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Posts Tagged ‘Niki & The Dove’

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

Full Of Fire

Video dispatches from Scandinavia and beyond, featuring The Knife

Photo By Alexa VachonAlexa VachonPresently trying to work out this year’s vacation schedule, which if all goes according to plan will feature a return engagement to Reykjavik and Stockholm in late Summer. Which has everything and nothing to do with why I’m clearing out a number of Scandinavian-sourced videos released to the internet over the last week or so.

Beginning with the nine-minute short film that doubles as the first taste of The Knife’s new album Shaking The Habitual. I missed out the sibling duo of Karin Dreijer Andersson and Olof Dreijer circa their 2006 debut breakout effort Silent Shout – not out of ignorance, but out of fear; their creepy electronica scared me, I admit it – but have gotten over that right about in time for the April 9 release o the follow-up. And it’s just as well, because it certainly doesn’t seem like they’ve gotten any less weird or unsettling in the interim. Pitchfork has details on the new record, which is a 98-minute epic that will probably be the best-selling triple-LP since Joanna Newsom’s Have One On Me. Which wasn’t scary at all, unless harps scare you.

Video: The Knife – “Full Of Fire”

Of Monsters & Men have released another video from last year’s – or 2011’s, if you’re being pedantic – breakout debut My Head Is An Animal.

Video: Of Monsters & Men – “King and Lionheart”

Clash has a feature interview with Søen Løkke Juul of Indians, who has released a first video from his debut album Somewhere Else, officially out this week. He and his band are at The Drake Underground on March 4.

Video: Indians – “I Am Haunted”

Also out of Copenhagen – but at the other end of the musical spectrum – are Iceage, who have put out a clip from their next album You’re Nothing, in stores February 19.

Video: Iceage – “Ecstasy”

The National Post, U-T San Diego, and Seattle Weekly have interviews with Swedish electro-pop duo Niki & The Dove.

PopMatters talks to Sarah Assbring of El Perro Del Mar.

Pitchfork sums up the salient points from Sigur Rós’ Reddit AMA last week: namely that keyboardist Kjartan Sveinsson’s temporary hiatus from the band is now permanent, leaving them officially a trio, and a new “aggressive” album that’ll basically be the polar opposite of last year’s ethereal Valtari will be out later this year. They play The Air Canada Centre on March 30.

Over to the UK, Daughter have released the first video from their forthcoming debut If You Leave, out March 18 in Europe and April 30 in North America. They play The Great Hall on May 7.

Video: Daughter – “Still”

Stereogum has premiered a new video by London’s The History Of Apple Pie, taken from their just-released debut Out Of View.

Video: The History Of Apple Pie – “See You”

Pitchfork is streaming Veronica Falls’ new album Waiting For Something To Happen, out February 12. They play The Garrison on March 12.

MP3: Veronica Falls – “Teenage”
Stream: Veronica Falls / Waiting For Something To Happen

Spinner interviews Foals. Their new record Holy Fire is out February 12.

Peter Hook rebuts and escalates the war of words with his former bandmates in New Order via interviews in Billboard and MTV Hive.

Scott Hutchison of Frightened Rabbit talks to The Skinny and Drowned In Sound about their new one Pedestrian Verse, out Tuesday, and also gives the former a track-by-track walkthrough of the new record. They play The Phoenix March 31.

If you thought it weird that Billy Bragg’s previously-announced North American tour dates in support of his new record Tooth & Nail, out March 18, skipped over Toronto then you were right. It was weird. And now it’s rectified. He’ll be at The Danforth Music Hall on May 4, tickets $32.50 to $37.50. And a song from the new record is available to stream or download via his website in exchange for an email.

Stream: Billy Bragg – “Handyman Blues”

Noah & The Whale have announced a May 6 release date for their new record Heart Of Nowhere.

Billboard interviews Charli XCX, who predicts an April or May release for her debut album – just in time for her May 23 appearance at The Sound Academy supporting Marina & The Diamonds.

And back to videos, though far from Scandinavia, Tame Impala have a new clip from Lonerism. Head to Urban Outfitters for notes from the video’s director and aux.tv for an interview with bandleader Kevin Parker.

Video: Tame Impala – “Mind Mischief”

Shugo Tokumaru has gone stop-motion animation for the new video from In Focus?.

Video: Shugo Tokumaru – “Katachi”

Friday, January 18th, 2013

Decorate

Get the weekend In Focus? with Shugo Tokumaru

Photo via FacebookFacebookI don’t know what you’ve got planned this weekend – me, I’m going to go buy a curtain rod – but if you think you’ll require a ray of musical sunshine to brighten up the proceedings or, conversely, need a soundtrack to an itinerary full up to the gills with fun, you could do far worse than to fire up the advance stream of Shugo Tokumaru’s new record In Focus?, available to stream now at Under The Radar.

It’s the Japanese composer and multi-instrumentalist’s fifth album, and like its predecessors its overflowing with creative instrumentation, chock full of mesmerizingly intricate pop compositions, and imbued with a childlike whimsy designed to beguile and delight. Its melodicism transcends any language barrier, and really – do you know how to say, “la la la” in Japanese? It’s “la la la”.

MP3: Shugo Tokumaru – “Decorate”
Video: Shugo Tokumaru – “Decorate”
Stream: Shugo Tokumaru / In Focus?

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds have made a second track from their forthcoming Push The Sky Away available to preview by way of a lyric video. The album is out February 19 and they play Massey Hall on March 23.

Lyric Video: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – “Jubilee Street”

Aquarium Drunkard has posted a session with Melody’s Echo Chamber that you can download for your listening pleasure, perhaps while you read this interview with Melody Prochet at Tonedeaf.

The 405 reports that Phoenix are getting ready to release the follow-up to 2009’s absurdly successful Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, and the record will be called Bankrupt!. Which the band hopefully are not.

Pitchfork checks in with Denmark’s Iceage about their forthcoming album You’re Nothing, due out February 19.

Under The Radar talks to Maria Lindén of I Break Horses about the highs and lows of her 2012, the latter of which included having to cancel their Fall North American tour due to lack of funds. On the plus side, they’re recording a new record this year and will hopefully be making up those aborted dates with new material to play.

The Deer Tracks are ready to mark the February 12 release of The Archer Trilogy Pt. 3 properly – which is to say with a North American tour that includes a February 28 date at The Silver Dollar. They were incredible at NXNE 2012 so you can be sure expectations are high for this show. They’ve also released the first video from the new album, premiering it along with the full routing of their Spring trek at All Things Go. Do catch them if it’s at all possible, and if you happen to make it over to their hometown of Gävle, Sweden, use this handy guide of bands to see they provided to CMJ.

MP3: The Deer Tracks – “W”
Video: The Deer Tracks – “Lazarus”

CBC Music talked to Gustaf Karlöf of Niki & The Dove ahead of their Canadian shows earlier this week.

The Line Of Best Fit has premiered the second video from the new Shout Out Louds album Optica, in stores February 26. They’re in town at The Opera House on May 14.

Video: Shout Out Louds – “Walking In Your Footsteps”

Junip have streamed the first track from their new self-titled album, due out April 23.

Stream: Junip – “Line Of Fire”

Ólafur Arnalds has premiered a sample from his next album For Now I Am Winter over at Drowned In Sound. The album is out February 25.

Stream: Ólafur Arnalds – “This Place Was A Shelter”

Thursday, January 10th, 2013

I Follow You

Review of Melody’s Echo Chamber’s Melody’s Echo Chamber

Photo By Diane SagnierDiane SagnierTame Impala’s second album Lonerism topped more than a few 2012 year-end lists, and while it doesn’t do much for me – despite on paper being exactly the sort of thing I should like – if you were to say that Kevin Parker was behind one of the year’s finest psychedelic pop records, I would be inclined to agree with you. Except that I would be talking about Melody’s Echo Chamber.

Describing Melody’s Echo Chamber as the sound of Broadcast’s first album being played at volume in a Parisian apartment with the reverberations captured by a vintage ’60s microphone and run through Kevin Parker’s pedalboard might sound like hyperbolic metaphor, but it could also be a literal account of how the record was made. With words – a combination of French, English, and a made-up language called “Melodese” – voice – a combination of sweet girlishness and continental sophistication – and songs provided by Parisian Melody Prochet, both Prochet and Parker contributing instrumentation, and Parker assuming production and mixing roles, the record is a shining, staticy, psychedelic swirl that sounds indelibly retro yet thoroughly modern at the same time.

Those who’ve found love in Lonerism‘s otherworldly textures should find Melody’s Echo Chamber a worthy companion piece and those who found Parker’s opus unsatisfying – that’s my hand in the air, there – shouldn’t discount it as more of the same because it’s different enough to stand on its own, and Prochet’s voice should be able to convince even the most skeptical. I’m sorry I missed her live Toronto debut last Fall when they opened up for The Raveonettes, but am hopeful that they’ll be here again this year – perhaps opening up for Tame Impala’s Spring tour? It would just kind of make sense.

Drowned In Sound, The Line Of Best Fit and Under The Radar both have extensive feature pieces on Prochet and the creative process behind Melody’s Echo Chamber. Bowlegs also has an interview.

Stream: Melody’s Echo Chamber – “Crystallized”
Video: Melody’s Echo Chamber – “You Won’t Be Missing That Part Of Me”
Video: Melody’s Echo Chamber – “I Follow You”

The first video from the new Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds album Push The Sky Away, out February 19. Know what’s odd? I still can’t figure out who’s releasing this in North America. I do know that they’re at Massey Hall on March 23, though, so there’s that.

Video: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – “We No Who U R”

A new song from Shugo Tokumaru’s new album In Focus? is available to stream. It’s out February 22.

Stream: Shugo Tokumaru – “Katachi”

A new track from the forthcoming Shout Out Louds album Optica has debuted to stream over at The Line Of Best Fit. The album is out February 26 and they play The Opera House on May 14.

Stream: Shout Out Louds – “Walking In Your Footsteps”

What happens when you give Jens Lekman’s keyboard player a ride from New York to Boston post-Hurricane Sandy so he can catch up with the rest of the band on tour? He writes you a song. And shares it with the world. Congratulations, Olivia and Maddy, you have eleven minutes and eighteen seconds of fame left.

MP3: Jens Lekman – “Olivia & Maddy”

Wears The Trousers and MXDWN talk to Victoria Bergsman of Taken By Trees.

The Village Voice interviews Malin Dahlström of Niki & The Dove; they’re in town at Wrongbar on January 16.

NPR is streaming the whole of Somewhere Else, the debut from Denmark’s Søen Løkke Juul as Indians. The album is out January 29 and they play The Drake on March 4.

MP3: Indians – “Cakelakers”
Stream: Indians / Somewhere Else

Iceage have offered a song from their new album You’re Nothing, out on February 19. They also announced a North American tour but while there’s no Toronto date at the moment, that four-day gap between Pittsburgh and Vermont is a bit conspicuous. Just saying.

MP3: Iceage – “Coalition”

Filter interviews Björk.

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

Love's Taking Strange Ways

The Mary Onettes: Same lousy name, shiny new sound

Photo via LabradorLabradorAs predisposed as I am towards things Swedish, melancholic, and anthemic, it took me a little bit to warm to Jönköping’s Mary Onettes because, well, their name is pretty awful; thankfully, their music is most definitely not. Their 2009 album Islands was a glorious thing, all Cure-meets-Bunnymen ’80s romantic angst in stadium dress. And as happy as I’d have been to have more of the same, the band has other ideas.

Their Love Forever EP released back in February made public the first fruits of their sessions with Swedish über-producer Dan Lissvik, probably best known in these parts for helping make Shapeshifter a game-changing record for Montreal’s Young Galaxy. While it doesn’t sound as though he’s been as transformative with The Mary Onettes, Lissvik’s fingerprints are clearly audible from the distinctive gleam about each sonic element – it doesn’t sound so much like the ’80s as what the ’80s thought the future might sound like.

Love Forever did fine as a teaser, and we won’t have to wait long for the main feature. Their third album Hit The Waves will be released on March 12 and a track from it has been made available to stream. Give it a listen below, along with the Love Forever material, and get anxious.

MP3: The Mary Onettes – “Love’s Taking Strange Ways”
Stream: The Mary Onettes – “Evil Coast”
Stream: The Mary Onettes / Love Forever

Correctly interpreting their sold-out show at The Drake in October as demand, Niki & The Dove are responding with supply via a North American tour that brings them back for a show at Wrongbar on January 16, tickets $15 in advance. There’s also a feature interview at Filter.

MP3: Niki & The Dove – “Tomorrow”

NPR has a video session with Jens Lekman, who also chats with The Phoenix New Times and The Dallas Observer.

Culture Fly has an interview with Amanda Mair.

Icona Pop have released a new video from their self-titled debut, out now in Sweden and sometime next year in the rest of the world. They’re also interviewed by The Daily Beast and Buzzine, and will be at The Kool Haus on December 1 opening up for Marina & The Diamonds.

Video: Icona Pop – “We Got The World”

Matador has announced the signing of Danish post-punk young’ns Iceage. Their as-yet untitled second album will be out on February 19.

The Line Of Best Fit has an interview with Björk.

Sigur Rós are almost done with their Valtari Mystery Film Experient – this “Varúð” clip is the second-last one, and the final one should be out before they’re screened in film form in a couple weeks including December 8 at The Bloor. They play The Air Canada Centre on March 30.

Video: Sigur Rós – “Varúð”

Bowery Presents got Of Monsters & Men to perform an acoustic session on the rooftop of the Music Hall of Williamsburg way back in the Spring. But they’ve only posted it now.

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

Instinct

Niki & The Dove and Moon King at The Drake Underground in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangMaybe it’s because I tend to exist in a very Brit/Scandi/indie-centric music bubble that I figured by the time Niki & The Dove’s first proper North American tour rolled into Toronto, they’d have already been the buzziest thing going; this based on both the power of their performances at Iceland Airwaves last year and at SXSW this Spring, the overall impressiveness of their debut Instinct. So while they did indeed sell out the Drake on Tuesday night, I had expected demand would have moved it to a bigger room, that there’d be people offering to trade their kidneys for ducats on Craigslist, et cetera. Not so. But that’s okay.

I didn’t especially rate them while they were active, but if there comes a day in the not-too-distant future when Spiral Beach are held up as one of those important Toronto bands whose DNA can be found in countless others, I don’t think I’d be surprised. Already the band’s descendants includes Austra and Doldrums, and the for those wondering what former frontwoman Maddy Wilde and drummer Daniel Woodhead have been up to, the evening’s openers Moon King were the answer. But using Spiral Beach as a reference point wouldn’t get you very far, as Wilde has shifted to guitarist and backing vocal duties while Woodhead has stepped out in front of the kit and is now the frontman. Performing as a four-piece with drummer and keyboardist, they put on an impressive set that thanks to Woodhead’s affected feyness and Wilde’s aggressively chorused guitar work, you could reasonably describe as Kevin Barnes fronting a punk rock Cocteau Twins. It’s understandable if you’re unsure that that’s something you’d want to hear, but to my ears it worked quite well. And unlike Spiral Beach, whom I found overly precocious at times, Moon King are happy to indulge their pop instincts and let their talent and inherent eccentricities keep it from getting too obvious. There’s getting to be plenty of “Moon” bands out there, but this one is worth distinguishing and remembering.

You would think that having seen Niki & The Dove twice in the past year would give me a pretty good sense of what to expect from their show, but that was far from the case. This was one of a handful of headlining dates between high-profile support slots for Twin Shadow and Miike Snow, and so they were travelling on the cheap – it was just Malin Dahlström and Gustaf Karlöf, no dancers as in Iceland and not even drummer Magnus Böqvist, who accompanied them in Austin. And also, apparently, no lights. Perplexingly, they took the stage in total darkness and remained so for the first two songs – a curious choice for such a visual band, not that the lack of illumination kept Dahlström from dancing while performing – you could see her vague outline doing so. Eventually a single dim spot was raised and the house could get a reasonable look at the Swedish duo, who certainly didn’t look like they had any reason to be hiding, what with Dahlström donning a fancy headdress and some illuminated LED rings for the occasion.

Speaking of visuals, if someone were to look at their stage setup – a haphazard array of keyboards, sequencers, samplers, and guitar pedals but no acoustic instruments besides a single floor tom and snare drum – they might assume that this was a band that would have to adhere to a rigid show structure; after all, laptops aren’t necessarily the best instruments for live improvisation. They would, however, be wrong. Their set was surprisingly jammy with Karlöf taking his time to build and manipulate layers of synthetic sounds before Dahlström would begin singing, and she herself was more than equipped to at her own electronic workstation to add to the sonic melee. Most songs were extended from their album versions to some degree of live remix, often to the benefit of those in the audience who wanted to groove or dance. “Tomorrow” didn’t fare as well as the most anthemic number in their repertoire should have, sounding all out of time with itself, but I wouldn’t assume that it wasn’t deliberate.

Though they expressed some shyness about their English – which was fine, by the way – the duo were genuinely enthused about being in Toronto and the response they go, not least of all because it allowed them to break out a cover that they said they’d been preparing especially for the occasion – a sweet, low-key reading of Joni Mitchell’s, “A Case Of You”. It was a highlight of the hour-long set which closed with a particularly free-form “Drummer”, and for an encore which I’m not entirely sure they were prepared for but that was demanded, an extended “Gentle Roar”. An auspicious debut and even in the dark, they shone.

The Stool Pigeon also had a foreign correspondent on hand. Houston Press and The Phoenix have interviews with Niki & The Dove.

Photos: Niki & The Dove, Moon King @ The Drake Underground – October 2, 2012
MP3: Niki & The Dove – “Tomorrow”
MP3: Niki & The Dove – “Mother Protect”
MP3: Niki & The Dove – “DJ, Ease My Mind”
MP3: Niki & The Dove – “The Drummer”
MP3: Moon King – “Only Child”
Video: Niki & The Dove – “Dance Floor”
Video: Niki & The Dove – “Tomorrow”
Video: Niki & The Dove – “The Fox”
Video: Niki & The Dove – “DJ Ease My Mind”
Video: Niki & The Dove – “Mother Protect”
Video: Niki & The Dove – “The Drummer”
Video: Moon King – “Only Child”

In preview of tonight’s show at The Phoenix, NOW has an interview with Jens Lekman, who has released a new video from I Know What Love Isn’t.

Video: Jens Lekman – “Become Someone Else’s”

DIY has an interview with Victoria Bergsman of Taken By Trees, who opens up for Lekman tonight.

Norway’s Team Me have released a new video from To The Treetops.

Video: Team Me – “With My Hands Covering Both Of My Eyes I Am Too Scared To Have A Look At You Now”

NPR is streaming Efterklang’s recent New York concert with the Wordless Music Orchestra and The Epoch Times has an interview.

Irish power-pop vets Ash are finally coming back to town as part of a North American tour to mark their twentieth anniversary as a band. They’ll be at Lee’s Palace on November 17.

MP3: Ash – “Burn Baby Burn”

The Skinny, The Quietus, and Spin talk to Natasha Khan of Bat For Lashes about her new record The Haunted Man, due out October 22.

The New Yorker and The Chicago Sun-Times interview Beth Orton.

The Fly has a sit-down with The Vaccines.

The Stool Pigeon and FasterLouder interview Tame Impala about their new album Lonerism, out next Tuesday. They play The Phoenix November 12.