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Posts Tagged ‘Polly Scattergood’

Thursday, October 17th, 2013

Rock Steady

Review of Trans’ Red

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Video: Kate Nash – “Fri-End?”

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

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

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

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

Video: Frank Turner – “Oh Brother”

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

Stream: Toy – “Join The Dots”

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

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

Video: Travis – “Mother”

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

Video: Summer Camp – “Two Chords”

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

Video: British Sea Power – “Monsters Of Sunderland”

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

Video: Little Boots – “Shake”

Boiler Room has a video session with CHVRCHES.

Under The Radar and FasterLouder talk to London Grammar.

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

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

Stream: Veronica Falls – “Nobody There”

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

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

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

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

Video: Elliphant – “Could It Be”

WNYC welcomes Icelandic composer Ólafur Arnalds for a session.

Wired talks music and technology with Björk.

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

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

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

Metal & Dust

Review of London Grammar’s If You Wait

Photo By Paolo ZerbiniPaolo ZerbiniI’m sure it’s purely coincidence, but it’s a hell of one that the title of If You Wait, the 2013 debut from London Grammar, is but one word apart from If You Leave, the 2013 debut Daughter. After all, both are London-based, female-fronted three-pieces with atmospheric aesthetics, singular vocal signatures, and who plumb the depths of the heart’s frailties for lyrical inspiration.

But while they occupy a similar space, London Grammar stake out their own territory. A ways away from Elena Tonra’s wistful sigh of a voice, Hannah Reid’s rich, husky alto is clearly a powerful instrument akin to Florence Welch’s but rather than use it to blow the doors off, she keeps it set on a deep and steady soul-infused smoulder that expresses her wounded sentiments in rich tones. The musical accompaniment, built largely around guitar and piano, is sparse by default but more than able to swell for effect and works well in adding to the twilight ambience. One does wish that Dan Rothman’s lines and style – palm-muted and echoed – was a little less xx-marks-the-spot, but there’s no arguing its effectiveness in this context.

If there’s a complaint to be made about If You Wait, it’s in that the London Grammar aesthetic is a little too defined and consistently applied and over the course of the record starts feeling a bit monochromatic. It feels like a photograph of something beautiful, viewable from a single angle, than a living, breathing thing – more than acceptable for now, but a limitation they’ll have to transcend sooner rather than later.

NME reports that If You Wait is presently the odds-on favourite to win the Mercury Prize, the shortlist of which will be announced tomorrow and whose winner will be announced October 30. The West Australian and The Guardian have feature pieces on London Grammar and The Line Of Best Fit has a video of their covering La Roux for BBC’s Live Lounge. If You Wait is out today, September 10, and their inaugural North American tour brings them to Toronto for a show at The Great Hall on October 4.

Video: London Grammar – “Strong”
Video: London Grammar – “Wasting My Young Years”

The Guardian has a stream of Summer Camp’s second self-titled album, out now, while The Fly has a feature piece on the duo and Noisey gets them to go through and comment on their old photo albums.

Stream: Summer Camp / Summer Camp

Interview, Spin, The Telegraph, Tone Deaf, and The Fly mark today’s release of Arctic Monkeys’ AM with feature interviews; they play The Kool Haus on September 15.

DIY and vita.mn talk to CHVRCHES as the September 24 release date of their debut The Bones Of What You Believe draws near; but first they play The Danforth Music Hall on September 15.

NPR is streaming the new Elvis Costello/Roots collaboration Wise Up Ghost ahead of its September 17 release date.

Stream: Elvis Costello with The Roots / Wise Up Ghost

Peter Hook updates The Hollywood Reporter on the attempts to take possession of those Joy Division/New Order master tapes rescued from the trash recently. And as you can assume from the word “attempts”, they’re not going well. Hook plays The Hoxton on September 18.

Pitchfork has got a stream of another new track from Laura Groves, nee Blue Roses, taken from her new EP Thinking About Thinking, due out September 30.

Stream: Laura Groves – “Pale Shadows”

Yuck has released an in-studio video of them getting their New Order on; their second album Glow & Behold comes out September 30.

Video: Yuck – “Age Of Consent”

Frightened Rabbit play a video session for The Line Of Best Fit from a pirate ship at the End Of The Road festival; they are at The Kool Haus on October 21.

The 405 talks to Polly Scattergood, who has released a new video from her second album Arrows, originally set for a June release but now locked in to an October 21 street date.

Video: Polly Scattergood – “Cocoon”

MTV Hive has an interview and NPR a World Cafe session with Franz Ferdinand, who’ve just put out a new video from Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action; they play The Kool Haus October 24.

Video: Franz Ferdinand – “Evil Eye”

Though still coy about details of a new album, The High Wire have made another new song available to download.

MP3: The High Wire – “The Thames & The Tide”

The xx tell NME they’re already at work on album number three.

Little Boots has released a new video from Nocturnes.

Video: Little Boots – “Satellite”

NME and Billboard talk to Billy Bragg about being recognized for his “outstanding contribution to music” by the UK’s Association of Independent Music.

The Guardian talks to James Allan of Glasvegas.

God Is In The TV has an interview with Chris Olley of Six By Seven.

The Wedding Present are streaming a new single which will be available for sale as a 7″ on their upcoming UK tour.

Stream: The Wedding Present – “Two Bridges”

NPR marks the 20th anniversary of Britpop with a playlist of the scene’s best.

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

A Ton Of Love

Editors done editing new record and lineup, hope Love is worth the Weight

Photo By Matt SpaldingMatt SpaldingAt the risk of being overly literal, it probably goes without saying that a band called Editors would hardly be averse to making changes. But the Birmingham band’s decision to push synthesizers to the fore on their third album, 2009’s In This Light And On This Evening, might have been a little more stylistic revision than they or their fans bargained for. It didn’t fare nearly as well, commercially-speaking, as either of its predecessors – fans apparently preferred them when they were aping Joy Division rather than New Order, even if their instincts for all things dramatic and anthemic remained intact and Tom Smith sounded as overwrought and faintly ridiculous as ever – and when the dust settled founding guitarist Chris Urbanowicz had left the band.

So while it may have taken a little while longer than usual to regroup, the band have done just that – they’re now a five-piece – and will release their fourth album The Weight Of Your Love on July 1 in the UK. They’ve made the first single available to preview by way of a video, and it certainly seems to indicate a return to a guitar-based sound – mayhap Urbanowicz’s issues with their creative direction weren’t what you might expect – as well as an increased appreciation for all things U2. Altsounds sums up the press release for the new record and DIY has an in-studio chat with the band about the new record.

Video: Editors – “A Ton Of Love”

The Guardian has an extensive feature interview with Savages, whose debut Silence Yourself is out this week.

The Huffington Post, Boston Globe, and Bullett mark the release of Little Boots’ second album Nocturnes today with feature interviews.

Noah & The Whale are profiled by The Guardian, The Independent, and The Boar on the occasion of the release of their new record Heart Of Nowhere this week.

A Heart Is A Spade, Junkee, and MusicFeeds chat with Charli XCX, in town at Echo Beach on May 23 supporting Marina & The Diamonds.

Laura Marling has released the first video from new album Once I Was An Eagle, which will be released on May 28. She plays 99 Sudbury in Toronto on May 25.

Video: Laura Marling – “Master Hunter”

DIY talks to Bobby Gillespie of Primal Scream. Their new record More Light is out this week in the UK and on June 18 in North America.

Quip Q&As Polly Scattergood about her new record Arrows, out June 18.

Buzzfeed has a sit-down with Stuart Murdoch about Belle & Sebastian and his God Help The Girl feature film. They will close out the final night of the Toronto Urban Roots Fest on July 7 at Garrison Commons.

Pitchfork has a stream of a new song from Sky Larkin, who have an as-yet untitled album done and ready for release later this Summer.

Stream: Sky Larkin – “Motto”

Spin finds out what Yuck are up to now that frontman Daniel Blumberg has left the band and is now operating under the name Hebronix. Their second album is due out in the Fall and the first Hebronix album – Unreal – is out July 9; you can stream the title track below.

Stream: Hebronix – “Unreal”

MTV Hive checks in with Dev Hynes about getting back to business as Blood Orange; a second album is hopefully coming this year but with all the other projects on the go that Hynes mentioned, holding one’s breath isn’t necessarily recommended.

Under The Radar and Rolling Stone have interviews with Johnny Marr about his solo work, while The Daily Mail talks to him about the 30th anniversary of The Smiths and specifically, the writing of their first single “Hand In Glove”. Marr marked the anniversary in a way at a recent New York show, staging a half-reunion when Smiths bassist Andy Rourke joined him onstage for the show-closing “How Soon Is Now”.

The Fly has a video session with Veronica Falls.

State and entertainment.ie interview British Sea Power.

Billboard has an interview and NPR a World Cafe session with Billy Bragg.

Exclaim has a feature interview with James Blake.

The Line Of Best Fit is streaming a re-recorded, full band-boasting version of a track from Neil Halstead’s 2012 album Palindrome Hunches. It sounds great, but would probably sound better slowed down, drenched in reverb and delay, and with Rachel Goswell singing harmonies.

Stream: Neil Halstead – “Spin The Bottle”

DIY reports that Damon Albarn told a Hong Kong audience that, having had shows in Japan this week postponed, Blur will while away the time in Hong Kong by trying to record a new album. Which is encouraging, because it’s one thing to bait nosy journalists, but unsolicited declarations to thousands of fans is quite another.

So ever since I posted this five years ago, I’ve periodically tried to find out what British singer-songwriter Candie Payne has been up to, looking for either word of a follow-up to I Wish I Could Have Loved You More or confirmation that she’s retired so that I can stop trying to find out what she’s been up to. As it turns out, she’s formed a band called The Big House with a former member of The Zutons and has been working on some of that boy-girl Californian country-pop stuff that the kids are all about these days. Still not a whole lot to show for it, but at least it’s something.

Video: The Big House – “Canyon Home In The Sun”
Video: Candie Payne – “One More Chance”

Monday, April 29th, 2013

The Messenger

Johnny Marr at The Phoenix in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangFor the better part of the past 20 years, I’ve kept with me a copy of the January, 1990 issue of Guitar Player, the cover of which features a too-cool black-and-white photo of Johnny Marr under the title of “Anti-Guitar Hero”. It’s the image and epithet that I think of first when I think of Marr, along with the phrase “consummate sideman”, who in addition to being the true genius behind The Smiths, has lent his guitar and songwriting skills to The Pretenders, The The, Electronic, Modest Mouse, and The Cribs to name just his official affiliations – his list of guest appearances runs much longer and his overall CV is beyond reproach.

So The Messenger, this year’s solo debut under his own name – despite the fact that no one bought 2003’s Boomslang, credited to Marr and The Healers, because it was a new Zak Starkey record – really didn’t have to prove anything, except maybe that it was better than Boomslang. And it is by a fair distance. Marr is a capable singer – not as distinctive a personality as his past collaborators, but strong enough to carry a tune, particularly when backed with his characteristically brilliant guitarwork, which has found an ideal balance between his jangly past and the heavier, riffier sounds of his more recent work. But the best thing about The Messenger is that it’s given Marr an excuse to stage a full North American tour – not such the logistical feat since he’s lived in Portland the last few years – and sell out The Phoenix on Saturday night. And while I’d technically seen Marr in 2008 as part of Modest Mouse and again in January 2011 circa his tenure in The Cribs, there was still a special feeling about this one, what with it being his first visit as Johnny Marr and doing explicitly Johnny Marr things.

Marr took the stage sharply-dressed and looking much younger than his 49 years – how is he so spry when barely-older Morrissey is literally falling apart? – as he led a new version of The Healers through Messenger opener “The Right Thing Right”, but immediately followed it, as if to answer the unspoken question from those who’d not bothered to look at set lists from this tour, with “Stop Me If You Think You’ve Heard This One Before”. Yes indeed, The Smiths songbook was open – and Electronic as well, as “Forbidden City” a few songs in would signal – and damned if Marr didn’t sound great singing it.

His relatively anonymous vocals were a great advantage here as he didn’t try to ape the Moz’s (and Bernard Sumner’s) delivery but was still able to sound like he’d been singing these songs all his life. And while I’ve never seen Morrissey live, I’m going to bet that his backing band can’t close to playing Marr’s guitar parts – as much a part of the Smiths magic as anything Morrissey contributed – as well as the man himself. Indeed, all of the Smiths songs in the set sounded better than anyone could have hoped, with Marr injecting each of “There Is A Light That Never Goes Out”, “Bigmouth Strikes Again”, and “The Queen Is Dead” with a some serious rock adrenaline and making them feel more alive than they have in nigh on 30 years.

And for a man who is arguably one of the architects of modern guitar pop, Marr was all about the rock. Anti-guitar hero he might be, but he had some choice guitar hero moves, and while he was friendly and chatty from the stage, he still carried himself like a bona fide rock star. The pace of the set didn’t slow one iota until almost an hour into the set with the relatively more moderately-paced “Say Demense”. Of course, that went straight back into a ripping “Bigmouth” so it barely counted as a lull.

When he returned for the encore, Marr had traded his moddish tweed jacket and button-down shirt for a bright red “Johnny Fucking Marr” t-shirt, and though it’s basically unwearable in public, I’m pretty sure he sold at least a couple dozen of them right then and there. He then called local boy Kevin Drew to the stage, citing Broken Social Scene’s You Forgot It In People as one of his inspirations for re-engaging with popular music some years ago, and traded vocals with him on a cover of “I Fought The Law”. It was then back into the archives for a reading of Electronic’s “Getting Away With It” and, finally – brilliantly – “How Soon Is Now”. For nigh on 90 minutes, Johnny Marr affirmed why he’s a legend and while with all his projects, he’s never really gone away, how amazing it is to have him back, simultaneously and fully embracing both his past and future.

The Toronto Sun and National Post also have reviews of the show. Vulture, Washington City Paper, The Oakland Press, The Detroit Free Press, and MTV Hive all have interviews with Johnny Marr.

Photos: Johnny Marr @ The Phoenix – April 27, 2013
Video: Johnny Marr – “Upstarts”
Video: Johnny Marr – “The Messenger”
Video: Johnny Marr & The Healers – “Down On The Corner”
Video: Johnny Marr & The Healers – “Last Ride”
Video: Electronic – “Late At Night”
Video: Electronic – “Vivid”
Video: Electronic – “For You”
Video: Electronic – “Forbidden City”
Video: Electronic – “Feel Every Beat”
Video: Electronic – “Get The Message”
Video: The Smiths – “Ask” (live)
Video: The Smiths – “I Started Something I Couldn’t Finish”
Video: The Smiths – “Stop Me If You Think You’ve Heard This One Before”
Video: The Smiths – “Girlfriend In A Coma”
Video: The Smiths – “Sheila Take A Bow”
Video: The Smiths – “Shoplifters Of The World Unite”
Video: The Smiths – “Ask”
Video: The Smiths – “Panic”
Video: The Smiths – “The Queen Is Dead”
Video: The Smiths – “The Boy With A Thorn In His Side”
Video: The Smiths – “How Soon Is Now”

With their debut album finally out in North America this week, Rolling Stone has a stream of Daughter’s If You Leave. And just because, you can stream their smouldering cover of the new Daft Punk single, recorded for BBC. Daughter are at The Great Hall on May 7.

Stream: Daughter – “Get Lucky”
Stream: Daughter / If You Leave

James Blake gripes about the music industry to Exclaim. He brings his gripes – er, music – to the Danforth Music Hall on May 4.

DIY and Female First interview Victoria Hesketh of Little Boots. Her new record Nocturnes is out May 7 and The Guardian have posted her new video from it.

Video: Little Boots – “Broken Record”

Drowned In Sound talks to Bobby Gillespie of Primal Scream, whose new album More Light is out May 6 in the UK and June 18 in North America.

The xx are streaming their contribution to the soundtrack of The Great Gatsby. The soundtrack album is out May 7, the film on May 10, and they play Downsview Park on June 6.

Stream: The xx – “Together”

The Guardian talks to Foals. They’re at The Kool Haus on May 11.

The Guardian and Contact Music have interviews with Laura Marling about her forthcoming album Once I Was An Eagle, out May 28, while Noisey presents a short film/performance video by Marling entitled “When Brave Bird Saved”.

Daytrotter welcomes CHVRCHES for a session. They’re at The Hoxton on June 12 and their debut album is due in September.

HungerTV and Gold Flake Paint talk to Polly Scattergood about her new record Arrows, coming June 14.

Rolling Stone has premiered the gory new video from Two Door Cinema Club, taken from last year’s Beacon.

Video: Two Door Cinema Club – “Handshake”

MySpace has an interview with Jessie Ware, who details her favourite things about London for The London Evening Standard and who has just put up a stream of a Martika cover – no, not of “Toy Soldiers” – just because.

Stream: Jessie Ware – “Love Thy Will Be Done”

Spinner finds out what former XTC frontman Andy Partridge has been up to of late, specifically his Gonwards collaboration with Peter Blegvad.

Atoms For Peace have made a new, non-album track available to stream.

Stream: Atoms For Peace – “Magic Beanz”

The Rumpus manages to be the first outlet to elicit an interview with David Bowie, in the form of a 42-word workflow diagram for The Next Day. Okay, then.

Thursday, April 4th, 2013

Gimme Shelter

England’s oldest hit makers The Rolling Stones are coming to town and other notes from abroad

Photo By Mark SeligerMark SeligerApologies for going for the low-hanging fruit with this one, but I don’t have the time or energy to squeeze out something more interesting. So you get this. And pro tip: providing a current photo with credit really goes a long way towards leading off a post.

Anyways, The Rolling Stones – perhaps you’ve heard of them – finally announced their long-rumoured, basically inevitable 50th anniversary North American tour yesterday, and while it’s only nine dates long, at least for now, Toronto makes the cut – the Stones will be at the Air Canada Centre on May 25, with tickets running a not surprising but still eye-popping $147.25 to $597.25, on sale April 8 at 10AM. Update: And a second show has been added for June 6. No, it’s not any cheaper.

The Chicago Tribune has a well-timed interview with Mick Jagger where such topics as, “why arenas and not stadiums?”, “why so expensive?”, and “what special guests might we expect?” are covered – the last of which was already covered earlier in the day when it was confirmed that former Stones guitarist Mick Taylor would be making appearances with the band on all of the North American dates – good news for those for whom the early ’70s is their favourite Stones era. And who have lots and lots of money to spend on a single concert.

Video: The Rolling Stones – “Brown Sugar” (live)

To celebrate the North American release of For Now I Am Winter this week, Ólafur Arnalds submitted to an “Ask Me Anything” at Reddit, is the subject of features at Interview and Live High Five, and has a video session up at Yahoo!.

The Quietus, The Guardian, and Digital Spy talk to Guy Chadwick of The House Of Love, whose new album She Paints Words In Red was finally released this week.

Exclaim and BBC America talk to Jessie Ware, who has also compiled and annotated a mixtape for The AV Club. The makes her Toronto debut at The Opera House on April 6 and releases Devotion in North America on April 16.

James Blake has released a new video from Overgrown, out next week on April 9. He plays The Danforth Music Hall on May 4.

Video: James Blake – “Voyeur”

Pitchfork have the advance stream of Shaking The Habitual, the new opus from The Knife, while Filter has an interview. The album is due out next week on April 9.

Stream: The Knife / Shaking The Habitual

The Joy Formidable talks Record Store Day – for which they’re releasing a cover of Springsteen’s “Badlands” as a b-side on a 7″ – with Rolling Stone and answers other questions for Columbus Live, The Chicago Sun-Times, and London On The Inside. They play The Phoenix on April 12.

Charli XCX has rolled out a new video from her debut True Romance, due out April 16. She opens up for Marina & The Diamonds at Echo Beach on May 23.

Video: Charli XCX – “What I Like”

Spin, MTV, Rolling Stone, WNYC, and Stereogum talk to Phoenix about their new album Bankrupt!, which is out April 23.

And that provides a good segue into some developments with The Grove Fest that Phoenix were supposed to headline in Niagara-On-The-Lake on August 3. You’ll note the use of the past tense there, and that’s because it’s no longer happening in Niagara-On-The-Lake, but as of yesterday was moved to Garrison Commons at Fort York in Toronto, with the lineup being trimmed of Macklemore, Pretty Lights, and Bob Mould and ticket prices being dropped to $59.50. And before you chalk it up to a dearth of Phoenix and Hot Chip fans in western New York, this Hamilton Spectator piece hints that it may have been as much NIMBY-ism as soft sales responsible for the relocation and doubling-down on the GTA market. In any case, it’s a bit of 416 festival nostalgia as the lineup that felt mostly like a Rogers Picnic is now enjoying some V Fest-esque drama.

Consequence Of Sound interviews Palma Violets, who are in town at Lee’s Palace on May 3 and again on August 3 at Garrison Common as part of the relocated Grove Fest.

Clash, The Province, Vancouver Sun, The Guardian, and Beatroute have interviews with Billy Bragg, in town at The Danforth Music Hall on May 3.

Cosmopolitan and The Line Of Best Fit talk to Victoria Hesketh of Little Boots about her new album Nocturnes, out May 6.

Primal Scream have released a new video from the forthcoming More Light, out May 13.

Video: Primal Scream – “It’s Alright, It’s OK”

Still Corners have released a new video from their forthcoming Strange Pleasures, out May 7. And their previously-announced June 14 NXNE date is now the endpoint of a full North American tour – dates at Spin.

Video: Still Corners – “Berlin Lovers”

Exclaim talks to Savages ahead of the May 7 release of their debut Silence Yourself.

A Music Blog, Yea chats with Stornoway, in town at The Horseshoe on May 9.

Le Blogotheque has an Empty Space video session with Foals. They play The Kool Haus on May 11.

DIY gets a look at the making of Desire Lines from Camera Obscura’s Tracyanne Campbell. The album is out June 4 and they play Garrison Common for the Toronto Urban Roots Fest on July 4.

The xx stop in at NPR for a World Cafe session. They stop in for a big-ass show at Downsview Park on June 6.

Daytrotter have posted a session with Bloc Party, in town at Garrison Common as part of the Field Trip fest on June 8.

Spinner, Spin, and Consequence Of Sound chat with CHVRCHES, who’ve just premeired a new video from their debut full-length, due in September. They’re at The Hoxton on June 12.

Video: CHVRCHES – “Now Is Not The Time”

DIY, Clash, and Artrocker profile Peace, coming to town as part of NXNE on June 15.

At this point, I suspect only Chris Olley knows on any given day if Nottingham’s Six By Seven are a going concern or not, but for the moment it appears they once again are with a new album in Peace And Love And Sympathy slated for a June 10 release. And while it’s been a while since they’ve done anything really memorable since 2004’s :04, the two sample tracks they’ve got available to stream sound way more intense and focused on either Artists Cannibals Poets Thieves or If Symptoms Persist, Kill Your Doctor – “Truce” is all kinds of angry, and an angry Six By Seven is a potent Six By Seven. And if you’re not familiar with this criminally underappreciated band, treat yourself to a free compilation of what band principal Olley has been up to over the past decade. Or just listen to “Bochum” on repeat all day.

Stream: Six By Seven – “Sympathy”
Stream: Six By Seven – “Truce”

Polly Scattergood has a video for the first single from her forthcoming album Arrows, slated for June 14 release.

Video: Polly Scattergood – “Wanderlust”

For those waiting for some east coast Bat For Lashes dates in support of The Haunted Man, good news and bad news. The good news is word has it she’s here on September 2. Bad news is it’s at the Molson Amphitheatre opening for Depeche Mode. Now if you’re a Depeche Mode fan as well, great. If not, then… oh well.

MP3: Bat For Lashes – “Oh Yeah”

NPR welcomes Richard Thompson for a World Cafe session.

PopMatters has excerpted some of The Stone Roses: War And Peace, the new book about – wait for it – The Stone Roses.

NPR serves up a video session with Frightened Rabbit.

Spinner talks riot grrl with Kate Nash.

The Line Of Best Fit has a video session with Melody’s Echo Chamber.

A Heart Is A Spade interviews The Deer Tracks.