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Posts Tagged ‘Howling Bells’

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

Smother

Wild Beasts at The Mod Club in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangIt’s right here, in these very pages, the fact that I didn’t dig on Wild Beasts’ last record Two Dancers and only after some persistence was able to reach a point of understanding it if not appreciating it. But mayhap that exercise softened me up enough that even though it wasn’t as acclaimed as its predecessor, I took to this year’s Smother almost immediately and also put Two Dancers back into rotation. All of which is to say that while I had no problem skipping the band’s visit to the Mod Club last Summer, I was not going to be missing this year’s go-around last Thursday.

The quartet intended to make a dramatic entrance onto the stage but a technical hiccup a few bars into “Lion’s Share” sabotaged that, forcing them to sheepishly say, “hello” rather than just get into it but the net effect was endearing rather than embarrassing and it would basically be the only misstep the entire evening. Why did no one tell me how good of a live band they were? And while we’re at it, why did no one tell me that the swooping and swooning vocals on their recordings were not just courtesy of Hayden Thorpe, but also of Tom Fleming? Here I was thinking that it was Thorpe alone with the inhumanly multi-octave range, when in fact it’s both of them. Which is ridiculous. That they should both be equally adept at playing guitar, bass and keyboards whilst utilizing those voices is even more ridiculous. And that Katie Harkness of Sky Larkin was on board as touring keyboardist was just a nice surprise.

Trying to describe Wild Beasts live requires a lot of adjectives that are typically more suited to blue movies than live music, but that’s just how it is – it’s the sound of sex, however you like it, and quite the contrast from the sentiments of love that Elbow brought to town the night before.. Seductive and dangerous, romantic and rough, primal and sophisticated, they build off a deep, swaying groove heavy on toms and accented with exotic percussion and alternately powered by keys or guitars, their songs are lifted by the intertwined vocals of Thorpe and Fleming in a way that just induces shivers. They split the set about evenly between Two Dancers and Smother and threw long-time fans a bone with “The Devli’s Crayon” from their debut Limbo, Panto and apologizing for never touring their that album. So rhythmically hypnotic was their hour-long main set that when it ended with “Hooting & Howling”, you didn’t even notice the finale coming until it was done – you might say the “End Come Too Soon” but the band saved that one to wrap the encoure, which thankfully ran a good three songs and allowed you the time to mentally prepare to extricate yourself from the music’s embrace and ready yourself to go back out into the cold world.

Prefix, The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinal and The Daily Texan have interviews with members of Wild Beasts.

Photos: Wild Beasts @ The Mod Club – September 29, 2011
MP3: Wild Beasts – “Thankless Thing”
MP3: Wild Beasts – “Albatross”
MP3: Wild Beasts – “Loop The Loop”
MP3: Wild Beasts – “All The King’s Men”
Video: Wild Beasts – “Bed Of Nails”
Video: Wild Beasts – “Albatross”
Video: Wild Beasts – “We Still Got The Taste Dancin’ On Our Tongues”
Video: Wild Beasts – “Hooting & Howling”
Video: Wild Beasts – “All The King’s Men”
Video: Wild Beasts – “The Devil’s Crayon”
Video: Wild Beasts – “Treacle Tin”
Video: Wild Beasts – “Brave Bulging Buoyant Clairvoyants”

Billboard has posted their upcoming cover story on Florence & The Machine, whose much-anticipated Ceremonials is out on November 1.

Wears The Trousers points to a video session by EMA in Vienna wherein they reinvent “Butterfly Knife”; worth watching.

Exclaim and The Chicago Tribune have interviews and NPR a World Cafe session with St. Vincent.

Spinner, The Los Angeles Times, San Jose Mercury News and Paste talk to Dee Dee of Dum Dum Girls. They’re at Lee’s Palace on October 16.

Asobi Seksu recorded a session for Daytrotter, gave interviews to OC Music Magazine and The Vindicator and also posted up a Walkmen cover, well, just because. They’re at Lee’s Palace on October 23 opening for Boris.

The Von Pop Musical Express interviews Juanita Stein of Howling Bells.

NPR welcomes Ryan Adams for a World Cafe session. Toronto’s Winter Garden Theatre welcomes him for a show on December 10.

Gary Louris and Karen Grotberg take The Boston Globe down the long and winding road to the Jayhawks reunion.

The Illinois Entertainer talks to Craig Finn of The Hold Steady.

Men’s Health and The Sydney Morning Herald< talk with Jeff Tweedy of Wilco while The National Post gets some of Pat Sansone and John Stirratt’s time.

The Decemberists are still promising to take an extended break after they’re done working The King Is Dead, but that won’t be until after they’ve released the Long Live The King EP on November 1 – Exclaim has specifics.

Crystal Stilts are in town for a show at the Horseshoe on December 1.

MP3: Crystal Stilts – “Through The Floor”
Video: Crystal Stilts – “Through The Floor”

Okkervil River have released a new video from I Am Very Far, starring a very young Will Sheff.

Video: Okkervil River – “Your Past Life As A Blast”

Pitchfork takes Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks onto a New York City rooftop to play some songs. Or else.

The Quietus talks to Stephin Merritt of The Magnetic Fields.

NPR has a KCRW session with Fleet Foxes.

Salon investigates why, in a time when record labels are supposed to be dying, Merge Records are thriving.

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

Swordfish Hotkiss Night

Empire Of The Sun and Miami Horror at The Sound Academy in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangSome were disappointed when Empire Of The Sun’s long-awaited Toronto debut on Tuesday night was moved from the lakeside Echo Beach venue to the generally loathed Sound Academy for undisclosed “production issues”; it turned out to be a blessing as the weather finally got the memo that Autumn was here and, well, it would have been awfully cold down outside on the water at Ontario Place. Plus, there was the novelty of having the show take place right across the street from where Cirque du Soleil had pitched their Totem tent, and while one technically had nothing to do with the other, it was hard not to appreciate the convergence of solar-themed entertainment. Well I thought it was neat, anyways.

Another benefit of the new venue was the ability to close off portions of it to squeeze the people in, for although those who were there were rightfully excited that the Australian band had finally made it to town – they had to cancel a show last Summer due to scheduling – there weren’t really that many of them; maybe 1500 tops at the show’s peak in a room that could hold twice that, but still better than an outdoor venue where everyone could lie down and make sand angels without touching a neighbour. However it wouldn’t be fair to say that a fraction of that total were on hand when openers and fellow Aussies Miami Horror took the stage at the stroke of eight to kick things off – you could count the attendees on two hands and maybe a foot.

Regardless, it was the scheduled time for the party to start and so Miami Horror started the party. Apparently Miami Horror can refer to either producer/keyboardist Benjamin Plant doing DJ duties or the live band, which we saw this night, and which belonged instead to singer/guitarist Josh Moriarty. While his bandmates remained pretty static tending to their keys, bass and drum duties, Moriarty was living out every kid’s rock star dreams up there, channeling not a little bit of Prince in his guitarsexy moves (points for sporting a reverse-headstock thinline Stratocaster) and solos over a bed of New Romantic-approved synths – there were more than a few plectrums pointed heavenwards, it was just that kind of night – a bit gratuitous but entertaining. Over the course of their set the crowd swelled from a handful to hundreds, most happily dancing their way in from the doors to the party anthems coming offstage and as the vibe improved, so did the material. By set’s end, it was evident that their debut Illumination had a few genuinely solid songs to recommend the band, not just the ability to soundtrack a party.

I am pretty sure that the last time Luke Steele was in Toronto, it was some eight years ago when his old/other band The Sleepy Jackson (who are still technically a going concern even though Personality came out a half-decade ago) at Lee’s Palace opening up for My Morning Jacket – very different company and environs, indeed. That Luke Steele was a slightly pudgy guy with a big mess of curly hair, dubious moustache and questionable fashion sense; that was not this Luke Steele.

No, the Luke Steele who strode onto his elevated stage platform as the scrim obscuring the stage dropped was sleek, space-age and clad in an elaborate blue headdress and cosmic kimono – a cosmic messiah who came to save us all with insanely harmonized guitar solos… though still with a hint of a moustache. Understand that Empire Of The Sun is as much a visual experience as an aural one, with the set costumes and set dressings carefully matched to the elaborate artwork of and videos from their album Walking On A Dream. Going in, I’d wondered if there’d be some kind of narrative to the show to justify the costumes and over-the-top visuals – within a couple of songs, I put those thoughts out of my mind as it was clear that no justification was needed – they were being fantastical for the sake of being fantastic, and that was plenty.

Musically, they were a three-piece – Steele on guitar and keys, Nick Littlemore on guitar (I think it was the prodigal co-conspirator back there – I missed the intro but it looked like him) and a live drummer – playing over many backing tracks. And while the live instrumentation certainly added a dynamicism and volume that the album sometimes lacks, you had to be careful not to listen too too closely; I was standing right in front of their guitar amps at a few points and the rhythm parts being played were… not exactly tight. But stepping back and taking in the spectacle of it all, any human imperfections became insignificant against the grandeur of it all.

As crucial a part of the performance as the band were the dancers, numbering four but with dramatic costume changes and choreography for every song, ranging from the shiny pink jumpsuit outfits for “Half Mast” and “We Are The People” to become furry blonde cavorting swordfish that for “Swordfish Hotkiss Night”, they were arguably the highlight of a show made up of nothing but highlights. Steele also changed outfits a few times, even getting his hair done between a songs at one point, all without missing a beat or a cue in the tightly-produced show, which makes sense considering they’ve been touring almost this exact show around the world for nigh on two years now (though some past festival sets seem to have been even more elaborate in costumes and staging). I suspect that if I went to more or any Top 40/pop shows where costumes and spectacle are de rigeur this might have been less impressive, but I don’t so it was all wow.

It wasn’t all rigidly scripted, though – Steele broke whatever character he was playing a few times to say hello to the enraptured fans and declare how happy he was that they’d finally made it to Toronto; he also brought his daughter Sunny Tiger out on stage to say hello towards the show’s end, and then immediately followed that tender moment by smashing his guitar to pieces and tossing the wreckage into the crowd. It was that kind of night. And it wasn’t over – while they were following standard concert convention in leaving the stage before playing their “hit”, they were putting the time to good use, returning for the encore of “Walking On A Dream” with the dancers dressed in intergalactic geishas and Steele in a dazzling white samurai outfit in front of a fountain of fire video projection; truly a show-stopper. I’m not sure what was up with the giant grim reaper puppet they wheeled out for the song, but if there’s one thing to be learned from an Empire Of The Sun show, it’s to not ask why – just be dazzled by it.

Exclaim and Panic Manual also have reviews of the show.

Photos: Empire Of The Sun, Miami Horror @ The Sound Academy – September 13, 2011
Video: Empire Of The Sun – “Half Mast”
Video: Empire Of The Sun – “Without You”
Video: Empire Of The Sun – “Standing On The Shore”
Video: Empire Of The Sun – “Walking On A Dream”
Video: Empire Of The Sun – “We Are The People”
Video: Miami Horror – “Holidays”
Video: Miami Horror – “Echoplex”
Video: Miami Horror – “I Look To You”
Video: Miami Horror – “Moon Theory”
Video: Miami Horror – “Sometimes”
Video: Miami Horror – “Don’t Be Down On Her”

Cut Copy have premiered a new video from Zonoscope.

Video: Cut Copy – “Blink And You’ll Miss A Revolution”

Howling Bells frontwoman Juanita Stein pens a column on fashion for Clash.

Junip have released a new video from 2010’s Fields.

Video: Junip – “Without You”

Jens Lekman’s new EP An Argument With Myself is available to stream ahead of its September 20 street date.

MP3: Jens Lekman – “An Argument With Myself”
Stream: Jens Lekman / An Argument With Myself

El Perro Del Mar is streaming a new song inspired by the London riots, probably not set to appear on her new record Pale Fire when it comes out next year. Thanks to The Line Of Best Fit for the tip.

Stream: El Perro Del Mar – “What Did You Expect”

Clash gets to know Maria Lindén of I Break Horses.

More screenings of the Sigur Ros live film Inni have been announced, including at Toronto’s TIFF Lightbox starting on October 28 – I am assuming there’ll be more than just one since they say director Vincent Morriset will be on hand at select screenings. The live CD/DVD set for the film is due out in November.

Video: Sigur Ros – “Klippa”
Trailer: Sigur Ros: Inni

British dreampop newcomers Still Corners have released a new MP3 from their forthcoming debut Creatures Of An Hour, out October 11. They’re at The Drake Underground on October 25.

MP3: Still Corners – “Into The Trees”

KCRW has a session with The Horrors; they’re at Lee’s Palace on September 27.

Wears The Trousers chats with Emmy The Great.

The New York Times, AV Club and Los Angeles Times check in with Nick Lowe, whose new album The Old Magic is out just in time for his two shows opening up for Wilco at Massey Hall this Friday and Saturday nights.

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

Come On Over

Tour North America? Veronica Falls don’t mind if they do

Photo By Robin SilasRobin SilasThrowback-style pop is nothing new – sounding old is really kind of the point – but there’s something special in the way English quartet Veronica Falls goes about it. It’s like they’ve got a foot in 1970’s New York, with no small amount of Velvet Underground goodness in the mix as well as echoes of their followers and the other in swinging 1960’s London with the irresistible catchiness of the British invasion. Taken together and you’ve got a brew that’s buoyant, yet somehow sinister and wholly memorable.

Their set was one of my highlights of SXSW this year, so I’m excited that they’re going to be undertaking a Fall tour in support of their self-titled debut which is out September 20 in North America. Somewhat less excited that said dates are in support of The Drums, whom I’m mostly indifferent to, but I’ll still likely be at their show at The Mod Club on October 1.

BrooklynVegan has some details about the record and full tour dates and a new song from the album was just made available to stream this week, to go along with a couple preview MP3s which have already been circulating.

Stream: Veronica Falls – “Bad Feeling”
MP3: Veronica Falls – “Come On Over”
MP3: Veronica Falls – “Found Love In A Graveyard”
Video: Veronica Falls – “Come On Over”
Video: Veronica Falls – “Beachy Head”
Video: Veronica Falls – “Found Love In A Graveyard”

Also notable in the support department – English folk singer Alessi’s Ark will be opening up for English folk singer Laura Marling at The Great Hall on September 23. Her new record Time Travel is out September 27 in the US but available to stream at her Facebook now.

MP3: Alessi’s Ark – “The Robot”
Stream: Alessi’s Ark / Time Travel

Stereogum talks influences with Yuck. Some is exactly what you’d expect, some not. Yuck play The Horseshoe on September 25.

DIY and Contact Music talk with Still Corners about their full-length debut Creatures Of An Hour, due out October 11. They play The Drake Underground on October 25.

Clash talks to Dev Hynes of Blood Orange. His Coastal Grooves arrives August 30.

The Guardian interviews Faris Badwan and Rachel Zeffira of Cat’s Eyes about music and home decor.

The Quietus, Tourdates UK and DIY get re-acquainted with the no-longer-on-hiatus-at-least-for-the-moment Electrelane. They also recently recorded a Black Cab Session.

Producer Paul Epworth reports that the new Florence & The Machine record is finished – details and quotes at NME.

Spin has a video of Frightened Rabbit frontman Scott Hutchison performing a cover of current tourmates Death Cab For Cutie.

Spinner discusses the art of war with PJ Harvey.

Drowned In Sound and Sunshine Coast Daily check in with Mogwai.

Brett Anderson tells XFM that Suede will indeed be going back into the studio to record new material, but will only be releasing it if it’s worthwhile. All that after he’s done promoting his new solo record Black Rainbows, out September 26. He’s just released a video from said record.

Video: Brett Anderson – “Brittle Heart”

Proving that post-Oasis bickering and name-calling need not be a strictly family affair, Beady Eye guitarist Andy Bell offered up some choice thoughts about former boss Noel Gallagher and his version of how their former band ended to Japan Times.

Consequence Of Sound reports that the Inni video teaser that Sigur Ros posted to their website last week is a live film recorded by director Vincent Morriset at a series of London shows in 2009 that will make its debut at the Venice Film Festival at the end of the month. So no, not a new album but maybe there’ll be an accompanying soundtrack…? Update: The Audio Perv reports the soundtrack will be a double-disc set plus film DVD out in November. Sweet.

Trailer: Sigur Ros: Inni

Currently celebrating their fifteenth anniversary, Pitchfork talks to Bjork about her last decade and a half. Her new album Biophilia is out September 27. Update: Pitchfork also has the album art for Biophilia. It’s very Bjork.

Australia’s Howling Bells will be back with their third album The Loudest Engine on September 12; they’ve released a video for the first single.

Video: Howling Bells – “Into The Sky”

Empire Of The Sun’s Luke Steele confirms to NME that creative partner Nick Littlemore is back in the fold and together they’re working on a new album. Empire Of The Sun play Toronto’s Echo Beach on September 13.

The Naked & Famous have released another new video from Passive Me, Aggressive You; they play The Phoenix on October 6.

Video: The Naked & Famous – “The Sun”

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

Crystalline

Bjork is doing stuff. No one is quite sure what, but there’s a lot of it.

Photo By Inez van Lambsweerde & Vinoodh MatadinInez van Lambsweerde & Vinoodh MatadinRelatively quiet since 2007’s Volta, Bjork is finally back with a new album… I think. To be honest, the press releases around her new project Biophilia haven’t exactly been designed for quick parsing, and that’s because the album component of Biophilia is just that – a component.

There will be a conventional album, presumably available in CD and LP formats, that is due out this Fall – September 27 is the unofficial release date being bandied about. There will also be ten apps corresponding to the tracks fo the record to add interactive elements to the compositions – there’s no specifics on device or platform, but presumably Mac OSX and iOS and Windows will be supported, possibly/probably more. Touring will be done unconventionally, consisting of six-week residencies in eight different cities worldwide over a course of three years and taking place in intimate, in-the-round performance spaces and utilizing a range of custom-built instruments intended to recreate the sound and atmosphere of the apps. A feature-length documentary about the creative process behind the whole Biophilia experience will be released. The www.bjork.com website has been redone and is now all trippy, though to be honest I’m not sure what to do with it.

Blurt has helpfully reprinted the full text of the press release, which should offer some more insight into what’s what. Pitchfork and Sterogum also have interviews with the artist which shed some light on what she’s doing and why. The first of the aforementioned residencies is already underway in Manchester, England – not sure where the other seven will be but I’m not putting money on Toronto, or even anywhere in Canada necessarily. But while we may miss out on that aspect of the Biophilia experience, we can still hear the songs – the first single is available to stream right now, and a Michel Gondry-directed video is forthcoming.

Oh Bjork, you so crazy.

Stream: Bjork – “Crystalline”

The Concretes have put out a new video from WYWH.

Video: The Concretes – “My Ways”

It’s funny – while Wild Beasts’ last record Two Dancers took me a while to warm to – though I did – their new one Smother I warmed to right away, despite it seeming to garner a more tepid critical response. Either way, looking forward to seeing them live for the first time on September 29 when they return to the Mod Club as part of a North American tour. Oxford Student has an interview with the band.

MP3: Wild Beasts – “Albatross”
MP3: Wild Beasts – “Loop The Loop”
Video: Wild Beasts – “Albatross”

Though The Horrors machine is ramping up in anticipation of the release of Skying, Faris Badwan’s underappreciatedCat’s Eyes side-project has found the time to release a new video for a non-album cover of “The Crying Game”.

Video: Cat’s Eyes – “The Crying Game”

Following up the release of the first MP3 from their forthcoming debut album Gracious Tide, Take Me Home, Lanterns On The Lake have put out a video for the same song. The record is out September 19.

MP3: Lanterns On The Lake – “You’re Almost There”
Video: Lanterns On The Lake – “You’re Almost There”

GQ solicits a list of ten style essentials from Liam Gallagher of Beady Eye.

Drowned In Sound and DIY have features on Nick McCabe and Simon Jones’ post-Verve band The Black Ships. They’re giving away their first EP Kurofone in exchange for your email though forewarned – it’s a single 25-minute, 273MB WAV file. I’ve compressed it into something a bit more manageable for you because if you dig on early Verve, it’s worth a listen.

MP3: The Black Ships – “The Kurofone EP”

Donewaiting grapples with Let’s Wrestle, interview-style.

Octopus Windmill interviews Amor de Dias.

Australia’s Howling Bells have given their third album a title of The Loudest Engine and a release date of September 12. Details at Wears The Trousers.

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

Wandering

Review of Amor de Dias’ Street Of The Love Of Days

Photo By Shoko IshikawaShoko IshikawaIf you’ve been reading this site for a little while, you may have noted that as of this Saturday – rapture notwithstanding – I’ll be en route to (hopefully) sunny Barcelona for a week and then on to London for a few days as a chaser. And if you’ve been reading this site for a while longer, you may recall that no other band more vividly conjures memories of my last visit to the England than The Clientele. Which is why the existence of Amor de Días, which is the musical pairing of Clientele frontman Alasdair MacLean and Lupe Núñez-Fernández, the Spanish half of Pipas, seems like it should be the perfect soundtrack for this trip.

As you might expect from the pairing of two artists known for delicately-rendered, beautiful pop, their debut Street Of The Love Of Days is an idyllic, gossamer-sounding collection of songs that somehow manages to sound equally English and Spanish without overtly trying (okay, the lyrics sung in Spanish was probably deliberate, but you know what I mean). And though the album is about four years in the making, recorded in the downtime between other projects, it feels breezy enough that if told it was tracked over the course of a week in some countryside villa, you’d have no reason to doubt it. No reason except for the understated but meticulous craftsmanship thats gone into it, that is – though the instrumentation is primarily acoustic, lightly orchestrated and relatively sparse, the dreamlike atmosphere that it’s used to create is sumptuous. This is the sound of long days, open skies and grassy fields; not necessarily what my actual trip will entail, but if it’s as peaceful and lovely as this record, I will happily take it.

All that said, this silver lining is not without its cloud – while I am heading over to their home and native lands, Amor de Días will be coming to mine and I will be missing their show at The Horseshoe on May 25, where they’ll be opening up for fellow musical couple Damon & Naomi. Everyone who’s said how envious they are of my trip ought to go to this show if just to spite me.

Allmusic gets the pair to list off some of the influences on their sound, complete with video samples, while TBD talks to Núñez-Fernández.

MP3: Amor de Días – “Bunhill Fields”
MP3: Amor de Días – “New Wine”
Video: Amor de Días – “Late Mornings”
Stream: Amor de Días / Street Of The Love Of Days

WBUR talks to Damon & Naomi about the Galaxie 500 days. And back in the duo’s present, News & Observer talks to them about their new record False Beats & True Hearts is out now and available to stream. As noted above, they’re at The Horseshoe on May 25.

MP3: Damon & Naomi – “Walking Backwards”
Video: Damon & Naomi – “Nettles & Ivy”
Stream: Damon & Naomi / False Beats and True Hearts

Spin sits Will Sheff of Okkervil River and Steve Earle down together for a chat while The Chronicle Herald and Riverfront Times talk to Sheff and Earle on their own, respectively. Okkervil are at The Phoenix on June 10, Earle at the Molson Amphitheatre August 20.

Pitchfork talks to Whitey McConnaughy, director of the cats-gone-wild video for Superchunk’s “Crossed Wires”.

Video: Superchunk – “Crossed Wires”

Check out the first MP3 from the new David Bazan record Strange Negotiations, due out May 24. He plays Lee’s Palace on June 14.

MP3: David Bazan – “Wolves At The Door”

Also in town on June 14, though at The Mod Club, are The Antlers. PopMatters has an interview with frontman Peter Silberman.

Spin, The Chicago Tribune and JAM talk to Death Cab For Cutie frontman Ben Gibbard. They play The Phoenix tonight and the Molson Amphitheatre on July 29. Codes & Keys is out May 31.

The Sentimentalist interviews The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, in town at The Opera House on August 2.

The Radio Dept. will be reissuing their entire catalog – all three albums – on vinyl come June 7, excellent news for those who like their fuzzy pop in the highest fidelity. Lesser Matters, Pet Grief and Clinging To A Scheme will all be available on wax come June 7 and this is particularly good news since Pet Grief has never been available on LP. Thank the band with a hug when they play The Horseshoe on May 29.

MP3: The Radio Dept. – “Why Won’t You Talk About It?”
MP3: The Radio Dept. – “The Worst Taste In Music”
MP3: The Radio Dept. – “Heaven’s On Fire”

It’s good of NME to want to introduce you to Sweden’s I Break Horses by way of a download of their track “Hearts”, but if you maybe don’t want a 39MB .WAV file, I’ve gone ahead and made an MP3 for you below. Think grand, M83-ish synth-gaze. It’s nice.

MP3: I Break Horses – “Hearts”
Video: I Break Horses – “Hearts”

Pitchfork has got a couple new MP3s from jj, who’re giving them away just because.

MP3: jj – “No One Can Touch Us Tonight”
MP3: jj – “Ice”

The Washington Examiner and Phoenix profile Lykke Li, in town at The Phoenix for a sold-out show on May 22.

Blurt reports that New York-based Japanese pop act Cibo Matto have reunited after more than a decade for a tour and a new album, due out sometime next year. In the meantime, catch them at The Mod Club Lee’s Palace on July 16, tickets $20 in advance.

Video: Cibo Matto – “Know Your Chicken”

Also Japanese-bred, New York-based and just a little odd are Peelander-Z; they’re coming back to town for NXNE and will be at The Silver Dollar on June 18 at midnight. Tampa Bay Online has an interview with Peelander Red and for the uninitiated, The AV Club has a Peelander primer.

MP3: Peelander-Z – “Tacos Tacos Tacos”

Grinderman have a new video. It’s animated. It’s not for kids.

Video: Grinderman – “Mickey Mouse And The Goodbye Man”

And continuing with the Nick Cave, just out and currently streaming are the four latest Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds reissues, though not the bonus material. And the fancy remastering may not have survived after the digital streaming compressions. But if you’re in the mood for some Bad Seeds and don’t have any handy, it’s your lucky day.

Stream: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds / Let Love In
Stream: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds / Murder Ballads
Stream: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds / The Boatman’s Call
Stream: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds / No More Shall We Part

Spinner talks to Howling Bells frontwoman Juanita Stein about making album number three, due out sometime this Summer.