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Posts Tagged ‘EMA’

Monday, December 16th, 2013

Lost It To Trying

Son Lux raises Lanterns on tour

Photo By Tim NavisTim NavisDenver-born, New York-based artist Ryan Lott has been popping up on a good number of year-end lists – or at least his alias of Son Lux has – on the strength of his latest album Lanterns. I’d seen descriptors like post-rock and hip-hop attached to his work in the past, but on delving into Lanterns they’re only as much a factor as every other genre of popular music out there, all of which is thrown into the mix but none of which dominates.

Instead, Lanterns is an electro-orchestral opus that sounds like the classical past being recreated from incomplete notes by robots from the future. Those seeking a more concrete frame of reference can look to James Blake and also Sufjan Stevens, with whom Lott collaborates in S/S/S, with Lanterns occupying some of that middle space between Seven Swans and Age Of Adz. Yes, that’s a pretty big space, but it’s one worth exploring. As is Lanterns.

Son Lux have announced some Spring headlining dates in support of his latest album; look for him at The Drake Underground on March 23, tickets $12 in advance. The 405, Bowlegs, and Interview have interviews with Lott and Stereogum has premiered a new video.

MP3: Son Lux – “Lost It To Trying”
Video: Son Lux – “Pyre”
Video: Son Lux – “Lost It To Trying”
Stream: Son Lux / Lanterns

Broken Bells have released a stream of the title track from their new album After The Disco. It’s out January 14 and they play The Danforth Music Hall on March 3.

Stream: Broken Bells – “After The Disco”

Californian synth-pop outfit Gardens & Villa have announced a North American tour behind their second album Dunes, out February 4, and will be at The Drake Underground on February 27, tickets $13.50.

Stream: Gardens & Villa – “Bullet Train”

Pitchfork reports that Speedy Ortiz will be releasing a new EP called Real Hair on February 11, a quarter of which you can stream below. They’re in town for NXNE next June.

Stream: Speedy Ortiz – “Everything’s Bigger”

Esquire chats with Robert Pollard of Guided By Voices. Their new record Motivational Jumpsuit comes out February 18.

Even though Shearwater just released an album of covers in Fellow Travelers, their version of Frank Ocean’s “Novocane” wasn’t included – probably because they haven’t toured together. Yet. Anyways, the track was released as part of a split-7″ with Low for Record Store Day, and is now available to stream if you missed out on the limited edition vinyl. Maybe they’ll play it when they hit The Horseshoe on March 27.

Stream: Shearwater – “Novocane”

Erika M Anderson – aka EMA – has announced details of her follow-up to 2011’s Past Life Martyred Saints and they can be found at her new label of Matador. The Future’s Void will be out in the Spring and the first single from it can be streamed below.

Stream: EMA – “Satellites”

In conversation with Rolling Stone, James Murphy reveals that the final LCD Soundsystem show at Madison Square Garden – as documented in Shut Up And Play The Hits – is being remixed for release as a live album.

NPR is streaming a KCRW session with of Montreal.

NOW talked to Charles Bradley ahead of his show at the Kool Haus last week.

Drowned In Sound and The Line Of Best Fit talk to Aaron Dessner of The National about this and that and what it’ll be like to open for Neil Young at Hyde Park next June.

Neko Case has released a new video of the lyric variety from The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You.

Lyric Video: Neko Case – “Calling Cards”

Tone Deaf talks to Lee Ranaldo about his solo work and the future of Sonic Youth.

Willamette Week and Seattle Weekly have interviews and NPR has posted a World Cafe session with Midlake.

There’s updates from the Sparklehorse tribute album project reported on last month: Last Box Of Sparklers: A Tribute To Mark Linkous is into its final week of fundraising, and remain $7000 short of their $50000 goal. To encourage those who might be able to help them bridge that gap, Box Of Stars have made a few more of the songs that are a part of the project available to stream, most notably The Joy Formidable’s take on “Gold Day” and The Flaming Lips‘ version of “It’s A Sad And Beautiful World”.

Stream: The Joy Formidable – “Gold Day”
Stream: The Flaming Lips – “It’s A Sad And Beautiful World”
Stream: Last Box Of Sparklers: A Tribute To Mark Linkous sampler

Thursday, March 8th, 2012

Now We Hurry On

Bowerbird/Andrew Bird-watching season is here

Photo By D.L. AndersonD.L. AndersonIt’s unlikely bird videos will ever achieve the same degree of online adoration as, say, cat videos, but when said clips come courtesy of artists who push the boundaries of what can be called folk music the way that North Carolina’s Bowerbirds and Chicago’s Andrew Bird do, a little more attention should be paid. Both artists released their new albums this week – The Clearing and Break It Yourself, respectively – and both have marked the occasion with the release of a new video.

Both are also streaming the new records in whole – not new news, but always good to be reminded of – and are doing quite a bit of press to promote their records. Bowerbirds are featured in The Quietus, The 405, Consequence Of Sound, Interview, Paste, and NPR while Mr. Bird has chats with each of Interview, PopMatters, The Stool Pigeon, The Guardian, Spinner, and The AV Club.

Where they differ is in their migratory patterns – Bowerbirds have long had a March 27 date at The Garrison in Toronto booked as part of their Spring tour, whereas Andrew Bird’s tour dates come as close as Detroit, but no closer – at least for now. I don’t think he’s been here since Spring 2009 so it’s reasonable to say he owes us a visit.

MP3: Bowerbirds – “Tuck The Darkness In”
MP3: Bowerbirds – “In The Yard”
Stream: Andrew Bird – “Eyeoneye”
Stream: Andrew Bird – “The Crown Salesman”
Video: Bowerbirds – “Tuck The Darkness In”
Video: Andrew Bird – “Eyeoneye”
Stream: Bowerbirds / The Clearing
Stream: Andrew Bird / Break It Yourself

Shearwater is named for a kind of bird, so they’re up next. Rolling Stone talks to frontman Jonathan Meiburg about their new record Animal Joy.

Mother Jones chats with Sharon Van Etten, who just premiered a new video from Tramp at The Los Angeles Times.

Video: Sharon Van Etten – “Leonard”

Perhaps hoping to get people talking about something besides their collaboration with a corporation as ethically vile as Urban Outfitters, Best Coast have announced the May 15 release of their second album The Only Place and accompanying tour which hits The Phoenix on July 21, tickets $18.50. Details on the record and full tour dates over at Tiny Mix Tapes.

MP3: Best Coast – “Boyfriend”

The Decemberists are spreading the love around, streaming both discs of their forthcoming live set We All Raise Our Voices at two different sites – Rolling Stone and Paste.

Stream: The Decemberists / We All Raise Our Voices to the Air (Live Songs 04.11-08.11) disc one
Stream: The Decemberists / We All Raise Our Voices to the Air (Live Songs 04.11-08.11) disc two

They haven’t fessed up to the accuracy of reports that their new album would be called Bloom and released on May 15, but the fact that a new Beach House song showed up to stream on their website the other night certainly makes it seem to be the case. The track is called “Myth” and it sounds like Beach House. Update: Okay, the above new album info is officially official.

Stream: Beach House – “Myth”

NOW welcomes EMA back to town; she’s at The Garrison on March 13. The Chicago Sun-Times, Montreal Mirror, and Playback:STL also have interviews.

Death & Taxes, Clash, and DIY have interviews with Sleigh Bells, making up a cancelled date at The Phoenix on March 26 and supporting Red Hot Chili Peppers at The Air Canada Centre on April 27 and 28.

For a guy with a reputation for being a tough interview, Stephin Merritt sure is entertaining a lot of inquiries. The Magnetic Fields mastermind chats Love At The Bottom Of The Sea with PopMatters, Rolling Stone, Clash, Beatroute, Salon, and Vulture. They will play The Sound Academy on March 30.

They Shoot Music has a video session and Magnet and Beatroute interviews with Nada Surf. They play The Opera House on April 4.

co.create looks at the marketing campaign being organized to help make Minneapolis’ Howler your new favourite band. They may or may not include this video session and interview at The Alternate Side or this interview about their already in-process second album at Paste, and if they work, you may find yourself seeing them at The Drake Underground on April 5.

Also courtesy of The Alternate Side is a session and interview with Perfume Genius, and also worth reading is an interview with Mike Hadreas at Slutever. Perfume Genius is at The Drake on April 8.

If you ever need a reminder of how gorgeous Low can be, this performance recorded in a Duluth church for a new television programme called Audio-Files should do the trick. They’re here on April 19 at Massey Hall opening for Death Cab For Cutie.

Video: Low – “Point Of Disgust” (live for Audio-Files)

Interview gets to know Hospitality, in town at The Garrison on May 5.

The Fly talks to James Mercer of The Shins, whose Port Of Morrow arrives March 20. They are at The Molson Amphitheatre on August 4.

Clash talks to Jay Farrar about the Woody Guthrie tribute project New Multitudes, of which he’s a part.

Jeff Tweedy and Nels Cline discuss the guitar (read: gear) side of Wilco’s The Whole Love with Guitar World.

Also talking the gear: St. Vincent’s Annie Clark with Guitar Player.

Pitch, The Daily Nebraskan, and SXSW interview Lauren Larsen of Ume.

Daytrotter has posted a session with Telekinesis.

NYC Taper has shared a recording of one of Craig Finn’s recent performances in New York while Allentown Morning Call shares an interview.

The Quietus talks reunion with Greg Dulli of The Afghan Whigs.

Dirty Laundry hangs out in a laundromat with Eric Bachmann of Crooked Fingers and Archers Of Loaf.

Loud & Quiet talks to Robert Pollard of Guided By Voices.

PopDose talks to Bill Janovitz about the 20th anniversary of Buffalo Tom’s excellent Let Me Come Over.

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

Breaking The Yearlings

Review of Shearwater’s Animal Joy

Photo By Shawn BrackbillShawn BrackbillHow to follow up a career-defining record is hard enough question for most bands fortunate enough to find themselves in the position of having to do so. For Austin’s Shearwater, it’s triply difficult as they released not one but three interlinked albums over a span of four years – the so-called “Island Trilogy” of Palo Santo, Rook and The Golden Archipelago – which transformed them from Okkervil River sidebar into one of America’s finest, if still underappreciated, art-rock bands.

Not that continuing on in the same vein wouldn’t have been a viable option – after all, the marriage of ambitious prog-folk arrangements, nature-centric lyrics and Jonathan Meiburg’s otherworldy vocals had resulted in three superb albums; there’s no reason to think that it couldn’t yield more. But then we wouldn’t have gotten Animal Joy, the band’s just-released seventh album and that would have been an enormous shame.

On one level, Animal Joy isn’t that far removed from its predecessors but on another, it’s a polar opposite. Meiburg’s vocals are as dramatic and bracing as ever and as an ornithologist and scientist, his songwriting will naturally (pun intended) gravitate to certain themes; in that sense, Animal Joy is immediately recognizable as Shearwater. Where it breaks from the band’s catalog is in how it, to put it simply, rocks hard. Each of the preceding albums had its swells of intensity, it’s gloriously jagged moments that grabbed you and shook, but they were balanced by gentle, ethereal moments that settled over the proceedings like a mysterious fog. Animal Joy rarely sits still long enough for that to happen, taking advantage of the leaner arrangements – most everything on the record is the work of the core trio of Meiburg, Kim Burke and Thor Harris – to move quickly and determinedly. It eschews the elegant hollow bones of the trilogy for something more of sinew and blood, and crackles with life.

It’s those with the longest histories with the band who will be most surprised by Animal Joy offers, but also the most rewarded as its raw energy and sense of excitement – even danger – reveals a heretofore unexplored aspect of what Shearwater is. It’d have been understandable if the band had chosen to take some time off or creatively reinvent themselves following a project as massive as “The Island Trilogy”, but coming right back with such an invigorated follow up that may well be one of their very best? That’s better.

77 Square, DCist, PopMatters, Austin 360, and The Other Paper have interviews with Meiburg about the new record and Rolling Stone talks to him about the just-released first video from Animal Life. Shearwater are at Lee’s Palace on February 21 opening for Sharon Van Etten.

MP3: Shearwater – “You As You Were”
MP3: Shearwater – “Breaking The Yearlings”
Video: Shearwater – “Breaking The Yearlings”
Stream: Shearwater / Animal Joy

Speaking of Sharon Van Etten, the press cycle around Tramp shows no signs of abating. There’s interviews at The Stool Pigeon, Paste, Chicago Tribune, The Daily Tar Heel, and Black Book and NPR is streaming a World Cafe session and Le Blogotheque has a Take-Away Show.

Paste gets to know Hospitality, in town at The Horseshoe on February 29.

Spin points at the new video from The Head & The Heart, released just in time for their Winter tour which brings them to The Opera House on March 13.

Video: The Head & The Heart – “Down In The Valley”

Also in town on March 13 – at The Garrison – is EMA, who has released a new video for an anti-bullying benefit single; details at Pitchfork.

Video: EMA – “Take One Two”

Paste talks to Texas pop family Eisley, whose new EP Lights Out was just released and is available to stream. They’re at The Drake Underground on March 22.

Stream: Eisley / Lights Out

The New York Times is the place to go if you want to hear the whole of the new Sleigh Bells record Reign Of Terror before it’s out February 21. The duo are at The Phoenix on March 26 and also The Air Canada Centre on April 27 and 28 supporting Red Hot Chili Peppers.

MP3: Sleigh Bells – “Comeback Kid”
Stream: Sleigh Bells / Reign Of Terror

Daytrotter has a session with Chairlift, who are at The Horseshoe on March 28.

Spinner talks to Stephin Merritt of The Magnetic Fields. Love At The Bottom Of The Sea is out March 6 and they’re at The Sound Academy on March 30.

Put Your Back N 2 It, the new album from Perfume Genius, is available to stream in whole at Spin ahead of its February 21 release and the official bio has track by track annotations from Mike Hadreas. He plays The Drake Underground on April 8 and offers The Quietus and DIY interviews.

MP3: Perfume Genius – “Hood”
MP3: Perfume Genius – “All Waters”
Video: Perfume Genius – “Hood”
Stream: Perfume Genius / Put Your Back N 2 It

DIY checks in with School Of Seven Bells, whose Ghostory arrives February 28. They’re at The Hoxton on May 2.

When Joshua Tillman announced he was abdicating his throne as drummer for Fleet Foxes, it was assumed that he was doing so to concentrate on his solo career as J. Tillman. In fact, he was doing so to start a new solo career as Father John Misty and will be releasing his debut album in that guise, Fear Fun, on May 1. He will be taking said record on the road shortly thereafter and be at the Horseshoe on May 14, tickets $11.50 in advance.

MP3: Father John Misty – “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings”
Video: Father John Misty – “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings”

The Avett Brothers haven’t formally announced the follow-up to 2009’s I And Love And You, but the fact that they’ve booked two nights at The Music Hall for May 15 and 16 certainly implies something will be out by then. Or maybe they just want to visit.

MP3: The Avett Brothers – “I And Love And You”

Lambchop have released a video from Mr. M; it’s out next Tuesday, February 21.

Video: Lambchop – “Gone Tomorrow”

Spin chats with Justin Vernon of Bon Iver post-Grammy win.

Alison Mosshart of The Kills reminisces about the band’s first gig to NME as they celebrate its tenth anniversary.

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

Easy Water

Review of Caveman’s Coco Beware and giveaway

Photo via Dine Alone RecordsFrank YangMost bands that name themselves for prehistoric entities – your Mastadons, your Dinosaur Jrs – seem to do so at least a little for the heavy and/or primal connotations that come with it. Not so much for Brooklyn’s Caveman, who seem to have chosen the name ironically as there’s nothing raw or neolithic about their smooth and polished debut album Coco Beware.

Rather than club you about the head with a bone, Caveman makes an impression with shimmering guitars, floaty synths and tight harmonies delivering genial, mid-tempo pop that’s reminiscent of a less annoying Vampire Weekend sans Afropop influences. Another reference point is Local Natives thanks to their vocal interplay and creative percussion though Caveman never gets nearly as frantic as that outfit when they’re in gear. Granted, atmosphere and mood are much more Caveman’s mandate than overt dynamicism but you can sense that they’ve got the goods to amp things up a bit if they wanted, they’ve simply opted not to. As a result, Coco Beware succeeds at being an interesting listen, but not a very exciting one. They can do better.

Caveman are in town at The Horseshoe on January 11 along with Oklahoma’s Hospitality, chattered about here. Tickets are $10 in advance but courtesy of Embrace I’ve got a pair of passes to give away to the show. To enter, email me at contests AT chromewaves.net with “I want to see Caveman” in the subject line and your full name in the body, contest closes at midnight, January 8.

MP3: Caveman – “Thankful”
MP3: Caveman – “Easy Water”
MP3: Caveman – “Old Friend”
MP3: Caveman – “Decide”
MP3: Caveman – “My Room”
Video: Caveman – “Easy Water”

Anyone hoping that the Cat Power Christmas Eve release would be a new song rather than a cover might be a little disappointed that it’s not – but to be fair, it’s a cover of herself. Her redo of “King Rides By” sounds very much like the confident Cat Power of today than rather than the one who originally recorded it for her third album What Would The Community Think in 1996 – great for those who have been waiting to hear her voice wrapped around anything new but not necessarily offering much insight into where her songwriting is as she prepares her first release of new material since 2006’s The Greatest. An MP3 of the track is available to download from Cat Power’s website in exchange for a charitable donation and the video, featuring boxer Manny Pacquiao and directed by actor/director Giovanni Ribisi, is available to watch below.

Video: Cat Power – “King Rides By”

Wilco are streaming the opening night of their “Incredible Shrinking Tour Of Chicago” from earlier this month at Roadcase.

One of this year’s Record Store Day releases was an EP consisting of Franz Ferdinand covers; a video for the selection by Peaches came out back in the Spring but now, three more for the contributions by LCD Soundsystem, Stephin Merritt and ESG have come out. Still nothing for the collaboration between Franz Ferdinand themselves and Deborah Harry yet, but these other vids came out of nowhere as well. So.

Video: LCD Soundsystem – “Live Alone”
Video: ESG – “What She Came For”
Video: Stephin Merritt – “Dream Again”
Video: Peaches – “Turn It On”

Spinner talks to Matthew Sweet about celebrating his 20th anniversary with his Girlfriend, Laundromatinee welcomes the popsmith to their studios for a session, and NPR has a Mountain Stage session.

The AV Club gets Craig Finn to go all One-Track Mind with one of the songs from his solo debut Clear Heart Full Eyes, due out January 24.

DIY checks in with Of Montreal as they put the finishing touches on Paralytic Stalks, out February 7.

The Alternate Side serves up a session with Mates Of State.

Spin has a Moog Sound Lab video session with The Antlers.

Loud & Quiet interviews Erika Anderson of EMA, who has a date at The Garrison on March 13.

Merrell Garbus talks to Blurt about what’s been a pretty good year for tUnE-yArDs. Relix also has a chat.

NYC Taper – who narrowly avoided being hacked into oblivion earlier this week – has posted recordings of a couple of this year’s Yo La Tengo Hannukah shows at Maxwell’s in Hoboken.

Paste looks into the enduring appeal of Neutral Milk Hotel’s not-nearly-as-reclusive-as-he-used-to-be leader Jeff Mangum.

NPR talks to Tom Waits.

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

I’d Go Anywhere With Hugh

The Magnetic Fields will pull you to The Bottom Of The Sea, hope to pull you to the edge of Lake Ontario

Photo By Marcelo KrasilcicMarcelo KrasilcicThe Magnetic Fields are back. But wait, you might argue, they never really went away. Sure, three albums in the past decade doesn’t really match the rate of output that Stephin Merritt was maintaining in the ’90s – particularly when you take into account his other projects – but it ain’t nothing. And yet it’s accurate on many levels that The Magnetic Fields are back: they’re back on Merge, the label that released their greatest records including the risky and magnificent 69 Love Songs, after a decade on Nonesuch; they’re back to their signature mix of synths and acoustic instruments after largely abandoning keys and the like on those last few albums in favour of strictly electric and acoustic arrangements; and they’re back with a new record that makes both these points salient on March 6 with Love At The Bottom Of The Sea. Their last few records got mixed reviews, but with the number of resets that seem to accompany this one, it’s hard not to be a little optimistic.

And the band will also be back on the road immediately following the album’s release with an extensive itinerary that brings them to Toronto’s Sound Academy on March 30. It’s an interesting choice of venue considering their last couple visits have been at the acoustically sterling Queen Elizabeth Theatre in February 2010 and Trinity-St. Paul’s in July 2004, and the last thing that the everyone’s favourite lakeside shoebox can be accused of is being a sympathetic venue. But hey, maybe they’re going for the big rock show this time and they need somewhere they can set off pyrotechnics. In any case, tickets are $30 for floors and $37.50 for balconies, and while the fan pre-sale is on now, the Live Nation mobile app presale is Friday at 10 and the regular on-sale is Saturday.

There’s no preview track from the album available yet, but here’s a seasonal one from the last record and a classic one from 69 Love Songs.

MP3: The Magnetic Fields – “Everything Is One Big Christmas”
MP3: The Magnetic Fields – “The Book Of Love”

In other, “guess who’s coming to town” news, earnest folk-poppers The Head & The Heart will be in town on March 13 at The Opera House, tickets $18.50 in advance. Their last visit was back in February and considering how much their star has risen since then, I’m surprised it will have taken them over a year to make it back here. In any case, here’s a World Cafe session at NPR to hold you over until then.

MP3: The Head & The Heart – “Down In The Valley”
MP3: The Head & The Heart – “Lost In My Mind”

Also making a return engagement is EMA, last sighted hereabouts in July. No venue upgrade this time out – she’s at The Garrison again on March 13 – but considering that Past Life Martyred Saints will be showing up on at least a few year-end lists, expect this show to have a little less elbow room than that one. Tickets are $13.50 in advance and Rolling Stone has an interview.

MP3: EMA – “Milkman”
MP3: EMA – “The Grey Ship”

Texas family act Eisley will be in town to help kick of Canadian Musicfest, playing The Drake Underground on the Wednesday night, March 21. They’ll be touring both this year’s The Valley as well as a new EP entitled Deep Space, due out on February 14. Examiner.com has some info on the EP and their tour itinerary.

MP3: Eisley – “Smarter”
Video: Eisley – “The Valley”

Howler may hail from Minnesota, but their rough and retro garage rock is making them all kinds of fans in the UK. Their debut America Give Up is out January 17 and they’ve got a date at The Drake on April 5.

Video: Howler – “Back Of Your Neck”

Oh hey Cults are coming back. Look for them at The Phoenix on April 25, tickets $20 in advance.

MP3: Cults – “Most Wanted”
MP3: Cults – “Go Outside”

Bear In Heaven’s new album I Love You, It’s Cool isn’t out until April 3 but the band already has the whole thing up for stream on their website – it’s just slowed down by 400,000%. Pitchfork has the what and why, as well as tour dates which include a May 5 date at The Garrison, tickets $11.50 in advance. Here’s a track from 2007’s Red Bloom Of The Boom, played at regular speed.

MP3: Bear In Heaven – “Bag Of Bags”

NOW and hour.ca talk to St. Vincent’s Annie Clark in advance of tonight’s show at The Phoenix.

The Shins have announced details of their long-awaited new record. Port Of Morrow will be out in March – Pitchfork has some specifics.

Daytrotter has posted a session with Wilco, recorded at the band’s Chicago loft.

NPR has Beirut’s final show of the year from last night available to stream, or will shortly. Check back.

Steve Earle offers his thoughts on the Occupy Wall Street movement to Knoxville.com.

Spin talks to Sleigh Bells about their forthcoming Reign Of Terror, which begins February 14.

The Atlantic talks to the director of Okkervil River’s video for “Your Past Life As A Blast”.

The AV Club gets Bob Mould to go One-Track Mind interview/performance sessions with Sugar’s “Hoover Dam”.

Another new Guided By Voices track is available to stream; it’s a super-short b-side from “Donut For A Snowman” written by Tobin Sprout. Let’s Go Eat The Factory is out January 1.

Stream: Guided By Voices – “One Two Three Four”

Bill Janovitz, he of Buffalo Tom and many covers, has posted something special: a Tom Waits cover which is credited as, “featuring Tanya Donelly but in fact features he on lead vox throughout. Usually Bill gives his covers away, but this one is being made available via The Right Track for a minimum donation of $0.99 to TargetCancer. Do it, the cause is good, the track is beautiful and we don’t get to hear Tanya’s voice nearly enough these days. And speaking of Buffalo Tom, The Boston Globe and The Phoenix talk to them about marking their 25th anniversary as a band.