Quantcast

Posts Tagged ‘Muse’

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

Frozen Atmosphere

‘Tis the season for TOY(s), and streams thereof

Photo By Steve GullickSteve GullickOkay, since it’s now December I can grudgingly accept that it’s the holiday season and, helping that mental shift along are London’s TOY. I had thought it odd that the band, who built up a good bit of attention with last year’s self-titled debut and its mandate of filling deep, Kraut-y grooves with space-psych songcraft, had opted to release their second album Join The Dots on the exceedingly late date of December 9. Most music writers are in full retrospective mode by this point in the year and incapable of processing anything new, and it effectively eliminated them from any year-end list consideration.

But it’s entirely possible the band doesn’t care, and just want to get the record out into the world. Which is great for those who’ve been waiting to hear it, but I do hope it doesn’t end up getting lost in the shuffle because after a few initial listens, it certainly feels a lot better than their first one. The debut had a lot of pieces I liked but didn’t put them together in an engrossing-enough fashion to win me over the way it did many, but this one is bigger, deeper, broader, and just does it.

But don’t take my word for it – The Guardian has an advance stream of the record before it comes out next week, and their North American tour announced last week will bring them to Toronto for a show at The Horseshoe on January 14.

Stream: TOY / Join The Dots

Kate Nash has a new Christmas EP out called Have Faith This Christmas and is streaming one of the tracks from it to get you in the holiday spirit.

Stream: Kate Nash – “Faith”

Rolling Stone talks to Matt Bellamy of Muse about making the Live At Rome Olympic Stadium DVD/CD set coming out this week.

Video: Muse – “Madness” (live at Rome Olympic Stadium)

Spin has premiered a new video from Lanterns On The Lake’s second album Until The Colours Run, which gets a North American release on January 14 and brings them to The Drake Underground on February 1.

Video: Lanterns On The Lake – “Buffalo Days”

Yuck takes Clash through their second album Glow and Behold, track-by-track. They’re in town at The Garrison on January 17.

Noisey have premiered the new video and second sample of Mogwai’s forthcoming Rave Tapes. It’s out January 21 and they’ll be on tour for it at The Danforth Music Hall on May 13.

Video: Mogwai – “The Lord Is Out Of Control”

Paste gets to know Temples, whose debut Sun Structures is out February 11.

NME has details on the new album from Band Of Skulls, entitled Himalayan and due out March 31. They’ve just released a first video from the record.

Video: Band Of Skulls – “Asleep At The Wheel”

Brighton duo Blood Red Shoes are currently working on a new record – which Live4Ever reports will be self-titled and out in March – but have taken the time to stream a new song for their fans via their website.

Stream: Blood Red Shoes – “The Perfect Mess”

The Guardian profiles one of 2013’s new band success stories, London Grammar. They’re at The Phoenix on April 7.

Stereogum have got the new video from Primal Scream’s latest album More Light.

Video: Primal Scream – “Goodbye Johnny”

The Guardian gets to know Charli XCX.

Everything Is Chemical has an interview with Black Hearted Brother, and gets Neil Halstead to pin the chances of a Slowdive reunion at a qualified “improbable”.

TYCI talks to Katie Harkin of Sky Larkin.

And finally, a moment for Andrew Youssef, Los Angeles-based music photographer for Stereogum and OC Weekly, who succumbed to colon cancer this weekend. He documented his fight in the “Last Shot” column at OC Weekly, and it was as inspiring as it was saddening to read as he kept going to shows and shooting, refusing to let the cancer get the better of him until it did. I had the pleasure of meeting and hanging with Andrew back in 2010 at Matador at 21 in Las Vegas, and chatting with him via Twitter over the past few years and was pleased to learn he’d grown up – for a few years, at least – in Toronto, not far from where I did (though a few years apart). I wish I’d been able to know him better and my condolences to those who did and will miss him. OC Weekly has a fine memoriam for their photographer, as well as a slideshow of his best work. Godspeed, Andrew.

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

Okta Crash

The Deer Tracks take aim at completing The Archer Trilogy

Photo By Salmon PauloSalmon PauloGetting this year’s best-of post out of the way yesterday, was a big relief, no question, but I can’t pretend the final list was exactly what I’d intended. You see, for most of this year, I’d been holding a spot for Swedish duo The Deer Tracks, who had promised a Fall 2012 release for the final part of their fantastically epic synth-pop opus, The Archer Trilogy. The first two installments had been released in 2011 and while I didn’t discover them until this year, both releases – an EP and album respectively – went into heavy rotation and their live show was pretty much the highlight of NXNE. They were easily one of my acts of the year but since I don’t tabulate such things, I had intended that The Archer Trilogy Pt. 3 would allow me to give them their due. After all, there was no way it wouldn’t be up to the level of its predecessors. It would not be X-Men 3.

Alas, as the Fall came and went it became pretty clear that the Archer would miss the Autumn target, what with the band Tweeting and Instagramming photos from the studio well past any reasonable deadline for a release this calendar year. But I can officially shunt my high expectations to 2013 because they yesterday announced that The Archer Trilogy Pt. 3 would be getting a release on February 12 of next year. Too late to make this year, obviously, but certainly early enough to set the bar for everything else that might seek to impress my ears next year. All we need are some live dates and we’re in business.

They released one song from the album, “W”, last Summer when they expected to have the album out soon after, and have also released a b-side from these latest sessions at Black Book, and if this is a taste of what didn’t make the cut, I can’t wait to hear the songs that did pass muster. There’s also an acoustic video session with the duo at Triggerfish.

MP3: The Deer Tracks – “W”
MP3: The Deer Tracks – “Okta Crash”

The Amazing, who share more than a few members with Swedish psych-folk heroes Dungen and spent part of this year opening up for Tame Impala if you need reference points, will be at The Horseshoe on January 21 in support of their second album Gentle Stream. Tickets for that are $11.50 in advance.

Video: The Amazing – “Gone”

Though I never thought they seemed particularly interested in trying to replicate their UK success stateside, London’s Maccabees will be seeing if their being Mercury shortlisted for their excellent latest album Given To The Wild has generated any buzz. They’re staging a North American tour this Winter that hits The Mod Club on February 11.

MP3: The Maccabees – “Go”

Coming all the way from New Zealand with new album Christopher in tow are psych-popsters The Ruby Suns. The record is out January 29 and the show is at The Garrison on February 26.

MP3: The Ruby Suns – “Kingfisher Call Me”

Their show at The Mod Club in October rather deliberately undersized to keep things cozy, Frightened Rabbit have announced a Spring tour that hits venues more appropriately sized to match the interest that will surely greet their new record Pedestrian Verse when it comes out on February 5. They’ll be at The Phoenix on March 31, tickets $20 in advance. MTV recently interviewed the band about the new record.

MP3: Frightened Rabbit – “Scottish Winds”

We officially live in a world where Muse is big enough to play two arena dates in North America. They’ve added a second show at the Air Canada Centre in support of The 2nd Law for April 10, tickets $39.50, $59.50, and $65.00.

Video: Muse – “Survival”

The Alternate Side has a session with Daughter, who will be releasing their debut album in the new year.

The Quietus solicits a list of The House Of Love frontman Guy Chadwick’s favourite albums. It’s all well and good that the House Of Love’s seminal debut album is being reissued for like the third or fourth time this week, but they can go ahead and reveal specifics about their new studio album any time now…

TOY have rolled out a new video from TOY.

Video: TOY – “Make It Mine”

The Village Voice and Billboard profile Jessie Ware as she prepares to conquer America. No really, she will. Just watch.

The Creators Project interviews Anthony Gonzalez of M83.

And if laying odds on next year’s next big thing is your bag, BBX has announced the longlist for their Sound Of 2013 thing. A little local flavour there in the form of The Weeknd, but I’m mostly interested in the likes of Chvrches, Palma Violets (here at The Horseshoe on January 24), and Savages.

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

Palindrome Hunches

Neil Halstead and Jim Hanft with Samantha Yonack at The Dakota Tavern in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangIt’s really a travesty that Neil Halstead’s isn’t venerated as a musical trailblazer. This is, after all, a man whose work in Slowdive was groundbreaking for both the shoegazing and ambient electronic genres and who created some of the finest alt.country moments from the UK via Mojave 3, the say nothing of the increasingly deep catalog of works under his own name, most recently with Palindrome Hunches. And yet for the recognition that he should but mostly does not get, he seemed perfectly content to just roll into the Dakota Tavern on Monday evening, guitar in hand, to play some songs and just play some songs. Must be that surfer lifestyle.

Supporting Halstead on these dates was Californian Jim Hanft, who in turn brought with him collaborator Samantha Yonack. Hanft offered up some decent singer-songwriter fare, and any points deducted for having an overly affected rasp and twang in his delivery was made up for by his genial demeanour and willingness to move around and make use of the stage. For her part, Yonack earned her almost-equal billing both with her harmonies and impromptu roadie skills, on display when Hanft accidentally unplugged his guitar during one of the aforementioned wanders. Not the most memorable stuff, but pleasant enough.

Halstead was last here in November 2008 for Oh! Mighty Engine, and just like his solo record have gotten progressively more stripped-down, so to has his live show become simpler in execution. Whereas that show featured a couple backing players, this time Halstead was joined by an accompanist on only a handful of songs – crucially so, with the simple bass, guitar, and piano embellishments adding a lot – but mostly just himself. And as always, that’s all he really needed.

As is typical with his solo shows, the set was divided up fairly evenly between solo and Mojave 3 material, though I think that the balance this time out leaned more to the band material. Playing without a written-out set list, Halstead was agreeable to shouted requests and surprisingly to me, whose fandom stretches back to the Slowdive days, a lot of the requests were for his solo material (and one request for “Souvlaki Space Stating” was indulged to the point of playing the opening chords and demonstrating that he had a delay pedal handy). I suppose that made sense with the crowd being younger than I would have expected – these people weren’t Slowdive or Mojave 3 fans first, but Neil Halstead fans. What a thing it must be to have three distinct and beloved catalogs to work from. The audience also gave Halstead a song back, singing him, “Happy Birthday” in honour of his turning 42 the day before.

Though Mojave 3 had technically been in action this year – some lineup had played a few gigs in China, of all places, this Summer – it had been a good six years since they last toured through and it was so great to hear those songs again: “Prayer For The Paranoid”, “Who Do You Love”, “In Love With A View”, “Some Kinda Angel”, “Life In Art”… all moments of gorgeousness that I’d somehow let slip from my memory. In addition to refreshing my Mojave affections, my appreciation for Halstead’s solo works also increased as the performance went on – it’s easy to begrudge those solo records for not being Mojave 3 or Slowdive records, for not showcasing Halstead’s talents at crafting widescreen sonic landscapes, but that would ignore just how good a pure songwriter Halstead now is, and how he doesn’t necessarily need all that presentation to make beautiful and affecting music.

After closing the main set with a gorgeous, “Full Moon Rising” off of Palindrome Hunches, Halstead returned and soliciting more requests, addressed the Slowdive reunion question which he himself set up in August – fitting, since this was the city that hosted the final two Slowdive shows in 1994. And while I’d like to think that it was all part of a carefully planned campaign to lead up to an official return in the near future, his explanation that he was being interviewed at 7AM in China and that a Slowdive return had never officially been off the table but wasn’t necessarily any closer to a reality than it ever was seemed more likely; he closed the discussion by suggesting those really keen on it happening should petition Rachel Goswell for it to happen, and then for the first time since I’ve been seeing either him or Mojave 3 live – some 13 years – he played a Slowdive song. And then another. His solo acoustic arrangement of “Alison” had already surfaced thanks to the free tour EP at Noisetrade, but the rendition of “40 Days” was new to my ears and beautiful. The magic the man can work with just the addition of a delay pedal is remarkable; someone needs to hand him a Telecaster, stat. “Hi-Lo and In Between” from Sleeping On Roads closed the show after a good hour forty-five and Halstead bid farewell, at least until the next time.

The Singing Lamb also has a review of the show. Metro and The Philadelphia Inquirer have interviews with Halstead.

Photos: Neil Halstead, Jim Hanft with Samantha Yonack @ The Dakota Tavern – October 8, 2012
MP3: Neil Halstead – “Tied To You”
MP3: Neil Halstead – “Digging Shelters”
MP3: Neil Halstead – “Full Moon Rising”
MP3: Neil Halstead – “Paint A Face”
MP3: Neil Halstead – “Two Stones In My Pocket”
MP3: Mojave 3 – “In Love With A View”
MP3: Mojave 3 – “Return To Sender”
Video: Neil Halstead – “Hey Daydreamer”
Video: Neil Halstead – “Digging Shelters”
Video: Neil Halstead – “Elevenses”
Video: Neil Halstead – “Witless Or Wise”
Video: Neil Halstead – “Paint A Face”
Video: Neil Halstead – “Queen Bee”
Video: Mojave 3 – “Breaking The Ice”
Video: Mojave 3 – “Some Kinda Angel”
Video: Mojave 3 – “Love Songs On The Radio”
Video: Jim Hanft – “Television”
Video: Jim Hanft – “Superhero”

Gold Flake Paint and DIY have interviews with Frightened Rabbit, in town for a sold-out Mod Club show tonight.

Ellie Goulding goes over her new album Halcyon for Billboard. She brings it to the Sound Academy on October 14.

CBC Music talks to The xx, coming to Massey Hall on October 23.

Spinner interviews Natasha Khan of Bat For Lashes. Her new album The Haunted Man comes out October 23 and a six-song preview is now streaming at The Guardian.

Stream: Bat For Lashes / The Haunted Man sampler

Ritzy Bryan of The Joy Formidable talks to DIY about their new album Wolf’s Law, out January 23 of next year. They’re at The Sound Academy on November 25 supporting The Gaslight Anthem.

The Vaccines have a new vid from Come Of Age. They’re at The Phoenix on February 4.

Video: The Vaccines – “I Always Knew”

Muse will bring whatever ridiculous over-the-top live spectacle they dream up – think “The Wall” – for their new album The 2nd Law to the Air Canada Centre on April 9. NPR has a brief interview with the band.

Video: Muse – “Survival”

The National Post and Under The Radar have features on Two Door Cinema Club.

NPR has a World Cafe session and JAM and State interviews with Beth Orton.

Bloc Party have released a new video from Four.

Video: Bloc Party – “Kettling”

Echo Lake have put out another video from their debut Echo Lake.

Video: Echo Lake – “Another Day”

Billboard and BBC have features on Mumford & Sons.

Adele’s theme song for the new James Bond film Skyfall is now available to “watch” via lyric video. Which is kind of like the movie’s opening credits but with lyrics instead of credits and no silhouettes of femme fatales. It opens in North American on November 9.

Lyric Video: Adele – “Skyfall”

Austin City Limits is streaming their season premiere episode, featuring a little band called Radiohead.

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

Sense

Review of Amanda Mair’s Amanda Mair

Photo By Kjell B PerssonKjell B PerssonIt’s not unfair to say that Labrador Records has something of a “house sound”, and not just for the Swedish accents. With acts like The Radio Dept., Acid House Kings, and Sambassadeur on their roster, they’re a reliable source for warm, fuzzy, indie pop-ish sounds and so when they announce a new signing, it’s usually worth paying some attention – even when on paper the artist doesn’t seem have much in common with the rest of their roster. Or in the case of Amanda Mair, especially when. Not many labels would sign a 15-year old singer-pianist on the strength of her raw talent – there weren’t even any demos – but Labrador did just that in 2010. And having given her a couple years to hone her craft before sending her into the studio with Philip Ekström of The Mary Onettes and the result – her self-titled debut, released in Sweden in February and in North America this week – has proven worth the wait.

It’s hard not to want to use Mair’s youth as a qualifier for offering praise, but the fact is that Amanda Mair would be an accomplished collection of polished pop and piano balladry from an artist of any age. Mair does just fine on the latter with a direct, unadorned presentation – her voice is innately suited to tugging at the heartstrings – but Ekström deserves credit for making the former so sonically dense and interesting without overwhelming her. The choice of a lightly but distinctly ’80s production style is an interesting one, considering those years were a distant memory before Mair was born, but it really does work – for those old enough to remember the era, the sounds are familiar but Mair’s presence is so fresh that it never feels deliberately retro or nostalgic.

Her lyrics may come across a bit vague – one would hope she doesn’t yet have the sort of life experience that would allow her to pen truly pointed, emotional songs – but that gives them a sort of universality that serves her well and the delivery is well-balanced between earnest open-heartedness and knowing wisdom. I suspect every review of this record closes with some sentiment along the lines of how good she already is and how much better she’ll surely get as she gains more experience, but it really is true. And while Mair’s upside is astonishing, don’t assume that Amanda Mair is all about potential – she’s already arrived.

There’s a stream of the album available at MTV, but it’s geoblocked to the US. Americans, have at it. Everyone else, just trust me.

MP3: Amanda Mair – “House”
MP3: Amanda Mair – “Sense”
MP3: Amanda Mair – “Doubt”
Video: Amanda Mair – “House”
Video: Amanda Mair – “Sense”
Stream: Amanda Mair / Amanda Mair (US only)

Anna Ternheim released her new album The Night Visitor this week, and it’s available to stream in whole at Spinner.

MP3: Anna Ternheim – “Walking Aimlessly”
MP3: Anna Ternheim – “The Longer The Waiting (The Sweeter The Kiss)”
Stream: Anna Ternheim / The Night Visitor

NPR is streaming The Tallest Man On Earth’s new album There’s No Leaving Now ahead of its release next Tuesday. Kristian Matsson hits the stage at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on June 15.

MP3: The Tallest Man On Earth – “1904”
Stream: The Tallest Man On Earth / There’s No Leaving Now

Interview, The Music, and The Herald Sun talk to The Hives, in town at The Sound Academy on June 26.

Rolling Stone talks to Sigur Rós’ Georg Holm about their new album Valtari, from which they’ve released another video from their “Mystery Film Experiment” series. They play Echo Beach on August 1

Video: Sigur Rós – “Varúð”

Denmark’s Efterklang premiered songs from their forthcoming album Piramida in performance with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra at the end of May, and a video of one of them has been released to get people excited for the new set of songs, due out this Fall.

Video: Efterklang – “The Ghost” (live)

The Guardian wonders what’s up with the women who helped define the synthy sound of 2009: La Roux is supposed to have a second album out this year but there’s been nary a peep out of Elly Jackson in ages; Ladyhawke traded a lot of the keys for guitars on her just-released second album Anxiety – there’s interviews with Pip Browne at The New Zealand Herald and The Music; and Little Boots just debuted a new video taken from her second album which, while it clearly exists, has yet to have any specifics revealed.

Video: Little Boots – “Headphones”

NPR is streaming Hot Chip’s latest In Our Heads, due out next Tuesday. The Music talks to singer Alexis Taylor and they play The Sound Academy on July 15.

Stream: Hot Chip / In Our Heads

Pitchfork checks in with The xx, who’ve announced their second album Coexist will be released on September 11. They’ll preview the new material when they play a sold-out show at The Phoenix on July 28.

There’s a complete Clock Opera show from Amsterdam in May available to watch at 3voor12.

The Line Of Best Fit says hello to Mystery Jets, themselves saying hello when they open up for Keane at The Sound Academy on June 19.

Most pleased to hear that Richard Hawley’s latest Standing At The Sky’s Edge will be getting a North American physical release on August 28 – it’ll be available digitally next week – because I was getting close to biting the bullet and paying the $40+ for the import vinyl. Yay procrastination! And yay for a sample track from the album to download. Now let’s just get some touring happening over here…

MP3: Richard Hawley – “Leave Your Body Behind You”

Neil Halstead’s new solo record Palindrome Hunches – originally targeted for an August release – will now be out come September 11, but to make up for the delay a first MP3 has been made available for listening.

MP3: Neil Halstead – “Full Moon Rising”

Jarvis Cocker talks to The Guardian about his work raising awareness for Arctic environmental concerns.

MusicOmh chats with Supergrass frontman gone solo Gaz Coombes.

Muse have announced a September 17 release date for their new record The 2nd Law. The accompanying trailer does not inspire confidence, as it would appear to be a bombastic concept album about peak oil.

Trailer: Muse / The 2nd Law

The AV Club takes the occasion of the recent reissues to examine the career and importance of My Bloody Valentine.

Interview and NME both mark the 40th anniversary of David Bowie’s The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust; the former with an interview originally published in March 1973 and the latter with an interactive look at the album cover.

Friday, May 20th, 2011

Rolling In The Deep

Adele at The Air Canada Centre

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangIt happens far too infrequently, but sometimes the good guys win. Sometimes immense talent, great songs and hard work can triumph over image and marketing and when it does, you get improbably wonderful things like Adele becoming and more importantly remaining pretty much the biggest artist in music for 2011 for months on end, on the strength of her sophomore album 21. Granted, her story is hardly one of an out of nowhere dark horse – her debut 19 already made her a star and garnered her two Grammy awards – but the degree to which 21 has catapulted her into the stratosphere is still remarkable.

That the Toronto stop of her North American tour on Wednesday night was originally booked into the Kool Haus – considerably smaller than the posh environs of Massey Hall where she last performed in 2009 – certainly seemed to imply that people were underestimating her draw, and that the show was moved to the many times larger Air Canada Centre after selling out instantly was representative of just how much bigger – and faster – her fanbase was growing. Granted, it was in theatre configuration, accommodating approximately 5200 patrons instead of the 16000 of the full arena, but if you don’t think she could have easily sold a few thousand more tickets then you’re just not paying attention.

I had the privilege of seeing Adele at an MTV Live taping back in March and so had a sense of how she was live – which is to say wonderfully warm and engaging, with no sense of the stage fright she’s supposedly afflicted with – but that was a short set in front of a maybe a couple hundred people. This would be considerably more on every level, and yet Adele Adkins somehow managed to make an arena show in front of thousands feel just as intimate as that studio performance.

Things opened with a touch of theatricality – with Adele starting “Hometown Glory” from behind a curtain before stepping onstage to rafter-shaking shrieks – but for most of the show, it was all about simple, direct and genuine connection between Adele and her fans, which for all of her prodigious artistic gifts may be her greatest strength. Chatty, conversational and more than a little crude between songs, punctuated by a huge and endearing cackle, Adele was able to make a massive room feel as intimate as a small club or even more like a private performance for some friends in the front room. It’s impossible to overstate the intensity of the personal rapport that seemed to exist between she and almost every one of the thousands in the audience – it’s hard to imagine any other artist of her stature taking stage time to talk about the experiences that informed her songs, her affection for her pet dachshund or gush about bands she’s currently listening to (incidentally, she gave big props to Toronto R&B outfit The Weeknd).

As entertaining as it would likely be to just sit and chat for an hour and a half with Adele, there was no forgetting that music was the order of the evening. Improvisation wasn’t on the menu, save for a few subtle shifts in arrangements, with the emphasis on her huge, expressive voice and playing the songs everyone wanted to hear the way they knew them, but with plenty of verve and as singalong-able as possible – something the house happily obliged, at times creating an almost choral effect. Backed by a seven-piece band, Adele delivered exactly the sort of set you’d expect, comprising most of 21 – often introduced as “new songs” as though they were something to be politely endured before she got to the old favourites instead of the material that brought both her and her fans here on this evening – and a decent amount of 19. The show built to a finale that was completely predictable – “Chasing Pavements” and “Make You Feel My Love” to close the main set and “Someone Like You” and “Rolling In The Deep” making up the encore – but also completely rousing. You don’t need to surprise when you’re this good. Adele is like the friend who goes onto great things, but never forgets where she came from – not “is like”, but “is” – and though musically she trades in broken hearts, there was nothing but love at the ACC on this night.

The Globe & Mail has a feature piece on Adele and also a review of the show. The Toronto Sun, National Post, Toronto Star and Exclaim also have writeups of the evening.

Photos: Adele @ The Air Canada Centre – May 18, 2011
Video: Adele – “Rolling In The Deep”
Video: Adele – “Make You Feel My Love”
Video: Adele – “Chasing Pavements”
Video: Adele – “Cold Shoulder”

Interview has a brief talk with Anna Calvi, who has a date at The El Mocambo on May 27.

PJ Harvey discusses the visual side of her art with Spinner.

Pitchfork has an extensive interview with Kate Bush, who released her first album in over five years this week with Director’s Cut. The record is streaming in whole over at NPR.

Stream: Kate Bush / Director’s Cut

New York Magazine and The Chicago Tribune talk to Will Sergeant of Echo & The Bunnymen while The Aquarian chats with Ian McCulloch.

Johnny Marr talks up his upcoming projects with Billboard.

The Guardian talks to Brett Anderson and Mat Osman about why the reunited Suede are so fashionable again – just in time for Brett Anderson (the solo artist) to announce the September 26 release of his next record, Black Rainbows. Details on the album at NME.

The second single from Patrick Wolf’s forthcoming Lupercalia now has a video and it indeed confirms that, on this record, Wolf is in his happy place. It’s out June 20.

Video: Patrick Wolf – “House”

Foals discuss possible directions of their next record with aux.tv.

The Guardian, Gigwise and Clash have feature pieces on Friendly Fires, whose new record Pala is out next week and are in town at The Phoenix on May 30.

NME gets some information on the next Muse record from rhythm section Dominic Howard and Chris Wolstenholme.

The Aquarian talks to Arctic Monkeys frontman Alex Turner. They’re at The Kool Haus on Saturday and their new album Suck It And See is out June 7.

Also on the bill are The Vaccines, who have a new video from their debut What Did You Expect From The Vaccines, due out May 31.

Video: The Vaccines – “All In White”

NPR have posted a WFUV radio session with Noah & The Whale, with whom North Country Times, Oregon Music News, The Telegraph and The Edinburgh Evening News have interviews.

James Blake has a new video from James Blake.

Video: James Blake – “Lindesfarne”

Artrocker has a piece from Clock Opera frontman Guy Connelly about writing their latest single “Belongings”, for which they’ve just released a video and are streaming both sides at Soundcloud. DIY also solicits an alphabetized list of… stuff from the band. These guys were one of the more exciting discoveries at SXSW and the lead-up to their debut album verifies that the excitement is justified.

Video: Clock Opera – “Belongings”

Ladytron are streaming the first single from new album Gravity The Seducer at Soundcloud, well in advance of its September 13 release date.

Art Brut are streaming their new record Brilliant! Tragic! over at Paste. They play The Mod Club on June 17 for NXNE.

Stream: Art Brut / Brilliant! Tragic!

And according to Under The Radar, the Friday night of NXNE – June 17 – will also bring Oxford’s Swervedriver back to town for the first time since, well, NXNE 2008. Venue still to be announced but this should be one of the highlights of the festival.

MP3: Swervedriver – “Duel” (live)

IFC has both an interview with Euros and Norman of Jonny and premiered a new video from the duo. They are at The Drake Underground on June 3 and 4.

Video: Jonny – “You Was Me”

They Shoot Music has a video session with Gruff Ryhs, and he’s also the subject of features at Nashville Scene, The Village Voice and Today Online. He has a date at The Horseshoe for June 11.

NPR has posted a World Cafe session with The Joy Formidable.

And with that, folks, things go into vacation mode over the next couple weeks. There’ll still be updates and whatnot, just maybe fewer, probably leaner and almost certainly at odd hours. And any last-minute suggestions of things to see and do in Barcelona are welcome.