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Posts Tagged ‘Laetitia Sadier’

Monday, September 17th, 2012

Black White & Blue

Ladyhawke and Computer Magic at The Hoxton in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangIt would have been nice to think that the many well-dressed folks milling about on King West Saturday evening were winding their way to The Hoxton, where New Zealand’s Pip Browne – aka Ladyhawke – was set to make her first Toronto appearance in almost three years exactly. But no, they were probably just out taking in the final night of TIFF, because The Hoxton was basically empty when I got there.

Being an early show with a curfew, waiting around for the more fashionably late wasn’t an option to Computer Magic got to play for a mere handful of people. The project of Brooklyite Danielle Johnson, they played as a two-piece with Johnson on keys and vox and a drummer. It wasn’t much and their on-stage mobility was decidedly limited, but they more than made do. Johnson’s synth-pop melodies were both hooky and interesting, and while her drummer favoured the pads on his hybrid acoustic/electronic drum kit, the fact that he could hit the conventional drums and hit them hard gave it all a lot more power and presence than you would have expected. My understanding is that some live versions of the band have guitar and bass to fill things out, and while I don’t doubt the extra bodies make for a more compelling live show, Computer Magic as a duo had all they really needed to make a good impression – namely, solid tunes.

For reasons entirely not her fault, Ladyhawke’s first Toronto show in September 2009 was something of a clusterfuck. It was part of a seemingly-cursed tour presented by celebrity blogger Perez Hilton, beset by low attendance, a patchwork bill, and a self-destructing headliner in Ida Maria who bailed from the tour entirely the day of the Toronto show. Ladyhawke’s first set as the de facto sole headliner of the tour was actually fine, showcasing the ridiculously catchy ’80s-styled pop of her self-titled debut, but it’s hard to separate the performance in memory from the circus that surrounded it.

This outing came without the sideshow, thankfully, but also without the degree of buzz that was there the first time around. Her second album Anxiety has been rather unjustly dismissed for being built more on guitars than synths, but the electro-pop movement that she was lumped into back in 2009 was no longer fashionable anyways and if she’d stuck with the same formula, the complaints would probably be that she was sounding dated. Fact is, the change in instrumentation is more cosmetic than fundamental; the songs on Anxiety are less immediate than those on Ladyhawke, but also less obvious. Pip Browne’s melodic instincts are still more than intact, though, and it’s a solid work that will age quite nicely.

It also meant that the couple hundred people in attendance – the room had thankfully filled in some – were genuine fans, else three years behind on hearing what was supposed to be hip. Fronting a five-piece band where, perhaps fittingly given their shift in direction, the massive drum sounds and big, fuzzy guitars often drowned out the keyboardist, the Ladyhawke live experience hadn’t necessarily become more exciting. Though friendly, they’re still very businesslike on stage, having evidently drawn on plenty of glittery/glammy ’80s sonic influence but not the excess of presentation. Browne’s vintage Bryan Adams t-shirt got the most audience approval and the guitarist Danny Blanco provided most of the on-stage animation, which wasn’t really much. But the low-key presentation meant that they were able to power through an extensive set list, cramming eighteen songs into an hour and change including an unexpected cover of Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit” to open the encore. See, she knows her ’60s as well! And she knows how to write great songs that don’t need the benefit of a gossip blogger patron or fleeting musical fashionability to impress.

Computer Magic has a bunch of EPs available for free download.

Photos: Ladyhawke, Computer Magic @ The Hoxton – September 15, 2012
MP3: Ladyhawke – “Sunday Drive”
MP3: Ladyhawke – “Sunday Drive” (acoustic)
MP3: Ladyhawke – “Black White & Blue” (acoustic)
MP3: Computer Magic – “Grand Junction”
MP3: Computer Magic – “Electric Fences”
Video: Ladyhawke – “Blue Eyes”
Video: Ladyhawke – “Sunday Drive”
Video: Ladyhawke – “Black White & Blue”
Video: Ladyhawke – “Magic”
Video: Ladyhawke – “Paris Is Burning”
Video: Ladyhawke – “My Delirium”
Video: Ladyhawke – “Dusk Till Dawn”
Video: Ladyhawke – “Back Of The Van”
Video: Computer Magic – “Trinity”
Video: Computer Magic – “The End Of Time”

Evidently with a little time to kill before hitting the stage at The Great Hall on the evening of September 18, DIIV will be setting up at Sonic Boom’s Kensington location for an in-store on Tuesday afternoon at 5PM. They just released a new video from their debut Oshin last week.

MP3: DIIV – “Sometime”
Video: DIIV – “Doused”

Australian folkies Husky have a date at The Drake Underground on November 12 in support of their debut Forever So. They were here back during Canadian Musicfest, if you think you might had seen or heard them before. A Daytrotter session with the band also just went up.

MP3: Husky – “Tidal Wave”
MP3: Husky – “History’s Door”

NPR’s big-deal advance album stream this week is Piramida, the latest from Denmark’s Efterklang. It’s out September 25.

MP3: Efterklang – “Apples”
Stream: Efterklang / Pirmada

Even though their latest Observator just came out, Sune Rose Wagner of The Raveonettes tells Paste he’s already compiling ideas for their next album. They’re at The Phoenix on October 2.

Interview has an interview and I Love Sweden a video session with Amanda Mair.

The Quietus has an exit interview with the retiring Soundtrack Of Our Lives.

Interview talks to ascendent Swedish electro-pop duo Icona Pop.

PopMatters poses twenty questions to múm.

Rolling Stone has premiered a new video from Of Monsters & Men’s debut My Head Is An Animal.

Video: Of Monsters & Men – “Mountain Sound”

Dash Shaw and John Cameron Mitchell offer more a short film than video as their contribution to Sigur Rós’ Valtari “Mystery Film Experiment”, using both “Rembihnútur” and “Ekki múkk” as a soundtrack to their clip.

Video: Sigur Rós – “Seraph”

Laetitia Sadier has premiered a new video from Silencio. She plays The Drake on September 18 and Laetitia Sadier – “Find Me The Pulse Of The Universe”

NPR is streaming M83’s recent concert at the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C.

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

The End Of The World Is Bigger Than Love

Review of Jens Lekman’s I Know What Love Isn’t

Photo By Kristen LidellKristen LidellMany adjectives can and have been used to describe the songwriting of Swedish troubadour Jens Lekman – wry, witty, classic, charming, hilarious, to list but a very few – but “personal” is not necessarily one of the first you’d use. He’s a masterful storyteller in song, and no doubt the seeds of many of his songs come from his own life experiences or observations, but in crafting his perfect little narratives he’s usually able to distance himself from them, always a character whether he’s operating in the third person or the first. This isn’t any sort of condemnation – I’d not want “A Letter To Nina” or “You Are The Light” any other way – but is necessary to point out to understand why his third proper album, I Know What Love Isn’t, feels subtly but significatly different.

On the surface, it’s not dissimilar to his earlier efforts. Lightly but exquisitely arranged orchestral pop, albeit better-recorded this time out, and a suite of songs filled with witty couplets, brilliant plays on words, and songs about and to girls. But while the female leads in his tales have a number of different names – Danae, Catherine, Samantha, Erica, Jennifer, take a bow – there’s a sense they’re all perspectives of the same woman. As the album title implies, What Love Isn’t is a break-up album and whether Lekman sought to only use the failed romance as inspiration and not fuel is known only to him, that sadness sublimates its way into the entire record and makes the fourth wall translucent, giving it an emotional potency that his other records can’t lay claim to.

Opening with the simple, piano-led instrumental “Every Little Hair Knows Your Name” – reprised in vocal form to close the record – the front end of Love finds Lekman indulging his more emo side. Lead single “Erica America” is a smoky, jazzy piece equally tinged with nostalgia and regret and while “Become Someone Else’s” brightens up marginally thanks to a chipper piano line, it and “She Just Doesn’t Want To Be With You Anymore” wear their sentiments openly in their titles. It would be understandable for Lekman to choose to inhabit this end of the musical spectrum to work through things, but also overly obvious. And heavens forfend Lekman be obvious.

It turns out he’s playing the (relatively) long game with this record, allowing it to gradually build in tempo, and brighten in outlook as it progresses and by the time it reaches the triumvirate of “The World Moves On”, “The End Of The World Is Bigger Than Love”, and “I Know What Love Isn’t”, it’s Lekman at his best, spinning vignettes and telling tales over some of his most indelible melodies, memorable choruses, and richest arrangements to date, all combining for his most cohesive and satisfying album yet. I Know What Love Isn’t may sound like a typically Lekman play on words, but it also speaks to a truth of lessons learned the hard way – the couplet “you don’t get over a broken heart/you just learn to carry it gracefully” from “The World Moves On” is the album’s thesis and triumph, and while you don’t have to have had your heart broken to appreciate it, but it doesn’t hurt.

Rolling Stone, Exclaim, DIY, Tiny Mix Tapes, eMusic, RCRDLBL, and Interview, The Quietus talk to Lekman about his new record, while The Line Of Best Fit and Pitchfork also cajole a video session. Lekman is at The Phoenix on October 4.

MP3: Jens Lekman – “Erica America”
Video: Jens Lekman – “I Know What Love Isn’t”
Video: Jens Lekman – “Erica America”

Opening up that show at The Phoenix is Taken By Trees, and they’ve just released a stream of another new song from Other Worlds, set for release on October 2.

Stream: Taken By Trees – “Large”

Maria Lindén of I Break Horses gives DIY some insight to where she’s headed with album number two. Room 205 has also posted the first installment of a video session with the band that gives you an idea of what the live incarnation of the band sounds like (awesome). The next two will follow over the next fortnight.

Video: I Break Horses – “Wired” (live at Room 205)

Clash has got a download of Amanda Mair performing an acoustic version of “Doubt”, from her self-titled debut.

MP3: Amanda Mair – “Doubt” (acoustic)

Rolling Stone gets to know Swedish electro-pop duo Icona Pop. They have a new single which they’re thoughtfully streaming for all to hear.

Stream: Icona Pop – “Ready For The Weekend”

Spin, The Georgia Straight, and Seattle Weekly talks to Niki & The Dove, in town at The Drake on October 2.

Efterklang have made a track from their new album Piramida available to download, sample, and savour. It’s out September 25.

MP3: Efterklang – “Apples”

4AD has announced the signing of Denmark’s Søen Løkke Juul – aka Indians – by way of a 4AD Session. Their full-length debut won’t be out until early in the new year, but he and his band will introduce themselves at The Horseshoe on November 23 in support of Other Lives.

MP3: Indians – “I Am Haunted”
Video: Indians – “Magic Kids”
Video: Indians – “New”

NPR and DIY interview The Raveonettes. Observator is out today – they’ve released a new video for the occasion – and they’re at The Phoenix on October 2.

Video: The Raveonettes – “The Enemy”

DIY, Spinner, and Clash say “what’s up” to Of Monsters & Men

The 405 and Under The Radar interview Laetitia Sadier. She plays The Drake on September 18.

Nick Cave is still in screenwriter mode, but in discussing Lawless conversation inevitably turns to music and it’s been confirmed that a new Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds album is already complete and is due out in February of next year. Exclaim has some details.

The Wall Street Journal interviews Takaakira Goto of Mono, who bring their new record For My Parents to the Horseshoe tomorrow night.

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

Varðeldur

Sigur Rós and Perfume Genius at Echo Beach in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangFor a band for whom a large part of their appeal is being unknowable and otherworldly, there’s been a high degree of predictability with Sigur Ros, at least when it comes to their Toronto shows. For over a decade, they’ve come through town in support of each record for an exquisite show at Massey Hall that would send 2700 or so of their fans dazed into the night. For the last time they set up anywhere besides the Grand Old Lady of Shuter Street, you’d have to go back to May 2001 when they made their local debut with a legendary show at Palais Royale. On Wednesday night, it was back to the shores of Lake Ontario they returned with a show at Echo Beach, the outdoor setting ensuring that the vibe of things would be different than what we were used to, to say nothing of allowing more than twice as many people as usual to witness the Icelanders in action.

Support for their short run of headlining dates before entering the festival circuit came from Perfume Genius, an unexpected but welcome choice. Mike Hadreas’ work elicits many of the same adjectives as Sigur Rós – beautiful, heartbreaking, transcendent, what have you – but whereas the they work in mystery and epic-scale sounds, Perfume Genius is all about being laid bare and raw in small, perfectly imperfect pieces. Though distracted by the planes coming in to land at the island airport and suffering from a cold – though he mentioned that he could still “smell weed and pork” – Hadreas proved that the intimate piano songs which would have seemed to be tailor-made for cozy rooms like the Drake, where he was in April, or 918 Bathurst, where he’ll be on October 5, also sounded great loud; the drums on “Dark Part” were particularly dramatic at that volume. The set was mainly comprised of material from this year’s excellent Put Your Back N 2 It and his 2010 debut Learning, as well as a couple covers – Madonna’s “Oh Father” and a surprisingly perfect cover of Neil Young’s “Helpless”, Hadreas’ vulnerable warble and piano phrasing doing the near-impossible and making the classic almost seem like it was his own.

Leave it to Sigur Rós to release their most ambient and abstract record in a decade with Valtari and then take it on the road not to the theatre settings that it might be best served live, but to the big outdoor stages of fests and amphitheatres where its intricacies would most certainly not be appreciated. Or so you’d think. Opening up with two selections from the new record, Sigur Rós took advantage of the fact that their audience would be so enraptured with their first local appearance in almost four years that they’d just stand there and take it all in – which they did. “Ekki Múkk” and “Varúð” were met with as close to total silence as you’ll likely get from 6000 people. Then they turned back and up for “Ný Batterí” from Ágætis Byrjun and it was within their back catalog that they would remain for most of the rest of the night.

Though core member Kjartan Sveinsson elected to sit this tour out, the band were hardly shorthanded – performing as an 11-piece, with horns and strings and all the trimmings, it was as big-sounding a Sigur Ró as we’d ever seen in these parts, performing on a stage lit with incandescent bulbs and projections shone onto three sides of the band. And yet for all the power at their fingertips, the prevailing mood of the evening was of serenity and celebration – a perfect fit for a warm Summer’s night with a breeze off the lake and a full moon in the sky. There were certainly dramatic moments, often courtesy of Jonsi’s bowed Les Paul, but even those were more of the awe-inspiring majesty of nature sort, like a glacier cutting through land and centuries.

The breadth of the catalog was well-represented, though Ágætis Byrjun did get extra attention, perhaps at the expense of the lighter tones of Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust, which was represented only – but well, thanks to a horn-powered finale – by “Festival”. Some may have bemoaned the absence of “Gobbledigook”, but perhaps it was for the best – if it hadn’t ended in a massive explosion of confetti the way it did at Massey in September 2008, it would have felt a touch disappointing.

And disappointing is not a word that should ever be associated with a Sigur Rós show. For almost two hours, and benefitting from really immaculate sound – no compromises with an outdoor venue here, thankfully – it was as good a show as they’ve ever put on here, but thanks to the setting, even for those with an extensive catalog of live Sigur Rós memories, it will be a standout.

The Toronto Sun, BlogTO, and National Post were also in attendance. NPR has their show from Tuesday night in Brooklyn available to stream and Stereogum and The Montreal Gazette have interviews.

Photos: Sigur Ros, Perfume Genius @ Echo Beach – August 1, 2012
MP3: Sigur Rós – “Gobbledigook”
MP3: Sigur Rós – “Hoppípolla”
MP3: Sigur Rós – “Popplagio / The Pop Song”
MP3: Sigur Rós – “Staralfur”
MP3: Sigur Rós – “Svefn-G-Englar”
MP3: Sigur Rós – “Nýja lagið”
MP3: Perfume Genius – “Rusty Chains”
MP3: Perfume Genius – “Hood”
MP3: Perfume Genius – “Dark Parts”
MP3: Perfume Genius – “All Waters”
MP3: Perfume Genius – “Learning”
Video: Sigur Rós – “Rembihnútur”
Video: Sigur Rós – “Fjögur Píanó”
Video: Sigur Rós – “Varúð” (version two)
Video: Sigur Rós – “Varúð” (version one)
Video: Sigur Rós – “Ég anda” (version two)
Video: Sigur Rós – “Ég anda” (version one)
Video: Sigur Rós – “Ekki Múkk”
Video: Sigur Rós – “Við Spilum Endalaust “
Video: Sigur Rós – “Inní mér syngur vitleysingur”
Video: Sigur Rós – “Gobbledigook”
Video: Sigur Rós – “Sæglópur”
Video: Sigur Rós – “Hoppípolla”
Video: Sigur Rós – “Glósóli”
Video: Sigur Rós – “(Vaka)”
Video: Sigur Rós – “Viðrar vel til loftárása”
Video: Sigur Rós – “Svefn-G-Englar”
Video: Perfume Genius – “Dark Parts”
Video: Perfume Genius – “Hood”
Video: Perfume Genius – “Lookout, Lookout”

Sessions From The Box is streaming a studio session with The Deer Tracks.

Drowned In Sound talks to Maria Lindén of I Break Horses, who are aiming to have their second album out in Spring of next year.

Maxïmo Park gives The Line Of Best Fit a track-by-track walkthrough of their latest album The National Health.

Ellie Goulding has announced an October 9 release date for her second album, entitled Halcyon. She recently released an Active Child cover because why not and has also been declared one of Rolling Stone‘s “Women Who Rock”.

MP3: Ellie Goulding – “Hanging On”

The San Francisco Examiner and DIY get to know Alt-J, in town at Wrongbar on September 19.

DIY checks in with Mica Levy of Micachu. A couple more tracks from Never have also been made available to download.

MP3: Micachu & The Shapes – “Low Dogg”
MP3: Micachu & The Shapes – “You Know”

Kele Okereke talks to Spin about how cracking a joke turned into a productive crisis for Bloc Party in completing their new album Four, out August 21. This hot on the heels of another quote he gave The Music about this maybe being the band’s last record, which he’s already taken to his blog to clarify. Oh, Kele. Bloc Party are at The Danforth Music Hall on September 10 and their gig at Terminal 5 in New York next week, August 8, will be streaming live on YouTube.

Rolling Stone has a video of Neil Halstead playing a song off his new solo record Palindrome Hunches, out September 11.

Elbow namedrops some very tasty reference points to The Worksop Guardian with regards to their next studio album. Their Dead In The Boot rarities comp is out August 27.

Spinner chats with Lætitia Sadier, in town for a show at The Drake on September 18. She’s just released a new video from Silencio.

Video: Lætitia Sadier – “The Rules Of The Game”

DIY investigates the many creative phases of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds; kudos to them for not making it about his facial hair.

Mono turns to Iceland for inspiration in the new video from For My Parents, out September 4. It’s enough to make you want to hop on a plane to Reykjavik – which I wholly endorse – but maybe wait until after their show at The Horseshoe on September 12.

Video: Mono – “Legend”

Monday, July 30th, 2012

Coexist

The xx and Jacques Greene at The Phoenix in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangThe arc around The xx’s 2009 debut xx was a narratively perfect one, rich with mystery, sex, and drama as the London trio vaulted from obscurity to Mercury and, most prestigiously, a place on my year-end list. And perhaps most crucially for a perfect story, they ended. Or at least went away for a while.

Real life differs from stories, however, in that it generally doesn’t let you just ride off into the sunset, and so after some deserved downtime – okay, Jamie Smith, aka Jamie xx, continued to establish himself as a highly sought-after DJ, remixer, and producer but his bandmates Romy Madley-Croft and Oliver Sim did a pretty good job of staying out of sight – the trio announced their second album would be entitled Coexist and be out on September 11. But before that and between a slew of European festival appearances, a compact tour of the new world to refresh their fans’ memories, if it was needed. And if you don’t feel like reading the rest of the review, I’ll offer a spoiler – it wasn’t.

Support for the tour came from Montreal’s Jacques Greene, and while he’s done a job of establishing his name as both a producer and artist, live he was a two-man operation, accompanied by labelmate Ango on working the samplers and sequencers to create solid grooves of electronic, R&B beats. He was also the de facto frontman when the pair shifted gears a couple times for some slow jams that didn’t astonish, but did offer a nice change of pace from the rest of their set. If you came to The xx from their indie guitar-based side, it might have been a bit unexpected as an opener but if you focused on their dancier side and turned the BPM up a bit, it made perfect sense. And both Greene and Ango looked like they could be stunt doubles for Oliver Sim, so there was that too.

Considering that by the end of the xx cycle, The xx were selling out Massey Hall, returning to a room the size of The Phoenix where they made their Toronto debut opening for Friendly Fires in December 2009 should have been a great chance to recapture some of the intimacy that so suits their music before they’re lost forever to much larger venues, but one of the things that this show made quite clear is that it’s very difficult to create that sort of intense, minimalist vibe when you have a thousand people singing along – and that wasn’t only for the old material. The show opened with the first official taste of Coexist, the week-old “Angels”, and even on that Madley-Croft had an unofficial backing choir of hundreds who’d already committed its lyrics to heart.

The one-hour, ten-minute show gave the audience pretty much everything they could have wanted. There was xx in its entirety, but with a few tracks essentially remixed live – “Crystalised” was essentially transformed into an ambient piece and others were more subtly transformed for greater dynamics and dramatic effect – and a half dozen selections to preview Coexist. In broad strokes, the new material doesn’t sound too far removed from the old – certainly it will take a copy of the finished album and a good pair of speakers or headphones to fully appreciate the growth in their songwriting and production – but comments that Smith had made in the press about this record being more dance-influenced were not idle. While Madley-Croft and Sim’s roles as frontpersons remained as they ever were, Smith made it clear through how his beats – including some on acoustic drums – drove the show that he was their musical backbone, their man behind the curtain (or perspex ‘X’ DJ tables), and wherever he wanted to take them would be where they went. And circa Coexist, he’s feeling the dance – main set closer “Swept Away” was pretty much a rave.

While neither Madley-Croft or Sims have ever seemed particularly fussed about their onstage charisma – some complain about their understatedness but I’ve always found it to be perfectly suited to their music – they certainly seemed to have more presence this time than their past visits. Certainly part of this was the elaborate lighting effects, projections, and smoke machines that accompany them onstage, but also a result of their continued growth and comfort level as performers. And it’s a good thing they seem to be feeling comfortable up there – based on the strength of this preview of Coexist and the obvious appetite their fanbase still has for them, The xx are going to be on the road for a long time.

The Toronto Sun, The National Post, Exclaim, and NOW were also in attendance and has some thoughts.

Photos: The xx, Jacques Greene @ The Phoenix – July 28, 2012
MP3: The xx – “Angels”
MP3: The xx – “Open Eyes” (demo)
MP3: The xx – “Basic Space”
MP3: Jacques Greene – “Motivation”
MP3: Jacques Greene – “Sorted”
MP3: Jacques Greene – “Arrow”
MP3: Jacques Greene – “Another Girl”
Video: The xx – “Islands”
Video: The xx – “Basic Space”
Video: The xx – “Crystalised”
Video: Jacques Greene – “Another Girl”
Video: Jacques Greene – “Tell Me”

Bloc Party are streaming a new track from Four, out August 21. They play The Danforth Music Hall on September 10.

Stream: Bloc Party – “Day Four”

Japanese classical post-rock quartet Mono will release their new album For My Parents on September 4 and stage a massive North American tour with a stop at The Horseshoe on September 12; Chris Brokaw of Come/Codeine/The New Year fame will open up. Mono’s last visit in May 2010 was epic, and not in that hyperbolic way that the word is typically used nowadays. It was literally epic.

MP3: Mono – “Ashes In The Snow”
MP3: Chris Brokaw – “Bricks”

The Quietus has an interview with Lætitia Sadier, in town at The Drake on September 18.

Very disappointed to report that I Break Horses have cancelled the whole of their Fall North American tour, including September 19 at The Drake. They’re promising to make it up in 2013 though, so there’s that.

Daytrotter has a session with Blood Red Shoes, in town at The Drake Underground on September 26.

Taken By Trees have released the first video from Other Worlds, out October 2. She plays The Phoenix on October 4.

Video: Taken By Trees – “Dreams”

The first single from Bat For Lashes’ new album The Haunted Man is now available to download. It’s out October 23.

MP3: Bat For Lashes – “Laura”

Rolling Stone has premiered the new video from Ladyhawke’s Anxiety.

Video: Ladyhawke – “Blue Eyes”

The Sun talks to the members of Blur about their thoughts on the Olympics and the state of their reunion.

Loud & Quiet have an interview with Mica Levi of Micachu & The Shapes.

Gameological talks games with Elizabeth Morris of Allo Darlin’.

Uprooted Music Revue and Drowned In Sound talk to Stevie Jackson about his solo efforts.

Spinner has a feature on 2:54.

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

All Your Gold

Bat For Lashes reveals plenty about new album

Photo By Ryan McGinleyRyan McGinleyThough Bat For Lashes were certainly due to release a new record this year – 2009’s Two Suns feels like it came out forever ago – it was certainly a relief when Natasha Khan officially announced last month that her third album, entitled The Haunted Man, would indeed be coming out this Fall.

But cognizant of the fact that simply knowing it exists will only keep fans happy for so long, some more specifics about the record have been released. Exclaim has the tracklisting and a look at the album art, which with its stark, black-and-white photography is quite a far cry from the fantastical imagery that graced her first two records. Considering how well that art reflected the records’ contents, it does raise some questions about what album three has in store. Questions which are answered somewhat by the first single from the album – also just released – which is a gorgeous but very spare piano-led composition suffused with longing, an emotion excellently articulated in the accompanying video. Those who prefer Khan’s trippier, sonically adventurous side to her inner balladeer may hope that the new record doesn’t turn away from those completely, but an album entirely of songs that hit as hard as this one does is fine with me.

The Haunted Man will be released on October 15 in the UK and come out a week later on October 23 in North America.

Video: Bat For Lashes – “Laura”

Their self-titled debut finally getting a domestic North American release on September 25, Django Django have put together a short North American tour to support it – they’ll be at Wrongbar in Toronto on September 29, tickets $14.50 in advance. They impressed at SXSW so if you’re curious, it’s worth the ticket. Drummer David Maclean talks to NPR about their just-released new video.

MP3: Django Django – “Default”
Video: Django Django – “Hail Bop”

Rolling Stone gets some details on The Joy Formidable’s second album from frontwoman Ritzy Bryan. She won’t spill on the title but it doesn’t look as though it’ll be released until early next year at the soonest. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel also has an interview.

The Vine talks to Romy Madley of The xx about making their second album Coexist, due out September 11. They’ll preview the new album at The Phoenix this Saturday night, July 28.

The Guardian talks to Mica Levy of Micachu & The Shapes about their just-released new album Never, from which they’ve just put out a green screen-empowered video for every song. I’m linking them all – hit up DIY for the complete viewing experience.

Video: Micachu & The Shapes – “Never”

The Guardian has an interview with Kate Nash.

Ryan Jarman of The Cribs chats with Clash.

Hot Chip have released their second new video from In Our Heads in a week.

Video: Hot Chip – “How Do You Do”

Spin catches a moment with Two Door Cinema Club, whose new album Beacon is out September 4 and will be followed by a date at The Sound Academy on October 5.

Light Of Lost Worlds talks to Alisdair Mclean of The Clientele and Amor de Días, the former of which remains on hiatus while the latter prepares to release their second album in January of 2013.

Mojave3online.com submits a stack of fan-sumbitted questions to Neil Halstead about his new record Palindrome Hunches and the status of Mojave 3 (playing occasional gigs, sans Rachel, but without any plans for a new record at the moment).

Stevie Jackson discusses the need to go solo once in a while with DIY. He also lists his five favourite Belle & Sebastian contributions to MTV Hive.

Pet Shop Boys have released the first official video from their new album Elysium, out September 18.

Video: Pet Shop Boys – “Winner”

Drowned In Sound talks to Jens Lekman about I Know What Love Isn’t, out September 4. He’s at The Phoenix on October 4.

The Raveonettes have released a video from their new record Observator. It’s out September 11 and they play The Phoenix October 2.

Video: The Raveonettes – “She Owns The Streets”

Interview talks to Lætitia Sadier about her just-released new solo record Silencio. She plays The Drake on September 18.

Mono are streaming a track from their new album For My Parents, out September 4.

Stream: Mono – “Dream Odyssey”