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Posts Tagged ‘Emma Pollock’

Friday, August 2nd, 2013

Newsworthy

Sky Larkin share new Motto

Photo via FacebookFacebookFrequently when an artist announces a new album a number of years on from when its predecessor came out, the question of, “where’ve you been?” is a natural ones. In the case of Sky Larkin principal Katie Harkin, the answer is simply “everywhere”. Since her band wrapped up touring commitments behind 2010’s Kaleide, she signed on as a touring member of Wild Beasts for their Smother tour (which stopped here in October 2011).

But Harkin has gotten back to her own business, and with a new lineup in place – original bassist Doug Adams amicably departed the band and was replaced and a second guitarist added – they’ve announced a September 16 release of their third album, entitled Motto. A new track from it is available to stream via The Guardian and offers a lighter counterpoint to the more pummelling first taste – now revealed as the album’s title track – which surfaced back in May and more than affirms their recipe of sleekly ragged guitars and sneakily sophisticated melodicism is still a most effective one. I look forward to their return.

Stream: Sky Larkin – “Loom”
Stream: Sky Larkin – “Motto”

Annie has released a new video from her just-out A&R EP; Idolator talks to Richard X – the EP’s producer and “R” namesake – about the record.

Video: Annie – “Back Together”

Clash and NME talk to White Lies about their new album Big TV, out August 21. They play The Opera House on October 1.

Rolling Stone talks to Martin Gore of Depeche Mode about the impending North American tour that brings them to the Molson Amphitheatre on September 1.

Manic Street Preachers have unveiled a new video from their next album Rewind The Film, out September 16.

Video: Manic Street Preachers – “Show Me The Wonder”

The Line Of Best Fit reports that English folkie Johnny Flynn has given his new record Country Mile a September 30 release date. The first song from it is available to preview via lyric video.

Lyric Video: Johnny Flynn – “The Lady Is Risen”

Charli XCX walks aux.tv through her video for “What I Like”. She plays The Hoxton on September 16.

Australia’s The Naked & Famous have announced the September 17 release of their second In Rolling Waves, offering some context for their already-announced date at the Sound Academy on October 14. The first video from the new record is also out.

Video: The Naked & Famous – “Hearts Like Ours”

Under The Radar reports that former Mercury Prize nominees The Invisible have been named as support for Jessie Ware on her North American tour, starting November 6 at The Sound Academy. The pairing makes perfect sense since Invisible frontman Dave Okumu co-wrote and produced much of Ware’s Devotion; their last album was 2012’s Rispah.

MP3: The Invisible – “London Girl”

Page 31 talks to Caroline Hjelt and Windy City Media to Aino Jawo of Icona Pop. Their album This Is… comes out September 24.

The Horrors tell NME that any expectations of a new record in 2013 are unfounded and their next release will come in early 2014.

The Quietus has both an interview with and the first new music from Rose Elinor Dougall in far too long; with luck a second album isn’t too far behind.

Stream: Rose Elinor Dougall – “Strange Warnings”

The High Wire have released a video for their latest single, which quite effectively leverages footage from the film Ashes, starring Ray Winstone. The Guardian has more information about the film.

Video: The High Wire -“LNOE”

The Guardian talks to Daniel Blumburg, formerly of Yuck, about his new project as Hebronix and the debut album Unreal.

Bobby Gillespie of Primal Scream unloads to NME about the state of festivals in 2013.

Baeble Music has a video session with Foals and NME gets Yannis Philippakis’ thoughts on US whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Cut Copy have made a new single, released last month in limited edition at the Pitchfork Music Festival, available to stream for all to hear.

Stream: Cut Copy – “Let Me Show You”

NPR has video from a KCRW session with Savages.

The Quietus catches up with David Lewis Gedge of The Wedding Present.

The Skinny finds out what Emma Pollock has been up to since the 2010 release of The Law Of Large Numbers, namely setting up a studio engineering course for aspiring producers.

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

A Coming Of Age

Review of Lucky Soul’s A Coming Of Age

Photo via Lucky SoulLucky SoulHere’s a little bit of trivia for you. Of the 66 artists who’ve either placed in my year-end lists since I began recording them in 2003 or made my “favourite records of the past seven years” list, 18 of them have or are about to release new records this year, eight more were due to put one out this year, eight have put out solo records or collaborations and five more are currently in the studio. Which is to say that if past history is any indicator, 2010 is going to be an exceptional year for music.

While it’s presumptuous to assume that many or even any of those acts will be making repeat appearances on any list of this year’s favourites, one follow-up that’s pretty much a shoo-in is A Coming Of Age, the sophomore effort from London’s Lucky Soul. Their 2007 debut The Great Unwanted was and remains one of my favourite releases of this century, a pretty much perfect collection of classically-styled, throwback pop built on Andrew Laidlaw’s songwriting and Ali Howard’s sun-kissed vocals. So while I was clearly going to be favourably inclined towards the follow-up, it also had some huge footsteps to follow in – footsteps which it uses not so much as a starting line but a launching pad.

It was already clear from the new material previewed when I went to see Lucky Soul make their live US debut in October 2008 that the band had ambitions beyond the northern soul/girl-group vibe that they had pretty much perfected their first time out, but I was still more than surprised by the range of influences that come into play on A Coming Of Age. There are the disco inflections of the irresistible leadoff track, “Whoa Billy!”, the ’80s indie jangle of “White Russian Doll”, the classic Motown stylings of “Love 3”, the light country twang of “Upon Hilly Fields”… and that’s just the first third of the record. Of course, such ranginess wouldn’t be something to laud if they weren’t able to pull it all off but they certainly do, all without losing any of their own distinct personality – quite the opposite, in fact.

The more they push outwards from what The Great Unwanted defined Lucky Soul as, the more they prove they’re so much more than what that implied. It certainly reinforces their ability to craft a pop hook for the ages, and addition to the greater blend of styles, the material also covers a greater emotional spectrum. The charming girlishness of Ali Howard’s presence, which so perfectly captured the spirit of their debut, has matured and grown more experienced on the follow-up with Howard’s stronger voice proving up to the task of expressing those emotions. The best examples of what Lucky Soul are capable of now come at what would logically be the final tracks of sides A and B – the title track and “Could It Be I Don’t Belong Anywhere” – both of which ride sweeping string sections to dramatic effect but stay just on the right side of tasteful, evoking grandeur rather than excess. The latter, in particular, deftly runs the gamut from daydreamy wistfulness to swirling tumult so naturally, you don’t even notice the storm clouds gather until they’re upon you and it does it in under three-and-a-half minutes, providing a remarkable finale to a remarkable record from a most remarkable band.

Lucky Soul have just released a new puppet-powered video for “Whoa Billy!” which was written, shot, edited entirely by the band. A Coming Of Age is out next Monday in the UK, with no domestic release at the moment but amazon.ca and amazon.com both have it listed as imports. The Von Pip Musical Express talks to songwriter Andrew Laidlaw, who has also taken to the band’s blog to annotate a song from the new record each day over the next twelve days or so. Touring over here is probably far too much to hope for, but if they manage to make it over here for a date or two again, you can bet your sweet bippy I’ll be there.

MP3: Lucky Soul – “A Coming Of Age”
MP3: Lucky Soul – “Whoa Billy!”
Video: Lucky Soul – “Whoa Billy!”
Video: Lucky Soul – “White Russian Doll”
MySpace: Lucky Soul

The New York Times gets a behind-the-scenes look at the fashion and styling of Florence & The Machine; NPR and Blare also have interviews with Florence Welch.

Spinner talks to Doves about their new best-of collection The Places Between, from which they’ve released a video for the one new song.

Video: Doves – “Andalucia”

There’s also a new Lightspeed Champion clip from Life Is Sweet! Nice To Meet You. NME reports that Dev Hynes recently had a bad time with some medical issues, but is feeling better now.

Video: Lightspeed Champion – “Madame Van Damme”

And also one from Emma Pollock, taken from her second solo record The Law Of Large Numbers.

Video: Emma Pollock – “Red Orange Green”

Metro and Love Shack Baby have interviews with members of Fanfarlo.

The Guardian, Los Angeles Times, The Province and The Vancouver Sun have features on and MPR a streaming radio session with The xx. They’re at the Kool Haus on April 20.

Song By Toad has a lovely session with Mumford & Sons available to download.

A first sample of Been Listening, the second album from Johnny Flynn, is now available to download. The record is out June 7.

MP3: Johnny Flynn – “Kentucky Flynn”

The Quietus has details on The Boxer, the debut solo effort from (former?) Bloc Party frontman Kele Okereke. It’s out June 21.

NME reports that Richard Hawley will release a new digital EP on June 8 entitled False Lights From The Land, featuring “Remorse Code” from last year’s Truelove’s Gutter, one new song and two covers.

Fyfe Dangerfield will be playing a handful of North American dates in support of his solo record Fly Yellow Moon, including a May 23 date at the El Mocambo. Leeds Music Scene and The Linc have interviews with the lead singer of The Guillemots.

MP3: Fyfe Dangerfield – “She Needs Me”
Video: Fyfe Dangerfield – “She Needs Me”

Athlete will bring their new record Black Swan to Lee’s PAlace on June 7 – full North American dates at The Music Slut.

Video: Athlete – “Black Swan Song”

The June 1 release of The Futureheads’ new record The Chaos will be accompanied by a North American tour, including a June 10 date at the Mod Club. There’s a feature piece on the band at News Of The World.

MP3: The Futureheads – “Struck Dumb”

The Guardian reports that Supergrass will be calling it a day this Summer, after 17 years of power-pop.

Video: Supergrass – “Richard III”

If you’ve got 90 minutes to kill, then this episode of BBC6’s The Record Producers on Bernard Butler is well worth a listen – it examines his works from Suede through his solo career to his role today as one of the most in-demand producers in the UK, complete with interviews and exclusive audio samples.

The Sun reports that Blur will release their first new single in seven years this Saturday for Record Store Day in the UK. The head of their label Parlophone tells BBC6 he hopes this is just the start of more new music from the band. Of course he does.

Spinner talks to Bernard Sumner about both Bad Lieutenant and New Order.

Drowned In Sound gets to know Chapterhouse, whose May 1 show at the Horseshoe has unfortunately been cancelled.

Roger Waters will kick off the 30th anniversary tour for Pink Floyd’s The Wall on September 15 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. The Toronto Star talks to Waters about the tour, which he says will likely be his last.

Eardrums talks to the makers of a documentary currently being made about legendary Sarah Records label. The Story Of Sarah Records isn’t due out until the end of the year, but a teaser trailer is up now and call for stories and memorabilia about the label open.

Trailer: The Story Of Sarah Records

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

Do Wah Doo

Kate Nash jets across Atlantic for North American tour

Photo By Clare NashClare NashUpdates from the recording sessions for Kate Nash’s follow-up to 2007’s Made Of Bricks were few and far-between, but what did come out – that she was working with Bernard Butler, as famed for his stint as guitarist in Suede as his production work and that boyfriend Ryan Jarman from Brit-rockers The Cribs was hanging around – seemed to imply that her bubbly piano anthems might be taking on a harder edge on the sophomore effort. A theory borne out by the first released MP3 from the album, initially entitled Crayon Full Of Color but since changed to My Best Friend Is You and out on April 20 either way – “I Just Love You More” sounded like a not especially successful attempt at punk rock and certainly not playing to Nash’s strengths – clever wordplay and keen, observational songwriting that’s as humorous as it is pointed.

The first proper single, however, does sound like vintage Kate Nash. “Do Wah Doo”, for which a fun dancing stewardess-themed video has just been released, is very much in line with the best of Bricks, just gussied up with Butler’s signature retro-slick production. In fact it might be a little too similar to those who’d like to see some more growth from album one to two, but if “Do Wah Doo” represents one end of the stylistic spectrum covered on the new record and “I Just Love You More” the other, then My Best Friend Is You should be a fun and interesting listen.

Nash was already announced as one of the artists taking part in this year’s Lilith Fair revival, but this piece in Rolling Stone shows she’s not waiting for Sarah McLachlan’s say-so to bring her new record to North America. Less than a week after the record’s release, Nash is embarking on a small club tour across the continent, starting on April 26 in Toronto at the Mod Club – tickets $22.50. I missed both of Nash’s previous local shows back in 2008, so I’m pretty excited about the opportunity to finally see her live, and in cozy environs no less. And hopefully it will go better than her recent Glasgow show.

The Daily Record and Contact Music have interviews with Nash.

MP3: Kate Nash – “I Just Love You More”
Video: Kate Nash – “Do Wah Doo”

Spin finds out why Victoria Hesketh calls herself Little Boots while NYLON and Metro also have interviews. It seems that it’s not just the Toronto date of her North American tour that’s been scotched – none of her east coast, post-Coachella dates are listed on her website anymore.

Pitchfork has details on the forthcoming album from the all-new. all-different PipettesEarth vs. the Pipettes will be out on June 28 in the UK and if the band believes that it’s the planet Earth that is conspiring to have all their members quit… they may be on to something.

Magnet has an interview with former Delgados frontwoman Emma Pollock, who has been playing guest editor on their site all week. Her second solo record The Law Of Large Numbers came out last week.

MP3: Emma Pollock – “Hug The Harbour”

If the questions posed in these following Spinner quickie SxSW preview interviews look familiar… well, they are. Thankfully the answers are different.

Spinner talks to Frightened Rabbit, whose Winter Of Mixed Drinks finally began this week. They are at the Opera House on May 4.

Fanfarlo chats with Spinner and The Daily Texan. They’re in town with a show at Lee’s Palace on April 9, and Clash reports the band are planning to give away a free live EP in conjunction with this (or some other upcoming) tour.

This Spinner interview with The xx strays from the script a little bit. They’re at the Phoenix on April 4 and the Kool Haus on April 20.

Let’s Wrestle grapples with some questions from Spinner. They’re at the Horseshoe on April 18.

NYC Taper is sharing a recording of a recent show from We Were Promised Jetpacks and oh yeah, there’s one of those Spinner interviews too.

The Line Of Best Fit chats with Field Music. They’re at the Horseshoe next Friday night with The Clientele, with whom 77 Square and City Pages have chats.

The Tripwire has a feature piece on The Big Pink. They play The Mod Club on March 24.

JAM and The Montreal Gazette interview Muse.

The High Wire, heartily endorsed late last year, have made the title track of their new album The Sleep Tape available to download. It starts out small, but quickly becomes a pretty compelling argument for this as one of the best dream-pop records of the year. Which, as of this moment, it is.

MP3: The High Wire – “The Sleep Tape”

Exclaim reports that Belle & Sebastian are off hiatus and headed back into the studio to record album number eight. EIGHT. Goodness.

Daytrotter has a session with Ian McCulloch of Echo & The Bunnymen. They are at The Phoenix on April 23.

Rumoured a little while ago but now official – first-wave shoegazers Chapterhouse have slated a North American tour for this Spring and will kick it off on May 1 at the Horseshoe in Toronto.

Video: Chapterhouse – “Pearl”

Billboard wonders what David Bowie is up to – apparently, not much.

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

Hug The Harbour

Emma Pollock prepares second solo release

Photo By Steve GullickSteve GullickI’m not quite at the point where I can refer to Emma Pollock without adding “former Delgados frontwoman”, but it’s getting there and with the release of her second solo album The Law Of Large Numbers, we’re getting there. Her 2007 debut Watch The Fireworks was a wholly enjoyable balance of intimate folkishness and scrappy rock, a recipe familiar to Delgados fans, but more immediate and accessible than her more idiosyncratic former band. If the first taste of the new record is any indication, it’s still quite direct but perhaps more ambitious, sonically speaking.

Either way, the new record is due out March 1 and one thing that’s certain is it’s certainly good to hear her voice again.

MP3: Emma Pollock – “Hug the Harbour”

And I was going to add a little bit asking what happened to Pollock’s co-lead in The Delgados, Alun Woodward, but it turns out he didn’t disappear so much as I just didn’t look. Some cursory digging reveals he released his self-titled solo debut under the name of Lord Cut-Glass this past Summer, so that’s both Delgados voices accounted for, and the drums as well, as Paul Savage appears on Woodward’s effort as well as on Pollock’s first record – though not, apparently, the second. Which only leaves bassist Stewart Henderson as MIA, but considering his wanting to retire is what caused the band to dissolve in the first place, that’s not surprising.

MP3: Lord Cut-Glass – “Even Jesus Couldn’t Love You”
Video: Lord Cut-Glass – “Look After Your Wife”

Decoding Static interviews Polly Scattergood.

Muse drummer Dominic Howard tells Spinner that touring as support for U2 earlier this year was an educational experience. Look for some of those lessons to be put on display when they play the Air Canada Centre on March 8.

The Quietus interviews Hope Sandoval.

Wears The Trousers has a conversation with Sharon Van Etten, who is in town on February 6 opening up for Great Lake Swimmers at Trinity-St. Paul’s.

Daytrotter is closing out the year with a session with The Daredevil Christopher Wright.

Interview does their thing with Kurt Wagner of Lambchop.

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel talks to Spoon frontman Britt Daniel. Their new album Transference is out January 19.

Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips names off some of this favourite records of the decade to Spinner. He also gives an interview to BBC6.

Their 20th anniversary year might officially end tonight, but Merge has at least one more goodie for the faithful – a new Portastatic digital EP featuring covers of other Merge artists, with proceeds going to charity.

And that’s it for this year. Have a safe New Years, everyone and – once more with feeling – fuck you 2009.