Posts Tagged ‘Futureheads’

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Valhalla Dancehall

British Sea Power and A Classic Education at Lee’s Palace in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangFor the first few years of their existence, the British Sea Power live experience had a reputation as something of a spectacle, thanks to their habit of decorating the stage with local foliage and then-keyboardist Eamon Hamilton’s on-stage shenanigans – both of which were in full effect the last time I saw them play a regular-type show in Toronto, way back in May 2005. Both times I’ve seen them since then – a SxSW day show and television taping – weren’t necessarily conducive to indulging in madness though since Hamilton’s departure in early 2006 the bedlam had been toned down somewhat anyways. So it’s a good thing that their records since then – 2008’s Do You Like Rock Music? and this year’s Valhalla Dancehall have easily been solid enough to warrant hearing live even if the band just stood stock still and played, though thankfully they did not.

Though I’d corresponded with A Classic Education frontman Jon Clancy for some years and despite Clancy being an Ontario ex-pat now based in Bologna, Italy, this was the first time they’d made it to Toronto. Probably on account of the fact that they’re based in Bologna, Italy. But I’d managed to see them a couple years ago at SxSW and was impressed with the scope of their musical vision, even if I didn’t think their grasp quite matched their reach yet. Interestingly, in the time since them they’ve seemingly adjusted course to point towards a simpler, more ’50s-influenced style of rock and while their scope still retains some of that grandness, mostly thanks to sophisticated little flourishes in the arrangements, but the delivery is more compact and streamlined and the net result actually suits them better. Interestingly, for as long as they’ve been around there’s still not been a full-length release – their last issue was the Hey There Stranger 12″ EP last year. Hopefully that gets rectified soon.

British Sea Power has certainly grown, both in size and maturity. To the former, multi-instrumentalist Phil Sumner and violinist Abi Fry are now apparently full-fledged band members and to the latter, well they simply don’t get up to the tricks they used to (see above). It’s as though their gawky acting act has transmuted into a sort of stateliness, and accordingly they’re not in any rush to get where they’re going – they know it’ll get there eventually. Which is why it’s sort of alright that the show, like the last couple I’d seen, seemed to start off a bit slowly despite opening with a couple of Valhalla‘s more hopped-up numbers, though the fact that Hamilton had lost his voice and couldn’t take lead on some of the songs as he normally did might have had something to do with it as well.

Still, by the time they hit the Valhalla-era non-album track “Zeus”, they were clearly warmed up. The epic-length track was played with extra vigor and from there on, the second half of the show came with loads more drive than the first – thanks, no doubt, to the inclusion of ragers such as “Spirit Of St. Louis”, “It Ended On An Oily Stage” and “Lights Out For Darker Skies”. The four-song encore brought some dynamics back into it, pairing the anthemic “Waving Flags” and “Carrion” with the more elegiac “The Great Skua” and “All In It”, but the real highlight came with the second encore which revived some of the old-school on-stage anarchy soundtracked by “Apologies To Insect Life”. Antics included but were not limited to Yan giving local “super-fan” Kayvon a ride on his shoulders before doing a reverse double stage dive into the crowd – I hope Kavon was warned of it beforehand – and Noble, who had apparently hit a critical point of inebriation, going for a crowd surf after the song had ended in order to get to the bar as quickly as possible. Okay, maybe British Sea Power haven’t matured that much. Thank goodness.

BBC America has an interview with Martin Noble and NYC Taper is sharing a recording of the New York stop on this tour.

Photos: British Sea Power, A Classic Education @ Lee’s Palace – March 24, 2011
MP3: British Sea Power – “Who’s In Control?”
MP3: British Sea Power – “Living Is So Easy”
MP3: British Sea Power – “Zeus”
MP3: British Sea Power – “Come Wander With Me”
MP3: British Sea Power – “Atom”
MP3: British Sea Power – “Please Stand Up”
MP3: A Classic Education – “Gone To Sea”
MP3: A Classic Education – “I Lost Time”
MP3: A Classic Education – “Toi”
MP3: A Classic Education – “Stay, Son”
Video: British Sea Power – “Who’s In Control”
Video: British Sea Power – “Living Is So Easy”
Video: British Sea Power – “Waving Flags”
Video: British Sea Power – “No Lucifer”
Video: British Sea Power – “Water Tower”
Video: British Sea Power – “Please Stand Up”
Video: British Sea Power – “It Ended On An Oily Stage”
Video: British Sea Power – “Childhood Memories”
Video: British Sea Power – “The Spirit Of St. Louis”
Video: British Sea Power – “Carrion”
Video: British Sea Power – “Remember Me”
Video: A Classic Education – “Gone To Sea”
Video: A Classic Education – “Toi”

Clearly I’m being punished for going to Euro at the end of May. How else to explain the number of excellent tours coming through town while I’m away, which now include 2010 year-end listers Stornoway, who are bringing Beachcomber’s Windowsill back to North America and specifically the El Mocambo, where they dazzled last December, on May 24. Tickets $13.50 in advance.

MP3: Stornoway – “Zorbing”

But the one that really hurts is that Anna Calvi has made good on her promise to make up all the March dates cancelled because of her wrist injury, and the make-up date for Toronto will be May 27, also at the El Mocambo. Funny how I went from potentially seeing her a good number of times across CMW and SxSW to not at all… though it is some consolation that while she’s soundchecking a 10-minute walk from my apartment, I’ll be on the shores of the Mediterranean listening to Pulp. Under The Radar has full tour dates and tickets for the Toronto show are $12 in advance. Paste has an interview and Calvi has just released a new video.

MP3: Anna Calvi – “Blackout”
Video: Anna Calvi – “Blackout”

PJ Harvey has released a couple more videos from Let England Shake. Spinner has an interview with Polly Jean.

Video: PJ Harvey – “England”
Video: PJ Harvey – “The Colour Of The Earth”

It’s session time for Two Door Cinema Club as NPR has them visit The World Cafe and Daytrotter has a set available to download.

Daytrotter has also posted up a session with The Futureheads.

State talks to Rab Allan and Herald Scotland to James Allan of Glasvegas about their new record Euphoric Heartbreak, out next week.

Sons & Daughters have announced their new record Mirror, Mirror will be out on June 14, and based on the first MP3 made available, they’ve gotten as far as possible from the shiny glam of 2008’s This Gift. The Line Of Best Fit has details on the release.

MP3: Sons & Daughters – “Silver Spell”

The Guardian, Gigwise and Metro talk to Patrick Wolf about his new record Lupercalia, due out May 31.

Spin finds out the origins of The Joy Formidable’s name while The Asbury Park Press have an interview and NPR is streaming one of their SxSW sets. They are at The Horseshoe this coming Saturday night, April 2.

The Guardian has a feature piece on Adele, while NPR is streaming a World Cafe session. A couple people in the last few days have asked me how they might go about getting tickets to her May 18 show at the Kool Haus. It made me laugh. Update: And now who’s laughing? The show was just moved to the Air Canada Centre. It it’s a full arena setup, that’s like an eightfold increase in capacity. Even the theatre configuration is like two and a half times the Kool Haus.

Friendly Fires have confirmed a May 16 release date for their second album Pala; Ed Macfarlane speaks briefly to Purple Revolver about the writing process. They play The Phoenix on May 30.

Exclaim has an interview with Liam Gallagher of Beady Eye, who’ve managed to sell out their show at the Sound Academy on June 20. You know they’re not playing any Oasis material, right? No matter how much you plead? Okay, just checking.

DIY, Billboard and BBC talk to Elbow and learn that the band have plans for North American touring later this year (yes!) and collaborator Richard Hawley is currently in the studio working on a new record (yes!).

Brett Anderson of Suede tells NME that the reunited band is working on new material but that it won’t necessarily translate into new recordings.

Radiohead’s new record The King Of Limbs is now streaming in whole at Spinner. They will also be releasing a limited edition 12″ single for Record Store Day, April 16, featuring non-album tracks “Supercollider” and “The Butcher”.

Stream: Radiohead / The King Of Limbs

Clash checks in with Charles Watson of Slow Club about how work is progressing on the duo’s second album.

The Georgia Straight interviews Esben & The Witch.

Spinner talks to Reuben Wu and Clash to Mira Aroyo of Ladytron.

The Quietus profiles Cat’s Eyes, the new project from Faris Badwan of The Horrors and opera singer Rachel Zeffira. Their self-titled debut is due out April 25.

NPR interviews Lykke Li, who is at The Phoenix on May 22. A new track from Wounded Rhymes is available to download.

MP3: Lykke Li – “Youth Knows No Pain”

Clash, Spin and DIY have features on Peter Bjorn & John, whose new record Gimme Some is out now and available to stream. They’re at Lee’s Palace on May 6.

Stream: Peter Bjorn & John / Gimme Some

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

Raise Your Head

Review of 6 Day Riot’s On This Island

Photo via FacebookFacebookI took to watching the British TV show Skins a little while back and in keeping with popular opinion, found the first two seasons to be compellingly done and only mildly ridiculous overall whereas the next generation was rather astoundingly charisma-free and so over the top that even the most outrageous soap opera writers would have gone, “really? You did that?”.

If there was some solace to be taken as I endured the later episodes (once I start watching something it’s very difficult to stop, no matter how bad), it was that the show’s reputation for excellent music direction didn’t waver over the show’s run. A fact which helped remind me that I hadn’t yet written up On This Island, the latest effort from London’s 6 Day Riot, when I heard soundtracking various scenes of English adolescent angst during season four.

Not that there’s anything particularly angsty about On This Island. Like its predecessors Folie a Deux and 6 Day Riot Have A Plan, it’s a frequently jubilant collection of songs that fully exploit the uptempo potential of their ukulele/violin/horn-led folk-klezmer musical recipe book. It’s a sound that’s become more in fashion in recent years, but 6 Day Riot have been at it since their inception and topping it all off with Tamara Schlesinger’s sweet vocals, they’ve crafted their own distinct personality from it. There are moments on the record when they stray from their strengths – some of the slower numbers don’t have the necessary momentum to get them where they need to be – but when on top of their game, as they are on cracking album opener “Take Me” and the sweeping “I Am You, You Are Me”, the results are terrific.

Video: 6 Day Riot – “Take Me”
Myspace: 6 Day Riot

Noah & The Whale are giving away the lead track from their third record Last Night On Earth, due out in March of next year, and a another new song is streaming over at Soundcloud. If these are a good indicator of what the album has to offer, then that nu-folk tag is going to be a thing of the past and that’s fine with me. These tunes are good. They play the Mod Club on March 24.

MP3: Noah & The Whale – “Wild Thing”

Spin presents an acoustic video session with The Joy Formidable, whose full-length debut The Big Roar is out January 24 in the UK and March 15 in North America.

The Futureheads have released a video for their new holiday single. The Surrey Comet chats with guitarist Ross Millard.

Video: The Futureheads – “Christmas Was Better In The ’80s”

The Pipettes are also feeling festive, giving away an MP3 of “Santa’s On His Way” in exchange for your email.

Sky Larkin are giving away another track from their latest Kaleide. The trio also check in with The Daily Growl for their Seven Songs feature.

MP3: Sky Larkin – “Year Dot”

Patrick Wolf gives Clash a glimpse into his state of mind going into the recording of his next record, due out in the early part of next year.

Twin Shadow, whose presence very nearly overshadowed Glasser when he opened for her here last month, will have his own show at The Horseshoe on January 12, tickets $10.

MP3: Twin Shadow – “Castles In The Snow”

Seattle’s Moondoggies – who will do nothing to undermine Seattle’s reputation as a factory for plaid-clad harmony-loving beard-folk – will make an appearance at The Horseshoe on February 2 in support of their debut Tidelands, tickets $10. The Standard-Examiner interviews Kevin Murphy from the band.

MP3: The Moondoggies – “It’s A Shame, It’s a Pity”

The Love Language will be opening for Telekinesis at The Horseshoe on March 6, making the bill doubly pop-tacular. Tickets for that one are $11.

MP3: The Love Language – “Heart To Tell”

The short list for the BBC Sound Of 2011 is up and if nothing else, should offer a bluffers guide to the acts you might be getting sick of hearing about next year. NME has done you the service of assembling download links for each act.

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010


Chapterhouse, Ulrich Schnauss and Fjord Rowboat at Lee’s Palace in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangOne might think that after last weekend’s three-day salute to the ’90s I’d be ready to get back to the 21st century, musically-speaking, but instead last Wednesday night turned the dial on the wayback-machine even further – Chapterhouse was in town. The North American leg of their reunion tour, which began in late 2009, was delayed from May until this Fall due to volcanic ash though the Toronto show was cancelled earlier for reasons unknown. Hogtown was back on for the new dates, however, and at a larger venue no less that was respectably filled. Clearly whatever reason nixed the original date wasn’t lack of interest.

For anyone with even a passing affection for the British shoegazing movement of the early ’90s, it was hard not to be interested – My Bloody Valentine aside, this was the only first-wave shoegaze band in recent memory to reunite, let alone play shows in North America, in well over a decade (if anyone wants to fact-check that statement, feel free). And while Chapterhouse weren’t as seminal – in my eyes/ears, anyways – as the likes of Ride, Slowdive or Lush, their credentials are indisputable and their debut Whirlpool an essential listen for the genre. Which is basically another way of saying, “if you are a shoegaze fan and Chapterhouse come to your town, you go”.

Locals Fjord Rowboat know how that goes, but for them it was “if Chapterhouse comes to your town, you lend them your gear and open for them”. Which they did, and in return got to play an impressive show for probably a more receptive audience than they’ve ever had. I used Chapterhouse as a reference point their 2007 debut Saved The Compliments For Morning and that still holds for the just-released follow-up Under Cover Of Brightness, the band remaining faithful to the spirit of shoegazing while remembering, unlike many modern-day purveyors of the style, that what made the greats great was that underneath the layers of sound, there were solid songs. And in the interests of disclosure, I should mention that Fjord has two former bandmates in their number. High five!

I’d lived the Ulrich Schnauss experience twice before and thought I’d figured out the secret to appreciating his electro-ambient stuff – close your eyes. Then you don’t notice that the entire “live” set consists of Schnauss playing preprogrammed tracks off his laptop while adding keyboards overtop or mixing things in real-time, or at least I assume that’s what he was doing – I couldn’t actually hear anything changing in the mix as he clicked and fiddled. This time his set came with its own visual component – projections of European urban scenes, mostly looking as though they’d been filmed from a moving car, which held ones interest for a while but after they began to loop, one’s attention began to wander. By the end, I had a new way to enjoy Schnauss’ set – as a particularly cosmic soundtrack to a game of iPhone Civilization.

One of the first thing you notice about Chapterhouse is how young they all still look – all five are barely 40 (if even) and frontmen Andrew Sherriff and Stephen Patman still look remarkably boyish. This is less a comment on their skin care regimen than the fact that they were barely into their twenties (if even) when Whirlpool was released and so, returning to Toronto for the first time in nearly 20 years, they still seemed younger than many acts making their debuts. Also setting them apart from many other acts on the road today was the fact that they weren’t out trying to win over new fans or make a name for themselves – if you were there, you knew why and what you were going to get and were just happy to be there. This isn’t to suggest that the bar for performance was lowered at all, but any mistakes or less-than-perfection – and there was some, in the way of feedback (the bad kind, not the good kind), some awkward re-learning of songs onstage and a “Crystal” that wasn’t as tight or together as you’d want – were quickly and easily forgiven.

Instead, it was much easier to focus on the good. There was the seemingly endless rotation of my favourite guitars and the massive sounds the three guitarists coaxed out of them, including Simon Rowe whose status in Mojave 3 is as unclear as the band’s itself and who missed their last tour. There was their cover of The Beatles’ “Rain”, which got a pass on my usual “no Beatles covers please” rule, their pretty much perfect rendering of “Pearl” – more than making up for “Crystal” – and a set list that, while curiously light on their second album Blood Music, delivered almost all of Whirlpool and a selection of b-sides and rarities that they must have known would be appreciated by an audience of the faithful.

While they were hardly monsters of rock onstage, it was hard to imagine that their performances inspired the originally-derisive “shoegaze” label – sure, Rowe stood pretty much stock-still through the set but Sherriff and Patman moved around and hardly glanced at their feet. Of course, unlike many of their peers Chapterhouse have always been as much about the groove as the wall of sound, sometimes referred to as “baggy-gaze” and moving further towards dance and electronic sounds with Blood Music. None of which makes them sound any more contemporary, but no one was here for contemporary. We were here for 1990 and Chapterhouse brought it.

Prefix and The Faster Times have Chapterhouse interviews and Jess Barnett a conversation with Ulrich Schnauss. Exclaim and Panic Manual have reviews of the Toronto show.

Photos: Chapterhouse, Ulrich Schnauss, Fjord Rowboat @ Lee’s Palace – October 6, 2010
MP3: Chapterhouse – “Pearl”
MP3: Ulrich Schnauss – “Passing By”
MP3: Fjord Rowboat – “Carried Away”
MP3: Fjord Rowboat – “Paragon”
Video: Chapterhouse – “Breather”
Video: Chapterhouse – “April”
Video: Ulrich Schnauss – “Medusa”
Video: Fjord Rowboat – “Carried Away”
MySpace: Chapterhouse
MySpace: Fjord Rowboat

Beatroute and The Boston Globe talk to The Vaselines; they’re in town on October 30 for a show at The Horseshoe.

The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, L.A. Record and DCist have feature pieces on Teenage Fanclub.

NPR talks to Stuart Murdoch of Belle & Sebastian. He and his band are at Massey Hall tonight and their new album Write About Love is also out today – the promo TV talk show put together for the record is streaming at PitchforkTV and the performance of “I Want The World To Stop” from said programme has been excerpted as the first official video from the record.

Video: Belle & Sebastian – “I Want The World To Stop”
Video: Belle & Sebastian Write About Love

A track from Idlewild’s latest (and final?) album Post-Electric Blues has been made available to download to mark the album’s North American release today.

MP3: Idlewild – “Younger Than America”

Drowned In Sound has gone a little British Sea Power-crazy, what with the release of the new Zeus EP in advance of next year’s new full-length – they’ve commissioned a number of features from the band, including their top five UK castles, ten things they wish they hadn’t done, the joy of knitting and a guide to keeping amused on the road.

Charlatans drummer Jon Brookes takes to the band’s blog to thank fans for their support as he convalesces from surgery for a brain tumour while Clash talks to frontman Tim Burgess. A track from their new record Who We Touch has been made available to download.

MP3: The Charlatans – “Love Is Ending”

Barry Hyde of The Futureheads tells Spinner they’re planning on releasing an a capella record early next year.

The Fly has a first listen to the new White Lies record Ritual, due out January 17 in the UK.

A whole slew of new videos in the past few days from the other side of the Atlantic – let’s start with Kele, who has a new clip from his solo record The Boxer.

Video: Kele – “On The Lam”

Foals have rolled out a new video from their second record Total Life Forever.

Video: Foals – “Blue Blood”

Mystery Jets have a new short from this year’s Serotonin. eFestivals and MusicOmh also have interviews.

Video: Mystery Jets – “Show Me The Light”

6 Day Riot have a video for the first single from their forthcoming record On This Island, available in the UK on November 1.

Video: 6 Day Riot – “Take Me Out”

Oxford University’s Cherwell talks to Kate Nash, who has a new single to coincide with her North American tour. It kicks off later this month and includes a date at The Phoenix on November 13.

Video: Kate Nash – “Later On”

For whatever reason, the powers that be have decided that the UK video for La Roux’s “In For The Kill”, out for over a year, just won’t cut it for American audiences and have commissioned a new one. I guess their focus groups demanded more snakes, less cars.

Video: La Roux – “In For The Kill” (US)
Video: La Roux – “In For The Kill” (UK)

The Telegraph talks to Duffy, who releases her second album Endlessly on November 30.

Word is Johnny Flynn’s October 18 show at Lee’s Palace has been postponed until mid-November; all other shows on the North American jaunt, including the 19th in Montreal, appear to still be on, so no idea what the problem with T.O. is. Anyone else hear “Kentucky Pill” on last week’s Weeds? Of course not, because no one with any dignity should admit to watching Weeds anymore. Me, I just heard about it. On the Twitter. Yeah.

Spinner talks to Elvis Costello about his new album National Ransom, out November 2. You can download a track from the record at his website.

Norway’s Serena-Maneesh have rolled out a new video from S-M 2: Abyss In B Minor.

Video: Serena-Maneesh – “D.I.W.S.W.T.T.D.”

NPR is streaming a complete show from The Tallest Man On Earth.

Friday, July 9th, 2010

Show Me The Light

Mystery Jets take off across Atlantic

Photo By Nacho AlegreNacho AlegreThere all sorts of interesting angles around the UK’s Mystery Jets, including but not limited to the fact they call the tiny island in the Thames called Eel Pie Island (population approximately 120) home, or that lead guitarist – on their records, anyways – Henry Harrison is frontman Blaine Harrison’s father.

But what’s really relevant is the fact that they make hooky, polished and lightly psychedelic power pop that stands out from the crowd by virtue of not looking to the Libertines or their ilk for inspiration – there’s more mid-era XTC and classic Squeeze influence at work here, though they’d still probably prefer to be called a rock band than a pop one. And it’s also relevant that their new album Serotonin is out next Tuesday in North America after being released in the UK this week, and that North American tour dates are coming together for this Fall, with a just-revealed September 13 engagement at the Horseshoe in Toronto to go along with dates in New York and Los Angeles. Further dates are promised, but with just a day off between NY and LA, fans in flyover states might want to prepare for these Jets to, well, fly over.

There’s features on the band at Clash, The Fly and Purple Revolver. The new record is streaming over at The Tripwire.

MP3: Mystery Jets – “Dreaming Of Another World”
MP3: Mystery Jets – “Flash A Hungry Smile”
Video: Mystery Jets – “Dreaming Of Another World”
Stream: Mystery Jets / Serotonin

The Futureheads have a new video from The Chaos. NME reports the band are planning on making an a capella record next, with track selection assistance solicited from their fans.

Video: The Futureheads – “I Can Do That”

Daytrotter sessions up with We Were Promised Jetpacks.

Two Door Cinema Club have rolled out a new video from Tourist History. They’re at the Phoenix on October 25.

Video: Two Door Cinema Club – “Come Back Home”

The Fly says hello to Kele. He is at the Mod Club on July 27.

The Joy Formidable talks to Spinner about their forthcoming debut album, but don’t spill anything about little details like a title or release date.

Sky Larkin have made their new record Kaleide available to stream in its entirety on their website in advance of its August 9 release. Pre-orders get a high-res digital version of the record to download immediately, though window shoppers can hit up NME where they’re offering a few tracks – including one from the new album – in salute of Wichita Recordings’ 10th anniversary.

Stream: Sky Larkin / Kaleide

NPR solicit a Tiny Desk Concert from Los Campesinos!.

The Line Of Best Fit talk to the members of Peggy Sue.

For Folks Sake has details on the new collaborative EP between Laura Marling, Mumford & Sons and India’s Dharohar Project, available on iTunes now and entitled EP, while The Guardian offers some behind-the-scenes video of its creation. Baeblemusic has got a full Mumford & Sons show from Brooklyn available to stream.

The Clientele are offering up a track from their forthcoming mini-album Minotaur for download. It’s out August 31 – details at Pitchfork.

MP3: The Clientele – “Jerry”

Teenage Fanclub talks about the Creation days with Spinner, and also chat with The Galway Advertiser and The Guardian. They kick off their North American tour with two nights at the Horseshoe – September 22 and 23.

NME reports that work has begun on the new Spiritualized record, and it’s going to be a poppy one.

Clash talks to M.I.A., who is streaming her new album /\/\/\Y/ in advance of its official release next week.

Stream: M.I.A. / /\/\/\Y/\

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

A Window Opens

An introduction to First Aid Kit

Photo By Eva EdsjöEva EdsjöIt’s not an unusual tale for young acts to be discovered by veteran ones, but when the youthful protagonists of the story are Klara and Johanna Söderberg of Sweden’s First Aid Kit and the mentor is Karin Dreijer Andersson of the decidedly strange and oft creepy Knife and Fever Ray, it’s understandable that one’s imagination drifts to more Brothers Grimm territory. The truth isn’t all that sinister, though, as the Söderberg’s brother attended the same kindergarten as Andersson’s children and that connection led to the duo’s debut EP – 2009’s Drunken Trees – to be released on Andersson’s own label in Sweden before being picked up by Wichita in the UK and abroad.

Their proper full-length The Big Black & The Blue followed last month, and like its predecessor its a gorgeously out-of-time folk album built around the unconventional yet riveting voices of the two teenage sisters. Rich, rangy and emotive, their voices sound as though their owners were raised in some lost range of the Appalachians hidden under a nordic glacier and for all their individual quirks, intertwine in stunning, intricate harmony the way that only siblings can. Their material is perfectly matched to their delivery; acoustic and spare with just the right amount of embellishment and a world-weary lyricism that’s at odds with their tender ages but typically Scandinavian in tone. Their work isn’t as sophisticated as it could be or should be to be hailed as a great record, but keeping in mind that they are still just in their teens, it’s a remarkably assured work that can only get better.

First Aid Kit are currently in the midst of their first North American tour, and will be in Toronto this Saturday – June 12 – for a free in-store at Criminal Records at 4PM and a proper show at the Rivoli later that night. They’re keeping a tour diary for Filter and were interviewed by The Georgia Straight. And reaching back a bit, there’s a Take-Away Show with the sister act.

MP3: First Aid Kit – “I Met Up With The King”
MP3: First Aid Kit – “You’re Not Coming Home Tonight”
Video: First Aid Kit – “Hard Believer”
Video: First Aid Kit – “I Met Up With The King”

The Line Of Best Fit interviews The Radio Dept., who are about to re-release Clinging To A Scheme on limited-edition (1000 pieces) white vinyl on June 16. I know everyone goes on about how vinyl sounds great – which it does – but as the owner of a copy from the first run of vinyl, I can say that Clinging sounds AMAZING on vinyl.

The National Post reports that The Raveonettes will be releasing a compilation of b-sides and rarities this Fall, followed by a new studio album in early 2011. They will be at NXNE next week opening up for Iggy & The Stooges at Yonge-Dundas Square on the evening of the 19th.

Stereogum points the way to not one but two new Fanfarlo videos – though for the same song. “Fire Escape” gets the choose-your-own-adventure treatment with a ceiling cat version and a basement cat version.

Video: Fanfarlo – “Fire Escape” (dark version)”
Video: Fanfarlo – “Fire Escape” (happy version)”

The Times profiles Teenage Fanclub, whose new record Shadows is out today and streaming in its entirety at AOL.

Stream: Teenage Fanclub / Shadows

Clash checks in with The Futureheads at the start of their North American tour, which hits the Mod Club on Thursday night.

National Public Radio has a World Cafe session and The National Post an interview with The National. They kick off two nights at Massey Hall tonight.

Spinner talks to Danger Mouse of Broken Bells.

Exclaim interviews Sleigh Bells, in town at the Phoenix on July 20.

Handsome Furs have found themselves with a free night and will be playing Lee’s Palace on June 23; tickets are $16.50 in advance.

MP3: Handsome Fus – “Radio Kaliningrad”
MP3: Handsome Furs – “I’m Confused”

Los Angeles’ Autolux return with their first record in six years with Transmit Transit on August 3, and will follow that up with a tour that brings them to Lee’s Palace on August 24, tickets $17.50. The first MP3 from the new album is available to download PWYC-style – the track below is from their first record.

MP3: Autolux – “Here Comes Everybody”

The Horseshoe gets all Merge-y on August 28 when Lou Barlow and Wye Oak come to town. Both have new digital EPs out as of today – Barlow with the digital-only = Sentridoh III and Wye Oak with My Neighbour/My Creator. Pitchfork has details on the Barlow release and full tour dates, as well as an MP3.

MP3: Lou Barlow + The Missingmen – “Losercore”
MP3: Wye Oak – “Take It In”
Stream: Lou Barlow + The Missingmen / = Sentridoh III
Stream: Wye Oak / My Neighbour/My Creator