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Posts Tagged ‘Dry The River’

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

Shaker Hymns

Dry The River dry the Shallow Bed

Photo via Dry The RiverDry The RiverLondon’s Dry The River may not have had quite the world-conquering 2012 that I’d predicted for them back in the Spring, but they’ve still had a very good year, their debut album Shallow Bed delivering on the buzz that they’d built up at home and also translating trans-Atlantically, justifying a couple of North American tours. Not quite Mumford-level triumphs for the folk-rockers, but pretty damn good for a first outing.

So good, that they’ve recorded the album all over again. They’ve released an all-acoustic version of Shallow Bed entitled Shallow Bed Acoustic, and it may be just the thing for those who found the dramatically-produced original version a touch over the top, or maybe just want to be able to focus on the band’s impressive multi-part harmonies without all those crashing guitars. Either way, it’s a thing, you can buy it digitally, and it’s streaming in whole right now over at Clash. Give a listen, and maybe read this interview with frontman Peter Liddle at Nuvo.

Stream: Dry The River / Shallow The Bed Acoustic

London’s Citizens! – making a name for themselves amongst those who like their pop electro and dancey are making good on the title of their debut album Here We Are by being here – at Wrongbar, specifically – on March 7. Tickets $15 in advance.

Video: Citizens! – “True Romance”

The Line Of Best Fit has details on the debut album from the hotly-tipped British newcomers Palma Violets. Entitled 180, it will be out on 25 February of next year, so it’s unlikely there’ll be copies for sale when they play The Horseshoe on January 24… and yet somehow, I’m betting everyone there will have heard it. Magic!

The Quietus has some more details on the new House Of Love album She Paints Words In Red, direct from Guy Chadwick’s mouth. They’ve also got the release date – April 1.

Express Milwaukee talks to The Joy Formidable. Their new record Wolf’s Law is out January 22.

Pitchfork has got a three-part documentary video on The xx streaming on their site. If that’s your thing.

Time Out asks Emmy The Great how to write a great Christmas song. Because, if you’ll recall, last year she – with Ash’s Tim Wheeler – released an album’s worth. And they’ve just released a video from it – any resemblance between it and an episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer are purely intentional, I’m sure.

Video: Emmy The Great & Tim Wheeler – “Zombie Christmas”

Of Monsters & Men talk to Rolling Stone about their plans for album number two.

The Raveonettes, on the other hand, tell The Von Pip Musical Express they may be done with the album form entirely despite being one of the more prolific bands of recent memory.

Artrocker talks to Swedish post-punks Holograms.

Friday, November 23rd, 2012

Greyhounds In The Slips

Win Joy Formidable tickets without having to change your cellphone provider or listen to the radio

Photo By James MinchinJames MinchinThe almost-last minute free show from Welsh so-much-power-trio The Joy Formidable show at The Mod Club next Monday night, November 26, announced earlier this week was unequivocally good news, but there were some questions on just how one would go about getting tickets seeing as how it was being sponsored by Virgin Mobile and CFNY 102.1 The Edge. Would you have to change cellphone providers? Subject yourself to the Dean Blundell show? Maybe, but also no. You could just keep doing what you’re doing right now – reading this site.

Thanks to the good folks at Union Events, who’re actually putting the show on, I’ve got a handful of passes to give away. I’ve given away a couple pairs via Twitter already – if I didn’t @ you this morning, you didn’t win so keep reading – but now also have five pairs to give away here. To throw your proverbial hat in the ring, email me at contests@chromewaves.net with “I want a Joy Formidable” in the subject line and your full name in the body, and have that in to me by, say, 6:00PM on Sunday night.

Their new record Wolf’s Law is out January 22.

MP3: The Joy Formidable – “Austere”
MP3: The Joy Formidable – “Greyhounds In The Slips”

Whilst on the topic of joyful bands, a rather stellar-sounding Joy Division bootleg circa February 1980 at the University Of London has surfaced and is available to download in FLAC form at The Power Of Independent Trucking.

Frightened Rabbit have released a video from their forthcoming album Pedestrian Verse, due out February 5.

Video: Frightened Rabbit – “Dead Now”

Filter and Lees Music Scene have interviews with Dry The River.

Interview and Nylon talk to Kate Nash about her new Death Proof EP and forthcoming Girl Talk album, due out in March.

Blur have made another live clip from this Summer’s Hyde Park show available to watch. The live set Parklive is out December 3.

Video: Blur – “Young And Lovely” (live at Hyde Park)

Electro-soul man Jamie Lidell will release his new self-titled album on February 18 and will be in town at Lee’s Palace on April 8 in support. Tickets for that are $15 in advance.

Stream: Jamie Lidell – “What A Shame”

PopMatters talks to Pete Wiggs and Under The Radar to Sarah Cracknell, both of Saint Etienne.

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

The Wind Is Blowing Needles

Review of Choir Of Young Believers’ Rhine Gold and giveaway

Photo By Nina MouritzenNina MouritzenAs a confirmed musical Scandiphile – I don’t know if that’s a real world but I like it regardless – I like to think each nordic country has a particular strength and style to them: Swedes excel at mating melody to melancholy, the best Icelandic music is evocative of the mystery and otherworldliness of the environment from which it springs, and Norway has given us black metal and a-ha. But Denmark… for a long while, they gave us Aqua. And also Mew and The Raveonettes, sure, but only recently have I began to detect a particular musical thread running through their emerging artists.

Artists like Efterklang and Indians trade in a sort of dense, meticulously crafted, and occasionally proggish pop that prefers measured movements to grand gestures and can prefer to render emotions in infinte greyscale rather than technicolor. And while three acts don’t really constitute a national aesthetic, the aforementioned also applies to Copenhagen’s Choir Of Young Believers, the miniature orchestra led by singer-guitarist Jannis Noya Makrigiannis. Their second full-length Rhine Gold is a sumptuous collection of songs that are stoic and weighty, but still move with grace whether Makrigiannis is working with an elegant croon or lonesome yodel and benefit from arrangements that flirt equally with baroque orchestrations and electronic processing. Certainly, there are points where you wish that the band would crack a smile or let some light in, but it’s hard to argue when the stoicism sounds this good and anyways – it wouldn’t be very Danish, would it?

Choir Of Young Believers are at The Drake Underground on Monday, October 22 in support of Daughter, and courtesy of Big Hassle, I have a pair of passes to give away for the show. To enter, email me at contests@chromewaves.net with “I want to join the Choir Of Young Believers” in the subject line and your full name in the body, and have that to me by midnight, October 20.

MP3: Choir Of Young Believers – “Sedated”
MP3: Choir Of Young Believers – “Patricia’s Thirst”
MP3: Choir Of Young Believers – “Nye Nummber Et”
MP3: Choir Of Young Believers – “Paint New Horrors”

Speaking of Indians, 4AD have offered details on their forthcoming debut: Somewhere Else is out January 29, and a preview MP3 has been provided for your listening pleasure. They’re at The Horseshoe on November 23, and for anyone in New York right now, they’re also at Brooklyn Bowl tonight for my co-presented Hype Machine showcase.

MP3: Indians – “Cakelakers”

PopMatters and Washington City Paper interview Jens Lekman.

PopMatters asks twenty questions of Victoria Bergsman of Taken By Trees.

Death & Taxes interview Icona Pop, whose new EP Iconic is available to stream. They open up for Marina & The Diamonds at The Phoenix on December 2.

Stream: Icona Pop / Iconic

Interview and The Toronto Star talk to Ellie Goulding.

The xx have released a new video from Coexist. They’re at Massey Hall on October 23.

Video: The xx – “Chained”

The Quietus has premiered a video from Sylver Tongue’s new Something Big EP and you know, watching her take that guitar solo, I don’t think anyone would have complained if she had simply released it as Charlotte Hatherley

Video: Sylver Tongue – “Something Big”

Daytrotter welcomes Still Corners to their studios for a session.

Drowned In Sound has an interview with former Supergrass leader Gaz Coombes.

MusicOmh talks to Beth Orton.

Maxïmo Park visits Daytrotter for a session.

Chart solicits a list of favourite albums from Matt Taylor of Dry The River, who will be releasing an acoustic version of their debut Shallow Bed digitally on December 17; details on that at Live4Ever.

The Fly profiles Tame Impala.

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

Lycanthropy

Patrick Wolf and Woodpigeon at The Music Gallery in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangI think there’s two ways to look at the frequency with which Patrick Wolf tours North America. One one hand, you could say he’s not here nearly enough considering how much time he spends on the road and how devoted his fanbase is – his last visit was over three years ago, in support of The Bachelor. On the other, we’re probably lucky that he comes through as much as he does, considering how… fluid his label (and tour support) situation tends to be from record to record – his last album, 2011’s rather excellent Lupercalia didn’t even get a physical release on this continent – it’s probably a testament to his determination to service that devoted fanbase that he not only keeps performing, but that he keeps making such a memorable show of it.

His visit this past Tuesday night at The Music Gallery wasn’t belatedly for Lupercalia – domestic release or no, you can be sure his fans had copies of it and its Brumalia companion EP – but was instead part of the celebrations marking Wolf’s tenth anniversary as a recording artist. The celebrations also included the release of a new album of old songs, reimagined in orchestral/acoustic fashion as Sundark & Riverlight – it wouldn’t be physically released until October 16, but was already out digitally by the time Wolf took the stage. And in a way, it was almost better if the fans hadn’t heard the new versions beforehand – hearing familiar songs in a completely new way could be a thrilling experience, particularly in such an intimate setting, but it’s easy for me to say that as I’d already heard the new record and knew that the new versions were brilliant.

The tour also came with some Can-con in the form of supporting act Woodpigeon. Band principal Mark Hamilton recently relocated from his former homebase of Calgary to Austria both for love and a change of scenery, and like they say – you have to leave to come back; Woodpigeon moved to Europe only to land the biggest North American tour of his career. I’ve seen Woodpigeon live in a wide range of configurations, from folk vocal group to plugged-in rock band, but this time it was just Hamilton solo and acoustic, save for some looping equipment for his choral vocal effects and layered guitar parts. I’ve always thought that Woodpigeon needed to be some variant of band to sound their best – some of the arrangements on record were too pretty to be stripped down – but while there were points that I thought some sort of accompaniest might have been nice, he was doing pretty well on his own.

Knowing the rate at which he writes and records, I expect there are at least a couple new Woodpigeon albums in the release queue but the set stuck mostly to already-released material and it having been a while since I last heard them live – February 2010, to be precise – I’d forgotten how great those songs were. The laid-back atmosphere perfectly suited Hamilton’s gentle deliver, allowing him to be casual and conversational with the audience and preface most songs with quick, charming anecdotes. It’s a shame that Woodpigeon has migrated across the Atlantic, but if that translates into better opportunities (like this one) and perhaps more appreciation from his home and native land, perhaps the expatriate life is the right one.

Patrick Wolf had advertised this as an acoustic tour, but anyone expecting it to be an acoustic guitar strum through the songbook clearly doesn’t know Patrick Wolf very well. The area in front of the stage was filled with musical curiosities, from zithers, tenor guitars, and several violins and violas, musical saw, and oboe, through to a harp and grand piano. This wasn’t going to be no coffee house. Backed by one, and sometimes two, additional players, Wolf moved amongst all the instruments – and sometimes just sang – with the variety in tools and textures kept things sounding as rich and interesting as if he’d been touring with a full band; the amount of work that had gone into reinventing the song selections from all points of his eclectic career was very evident. The new arrangements also put the spotlight on what a stunning instrument Wolf’s voice was – its range and expressiveness has never been in question, but given the sonic density of some of his more recent albums, the fact that it’s such a massively powerful force on its own has been easy to overlook; no longer.

You couldn’t get further in vibe from this show to the 2009 appearance at the Mod Club. That performance showcased Wolf at most mercurial, for both good and bad, but this time he was happy and comfortable and just having a good time – at one point, he commented that he could see the CN Tower in all its LED-lit glory through the window, but much preferred the view inside the church. And why not? He’d filled the room with a couple hundred devout fans who, being more used to being able to act out and toss glitter around at his shows, had to try and restrain themselves in this setting and as a result just sat and trembled. It was pretty damn cute. And you knew they were die-hard because when Wolf stopped “House” midway through, saying that he wasn’t feeling it on account of being homeless while on tour – in its place, he took a request and swapped it for “Penzance”, a b-side from his very first single. Career-spanning, indeed.

After a closing run of “Pelicans”, “The Magic Position” – no prompting needed to get the audience clapping, and “Bermondsy Street”, it occurred to me that this would probably be the first Patrick Wolf show I’d see that didn’t end with Wolf nearly naked. And indeed, when he returned for the encore, he was still fully dressed but had traded his medieval-styled tunic outfit for a strange black cloak/headdress combination that made him look like some sort of executioner bishop. It was a fitting outfit for the genuinely creepy piano and hammered saw rendition of “Vulture”, but for “City” he swapped the crucifix around his neck for a pentagram headdress and when he couldn’t properly sing into the mic with it on, he wore it upside-down as a crown. And, not wanting things to end just yet, he attempted an a capella reading of “Jerusalem” but after forgetting the lyrics a verse in, ditched, bowed, and left. An abrupt but still charming end to an utterly lovely night.

Panic Manual was also on hand. The Quietus and Portland Monthly have interviews with Wolf.

Photos: Patrick Wolf, Woodpigeon @ The Music Gallery – September 25, 2012
MP3: Patrick Wolf – “Vulture”
MP3: Patrick Wolf – “A Boy Like Me”
MP3: Woodpigeon – “For Paolo”
MP3: Woodpigeon – “The Way To Happiness”
MP3: Woodpigeon – “Winter Song”
MP3: Woodpigeon – “I Am Your Balladeer”
MP3: Woodpigeon – “Empty Hall Sing-Along”
MP3: Woodpigeon – “Knock Knock”
MP3: Woodpigeon – “A Moment’s Peace For Mary Christa O’Keefe”
MP3: Woodpigeon – “Love In The Time Of Hopscotch”
MP3: Woodpigeon – “Oberkampf”
Video: Patrick Wolf – “Overture”
Video: Patrick Wolf – “The City”
Video: Patrick Wolf – “Together”
Video: Patrick Wolf – “The Falcons”
Video: Patrick Wolf – “Time Of My Life”
Video: Patrick Wolf – “House”
Video: Patrick Wolf – “Damaris”
Video: Patrick Wolf – “Hard Times”
Video: Patrick Wolf – “Vulture”
Video: Patrick Wolf – “Accident And Emergency”
Video: Patrick Wolf – “The Magic Position”
Video: Patrick Wolf – “Bluebells”
Video: Patrick Wolf – “The Libertine”
Video: Patrick Wolf – “Wind In The Wires”
Video: Patrick Wolf – “To The Lighthouse”
Video: Woodpigeon – “For Paolo”
Video: Woodpigeon – “Our Love Is As Tall As The Calgary Tower”
Video: Woodpigeon – “Spirehouse”
Video: Wooodpigeon – “Featherstone”
Video: Woodpigeon – “A Moment’s Peace for Mary Christa O’Keefe”
Video: Woodpigeon – “…A Given”
Video: Woodpigeon – “Home As A Romanticized Concept Where Everyone Loves You”

The Guardian, Clash, NOW, and The Atlanta Journal Constitution have features on Beth Orton, who is streaming her new album Sugaring Season at NPR ahead of its official release next Tuesday. She plays The Mod Club on Sunday, September 30.

Stream: Beth Orton / Sugaring Season

A Music Blog, Yea?, Newbury & Thatcham Chronicle, BBC, and Panic Manual have interviews with Dry The River.

NOW welcomes Django Django to town; they’re at Wrongbar on Saturday night. SF Weekly also has a feature piece.

Exclaim talks to The xx, coming to town for a show at Massey Hall on October 23.

The Independent and NPR have features on Mumford & Sons, whose new album Babel is apparently set to sell a shit-tonne of records in its first week and top the charts. How about that. NPR also has a video session with the band.

Daytrotter welcomes Summer Camp for a session.

Charli XCX has a new video.

Video: Charli XCX – “So Far Away”

Exclaim gets to know Toy.

In addition to a stream of what is supposedly the first official single from Wolf’s Law, Seattle radio station 107.7 The End also has a firm release date for The Joy Formidable’s second album – it’s out January 23 of next year, and they’re opening up for The Gaslight Anthem at The Sound Academy on November 25 of this year.

Stream: The Joy Formidable – “This Ladder Is Ours”

Al Doyle of Hot Chip talks to Exclaim.

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

Time Of My Life

Patrick Wolf celebrates a decade of being Patrick Wolf

Photo By John LindquistJohn LindquistPatrick Wolf doesn’t really look old enough to be celebrating a decade of anything save no longer being a teenager but despite having just turned 29 less than a fortnight ago, the dramatic/romantic English singer-songwriter has been making music and releasing records since his debut EP in Fall 2002; his first full-length Lycanthropy followed in Summer 2003.

If he decides that it’s occasion enough for a world tour, I’m certainly not going to argue it. Neither his last album – 2011’s Lupercalia nor its companion EP Brumalia – got a proper (read: physical) North American release so his visits to this continent were limited to a mere handful of token US dates last Fall, meaning that Toronto hadn’t gotten a taste of his legendarily flamboyant – and mercurial – live shows since June 2009, circa the industrial-tinged The Bachelor.

This tour will be an acoustic one, featuring Wolf on harp, dulcimer, piano, and other such instruments and accompanied by a multi-instrumentalist, so while it will be interesting to hear how that material translates, it’s near-perfect for revisiting the material of his first two records and should also work well with the lushness of Lupercalia. And it’s also perfect for the setting they’ve chosen for the Toronto stop of the tour, which wil be September 25 at The Music Gallery. Tickets for that will be $25 and go on sale this Friday at 10AM.

And even as much as he’s in a retrospective mood, Wolf continues to look forward – he’s been working on a new record and aims to have it out this year. Twitter implies that more details on that will be coming sooner rather than later.

Video: Patrick Wolf – “The City”
Video: Patrick Wolf – “Together”
Video: Patrick Wolf – “The Falcons”
Video: Patrick Wolf – “Time Of My Life”
Video: Patrick Wolf – “House”

The only thing dismaying about the scheduling of this show is that it means I have to miss Dry The River’s return engagement. I fear I may have cursed them just a little bit as following their Toronto debut at The Garrison back in March, I said that the next time they came to town they’d surely be playing much bigger rooms. Well it turns out they’ll be playing rooms exactly the same size – the exact same room, in fact. They’re back on September 25 for a show at The Garrison, tickets $12, and while their ascent may not have been quite as rocket-like as I’d expected, they’ll still be fantastic. Promise.

MP3: Dry The River – “New Ceremony”

British funk-soul brothers The Heavy will be at Lee’s Palace on September 23 in support of their new record The Glorious Dead, due out August 21. Tickets for that are $15 in advance.

Video: The Heavy – “What Makes A Good Man?”

Having not released a record in six years or so and having cancelled her last scheduled show (and tour) in Summer 2010, it’s about time we heard back from Beth Orton. She’s announced details of a new record entitled Sugaring Season, due for release October 2, and a first video from said record. There’s also a new accompanying North American tour which brings her to the Mod Club on September 30, tickets $25. Yes, that’s the same room she cancelled out of last time. Bygones.

Video: Beth Orton – “Something More Beautiful”

Bloc Party have released the first video from their new record Four. It’s out August 21 and they play The Danforth Music Hall on September 10.

Video: Bloc Party – “Octopus”

NOW puts Hot Chip on this week’s cover in anticipation of Sunday night’s show at The Sound Academy.

Maxïmo Park is interviewed by DIY.

Prefix talks to Charles from Slow Club.

DIY has an interview with Patrick and Roxanne of Veronica Falls.

Friendly Fires clarifies some previously-made comments made about the direction of album number three, currently in progress, to NME.

Sweden’s Holograms are streaming their self-titled debut, out this week, over at Stereogum. They’re at The Shop Under Parts & Labour on September 11.

MP3: Holograms – “Chasing My Mind”
MP3: Holograms – “ABC City”
Stream: Holograms / Holograms

NPR has a stream of the first sample from Taken By Trees’ forthcoming Other Worlds, out October 2. She opens up for Jens Lekman at The Phoenix on October 4.

Stream: Taken By Trees – “Dreams”

That new Raveonettes song from Observator that was made available to stream a couple days ago? You can now download it. The album is out September 11 and they play The Phoenix on October 2.

MP3: The Raveonettes – “She Owns The Streets”

Justice have released a new video from last year’s Audio, Video, Disco and if it’s any indication of what they’ve got in store for their live show, their headlining slot at Historic Fort York on August 4 should be one to remember.

Video: Justice – “New Lands”

Pitchfork gets some insight into the new Tame Impala record Lonerism, due out October 9.