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Posts Tagged ‘Elliphant’

Thursday, October 17th, 2013

Rock Steady

Review of Trans’ Red

Photo By Chris McAndrewChris McAndrewThough I already celebrated the existence of Trans – all-caps is about as excited as I get online, I’ll have you know – I only recently got a hold of Red, the first in a series of EPs from Bernard Butler – ex of Suede and, in an informal poll of me, greatest guitarist of the past 20-plus years – and Jackie McKeown of Yummy Fur and more recently 1990s, whom Butler was producing when they met and began jamming together.

And jamming is the correct word, rather than writing, because the four tracks that comprise Red are certainly more about their improvised musical interplay than the considered composition that one would presume from Butler, given his track record of crafting ornate and elaborate pop music. As reluctant as I am to use the band’s own words to describe them, the Can-meets-Television descriptor is pretty apt, as the most defining aspects of the band so far are their steady, almost motorik rhythm section and free-form yet melodic guitarwork, at its most Verlaine-Lloyd-ish in the extended “Jubilee”. Lyrics are pretty throwaway, mostly nonsensical riffs on a phrase, but they both add a punky snottiness – Butler’s vocals a far cry from the ’70s singer-songwriter earnestness of his solo albums – and anchor the proceedings in a pop idiom.

There’s no question that Trans is of niche appeal, and if Butler were not involved I’m not honestly sure how much I’d have paid attention though now that I have, I can honestly say its an enjoyable listen on its own merits (and also fun to jam to on guitar), and I look forward to the follow-up releases. And while it’s probably too early to hope it leads to phone calls to David McAlmont or Brett Anderson – don’t worry Fat Richard, your job is safe – anything that gets Butler a little out of the producer’s chair and back towards making his own music is worth celebrating.

Uncut prepares for a feature interview with a short history of the project, while The Quietus has a chat with both Butler and McKeown.

Video: Trans – “Jubilee”
Video: Trans – “Rock Steady”
Video: Trans – “Building No. 8”

Speaking of musical heroes in new contexts, New York Times has got an advance stream of Stars Are Our Home, the debut from Neil Halstead’s new project Black Hearted Brother; the album is out October 22 and North American dates are going to happen. PopMatters, for their part, asks twenty questions of Mark Van Hoen, none of them specifically about the new album.

MP3: Black Hearted Brother – “This Is How It Feels”
Stream: Black Hearted Brother / Stars Are Our Home

With her new album Arrows finally set for release next week on October 22, Polly Scattergood has made it available to stream via her Tumblr.

MP3: Polly Scattergood – “Wanderlust”
Stream: Polly Scattergood / Arrows

DIY interviews Los Campesinos! about their new album No Blues, due out on October 29.

Drowned In Sound gets in-depth with Kate Nash, Noisey gets her to reflect on the moment “Foundations” broke her (in the good way), and she’s just released a new video for “Fri-End?” from Girl Talk and plays an acoustic version in a video session for The Telegraph. She’s in town at The Phoenix on November 5.

Video: Kate Nash – “Fri-End?”

Stereogum chats with Charli XCX, who finally makes her local headlining debut at Wrongbar on November 9.

Though it won’t appear on Cupid Deluxe when it comes out November 19, any new music from Blood Orange – including this Babyface and Toni Braxton cover with Samantha Urbani of Friends – is only a good thing.

Stream: Devonté Hynes & Samantha Urbani – “Hurt U”

Frank Turner isn’t kidding when he says he loves playing Canada. After doing two shows here for TURF back in July, he’s back for a gig at the Sound Academy on December 3; tickets are $23.50 general admission and $37.50 VIP balcony.

Video: Frank Turner – “Oh Brother”

London pysch-kraut outfit Toy have announced the December 9 release of their second album Join The Dots, a follow up to last year’s solid self-titled debut. DIY has details and the title track from the album has been made available to stream.

Stream: Toy – “Join The Dots”

Hot Minute gets to know The High Wire, who will release a new album early in the new year.

The new video from Travis‘ latest Where You Stand could double as an iPhone 5S commercial because it was shot entirely on the mobile phone. Drowned In Sound has the premiere and with it, details on how it was done.

Video: Travis – “Mother”

The Guardian has premiered a new video from Summer Camp’s just-released-in-North America self-titled effort.

Video: Summer Camp – “Two Chords”

British Sea Power have rolled out a new video from their latest album Machineries Of Joy. The Sunderland Echo looks into the inspiration for the song and clip.

Video: British Sea Power – “Monsters Of Sunderland”

Little Boots has premiered a new video from Nocturnes over at Nylon. CNet also asks Victoria Hesketh about her favourite smartphone apps.

Video: Little Boots – “Shake”

Boiler Room has a video session with CHVRCHES.

Under The Radar and FasterLouder talk to London Grammar.

Under The Radar (the New Zealand one) and Metro (the English one) have interviews with Anna Calvi.

Veronica Falls have decided to mark their upcoming Australasian tour with the release of a new song. Listen to said song now.

Stream: Veronica Falls – “Nobody There”

GQ declares Noel Gallagher one of its men of the year, presumably just to score an interview and get him to say batshit things. Mission accomplished.

For Folks Sake have an amiable little chat with Johnny Flynn.

Delirium On Helium talks to Nicky Wire of Manic Street Preachers.

Swedish electro-pop artist Elliphant has released a new video from what one assumes will be a full-length album someday.

Video: Elliphant – “Could It Be”

WNYC welcomes Icelandic composer Ólafur Arnalds for a session.

Wired talks music and technology with Björk.

Exclaim has details on the kidnapping drama that has prompted Spanish dance-pop band Delorean – who are fine now – to cancel their North American tour, including tonight’s date at The Horseshoe. The new date is February 20 at The Hoxton and the rest of the rescheduled tour dates can be had at Exclaim.

Phoenix’s episode of Austin City Limits is available to stream online for a limited time.

Friday, July 12th, 2013

Denial

I Break Horses break silence with new single

Photo By Force Field PRForce Field PRIf there was any bright side to be gleaned from I Break Horses abruptly cancelling their North American tour last Fall, it’s that the Swedish duo of Maria Lindén and Fredrik Balck would be able to get to work on the follow-up to their debut Hearts, hands-down my favourite record of 2011. And unsurprisingly, given their reclusive natures, there’s been little in the way of status update since the went off the road and fans have had to take it on faith that they were hard at work. Encouragement came by way of Twitter with a, “Mixing songs for the next album!” tweet in April, but there’s been nothing tangible to nourish our Scandi-synth-gaze appetites – until now.

A new song and remix b-side will appear on a limited edition 12″ for the Independent Label Market happening at London’s Spitalfields Market tomorrow and while one would hope that any leftover copies would be made available to the internet at wide… there almost certainly won’t be any copies left over. Instead, we’ll have to make do with a stream of the new song – which happily still pushes all my right buttons – via Pitchfork and anxiously await the October release of their second album. Which, while it seems like ages away, is actually sooner than I had expected to get new music from them so no complaints here.

Stream: I Break Horses – “Denial”

Under The Radar talks to the Dreijer siblings of The Knife.

The Alternate Side has a session and interview with Junip.

Up-and-coming Swedish electro-pop artist Elliphant has released a new video for her latest single.

Video: Elliphant – “Music Is Life”

Kate Boy stop in at Daytrotter for a session.

Spanish Balearic-pop purveyors Delorean have announced the September 10 release of their second album Apar – along with a stream of a new song – and a corresponding North American tour that hits The Horseshoe on October 17.

Stream: Delorean – “Spirit”

German industrial-rock mainstays KMFDM will be at The Phoenix on October 28, tickets $27.50.

Video: KMFDM – “Juke Joint Jezebel”

Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe of Pet Shop Boys run down their favourite dance music songs for The Guardian. Their new album of dance music – Electric – is out on Tuesday, July 16, and they play The Sony Centre on September 25.

Editors have offered up a stream of the next single from their latest, The Weight Of Your Love.

Stream: Editors – “Formaldehyde”

Consequence Of Sound welcomes The Joy Formidable for an Off The Avenue video session. The Huffington Post and Boston Globe also have interviews.

The Scotsman and Glasgow Evening Times chat with Norman Blake about his partnership with Joe Pernice as The New Mendicants, but that Scotsman headline about being “Ex”-Teenage Fanclub? Nope. Nope. Nope.

Friday, July 5th, 2013

We Got The World

Icona Pop continue to love it, encourage others to love it

Photo By Fredrik EtoallFredrik EtoallIf nothing else, Swedish electro-pop duo Icona Pop deserve some sort of prize for getting as far as they have without having to release their debut album. Okay, not technically true, since their self-titled debut came out in Sweden last Fall, but it remains resolutely unavailable outside of their native country and probably will remain so – in a new interview with EQ Music, Aino Jawo makes it sound as that their first international release will be an all-new record, leaving the disc that spawned their first mega-hit “I Love It” unheard by many of their fans.

Not that that seems to be eliciting many complaints from said followers. Their ubiquitous Charli XCX-penned single “I Love It” just topped the UK charts, despite hardly being a new track; it was already out there when the duo first landed on my radar last May, but thanks to placements in ads, video games, and Girls, has remained in the public consciousness and has now proven itself a pretty great Summer soundtrack as well, at least for those who do, indeed, love it – to wit, it just topped the UK singles charts and is certified gold or platinum all over the place. Not bad for a song that’s basically a slice of mindless fun.

Their appearance at The Grove Fest at Garrison Common on August 3 won’t be their Toronto debut – they opened for Marina & The Diamonds at the Kool Haus in December – but will be their first visit since they became some degree of international stars, so that will be interesting. And one can’t help look at their Fall North American tour and note the three days off between Cleveland and Boston, and figure that their first headlining date won’t be announced shortly after The Grove wraps up.

Noisey gets lessons in being poor from the duo, BBC has an introductory interview, NME talks to Charli XCX about having no regrets about giving them the song rather than keeping it for herself and The Daily Star gets Icona Pop’s angle on the collaboration, and using their success as a jumping-off point, The Line Of Best Fit has compiled a list of the next wave of female Scandinavian artists they expect to make a wide impact.

Video: Icona Pop – “I Love It” (featuring Charli XCX)

The Skinny talks to Thomas Mars of Phoenix, who have released a second video from their latest, Bankrupt!. You can also stream the whole of their Glastonbury 2013 set, which offers a taste of what they’ll do when they headline The Grove Fest at Garrison Common on August 3.

Video: Phoenix – “Trying To Be Cool”
Video: Phoenix @ Glastonbury 2013

Swedish post-punk outfit Holograms have made a track from their forthcoming album Forever, out September 3, available to stream.

Stream: Holograms – “Meditations”

Idolator talks with Swedish electro-pop artist Elliphant.

Despite having just gotten back on peoples’ radars with a new video, Robyn tells The Guardian that her new record is far from being finished.

The 405 is streaming a new track from Efterklang.

Stream: Efterklang – “Look Up”

Ólafur Arnalds has released a new video from his latest effort, For Now I Am Winter.

Video: Ólafur Arnalds – “This Place Was A Shelter”

Sigur Rós have made their recent 360° concert webstream from Dresden, Germany available to watch on demand.

The Knife have turned to their reportedly batshit live show for the newest video from Shaking The Habitual.

Video: The Knife – “Raging Lung” (live)

Monday, June 3rd, 2013

The Hunter

Ladytron’s Helen Marnie goes solo in Crystal World

Photo By Lisa DevineLisa DevineAll’s been quiet from camp Ladytron since they finished up touring in support of 2011’s Gravity The Seducer, but frontwoman Helen Marnie hasn’t been idle. Working under her surname, Marnie took to crowdfunding site Pledgemusic last Fall to finance a solo record. Unsurprisingly, it was fully funded within days – even without anyone taking the top reward of one Marnie’s own car, a 1998 Mini Cooper, at five thousand quid – and since then, fans have waited patiently while she decamped to Reykjavik to record the album.

While the record, entitled Crystal World, just missed its release date of this past weekend – mastering of the album pushed things back slightly – it should be out very shortly and the window to pledge and get a copy is closing soon. Last week, Under The Radar premiered the first song and video from it; it and another sample of a new song confirms that whatever name she operates under or whomever she plays with, Marnie make sleek, seductive electro-pop.

Stream: Marnie – “Hearts On Fire” (excerpt)
Video: Marnie – “The Hunter”

Keyboardist Carey Lander discusses Camera Obscura’s new album Desire Lines with The Skinny. It’s out as of tomorrow and they play the first night of the Toronto Urban Roots Fest at Garrison Common on July 4.

Swedish up-and-comer Elliphant, who opens up for Twin Shadow at The Phoenix on June 7, has made another new song available to stream.

Stream: Elliphant – “Music Is Life”

The Quietus talks to Beady Eye about their new record BE, out in the UK on June 10.

Gold Panda is streaming his new album Half Of Where You Live in full at NPR ahead of its June 11 release, and has also put out a new video from it via Nowness. He plays Lee’s Palace on October 8.

Video: Gold Panda – “My Father In Hong Kong, 1961”
Stream: Gold Panda / Half Of Where You Live

The Line Of Best Fit has an interview with Still Corners, who open up for CHVRCHES at The Hoxton on June 12, and should have a NXNE date to announce shortly thereafter.

Icona Pop are streaming their newest single. They’re here playing the Grove Fest at Garrison Commons on August 3.

Stream: Icona Pop – “Girlfriend”

Spin takes the news that Elvis Costello and The Roots have given their collaborative album a title – Wise Up Ghost – and a release date – September 17 – and wonders if copies haven’t already been circulating since April. Though probably not.

The Horrors tell NME that they’re just about done recording the follow-up to 2011’s Skying. Nothing is on the schedule but a late 2013 release seems reasonable.

James Dean Bradfield of Manic Street Preachers confirms to NME that the band have two new records in the can, one primarily acoustic and another that sounds “European”.

Suede have released a vandalism-infused video for the new single from Bloodsports, which is also leading a new EP that comes with two new proper b-sides.

Video: Suede – “Hit Me”

MTV Iggy has an interview with Icelandic composer Ólafur Arnalds.

Thom Yorke and Flea discuss their preparations for the upcoming Atoms For Peace tour with Billboard, rehearsals for which have produced an in-studio video of Thom going through some deep cuts that aren’t even his own.

Video: Atoms For Peace – “Rabbit In Your Headlights”

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

Where You Come In

Review of Shout Out Louds’ Optica and giveaway

Photo By Frode & MarcusFrode & MarcusI get why people have such affection for Shout Out Louds’ 2005 debut Howl Howl Gaff Gaff; the way it tapped into the scrappy, garage-rock sound in vogue at the time but rather than the insouciant attitude that typically came with the aesthetic, it offered a wide-eyed and sincere charm and stood apart from the pack for it. That said, it was only with 2007’s Our Ill Wills, which polished up their pop and expanded it to widescreen dimensions, that I was personally won over by the band. Happily for me and less so for those on Team Howl, it’s been this template that has informed each Shout Out Louds record ever since, this year’s Optica being no exception.

They did tweak their approach a bit with 2010’s Work tweaked the formula by going for a more organic, live-off-the-floor sound, but while Optica lets things drift back to the more produced side of things a bit, those holding out hope that the band might let things get raucous again should probably just go and find themselves a new, charmingly rough Scandi-pop band to patronize. Shout Out Louds have got this elegant pop thing down pat – “Blue Ice” is tastefully orchestrated and “Walking In Your Footsteps” may offer the best flute hook of the year – and even when they get relatively dark or heavy, they do it more through tone and atmosphere than volume; “14th Of July” is the riffingest number on the record and it really just jangles. Mostly, though, Optica adopts a pleasant midtempo pace and relies on its immaculate popcraft and melodicism to win the listener over.

Shout Out Louds’ North American tour kicks off in early May and will stop in at The Opera House in Toronto on May 14. Tickets for the show are $18.50 in advance, but courtesy of LiveNation, I’ve got three pairs of passes to give away to their show and as a bonus, courtesy of Big Hassle and Merge, a copy of the band’s “Blue Ice” 7″ – no, not the actual ice one, don’t be ridiculous. To enter, email me at contests@chromewaves.net with “I want to Shout Out Loud” in the subject line and your full name in the body, and if you would also like the 7″, say so and include your mailing address. Have all that to me by midnight, May 6.

Rolling Stone just premiered the newest video from Optica.

MP3: Shout Out Louds – “Blue Ice”
Video: Shout Out Louds – “Illusions”
Video: Shout Out Louds – “Walking In Your Footsteps”
Video: Shout Out Louds – “Blue Ice”

Spin and The San Francisco Examiner check in with Palma Violets, coming to town on May 3 for a show at Lee’s Palace and again on August 3 as part of The Grove Fest at Garrison Commons.

Los Campesinos! have announced details of and a track from their first-ever live album, entitled A Good Night For A Fistfight, recorded last December and to be released digitally May 5. DIY has specifics and some words from Gareth Campesinos! about the recording.

MP3: Los Campesinos! – “We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed” (live at Islington Assembly Hall)

Noah & The Whale are streaming the title track from their forthcoming album Heart Of Nowhere, due out May 6, and it guest stars the wonderful Anna Calvi. The Yorkshire Evening Post and Gigwise have interviews with frontman Charlie Fink.

Stream: Noah & The Whale – “Heart Of Nowhere”

7 Digital interviews Victoria Hesketh of Little Boots about her second album Nocturnes, slated for a May 7 release.

MTV Hive gets to know Charli XCX; she opens for Marina & The Diamonds at Echo Beach on May 23.

The 405 interviews Elliphant, who is streaming a new song and making her local debut on June 7 supporting Twin Shadow at The Phoenix.

Stream: Elliphant – “Make A New Breed”

Interview chats with Jose Gonzalez of Junip, whose new self-titled album came out this week. They play The Great Hall on June 10.

While the May 13 UK release of Primal Scream’s new long-player More Light was long-confirmed, there’s only just come word that there’ll be a domestic release in North America, coming June 18. Details on that at Spin.

Under The Radar has an interview with Pet Shop Boys, whose new album Electric comes out in June.

Spin, eMusic, The 405, The Guardian, MTV, The Daily Beast, NPR, and Exclaim all have feature interviews with Phoenix with Exclaim offering a sidebar piece on the band, Spin the fruits of their photo shoot, and NPR a KCRW video session. Phoenix headline The Grove Fest at Garrison Commons on August 3.

Filter hangs out with the girls of Icona Pop. You can do the same at The Grove Fest at Garrison Commons on August 3.

MTV Hive takes fashion tips from Hot Chip, also playing The Grove Fest on August 3.

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds are streaming one of the tracks that appeared on their Record Store Day 7″ release.

Stream: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – “Animal X”

Mystery Jets have made their Record Store Day release, the self-explanatory Live At The Royal Festival Hall, available to stream for those who missed out on getting a copy on Saturday or who never even had the opportunity what with it only being available in the UK and all.

Stream: Mystery Jets / Live At The Royal Festival Hall

Kate Nash has released a new video for the a-side from her Record Store Day 7″, and later this week she’ll roll out the next clip from Girl Talk. But not yet.

Video: Kate Nash – “Free My Pussy”

Clash gets into the heads of British Sea Power.

The Big Takeover has an interview with Veronica Falls.

PopMatters and Black Book interview Ólafur Arnalds.

Stereogum points out a stream of a new Jens Lekman song, written for an Esopus magazine compilation and about a fan who mailed him a dead bird.

Stream: Jens Lekman – “Regarding A Package”

Rolling Stone sits down with Thom Yorke and Nigel Godrich to talk about Atoms For Peace and the state of dance music, and somehow the conversation drifts to the topic of Radiohead.

Rolling Stone got a moment of Jason Pierce’s time at Coachella to talk about things of a Spiritualized nature.