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Posts Tagged ‘Emiliana Torrini’

Friday, September 6th, 2013

Lay Us Down

While I was out… featuring Holograms and things of a rest-of-the-world nature

Photo By KnotanKnotanI won’t deny that one of the reasons I was so keen to go to Stockholm on this last vacation was my affection for Swedish music, specifically the melancholically melodic indie-pop of that the likes of Jens Lekman, I Break Horses, and The Cardigans have done so well over the years. This is not at all how you’d describe Holograms, the quartet of 20-something Stockholmers who’ve just released their second album Forever; their tense and wiry post-punk has far more in common with the likes of Denmark’s Iceage than any of their countrymen, though their approach is a hair less nihilistic and more anthemic. Which is to say they’re marginally less likely to punch you in the face than Iceage.

Noisey posted an advance stream of Forever last week, but seeing as how the album’s now out, it’s not an advance stream anymore – just a stream. But what is new is a new video, premiered yesterday at Interview, and the announcement of a North American tour that hits The Garrison on December 8.

MP3: Holograms – “Flesh & Bone”
Video: Holograms – “Meditations”
Stream: Holograms / Forever

Empire Of The Sun have released a new, characteristically epic video from Ice On The Dune – just in time for their show at The Danforth Music Hall on September 9. The Huffington Post has an interview with bandleader Luke Steele.

Video: Empire Of The Sun – “DNA”

The Quietus and The Line Of Best Fit have everything you need with respect to Emiliana Torrini’s new record Tookah – the former has an advance stream ahead of its release next Tuesday, September 10, and the latter has a track-by-track walkthrough by Torrini herself. The Quietus also solicited a list of Torrini’s favourite albums.

Stream: Emiliana Torrini / Tookah

Pitchfork have an advance stream of Apar, the new album from Spanish electro-pop ensemble Delorean, while Filter and Stereogum have feature interviews. The new record is out September 10 and they play The Horseshoe on October 17.

Stream: Delorean / Apar

Clash has an advance stream of múm’s new long-player Smilewound, which also has a new video. It’s out September 10.

Video: múm – “Toothwheels”
Stream: múm / Smilewound

Icona Pop are streaming another new song from their international debut This Is… Icona Pop, out September 24.

Stream: Icona Pop – “My Party”

Danish electro-pop artist Nanna Øland Fabricius, aka Oh Land, has a new album in Wish Bone coming out September 24. She’s premiered the first video at Rolling Stone and announced a North American tour that brings her to The Great Hall on September 30, tickets $15.

Video: Oh Land – “Renaissance Girls”

Le Blogotheque films a Still Room Session with Of Monsters & Men in Rome while Iceland Review interviews the band.

Also at Le Blogotheque, a Take Away Show with Phoenix filmed in front of the Palace of Versailles. There’s also an interview at A Heart Is A Spade and they enter the wayback machine with Noisey to discuss their first hit, “If I Ever Feel Better”.

Noisey talks to Kate Boy’s Kate Akhurst while Vogue takes her shopping.

The Guardian Q&As Björk.

Friday, August 23rd, 2013

Autobahn

“Wir fahr’n fahr’n fahr’n auf der Autobahn”, or, “I’m going to Germany, bye bye.”

Art by Emil SchultEmil SchultWhy yes, it is another deck-clearing, pre-vacation post. Bit of a Euro theme to this one because I am headed over to the Old World tonight, spending the next week and a bit in Berlin and Stockholm – so no, I won’t be anywhere near the autobahn, but I may fly over them en route and anyways as part of my cultural preparation for the trip, I’ve discovered the wonder of Kraftwerk. Anyways, let’s get to it – I still have to pack.

Video: Kraftwerk – “Autobahn” (live)

The Guardian are advance streaming the Belle & Sebastian b-sides compilation The Third Eye Centre ahead of its release next week, and to go along with the listening Under The Radar has a track-by-track commentary from the band.

Stream: Belle & Sebastian / The Third Eye Centre

Spin talks to Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand. Their new record Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action is out next week and they’re at The Kool Haus on October 24.

Stereogum sets up a Turntable Interview with Empire Of The Sun. They play The Danforth Music Hall on September 9.

Drowned In Sound talks to Emiliana Torrini about her new record Tookah, due out September 10.

Gorilla Vs Bear is streaming a new track from London Grammar’s debut album If You Wait. It’s out September 10 and their October 4 show at BLK BOX has been moved upstairs to The Great Hall.

Stream: London Grammar – “Interlude”

Frightened Rabbit will release a different, North American version of their Late March, Death March EP on September 10 with a different track listing from the European version which came out back in June; Stereogum has a stream of one of the new songs and Paste an acoustic performance video of the same tune. Frightened Rabbit play The Kool Haus on October 17.

Stream: Frightened Rabbit – “Radio Silence”

Savages have announced their third local show in six months, coming back to town for a date at The Opera House on September 12 – tickets for that are $20.

Video: Savages – “Shut Up”

The Darcys list off five of the albums that influenced their studio time in making their new record Warring for CBC Music. It’s out September 17.

The resuscitated The Dismemberment Plan are streaming another tune from their new record Uncanney Valley, due out October 15.

Stream: The Dismemberment Plan – “Invisible”

Emotive Irish newcomers Kodaline – one of the longlisted bands for the BBC’s Sound of 2013 list way back in January – are staging a North American tour around a CMJ appearance and behind their debut album In A Perfect World; they’ll be at The Garrison on October 20.

Video: Kodaline – “All I Want”

Los Angeles synth-rock trio Sir Sly have made a date at The Horseshoe for October 21.

MP3: Sir Sly – “Ghost”

The Dumbing Of America talks to Mark Van Hoen, one of Neil Halstead’s collaborators in Black Hearted Brother. Their debut Stars Are Our Home is out October 22.

The National Post interviews Raphaelle Standell-Preston of Braids. They play The Great Hall on November 10.

Spin has got the latest video from English psych-rock newcomers Temples as well as confirmation that their debut album won’t be out until 2014, not that that’s stopping them from being here to play The Horseshoe on November 20.

Video: Temples – “Keep It In The Dark”

Under The Radar talks to former Ride frontman Mark Gardener about a new collaborative project he’s working on with former Cocteau Twin guitarist Robin Guthrie. The swirly swirly fruits of that project could see the light of day before the year is out.

Tim Burgess of The Charlatans remembers their late drummer Jon Brookes in a blog post at NME.

Montreal’s Valleys have released a new video from their debut Are You Going To Stand There And Talk Weird All Night?.

Video: Valleys – “Absolutely Everything All The Time”

Toronto’s shoegazing Breeze, whose live show helped kick off this week, have a new video.

Video: Breeze – “Dolls”

Phoenix drop in on NPR to record a World Cafe session, while Pitchfork talks to both Thomas Mars and R. Kelly about their unlikely collaborations.

NPR has a World Cafe session with Shout Out Louds.

Beatroute talks to Icona Pop.

Billboard examines Annie’s impact on Norwegian pop.

Okay, bye for now.

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

Biophilia

Björk at Echo Beach in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangLucia GracaWhile no one would argue that Björk has always done exactly what she wanted from an artistic point of view, the broader audience that met her first three solo releases and made her one of the unlikeliest stars of the Alternative Nation in the ’90s – as well as probably the most famous Icelander in the world – has waned somewhat in the 21st century. But regardless of the muted response to 2011’s Biophilia, she still counts her fans by the thousands and they were out in force at Echo Beach on Tuesday night for her first local show in almost six years, since headlining the first night of V Fest 2007.

That show – also on the water, albeit across the harbour from this one on Olympic Island – was a confetti-and-laser-and-brass-powered extravaganza fitting the tone of her previous album Volta, but given the relatively inward-looking tone of Biophilia – the first tours in support of it were performed in intimate theatres in the round – it’s not surprising that the stage setup was rather more austere. Or so it seemed, at first. As far as players went, Björk was traveling with only a percussionist and keyboardist/programmer, but the fourteen members of female Icelandic choir Graduale Nobili would prove to be more than the equal to a conventional band.

It’s hard to take the spotlight off of Björk, especially in an electric blue sparkly dress and huge orange Biophilia wig, but Graduale Nobili were the perfect backdrop/accompaniment for her, both aurally and visually as the stage setup was more akin to a theatre space than a concert stage and they were called on to perform as dancers as well as singers. Their parts meticulously and brilliantly arranged, they were by turns mysteriously foreboding or giddily celebratory and offered their matriarchal leader support or cover as the show demanded, their presence energized the show and especially gave extra life to the Biophilia material, with the presentation of “Crystalline” in particular coming across as revelatory compared to the recorded version.

But as improved as the newer material sounded live, it was still the older songs that proved the show-stoppers, and not just because they were the most familiar. “One Day” – the only nod to Debut despite marking its 20th anniversary this month – was stripped down to a gorgeous and haunting vocal and steel hand drum, and if Graduale Nobili had been brought along only to provide the call-and-response chorus to “Pagan Poetry”, it’d have been worth the price of the airfare. If there’s a moment everyone will remember, however, it’d be “Army Of Me” wherein a pair of Tesla coils in a cage descended from the stage ceiling, their electrical arcs synched to the synths while over a dozen girls danced like mad on the stage. Simply amazing. And ranked right alongside as show highlights would be “Hyperballad” transforming midway into a strobe-powered rave up cover of LFO’s “Freak” (so I’m told, I wouldn’t know an LFO song if I heard one) and the massive walls of flame and sparks that backlit set closer “Náttúra”. After that breathtaking peak, the banging one-song, Trayvon Martin-dedicated encore of “Declare Independence” seemed almost unnecessary – the preceding highs were not to be topped – but considering how rarely Björk finds her way here and how spectacular her shows are, if you’re doing anything less than savouring every minute of it, you’re quite simply doing it wrong.

The Toronto Star, Exclaim, BlogTO, The National Post, The Huffington Post, and NOW also have reviews of the show. Noisey reflects on Björk’s 20-year solo career in terms of both music and visual style.

MP3: Björk – “Verandi”
MP3: Björk – “It’s In Our Hands”
MP3: Björk – “Cosmogony”
Video: Björk – “Hollow”
Video: Björk – “Mutual Core”
Video: Björk – “Moon”
Video: Björk – “Crystalline”
Video: Björk – “Innocence”
Video: Björk – “Declare Independence”
Video: Björk – “Wanderlust”
Video: Björk – “Dull Flame Of Desire”
Video: Björk – “Earth Intruders”
Video: Björk – “Where Is The Line”
Video: Björk – “Triumph Of A Heart”
Video: Björk – “Who Is It”
Video: Björk – “Oceania”
Video: Björk – “Hidden Place”
Video: Björk – “Cocoon”
Video: Björk – “Pagan Poetry”
Video: Björk – “Joga”
Video: Björk – “Bachelorette”
Video: Björk – “Hunter”
Video: Björk – “Alarm Call”
Video: Björk – “All Is Full Of Love”
Video: Björk – “Isobel”
Video: Björk – “Possibly Maybe”
Video: Björk – “I Miss You”
Video: Björk – “Army Of Me”
Video: Björk – “Hyperballad”
Video: Björk – “It’s Oh So Quiet”
Video: Björk – “Human Behaviour”
Video: Björk – “Venus As A Boy”
Video: Björk – “Big Time Sensuality”
Video: Björk – “Violently Happy”
Video: Björk – “Play Dead”

The Village Voice has an interview with Icelandic composer Ólafur Arnalds and Altsounds asks him what kind of gear he’s brought along for his current US tour.

Exclaim reports that Icelandic pop singer Emiliana Torrini has set a September 9 release for her new record Tookah, and the first single from it is available to stream now.

Stream: Emiliana Torrini – “Speed Of Dark”

Norwegian singer/producer/pop star Annie tells Noisey that the break that followed 2009’s Don’t Stop is over and to prove it, a song from her new release The A&R EP, out August 5, is available to stream.

Stream: Annie – “Hold On”

Indians have rolled out a new video from their/his debut Somewhere Else.

Video: Indians – “Magic Kids”

The Independent talks to Jose González of Junip.