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Posts Tagged ‘Naked & Famous’

Friday, October 4th, 2013

Time Exists Only To Betray Us

Review of Keep Shelly In Athens’ At Home and giveaway

Photo By Tolis ElefantisTolis ElefantisGreek duo Keep Shelly In Athens first came to attention in late 2010 with a series of singles when “chillwave” was still a thing and sure, the washes of synths and gentle vocals of RΠЯ and Sarah P could merit the hashtag. But in the time its taken them to assemble their full-length debut last month – 2012’s In Love With Dusk / Our Own Dream was a compilation of their previously-released EPs – the label has largely gone from adjective to pejorative and probably not the best pony to hitch one’s wagon to. So it’s a good thing that At Home easily stands up on its own, without the aid of scenes or trends.

Actually, that’s not entirely true. While At Home is far more emotive and emphatic than most hazy bedroom-bred musical excursions, it’s still pretty on-the-sleeve with its influences. They strive to recreate the soulful shadows found at Portishead’s end of ’90s trip-hop but use sleek, ’80s synth luminescence as their light source to go with the dance-ready beats. But what elevates At Home above the pack are Sarah P’s vocal work – which is always engaged and gorgeous, whether evoking menace on “Time Exists Only To Betray Us” and “Knife” or crooning serenely on “Recollection” and “Sails” – and the melodies that she’s given to work with. Because whatever labels you choose to apply to At Home, under it all it’s pop music, and pretty great pop music. And pretty great pop music doesn’t need to much else to be worth your while.

Dime Store Saints and Prairie Moon have interviews with the duo, who kick off a North American tour as co-headliners with Chad Valley next week. Their Toronto show comes October 15 at Wrongbar, and courtesy of LiveNation I’ve got five pairs of passes to give away to the show. To enter, email me at contests@chromewaves.net with “I want to Keep Shelly In Athens” in the subject line and your full name in the body, and have that in to me before midnight, October 11.

Video: Keep Shelly In Athens – “Recollection”
Stream: Keep Shelly In Athens / At Home

PopMatters talks with The Naked & Famous, who are in town for an October 14 show at The Phoenix.

November 19 will see the release of a new 7″ from Iceage consisting of covers from Sinéad O’Connor and Bahamutsi Drama Group. Details at Pitchfork, streams of both sides below.

Stream: Iceage – “Jackie”
Stream: Iceage – “To The Comrades”

The Deer Tracks are marking the announcement of the North American tour which brings them to The Silver Dollar on November 28 with the final statement of their epic The Archer Trilogy with a stream of the appropriately-titled “Epilogue” at Filter.

Stream: The Deer Tracks – “Epilogue”

Australian rock machine Jagwar Ma have announced a North American tour for this Fall behind their debut Howlin’; it brings them to The Great Hall on November 28. Tickets are $15 in advance. Drowned In Sound, The San Francisco Chronicle, and San Francisco Examiner have interviews.

Video: Jagwar Ma – “Come Save Me”
Video: Jagwar Ma – “Man I Need”

Efterklang have released a new video from this year’s Piramida.

Video: Efterklang – “Monument”

The Line OF Best Fit has premiered the new video by múm, taken from their latest album Smilewound.

Video: múm – “Candlestick”

Under The Radar checks in with the Söderberg sisters of First Aid Kit.

Noisey interviews Nanna Fabricius of Oh Land.

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

1000 Answers

The Hives and object lessons in venue relativism

Photo By Tobias SutterTobias SutterThings that are true about live music rooms in Toronto: 1) Everyone hates the Sound Academy, for reasons that don’t really need to be expounded on; 2) a lot of people hate The Phoenix when it represents a tipping point for ascendant acts moving out of clubs and into bigger rooms; 3) a lot of people love The Phoenix when it offers a relatively intimate setting for who might normally play larger rooms but for whatever reason – choice or circumstance – are downsizing.

It’s that third category that I was front of mind yesterday as a batch of concert announcements rolled in. Already scheduled for two dates at The Air Canada Centre supporting Pink on November 30 and December 2, Swedish garage rock heroes The Hives have decided days off are for chumps and have scheduled their own show at The Phoenix for December 1, tickets $29.50. Their last headlining show in support of last year’s Lex Hives was in July 2012 and at The Sound Academy, so their playing a room one-third the size is rather a boon for their fans, at least those who didn’t rush out to buy Pink tickets to see them. Which I would think would include all of them.

Video: The Hives – “Wait A Minute”

New Zealand electro-poppers The Naked & Famous, on the other hand, may be finding out that they’re neither sufficiently naked or famous to fill the Sound Academy as they’ve downgraded their October 14 show in support of their just-released second album In Rolling Waves from there to The Phoenix. Playing the room wasn’t overreaching as their last show in support of their hit debut Passive Me, Aggressive You was there and was their fourth local performance in a year, no less, but kids these days have short attention spans. Remaining tickets for the show are $28.50 in advance. BBC has an interview with the band as does Noisey, along with a stream of the new record.

Video: The Naked & Famous – “Hearts Like Ours”
Stream: The Naked & Famous / In Rolling Waves

When British soul singer Jessie Ware made her local debut at The Opera House in April, it seemed a foregone conclusion that her next visit would be in a much bigger room. And while I won’t suggest that her upwards trajectory has stalled – she and Devotion are just too good to be denied – I was surprised to see that her November 6 show at The Sound Academy had also been downsized to The Phoenix. On the plus side, I already know a few people for whom this show has gone from “ugh” to “ooh”, so it should still be a good and full house when she and The Invisible return to town. Whatever tickets remain for that one are $25 in advance. Interestingly, one of her New York shows on this tour was also downsized from a 3000+ room to a 1000 but a Brooklyn show was also added, so maybe this is as much about the experience as soft sales. Or not. Anyways, if you were on the fence then it’s time to get to a ticket outlet.

Video: Jessie Ware – “Wildest Moments”

The Rural Alberta Advantage have been fairly quiet of late, presumably working on a follow-up to 2011’s Departing – their last local show was last Fall with Dan Mangan at The Danforth Music Hall – but they’ll be taking the stage at the Adelaide Music Hall on October 18 as part of Indie Week, which is apparently a thing. You can get in with a festival wristband or paying $25 for an advance ticket.

MP3: The Rural Alberta Advantage – “Stamp”

Widowspeak fans dismayed that their only opportunity to see them this Fall was as support for Iron & Wine at The Sound Academy – that place again! – on September 28 will be pleased to know that they’ll be back soon enough in support of their new EP The Swamps, out October 29, for a show at The Silver Dollar on November 2 with Pure Bathing Culture and tickets running a very reasonable $12.50.

MP3: Widowspeak – “The Devil Knows”

Baltimore’s Future Islands haven’t announced anything about a follow-up to 2011’s On The Water, but they’re still hitting the road and will be at The Drake Underground on November 10, tickets $15.50.

MP3: Future Islands – “Before The Bridge”

At some point, the release of Illinois roots-pop artist Lissie’s second album got pushed back a few weeks, but they’ve now committed to both an October 8 street date for Back To Forever as well as a Fall tour to support it. Ms Maurus will be at the Adelaide Music Hall on November 21, tickets for the show $22.50 in advance.

Video: Lissie – “Further Away (Romance Police)”

They may not have been crowned Polaris champs on Monday night, but Young Galaxy can still announce themselves as 2013 shortlisters when they take the stage at The Hoxton on November 22. Not that they would or should; that’s kind of gauche. Tickets for that one are $18 in advance.

Video: Young Galaxy – “Pretty Boy”

If you missed fantastical Swedish synth-pop duo The Deer Tracks when they were here in March – and mathematically, most all of you did – then you can rectify that when they bring their opus The Archer Trilogy back to North America for a victory lap. They’ll be back at The Silver Dollar on November 28.

MP3: The Deer Tracks – “W”

His Toronto debut a couple weeks ago having completely sold out even after being upgraded from The Drake to Wrongbar, Archy Marshall – aka King Krule – will bring his album Six Feet Beneath The Moon back as part of a larger tour and will be at Lee’s Palace on December 9, tickets $20. The New York Times has a feature piece on the artist.

Video: King Krule – “Octopus”

Interview, MTV, and Rolling Stone have features on Swedish electro-pop sensations Icona Pop, whose North American debut This Is… Icona Pop is out this week.

MTV Hive, Elle, and Interview chat with Nanna Øland Fabricius of Oh Land, whose new album Wish Bone is also out this week and is available to stream courtesy of The Line Of Best Fit. Esquire also has a video session with the artist, who plays The Great Hall on September 30.

Stream: Oh Land / Wish Bone

Indians have rolled out a new video from their/his debut Somewhere Else.

Video: Indians – “La Femme”

The New Strait Times, South China Morning Post, and Electronic Musician have interviews with Icelandic composer Ólafur Arnalds.

Le Blogotheque serves up an Empty Spaces session with Sigur Rós filmed in the catacombs of Paris.

A Heart Is A Spade interviews Kate Boy.

Friday, August 2nd, 2013

Newsworthy

Sky Larkin share new Motto

Photo via FacebookFacebookFrequently when an artist announces a new album a number of years on from when its predecessor came out, the question of, “where’ve you been?” is a natural ones. In the case of Sky Larkin principal Katie Harkin, the answer is simply “everywhere”. Since her band wrapped up touring commitments behind 2010’s Kaleide, she signed on as a touring member of Wild Beasts for their Smother tour (which stopped here in October 2011).

But Harkin has gotten back to her own business, and with a new lineup in place – original bassist Doug Adams amicably departed the band and was replaced and a second guitarist added – they’ve announced a September 16 release of their third album, entitled Motto. A new track from it is available to stream via The Guardian and offers a lighter counterpoint to the more pummelling first taste – now revealed as the album’s title track – which surfaced back in May and more than affirms their recipe of sleekly ragged guitars and sneakily sophisticated melodicism is still a most effective one. I look forward to their return.

Stream: Sky Larkin – “Loom”
Stream: Sky Larkin – “Motto”

Annie has released a new video from her just-out A&R EP; Idolator talks to Richard X – the EP’s producer and “R” namesake – about the record.

Video: Annie – “Back Together”

Clash and NME talk to White Lies about their new album Big TV, out August 21. They play The Opera House on October 1.

Rolling Stone talks to Martin Gore of Depeche Mode about the impending North American tour that brings them to the Molson Amphitheatre on September 1.

Manic Street Preachers have unveiled a new video from their next album Rewind The Film, out September 16.

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

The Line Of Best Fit reports that English folkie Johnny Flynn has given his new record Country Mile a September 30 release date. The first song from it is available to preview via lyric video.

Lyric Video: Johnny Flynn – “The Lady Is Risen”

Charli XCX walks aux.tv through her video for “What I Like”. She plays The Hoxton on September 16.

Australia’s The Naked & Famous have announced the September 17 release of their second In Rolling Waves, offering some context for their already-announced date at the Sound Academy on October 14. The first video from the new record is also out.

Video: The Naked & Famous – “Hearts Like Ours”

Under The Radar reports that former Mercury Prize nominees The Invisible have been named as support for Jessie Ware on her North American tour, starting November 6 at The Sound Academy. The pairing makes perfect sense since Invisible frontman Dave Okumu co-wrote and produced much of Ware’s Devotion; their last album was 2012’s Rispah.

MP3: The Invisible – “London Girl”

Page 31 talks to Caroline Hjelt and Windy City Media to Aino Jawo of Icona Pop. Their album This Is… comes out September 24.

The Horrors tell NME that any expectations of a new record in 2013 are unfounded and their next release will come in early 2014.

The Quietus has both an interview with and the first new music from Rose Elinor Dougall in far too long; with luck a second album isn’t too far behind.

Stream: Rose Elinor Dougall – “Strange Warnings”

The High Wire have released a video for their latest single, which quite effectively leverages footage from the film Ashes, starring Ray Winstone. The Guardian has more information about the film.

Video: The High Wire -“LNOE”

The Guardian talks to Daniel Blumburg, formerly of Yuck, about his new project as Hebronix and the debut album Unreal.

Bobby Gillespie of Primal Scream unloads to NME about the state of festivals in 2013.

Baeble Music has a video session with Foals and NME gets Yannis Philippakis’ thoughts on US whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Cut Copy have made a new single, released last month in limited edition at the Pitchfork Music Festival, available to stream for all to hear.

Stream: Cut Copy – “Let Me Show You”

NPR has video from a KCRW session with Savages.

The Quietus catches up with David Lewis Gedge of The Wedding Present.

The Skinny finds out what Emma Pollock has been up to since the 2010 release of The Law Of Large Numbers, namely setting up a studio engineering course for aspiring producers.

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

Subway

Yeah Yeah Yeahs set Toronto show; win a date with the night

Photo By Dan MartensenDan MartensenThe new Yeah Yeah Yeahs record Mosquito has proven to be somewhat divisive. Some are finding it a terrific fourth long-player in their discography, summing together all that’s come before for a record quintessentially them, others finding it a disappointing water-treading exercise that captures neither the fiery anarchy of their early work or the gleaming excellence of their last effort, 2009’s It’s Blitz!. Personally, I fall more towards the latter camp, finding it just alright but decidedly forgettable, which may well be worse than being especially bad.

In any case, one thing most everyone with an interest in the topic can agree on – besides that the album art is atrocious – is that the Yeah Yeah Yeahs remain an incredible live act and that the four years since they last visited – two nights at The Kool Haus in August 2009m if you’ll recall – is far too long. So I’m happy to announce that the band’s somewhat erratic touring schedule – a consequence of being almost-headliner status during festival season, I guess – now has a Toronto date, with them coming to celebrate Canada Day – July 1 – at Echo Beach. And I’m even happier to announce that courtesy of LiveNation, I’ve got a pair of passes to give away before the $39.50 tickets go on sale this Friday morning at 10AM. To enter, email me at contests@chromewaves.net with “I I I want want want Yeah Yeah Yeahs” in the subject line and your full name in the body and have that to me by midnight, May 30. The winner will be notified before the on-sale goes live.

MP3: Yeah Yeah Yeahs – “Date With The Night”
Video: Yeah Yeah Yeahs – “Sacrilege”

If you’d have otherwise been keen on seeing next week’s The xx and Grizzly Bear double-bill but didn’t much fancy the trek out to Downsview Park to do it, congratulations – your laziness has been rewarded. The June 6 show has been moved from the former airbase to the much more urban Echo Beach; all previously sold tickets are still valid and all remaining – of which there are now considerably fewer – are still $59.50 general admission and $99 VIP. The Vancouver Sun, Vue Weekly, and Georgia Straight have profiles of The xx.

MP3: The xx – “Reconsider”
MP3: Grizzly Bear – “Yet Again”

Scottish folkster Alasdair Roberts will be at The Drake Underground on July 17 as part of a tour in support of his latest album A Wonder Working Stone, released earlier this year. For Folk’s Sake has an interview with Mr. Roberts.

MP3: Alasdair Roberts – “The Merry Wake”

If you’re looking for something to do Labour Day long weekend, you could do far worse than heading out Hamilton way for the Greenbelt Harvest Picnic, taking place at Christie Lake in Dundas, Ontario on August 31. It was conceived by Daniel Lanois, who will be performing, and features a couple huge names drawn from his producing CV – specifically, Neil Young & Crazy Horse and Emmylou Harris. Not bad, eh? Tickets are $139.50 in advance and go on sale June 1.

Video: Neil Young – “Love And War”
Video: Emmylou Harris – “Wrecking Ball” (live)

Not quite ready to return to being Bon Iver, Justin Vernon and his Wisconsin brethren have announced the September 3 release of a second Volcano Choir album – Repave – and a supporting Fall tour that brings them to The Phoenix on September 8, tickets $22.50 in advance. A trailer for the new record has been released, but rather than annoyingly tease, it actually almost acts as a complete video for one of the new songs.

MP3: Volcano Choir – “Island, Is”
Trailer: Volcano Choir / Repave

Portland electro-pop outfit STRFKR – whose name stands for what you think it does – have made a September 14 date at The Opera House in support of their third album Miracle Mile, released back in February. Tickets for the show are $15.

MP3: STRFKR – “Bury Us Alive”

Scout Niblett, who’s just released a new record in It’s Up To Emma, will be at The Silver Dollar on September 17.

MP3: Scout Niblett – “Dance Of Sulphur”
Video: Scout Niblett – “Gun”

English-born, Germany-based electronic act Gold Panda has a new album in Half Of Where You Live coming out on June 11 and has just announced a Fall tour behind it that brings him to Lee’s Palace on October 8, tickets $15. A new song from the new record has also been made available to stream and Noisey has an interview.

Stream: Gold Panda – “We Work Nights”

There’s still no follow-up to 2010’s Passive Me, Aggressive You, but Australia’s The Naked & Famous are coming back to North America for a Fall tour anyways; look for them at the Sound Academy on October 14, tickets $28.50 general admission and $38.50 VIP.

Video: The Naked & Famous – “Girls Like You”

Two Door Cinema Club are keeping last year’s Beacon an active concern with another North American tour that brings them to the Danforth Music Hall on October 15.

Video: Two Door Cinema Club – “Next Year”

Stereogum talks to Matt Berninger of The National. They’re headlining Yonge-Dundas Square for NXNE on June 14.

With their new record Nightingale Floors due out next week on June 4 and streaming now at Pitchfork, Rogue Wave frontman Zach Rogue chats about the new record with Billboard. They’ll be at The Mod Club on June 25.

Stream: Rogue Wave / Nightingale Floors

Partygoing, the new album from Future Bible Heroes and one-quarter of the Memories of Love, Eternal Youth, and Partygoing. box set – both out next Tuesday, June 4 – is now streaming courtesy of Pitchfork. Chickfactor talks to Stephin Merritt, Christopher Ewen, and Claudia Gonson of the band about the new record; they’ll be at Lee’s Palace – well, Ewen and Gonson, anyways – on July 22.

Stream: Future Bible Heroes / Partygoing

Guitar World sits down with Redd Kross guitarist Jeff McDonald to talk about guitars.

The Line Of Best Fit, TNT, and The Herald Scotland have interviews with Bob Mould.

The Guardian and USA Today profile punk rock legend Patti Smith.

Monday, March 5th, 2012

Dance To Another Tune

Review of First Aid Kit’s The Lion’s Roar and giveaway

Photo By Neil KrugNeil KrugThe Söderberg sisters of First Aid Kit make no attempt to represent themselves as anything other than what they are – two girls barely on either side of 20 harmonizing on heartfelt songs that conjure the spirit of bygone and world-weary Appalachian folk traditions a world and era away from the from the Stockholm suburbs where they grew up. It’s a contrast and harmony that made their first two releases – 2008’s debut EP Drunken Trees and the 2010 full-length The Big Black & The Blue so interesting; feeling simultaneously young and old, wise yet naive, clearly foreign yet still so authentic.

It’s a tension that’s less pronounced on their second album The Lion’s Roar, but that’s because rather than tip things one way or the other, they’ve managed to not just balance their elements but blend them. Credit must go to veteran producer Mike Mogis, an expert at helping bands bloom creatively while keeping their roots firmly intact – sonically, the album stays close to the sparer arrangements of the debut but when it needs to get big, it does – but you cannot discount the experience the duo have gained in the past couple years on the road; they’ve simply gotten much better, and were pretty good to begin with. The weightiness that’s always existed in their songwriting feels more comfortably borne, and yet Roar also contains some of their most buoyant songs to date – “Emmylou”, a gorgeous paean to two of the great partnerships of country music, is an early frontrunner for one of the songs of the year and “I Found A Way” soars close behind.

I don’t think there was ever a time when First Aid Kit were regarded as any sort of novelty – “oh look, young Swedish girls who think they’re country!” – but if anyone ever took them less seriously for any of that, they’ll be hard-pressed to hold onto those prejudices. The Lion’s Roar is a strong statement and demands to be heard.

MTV UK has an interview with First Aid Kit, who kick off a headlining North American tour at the end of this month and will be at the Great Hall in Toronto on April 4. Tickets for the show are $18 in advance but courtesy of Embrace, I’ve got two pairs of passes to give away for the show. To enter, email me at contests AT chromewaves.net with “I want a First Aid Kit” in the subject line and your full name in the body. Contest closes at Midnight, March 31.

Stream: First Aid Kit – “Emmylou”
Stream: First Aid Kit – “The Lion’s Roar”
Video: First Aid Kit – “Emmylou”
Video: First Aid Kit – “The Lion’s Roar”

In talking about another young female Swedish artist worth watching – Amanda Mair – I’ve been saying that her self-titled debut was supposed to come on back on February 15; that it did, but only in Sweden, apparently. about.com has a June 5 North American release date written down and DIY reports that it will be out officially in the UK on June 11. To tide us over, another single is now available to download to go with the previously released video. It’s good.

MP3: Amanda Mair – “Sense”
Video: Amanda Mair – “Sense”

Under The Radar brings word of a collaboration between the wonderful I Break Horses and the I-hadn’t-heard-of-them-before-now Philadelphia-based electronic outfit CSLSX, the first fruits of have both a downloadable and video. I Break Horses are at The Sound Academy on May 5 opening for M83.

MP3: CSLSX & I Break Horses – “Violent Sea”
Video: CSLSX & I Break Horses – “Violent Sea”

DIY chats with Norwegian pop collective Team Me, who are on my to-see list at SXSW next week (NEXT WEEK). If all goes well, you’ll be hearing more about them hereabouts. Their debut To The Treetops is out next week.

MP3: Team Me – “With My Hands Covering Both of My Eyes I Am Too Scared To Have a Look At You Now”

The Line Of Best Fit introduces Kiasmos, the new electronic project from Ólafur Arnalds.

Stream: Kiasmos – “Thrown”

New York Magazine has an in-depth profile piece on Bjork and NYC Taper has posted recordings of another of her NYC residency shows from last week.

DIY and The Sun get to know Dry The River, the next great folk-rock hope out of the UK. Their debut Shallow Bed is out April 17 in North America, and they’re streaming the excerpts of the whole thing with commentary over here. The intrigued can see them March 27 at The Garrison opening for Bowerbirds.

Video: Dry The River – “Chambers & The Valves”

Those scamps in Radiohead have announced another block of North American dates and Toronto is in the mix. They’ll be at Downsview Park on June 16 with Caribou, and I’ll save you from double-checking the calendar – that is indeed the Saturday of NXNE. The festival has managed to hold its own agains interloping major shows in the past, but if it takes a free Iggy & The Stooges show to counter Pavement/Broken Social Scene, they’re gonna need something pretty major to keep the kids in the city this time around. But whatever you end up doing that day, let’s not overlook the fact that this means the Caribou machine is back in action, and that’s good news for everyone. Tickets for Radiohead go on sale at noon on Friday.

MP3: Caribou – “Odessa”
Video: Radiohead – “Lotus Flower”

Daytrotter welcomes The Naked & Famous to their studios for a session. They play The Sound Academy on April 5

Digital Spy and DIY talk to Pip Brown of Ladyhawke, whose second album Anxiety has been pushed back from its March 27 release date all the way to May 25.