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Posts Tagged ‘Friendly Fires’

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

Good For You

Shoegazing under the microscope, starring My Bloody Valentine and Ride

Photo By Steve DoubleSteve DoubleWhenever an old/classic album is reissued these days – which is pretty much every day – it’s inevitably advertised as having been remastered, and it’s assumed that that’s a good thing. And not unreasonably – when a lot of these albums were originally released on compact disc, they were poorly converted from analog to digital and could generally sound thin/quiet/uninspiring. But remastering is no guarantee of improvement – at best, things will sound incredibly better (the 20th anniversary redo of The Stone Roses’ debut by original producer John Leckie is a revelation), at worst, they’ll be posthumous victims of The Loudness Wars and make those original pressings that much more valuable.

All of which is only salient because the specifics of remastering were brought to the fore this week thanks to a couple of coincidental analyses of some high-profile reissues of classic shoegazing albums; My Bloody Valentine’s seminal Loveless, finally being re-released next week, and Ride’s debut Nowhere, which was polished up and put out in November of 2010.

Loveless is an interesting case because rather than being half-album, half-outtakes and rarities as most double-disc reissues typically are, it comes as two complete versions of the album – one a remaster from “the original tapes”, the other a remaster from “the original 1/2-inch analogue tapes”. I use the quotes because, to be honest, I don’t know what the difference is in terms of origin or timeline; Spin also takes a close listen to the two versions and offers their thoughts on the curious release. An interview with Kevin Shields that went up at Pitchfork this week sheds a lot of light on all facets of the subject, but I guess I accept that I’m amongst those who don’t hear a difference between the two. You can see if you can hear a difference for yourself as The Guardian is streaming both remasters, though Soundcloud compression and computer speakers probably obliterate any subtle differences between the two. They’ve also dug up an interview with Shields circa 1992 that you can read while listening.

Spin also has a gander at one of the previously unreleased songs that makes the EPs 1988-1991 double-disc comp so necessary for fans. “Good For You” surfaced as a bootleg via YouTube a few years ago, but is finally going to be available – along with other goodies – in proper, high-fidelity form. The official version is available to stream via the aforementioned Pitchfork interview and the bootleg was found on YouTube.

Stream: My Bloody Valentine – “Good For You”
Stream: My Bloody Valentine – “Good For You” (bootleg)
Stream: My Bloody Valentine / Loveless (both remasters)

With respect to the Nowhere reissue put out by Rhino Handmade – generally a reliable and responsible archival outfit – Bradley’s Almanac has put “Vapour Trail” and “Paralysed” under the microscope – or oscilloscope – to see just what the remastering job by Rick Webb at Abbey Road Studios accomplished. Interesting and illuminating analysis over there that’s gotten me thinking maybe I do need to re-buy this album at least one more time.

And because Boston loves Ride – clearly – I direct you to another Beantown blog in Clicky Click, who’ve compiled a tribute album to Nowhere comprised of all-Boston bands entitled Nofuckingwhere. Download it and discover some new bands while listening to some classic tunes.

The AV Club talks to Johnny Marr about supervising the remastering of the entire Smiths catalog for their Complete reissue series last Fall and his feelings about the band, decades on.

Jason Pierce of Spiritualized talks to NOW and The AV Club in advance of Saturday’s sold-out show at The Phoenix.

2:54 are streaming a new track from their forthcoming self-titled/numbered debut, due out May 29. They’re at Lee’s Palace on June 15 for NXNE.

Stream: 2:54 – “Creeping”

Beatroute gets Stuart Braithwaite of Mogwai on the horn. They play The Phoenix on June 18.

Interview and Musicfeeds talk to Mystery Jets about their new just-released new record Radlands; they’re at The Sound Academy on June 19 supporting Keane.

Michael Kiwanuka has released a new video from Home Again. Note that his June 19 date at The Great Hall has been moved to The Phoenix and a few hundred more tickets will be on sale shortly.

Video: Michael Kiwanuka – “I’ll Get Along”

Having had to cancel last Summer’s show at The Phoenix (and the attendant tour) in support of Whatever’s On Your Mind due to illness, Gomez are making things up intimate-style with a show at The Mod Club on July 23, tickets $25.50.

Video: Gomez – “Whatever’s On Your Mind”

Micachu & The Shapes have announced that the follow-up to their 2009 debut Jewellery will be entitled Never and be out on July 24.

Little Boots has released a video for her latest single, taken from an album that has not been announced yet but is surely coming sooner or later.

Video: Little Boots – “Every Night I Say A Prayer”

Ben Lovett of Mumford & Sons tells NME that album number two is in the can, as they say.

Joshua Hayward of The Horrors opines to NME his thoughts on how big a room he thinks his band can play and their recording plans for the Fall.

Beatroute, The San Francisco Examiner, and Spinner all have interviews with Arctic Monkeys.

State interviews Friendly Fires.

The Skinny talks to Stephen Morris of New Order.

Lisa Hannigan and Joe Henry – who produced Hannigan’s latest album Passenger – will team up for a show at The Phoenix on June 10, general admission seated tickets $25 in advance.

Stream: Lisa Hannigan / Passenger

The Chicago Tribune interviews Anthony Gonzalez of M83, in Toronto at The Sound Academy this coming Sunday, May 6, and again at Historic Fort York on August 4.

Maria Linden of I Break Horses – who open up for M83 at Sound Academy on Sunday – talks to Denver Westword.

The Line Of Best Fit has an acoustic video session with Niki & The Dove recorded for Swedish site PSL while DIY is streaming two of the bonus songs that appears on the deluxe edition of their debut Instinct, out May 14 in the UK and in North America on August 7.

Stream: Niki & The Dove – “Taylor”/”All This Youth”

Spin has premiered the new video from Ane Brun, performing at The Great Hall on May 10.

Video: Ane Brun – “One”

DIY has a video session with First Aid Kit, back in town for a show at The Music Hall on September 26.

Drowned In Sound talks to Jonsi about returning to Sigur Rós after going solo. Valtari is out May 29 and they play Echo Beach on August 1.

Rolling Stone is offering a download of one of the songs Ladyhawke recorded for an All Saints session earlier this year. Her new record Anxiety is due out May 25 and I neglected to post the second video from it when it was released last month; let me rectify that.

MP3: Ladyhawke – “Black White & Blue” (acoustic All Saints version)
Video: Ladyhawke – “Sunday Drive”

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

King and Lionheart

Of Monsters & Men and For A Minor Reflection at The El Mocambo in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangIt’s hard to believe it was only a month ago that I was roaming the streets of Reykjavik, getting ready to dive headlong into Iceland Airwaves. Not that long ago, but enough to welcome a reminder of how much fun it all was, which I got from the Toronto Iceland Arts Festival at the El Mocambo on Sunday night, which as part of its celebration of all things Icelandic included the importing of a couple of the country’s finest up-and-coming bands.

I had thought that being the relative veterans, For A Minor Reflection would close out the evening but the quartet was instead up first, perhaps as a public service announcement as to what happens when you forget your earplugs at home. Which is to say they were loud. Really loud. But then volume is necessarily part of the equation for instrumental post-rock bands, and that’s unequivocally what For A Minor Reflection are – imagine Explosions In The Sky without the foreplay, combined with some of the hard rock riffage of Mogwai and you’re about there. Though more dynamic and punishing live than on record, they push no boundaries but are instead deft and enthusiastic practitioners of what’s already been mapped. Or in more appropriate cinematic terms, they’re a genre film that stays true to formula but is superbly executed and thrills all the same.

Of Monsters & Men were the first band I saw at Airwaves and the experience gave me a crash course in just how rabid Icelandic music fans were. Though the band had only just released their first album domestically in My Head Is An Animal, NASA – one of the city’s larger venues – was jammed with fans and the atmosphere was electric. I would later come to understand just how hot this seven-piece was their native land, having just signed a worldwide deal with Universal and being tapped to be the country’s next big musical export. Starting, it would seem, with Canada.

Though the crowd was obviously smaller than they had in Reykjavik, there were still at least a few hundred people in attendance and to judge from their enthusiasm, many seemed to already count themselves as big fans of the band. And it’s not hard to understand why – though I maintain their sound is easily summed up as Stars meets Fanfarlo, thanks to their catchy tunes, big arrangements and the boy-girl lead vocals of Raggi Þórhallsson and Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir, that should in no way diminish its catchiness or ability to inspire swoons from the listener. And while they clearly didn’t have far to go to win over the audience, they came across more focused than I found their hometown set as though they were bound and determined to impress. That was one reason I enjoyed this show more than the Airwaves one, the other being that I wasn’t distracted with trying to acclimate to the Airwaves experience – trust me, 800 screaming Viking descendants at your back are distracting.

Of Monsters & Men didn’t offer any timetable for when My Head Is An Animal might be available in Canada and blamed their not having any copies for sale on their own stupidity but made amends by burning sampler CD-Rs and tossing them into the audience; I know that physical media is passe these days, but it was still fun seeing folks scramble for the freebies. And it was also great to see that the phenomenon I witnessed at Airwaves, of foreign acts arriving in that country to play for the first time without knowing what to expect and being greeted by raving fans, worked in reverse as well.

I miss Iceland. Airwaves 2012 is already scheduled for October 31 to November 4 of next year. You should go.

Photos: Of Monsters & Men, For A Minor Reflection @ The El Mocambo – November 13, 2011
MP3: For A Minor Reflection – “Dansi Dans”
MP3: Of Monsters & Men – “Little Talks”
Video: For A Minor Reflection – “A Moll”

While director Vincent Morriset has handled most of the press duties surrounding the release of Sigur Rós’ live film and album Inni – out today – the band have stepped up to talk to The Wall Street Journal and The Guardian, revealing that they’re intending to release a new album in the Spring. You can also watch a video of the band at a Q&A for the film at the British Film Institute.

And over at NPR, Jonsi has premiered a stream of a new song from the soundtrack to Cameron Crowe’s We Bought A Zoo, the album of which is out December 13.

Stream: Jonsi – “Gathering Stories”

NPR solicits a Tiny Desk Concert from Jens Lekman.

Beat has a quick Q&A with Niki & The Dove.

The San Francisco Chronicle talks to Lykke Li, in town at the Sound Academy tonight.

Head over to The Quietus to download a free compilation of Scandinavian tunes put together by Scandinavian music blog Ja Ja Ja.

France’s Herman Dune have made a date at The Horseshoe for January 19.

Video: Herman Dune – “Be A Doll And Take My Heart”

DIY talks to Twilight Sad frontman James Graham about their new album No One Can Ever Know, which has been given a release date of February 7 – Exclaim has details on the release and the first video from the album has just been made public.

Video: The Twilight Sad – “Sick”

Clash chats with Veronica Falls.

Los Campesinos! are celebrating the release of their new record Hello Sadness with a video for the title track.

Video: Los Campesinos! – “Hello Sadness”

Friendly Fires have released a new video from Pala.

Video: Friendly Fires – “Hurting”

Summer Camp have a new video for a song that doesn’t appear on their just-released debut Welcome To Condale; it was written for a nail polish. But don’t let that put you off – the song and the vid are both super-cute. JUST LIKE THE NAIL POLISH. Wait, what just happened.

Video: Summer Camp – “You Might Get Stuck On Me”

Emmy The Great and Tim Wheeler have premiered a video from their forthcoming This Is Christmas album over at The Guardian.

Video: Emmy The Great & Tim Wheeler – “Home For The Holidays”

And on the “oh no not the holidays already” tip, Darren Hayman has put his Christmas EP Christmas In Haworth up for stream and for sale. And less seasonally, he’s released a new video from his latest album The Ship’s Piano.

Video: Darren Hayman – “I Taught You How To Dance”
Stream: Darren Hayman / Christmas In Haworth

Ladytron have put out a new video from Gravity The Seducer; the band are profiled in The Signal and Rolling Stone.

Video: Ladytron – “Mirage”

The Quietus has an interview with Kate Bush, whose new record 50 Words For Snow is out next week.

Stream: Kate Bush / 50 Words For Snow

The Sydney Morning Herald talks to Florence Welch of Florence & The Machine.

Little Boots has released a stream of the first single from her forthcoming second album, presumably due in 2012. And a sort-of video. But probably not the real video.

Stream: Little Boots – “Shake”
Video: Little Boots – “Shake”

Le Blogotheque have posted a Take Away Show with Wild Beasts.

The Quietus talks to Esben & The Witch about their just-released Hexagons EP.

Noel Gallagher extends an olive branch to brother Liam, telling The Mirror that the guy who attacked him onstage in Toronto in 2008 should have been targeting his younger brother. All in jest. I think. He’s a little more on topic with music and his solo career in this chat with MusicRadar and offers a guide to life via MTV.

Over at The Telegraph, meanwhile, Liam Gallagher talks Beady Eye.

The Von Pip Musical Express interviews The Jezabels, in town at The Phoenix on November 24 and 25 supporting Hey Rosetta!.

Thursday, October 13th, 2011

Roads

Portishead at The Sound Academy in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangSome have been lumping Portishead’s return to recording and touring, starting with the release of 2007’s Third, in with the spate of ’90s band reunions and reconciliations which the more cynical would assume be intended to cash in on the nostalgia of today’s 30-somethings. This is basically wrong. Yes, the band were last properly active in the late ’90s, their second self-titled album coming out in Fall 1997, but what separates Portishead from the pack are that Third was written and recorded if not released before their return to the stage and rather than rest on past laurels as the progenitors of what would become datedly known as “trip-hop”, they opted to evolve far beyond what they were known for and leave the genre behind. There was no trip-hop on Third, only dark and fascinating Portishead. The band didn’t go away, they were just taking their time, and in the interim no one was able to replicate what they did.

And while it took them a good while to get around to touring North America for the new record – three and a half years or so – they finally got around to it this Fall and brought their show to Toronto’s Sound Academy for two nights over Thanksgiving weekend, of which I was at the first evening. Portishead may not immediately seem like they’d be an incredible live band, what with being very much studio creations and not “rocking” in the conventional sense, but the PNYC live set proved they were fully capable of recreating the same sense of desolate and desperate wonder of their records on stage. There was no reason not to expect greatness. And while there was no orchestra accompanying them this time, playing in front of a riveting lightshow made up of recorded projections and live camerawork, the six-piece band was more than equipped to create every tone and texture needed to do their material justice. Be it seamlessly combining live and electronic drums, inserting a brilliant turntable break or just jazzing the tempos the right amount to keep the dirgier songs moving, they were delicate when needed but heavy as hell on demand.

And at the centre of them all, of it all, either draped over the mic or with back to the audience, was Beth Gibbons – the enigmatic voice and face of the band. Her sorrowful, emotive vocals were reflected in the pained expressions on her face as she sang, and with her refusal to do interviews you couldn’t help but wonder if she was in character up there or if she was actually laying herself bare; in either case, whatever emotions Portishead were channelling were coming directly through her. At points her vocals seemed undermixed, not an unusual occurrence at the Sound Academy, but you couldn’t help thinking it was also deliberate to a degree, to allow for even more dramatic effect when she rose above the din. And despite the limits of her stage moves – she didn’t stay at the mic, face the crowd any longer than was necessary or say a word – she was a mesmerizing figure to watch, to try and figure out. It was only at the very end of the final song, “We Carry On”, that the mask broke and Gibbons leapt into the photo pit, all grins, and shook hands with as many fans in the front row as she could. It was a stunning and surprising dropping of what was now clearly a performance, and what a performance.

Some fans might have found room to complain that the set list leaned too heavily on Third, overlooking the fact that it’s a brilliant record for the fact that it’s not their favourite, and yeah – a couple more songs off Portishead would have been welcome – but the there’s no ground to be had in arguing that the show was anything less than brilliant for it. Perfectly paced, presented and performed. Perfectly Portishead.

The Globe & Mail, The Toronto Sun, The New Zealand Herald, and Beatroute have interviews with the band. Examiner.com and NOW were on hand for Sunday night, Exclaim on Monday and it’s unclear when Torontoist was there.

Photos: Portishead @ The Sound Academy – October 9, 2011
Video: Portishead – “Chase The Tear”
Video: Portishead – “Magic Doors”
Video: Portishead – “The Rip”
Video: Portishead – “Machine Gun”
Video: Portishead – “Glory Box”
Video: Portishead – “All Mine”
Video: Portishead – “Humming”

Spinner talks to Friendly Fires frontman Ed Macfarlane. They play The Phoenix on October 23.

Clash talks to Still Corners about their new record Creatures Of An Hour. They’re at The Drake Underground on October 25.

Clash reports that Patrick Wolf will report a new 6-song EP entitled Brumalia on November 28.

With the October 31 release of National Treasures impending, NME talks to James Dean Bradfield.

New Horrors video!

Video: The Horrors – “I Can See Through You”

The Fly has an acoustic courtyard session with Veronica Falls.

Interview talks to Ladytron’s Daniel Hunt.

Clash talks books with Slow Club.

Amor de Dias have released a new video from their debut Street Of The Love Of Days

Video: Amor de Dias – “Season Of Light”

Stereogum has premiered a new Fanfarlo video from their forthcoming second album, out sometime under some name.

Video: Fanfarlo – “Deconstruction”

Urban Outfitters have an interview with Anthony Gonzalez of M83 and are also streaming their new album Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming ahead of its release on October 18. Black Book also has an interview. They play Lee’s Palace on November 18.

Stream: M83 / Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming

Sweden’s Niki & The Dove have released a video for the title track of their debut EP The Drummer, due out on Tuesday.

Video: Niki & The Dove – “The Drummer”

The Line Of Best Fit has posted a video session with Loney Dear. He plays the Drake Underground on November 4.

NPR interviews Bjork.

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

Moving Further Away

Review of The Horrors’ Skying

Photo By Neil KrugNeil KrugThose of us who dismissed The Horrors as gimmicky flash in the pans based on their 2007 debut Strange House were left eating our words with their follow up, 2009’s massive and grinding Primary Colours. With the assistance of producer Geoff Barrow, all the band’s cartoonish aspects (stage surnames included) were jettisoned in favour of a goth-y and raw, yet melodic aesthetic that evoked the most aggressive aspects of ’80s British New Wave and ’90s shoegaze. As far as reinventions went, this was a pretty damned successful one and if the band continued to use Primary Colours as a template for future works, no one would be surprised or disappointed.

What Skying, the band’s third effort, proves however is that remaining creatively stationary is not in the game plan. Self-produced this time out, it uses Primary Colours as a jumping-off point but despite utilizing a similar palette of sounds, it paints a markedly different picture. It comes across both less aggressively and less immediately pop than its predecessor and while you might reasonably wonder what that leaves, the answer is plenty. Skying retains enough of the deliciously abrasive guitar textures and swooping synths that roped in so many last time out, but the songs are more midtempo and laden with a romantic lushness that should be familiar to those who’ve heard frontman Faris Badwan’s throwback pop side-project Cat’s Eyes (and if you haven’t, you should).

This is not to say that Skying is soft – numbers like “I Can See Through You” and plenty other moments cut like anything they’ve ever done – but there’s a greater willingness to explore the nuances of what they’re doing, and that makes for a deeper and more challenging but ultimately more rewarding listen. But perhaps more exciting than the album itself is the realization that The Horrors have no shortage of ideas or inspiration and perhaps most importantly, no desire to repeat themselves.

Skying is out in North America next Tuesday, August 9. Their North American tour kicks off in just over a month and hits Lee’s Palace in Toronto on September 27. The Skinny has an interview with the band about making the new record.

MP3: The Horrors – “Moving Further Away”
Video: The Horrors – “Still Life”
Stream: The Horrors / Skying

Male Bonding will warm up for their September 2 show at The Horseshoe on September 2 with an in-store down the street at Kops Records at 6PM that same evening. Their new album Endless Now is out August 30.

MP3: Male Bonding – “Bones”

UK dubstep DJ SBTRKT will play a live show at The Hoxton – formerly known as but still located at 69 Bathurst – on November 3. Odds of Drake showing up as a surprise guest on “Wildfire” as he did at Wrongbar last month? Probably not great. BUT YOU NEVER KNOW.

MP3: SBTRKT – “Wildfire”
Video: SBTRKT – “Wildfire”

NPR and Spinner talks to James Blake, who will be at The Phoenix on September 30.

USA Today acquaints its readers with the works of Friendly Fires, in town for a make-up show at The Phoenix on October 23. Time Out Hong Kong also has a feature piece.

Pitchfork has an interview with WU LYF, who recently announced a November 12 show at The Horseshoe.

DIY talks to Dev Hynes of Blood Orange, whose debut album Coastal Grooves is due out August 30.

Blurt talks to Vincent Moon about directing the Burning live concert film for Mogwai.

Last week I pointed you at a stream of the first finished recording from former Long Blonde Kate Jackson; said track is now available to download and keep and repeat. Also check out some demos at her Soundcloud.

MP3: Kate Jackson Group – “Date With Dawn”

They’re refusing to call it an Arab Strap reunion, but Malcolm Middleton and Aidan Moffat did get together again for the purpose of recording a characteristically grim cover of Slow Club’s new single – stream it and read some commentary from Moffat at The Quietus. Slow Club’s Paradise – from which the original song is taken – is out September 12.

Pitchfork is won over by a new track from I Break Horses’ debut Hearts, out August 30 in Europe.

MP3: I Break Horses – “Winter Beats”

The Line Of Best Fit is streaming another gorgeous new Loney Dear song from the forthcoming Hall Music. It’s out October 4 and they play The Drake on November 4.

The Jezabels are sharing the first MP3 from their new record Prisoner, even though it’s not out until Spring of next year. At least you can hear it and other new tunes when the band plays The Phoenix on November 24 opening up for Hey Rosetta!.

MP3: The Jezabels – “Endless Summer”

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

The It Girl

Review of Louise Wener’s Just For One Day: Adventures In Britpop

Photo via The IndependentThe IndependentOne thing that should have been well-established over the run of this blog is that I am an irredeemable Britpop kid, having come of musical age in the mid-’90s with my nose buried in issues of Select and spending too much money I really couldn’t spare on import CDs on their breathless recommendations. Many were pretty terribly, in retrospect, or even worse just wholly unremarkable, but one of my enduring favourites beyond the Oasis/Blur/Pulp triumvirate is Sleeper, whose three albums of scrappy pop have aged quite nicely, unlike some of their peers.

Since splitting just before the collapse of the scene, frontwoman Louise Wener has turned her pen from song lyrics to fiction and written some well-received novels – I’ve read a few, they’re pretty good – but her memoirs, released last year as Different For Girls: A Girl’s Own True-Life Adventures In Pop and re-released last month as the more descriptive Just For One Day: Adventures In Britpop is the tome that fans have been waiting for.

Rather than attempt to document the scene, it follows Wener from her seemingly well-adjusted suburban London adolescence of wanting more than anything to be a pop star to getting swept up in the Britpop wave and managing to actually become a pop star and then walking away when it became clear their time in the spotlight was done. Aside from the breaking up with the guitarist to go out with the drummer thing, it’s not particularly rife with scandal or gossip – Sleeper were never quite on the inside of the Britpop royal court and while there was plenty of drugs and alcohol, they didn’t become casualties of it. I do question the authenticity of all the quotes used in the text – either they’re liberally paraphrased or Wener has an astonishing memory – but nothing libelous is attributed to anyone and they work well with Wener’s writing style, which is brisk and fun with the right amount of self-deprecation. It’s almost too brisk and self-deprecating at points and all over too soon, but perhaps that’s befitting the whirlwind nature of their career – their three albums came out over the minuscule span of three years. But Wener’s perspective is clear-eyed and while she looks back on things fondly, it’s pretty obvious there won’t be a reunion any time soon or ever, and that’s just fine. We’ve got the records, we’ve got the videos and we’ve got the book.

And oh, I’ve got two copies of the book – accidentally bought it under both titles – so Different For Girls is an official lending copy since it’s pretty much impossible to find on this side of the pond. And if anyone has an MP3 of Elvis Costello covering “What Do I Do Now” from the All This Useless Beauty b-sides as a bit of quid pro quo or just a gift, I’d love to get a hold of it…

MP3: Sleeper – “Statuesque”
Video: Sleeper – “She’s A Good Girl”
Video: Sleeper – “Nice Guy Eddie”
Video: Sleeper – “Sale Of The Century”
Video: Sleeper – “What Do I Do Now”
Video: Sleeper – “Vegas”
Video: Sleeper – “Inbetweener”
Video: Sleeper – “Delicious”
Video: Sleeper – “Swallow”

One of my other favourite pieces of Britpop-related literature is the Phonogram comic series. They’re sticking to their guns of not doing any more than any more series beyond Rue Britannia and The Singles Club, but writer Kieron Gillen has released the complete script for the first issue of The Singles Club, the first issue of which is also available online in its entirety to compare and contrast. I don’t recall what the official Phonogram position on Sleeper was… hopefully kinder than to Echobelly.

The Fly has a courtyard video session with Slow Club, who’re prepping their second album Paradise for a September 12 release.

Clash are offering a taste of the new Peggy Sue album, entitled Acrobats and due out on September 12 in the UK.

MP3: Peggy Sue – “Cut My Teeth”

They made their local debut back in May as support for Tame Impala and tacked an in-store set onto the visit, but Yuck have taken a surprisingly long time to bring their more ’90s than ’90s fuzz-pop to town for a headlining show. That will be rectified as of September 25, when they play The Horseshoe – tickets $13.50 in advance. eMusic has an interview with the London outfit.

MP3: Yuck – “Get Away”
MP3: Yuck – “Georgia”

Laura Marling will follow the September 13 release of her third album A Creature I Don’t Know with what she’s calling the “When The Bell Tolls” tour; it includes a stop at The Great Hall on September 23, tickets $20 in advance on sale Friday. For a two-time Mercury shortlister, she’s had a habit of playing drastically undersized venues here – her 2008 debut was at the tiny Rivoli and her last visit last February at Lee’s Palace, a month before I Speak Because I Can was released, was originally supposed to be at the Drake. All of which is to say that tickets for this show will go quickly. NME has a track-by-track breakdown of her new record, one song of which is available to stream via the YouTubes.

MP3: Laura Marling – “Ghosts”
Stream: Laura Marling – “Sophia”

Stereogum and The Telegraph talk to The Horrors, who’ve released an MP3 from their new album Skying – it gets an August 9 release in North America. The Horrors are at Lee’s Palace on September 27.

MP3: The Horrors – “Moving Further Away”

Welsh singer Anika – protege of Portishead’s Geoff Barrow and Nico soundalike – will be at Wrongbar on October 8 in support of her 2010 self-titled debut, which is available to stream on her website. eMusic has an interview.

MP3: Anika – “Yang Yang”
Stream: Anika / Anika

And given that Barrow will be in town the next two nights at The Sound Academy with Portishead – October 9 and 10 – it’s not unreasonable to assume that he’ll be at Anika’s show. Pitchfork talks Geoff Barrow about the band’s upcoming North American tour.

NPR has a KCRW radio session with Friendly Fires, in town at The Phoenix on October 23.

Noel Gallagher has finally unveiled his debut solo single and listening to it and what Beady Eye have done, it’s really no wonder that Oasis fell apart. Even if the brothers Gallagher didn’t hate each other, their creative directions were pretty clearly on opposite trajectories. Think Liam would have stood for those horns? No, I don’t think so. Noel Gallagher and the High Flying Birds will be out on November 8 stateside.

Video: Noel Gallagher & The High Flying Birds – “The Death Of You And Me”

The Von Pip Musical Express chats with Emma-Lee Moss, aka Emmy The Great.

Gorilla Vs Bear is streaming one of the new songs from Summer Camp’s forthcoming debut album – due out whenever it’s fully funded via Pledge Music.

The first proper recording from The Kate Jackson Group – fronted by the former Long Blondes singer – is available to stream at God Is In The TV and it’s kind of fantastic. I had some concerns about Jackson’s solo output considering that Dorian Cox was the primary songwriter in that band, but if this is an indication of what Jackson can do on her own, those concerns are unfounded. Bring on the album.

The Sydney Morning Herald checks in with Kele Okereke of Bloc Party, who will be coming off hiatus later this Fall.

Fanfarlo frontman Simon Balthazar gives Paste an update on the progress of album number two, due out in the early part of next year.

I was happy enough to hear confirmed details on the new Loney Dear record Hall Music, out October 4, but to know that Emil Svanäaut;ngen and company will be back in town on November 5 for a show at the Drake Underground? That’s even better. Tickets are $13.50 in advance.

MP3: Loney Dear – “My Heart”

Lykke Li is coming back to town this Fall are part of a North American tour and she’ll be accompanied by fellow Swedes, sister act First Aid Kit. They’ll be at The Sound Academy on November 15, tickets $30 for general admission and $40 for VIP balcony. DIY talks to First Aid Kit about how work is coming on their second album.

MP3: Lykke Li – “Youth Knows No Pain”
MP3: First Aid Kit – “I Met Up With The King”

The Quietus and Billboard have feature interviews with Bjork while Billboard also chats with Michel Gondry, who directed her just-released new video. A track from her new album Biophilia is available to download; it’s out on September 27.

MP3: Bjork – “Cosmogony”
Video: Bjork – “Crystalline”