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Posts Tagged ‘Doves’

Friday, December 13th, 2013

Last Christmas

Summer Camp wish you a very Moshi Moshi Christmas

Photo By Ollie EvansOllie EvansBecause apparently there is a law of some sort that each year, at least one indie band must add another version of Wham!’s “Last Christmas” to the already-massive pile of indie versions of Wham!’s “Last Christmas”; this year it’s Summer Camp, though at least this follows in their own tradition of releasing a Christmas covers – back in 2010, they left their version of The Waitresses’ contemporary classic “Christmas Wrapping” under the tree and last year, offered what I will take Consequence Of Sound’s word was a Mariah Carey/Paul McCartney hybrid of some sort.

The track appears on a free downloadable EP of holiday tunes from their label Moshi Moshi which you can get for the price of a Facebook like or stream below and amongst the other artists offering contributions for your holiday party mix are Slow Club with their version – another one of many – of Phil Spector’s “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)”, which they originally released on their 2009 EP Christmas, Thanks For Nothing.

Stream: Summer Camp – “Last Christmas”
MP3: Summer Camp – “Christmas Wrapping”
Stream: Summer Camp – “All I Wonderful Christmas Is You”
Stream: A Christmas Gift For You From Moshi Moshi Records

The Wall Street Journal has premiered another of José González’s songs from the soundtrack of Secret Life Of Walter Mitty while Rolling Stone shows off one of his other contributions with Junip. It opens Christmas Day.

Stream: José González – “#9 Dream”
Stream: Junip – “Far Away”

The Fly has an interview with Tom Dougall of TOY, who will be in town at The Horseshoe on January 14.

Shout4Music has a video session with Lanterns On The Lake. Their new album Until The Colours Run gets a North American release on January 14 and they’ll be The Drake Underground on February 1.

Noisey has premiered the new stream from Bombay Bicycle Club, taken from their forthcoming album So Long, See You Tomorrow. It’s out February 3.

Stream: Bombay Bicycle Club – “It’s Alright Now”

Arthur Beatrice have released a stream of another song from their debut album Working Out, which while out on February 3 in the UK will not get a domestic North American release until March 4.

Stream: Arthur Beatrice – “Midland”

As they promised following the release of 2009’s Kingdom Of Rust and the 2010 best-of compilation The Places Between, Doves have been on a proper hiatus but frontman Jimi Goodwin has finally surfaced with some solo work. Under The Radar reports that his first solo record Odludek will be coming out next year on March 24, and have a stream of the decidedly strummily acoustic first single from it.

Stream: Jimi Goodwin – “Oh! Whisky”

English singer-songwriter Sam Smith – who I’m led to believe is being tipped to be one of the big things of 2014 – has put together a North American tour to capitalize and build on this buzz before dropping his debut album next Summer. He’ll be at The Mod Club on March 28.

Video: Sam Smith – “Lay Me Down”

Primal Scream have announced a North American tour behind their latest album, More Light. They’ll be at The Danforth Music Hall on May 16.

Video: Primal Scream – “2013”

Wild Beasts talk to DIY about their forthcoming new album, which little is known about except that it exists and will be out early in the new year.

Vogue and Under The Radar talk to Anna Calvi, who has put together a mixtape for Dummy which features, amongst other things, a brand new track from Charlotte Hatherley’s Sylver Tongue project. Her debut album is done and mixed and release information will be forthcoming.

DIY, BBC, and Digital Spy have interviews with Charli XCX, who is already working on her second album, targeted for release some time next year.

The Toronto Sun chats with Icona Pop

Exclaim has an interview with Dev Hynes of Blood Orange, who’s made a new track that didn’t make it onto Cupid Deluxe available to stream.

Stream: Blood Orange – “West Drive” (Profit Vocal dub 2)

The Alternate Side has a session with Two Door Cinema Club.

Daytrotter welcomes The Joy Formidable to their studio for a session.

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.

Monday, May 10th, 2010

Fall Hard

Shout Out Louds and Freelance Whales at The Mod Club in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangI detected a sense of general disappointment, critically speaking, around Shout Out Louds’ latest record Work, mostly centered around the fact that it didn’t represent as big a leap from 2007’s Our Ill Wills as that record did from their debut Howl Howl Gaff Gaff. And if we allow that there’s a way to quantify such things, it’s probably true – Work isn’t as sonically lush as its predecessor and its songs are more efficient, and it generally splits the difference between the grand Ills Wills and the scrappy Howl Howl. But what those who criticize Work on the basis that it’s not another watershed moment in their career – because those typically immediately follow previous watershed moments – seem to miss out on is the much more important fact that it, like the rest of Shout Out Louds’ oeuvre, is laden with glorious jangly and melodic indie-pop that’s as suited to dancing as rocking.

And though some critics might not get that, the fans do, and their first Toronto show in two and a half years on Saturday night at the Mod Club was sold out well in advance – even the lone scalper out front only had one ducat to offer. About 100 or so of the 500-plus who’d eventually be in attendance showed up early enough to see New York’s Freelance Whales do their thing, which was play clever and ultra twee pop from their debut album Weathervanes. I’d seen them do said thing back at SxSW but that was a break-of-day set where I wouldn’t have expected anyone to be at their best and appropriately, their set on this evening – though also technically early – was much peppier and pep is kind of essential to their sound, all made of glockenspiels, harmoniums, banjos and five-part harmonies. And while on record they can drift to the wrong side of wimpy, live they beefed up their sound enough – volume wins! – to keep it engaging. And closing (though not deliberately as they thought they’d have time for one more) with a well-intentioned if not entirely tidy cover of Broken Social Scene’s “7/4 (Shoreline)” was a nice nod to the city… or as they wryly noted, “that one’s called ‘pandering'”.

I remember Shout Out Louds’ October 2007 show as a lively affair that took some of the polish off of the Ill Wills album arrangements, and their SxSW 2008 as a raucous, stage trashing throwdown – this time, they split the difference between the two and turned in what was the best performance I’ve seen them do yet. Perhaps it was the pressure of a hard 10PM curfew, but kicking off with Work leadoff track “1999”, they barrelled through their 90-minute set without much let up in energy and with only just enough missteps to count as charming, particularly early on when Adam Olenius lept into the audience for “Tonight I Have To Leave It” and had a bit of trouble climbing back onstage. By and large, though, the show was a fast-paced romp through all of their records – Work was well-represented but not at the expense of older favourites – that got the house up and kept them there, particularly with the sing-along encore closer of “Walls”, which was marked by much jumping up and down and arm-waving. Perhaps if, a few records from now, Shout Out Louds are still ploughing the same field of inspiration, I might find myself on the side of those who wish they’d try to branch out a bit more but for now, a record like Work and a show like this, are plenty to keep me satisfied.

Exclaim and Panic Manual also have reviews of the show. QRO and Ion have interviews with assorted Shout Out Louds while NPR is streaming their show in Washington DC from last week.

Photos: Shout Out Louds, Freelance Whales @ The Mod Club – May 8, 2010
MP3: Shout Out Louds – “Walls”
MP3: Shout Out Louds – “Tonight I Have To Leave It”
MP3: Freelance Whales – “Generator 2nd Floor”
Video: Shout Out Louds – “Fall Hard”
Video: Shout Out Louds – “Walls”
Video: Shout Out Louds – “Tonight I Have To Leave It”
Video: Shout Out Louds – “Impossible”
Video: Shout Out Louds – “Please Please Please”
Video: Freelance Whales – “Generator 2nd Floor”
MySpace: Shout Out Louds
MySpace: Freelance Whales

Pitchfork has the first sample of the new album from The Concretes, entitled WYWH and due out in October.

MP3: The Concretes – “Good Evening”

Johan Duncanson talks to Spinner about The Radio Dept’s obsessive/lazy work ethic, and why it took so long for Clinging To A Scheme to see the light of day.

The Mary Onettes have a new video for their recent, non-album single.

Video: The Mary Onettes – “The Night Before The Funeral”

PitchforkTV has a Tunnel Vision session with The Tallest Man On Earth.

Under The Radar chats with Jonsi at Coachella.

MusicOmh interviews Doves.

Beatroute and The Georgia Straight chat with James Graham of The Twilight Sad; they are at Lee’s Palace on May 26 with Mono.

PopMatters talks to Chris Chu of The Morning Benders, who seem to have become the go-to band for duos looking for openers. They’re in town supporting Broken Bells at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on June 2 and then The Black Keys at The Kool Haus on August 3.

If you needed a little more incentive to go see Midlake’s show at the Mod Club on May 21, how about the fact that a solo Jason Lytle, along with John Grant, will be supporting? And the fact that Midlake, apparently, no longer perform hidden behind a wall of keyboards?

MP3: Jason Lytle – “Yours Truly, The Commuter”

Nathaniel Rateliff’s May 30 show at the Drake Underground has been canceled. But if you were looking forward to seeing him play, there’s at least this video performance for Yours Truly.

The previously announced July 20 Real Estate/Kurt Vile show has found a home – it’ll be taking place at the Great Hall.

Friday, May 7th, 2010

The Greatest Light Is The Greatest Shade

The Joy Formidable and The Dig at The Horseshoe in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangSo yeah, I see a lot of bands live. And as a result, the list of bands that I want to see and haven’t – at least amongst those artists currently on active duty – has gotten pretty small, made up mainly of smaller acts for whom North American touring is an economical improbability. I’d placed Welsh trio The Joy Formidable in this category since discovering them last February, and so was more than a little frustrated that the place I thought I might have a chance to see them – SxSW – just wouldn’t happen. They canceled their 2009 appearance and opted for a UK tour instead this year and while they’d made a few surgical strikes to New York, there never seemed to be a greater design for conquering America… until there was.

A modest plan, perhaps, but the North American release of their most excellent debut A Balloon Called Moaning – which was one of my favourites of last year and would have been noted as such in year-end lists had I not been so pedantic about albums versus EPs – in advance of the release of their first full-length later this year was certainly a good start. The short tour that brought them to the Horseshoe in Toronto on Tuesday for a free Nu Music Nite engagement was a fantastic next step.

Their tourmates for their first expedition through the wilds of the northeast of the continent were Brooklyn’s The Dig, who were themselves readying their debut in Electric Toys, slated for a June 8 release. My advance copy of the record hadn’t made a huge impression, coming across mainly as decent if not especially distinctive college rock, but live the differences between their strengths and weaknesses were clearer. At their best, they combined the pop sense and garage-y attitude of The Strokes with a musical approach built on insistent bass riffs and dreamy, atmospheric touches. At their worst, they turned in unremarkable and plodding rote bar/blues-rock. Sadly, these seemed to be the songs that were best-received. Here’s hoping that in the long run, The Dig don’t give the people what they want and instead, make interesting music.

Though I hadn’t noticed much chatter about this show going into the evening and most of the city’s Brit-rock fans were at the Opera House selling out the Frightened Rabbit show, there was a good-sized crowd in place to welcome The Joy Formidable to Toronto. And it’s a good thing, because their brand of big guitar rock really demands an audience for full effect. To my ears, A Balloon Called Moaning is a pretty much perfect blend of sugary pop hook, spiky attitude and aesthetics that are little too effervescent to count as shoegazey (though that influence is quite evident) and live, The Joy Formidable were somehow able to make it all sound even better. There were initially some technical problems – a broken strap here, a split drum skin there – but the band made up for those early lulls with extra intensity when they were able to get everything working and when there were no more equipment glitches, that energy just snowballed. Ritzy Bryan was a tiny but magnetic frontwoman, handling both vocal and Stratocaster sonic attack duties with aplomb, and while it was hard to take your eyes off her, much credit must also go to her bandmates Rhydian Dafydd on bass and backing vocals and Matt Thomas on drums for both laying the foundation for their monolithic wall of sound and lifting her up on top of it. Though their set was just 45 minutes or so, that was more than enough time to run through the Balloon material along with some new material, cement existing fans and completely win over new ones. So completely worth the wait and, with promises to return within months – presumably when the new album arrives later this Summer – the next wait won’t be quite so long.

Photos: The Joy Formidable, The Dig @ The Horseshoe – May 4, 2010
MP3: The Joy Formidable – “Whirring”
MP3: The Joy Formidable – “Austere”
MP3: The Joy Formidable – “Greyhounds In The Slips”
MP3: The Dig – “You’re Already Gone”
Video: The Joy Formidable – “Popinjay”
Video: The Joy Formidable – “Whirring”
Video: The Joy Formidable – “Austere”
Video: The Joy Formidable – “Cradle”
MySpace: The Joy Formidable

Clash talks to Editors guitarist Chris Urbanowicz about some of the most important events in his life.

The Riverfront Times and Chicago Tribune interview Frightened Rabbit.

Jez Williams of Doves looks back on the band’s career for Under The Radar.

eye interviews Massive Attack’s 3D in advance of their two shows at the Sound Academy, tonight and Sunday.

Kele has released a video for that first single from The Boxer, due out June 21. He plays the Mod Club on July 29.

Video: Kele – “Tenderoni”

Jon Wurster gives Stereogum an update on the new Superchunk record, which has been given the title of Majesty Shredding and will be out this Fall.

BBC6 talks to The National’s Matt Berninger about High Violet, out Tuesday, while Vanity Fair has a rather pointless piece wondering if The National are America’s Radiohead… yeah. Nice photos, though. The National are at Massey Hall on June 8 and 9.

Drowned In Sound meets Band Of Horses, whose Infinite Arms arrive May 18 and who play the Toronto Islands on June 19.

Spinner welcomes The Hold Steady to their studios for an Interface session, while Paste and The Herald have interviews. They play the Kool Haus on July 18.

Daytrotter is offering a session with Lambchop.

Grab “Babelonia”, the first MP3 from the new School Of Seven Bells record Disconnect From Desire, by signing up for their mailing list. The record is out July 13.

Karen Elson – who may well be known as a singer-songwriter first and foremost but for now will have to settle for being a top model and Mrs Jack White – has a date at the El Mocambo on June 16 as part of a tour in support of her solo debut The Ghost Who Walks, out May 25 in the UK and later this year in North America. Tickets for the show are $15 in advance. Black Book has an interview.

Video: Karen Elson – “The Ghost Who Walks”

The Fiery Furnaces, who seem to have played every room – big and small – in the city, will be doing the small when they return on June 21 for a show at the Drake Underground. Their last release was 2009’s I’m Going Away.

MP3: The Fiery Furnaces – “The End Is Near”

Maps & Atlases – just here on Tuesday opening for Frightened Rabbit – return for a show at the Horseshoe on August 7 in support of their new record Perch Patchwork, out June 29.

MP3: Maps & Atlases – “Solid Ground”

Spin talks to Antony Hegarty of Antony & The Johnsons about their just-announced new record Swanlights, which will be out October 5.

Friday, April 30th, 2010

Not Miserable

Review of Frightened Rabbit’s The Winter Of Mixed Drinks

Photo By David GourleyDavid GourleyFrightened Rabbit’s 2008 album The Midnight Organ Fight earned itself many adjectives – “grand”, “anthemic” and “gobsmacking” from these parts, and less subjectively, “folk-rock” from most everyone. It certainly wasn’t afraid to get loud and electrified, but the foundation of the record was homespun and acoustic and the Scots rode that formula to great acclaim and a place as one of my favourites of the year.

For this year’s follow-up The Winter Of Mixed Drinks, the sonic dressings have received a significant bump in density and volume. More of the instrumentation is plugged in and turned up and the songs delivered with more aggression and intensity. The extra bombast and general tumult in the production can make for a bit of an exhausting listen and does take a while to adjust to, but thankfully Scott Hutchinson’s familiar thick brogue and the sentiments of angst and melancholy that it delivers are there to anchor things. And just as Mixed Drinks is the most musically confident thing the band has done, the lyrics offer a patina of hopefulness over their signature emotionally fragile core. Whereas Organ Fight was gloriously wracked with self-doubt, Mixed Drinks finds there’s nothing better to bolster one’s confidence than a brace of songs that cry out for mass sing-alongs and dares to stand up, even if its uncertain what it’s going to do once upright.

Though they missed a few dates due to the Icelandic volcanic eruption, Frightened Rabbit’s North American tour is now underway and they have a sold-out show at the Opera House in Toronto next Tuesday, May 4. There’s features on the band at Death & Taxes, NOW and The Boston Herald.

MP3: Frightened Rabbit – “Swim Until You Can’t See Land”
Video: Frightened Rabbit – “Nothing Like You”
Video: Frightened Rabbit – “Nothing Like You” (alternate version)
Video: Frightened Rabbit – “Swim Until You Can’t See Land”

And if you didn’t get tickets to said Frabbits show or are looking for something else to do the evening of the 4th, let me again make by strongest recommendation for Welsh trio The Joy Formidable, whose debut mini-album A Balloon Called Moaning will officially be out in North America that day and who are making their Toronto debut with a free show at the Horseshoe that night.

MP3: The Joy Formidable – “Whirring”
Video: The Joy Formidable – “Whirring”

Under The Radar talk to The Big Pink, who are giving away a free remix EP right now.

ZIP: The Big Pink / Tonight Remix EP

NPR is streaming a World Cafe session with The Clientele. They’re promising a new release soon, as well as more shows – some west coast dates are already up, hopefully they come east again as well.

Hot Chip guitarist Al Doyle discusses their latest album One Life Stand with The Quietus.

Over at her MySpace, Kate Jackson is offering a taste of what she’s been up to since the dissolution of The Long Blondes last year – namely hanging out on Twitter, working with Bernard Butler and piecing together her solo debut. There’s no timetable as to when said record might be finished, but if “Homeward Bound” accurately sets the tone then it will be worth whatever the wait is.

Ian McCulloch of Echo & The Bunnymen talks to Spinner about his feud with Bono in the ’80s about who had the tallest hair.

QRO and Interview talk to a random sample of Los Campesinos!.

Florence Welch of Florence & The Machine gives BBC an update on how sessions for album number two are going.

Doves tell Spinner that following the shows in support of their new best-of compilation The Places Between, they’ll be taking a break of around two years.

Public Image Limited’s May 7 show has been moved from the Kool Haus to The Phoenix.

Pitchfork endorses the brilliant Phonogram comics series, both volumes of which are now available in trade paperback form – on sale no less. The complete first issue of volume two is available to preview online. Also note that artist Jamie McKelvie will be in town next weekend for the Toronto Comics Arts Festival at the Toronto Reference Library, so if you like, swing by and say hi.