Posts Tagged ‘Of Monsters & Men’

Friday, May 17th, 2013

Stop Taking My Time

This is the new Club 8 record and now I am on holiday

Photo By Kjell B PerssonKjell B PerssonKnow what the worst thing about not going to SXSW this Spring was? Not missing SXSW, but not having my previously annual late-Winter vacation. In fact, save for a weekend jaunt to New York last November, the last time I got out of the 416 was Labour Day – that’s well over eight months ago, and right mental. And while I’d like to say that the European theme of this post is a hint as to where I’m getting away to, it unfortunately is not. I still hope to make it across the Atlantic later this Summer – who wants to go to Stockholm? – but for now, an extra-long weekend getaway to Chicago is going to have to scratch my “get out of EDT” itch. I’ll check back in before next week’s end, but we be going dark for a bit after this. Or after tomorrow, because I have a quick contest to put up. Anyways.

To keep you company – and to build up the Swedish travel karma – you can now stream in whole Above The City, the new near-perfect blend of dancefloor beats and indie-pop moping from Swede-pop veterans Club 8, which is officially out on May 21. And to go along with the stream, the Johan Angergård half of the band talks to Billboard about his and Karolina Komstedt’s first record in three years, the status of his other project The Legends, and what’s coming next from his label Labrador, and over at DIY he offers a track-by-track walkthrough of the record.

Stream: Club 8 / Above The City

With their debut album No One Dances Quite Like My Brothers out now, Copenhagen’s Vår have posted the thing up at Pitchfork for your streaming pleasure.

Stream: Vår / No One Dances Quite Like My Brothers

The Vancouver Sun and The Province interview Icelandic ambassadors Of Monsters & Men, in town at Echo Beach for CBCMusic.ca Fest at Echo Beach on May 25.

Camera Obscura have made another new track from their forthcoming Desire Lines available to stream. The record is out June 4 and they play Garrison Commons for TURF on July 4.

Stream: Camera Obscura – “Fifth In Line To The Throne”

Russell Lissack talks to The Miami New times about new music that Bloc Party might be releasing later this Summer. They play the Arts & Crafts Field Trip fest at Garrison Commons on June 8.

Though of small comfort to those of us who missed out on seeing it in person thanks to the illness that tanked their show during CMF, 4AD has announced they will release a live Efterklang album recorded in Fall 2012 with the Copenhagen Philharmonic. The Piramida Concert will be available as a digital download and vinyl package and be out June 10.

Stream: Efterklang – “The Living Layer + Vælv” (live)

Jónsi þór Birgisson gives Premier Guitar a guided tour of his live guitar rig with Sigur Rós. Their new record Kveikur is out June 18, and they’re on The Simpsons this Sunday night.

Stereogum talks to Bobby Gillespie of Primal Scream, whose new album More Light is out in North America on June 18.

The Los Angeles Times reports that former Belle & Sebastian bassist Stuart David will be writing his memoirs about his time in the band, which started from its very inception – he founded it with Stuart Murdoch in 1996 – through his departure following Fold Your Hands Child, You Walk Like A Peasant in 2000.

aux.tv has a feature-length interview and NPR a video session with Savages, coming to town for a show at The Mod Club on July 16.

Billboard and USA Today check in with the ladies of Icona Pop, coming to town as part of the Grove Fest lineup at Garrison Common on August 3.

Franz Ferdinand have announced the August 27 release of their fourth record, Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action; The Line Of Best Fit has details and Domino has an album trailer, but the important thing is it’s only three more months until people can complain that the new record isn’t as good as their first.

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

Dreamy English folk-pop purveyors Lanterns On The Lake aren’t offering any specifics on their second album besides that it’ll be out later this year, but they have released a first video from it.

Video: Lanterns On The Lake – “Another Tale From Another English Town”

Melody’s Echo Chamber have a new video from last year’s self-titled debut.

Video: Melody’s Echo Chamber – “Some Time Alone, Alone”

The Quietus gets an interview with The Knife.

The Independent profiles Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds.

The Line Of Best Fit grabs Neil Halstead for a video session.

The Line Of Best Fit interviews British Sea Power.

The Province, Seattle Weekly, and The San Francisco Examiner interview Kate Nash.

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

Canadian Musicfest 2013 Day Two

Sóley, Kool Thing, and more at Canadian Musicfest

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangShow cancellations are pretty much part and parcel of the Canadian Musicfest experience, particularly when you’re most keen on the international acts who’ve been duped coerced into playing the fest, but it’s especially disappointing when it’s a) one of the bands you most wanted to see, b) they were one of the very first acts confirmed for the fest in November, and c) it happens just hours before showtime.

But things like lymph node infections do happen, and with Efterklang singer Casper Clausen out of commission, their showcase at The Mod Club with Nightlands was nixed. I should be pleased for the band and their fans that Clausen recovered in time to pick up the tour in Montreal the next night and that Toronto was the only lost date, but I’m not really. So suddenly left with no plans for the evening, I opted for the in-store at Moog Audio presented by Scandiphile sites Nordic By Nature and Swede + Sour – even if I was going to miss out on the Danes, I could still get my Swede/Norwegian/Icelandic musical fix.

Sweden would get a bit of short shrift, unfortunately. Perhaps in keeping with their tight, Krautrock-influenced sound, Malmö’s This Is Head started precisely on time and I was running late, meaning I missed the first half of their set and was only able to take in a song and a half. Thankfully, their songs were pretty long and while their live sound was more of a conventional rock setup than I’d have expected from what I recalled of their 2010 debut 0001, it was still tight and grooving in the right places. I look forward to hearing their second album The Album ID when it gets released in North America later this Spring.

Photos: This Is Head @ Moog Audio – March 21, 2013
Video: This Is Head – “A-B Version”
Video: This Is Head – “De Trop”
Video: This Is Head – “0011”
Video: This Is Head – “0007”

Whatever it is in the water in the nordic countries that produces idiosyncratic female electro-pop artists, Sandra Kolstad has been drinking it. Fronting a three-piece band comprised of two keyboards and a percussionist, she turned in a set of energetic art-pop made of synths and tight, inventive percussion that may not have stood out from other artists doing similar things, but didn’t pale against them either. And while Kolstad was game for getting naked in her latest video, on this evening it was her drummer who stripped down for the appreciation of those who appreciate tall, half-naked, Scandinavian men.

Photos: Sandra Kolstad @ Moog Audio – March 21, 2013
Stream: Sandra Kolstad – “Right Now”
Video: Sandra Kolstad – “Run Away (Where Are We?)”
Video: Sandra Kolstad – “The Well (We Will Change It All”
Video: Sandra Kolstad – “Fire Burn, Blood Flow”
Video: Sandra Kolstad – “Circles (It’s Got Every Little Part Of Me Running In)”

As enjoyable as the other two acts were, it was mainly Sóley whom I was here to see. Though she had a few other sets over the course of the festival, all were in conflict with something else I wanted to see, so if there was a silver lining to Efterklang’s misfortunes, it was this. For me, at least. Her 2011 album We Sink has been doing regular duty in evoking reminiscences of Iceland for me, and listening to her recreate those songs live I found myself trying to decide if her delicate electro-folk sounded more like a fairy sporting a cybernetic exoskeleton or a space station overrun by moss and trees. With the sound of her layered vocals slowly permeating the room like ghostly echoes, Sóley was understatedly presented, yet sonically perfect. The National Post has an interview with Sóley Stefánsdóttir.

Photos: Sóley @ Moog Audio – March 21, 2013
MP3: Sóley – “Pretty Face”
MP3: Sóley – “Blue Leaves”
Video: Sóley – “I’ll Drown”
Video: Sóley – “Pretty Face”
Video: Sóley – “Smashed Birds”
Video: Sóley – “Blue Leaves”

The in-store complete, I engaged in the only club-hopping I’d do for the festival and hoofed it over to The Drake Underground to catch Irish-German outfit Kool Thing. As it turns out, I didn’t need to rush as their start time was delayed by some manner of broken gear – it’s never a good sign when everyone in the band are standing around, staring down at a single piece of equipment, talking. They eventually got underway, though, and I spent most of their abbreviated set trying to remember why I had wanted to see the duo of Jon Dark and Julie Chance (plus drummer) in the first place. This isn’t to say their faintly electro-goth sound wasn’t alright – their voices blended well and the guitar-keys recipe yielded some nice atmosphere – but it felt played out and obvious. A full set may have allowed them to better demonstrate what they could do, but that wasn’t in the cards this night. And with that, I was home just before – in a perfect world – Efterklang’s set would have begun. Sigh.

Photos: Kool Thing @ The Drake Underground – March 21, 2013
Stream: Kool Thing – “TV Tower”
Video: Kool Thing – “PLAN.LIFE.GO”
Video: Kool Thing – “Light Games”
Video: Kool Thing – “The Sign”

Sigur Rós have added some extra context to the North American tour which brings them to the Air Canada Centre on March 30; instead of a second tour in support of last year’s ambient Valtari, it’s now a pre-release tour in support of their next album, the much heavier Kveikur, due out June 18. Pitchfork has details on the release and the first video from the album can be watched below.

Video: Sigur Rós – “Brennisteinn”

The Guardian and Billboard talk to The Knife about their new record Shaking The Habitual, due out April 9.

April 9 will also be the release date for the soundtrack from the new Tom Cruise vehicle Oblivion, which is only noteworthy in that M83 is doing the score. Pitchfork is streaming the theme song from the film, featuring Norwegian singer Susanne Sundfør.

Stream: M83 featuring Susanne Sundfør – “Oblivion”

The Fly has an interview with Junip, who’ve made a new track from their forthcoming self-titled album, out April 23, available to download. They’ll be at The Great Hall on June 10.

MP3: Junip – “Your Life Your Call”

Swedish pop veterans Club 8 have made the first track from their forthcoming album Above The City available to download. It’s out May 21.

Stream: Club 8 – “Stop Taking My Time”

The Line Of Best Fit has a video session with Of Monsters & Men. They co-headline the CBC Music Festival at Echo Beach on May 25.

Totally Stockholm interviews Elliphant, in town June 7 at The Phoenix opening up for Twin Shadow.

Exclaim and Filter talk to Iceage, coming to Toronto for NXNE on June 15 and 16.

And just because this week’s roundup of concert announcements got pushed down to second-billing to the CMW writeup, don’t think that means that nothing good was revealed. For instance – Memory Tapes will be bring last year’s Grace/Confusion to Wrongbar on April 11. Tickets for that will be $12 in advance.

MP3: Memory Tapes – “Sheila”

Austin’s Pure X – specialists in doing it slow and dreamy – will be at The Silver Dollar on May 7 as part of a North American tour in support of their new album Crawling up the Stairs, out May 14. Tickets for the show are $12.50 in advance.

MP3: Pure X – “Someone Else”
MP3: Pure X – “Things In My Head”

Los Angeles trio Sir Sly – whom I’m not going to pretend I know much about but who seemed to emerge from SXSW as one of the talked-about acts – will be in town at Wrongbar on May 14 as part of a Spring tour. Tickets for that are $10.

MP3: Sir Sly – “Ghost”

Portland’s Thermals have announced the dates for their Spring tour in support of Desperate Ground via Stereogum, and also debuted the first video from the album, out April 16. Look for them at The Horseshoe on May 21, tickets $15.

MP3: The Thermals – “Now We Can See”
Video: The Thermals – “Born To Kill”

British folk sister act The Staves will be at The Great Hall on May 23, presumably as part of a tour in support of the North American release of their debut Dead & Born & Grown, out this month. Tickets for the show are $14.50. Hit Fix, Blogcritics, and examiner.com have interviews with the Staveley-Taylor sisters.

Video: The Staves – “Facing West”

Jonathan Richman, who continues to not have anything resembling an official internet presence in 2013, will be doing things in meatspace at The Great Hall on June 5 and 6.

Stream: Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers – “Roadrunner”

If you were thinking CHVRCHES were just here, you were right. But they’re coming back as part of a Summer tour, and while the June 12 date at The Hoxton may make you think it’s a NXNE show, so far there are no indications that it is – so maybe pony up the $16 for a ticket instead of waving your wristband around. And while that show is still months ahead of their debut album’s release in September, their Recover EP is out now and streaming over at Pitchfork.

MP3: CHVRCHES – “The Mother We Share”
Stream: CHVRCHES / Recover

What IS part of NXNE – and still venue-less at the time of writing – is the June 14 return of Still Corners, whose new album Strange Pleasures will be out May 7.

MP3: Still Corners – “Fireflies”

Space-surf pioneers Man Or Astro-man? are hitting the road and have made a date at Lee’s Palace for June 17, tickets $17.50.

Video: Man Or Astro-Man? – “Spferic Waves”

Darkwavers Cold Cave haven’t said specifically when their new EP Oceans With No End will be coming out, but presumably it’ll be around the time they roll their Summer tour into the Shop Under Parts & Labour – June 26. But Cold Cave isn’t the only thing that Wes Eisold has on the go – his old hardcore band American Nightmare is getting back into action and according to this Exclaim piece, one of the two reunion shows confirmed so far will be on June 6 in Toronto at a venue to be announced The Phoenix.

MP3: Cold Cave – “The Great Pan Is Dead”

And this week’s Toronto Urban Roots Fest additions come from near and far – the (relatively) near being Toronto’s own The Wooden Sky and Nova Scotia’s Matt Mays & El Torpedo, and the absolutely far being Australians The Cat Empire and Xavier Rudd. Early-bird deals on multi-day tickets end tonight at 10PM, and single-day tickets go on sale this Thursday; the day-by-day breakdown is on their schedule.

MP3: The Wooden Sky – “Angelina”
Video: The Cat Empire – “Brighter Than Gold”
Video: Xavier Rudd – “Bow Down”
Video: Matt Mays – “Take It On Faith”

Tuesday, March 12th, 2013

Welcome to My World

Depeche Mode announce North American tour to show off new album, sunglasses

Photo via FacebookFacebookMost bands of a certain vintage these days have at least one of a break-up, extended hiatus, reunion, core lineup turnover, artistic irrelevance, diminishing fanbase, or becoming a nostalgia act in their narrative. Depeche Mode, however, largely bucks that trend. At it – it being one of the most influential electronic/alternative bands going – for more than three decades now, their output may have slowed a bit following their opening pace of six albums in seven years, but since 1987’s massive Music For The Masses, they’ve kept a remarkably steady cycle of releasing a new record every three or four years – all critically well-received – with attendant world tours of impressively consistent (large) scale. And the core trio of Dave Gahan, Martin Gore, and Andy Fletcher has stayed intact since the departure of Alan Wilder in 1995.

All of which is to say that no one should be at all surprised that following last Autumn’s announcement of their thirteenth studio album Delta Machine, due out March 26, and corresponding Spring European dates, that there would be a North American tour to follow in the Fall. Not that fans shouldn’t be excited that the band are returning for their first dates on this side of the pond since 2009; Pitchfork has the full itinerary, which includes a return to the Molson Amphitheatre on September 1. Ticketing info is appropriately confusing, but even though the public onsale is officially April 4, there is a plethora of presale options to try and make sense of. So I leave you to that.

Exclaim talks to Andy Fletcher and Billboard to Dave Gahan about the new record, and the first single has a video to go with it.

Video: Depeche Mode – “Heaven”

If I’d waited a few days to post my writeup of Rachel Zeffira’s debut album The Deserters – out today – then I could have included the fact that she’ll be playing a show at The Drake Underground on May 2, tickets $15.50, but no – now I have to make a separate item for it. Alas.

Video: Rachel Zeffira – “The Deserters”

London-based dramatists The Veils have announced a North American tour in support of their new record Time Stays, We Go, due out on April 23. Look for them at The Drake Underground on May 4, tickets $15.

MP3: The Veils – “The Wishbone”
Stream: The Veils – “Through The Deep Dark Wood”

Having reaped the benefits of being on one of the most stacked buzz bills of the year a couple weeks ago with Unknown Mortal Orchestra and Wampire, Los Angeles’ Foxygen have already made a return date in support of their debut We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors Of Peace And Magic – they’re at Wrongbar again on May 9. The Oklahoman has a feature piece.

MP3: Foxygen – “Waitin’ 4 U”

Flying Lotus has announced another leg of touring behind last year’s Until The Quiet Comes; see him at The Sound Academy on May 15. Tickets for that will run $24.

MP3: Flying Lotus – “Between Friends”
MP3: Flying Lotus – “Such A Square”

While the “TBA” Of Monsters & Men date revealed earlier this month clearly hinted at being part of something bigger, it didn’t tip off that they’d be the sole international act on the bill for the inaugural CBCMusic.ca Festival, happening May 25 at Echo Beach. They’ll co-headline with The Sam Roberts Band, and be joined by Kathleen Edwards, Sloan, and a pile more CBC-approved Canadian artists; your tax dollars at work! Tickets are $59.50 and go on sale Saturday. So continue to complain, if you will, about the absence of a top-tier music festival in the GTA but don’t say you don’t have ample options for standing around all day in the sun watching a bunch of bands play short sets.

MP3: Of Monsters & Men – “Little Talks”
MP3: Sloan – “The Answer Was You”
Video: Sam Roberts – “Bridge To Nowhere”
Video: Kathleen Edwards – “Chameleon/Comedian”

Jose Gonzalez-led Swedes Junip have announced a North American tour in support of their self-titled new record, due out April 22. Look for them at The Great Hall on June 10, tickets $16.50. The first single from the record is also now available to download courtesy of Boing Boing.

MP3: Junip – “Line Of Fire”

That same night – June 10, if you don’t read these posts sequentially – San Francisco dance-punk unpronounceables !!! will be down the street at The Horseshoe, tickets also $16.50. They were here last July, yes, but this time they’ll have a new record in the wonderfully-titled Thr!!!er to push; it’s out April 30.

MP3: !!! – “Hello? Is This Thing On?”

If you were wondering who the big hip-hop NXNE closing act this year was going to be, wonder no more – Big Boi will play the free, Sunday night show at Yonge-Dundas Square on June 16 this year as part of his “Shoes For Running” tour with Killer Mike.

MP3: Killer Mike – “Go!”
Video: Big Boi – “In The A”

Alabama Shakes have done gone put together a Summer tour which brings them to Echo Beach on June 20, tickets for which are $37.50 in advance.

MP3: Alabama Shakes – “You Ain’t Alone”
MP3: Alabama Shakes – “Hold On”

And in this week’s Toronto Urban Roots Fest lineup additions, we’ve got Kurt Vile & The Violators, with Vile’s new record Walkin’ On A Pretty Daze due out April 9. Alejandro Escovedo & The Sensitive Boys in support of last year’s Big Station, The Felice Brothers still working 2011’s Celebration, Florida, and our very own Sadies, because it’s not physically possible to erect a stage anywhere in the 416 without The Sadies showing up to play it within 48 hours. It’s like boxes and cats. And with that, we’ve got almost 2/3 of the complete lineup announced – theoretically enough to convince people to buy a four-day pass? Those go on sale this Thursday at 1PM, with general admission passes going for $99.50 and VIP passes $299.50.

MP3: Kurt Vile – “In My Time”
MP3: The Sadies – “Another Year Again”
Video: The Felice Brothers – “Celebration, Florida”
Video: Alejandro Escovedo – “Sally Was A Cop” (live)

If you were one of those disappointed by the abrupt cancellation of Animal Collective’s show at The Danforth Music Hall last Saturday night – attributed to a “sudden illness” that also claimed the next four shows, know that a make-up date has already been announced – your tickets are good for the new show on July 9, same venue, and if you can’t make it you can get a refund at the point of purchase.

MP3: Animal Collective – “Peacebone”
MP3: Animal Collective – “Water Curses”

And I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that Montreal’s Osheaga announced this year’s lineup last night, both for Torontonians who might want to make the road trip up the 401 the weekend of August 2 to 4 for Canada’s only top-tier outdoor festival, and for people engaged in the noble sport of Lollapalooza-spotting, since the two fests traditionally share a goodly percentage of their lineups. Headlining this year are The Cure and Mumford & Sons, New Order, and Phoenix, followed by a solid lineup of usual suspects for the season. Some of the acts are already making an area stop at The Grove Fest in Niagara-On-The-Lake on August 3, but I’m hoping some of the others have a Toronto date on their itinerary between Montreal and Chicago. The Cure, in particular, I’ve never seen live and I wouldn’t mind getting the opportunity to rectify that – I expect a Molson Amphitheatre date would make sense?

Monday, March 4th, 2013

The Archer Trilogy

The Deer Tracks at The Silver Dollar in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangThe nice thing about having written about Swedish duo The Deer Tracks at length over over the past ten months is that rather than bother with any preamble, I can just point you to those past pieces and get right to it. I honestly hadn’t expected them to return to town so soon after NXNE last year, not because they didn’t want to but because of the economic realities of small international acts trying to tour this continent. But with the final instalment of their Archer Trilogy just out and an appearance at SXSW confirmed, they put together a massive tour that brought them back to Toronto for a show at The Silver Dollar on Thursday night.

As with last time, the core duo of David Lehnberg and Elin Lindfors were augmented live by a drummer and keyboardist, and the band as a unit were able to introduce a new dimension of improvisation and urgency to the songs while maintaining the drum-tight arrangements of the electronically-inclined recorded versions. Unlike last Summer, Lehnberg left the guitar at home this time out and played exclusively keys, with Lindfors playing more musical saw along with her melodica, glockenspiel, and percussion duties. And oh yes, they both sang – beautifully, emotively, and with a commitment to the performance and material that you don’t realize is rare until you actually witness it for real.

Their set, a cherry-picked condensed version of the whole of The Archer Trilogy yet still feeling remarkably cohesive with a definite arc, clocked in at under an hour – considerably more than we got at their NXNE showcase, but still feeling too short. In some perfect world, there would be the opportunity to see them perform their Trilogy front to back with the sort of production and presentation you know that Lehnberg and Lindfors see in their mind’s eye, but for now I will be thankful they’ve come around as much as they have and hope it happens again.

The Deer Tracks just released a new video from The Archer Trilogy, Pt. 3 for “Divine Light”.

Photos: The Deer Tracks @ The Silver Dollar – February 28, 2013
MP3: The Deer Tracks – “Bucket Of Sunbeams”
MP3: The Deer Tracks – “W”
MP3: The Deer Tracks – “Okta Crash”
MP3: The Deer Tracks – “Dark Passenger”
Video: The Deer Tracks – “Divine Light”
Video: The Deer Tracks – “Lazarus”
Video: The Deer Tracks – “Bucket Of Sunbeams”
Video: The Deer Tracks – “Meant To Be”
Video: The Deer Tracks – “Tiger”
Video: The Deer Tracks – “Fall With Me”
Video: The Deer Tracks – “Fra Ro Raa / Ro Ra Fraa”
Video: The Deer Tracks – “Ram Ram”
Video: The Deer Tracks – “Slow Collision”
Video: The Deer Tracks – “12sxfrya”

The Chicago Tribune talks to Søen Løkke Juul of Indians, performing tonight at The Drake Underground.

PopMatters goes all in on The Mary Onettes, offering an interview with the band and a stream of their new album Hit The Waves ahead of its March 19 release date. The Quietus has a track-by-track walkthrough of the album by the band.

Stream: The Mary Onettes / Hit The Waves

There’s a fair bit of interesting Scandinavian representation at this year’s Canadian Musicfest, but frustratingly a lot of it is in scheduling conflict with other things I want to see. Happily, Queen West music shop Moog Audio is throwing their hat in the festival in-store ring by hosting, in conjunction with Nordic By Nature and Swede + Sour, a triple-bill featuring Iceland’s Sóley, Norway’s Sandra Kolstad, and Sweden’s This Is Head, on the evening of March 21 from 6:30PM to 8:00PM. And then you can zip up to The Mod Club to see Efterklang and complete your Nordic band bingo card. Or maybe that should be “bíngö”. Also, note that the Kolstad video is tastefully but definitely NSFW.

Video: Sóley – “Pretty Face”
Video: Sandra Kolstad – “Run Away (Where Are We?)”
Video: This Is Head – “Version A-B”

And speaking of Efterklang, NPR has a piece on the band and how they turned an abandoned Russian town into their studio for Piramida. As mentioned, they headline The Mod Club on March 21 for Canadian Musicfest.

The Straits Times and Echoes & Dust talk to Ólafur Arnalds about his new record For Now I Am Winter, out in North America on April 2.

The Oxford Times have an interview with Nanna BryndĂ­s Hilmarsd&ocaute;ttir of Of Monsters & Men, who are back in town on May 25 as part of a massive North American tour. The venue and ticket details are still to come, and maybe it’s wishful think, but the way the “TBA” is phrased, I get the sense that their show is part of something bigger. HMM.

MP3: Of Monsters & Men – “Little Talks”

Vice and Drowned In Sound talk to Copenhagen’s Iceage, who will be in town for NXNE this year for at least a couple shows on June 15 and 16.

And while it’s pure speculation at this point, it’s hard not to look at this and then this, consider this and figure that even if she stops to do some antiquing, Björk will have more than enough time in those six days to make her first visit to Toronto since this. Or at least one would hope.

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”