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Posts Tagged ‘El Perro Del Mar’

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.

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

Full Of Fire

Video dispatches from Scandinavia and beyond, featuring The Knife

Photo By Alexa VachonAlexa VachonPresently trying to work out this year’s vacation schedule, which if all goes according to plan will feature a return engagement to Reykjavik and Stockholm in late Summer. Which has everything and nothing to do with why I’m clearing out a number of Scandinavian-sourced videos released to the internet over the last week or so.

Beginning with the nine-minute short film that doubles as the first taste of The Knife’s new album Shaking The Habitual. I missed out the sibling duo of Karin Dreijer Andersson and Olof Dreijer circa their 2006 debut breakout effort Silent Shout – not out of ignorance, but out of fear; their creepy electronica scared me, I admit it – but have gotten over that right about in time for the April 9 release o the follow-up. And it’s just as well, because it certainly doesn’t seem like they’ve gotten any less weird or unsettling in the interim. Pitchfork has details on the new record, which is a 98-minute epic that will probably be the best-selling triple-LP since Joanna Newsom’s Have One On Me. Which wasn’t scary at all, unless harps scare you.

Video: The Knife – “Full Of Fire”

Of Monsters & Men have released another video from last year’s – or 2011’s, if you’re being pedantic – breakout debut My Head Is An Animal.

Video: Of Monsters & Men – “King and Lionheart”

Clash has a feature interview with Søen Løkke Juul of Indians, who has released a first video from his debut album Somewhere Else, officially out this week. He and his band are at The Drake Underground on March 4.

Video: Indians – “I Am Haunted”

Also out of Copenhagen – but at the other end of the musical spectrum – are Iceage, who have put out a clip from their next album You’re Nothing, in stores February 19.

Video: Iceage – “Ecstasy”

The National Post, U-T San Diego, and Seattle Weekly have interviews with Swedish electro-pop duo Niki & The Dove.

PopMatters talks to Sarah Assbring of El Perro Del Mar.

Pitchfork sums up the salient points from Sigur Rós’ Reddit AMA last week: namely that keyboardist Kjartan Sveinsson’s temporary hiatus from the band is now permanent, leaving them officially a trio, and a new “aggressive” album that’ll basically be the polar opposite of last year’s ethereal Valtari will be out later this year. They play The Air Canada Centre on March 30.

Over to the UK, Daughter have released the first video from their forthcoming debut If You Leave, out March 18 in Europe and April 30 in North America. They play The Great Hall on May 7.

Video: Daughter – “Still”

Stereogum has premiered a new video by London’s The History Of Apple Pie, taken from their just-released debut Out Of View.

Video: The History Of Apple Pie – “See You”

Pitchfork is streaming Veronica Falls’ new album Waiting For Something To Happen, out February 12. They play The Garrison on March 12.

MP3: Veronica Falls – “Teenage”
Stream: Veronica Falls / Waiting For Something To Happen

Spinner interviews Foals. Their new record Holy Fire is out February 12.

Peter Hook rebuts and escalates the war of words with his former bandmates in New Order via interviews in Billboard and MTV Hive.

Scott Hutchison of Frightened Rabbit talks to The Skinny and Drowned In Sound about their new one Pedestrian Verse, out Tuesday, and also gives the former a track-by-track walkthrough of the new record. They play The Phoenix March 31.

If you thought it weird that Billy Bragg’s previously-announced North American tour dates in support of his new record Tooth & Nail, out March 18, skipped over Toronto then you were right. It was weird. And now it’s rectified. He’ll be at The Danforth Music Hall on May 4, tickets $32.50 to $37.50. And a song from the new record is available to stream or download via his website in exchange for an email.

Stream: Billy Bragg – “Handyman Blues”

Noah & The Whale have announced a May 6 release date for their new record Heart Of Nowhere.

Billboard interviews Charli XCX, who predicts an April or May release for her debut album – just in time for her May 23 appearance at The Sound Academy supporting Marina & The Diamonds.

And back to videos, though far from Scandinavia, Tame Impala have a new clip from Lonerism. Head to Urban Outfitters for notes from the video’s director and aux.tv for an interview with bandleader Kevin Parker.

Video: Tame Impala – “Mind Mischief”

Shugo Tokumaru has gone stop-motion animation for the new video from In Focus?.

Video: Shugo Tokumaru – “Katachi”

Friday, December 14th, 2012

Gotta Be That Way

The House Of Love return with a fresh coat of Paint

Photo via FacebookFacebookA pile of this and that from overseas to get to today, so why not start with the item that I’m sure the fewest people – statistically speaking – care about.

And that’s the return of The House Of Love. A cult band’s cult band, the Guy Chadwick-led outfit has probably become better known for what they didn’t do – which is become the biggest band in the UK, as many/most expected in the late-’80s – than what they did – which was release two brilliant (as well as one decent and one turgid) albums of sweeping proto-Britpop whose influence, despite the band imploding rather than exploding, can still be detected in many British guitar bands of the past quarter-century.

After disbanding in 1993, three-quarters of the original lineup – most importantly frontman Guy Chadwick and guitarist Terry Bickers – reunited in 2005 for some live dates and an album of new material in the impressively solid throughout Days Run Away. Rather than carry that momentum forwards, however, the band seemed to go underground again with most assuming that the reunion had run its course and the band had quietly gone their separate ways, content to keep their legacy alive via a seemingly endless series of reissues of their debut album – most recently this week – and archival live material.

But then would come word of a one-off live show or a festival appearance – not much, but enough to confirm the band as an ongoing proposition – and very occasional rumours of new material being written and recorded. Rumours which coalesced this week with the reveal that, indeed, a sixth studio album had been completed and that it would be out early in the new year. Further details came yesterday via Slicing Up Eyeballs, which pointed out the band had updated their Facebook with the title of the new album – She Paints Words In Red – along with the artwork and a targeted release date of March or April, via Cherry Red Records.

I don’t expect this new record to be life-changing at all – on par with Days would be a gift – nor do I expect there’ll be any kind of effort to play live shows anywhere near this continent, but I find it pleasing to know that this band, who’s had no shortage of opportunities or incentive to simply call it day, are still making music because they want to and their fans want to hear what they have to say. Shine on.

MP3: The House Of Love – “Shine On”

All that unpleasantness this past Summer about Jaz Coleman going missing before turning up in the Sahara apparently sorted out, Killing Joke have slated a North American tour in support of their forthcoming best-of comp The Singles Collection: 1979-2012, due out April 15. They’ll be at Lee’s Palace in Toronto on April 24.

Video: Killing Joke – “Love Like Blood”

She’s gone on to become something of a rising star back in the UK since making her North American debut opening for Bon Iver last December, but Lianne La Havas hasn’t been back for a proper tour in support of her debut Is Your Love Big Enough? since. That changes this Spring, though, as she undertakes an extensive North American tour that brings her to the Opera House on April 4, tickets $21.50 in advance. NPR has a World Cafe session and The Guardian a quick feature.

Video: Lianne La Havas – “Lost & Found”

HungerTV interviews Patrick Wolf.

Esben & The Witch have released the first video from their second album Wash The Sins Not Only The Face, out January 21.

Video: Esben & The Witch – “Deathwaltz”

Frightened Rabbit have released a new video from their new record Pedestrian Verse. It’s out February 5 and they play The Phoenix March 31.

Video: Frightened Rabbit – “The Woodpile”

Foals are streaming another new song from their forthcoming album Holy Fire, out February 12.

Stream: Foals – “My Number”

The Guardian has a video session with Stornoway, who are preparing their second album Tales From Terra Firma for a March 11 release.

Billboard has a talk with Jessie Ware about her American debut and why her forthcoming introductory EP for this market will be called If You’re Never Gonna Move instead of 110%, as originally intended. She’s also released an adorable new video from her debut Devotion and given a year-end interview to The Guardian.

Video: Jessie Ware – “Sweet Talk”

DIY talks to Victoria Hesketh – aka Little Boots – about the long road to her second album, which she’s not quite prepared to share details about but assures us that it’s done and coming next year.

Los Campesinos! may be down a bassist but they’re up on Christmas, as evidenced by this seasonal tune they’re giving away.

MP3: Los Campesinos! – “A Doe To A Deer”

Elizabeth Sankey of Summer Camp talks holiday plans with DIY, and also offers an update on album number two.

The Wall Street Journal spends some quality time with Richard Hawley.

Matador has dished details on Danish post-punks Iceage’s forthcoming release, their first for the label. It’s optimistically titled You’re Nothing and will be out on February 19.

Junip will release their new album Junip on April 23, and have a wee little trailer for it.

Trailer: Junip / Junip

El Perro Del Mar has released a new video from Pale Fire.

Video: El Perro Del Mar – “Hold Off The Dawn”

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

We Real Cool

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds are back to set you straight. About what? EVERYTHING.

Photo By Cat StevensCat StevensLots of interesting news came down the pipe from all around the world yesterday, but tops was this from down under – the new Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds record is coming. It’s called Push The Sky Away and will be out on February 19 in North America, though interestingly I can’t confirm the label. The last few Bad Seeds releases as well as the two Grinderman records were out here on Anti, but their web presence has been conspicuously silent with regards to this release.

In any case, expectations are high for this one – their last effort Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!! was one of my favourite releases of 2008 and as much as Grinderman is a funhouse mirror version of the Bad Seeds, they weren’t the Bad Seeds. Pitchfork has details and the nine-song track listing, and while we won’t get to hear the first single till next week, they’ve offered a trailer comprised of studio footage of the band at work.

Trailer: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds / Push The Sky Away

Also coming from Australia: Tame Impala make a return engagement on the back of LonerismNME‘s album of the year – for a date at the Kool Haus on March 9, tickets $25 in advance.

Video: Tame Impala – “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards”

A ways north in the Pacific, Japan’s Mono have made another track from their latest album For My Parents available to download via The Quietus.

MP3: Mono – “Dream Odyssey”

Exclaim reports that pop savant Shugo Tokamaru will get a North American release for his latest album In Focus? on January 22. You may recall I quite liked his last effort Port Entropy… but probably not. Anyways, there’s a video from the new one to enjoy.

Video: Shugo Tokamaru – “Decorate”

And now to Scandinavia! Nothing But Hope And Passion has specifics on Icelandic composer Ólafur Arnalds’ new record For Now I Am Winter, due out in February. Arnalds recently took to Facebook to explain to his fans why the record would be coming out on a major label – Mercury – rather than indie Erased Tapes, which had released all his records to this point. Iceland Review has an interview with Arnalds.

Shout Out Louds are garnering a fair bit of attention for the first single from their forthcoming new record – as Pitchfork reports, it’s coming out on a 7″ single made of ice. Yeah. For those who don’t have a turntable they’re willing to allow to become waterlogged, you can also just stream the song below. The album should be out in February or so.

Stream: Shout Out Louds – “Blue Ice”

Wears The Trousers has an interview with Sarah Assbring of El Perro Del Mar.

The Mary Onettes have release a video for the first single from Hit The Waves, out on March 12. You may recall I talked about it last week. But probably not.

Video: The Mary Onettes – “Evil Coast”

The Telegraph and BBC talk to the Soderberg sisters of First Aid Kit.

Denmark’s Efterklang are a pretty good first act to be announced for Canadian Musicfest next year; they’ll be at The Mod Club on March 21 as part of the festival and in support of this year’s Piramida. Exclaim has full North American dates and video of a radio session wherein they play a number of the new songs is available to watch.

MP3: Efterklang – “Apples”
Video: Efterklang – “FM4 Radio Session” (live)

Interview has an interview and Wild Honey Pie a video session with Indians, whose debut album Somewhere Else is out January 29.

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

To The Beat Of A Dying World

Review of El Perro Del Mar’s Pale Fire

Photo via Memphis IndustriesMemphis IndustriesIt’s been interesting tracking the musical evolution of El Perro Del Mar, the musical project of Sweden’s Sarah Assbring. Her 2006 self-titled debut cast her as the mournful ghost of a ’50s doo-wop girl while the 2008 follow-up From The Valley To The Stars invited fuller arrangements into the mix – even getting jaunty at points – while keeping the sentiments beautifully downcast. 2009’s Love Is Not Pop was took great strides towards feeling more modern, mostly via studio-slick musical arrangements, and while surprisingly short compared to Valley – seven tracks versus its predecessor’s 16 – assuming that that the three dancey remixes appended as bonus tracks to the US edition were just filler would have been a mistake; they were more of a signpost.

In the three years between that release and her fourth album Pale Fire, Assbring seems to have completed the transition from old-school chanteuse to dance diva and also invested in a lot of keyboards in the process. Pale Fire is an unabashedly synthetic record, built on beats and loops and existing in a haze, sounding largely like a remix album of a more conventional work. Assbring’s retro stylings have been wholly subsumed by the dedication to the groove, but her signature sadness is still detectable – it seems the dancefloor isn’t necessarily any less lonely a place than one’s bedroom.

Assbring doesn’t have the sort of voice one would typically associate with dance music – it’s not an especially powerful or sensual instrument – but it’s that dissonance that helps Pale Fire stand out from the current crop of electro-pop, and when when Pale Fire reverts to a more traditional sonic form, as on “I Was A Boy”, the other would-be peers just fall away. Given the number of guises that Assbring has donned over the course of her career, it’d be presumptuous to think that Assbring will dwell in Pale Fire‘s aesthetic for too long, but it does feel like the end of the transformation that she’s been undertaking since Valley; maybe she’ll keep it on for a little while.

Pale Fire is out next week but now streaming in whole over at Hype Machine. A Heart Is A Spade has an interview with Assbring.

MP3: El Perro Del Mar – “Hold Off The Dawn”
Video: El Perro Del Mar – “Walk On By”
Video: El Perro Del Mar – “Innocence Is Sense”
Stream: El Perro Del Mar / Pale Fire

Interview talks to Joachim Läckberg of Sambassadeur, who may be releasing a new single in “Memories” in a few weeks but aren’t looking to put out their next album until late next year. Teases.

The Line Of Best Fit note that Icona Pop’s self-titled debut will be released in their native Sweden as soon as next week, November 14. A worldwide release will follow next year. They open up for Marina & The Diamonds at The Kool Haus on December 1.

Those who’ve been following along with Sigur Rós’ Valtari Mystery Film Experient and wish they could see the works on a bigger screen may be interested to know that a goodly number of the films – at least 17 – are being compiled and taken on the road for some worldwide screenings over the course of a weekend in December. Toronto gets ours on December 8 at The Bloor.

And if that’s not enough Scandi-music film action for you, 4AD has released some details on The Ghost Of Piramida, a film that documents Efterklang’s visit to the abandoned Russian town of Piramida, from which their latest album drew inspiration and its name.

Foals have confirmed the February 12 release of their next record Holy Fire with the release of the first video from the record.

Video: Foals – “Inhaler”

Pitchfork has more specifics on the solo debut from Johnny Marr; The Messenger will be out on February 26 of next year.

Justin Young of The Vaccines offers an interview to Drowned In Sound. They play The Phoenix on February 4.

The 405 meets Field Music.

NPR has a World Cafe session with Beth Orton.

Mumford & Sons enlisted Stringer Bell – that’s actor Idris Elba, for non-Wire watchers – to star in the new video from Babel.

Video: Mumford & Sons – “Lover Of The Night”

The Quietus talks to Neil Halstead about all things Slowdive, Mojave 3, and Neil Halstead. Denver Westword also has an interview.

Drowned In Sound makes a case for the importance of Manic Street Preachers’ debut Generation Terrorists, turning 20 and out in deluxe reissue form now.

The National Post and eMusic talk to Bernard Sumner and Gillian Gilbert of New Order, respectively.

The Irish Times, Burton Mail, Gigwise, and The Edinburgh Evening News talk to David Gedge of The Wedding Present.

Clash and Exclaim have features on Tame Impala, in town at The Phoenix on November 12.