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Posts Tagged ‘Rose Elinor Dougall’

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

It Is What It Is

Review of Blood Orange’s Cupid Deluxe

Photo By Stacey MarkStacey MarkTo say that following the musical career of Dev Hynes is an adventure is rather an understatement. Starting out with the deliberately sophomoric art-punk Test Icicles, he recast himself as an orch-folk troubadour on Falling Off The Lavender Bridge, his 2008 solo album under the Lightspeed Champion name. It was an identity he quickly found himself outgrowing, his second and last record in that guise – 2010’s Life Is Sweet! Nice To Meet You – had its share of high points but felt unfocused, like at a creative crossroads. Focus came with another new identity, Blood Orange, and 2011’s Coastal Grooves – a stripped-down and decidedly solo soul/disco record that sounded made in and for the bedroom that was criminally overlooked.

But crucially, while refining and redefining his own artistic identity, Hynes was becoming a highly sought-after producer, particularly after becoming Solange Knowles’ co-writer, producer, and sideman. That all-consuming role through most of this year, not to mention his other production duties, made it unclear if he’d be able to return to his own work anytime soon but somehow he still found time to not only record and release his second Blood Orange album Cupid Deluxe, out this week.

The most marked difference between Cupid and its predecessor is the sheer number of hands on deck. Coastal Grooves was entirely Hynes’ show, a fact emphatically made by his live shows – but Cupid finds Hynes more than happy to be allowing the likes of Chairlift’s Caroline Polachek, Friends’ Samantha Urbani, Dirty Projectors’ David Longstreth from his indie rock world and Despot, Skepta, and Clams Casino from his hip-hop world take centre stage while he remains the producer and songwriter running the show. And that show is akin to a dazzlingly diverse r&b revue built around themes of both alienation and community in New York City, coupling heartfelt sentiment to slick grooves.

Dev Hynes has been making music now for almost a decade, and what in isolation might seem like random and disparate creative shifts, when viewed as a whole, paint the picture of an impressively complex and immensely talented artist. Cupid Deluxe is, thus far, the most cohesive assemblage of his gifts – ironic, since it overtly showcases him the least. I personally would have liked to have his guitarwork given a little more prominence – the man can shred, as anyone who’s ever seen him live can attest – but for the time being, the brilliant missed riff key change at 2:43 of “Uncle ACE” will keep me going.

Hynes talks influences with The New York Times and is the cover feature of The Fader, for whom he’s also assembled hour-long mixtape containing new material. But if you’re waiting on tour dates to support the new record, don’t hold your breath.

Video: Blood Orange – “Time Will Tell”
Video: Blood Orange – “Chamakay”

Noisey has premiered the video for the title track of Rose Elinor Dougall’s new EP Future Vanishes, out officially this week.

Video: Rose Elinor Dougall – “Future”

NME has got the new video from Beady Eye, taken from their second album BE which is apparently getting a North American release this week because North Americans have been clamouring for it…?

Video: Beady Eye – “Soul Love”

Rolling Stone is streaming another new song from Kele’s forthcoming Heartbreaker solo EP, out November 25.

Stream: Kele – “God Has A Way”

The Guardian and Drowned In Sound talk to Welsh singer-songwriter Cate Le Bon; she’s in town at The Drake Underground on January 21.

NME has details on the new album from Maxïmo Park, entitled Too Much Information and due out February 3. They’ve released a video for the first single, which you can also download in exchange for an email address from their website.

Video: Maxïmo Park – “Brain Cells”

Fanfarlo have announced details of their third studio album: Let’s Go Extinct will be out February 10, and of course there’s a trailer.

Trailer: Fanfarlo / Let’s Go Extinct

The Guardian talks to Lily Allen about her impending return to music with a separate piece about the brouhaha surrounding her comeback video.

Anna Calvi lists off ten life-changing albums for MusicRadar.

Metro has an interview with M.I.A., who has released a new video from her latest, Matangi.

Video: M.I.A. – “Y.A.L.A.”

Consequence Of Sound interviews Charli XCX.

Little Boots has made a couple of extended edits of songs from Nocturnes available to download via HungerTV.

MP3: Little Boots – “Broken Record” (Nocturnal version)
MP3: Little Boots – “Strangers” (Nocturnal version)

Franz Ferdinand salute Australia with a cover of The Go-Betweens in a video session for Triple J. They’ve also released a new official video from Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action.

Video: Franz Ferdinand – “Bullet”
Video: Franz Ferdinand – “Was There Anything I Could Do?” (live)

Black Book interviews CHVRCHES and The Alternate Side welcomes them for a session.

Drowned In Sound gets a look at Summer Camp’s tools of the trade (read: their musical gear).

The Huffington Post gets some EDM smack talk of out reigning Mercury Prize champ James Blake.

A Music Blog, Yea? talks to drummer Rick McMurray of Ash.

BrooklynVegan interviews Johnny Marr.

The Quietus revisits the first House Of Love album on the occasion of its 25th anniversary.

Under The Radar talks to Mark Gardener and Andy Bell of Ride about the enduring legacy of their debut album Nowhere.

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

Time In The Machine

Review of Black Hearted Brother’s Stars Are Our Home

Photo By Frank YangSabine ScheckelWith all due respect to Mark Van Hoen and Nick Holton and their works with Seefeel and Holton’s Opulant Oog, respectively, it’s entirely reasonable to discuss Stars Are Our Home, the debut album from England’s Black Hearted Brother, almost entirely in terms of Neil Halstead. Because not only is it Halstead’s work in Slowdive, Mojave 3, and as a solo artist that’s going to sell this record, it’s his past work which offers the strongest reference points. And yet what fans of the aforementioned will get out of this record depends entirely on the expectations they come into it with, for despite a return to electric instruments, a band context, and the unapologetically cosmic allusions of the record, Stars occupies an orbit all its own that promises no return to Souvlaki Space Station.

In fact, for all the echoes of Halstead’s past work that inhabit Stars, there’s little that’s reminiscent of Slowdive at their most beloved. The downbeat “Take Heart” comes closest to recreating a Souvlaki-esque sigh, but for the most part guitars have more psych and bite than swell and bloom, and the electronics at play leave little of the space that defined Pygmalion. The songwriting at its best captures the brighter, poppier side of Mojave 3 as well as the laid-back melodicism of solo Halstead – both “This Is How it Feels” and “UFO” combine these marvellously – and even when it’s not quite as refined – some of it feels jammier than you’d have ever found on a M3 or Slowdive record – the palpable enjoyment these long-time mates get out of playing together still carries it through.

As I mentioned the last time he came through town, Halstead’s gift for musical reinvention while remaining wholly himself is quite remarkable, and with Black Hearted Brother – who use their own past as influences, but still create something all-new – this continues.

Stars Are Our Home is out today, and MusicOmh gets a track-by-track walkthrough of the album from the band. Meanwhile, Exclaim! has an extensive interview with Halstead about not just Black Hearted Brother, but the plausibility of a Slowdive reunion (the door he opened last year remains reluctantly wide open) and the upcoming solo gigs at which Rachel Goswell will guest on vocals for a planned live record.

And further to the Halstead singularity in which we now find ourselves, a limited-edition 7″ featuring solo versions of “Alison” and “Yer Feet” will be made available for sale online this Friday, providing they don’t sell out at the London gigs. Which they really should.

Update: Also fun – the band have put out an introduction video for those not familiar with the principals.

MP3: Black Hearted Brother – “This Is How It Feels”
Video: Black Hearted Brother – “This Is How It Feels”

The Boston Herald, Boston Globe, and Metro profile Franz Ferdinand, coming to town for a show at The Kool Haus on October 24.

The 405 talks to Los Campesinos! about their new record No Blues, coming out next wek on October 29.

With the November 5 release of her new album Matangi a couple weeks away, Pitchfork, The Fader, and The Guardian all want to talk to M.I.A..

Clash has a stream of another new tune from Rose Elinor Dougall, who will release the Future Vanishes EP on November 18.

Stream: Rose Elinor Dougall – “Poison Ivy”

Toy have released a video for the title track of their new record Join The Dots, coming out December 9.

Video: Toy – “Join The Dots”

Slate The Disco and Leeds Music Scene talk to Lanterns On The Lake about their new album Until The Colours Run, which gets a North American release on January 14.

Thom Yorke’s Atoms For Peace has rolled out another video from AMOK and a making-of video for said video, viewable at Pitchfork.

Video: Atoms For Peace – “Before Your Very Eyes”

When Scottish rockers Idlewild announced a hiatus following 2010’s Post-Electric Blues, it certainly seemed like the permanent sort but this photo posted yesterday to their Facebook implies that they’re feeling it again, which is good news. Or they’re just messing around with the emotions of their Facebook page fans.

Guitar World talks to Noah & The Whale guitarist Tom Hobden about his world of guitars.

The Line Of Best Fit reports that Manic Street Preachers have unearthed some new Holy Bible-era material – not music, but archival material – and may include it in a 20th anniversary release.

Editors have a new video from The Weight Of Your Love.

Video: Editors – “Honesty”

The Fly chats with Yuck 2.0.

David Gedge of The Wedding Present discusses the return to Hit Parade with The Glasgow Evening Times and lists off the soundtrack of his life for High 50

NPR welcomes Daughter for a Tiny Desk Concert, while The List and Refinery 29 have interviews with frontwoman Elena Tonra.

Arctic Monkeys describe to Rolling Stone how they went reinvented themselves from being a chart-topping rock band to a chart-topping rock band.

And since this is where my head has been at lately, know that the 1993 Suede live concert film Love and Poison is available to watch in its entirety on YouTube; the VHS-transfered visuals aren’t amazing but the soundtrack is quite acceptable.

Video: Suede / Love And Pain

Friday, August 2nd, 2013

Newsworthy

Sky Larkin share new Motto

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

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

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

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

Video: Annie – “Back Together”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MP3: The Invisible – “London Girl”

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

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

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

Stream: Rose Elinor Dougall – “Strange Warnings”

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

Video: The High Wire -“LNOE”

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

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

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

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

Stream: Cut Copy – “Let Me Show You”

NPR has video from a KCRW session with Savages.

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

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

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

This Time

New Mendicants welcome the new year new the welcome Mendicants New

Photo via Time OutTime OutHappy New Year, everyone; hope 2013 has been good to you so far and if not, geez. It’s only been 36 hours or so. What the hell.

We’ll kick off the new year with some old faces under a new name; The New Mendicants. So new they don’t even have a website or Facebook page, but if you need some background maybe look up Pernice Brothers, Teenage Fanclub, and The Sadies, and cross-reference with my writeup of last June’s wonderful Joe Pernice/Norman Blake show at the Dakota Tavern. Because what began that night as a possibly one-off pop summit has become a proper international supergroup with the addition of current Sadies and former Pernice Brothers drummer Mike Belitsky to the fold, providing some genuine Toronto content to American Pernice and Scot Blake, both immigrants to the southern Ontario region.

This year will see the first formal activity from the band, starting with a brace of Australian tour dates later this month featuring just Blake and Pernice and the release of their first EP. It’s a six-songer featuring three new songs, one of each of Pernice and Blake’s compositions from their other bands, and an INXS cover – stream it below – and while it’s a limited edition intended for sale down under, it’s available to preorder for North American fans for an approximate February 1 release.

A full-length with the working title of The Book Of Norman is also in the works, and while there’s no extensive touring in the cards, it’s hard to imagine that they won’t play at least an (adopted) hometown show whenever that happens. And presumably the new Pernice Brothers album will come out eventually and we’re about due a new Fanclub record, but until those become somewhat less than myth, we have this to look forward to.

Stream: The New Mendicants – “This Time”

And in a nice little bit of synchronicity, NYC Taper just posted a recording of Norman Blake’s set opening up the final Yo La Tengo Hannukah show at Maxwell’s in Hoboken last month.

DIY gets to know Palma Violets, one of the presumed “next big things” of 2013. Their debut 180 is out February 25 and they play The Horseshoe on January 24.

Stereogum interviews Johnny Marr; his solo debut The Messenger is out February 26.

PopMatters profiles Django Django, back in town at the Opera House on March 12.

A Music Blog, Yea? chats with Rose Elinor Dougall, whose second album has been a while in coming but should be out this year.

Black Book talks to Dev Hynes of Blood Orange about everything he got up to in 2012 and what might be yet to come.

Pop Justice talks to Jessie Ware about what’s transpired since her debut was released back in June.

Efterklang have released a new video from Piramida. They’re at The Mod Club on March 21 as part of Canadian MusicFest.

Video: Efterklang – “Sedna”

Pitchfork rounds up what’s known about a new release from Rilo Kiley, almost certainly an already-promised b-sides and rarities collection.

Beach House have a new video from Bloom, the timing of which is kind of obvious.

Video: Beach House – “New Year”

Murray Lightburn talks to Spinner about what The Dears have planned for 2013, recording a new record being one of those things.

Put That Shit On The List interviews Alaska B of Yamantaka//Sonic Titan. They play The Garrison on January 18.

Monday, January 16th, 2012

Without Why

A (re)introduction to Rose Elinor Dougall

Photo via last.fmlast.fmI’ve been meaning to write up Without Why, the debut album from Rose Elinor Dougall, for well over a year now but for whatever reason never actually got around to it. And while normally almost year and a half on from its release is too long to give a record props, the fact that Ms Dougall is back on the radar with a new stopgap release while she wraps up work on her second album is good enough reason for me to revisit it.

If her name isn’t immediately familiar then perhaps her former stage name of Rosay, by which she went when she was one-third of the original lineup of The Pipettes, will ring a bell. The polka-dotted retro-pop trio was all the rage in 2007 but their actual musical merit couldn’t escape the shadow of the novelty and by 2008, things had essentially run their course and both Dougall and Rebecca Stephens, aka RiotBecki, had left the band to pursue their own projects. During her run with The Pipettes, Dougall was clearly the strongest singer of the three and the odds-on favourite to do something interesting on her own; a potential that she seemed set to fulfill based on some early singles and an impressive set at SXSW 2010 wherein she made clear that trading in her polka dot dress for a leather jacket went deeper than just a wardrobe change.

Not that Without Why is a rock record; it’s certainly moreso than the Pipettes ever were but it’s really a pop record that comes without any preset notions of what it should be, though it tends to orbit an uptempo, lightly baroque, and richly conceived and executed aesthetic. You can feel the freedom that Dougall enjoys from having full control over her sound and songwriting – she has sole credits on all but one track – and if there’s any shortcoming to be found, it’s that she takes too much advantage of it. There are points where a less showy vocal approach or lush arrangement might have worked better, but it’s never to the detriment of the song and really, it’s hard to fault someone on their first time out for having too many ideas.

Independently released, I was far from the only one to miss out on giving Without Why its due – hopefully album number two both gets and merits more attention. Dougall has just offered up an EP of unreleased material for free download entitled The Distractions, named for her backing band, but as The Quietus reports these represent more the tail end of the Without Why sessions than the start of the next album’s. But still, new music is new music and free new music is even better – plus it gave me the opportunity to (finally) get this post out of my brain.

Dougall released another free EP of demos a while back, which you can grab over here.

MP3: Rose Elinor Dougall – “The Night”
MP3: Rose Elinor Dougall – “Come Away With Me”
MP3: Rose Elinor Dougall – “Fallen Over”
Video: Rose Elinor Dougall – “Hanging Around”
Video: Rose Elinor Dougall – “I Have Always Known”
Video: Rose Elinor Dougall – “The Night”
Video: Rose Elinor Dougall – “Carry On”
Video: Rose Elinor Dougall – “Find Me Out”
Video: Rose Elinor Dougall – “Start/Stop/Synchro”
ZIP: Rose Elinor Dougall / The Distractions

It took Rebecca “RiotBecki” Stephens a little longer to get her post-Pipettes project together, but Projectionists appear ready to make their mark on 2012 – there’s interviews with them at CityLife and The Von Pip Musical Express and one of their songs available to stream below.

Stream: Projectionists – “Falling Into You”

Daytrotter has posted a session with Laura Marling.

Anna Calvi will be releasing a French version of her cover of “Jezebel” b-sided with her take on TV On The Radio’s “Wolf Like Me” on a limited edition 7″ on February 20. Stream it below.

Stream: Anna Calvi – “Jezebel” (French version)

Writers On Process gets into the nuts and bolts of writing for We Were Promised Jetpacks with Adam Thompson.

Blurt reports that the new Wedding Present album, which will be showcased along with 1992’s Seamonsters on their upcoming Spring tour, has the title of Valentina and will be out in March. They’re at The Horseshoe on March 25.

Rolling Stone has premiered one of the tunes from the new Field Music album Plumb, due out February 21, while The Guardian gets the band to play the tune previously released in a video session.

MP3: Field Music – “A New Town”

BBC and Australia’s Summer Festival Guide chat with The Vaccines.

Consequence Of Sound and Billboard have interviews with The Big Pink while songs from their new record Future This are performed live for 4AD Sessions. It’s out tomorrow.

First Aid Kit’s new record The Lion’s Roar is now available to stream at NPR in advance of its release on January 24. They’re at The Great Hall on April 4.

Stream: First Aid Kit / The Lion’s Roar