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Posts Tagged ‘Ladyhawk’

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

No Can Do

Ladyhawk are back. No, the other Ladyhawk.

Photo via KillbeatKillbeatIt was pretty fun times to be an artist named for (or almost named for) a Matthew Broderick vehicle back circa 2007/2008. Pip Browne was turning heads with her hooky, ’80s synthpop-referencing tunes from all the way in New Zealand as Ladyhawke and in Canada, four guys were making a name for themselves with hooky, ’70s bar rock-referencing tunes from all the way in Kelowna. Hard to confuse the two (unless you were the guys in this story), but it was interesting that both were active at the same time and then basically disappeared around the same time in 2009, neither taking advantage of the other’s inactivity to increase their Ladyhawk/e identity mindshare.

But while Ladyhawke’s disappearance was because of a prolonged process of recording album number two, Ladyhawk went on a proper hiatus after finishing with their second album Shots, with frontman Duffy Driediger putting together a new outfit in Duffy & The Doubters, bassist Sean Hawryluk pulling time in Baptists, and drummer Ryan Peters and guitarist Darcy Hancock recording as SPORTS. Fast-forward to 2012, though, and they’re back. Both of them.

Ladyhawke released Anxiety back in May, and Ladyhawk will let their third album No Can Do out of the pen on October 9. Note how the two records look nothing alike and most certainly don’t sound anything alike (a track from the new record is available below for reference). Possibly creating some genuine confusion is the fact that both artists are touring North America this Fall, though fully a month apart. Toronto gets Ladyhawke (the feminine article) September 15 at The Hoxton, and Ladyhawk (the band of bros) on October 25 at The Horseshoe ($15 in advance). I suppose it’s conceivable that you could get those two venues mixed up, but I really hope you don’t. Unless you’re the guys from London.

MP3: Ladyhawk – “You Read My Mind”

It’s a little bit of Montreal in Toronto on November 15 when Plants & Animals and Parlovr play The Great Hall, tickets $15.

MP3: Plants & Animals – “The End Of That”
MP3: Parlovr – “Pen To The Paper”

The Weeknd are making it a three-day weekend stand at The Sound Academy, adding a third show for November 4 to go with the November 2 and 3 ones that are presumably just about sold out.

MP3: The Weeknd – “Life Of The Party”

Pitchfork has got a new song from Yamantaka/Sonic Titan, recorded for Adult Swim’s Singles Series, available to download. And if you’ve had trouble finding their YT/ST album in stores – despite it being Polaris shortlisted, they’ve been label-less since March – fear not; they’ve just signed to Paper Bag Records, who will be reissuing it and making it available pretty much everywhere on September 11.

MP3: Yamantaka//Sonic Titan – “Lamia”

Torq Campbell of Stars gets all fired up about topics political with The Huffington Post. Their new record The North is out September 4 and they open up for Metric at the Air Canada Centre on November 24.

Claire Boucher – aka Grimes – also has some thoughts on politics of the Russian variety, which she shares with NME. She has two nights booked at Lee’s Palace on September 21 and 22 and has just released another wacky-ass video from the Polaris shortlisted and heavily-favoured Visions.

Video: Grimes – “Genesis”

The Line Of Best Fit talks to Jonas Bonnetta of Evening Hymns.

Talk Rock To Me chats with You Say Party, who will be back in action at The Great Hall on September 29.

Also playing that Paper Bag anniversary show at the Great Hall on the 29th are Young Galaxy; Stephen Ramsay discusses with Spinner the changes of direction that will come with their next album when it comes out next year.

Exclaim has details on the second of Gentleman Reg’s digital Leisure Life EPs, the second of which will be out on September 4. A track from it is available to stream courtesy of Ion.

Stream: Gentleman Reg – “Make It Better”

CBC Music gets some tips on eating on the road from Great Lake Swimmers’ Tony Dekker.

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

Ratify The New

Review of The Hidden Cameras’ Origin: Orphan and giveaway

Photo By Norman WongNorman WongEven though he coined it himself, I often wonder if Joel Gibb regrets encouraging the use of “gay church folk music” as a description for the music of The Hidden Cameras. Certainly they got a lot of mileage out of it in the band’s earlier days, as it was both attention grabbing and accurate, but now, four albums in, it probably deserves to be retired.

It’s not that it’s no longer descriptive – Gibb is still gay (one assumes), it’s still music and it’s still built on foundations of folk and church traditions – but it doesn’t give them due credit for evolving from record to record and shedding some of the Cameras’ more titillating/explicit facets in exchange for more musical and lyrical sophistication. Case in point, their latest album Origin: Orphan. It remains unmistakeably a Hidden Cameras record – Joel Gibb’s muse is simply too distinctive for it to be anything else – but there’s a clear effort to broaden the definition of exactly what a Hidden Cameras record is. I’ve always found past albums to feel a bit static, so the ranginess Origin: Orphan is a real eye-opener.

There’s also a heaviness to the record that’s new, and maybe it’s just the excitement of being surprised by a Hidden Cameras album, but I think they wear it well. While the signature whimsy remains, it’s accented by sounds and textures that give them a real weight – the shrieking outro of “Do I Belong?”, the insistent descending riff of the title track, and the glorious foreboding of orchestral centerpiece “Walk On” – and end up the most memorable moments. And it’s the contrast of those dark pieces that give the brighter pop numbers even more jump, like the giddy almost-closing pairing of “Underage” and “The Little Bit” which sound as buoyant as anything they’ve ever recorded. Having reached a point in their existence where they seemed to be faced with the choice of sticking to the tried and true and becoming predictable or trying something new and risking not playing to their strengths, The Hidden Cameras have somehow managed to not only do both, but turn in maybe their best record yet in the process.

The Hidden Cameras are currently in the midst of an extensive North American tour with Gentleman Reg that will wrap with a homecoming show at the Opera House in Toronto on December 5. Tickets for the show are $15 in advance but courtesy of Rootmeansquare, I’ve got two pairs of passes to give away for the show. To enter, email me at contests AT chromewaves.net with “I want to see The Hidden Cameras” in the subject line and your full name in the body and get that in to me before midnight, November 25.

Gibb talks to Spinner about how a trip to Berlin inspired the direction of the new album.

MP3: The Hidden Cameras – “Walk On”
Video: The Hidden Cameras – “In The NA”
MySpace: The Hidden Cameras

The Magnetic Fields will take the theme of their next album Realism to heart by playing songs from it in the flesh on a North American tour that kicks off shortly after the album’s January 26, 2010 release date. That includes a February 8 date at the Queen Elizabeth Theater in Toronto, their first visit since a two-night stand at Trinity-St. Paul’s in July 2004. Tickets are $30.50 plus fees, onsale this Saturday though a presale started yesterday – I got second row centre tickets, so they had good ones blocked off.

Beach House have released the first MP3 from their third album Teen Dream, due out January 26. I kinda think I like this song better than anything they’ve done yet.

MP3: Beach House – “Norway”

Ever wish you could make your birthday last forever? Constantines do – their tenth anniversary celebrations have extended from a two-night stand at Lee’s Palace to a three night engagement, the third night taking place a full week after the second. So that’s December 11, 12 and 19 and with different support each night. The 11th will feature Attack In Black and Weakerthan John K Samson doing a solo set, the 12th has Oneida and Metz warming things up and the 19th has Julie Doiron and Ladyhawk on the bill.

Ohbijou’s Casey Mecija talks to Spinner, The Canmore Leader and See.

A slew of in-stores have been announced by Sonic Boom. You’ve got Koushik on November 19 at 7:30PM, Lullabye Arkestra on November 21 at 7PM, Malajube on November 25 at 7PM, The Schomberg Fair on November 28 at 4PM and Everything All The Time on December 2 at 7PM. All shows are free, though a donation of canned food is encouraged and appreciated.

MP3: Lullabye Arkestra – “We Fuck The Night”
MP3: Malajube – “Porte Disparu”
MP3: Everything All The Time – “Lazy Days”

The Toronto Public Library’s Make Some Noise series continues through this month, with a number of performances and discussions of interest to, well, probably anyone reading this site. Katie Stelmanis will give a performance at the Bloor/Gladstone branch this Friday, November 20, at 8PM, Colin Medley of Morning Noon Night will discuss the finer points of videography and “Documenting the Local Music Scene” at the Kennedy/Eglinton branch on November 24 at 7PM and Steve Jordan, grand poo-bah of the Polaris Music Prize, will get into the nitty-gritty of just how much of a bribe it takes to make the long list, short list and win the whole she-bang, respectively. Kidding – he’ll be talking about the Prize and Canadian music industry in general at the Northern District branch on December 1 at 7PM.

Paper Bag Records is celebrating seven years of not going under with a special covers compilation featuring their artists entitled 7 Year Itch and available to grab for free.

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

Fossil, I

Review of Sky Larkin's The Golden Spike and live video from Amsterdam

Photo via FabchannelFabChannelAfter considerable listens, I think I’ve twigged on to why I’m so taken with The Golden Spike, the debut album from Leeds’ Sky Larkin’s. The crackling pop-punk energy, barely contained in the power trio configuration, the odd and wiry yet undeniably accomplished guitarwork, the raspy vocals that can’t quite conceal the sweetness underneath – they remind me of Land Of Talk. A more youthful version, to be sure, with more exuberance and less anxiety, but the parallels – now that they’ve occurred to me – are obvious.

And, of course, after I’d written that, I did a little archive digging and discovered that in my first post about the band, way back in August 2008, I said the first taste of the band “grab(bed) me in a way that I don’t think I’ve been grabbed since I first heard Land Of Talk”. Technically, though, I was only using LoT as a chronological reference point and not necessarily as a stylistic one, as I’ve now done. But I actually completely forgot I said that and the preceding paragraph was written completely ignorant of that original observation. Okay, I’m boring the life out of me now. Moving on.

Band comparisons notwithstanding, I’m also totally taken with The Golden Spike because it’s a superb bit of guitar pop. Katie Harkin, she of the aforementioned guitarwork and vocals, is a forceful presence and her songs are unconventional and elliptical enough to encourage intensive listening, yet remain utterly melodic and hummable. It’s a corker of a record, and surely one of the finer debuts we’ll see this year. As previously mentioned, their label Wichita Recordings are setting up North American operations and The Golden Spike will be one of their first domestic releases – you can be certain I’ll let you know more about that as information becomes available.

FabChannel webcast the band’s show in Amsterdam this past weekend but don’t have it up in their archives for your eternal enjoyment just yet. They have, however, prepped a couple of songs from the show and have graciously allowed me to share them with you. Please enjoy.

MP3: Sky Larkin – “Fossil, I”
MP3: Sky Larkin – “Molten”
Video: Sky Larkin – “Beeline”
Video: Sky Larkin – “Fossil, I”
Video: Sky Larkin – “Molten”
Video: Sky Larkin – “One Of Two”
MySpace: Sky Larkin

Emmy The Great talks to NME about some of her lyrics and reveals the story of her “first love”. Drowned in Sound also has a two-part interview with the singer.

Details on the debut full-length from Florence & The Machine are still forthcoming, but this pre-order listing at CDWow seems to hint at July 6th release date, or thereabouts. Much more confirmable is the April 28 release of the A Lot Of Love, A Lot Of Blood EP, which collects her singles to this point and an unreleased track.

MP3: Florence & The Machine – “Kiss With A Fist”
Video: Florence & The Machine – “Kiss With A Fist”
Video: Florence & The Machine – “Dog Days Are Over”

Spinner talks to PJ Harvey and John Parish about their working history together. Their collaborative album A Woman A Man Walked By is out March 30.

CD Times interviews The Joy Formidable.

QRO talks to Los Campesinos!. They’re at the Opera House on April 1.

This Is Fake DIY and Clash converse with Tilly & The Wall.

Magnet takes it upon themselves to identify the five most overrated and underrated Radiohead songs.

Exclaim! has a feature-length interview with Neko Case and have also assembled a timeline tracking her life and times. Her new album Middle Cyclone is out next Tuesday and the title track is now available to download. Her label is also giving away autographed copies of the record. She’s at Trinity-St Paul’s on April 17 and 18.

MP3: Neko Case – “Middle Cyclone”

Maria Taylor has a date at the El Mocambo on April 17, tickets $10. Her new record LadyLuck is out April 7. $10

MP3: Maria Taylor – “Time Lapse Lifeline”
Video: Maria Taylor – “Time Lapse Lifeline”

Ladyhawk return for a show at the Horseshoe on April 23, tickets $12.50.

MP3: Ladyhawk – “I Don’t Always Know What You’re Saying”
MP3: Ladyhawk – “S.T.H.D.”

Elvis Perkins In Dearland will be hitting the road in support of their self-titled record, due March 10, and will play the Horseshoe on April 29.

MP3: Elvis Perkins In Dearland – “Shampoo”

Not part of their upcoming Spring itinerary, but Plants & Animals will be at the Mod Club on May 7.

MP3: Plants & Animals – “Bye Bye Bye”

And finally, an incredulous shout-out to Zoilus’ Carl Wilson, who will be appearing on The Colbert Report next Wednesday night to talk about his 33-1/3 book Let’s Talk About Love: A Journey To The End Of Taste. All instigated, if you didn’t know, by the Green Goblin 2. What a strange, strange thing.