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Posts Tagged ‘Laura Groves’

Monday, December 9th, 2013

Deep Wound

Swervedriver veer back into fast lane with new album

Photo by Gaz FailGaz FailFor a band that’s so intrinsically connected to the idea of powerful cars barrelling down the highway, Oxford’s Swervedriver have taken a pretty leisurely path since they reunited in 2008, touring fairly regularly behind old material but seeming to focus their creative energies on non-Swervies work; frontman Adam Franklin releasing three full-length albums with his Bolts Of Melody solo project including this year’s Black Horses, as well as one with Magnetic Morning, his project with Interpol drummer Sam Fogarino. And while Toshack Highway hasn’t released anything since 2006, don’t discount Franklin returning to the project at some point in the future.

But for all of those releases’ merits, they’ve not been Swervedriver so it’s pretty exciting news that 2014 will finally see the band putting into gear with the release of a new Swervedriver album, their first since 1998’s 99th Dream. Now reunion albums are rightly regarded with suspicion – sometimes they’re great, a la My Bloody Valentine, but usually they’re passable at best and embarrassing at worst, but from just-released the first single – which they’re streaming along with the alternate version b-side, remixed by Ride’s Mark Gardener – their ability to meld great guitar riffs with catchy melodies remains wholly intact, and excitingly reminiscent of Raise, their 22-year old debut; it’s like dream-pop where the dream is of a muscle car going full tilt down the open road. Bring it.

The Feedback Society has an interview with Adam Franklin about both the new Bolts Of Melody record and the return of Swervedriver. And if you’re new to the band or haven’t been paying attention, a slew of live rarities – including complete on-stage versions of their first four albums – are available to download, gratis. Update: And now there’s a video.

Stream: Swervedriver – “Deep Wound”
Stream: Swervedriver – “Dub Wound”
Video: Swervedriver – “Deep Wound”

DIY talks to TOY about their new album Join The Dots, the title track of which they play in session for The Guardian. The album is out this week and they’ll be at The Horseshoe on January 14.

The Fly corners Cate Le Bon to play a video session for them. She’ll be at The Drake Underground on January 21.

Maxïmo Park have rolled out a second video from their new album Too Much Information, out February 3.

Video: Maxïmo Park – “Leave This Island”

The Fly has details on the new album from Bombay Bicycle Club, which will be called So Long, See You Tomorrow and be out in the UK on February 3.

Rolling Stone has premiered the new video from Fanfarlo, taken from their forthcoming album Let’s Go Extinct, coming out February 11.

Video: Fanfarlo – “Landlocked”

London’s Let’s Wrestle return with their third album – a self-titled effort – on February 11 and they’ve permiered the first video from it at Noisey.

Video: Let’s Wrestle – “Codeine and Marshmallows”

Even though his latest album was the rather definitively-titled full-band affair Electric, It’ll be Richard Thompson solo and acoustic at Koerner Hall on March 6, just as when he dazzled there in September 2011. This time, though, he’ll have an opener with him and that’s none other than his son, Teddy Thompson.

Stream: Richard Thompson – “Good Things Happen To Bad People”

Intelligent Life hangs out with Guy Garvey of Elbow; their new album Carry Her Carry Me is out March 10.

What do you do if you’re releasing a single that appears in two different versions on your two current albums, one live and one studio? if you’re Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds and the albums are Live At KCRW and Push The Sky Away, you record a third version. And then you premiere it at Rolling Stone. Cave and company are at The Sony Centre on July 31.

Video: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – “Higgs Boson Blues”

DIY have premiered a stream from Kate Nash’s new holiday EP Have Faith This Christmas. You probably know the song.

Stream: Kate Nash – “Silent Night”

Laura Groves has a new video for a Paul McCartney cover contributed to the Pun For Cover cover album; check it out via DIY.

Video: Laura Groves – “Waterfalls”

The Toronto Sun has an interview with and Stereogum a streaming b-side from Arctic Monkeys.

Stream: Arctic Monkeys – “You’re So Dark”

David Bowie has released another video from the bonus material on The Next Day Extra, though not for one of the new songs but again a remix – or an edit of a remix, to be precise, whatever that means.

Video: David Bowie – “I’d Rather Be High” Venetian Mix (Wasted Edit)

Rolling Stone asks Noel Gallagher how his year was. He answers as only Noel Gallagher can.

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

Another Tale From Another English Town

Review of Lanterns On The Lake’s Until The Colours Run

Photo via Bella UnionBella UnionNewcastle-upon-tyne’s Lanterns On The Lake were one of the more luminous discoveries of SXSW 2011, their intimate yet expansive sounds filling the space-folk void left in my heart by the likes of Mojave 3. Their 2011 debut Gracious Tide, Take Me Home focused more on the folk than the space, the more dynamic elements evident in their live show muted in favour of elegance, but was still a strong debut that promised even more to come.

That “more” is impressively realized on their second effort, Until The Colours Run, with the crashing electric guitars of opening track “Elodie” immediately signalling that this record will not be a retread of the first. Remarkably, as much as Colours pushes their sound to massive-sounding heights, be it by distortion pedals or string swells, it never comes at the expense of the fragile heart of their music. To extend the aquatic theme that runs through the band’s work, if Tides situated the listener on the shore where they could marvel at the band’s seemingly still and deep beauty, Colours takes them out onto the open water where that placidity is proven to be just an illusion, but Hazel Wilde’s soothing vocals act as a lifeboat against the tumult from which one can safely marvel at it all. A marvellous work.

Until The Colours Run will be out on October 7 in the UK and January 14 in North America; a long way off to be sure, but hopefully a sign that it will be properly promoted – like with a tour. In the meantime, Clash has an advance stream of the record with track-by-track annotations from Wilde, and Bristol 247 has an interview with the band.

Video: Lanterns On The Lake – “Until The Colours Run”
Video: Lanterns On The Lake – “Another Tale From Another English Town”
Stream: Lanterns On The Lake / Until The Colours Run

Johnny Flynn takes Drowned In Sound on a track-by-track walkthrough of his new long-player Country Mile, out this week.

Dummy has premiered a stream of Laura Groves’ – née Blue Roses – new EP Thinking About Thinking, available to purchase as of today.

Stream: Laura Groves / Thinking About Thinking

Canada wins as CBC Music has a stream – accessible from north of the 49th only – of Anna Calvi’s new album One Breath ahead of its release next week on October 8. Don’t worry, non-Canucks, I’m sure a less geoblocked stream will be available soon, and you can at least read this interview at The Irish Times. But in the meantime, I’ll just enjoy this record while I wait four hours for my free doctor’s appointment. Update: Spin has a Spotify stream for US readers/listeners/existers.

Stream: Anna Calvi / One Breath

If you were wondering if and when all those extra songs that were recorded alongside that which would become David Bowie’s The Next Day would come out – allegedly they had enough for a second album – wonder no more. The Line Of Best Fit reports that an expanded, three-disc version of Bowie’s comeback album will be released on November 4 and in addition to a DVD containing the album’s videos, there’ll be a bonus disc of eight new tracks – although four have already appeared on deluxe and international editions – and two remixes, including one by LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy. And oh yeah, if you haven’t been to see David Bowie Is at the Art Gallery of Ontario, definitely do so – it’s amazing. And while he didn’t do anything so obvious as show up to mark its opening last week, he has participated by offering a reading list of his favourite books to Open Book Toronto.

Nylon checks in with Dev Hynes of Blood Orange, whose second album is meant to be out before the end of the year. Update: Cupid Deluxe is out November 18; details at DIY.

NME talks to Guy Garvey about the new record from Elbow, which they’ve just announced will be coming out on March 10 under a title to be announced later. And, as The Guardian reports, those who preorder the record and buy tickets for their just-announced UK tour next Spring will get the option of purchasing a previously-unreleased live CD/DVD set; information which really doesn’t do their North American fans any good, but there you go.

The Guardian gets to know Arthur Beatrice, whose full-length debut will be out early next year.

They’re still not saying anything about a new record but The Blue Walrus has just premiered a third new song from Anglo-Canadian trio The High Wire and yeah it makes us want that new record whatever/whenever it’s coming. Update: The album is due out in early 2014.

Stream: The High Wire – “Under A Spell”

NPR has a World Cafe session with Pet Shop Boys, who’ve just released a video for the next single from Electric.

Video: Pet Shop Boys – “Thursday”

The Scotsman talks to James Dean Bradfield of Manic Street Preachers.

NPR and Pitchfork have interviews with CHVRCHES, while over at The Guardian frontwoman Lauren Mayberry pens a powerful editorial about fighting the culture of online misogyny.

Peter Hook updates Rolling Stone on the legal status of those dumpster-dived Joy Division masters from a little while back.

And while the website doesn’t really tell you anything useful, it should be known that Trans – who made their live debut at the Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia this past weekend as per NME – is one half Jackie McKeown of Scottish bands Yummy Fur and 1990s, and one half Bernard Butler, the former Suede guitarist who had previously sworn off live performance in favour of studio work and production. Their debut single is out next week and self-described as, “A cross between Can and Television, a freeform guitar-sparring extension along the path trodden by Quicksilver Messenger Service. Two era-defining guitarists, free from restrictions, undertaking new sonic explorations, this is a project of pure, glorious artistic impulse” and GUYS BERNARD BUTLER PLAYED LIVE OMG.

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

Metal & Dust

Review of London Grammar’s If You Wait

Photo By Paolo ZerbiniPaolo ZerbiniI’m sure it’s purely coincidence, but it’s a hell of one that the title of If You Wait, the 2013 debut from London Grammar, is but one word apart from If You Leave, the 2013 debut Daughter. After all, both are London-based, female-fronted three-pieces with atmospheric aesthetics, singular vocal signatures, and who plumb the depths of the heart’s frailties for lyrical inspiration.

But while they occupy a similar space, London Grammar stake out their own territory. A ways away from Elena Tonra’s wistful sigh of a voice, Hannah Reid’s rich, husky alto is clearly a powerful instrument akin to Florence Welch’s but rather than use it to blow the doors off, she keeps it set on a deep and steady soul-infused smoulder that expresses her wounded sentiments in rich tones. The musical accompaniment, built largely around guitar and piano, is sparse by default but more than able to swell for effect and works well in adding to the twilight ambience. One does wish that Dan Rothman’s lines and style – palm-muted and echoed – was a little less xx-marks-the-spot, but there’s no arguing its effectiveness in this context.

If there’s a complaint to be made about If You Wait, it’s in that the London Grammar aesthetic is a little too defined and consistently applied and over the course of the record starts feeling a bit monochromatic. It feels like a photograph of something beautiful, viewable from a single angle, than a living, breathing thing – more than acceptable for now, but a limitation they’ll have to transcend sooner rather than later.

NME reports that If You Wait is presently the odds-on favourite to win the Mercury Prize, the shortlist of which will be announced tomorrow and whose winner will be announced October 30. The West Australian and The Guardian have feature pieces on London Grammar and The Line Of Best Fit has a video of their covering La Roux for BBC’s Live Lounge. If You Wait is out today, September 10, and their inaugural North American tour brings them to Toronto for a show at The Great Hall on October 4.

Video: London Grammar – “Strong”
Video: London Grammar – “Wasting My Young Years”

The Guardian has a stream of Summer Camp’s second self-titled album, out now, while The Fly has a feature piece on the duo and Noisey gets them to go through and comment on their old photo albums.

Stream: Summer Camp / Summer Camp

Interview, Spin, The Telegraph, Tone Deaf, and The Fly mark today’s release of Arctic Monkeys’ AM with feature interviews; they play The Kool Haus on September 15.

DIY and vita.mn talk to CHVRCHES as the September 24 release date of their debut The Bones Of What You Believe draws near; but first they play The Danforth Music Hall on September 15.

NPR is streaming the new Elvis Costello/Roots collaboration Wise Up Ghost ahead of its September 17 release date.

Stream: Elvis Costello with The Roots / Wise Up Ghost

Peter Hook updates The Hollywood Reporter on the attempts to take possession of those Joy Division/New Order master tapes rescued from the trash recently. And as you can assume from the word “attempts”, they’re not going well. Hook plays The Hoxton on September 18.

Pitchfork has got a stream of another new track from Laura Groves, nee Blue Roses, taken from her new EP Thinking About Thinking, due out September 30.

Stream: Laura Groves – “Pale Shadows”

Yuck has released an in-studio video of them getting their New Order on; their second album Glow & Behold comes out September 30.

Video: Yuck – “Age Of Consent”

Frightened Rabbit play a video session for The Line Of Best Fit from a pirate ship at the End Of The Road festival; they are at The Kool Haus on October 21.

The 405 talks to Polly Scattergood, who has released a new video from her second album Arrows, originally set for a June release but now locked in to an October 21 street date.

Video: Polly Scattergood – “Cocoon”

MTV Hive has an interview and NPR a World Cafe session with Franz Ferdinand, who’ve just put out a new video from Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action; they play The Kool Haus October 24.

Video: Franz Ferdinand – “Evil Eye”

Though still coy about details of a new album, The High Wire have made another new song available to download.

MP3: The High Wire – “The Thames & The Tide”

The xx tell NME they’re already at work on album number three.

Little Boots has released a new video from Nocturnes.

Video: Little Boots – “Satellite”

NME and Billboard talk to Billy Bragg about being recognized for his “outstanding contribution to music” by the UK’s Association of Independent Music.

The Guardian talks to James Allan of Glasvegas.

God Is In The TV has an interview with Chris Olley of Six By Seven.

The Wedding Present are streaming a new single which will be available for sale as a 7″ on their upcoming UK tour.

Stream: The Wedding Present – “Two Bridges”

NPR marks the 20th anniversary of Britpop with a playlist of the scene’s best.

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

Eliza

Breathe easy; the return of Anna Calvi is nigh

Photo By Roger DeckkerRoger DeckkerI’d like to say that I’ve been on tenterhooks waiting for new music from Anna Calvi, but the truth is that her 2011 self-titled debut – one of that year’s favourites – is still in fairly heavy rotation, the combination of her sensual vocals and searing guitarwork still eliciting swoons more than two and a half years on. But that’s not to say that the news of her second record isn’t tremendously welcome.

Said record – entitled One Breath – will be out on October 7, and Calvi tells NME that it’s a more personal album, the lyrics strongly informed by her battles with depression. This doesn’t mean that it’s going to be a downcast affair – the first official single, which has been made available to stream, is as energized as anything she’s done, and the sample that soundtrack the album trailer might be more melancholic, but it still soars. One Breath may document a battle, but it certainly sounds like one that Calvi is triumphing over.

There’s only three North American dates currently on her Fall itinerary, but you know more are to come. Or they damn well better be – I’ve still yet to see a full show.

Stream: Anna Calvi – “Eliza”
Trailer: Anna Calvi / One Breath

The Vaccines have released a new video for the title track of their just-released Melody Calling EP and also stopped in at USA Today for a video session. They open up for Mumford & Sons at the Molson Amphitheatre next week on August 26.

Video: The Vaccines – “Melody Calling”

The Guardian and Exclaim talk to Franz Ferdinand as they gear up for the August 27 release of their new record Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action, a record which has just been made available to stream in advance at NPR. Franz Ferdinand play The Kool Haus on October 24.

Stream: Franz Ferdinand / Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action

Fellow Scots Glasvegas are hoping their third album Later… When The TV Turns To Static, out September 3, is the one that turns their fortunes back towards the buzz that greeted their debut and not the shrugs that met the follow-up. Rolling Stone is offering a download of the title track for you to decide for yourself. Clash also has an interview.

MP3: Glasvegas – “Later… When The TV Turns To Static”

Lanterns Of The Lake are streaming – and offering to download in exchange for an email – an alternate take of a track from their new record Until The Colours Run, coming out September 9.

Stream: Lanterns On The Lake – “The Buffalo Days” (alternate)

Tone Deaf, LeftLion, and Gigwise have interviews with newcomers London Grammar, whose debut If You Wait is out on September 10 and who are in town to play BLK BOX on October 4.

The Quietus talks to Elvis Costello, whose new collaborative album with The Roots – Wise Up Ghost – is out September 17.

The Line Of Best Fit has details on the second Yuck record, their first without former frontman Daniel Blumberg. Glow & Behold will be out on September 30 and a second sample track from it is available to stream.

Stream: Yuck – “Middle Sea”

NPR has a World Cafe session, and Refinery29 and Stylecaster interviews with Jessie Ware; she is back in town to play The Sound Academy on November 6.

Laura Groves, whom some of you may remember from her lovely 2009 record Blue Roses whilst still performing under the alias of Blue Roses, finally has a new release – an EP – ready and will be releasing it this Fall under her own name. There’s a video for the first release from it and yup, still lovely whatever the name is.

Video: Laura Groves – “Inky Sea”

I was all excited about the prospect of hearing new Blood Orange material but as Pitchfork reports it, this is just a Drake cover. But it’s still better than Drake.

Stream: Blood Orange – “Hold On, We’re Going Home”

Dazed Digital have premiered the new video from Spiritualized’s Sweet Heart Sweet Light.

Video: Spiritualized – “I Am What I Am”

Camera Obscura have released a new vide from Desire Lines and are also featured in a World Cafe session at NPR. Further, Under The Radar has posted their feature from the current issue which puts Tracyanne Campbell in interview with Lloyd Cole – yes, that Lloyd – complete with appendices.

Video: Camera Obscura – “Break It To You Gently”

Denver Westword interviews Kevin Shields of My Bloody Valentine.