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Posts Tagged ‘Little Boots’

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

It Is What It Is

Review of Blood Orange’s Cupid Deluxe

Photo By Stacey MarkStacey MarkTo say that following the musical career of Dev Hynes is an adventure is rather an understatement. Starting out with the deliberately sophomoric art-punk Test Icicles, he recast himself as an orch-folk troubadour on Falling Off The Lavender Bridge, his 2008 solo album under the Lightspeed Champion name. It was an identity he quickly found himself outgrowing, his second and last record in that guise – 2010’s Life Is Sweet! Nice To Meet You – had its share of high points but felt unfocused, like at a creative crossroads. Focus came with another new identity, Blood Orange, and 2011’s Coastal Grooves – a stripped-down and decidedly solo soul/disco record that sounded made in and for the bedroom that was criminally overlooked.

But crucially, while refining and redefining his own artistic identity, Hynes was becoming a highly sought-after producer, particularly after becoming Solange Knowles’ co-writer, producer, and sideman. That all-consuming role through most of this year, not to mention his other production duties, made it unclear if he’d be able to return to his own work anytime soon but somehow he still found time to not only record and release his second Blood Orange album Cupid Deluxe, out this week.

The most marked difference between Cupid and its predecessor is the sheer number of hands on deck. Coastal Grooves was entirely Hynes’ show, a fact emphatically made by his live shows – but Cupid finds Hynes more than happy to be allowing the likes of Chairlift’s Caroline Polachek, Friends’ Samantha Urbani, Dirty Projectors’ David Longstreth from his indie rock world and Despot, Skepta, and Clams Casino from his hip-hop world take centre stage while he remains the producer and songwriter running the show. And that show is akin to a dazzlingly diverse r&b revue built around themes of both alienation and community in New York City, coupling heartfelt sentiment to slick grooves.

Dev Hynes has been making music now for almost a decade, and what in isolation might seem like random and disparate creative shifts, when viewed as a whole, paint the picture of an impressively complex and immensely talented artist. Cupid Deluxe is, thus far, the most cohesive assemblage of his gifts – ironic, since it overtly showcases him the least. I personally would have liked to have his guitarwork given a little more prominence – the man can shred, as anyone who’s ever seen him live can attest – but for the time being, the brilliant missed riff key change at 2:43 of “Uncle ACE” will keep me going.

Hynes talks influences with The New York Times and is the cover feature of The Fader, for whom he’s also assembled hour-long mixtape containing new material. But if you’re waiting on tour dates to support the new record, don’t hold your breath.

Video: Blood Orange – “Time Will Tell”
Video: Blood Orange – “Chamakay”

Noisey has premiered the video for the title track of Rose Elinor Dougall’s new EP Future Vanishes, out officially this week.

Video: Rose Elinor Dougall – “Future”

NME has got the new video from Beady Eye, taken from their second album BE which is apparently getting a North American release this week because North Americans have been clamouring for it…?

Video: Beady Eye – “Soul Love”

Rolling Stone is streaming another new song from Kele’s forthcoming Heartbreaker solo EP, out November 25.

Stream: Kele – “God Has A Way”

The Guardian and Drowned In Sound talk to Welsh singer-songwriter Cate Le Bon; she’s in town at The Drake Underground on January 21.

NME has details on the new album from Maxïmo Park, entitled Too Much Information and due out February 3. They’ve released a video for the first single, which you can also download in exchange for an email address from their website.

Video: Maxïmo Park – “Brain Cells”

Fanfarlo have announced details of their third studio album: Let’s Go Extinct will be out February 10, and of course there’s a trailer.

Trailer: Fanfarlo / Let’s Go Extinct

The Guardian talks to Lily Allen about her impending return to music with a separate piece about the brouhaha surrounding her comeback video.

Anna Calvi lists off ten life-changing albums for MusicRadar.

Metro has an interview with M.I.A., who has released a new video from her latest, Matangi.

Video: M.I.A. – “Y.A.L.A.”

Consequence Of Sound interviews Charli XCX.

Little Boots has made a couple of extended edits of songs from Nocturnes available to download via HungerTV.

MP3: Little Boots – “Broken Record” (Nocturnal version)
MP3: Little Boots – “Strangers” (Nocturnal version)

Franz Ferdinand salute Australia with a cover of The Go-Betweens in a video session for Triple J. They’ve also released a new official video from Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action.

Video: Franz Ferdinand – “Bullet”
Video: Franz Ferdinand – “Was There Anything I Could Do?” (live)

Black Book interviews CHVRCHES and The Alternate Side welcomes them for a session.

Drowned In Sound gets a look at Summer Camp’s tools of the trade (read: their musical gear).

The Huffington Post gets some EDM smack talk of out reigning Mercury Prize champ James Blake.

A Music Blog, Yea? talks to drummer Rick McMurray of Ash.

BrooklynVegan interviews Johnny Marr.

The Quietus revisits the first House Of Love album on the occasion of its 25th anniversary.

Under The Radar talks to Mark Gardener and Andy Bell of Ride about the enduring legacy of their debut album Nowhere.

Thursday, October 17th, 2013

Rock Steady

Review of Trans’ Red

Photo By Chris McAndrewChris McAndrewThough I already celebrated the existence of Trans – all-caps is about as excited as I get online, I’ll have you know – I only recently got a hold of Red, the first in a series of EPs from Bernard Butler – ex of Suede and, in an informal poll of me, greatest guitarist of the past 20-plus years – and Jackie McKeown of Yummy Fur and more recently 1990s, whom Butler was producing when they met and began jamming together.

And jamming is the correct word, rather than writing, because the four tracks that comprise Red are certainly more about their improvised musical interplay than the considered composition that one would presume from Butler, given his track record of crafting ornate and elaborate pop music. As reluctant as I am to use the band’s own words to describe them, the Can-meets-Television descriptor is pretty apt, as the most defining aspects of the band so far are their steady, almost motorik rhythm section and free-form yet melodic guitarwork, at its most Verlaine-Lloyd-ish in the extended “Jubilee”. Lyrics are pretty throwaway, mostly nonsensical riffs on a phrase, but they both add a punky snottiness – Butler’s vocals a far cry from the ’70s singer-songwriter earnestness of his solo albums – and anchor the proceedings in a pop idiom.

There’s no question that Trans is of niche appeal, and if Butler were not involved I’m not honestly sure how much I’d have paid attention though now that I have, I can honestly say its an enjoyable listen on its own merits (and also fun to jam to on guitar), and I look forward to the follow-up releases. And while it’s probably too early to hope it leads to phone calls to David McAlmont or Brett Anderson – don’t worry Fat Richard, your job is safe – anything that gets Butler a little out of the producer’s chair and back towards making his own music is worth celebrating.

Uncut prepares for a feature interview with a short history of the project, while The Quietus has a chat with both Butler and McKeown.

Video: Trans – “Jubilee”
Video: Trans – “Rock Steady”
Video: Trans – “Building No. 8”

Speaking of musical heroes in new contexts, New York Times has got an advance stream of Stars Are Our Home, the debut from Neil Halstead’s new project Black Hearted Brother; the album is out October 22 and North American dates are going to happen. PopMatters, for their part, asks twenty questions of Mark Van Hoen, none of them specifically about the new album.

MP3: Black Hearted Brother – “This Is How It Feels”
Stream: Black Hearted Brother / Stars Are Our Home

With her new album Arrows finally set for release next week on October 22, Polly Scattergood has made it available to stream via her Tumblr.

MP3: Polly Scattergood – “Wanderlust”
Stream: Polly Scattergood / Arrows

DIY interviews Los Campesinos! about their new album No Blues, due out on October 29.

Drowned In Sound gets in-depth with Kate Nash, Noisey gets her to reflect on the moment “Foundations” broke her (in the good way), and she’s just released a new video for “Fri-End?” from Girl Talk and plays an acoustic version in a video session for The Telegraph. She’s in town at The Phoenix on November 5.

Video: Kate Nash – “Fri-End?”

Stereogum chats with Charli XCX, who finally makes her local headlining debut at Wrongbar on November 9.

Though it won’t appear on Cupid Deluxe when it comes out November 19, any new music from Blood Orange – including this Babyface and Toni Braxton cover with Samantha Urbani of Friends – is only a good thing.

Stream: Devonté Hynes & Samantha Urbani – “Hurt U”

Frank Turner isn’t kidding when he says he loves playing Canada. After doing two shows here for TURF back in July, he’s back for a gig at the Sound Academy on December 3; tickets are $23.50 general admission and $37.50 VIP balcony.

Video: Frank Turner – “Oh Brother”

London pysch-kraut outfit Toy have announced the December 9 release of their second album Join The Dots, a follow up to last year’s solid self-titled debut. DIY has details and the title track from the album has been made available to stream.

Stream: Toy – “Join The Dots”

Hot Minute gets to know The High Wire, who will release a new album early in the new year.

The new video from Travis‘ latest Where You Stand could double as an iPhone 5S commercial because it was shot entirely on the mobile phone. Drowned In Sound has the premiere and with it, details on how it was done.

Video: Travis – “Mother”

The Guardian has premiered a new video from Summer Camp’s just-released-in-North America self-titled effort.

Video: Summer Camp – “Two Chords”

British Sea Power have rolled out a new video from their latest album Machineries Of Joy. The Sunderland Echo looks into the inspiration for the song and clip.

Video: British Sea Power – “Monsters Of Sunderland”

Little Boots has premiered a new video from Nocturnes over at Nylon. CNet also asks Victoria Hesketh about her favourite smartphone apps.

Video: Little Boots – “Shake”

Boiler Room has a video session with CHVRCHES.

Under The Radar and FasterLouder talk to London Grammar.

Under The Radar (the New Zealand one) and Metro (the English one) have interviews with Anna Calvi.

Veronica Falls have decided to mark their upcoming Australasian tour with the release of a new song. Listen to said song now.

Stream: Veronica Falls – “Nobody There”

GQ declares Noel Gallagher one of its men of the year, presumably just to score an interview and get him to say batshit things. Mission accomplished.

For Folks Sake have an amiable little chat with Johnny Flynn.

Delirium On Helium talks to Nicky Wire of Manic Street Preachers.

Swedish electro-pop artist Elliphant has released a new video from what one assumes will be a full-length album someday.

Video: Elliphant – “Could It Be”

WNYC welcomes Icelandic composer Ólafur Arnalds for a session.

Wired talks music and technology with Björk.

Exclaim has details on the kidnapping drama that has prompted Spanish dance-pop band Delorean – who are fine now – to cancel their North American tour, including tonight’s date at The Horseshoe. The new date is February 20 at The Hoxton and the rest of the rescheduled tour dates can be had at Exclaim.

Phoenix’s episode of Austin City Limits is available to stream online for a limited time.

Thursday, July 25th, 2013

Vandals

An introduction to Arthur Beatrice

Photo by Richard Round TurnerRichard Round TurnerYou know what’s awful? Even though London quartet Arthur Beatrice have been on my radar for a little while now, I didn’t make the connection between their name and the late, great Golden Girl until about half an hour before writing this sentence. Not that it’s relevant in any way, I’m just amazed that I didn’t see it earlier.

Assumptions that the cheekiness of their name would imply a jokey band are sorely misplaced, though. Although evidence of their first two singles – “Midland” and “Charity”, released last year – have curiously been stricken from the internet, their just-released debut EP Carter, which is available to stream via Under The Radar, makes a strong first impression. It offers just three songs and a remix but strongly establishes their aesthetic, which evokes the danceability of ’90s British house but rendered with the instruments of vintage soul and the sultry boy-girl vocals reminiscent of The xx, though forgoing their icy detachment for something much more warm-blooded. There’s no such thing as a guaranteed formula for success, but if you were to try and come up with one, you could do much worse than theirs.

One assumes that a full-length album is in the works. Maybe those two redacted songs will resurface there?

Video: Arthur Beatrice – “Carter”
Stream: Arthur Beatrice / Carter

Under The Radar talks to Palma Violets, who’re back in town August 3 as part of The Grove Festival lineup.

The Vaccines are streaming another new tune from their forthcoming Melody Calling EP over at NME. That comes out August 12 and they support Mumford & Sons at The Molson Amphitheatre on August 26.

Stream: The Vaccines – “Everybody’s Gonna Let You Down”

NME gets Bloc Party bassist Gordon Moakes to chime in on the whole hiatus/no hiatus thing following the release of their new EP Nextwave Sessions on August 13.

Stereogum have got the whole video of a show Franz Ferdinand played for David Letterman’s audience when they were on last week, and they’ve also released a new official video from the new record Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action. It’s out August 27 and they play The Kool Haus October 24.

Video: Franz Ferdinand – “Love Illumination”

Rolling Stone declares Scotland’s synth-pop heroes CHVRCHES a band to watch and offers a live performance video as proof, while Gigwise has a two-part interview with the band. Their debut The Bones of What You Believe is out September 24 and they play the Danforth Music Hall on September 15.

Manic Street Preachers have made another track from their forthcoming album Rewind The Film available to stream; it’s out September 16.

Stream: Manic Street Preachers – “Show Me The Wonder”

Filter gets to know English newcomers Peace, who will support Two Door Cinema Club at the Danforth Music Hall on October 15.

Elvis Costello and The Roots have offered up the first official sample of their collaborative album Wise Up Ghost by way of video; the record is out September 17.

Video: Elvis Costello & The Roots – “Walk Us Uptown”

Slicing Up Eyeballs reports that The House Of Love will be playing a couple of intimate London shows in November for the purpose of releasing a live CD/DVD set next year.

Tone Deaf talks to Tom Smith of Editors.

Beady Eye hope to sway some of the generally unfavourable response to their second album BE with a new video full of nudity. Because everyone likes nudity, right?

Video: Beady Eye – “Shine A Light”

Alphabet Pony chats with Victoria Hesketh of Little Boots.

Interview talks to Johnny Marr.

The Daily Swarm has words with Savages guitarist Gemma Thompson.

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.

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

Every Weekday

Camera Obscura defeats the slow news day with Desire Lines stream

Photo By Anna Isola CrollaAnna Isola CrollaWith yesterday being both Memorial Day in the US and a Bank Holiday in the UK, the internet was understandably reasonably quiet, at least from a music news perspective. If you covered, say, municipal affairs in Toronto, then it was far from it. But I digress.

If you were to have only one noteworthy item to lead off a post, however, you could do far worse than to announce that Scotland’s Camera Obscura have made their new long-player of elegant indie-pop Desire Lines – the first since 2009’s My Maudlin Career – available to stream in whole via NPR before its formal release date of next Tuesday, June 4. And the perfect accompaniment for that listening session would be these feature pieces on the band in The Scotsman and The List, and the knowledge that in just over a month’s time – July 4 – they’ll be in town opening up for She & Him on the first night of the Toronto Urban Roots Fest at Garrison Commons.

MP3: Camera Obscura – “Fifth In Line To The Throne”
Stream: Camera Obscura / Desire Lines

Consequence Of Sound interviews Laura Marling as her new record Once I Was An Eagle is officially out in North America as of today.

Beady Eye have released a second video from their second album BE, due out in the UK on June 10.

Video: Beady Eye – “Second Bite Of The Apple”

CHVRCHES have rolled out another track that will presumably appear on their forthcoming debut album when it comes out this Fall. Which also means you will recognize one more song they play at The Hoxton on June 12. Counteract has an interview with the band.

Stream: CHVRCHES – “Gun”

Iceage explains to aux.tv why they’re not fascists, which really, is exactly what a fascist would say. They’re at The Horseshoe on June 15 for NXNE.

Spin, The Scotsman, and Liverpool Echo talk to Bobby Gillespie about the new Primal Scream album More Light – out now abroad and June 18 in North America – while The Guardian welcomes the band for an acoustic video session.

MTV Hive chats with Palma Violets, who’ve released a new video from their debut 180. They make their third local appearance of the year on August 3 at Garrison Commons as part of The Grove Fest.

Video: Palma Violets – “Best Of Friends”

Thomas Mars of Phoenix – who are headlining The Grove Fest at Garrison Commons on August 3 – recounts the soundtrack of his life for The Guardian.

Consequence Of Sound and The Boston Globe talk to James Blake, who has been announced as one of the featured acts at this year’s Drake-assembled OVO Fest at The Molson Amphitheatre on August 4. NPR is also streaming a complete concert in HD from DC recently.

By way of Elizabeth Sankey’s blog, Summer Camp report that their second album is done, with release details still to come.

The Daily Star reports that Manic Street Preachers will break their hiatus which began after 2010’s Postcards From a Young Man with two new albums, being recorded simultaneously – one mostly acoustic, the other mostly not.

Brett Anderson discusses the success of the Suede reunion with Drowned In Sound.

NPR has a World Cafe session with Frightened Rabbit.

MusicOmh interviews Victoria Hesketh of Little Boots.

NOW previewed Charli XCX’s visit last week with an interview, while Stereogum captured a Backstreet Boys cover in a video session. She also just released a new video from her debut True Romance.

Video: Charli XCX – “Take My Hand”

Rolling Stone grabbed a wide-ranging Q&A with Damon Albarn before Blur’s Coachella appearances last month where he reflects on projects past and future, including a new Blur record and his first solo album.

British Sea Power have rolled out a new video from their latest album, Machineries Of Joy.

Video: British Sea Power – “Hail Holy Queen”

Allo Darlin’ unveil a new song via a video session for BalconyTV.

The Alternate Side has a session and interview with and The Georgia Straight a feature piece on Daughter.

Daytrotter has a session with Billy Bragg.

CBC Music got to know Iceland’s Of Monsters & Men before they played their festival this past weekend.

The 405 meets The Raveonettes.

The Fly has a feature piece on Denmark’s Vår.