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Posts Tagged ‘Richard Hawley’

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

Brief Encounters

Franz Ferdinand, Frightened Rabbit, and Travis lead an Autumn Scottish invasion

Photo By Andrew KnowlesAndrew KnowlesIt was amusing to me to hear portions of the internet get all worked up a few weeks ago when Franz Ferdinand announced the August 27 release of their fourth album Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action, because those people most excited are almost certainly the same ones who will be first to declare it to be, for the third time, inferior to their 2004 self-titled debut. And it may well be true, but it’s strange that those who’d purport to be the Scottish quartet’s biggest fans are also the first to be disappointed by them. I feel for the band, I do.

But it could also be they’re less excited about the prospect of new songs than the band heaving an excuse to hit the road again – after all, whatever you think of their records, there’s no denying that the band remain a phenomenal live band – this I was reminded of last Summer when I saw them at Osheaga. And so fans will be pleased to know the band have announced a Fall tour that brings them back to Toronto for the first time since V Fest 2009; they’ll be at The Kool Haus on October 24, tickets $35 in advance.

The band have not offered an official taste of the new record, but they did just release a little behind-the-scenes video featurette to whet your appetite, assuming your appetite is whetted by things like this.

Video: Franz Ferdinand – “Walk Away”
Video: Franz Ferdinand’s A Weekend In Glasgow

Buzzy Scots CHVRCHES have just released details about their debut album. The Bones of What You Believe, as well as more North American dates including September 15 at the Danforth Music Hall in Toronto. The album is out on September 24 and this is the newest video from it. The Guardian also has an interview.

MP3: CHVRCHES – “The Mother We Share”
Video: CHVRCHES – “Gun”

Veteran Scots Travis have also regrouped for a new album, their first since 2008’s Ode To J. Smith. Where You Stand will be released on August 19 and be accompanied by a North American tour; their first Toronto show in over four years will be on September 25 at the Sound Academy, tickets $30 general admission and $45 VIP.

MP3: Travis – “Driftwood”
Video: Travis – “Where You Stand”

Frightened Rabbit aren’t as firm believers in absence making the heart grow fonder as their countrymen; Selkirk’s most famous rock band will be back for their third visit in a year with a show at The Kool Haus on October 17, still in support of this year’s Pedestrian Verse. Tickets for that are $25 in advance and Under The Radar has the rest of their tour itinerary. They culled through some live footage recorded on an Australian tour for their latest video.

MP3: Frightened Rabbit – “Scottish Winds”
Video: Frightened Rabbit – “Late March, Death March”

M.I.A. may continue to have problems getting her fourth album Matangi released – Maya Arulpragasam talks to The Guardian about why she thinks that is – but she’s still released the first single to stream and is undertaking a small North American tour, including a stop at Toronto’s Danforth Music Hall on July 18; tickets $35 in advance.

Stream: M.I.A. – “Bring The Noize”

Up-and-coming British electronic duo AlunaGeorge have put together a North American tour in support of their debut album Body Music, which comes out July 29 and has just yielded a new video. Exclaim has the full dates, which include a September 9 stop at The Hoxton. Admission will be $20 in advance.

MP3: AlunaGeorge – “You Know You Like It”
Video: AlunaGeorge – “You Know You Like It”

After high-profile supporting slots for M83 last summer and Marina & The Diamonds last month, Charli XCX is finally ready for the spotlight – she’ll make her local headlining debut in support of True Romance on September 16 at The Hoxton, tickets $15. Exclaim has the complete dates and Billboard and Idolator have conversations with the singer.

MP3: Charli XCX – “Glow”

Editors have released a new video from their forthcoming The Weight Of Your Love, out July 2.

Video: Editors – “The Weight”

Aquarium Drunkard, Willamette Weekly, The Portland Mercury, San Francisco Examiner, and Santa Barbara Independent have interviews with Camera Obscura. They play Garrison Common for the Toronto Urban Roots Fest on July 4.

Guitar Player has an interview with Richard Thompson, who opens up the Bob Dylan/Wilco/My Morning Jacket tour that hits The Molson Amphitheatre on July 15.

Pet Shop Boys have released a new video from their forthcoming Electric, out July 16. They play The Sony Centre on September 25.

Video: Pet Shop Boys – “Vocal”

White Lies are streaming another song from their new record Big TV, out August 21. They play The Opera House on October 1.

Stream: White Lies – “There Goes Our Love”

Bella Union has offered details on the second album from orch-pop ensemble Lanterns On The Lake. Until The Colours Run will be out on September 9.

Also out September 9 will be Summer Camp, the second album from Summer Camp. The Line Of Best Fit have details on the release, or you can just watch the trailer.

Trailer: Summer Camp / Summer Camp

Daughter have released a new video from If You Leave; they play The Phoenix on September 29.

Video: Daughter – “Youth”

They’re not tipping their hat as to a new album that it be taken from, but Arctic Monkeys have released a video to go with a brand new new single.

Video: Arctic Monkeys – “Do I Wanna Know?”

Fans of top-notch dreampop in the Mojave 3 vein take note: Pigeons & Planes has premiered a new song from Anglo-Canadian dreampop outfit The High Wire, with details of a new full-length hopefully to come soon.

Stream: The High Wire – “LNOE”

Gigwise gets Richard Hawley to share his true feelings about festivals like Glastonbury – spoiler alert, not positively – and also about his contributions to the new Manic Street Preachers albums, whenever they come out.

And whilst on the topic of Manic Street Preachers, The Guardian talks to James Dean Bradfield and Tone Deaf to Sean Moore about rugby and music.

Despite being one of the busiest producers and sidemen going, DIY reports that Dev Hynes will release a second Blood Orange record this year, possibly with the title of Cupid Deluxe.

Noisey meets Bobby Gillespie of Primal Scream, whose latest More Light got a North American release this week.

Alex James confirms to Contact Music that Blur did, indeed, hit the studio in Hong Kong recently and that the sessions went “very well”.

Clash and GQ chat with the lads of Beady Eye about their new album BE.

The Guardian has premiered the new video from Foals, taken from this year’s Holy Fire.

Video: Foals – “Bad Habit”

NPR has posted a Tiny Desk Concert with Billy Bragg.

The Guardian chats with Stornoway frontman Brian Briggs.

Figure 8 chats with Dave Gedge of The Wedding Present.

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

In The Winter Sun

Review of Amor de Días’ The House At Sea

Photo By Alfredo Arias HorasAlfredo Arias HorasWhen Amor de Días released their first album Street Of The Love Of Days in Spring of 2011, they weren’t presenting themselves as successors to either The Clientele or Pipas, but given that neither of those outfits have released anything new since Alasdair MacLean and Lupe Núñez-Fernández turned their attentions to it, it’s not unreasonable to expect that the new project provide at least some of the elegant pop fix that fans of either outfit would have demanded from them otherwise.

And with some degree of adjusted expectation – there’s more acoustic guitar than electric and tempos more languid, even compared to The Clientele’s autumnal pace – The House at Sea does just that. Floating above the hazy atmospherics, MacLean’s voice is a familiar, warm blanket and Núñez-Fernández’s timbre doesn’t follow far behind. And while those traits are holdovers from Street, the songwriting and arrangements on House are much more assured than on the debut – a benefit, no doubt, of being both artists’ primary concerns rather than a side-project. It’s unclear if we’ll be seeing new music from either The Clientele or Pipas in the new future – hiatus is such a nebulous word – but until then, Amor de Días will do quite nicely.

KEXP has an advance stream of the album ahead of its release on January 29. They’re also coming for a North American tour in March but, alas, are not stopping in Toronto this time.

MP3: Amor de Días – “Jean’s Waving”
Video: Amor de Días – “Jean’s Waving”
Stream: Amor de Días / The House At Sea

NOW welcomes Palma Violets to town for their Toronto debut at the Horseshoe tonight. They just released the latest video from their debut 180, which drops February 25

Video: Palma Violets – “Step Up For The Cool Cats”

The Line Of Best Fit chats with Veronica Falls, whose are streaming a new track from Waiting For Something To Happen before it comes out February 12. They play The Garrison on March 12.

Stream: Veronica Falls – “Buried Alive”

A Heart Is A Spade has a chat with Foals, who’ve released a new video from Holy Fire, out February 12.

Video: Foals – “My Number”

DIY points to a new clip from The Cribs for an old, previously unreleased song that will appear on their forthcoming best-of compilation Payola, due out February 25.

Video: The Cribs – “Leather Jacket Love Song”

NPR has a World Cafe session with Django Django, in town at The Opera House on March 12.

They’re only one-minute clips, but the two new songs being previewed by The House Of Love at their Facebook are pretty damned promising. The new album She Paints Words In Red is out April 1.

Those waiting for a North American release date for Jessie Ware’s Devotion – hopefully with a vinyl edition – can circle April 2 on their calendars. Those waiting for more North American tour dates… sit tight. Maybe read these features at The New Zealand Herald, The Age, The San Francisco Examiner, San Francisco Chronicle, and The Guardian.

The Telegraph talks to Richard Hawley, who has released a video for the final single from last year’s Standing At The Sky’s Edge – a clip that it has taken far too long to find a non-geoblocked version of, I might add. Anyways.

Video: Richard Hawley – “Don’t Stare At The Sun”

The Alternate Side has posted a video session with Bat For Lashes.

Billboard reports that Elvis Costello and The Roots have completed a collaborative album that will be released later this year. Even without having heard a note, it’s probably safe to say this will be the funkiest record of Costello’s career.

Spinner gets Bernard Sumner’s take on the drama that ended with Peter Hook leaving New Order.

Perhaps detecting that I was finally going to get around to completing my XTC back catalog collection – or perhaps commemorating the 35th anniversary of their debut White MusicThe Guardian have dug up a feature interview with the band circa 1978.

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

Fri-End?

Kate Nash taking Girl Talk on the road; boys also welcome but they have to sit quietly.

Photo By Christopher DadeyChristopher DadeyConsidering that touring North American is an expensive proposition for a British artist, it’s pretty commendable that for her first two albums – her 2007 debut Made Of Bricks and 2010’s My Best Friend Is YouKate Nash managed to not only come through town twice, but first play a relatively intimate club show for her devoted fanbase before stepping up to a bigger room the second time around (Mod Club then Phoenix, both times).

Considering that she no longer has major label dollars backing her – she bought herself out of her record contract after finishing up with Friend in favour of crowdfunding and self-releasing future efforts – it might not be reasonable to expect the pattern to continue, but apparently it might. Hot on the heels of announcing the March 5 release of her third album Girl Talk, Nash has scheduled a North American tour that brings her to town on March 15 to play her smallest stage yet, The Horseshoe Tavern. Tickets for that show are $18.50, on sale this Friday, and interpreting the cozier room as an indication her fanbase is shrinking is probably a mistake – that Best Friend Mod Club show in April 2010 was jammed, and not by folks who seemed like an uneven sophomore effort would diminish their devotion.

It will be interesting to see where Girl Talk takes Nash. Best Friend found her torn between the sassy-catchy piano-pop that she excels at, and the riot grrrl-inspired punk that she’s rather less good at but also clearly determined to stick to. Last Fall’s Death Proof EP had far more guitars than piano, but checked the abrasiveness for melody so the optimist might see this as evidence that a happy balance could still be found. A speculative track listing for Girl Talk doesn’t make it seem like her pen has gotten any less pointed, but hopefully there’ll be more singing that shrieking. The first single from the new record, made available to stream last week, is certainly promising.

Stream: Kate Nash – “3AM”
Video: Kate Nash – “Death Proof”
Video: Kate Nash – “Fri-End?”

Canadian Musicfest is usually all filled up with – wait for it – Canadian music, but the ever-expanding list of showcasing artists has got a pretty strong international flavour this year; certainly more than recent years… assuming that there isn’t a spate of last-minute cancellations like last year. There’s a solid Scandinavian bloc of acts that I’ll talk about at a later date, but also a couple of BBC Sound of 2013 finalists coming to town. Scottish electro-pop trio CHVRCHES – who came in fifth in the BBC polling – will headline The Mod Club on March 20, and post-punk stabby-guitar quintet Savages are at Lee’s Palace on March 23. Advance tickets will be available for both, and festival wristbands will also get you in. If they don’t sell out via tickets first. Clash and DIY have introductory features on CHVRCHES.

Video: CHVRCHES – “Lies”
Video: Savages – “I Am Here” (live)

If you were thinking that with The Joy Formidable’s new album Wolf’s Law due out next week that an advance stream should be showing up soon, then you would be correct, and Rolling Stone has it. Mancunian Matters has an interview with frontwoman Ritzy Bryan.

Stream: The Joy Formidable / Wolf’s Law

Pitchfork has got the whole of Esben & The Witch’s second album Wash The Sins Not Only The Face available to stream. It’s out January 22.

MP3: Esben & The Witch – “Deathwaltz”
Stream: Esben & The Witch / Wash The Sins Not Only The Face

Bloc Party have released a new video from last year’s Four. They’re at Fort York on June 8 as part of the Arts & Crafts Field Trip festival.

Video: Bloc Party – “Truth”

Under The Radar points to a stream of a new song from Still Corners, the b-side of their “Fireflies” 7″.

Stream: Still Corners – “Hearts Of Fools”

The Stool Pigeon has an interview with Veronica Falls, whose new album Waiting For Something To Happen is out February 12. They’re also releasing a limited-edition covers EP on or around the same day, and I warn you – of the 300 copies being made, at most only 299 remain. They’re at The Garrison on March 12.

Flavorpill has a video session with Bat For Lashes.

The Line Of Best Fit has all the specifics about the new Suede album Bloodsports, including artwork, tracklisting, and release date – March 18.

Drowned In Sound, news.com.au, and The Liverpool Echo interview Mr. Richard Hawley.

PopMatters has an interview with Tindersticks.

Amor de Días have released the first video from their new album The House at Sea, out January 29.

Video: Amor de Días – “Jean’s Waving”

Johnny Marr has released a new video from his forthcoming solo debut The Messenger, out February 26.

Video: Johnny Marr – “Upstarts”

Rolling Stone has got a stream of the new old New Order record Lost Sirens, comprised of unreleased material from their last studio album Waiting For The Sirens’ Call.

Stream: New Order / Lost Sirens

And if you like your Marr and Sumner together in one convenient package – perhaps with a side of Pet Shop Boys – then Slicing Up Eyeballs is pleased to report that the 1991 debut from Electronic will be getting a double-disc reissue on April 8, enhanced with bonus tracks.

Video: Electronic – “Getting Away With It”

Finally, because there’s no shortage of interesting David Bowie surfacing every day, there’s interviews with producer Tony Visconti and guitarist Earl Slick about the recording sessions for The Next Day at The Guardian and Rolling Stone. Bowie himself may not be interested in talking about the new album, out March 12, but his collaborators certainly are. And additionally, The Quietus challenges the myth that Bowie had turned into a recluse over the past 10 years while The Line Of Best Fit has helpfully compiled clips of Bowie’s best musical moments over the past 20 years – because despite conventional wisdom, there were more than a few.

Sunday, December 23rd, 2012

"Silent Night"

Richard Hawley covers Father Joseph Mohr

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangWait, who?

No, that’s not a misspelling of Father John Misty. Joseph Mohr is the 19th century Austrian priest who wrote the Christmas carol that would become know as “Silent Night” in English. Read about it at Wikipedia if you want to know more.

And click on the MP3 and video below if you want to hear Richard Hawley do his crooningest interpretation of the classic. The studio version comes from a holiday gift single which was given to attendees of a show in Sheffield in December 2006; luckily for us, one of those attendees saw fit to rip it and let it loose onto the internet. The live video is from the 2010 edition of Ireland’s Other Voices festival, and has Hawley backed by Jarvis Cocker and Lisa Hannigan.

Richard Hawley’s latest album Standing At The Sky’s Edge was released earlier this year. It’s great. “Silent Night” is, at this very second, being played or sung somewhere in the world and will continue to be so for the next three days. Just accept it.

Happy holidays.

MP3: Richard Hawley – “Silent Night”
Video: Richard Hawley (with Jarvis Cocker and Lisa Hannigan) – “Silent Night” (live)
Video: St. Thomas Boy’s Choir – “Stille Nacht”

Friday, December 14th, 2012

Gotta Be That Way

The House Of Love return with a fresh coat of Paint

Photo via FacebookFacebookA pile of this and that from overseas to get to today, so why not start with the item that I’m sure the fewest people – statistically speaking – care about.

And that’s the return of The House Of Love. A cult band’s cult band, the Guy Chadwick-led outfit has probably become better known for what they didn’t do – which is become the biggest band in the UK, as many/most expected in the late-’80s – than what they did – which was release two brilliant (as well as one decent and one turgid) albums of sweeping proto-Britpop whose influence, despite the band imploding rather than exploding, can still be detected in many British guitar bands of the past quarter-century.

After disbanding in 1993, three-quarters of the original lineup – most importantly frontman Guy Chadwick and guitarist Terry Bickers – reunited in 2005 for some live dates and an album of new material in the impressively solid throughout Days Run Away. Rather than carry that momentum forwards, however, the band seemed to go underground again with most assuming that the reunion had run its course and the band had quietly gone their separate ways, content to keep their legacy alive via a seemingly endless series of reissues of their debut album – most recently this week – and archival live material.

But then would come word of a one-off live show or a festival appearance – not much, but enough to confirm the band as an ongoing proposition – and very occasional rumours of new material being written and recorded. Rumours which coalesced this week with the reveal that, indeed, a sixth studio album had been completed and that it would be out early in the new year. Further details came yesterday via Slicing Up Eyeballs, which pointed out the band had updated their Facebook with the title of the new album – She Paints Words In Red – along with the artwork and a targeted release date of March or April, via Cherry Red Records.

I don’t expect this new record to be life-changing at all – on par with Days would be a gift – nor do I expect there’ll be any kind of effort to play live shows anywhere near this continent, but I find it pleasing to know that this band, who’s had no shortage of opportunities or incentive to simply call it day, are still making music because they want to and their fans want to hear what they have to say. Shine on.

MP3: The House Of Love – “Shine On”

All that unpleasantness this past Summer about Jaz Coleman going missing before turning up in the Sahara apparently sorted out, Killing Joke have slated a North American tour in support of their forthcoming best-of comp The Singles Collection: 1979-2012, due out April 15. They’ll be at Lee’s Palace in Toronto on April 24.

Video: Killing Joke – “Love Like Blood”

She’s gone on to become something of a rising star back in the UK since making her North American debut opening for Bon Iver last December, but Lianne La Havas hasn’t been back for a proper tour in support of her debut Is Your Love Big Enough? since. That changes this Spring, though, as she undertakes an extensive North American tour that brings her to the Opera House on April 4, tickets $21.50 in advance. NPR has a World Cafe session and The Guardian a quick feature.

Video: Lianne La Havas – “Lost & Found”

HungerTV interviews Patrick Wolf.

Esben & The Witch have released the first video from their second album Wash The Sins Not Only The Face, out January 21.

Video: Esben & The Witch – “Deathwaltz”

Frightened Rabbit have released a new video from their new record Pedestrian Verse. It’s out February 5 and they play The Phoenix March 31.

Video: Frightened Rabbit – “The Woodpile”

Foals are streaming another new song from their forthcoming album Holy Fire, out February 12.

Stream: Foals – “My Number”

The Guardian has a video session with Stornoway, who are preparing their second album Tales From Terra Firma for a March 11 release.

Billboard has a talk with Jessie Ware about her American debut and why her forthcoming introductory EP for this market will be called If You’re Never Gonna Move instead of 110%, as originally intended. She’s also released an adorable new video from her debut Devotion and given a year-end interview to The Guardian.

Video: Jessie Ware – “Sweet Talk”

DIY talks to Victoria Hesketh – aka Little Boots – about the long road to her second album, which she’s not quite prepared to share details about but assures us that it’s done and coming next year.

Los Campesinos! may be down a bassist but they’re up on Christmas, as evidenced by this seasonal tune they’re giving away.

MP3: Los Campesinos! – “A Doe To A Deer”

Elizabeth Sankey of Summer Camp talks holiday plans with DIY, and also offers an update on album number two.

The Wall Street Journal spends some quality time with Richard Hawley.

Matador has dished details on Danish post-punks Iceage’s forthcoming release, their first for the label. It’s optimistically titled You’re Nothing and will be out on February 19.

Junip will release their new album Junip on April 23, and have a wee little trailer for it.

Trailer: Junip / Junip

El Perro Del Mar has released a new video from Pale Fire.

Video: El Perro Del Mar – “Hold Off The Dawn”