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Posts Tagged ‘Joy Formidable’

Monday, December 16th, 2013

Lost It To Trying

Son Lux raises Lanterns on tour

Photo By Tim NavisTim NavisDenver-born, New York-based artist Ryan Lott has been popping up on a good number of year-end lists – or at least his alias of Son Lux has – on the strength of his latest album Lanterns. I’d seen descriptors like post-rock and hip-hop attached to his work in the past, but on delving into Lanterns they’re only as much a factor as every other genre of popular music out there, all of which is thrown into the mix but none of which dominates.

Instead, Lanterns is an electro-orchestral opus that sounds like the classical past being recreated from incomplete notes by robots from the future. Those seeking a more concrete frame of reference can look to James Blake and also Sufjan Stevens, with whom Lott collaborates in S/S/S, with Lanterns occupying some of that middle space between Seven Swans and Age Of Adz. Yes, that’s a pretty big space, but it’s one worth exploring. As is Lanterns.

Son Lux have announced some Spring headlining dates in support of his latest album; look for him at The Drake Underground on March 23, tickets $12 in advance. The 405, Bowlegs, and Interview have interviews with Lott and Stereogum has premiered a new video.

MP3: Son Lux – “Lost It To Trying”
Video: Son Lux – “Pyre”
Video: Son Lux – “Lost It To Trying”
Stream: Son Lux / Lanterns

Broken Bells have released a stream of the title track from their new album After The Disco. It’s out January 14 and they play The Danforth Music Hall on March 3.

Stream: Broken Bells – “After The Disco”

Californian synth-pop outfit Gardens & Villa have announced a North American tour behind their second album Dunes, out February 4, and will be at The Drake Underground on February 27, tickets $13.50.

Stream: Gardens & Villa – “Bullet Train”

Pitchfork reports that Speedy Ortiz will be releasing a new EP called Real Hair on February 11, a quarter of which you can stream below. They’re in town for NXNE next June.

Stream: Speedy Ortiz – “Everything’s Bigger”

Esquire chats with Robert Pollard of Guided By Voices. Their new record Motivational Jumpsuit comes out February 18.

Even though Shearwater just released an album of covers in Fellow Travelers, their version of Frank Ocean’s “Novocane” wasn’t included – probably because they haven’t toured together. Yet. Anyways, the track was released as part of a split-7″ with Low for Record Store Day, and is now available to stream if you missed out on the limited edition vinyl. Maybe they’ll play it when they hit The Horseshoe on March 27.

Stream: Shearwater – “Novocane”

Erika M Anderson – aka EMA – has announced details of her follow-up to 2011’s Past Life Martyred Saints and they can be found at her new label of Matador. The Future’s Void will be out in the Spring and the first single from it can be streamed below.

Stream: EMA – “Satellites”

In conversation with Rolling Stone, James Murphy reveals that the final LCD Soundsystem show at Madison Square Garden – as documented in Shut Up And Play The Hits – is being remixed for release as a live album.

NPR is streaming a KCRW session with of Montreal.

NOW talked to Charles Bradley ahead of his show at the Kool Haus last week.

Drowned In Sound and The Line Of Best Fit talk to Aaron Dessner of The National about this and that and what it’ll be like to open for Neil Young at Hyde Park next June.

Neko Case has released a new video of the lyric variety from The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You.

Lyric Video: Neko Case – “Calling Cards”

Tone Deaf talks to Lee Ranaldo about his solo work and the future of Sonic Youth.

Willamette Week and Seattle Weekly have interviews and NPR has posted a World Cafe session with Midlake.

There’s updates from the Sparklehorse tribute album project reported on last month: Last Box Of Sparklers: A Tribute To Mark Linkous is into its final week of fundraising, and remain $7000 short of their $50000 goal. To encourage those who might be able to help them bridge that gap, Box Of Stars have made a few more of the songs that are a part of the project available to stream, most notably The Joy Formidable’s take on “Gold Day” and The Flaming Lips‘ version of “It’s A Sad And Beautiful World”.

Stream: The Joy Formidable – “Gold Day”
Stream: The Flaming Lips – “It’s A Sad And Beautiful World”
Stream: Last Box Of Sparklers: A Tribute To Mark Linkous sampler

Friday, July 19th, 2013

Fresh

Summer Camp “Fresh”-en up for second album

Photo By Eleanor McDowallEleanor McDowallHaving gone high concept with their ’80s teen movie-evoking, fictional California community-set debut album Welcome To Condale, English retro-lectro-pop duo Summer Camp have been keeping relatively mum about what to expect from their forthcoming second album. It’s self-titled, so there’s not much to be gleaned there, and the trailer unveiled last month also didn’t do much besides offer a look around Jeremy Warmsley and Elizabeth Sankey’s flat, set to a surprisingly funky soundtrack.

That song has just been released as the first official sample of the new record by way of an uncommonly fun lyric video premiered at Gorilla Vs Bear. It’s a sweet disco-flavoured tune that happily and hopefully allays the reservations I had about Condale, specifically that all the ’80s-referencing would become more distraction than inspiration – they’ve got some ’70s in there now as well! I’ll happily take an album of great pop songs that aren’t necessarily about anything in particular; here’s hoping. Summer Camp is out on September 9.

Lyric Video: Summer Camp – “Fresh”

NME reports that The Vaccines will put out a new EP around the recently-released non-album single “Melody Calling”; it’s out August 12 and they play The Molson Amphitheatre supporting Mumford & Sons on August 26.

DIY and The Guardian talk to Kele Okereke about life in Bloc Party, with the former finding him dismissing the severity of the indefinite hiatus talk surrounding the release of their Nextwave Sessions EP on August 13.

Le Blogotheque has an Empty Spaces session and The Guardian a studio session with Franz Ferdinand, wherein they perform two of the songs from Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action. The album comes out August 27 and they play The Kool Haus October 24.

Under The Radar talks to Stuart Murdoch and Stevie Jackson of Belle & Sebastian about their forthcoming rarities compilation The Third Eye Centre, out August 27.

Good news and bad news for those hoping Bat For Lashes would schedule some of her own headlining shows amongst the support dates for Depeche Mode this Summer; the good news is that yes she is, the bad news is that Toronto doesn’t get one – but Buffalo does, if you’re up for a road trip. She’s at the Town Ballroom on August 31 before opening up for Depeche Mode at the Molson Amphitheatre on September 1. And yeah, there is still an off day between Toronto and Montreal, so if you’re the finger-crossing type, commence or continue crossing fingers.

Despite having a new album in AM coming on September 10 that their fans would surely love to hear more from, Arctic Monkeys are doing a bit of trolling by streaming a new track that will not appear on the record. They play The Kool Haus on September 15.

Stream: Arctic Monkeys – “2013”

Under The Radar and Sticky talk to Lauren Mayberry of CHVRCHES, whose debut album The Bones of What You Believe is out September 24 and who are at the Danforth Music Hall on September 15.

Elvis Costello talks a bit about Wise Up Ghost, his collaboration with The Roots coming out September 17, with Mojo.

Spin has got the backstory on a new Kate Nash song that’s been made available to stream; listen, read, help if you can. Nash plays The Phoenix on November 5.

Stream: Kate Nash – “Pink Limo Ride”

While they’ve not offered any specifics besides the fact that it’s done, Fanfarlo have made a track from their forthcoming third album available to download. DIY has the statement from the band about it.

MP3: Fanfarlo – “Myth Of Myself (A Ruse To Exploit Our Weaknesses)”

Daytrotter has a session with Sky Larkin, who’ve got a new record ready to go sometime this Summer, or so they claim.

Despite having lost frontman Daniel Blumberg to a solo career as Hebronix, Yuck have offered a track from their second album which will be out later this Fall, and you know what? It’s pretty good.

MP3: Yuck – “Rebirth”

DIY talks to The Maccabees, who’re working on album number for with an eye towards an early 2014 release date.

David Bowie gets simple and a bit scary for the next video from The Next Day, and if you like your Bowie a little more vintage, Aquarium Drunkard points to a BBC documentary about the inception of Ziggy Stardust.

Video: David Bowie – “Valentine’s Day”

Johnny Marr has put out another video from The Messenger and is streaming a new, non-album track at Pitchfork for good measure.

Video: Johnny Marr – “New Town Velocity”
Stream: Johnny Marr – “The It-Switch”

Rolling Stone has premiered the newest video from The Joy Formidable’s latest Wolf’s Law.

Video: The Joy Formidable – “Silent Treatment”

Little Boots is giving away a track from Nocturnes in exchange for an email and offering a live acoustic video of that same tune.

Video: Little Boots – “All For You” (acoustic)

Rolling Stone welcomes Editors to their studios for an unplugged video session. There’s also interviews with the band at The Sun, Digital Spy, Burton Mail, Londonist, and The Scotsman.

Fractured Air and Elle talk to Tracyanne Campbell and The News Observer to Gavin Dunbar, both of Camera Obscura.

Daytrotter welcomes Stornoway to their studios for a session.

In an interview with Under The Radar, Brett Anderson reveals why Suede are so reluctant to do any touring in North America and to which I say there’s no “London” here in Canada so get your skinny ass over here.

Interview sends Daniel Craig – yes, that Daniel Craig – to interview about Atoms For Peace and Radiohead.

The Independent talks to Noel Gallagher about his one-time sneaker addiction. Which apparently was a real thing.

Friday, July 12th, 2013

Denial

I Break Horses break silence with new single

Photo By Force Field PRForce Field PRIf there was any bright side to be gleaned from I Break Horses abruptly cancelling their North American tour last Fall, it’s that the Swedish duo of Maria Lindén and Fredrik Balck would be able to get to work on the follow-up to their debut Hearts, hands-down my favourite record of 2011. And unsurprisingly, given their reclusive natures, there’s been little in the way of status update since the went off the road and fans have had to take it on faith that they were hard at work. Encouragement came by way of Twitter with a, “Mixing songs for the next album!” tweet in April, but there’s been nothing tangible to nourish our Scandi-synth-gaze appetites – until now.

A new song and remix b-side will appear on a limited edition 12″ for the Independent Label Market happening at London’s Spitalfields Market tomorrow and while one would hope that any leftover copies would be made available to the internet at wide… there almost certainly won’t be any copies left over. Instead, we’ll have to make do with a stream of the new song – which happily still pushes all my right buttons – via Pitchfork and anxiously await the October release of their second album. Which, while it seems like ages away, is actually sooner than I had expected to get new music from them so no complaints here.

Stream: I Break Horses – “Denial”

Under The Radar talks to the Dreijer siblings of The Knife.

The Alternate Side has a session and interview with Junip.

Up-and-coming Swedish electro-pop artist Elliphant has released a new video for her latest single.

Video: Elliphant – “Music Is Life”

Kate Boy stop in at Daytrotter for a session.

Spanish Balearic-pop purveyors Delorean have announced the September 10 release of their second album Apar – along with a stream of a new song – and a corresponding North American tour that hits The Horseshoe on October 17.

Stream: Delorean – “Spirit”

German industrial-rock mainstays KMFDM will be at The Phoenix on October 28, tickets $27.50.

Video: KMFDM – “Juke Joint Jezebel”

Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe of Pet Shop Boys run down their favourite dance music songs for The Guardian. Their new album of dance music – Electric – is out on Tuesday, July 16, and they play The Sony Centre on September 25.

Editors have offered up a stream of the next single from their latest, The Weight Of Your Love.

Stream: Editors – “Formaldehyde”

Consequence Of Sound welcomes The Joy Formidable for an Off The Avenue video session. The Huffington Post and Boston Globe also have interviews.

The Scotsman and Glasgow Evening Times chat with Norman Blake about his partnership with Joe Pernice as The New Mendicants, but that Scotsman headline about being “Ex”-Teenage Fanclub? Nope. Nope. Nope.

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

In Your Eyes

Kate Boy and Gold & Youth at Wrongbar in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangIt might seem like an act of massive hubris for a brand-new band from abroad to book a North American tour with no official release, not even a handful of released songs, and barely a month’s worth of experience performing live, but Sweden’s Kate Boy did just that in rolling into Wrongbar on Sunday night for the third of six dates on this continent. But when each of those three singles and videos have been met with immensely positive response and the right outlets are paying attention, maybe it’s less an act of starry-eyed optimism than a canny first move in a well-orchestrated, long-term marketing strategy.

Though I was intrigued by the aforementioned singles – particular with them on repeat whilst writing this – it took the announcement of Vancouver’s Gold & Youth as support to cement my attendance. Though they were hardly going to be strangers to Toronto stages over this week, opening up the Arts & Crafts Field Trip fest on Saturday and also playing NXNE, the odds of my catching any of those shows was going to slim. And I wanted to see them – their just-released debut Beyond Wilderness being a solid if not life-altering document of ’80s-ish synth-pop that I suspected would come across stronger live than on record. And indeed, it did. Utilizing a conventional band lineup augmented by synths and samples, rather than the other way around, their live show was more energetic and brought their musicianship to the fore, if also laying bare their Cure, New Order, and Depeche Mode influences. Danceable without being dance music, the affirmed themselves as a band with a great if familiar sound, and good to very good songs that should just get better.

Just as it wouldn’t have surprised me if Wrongbar had been empty for Kate Boy’s Canadian debut, it also didn’t surprise me that there was a very respectable-sized crowd by the time the foursome took the stage, uniform of black t-shirts and baseball caps intact. I was surprised, though, that much of the audience seemed not to be the curious out to be convinced, but genuine fans wanting to have their belief confirmed – looks like three songs can really go a long way. Thankfully, the band had more than that in their repertoire, and their 40-minute set was tightly choreographed and impressively crafted – what was that about having only played their first-ever gig in May? The three singles were spaced out so as to be able to keep the momentum up, and basically performed live as extended remixes to effectively balance familiarity and freshness. The rest of the material adhered to the same formula of big heavy beats and even bigger choruses, so if you liked one you were pretty much going to like them all.

While her bandmates kept their Scandinavian cool whilst manning their synths, drums, and bass with laser focus, frontwoman Kate Akhurst was all smiles and arm-waving dance moves, clearly less concerned with maintaining their icy aesthetic than having and giving a good time. And it’s a pretty safe bet that for everyone in attendance, a good time was had. There’s probably not ever going to be a narrative around Kate Boy that casts them as the scrappy, DIY upstarts. There’s something very calculated about their career trajectory so far, and even though they’re currently signed to Los Angeles indie IAMSOUND for their singles, five will get you six that like label alumnus Florence & The Machine, Charli XCX, and Little Boots, their debut will be on a major. Not that that matters, really – all that does is they’ve got the look, they’ve got the sound, and they’ve got the show. Everything is going according to plan.

Exclaim also has a review of the show while Idolator and Chicago Now have posted interviews with the band. MSN gets to know Louise Burns as both a member of Gold & Youth and solo artist, whose second album The Midnight Mass comes out July 9.

Photos: Kate Boy, Gold & Youth @ Wrongbar – June 9, 2013
MP3: Kate Boy – “Northern Lights”
Video: Kate Boy – “The Way We Are”
Video: Kate Boy – “In Your Eyes”
Video: Kate Boy – “Northern Lights”
Video: Gold & Youth – “Jewel”
Video: Gold & Youth – “Time To Kill”

Exclaim has an advance stream of Beady Eye album BE, though since the album is now out as of this week – in the UK, at least – it’s not so advance. The Independent has an interview with Liam Gallagher where he sounds off on this and that.

Stream: Beady Eye / BE

Drowned In Sound talks to CHVRCHES, in town tomorrow night – June 12 – for a show at The Hoxton.

Sigur Rós have turned to their live show projections for the video to the title track and to CBC Music to host an advance stream of their new album Kveikur, coming June 18. The stream is probably geoblocked to Canada, but rest of the world can be sure that their territories will be attended to shortly. Update: Try Amazon.

Video: Sigur Rós – “Kveikur”
Stream: Sigur Rós / Kveikur

Rolling Stone and Refinery 29 have feature pieces on Empire Of The Sun and their new album Ice On The Dune, out June 18 and available to stream now at Rolling Stone. Yahoo, meanwhile, gets a look behind the scenes at the band’s visual presentation.

Stream: Empire Of The Sun / Ice On The Dune

Also out next week – at least domestically in North America – and doing the advance stream thing now is More Light, the new record from Primal Scream. That’s up at NPR.

Stream: Primal Scream / More Light

Editors are streaming a new b-side from the first single for their forthcoming The Weight Of Your Love. The new album is out July 1.

Stream: Editors – “The Sting”

TOY and Bat For Lashes’ Natasha Khan have teamed up for a cover of Iranian artist Amir Rassaei. It’s out on July 1 as a 7″ single. More details at Pitchfork.

Stream: TOY with Natasha Khan – “The Bride”

The Line Of Best Fit gets to know Camera Obscura. They play the Toronto Urban Roots Fest at Garrison Common on July 4.

Icona Pop discuss the inspiration behind their hit, “I Don’t Care”, with MTV. They play Garrison Common on August 3 as part of The Grove Fest.

Beatroute, Scout Magazine, and Vita.mn have interviews with José González of Junip.

The National Post and Canada.com have interviews with The xx, who premiered a new video from Coexist last week via Noisey.

Video: The xx – “Fiction”

Metro interviews Bloc Party, who tell Canada.com that following this Summer’s touring commitments, they’re going back on indefinite hiatus.

NME talks to the director of the new video from Billy Bragg’s Tooth & Nail; NPR also has a Mountain Stage video session with the singer-songwriter.

Video: Billy Bragg – “Handyman’s Blues”

DIY has a feature interview with Laura Marling.

The Guardian welcomes Suede to their studios for a video session.

The Joy Formidable have released a live video of them performing an acoustic cover of Echo & The Bunnymen’s “The Killing Moon”.

Video: The Joy Formidable – “The Killing Moon” (live)

Clash invites Frightened Rabbit frontman Scott Hutchison to take a swing at some of the songs currently on the UK charts.

Friday, April 12th, 2013

What I Like

Stream Charli XCX’s True Romance. Or don’t. Whatever.

Photo By Dan CurwinDan CurwinAs much as I’d like to be able to claim to have seen Charli XCX’s latent stardom from the get-go, a quick look back at my writeup from SXSW 2012 confirms that I was not, in fact, overly impressed with the set I caught, but this also acknowledges that performing in a stripped-down setting accompanied only by a keyboardist isn’t really putting an electro-pop artist’s best foot forward. She came across much better five months later at Osheaga, kicking off the festival with a good balance of energy, songs, and showmanship – plus a solid cover of “The Killing Moon”.

The young Englishwoman’s star has steadily continued to rise since then, and the buzz will come to a head – for now, at least – with the release next week of her debut album True Romance, a convincing collection of party-friendly, synth-built anthems with plenty of confidence and personality. As is the custom, the record is getting an advance stream before its release, this time courtesy of Pitchfork. There’s also feature interviews with the Charlotte Aitchison at MXDWN and Idolator. She is in town at Echo Beach on May 23 opening up for Marina & The Diamonds.

MP3: Charli XCX – “Nuclear Seasons”
Stream: Charli XCX / True Romance

NOW and A Music Blog, Yea? talk to The Joy Formidable ahead of their show at The Phoenix tonight, April 12.

Mashable is streaming the M83-powered soundtrack to the new Tom Cruise flick Oblivion. The soundtrack came out this week but the film doesn’t open until the 19th of this month.

Stream: M83 / Oblivion soundtrack

Spin and KQED talk to Jessie Ware, who finally gets a North American release for her debut Devotion next week, on April 16.

The Line Of Best Fit has premiered the new video from the Junip self-title, coming out April 23. They play The Great Hall on June 10.

Video: Junip – “Your Life Your Call”

Filter and Billboard have feature pieces on Phoenix, whose new album Bankrupt! comes out April 23. They’ve just released an acoustic performance video from it and will headline The Grove Fest at Garrison Common on August 3.

Video: Phoenix – “Entertainment!” (acoustic)

Palma Violets have released a new video from their debut 180. They’re also interviewed by WhatCulture and have a headlining show at Lee’s Palace on May 3 as well as being part of The Grove Fest lineup.

Video: Palma Violets – “We Found Love”

James Blake has released a video for the title track of his just-released new album Overgrown. He plays The Danforth Music Hall on May 4.

Video: James Blake – “Overgrown”

Topman Magazine talks to Primal Scream’s Bobby Gillespie about their forthcoming album More Light, out May 13.

Pigeons & Planes have premiered the new video from Elliphant, making her local debut on June 7 supporting Twin Shadow at The Phoenix.

Video: Elliphant – “Make It Juicy”

NME confirms details of the new Beady Eye album, which will be called BE – acronym or shouting, take your pick – and be out June 10.

CHVRCHES have released a new live video. They play The Hoxton on June 12 and their debut is out in September.

Video: CHVRCHES – “Lies” (live)

The Line Of Best Fit has an interview with Iceage and Matablog has got a new studio performance video and download from their latest, You’re Noting. They’ll be in Toronto for NXNE on June 15, and Iceage spin-off Vår is streaming a new track from their debut No One Dances Quite Like My Brothers, coming out May 14.

MP3: Iceage – “Morals”
Video: Iceage – “Morals” (live)
Stream: Vår – “The World Fell”

DIY and Glamour get to know Icona Pop, who will be playing the aforementioned Grove Festival at Garrison Common on August 3.

Swedish punks Holograms are streaming the first track from their second album Forever, now confirmed for a September 3 release.

Stream: Holograms – “Flesh And Bone”

Loud & Quiet, Dazed, and MTV Hive all have feature pieces on The Knife.

Daytrotter has posted a session and A Heart Is A Spade, Fractured Air, and Buzzine interviews with Ólafur Arnalds.

Efterklang performs a Tiny Desk Concert for NPR.

The AV Club talks to Nick Cave.

And thanks to PopMatters for unearthing an excellent quality video of an almost-complete concert from the very end days of Catherine Wheel. Never forget.