do anything with it in real time… but Artrocker reports that ex-frontman Darren Hayman has a new solo record entitled The Ship’s Piano out come October 11. Those who’ve followed his career through all its guises – is his solo stuff as good as Hefner? Not that I’ll have waded through all of Hefner’s back catalog anytime soon, but for reference.

Video: Hefner – “Good Fruit”

NME reports that Manic Street Preachers will mark their 21st anniversary with the release of the National Treasures singles compilation in October. It will supplant 2002’s Forever Delayed as the go-to compilation, not unreasonably since they’ve release four albums since then and the new comp will also include a new single.

Also coming in October – the 3rd to be exact – is a ridiculous Smiths box set entitled The Smiths Complete. On the plus side, it contains all the band’s official albums and compilations on CD and 180g LP, 25 7″s, a DVD, tonnes of posters and art, the whole thing has been remastered by Johnny Marr and it’s limited to an edition of 3000 so in owning it, you can impress the people on the internet who are impressed by this sort of thing. On the down side, its got nothing fans haven’t already bought several times over and in purchasing it, you continue to subsidize this nutjob. So yeah, your call. Details on the set at Pitchfork.