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Posts Tagged ‘Sigur Ros’

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

Divine Light

The Deer Tracks, Falls, and deVah Quartet at The Silver Dollar in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangI had planned to lead off by saying that if there was one silver lining to Apple’s completely FUBAR-ed redo of their Music app in iOS7, it was that its insistence on playing all albums by an artist in sequence, ignoring the end of one album and the start of another, it was that I’d be able to listen to The Deer TracksArcher Trilogy as a single entity, uninterrupted by flipping vinyl discs and sides. But as it turns out, for whatever reason, my iPhone insists on sorting them in order of volume 1, 3, and 2, so that doesn’t work. Screw you, Apple.

But even if it takes a few more clicks or flips than ideal, it’s something to be able to experience the work as a whole. The expansive, uplifting moments crafted by the Swedish duo of David Lehnberg and Elin Lindfors that initially hooked me have lost none of their impact, but the spaces in between really do pull the over 100-minutes of grandiose synth-pop together and even if you don’t fully understand what it’s about – though there is a narrative – you certainly feel it. And though it’s not reasonable to expect the full scope of the work to come across in a live show, as evidenced by their local debut last June and their return visit nine months to the day before this last one, they certainly make a go of it.

There was some interesting local support on the bill for the visiting Swedes, starting with the deVah Quartet – a modern take on the classical string quartet combining electric instruments run through serious pedalboards and amplification, backed by a hard-hitting drummer, and boasting Varvatos-approved rock’n’roll style. So by the criteria of not sounding like every other band, they’d already won. And while not the most convincing rock singers or songwriters, they more than compensated with top-notch performance chops and arrangements. I couldn’t say who their audience is going to be – the connections between classical and rock are hardly unexplored but not often from this direction – but if and when they find them, they’ll be golden.

Swinging way back on the conventional side of things were Falls, who wanted nothing more than to be a radio-ready alternative rock band, and in that, they were successful. They were solid players and a tight unit – impressive considering their bassist was a substitute – but those positives were undermined by the general over-emoting and other such tropes of radio-ready alternative rock, perhaps best captured in their unnecessary and un-nuanced cover of Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game”. But unlike deVah, I know exactly who their audience is and they’re out and are legion. And so it goes.

There’s not that many ways to re-configure a duo, but somehow The Deer Tracks have managed to bring a different markedly different show to town three times now, in the past year and a half. After performing as a four-piece with touring keyboardist and drummer the previous two times, they were now a three-piece set up amidst a jungle of cables, stands, and LED lights, with Lehnberg assuming drum and percussion duties; this was after doing guitar/keys/vocals duties the first time and focusing on synths last time.

The net result of this reconfiguration, plus the necessary translation of the recorded work into a condensed live show of highlights, was a more percussive, visceral, and dramatic reading of The Archer Trilogy than one might have expected. Yet it did this without compromising the whimsy and delicacy of the material – this end of things remained well intact thanks to Lindfors’ vocals, as well her work on keys, saw, and melodica. The band’s resolutely DIY ethos is well-known to anyone who’s followed the band; the same drive and passion that compels them to create multi-part musical epics and undertake extensive international tours to slowly but steadily grow their fanbase also allows them to imbue something genuinely transformative into their performance. As in February, there weren’t a whole lot of people there but those that were got to experience something special.

Photos: The Deer Tracks, Falls, deVah Quartet @ The Silver Dollar – November 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”
Stream: Falls – “Rain Turn To Snow”
Stream: deVah Quartet – “Tell Me How You Really Feel”
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”

AlbumStreams have a stream of the new live Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds record Live From KCRW, which gets a proper physical release as of today. They’re in town at The Sony Centre on July 31.

Stream: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds / Live At KCRW

Holograms have released a new video from Forever; they’re at The Garrison on December 8.

Video: Holograms – “Luminous”

TwentyFourBit has got a stream of José González’s contribution to the soundtrack of the new Secret Life Of Walter Mitty film, which opens Christmas Day.

Stream: José González – “Step Out”

Exclaim has details on Sigur Rós’ attempt to make Christmas shopping easy for the Sigur Rós fan in your life – a nine-disc vinyl box set of their last album Kveikur, which features each track of their album on an individual 45RPM 12″ with an instrumental mix of the same song as the b-side. And the set is now sold out, so this entire paragraph is moot.

Friday, October 25th, 2013

Faith

I Break Horses keep the “Faith”

Photo By Magnus HardnerMagnus HärdnerSince offering up the first proof of its existence in July with a new stream, followed not long after by a video, I’ve been anxiously waiting on official information regarding the new album from Swedish electronic act I Break Horses. Pitchfork had previously reported an October release for the follow up to 2011’s Hearts, but as we’re into the final days of the month that seems pretty unlikely.

So in lieu of the new record, yesterday’s flurry of news about the new record will have to do. For starters, a second new song was premiered via beautifully shot video at Noisey, the title of the album – Chiaroscuro – was revealed, though to be fair if I’d seen this interview with Maria Lindén which ran on MTV Iggy at the start of September I’d have already known that, and with a little bit of sleuthing it would appear the general “early 2014” release window that Bella Union is offering will actually be January 20 in Europe and January 28 in North America. Obviously this is all subject to change, but I will take it for now. And the new song, too. Swoon.

Video: I Break Horses – “Faith”
Video: I Break Horses – “Denial”

It might seem a bit backwards, but Swedish glammers The Sounds have made their new record Weekend available to stream at Spin a few days before its release on October 29, but a full week after their North American tour brought them through town. In any case, We Love DC and The Bay Bridged also have interviews with the band.

Stream: The Sounds / Weekend

examiner.com talks to José González of Junip.

Drowned In Sound has some annotations from Efterklang on the two new – and final – videos they’ll be releasing from last year’s Piramida.

Video: Efterklang – “Between The Walls”
Video: Efterklang – “Black Summer”

The Wall Street Journal and San Francisco Examiner talk to Danish singer-songwriter Nanna Fabricius of Oh Land.

The Guardian has got video from one of the songs Sigur R&ocaute;s performed as part of a concert for the BBC at their Maida Vale Studios.

Le Blogothèque has a Still Room Session with Of Monsters & Men.

Redefine has an interview with composer Ólafur Arnalds and frequent collaborator and tourmate Nils Frahm; Bloomberg and The Daily Aztec talk to Arnalds on his own.

Australian electro-rockers Cut Copy have made a stream of their new record Free Your Mind available to stream before it comes out November 5; check it out via Pitchfork, and also the video for the title track if you like. They’re at The Danforth Music Hall on November 15, tickets $30 to $40 in advance.

Video: Cut Copy – “Free Your Mind”
Stream: Cut Copy / Free Your Mind

The Line Of Best Fit has details of Live From KCRW a new Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds live record recorded earlier this year at the Los Angeles radio station that is being released in time for Record Store Day on November 29 before getting a wide release on December 2.

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

1000 Answers

The Hives and object lessons in venue relativism

Photo By Tobias SutterTobias SutterThings that are true about live music rooms in Toronto: 1) Everyone hates the Sound Academy, for reasons that don’t really need to be expounded on; 2) a lot of people hate The Phoenix when it represents a tipping point for ascendant acts moving out of clubs and into bigger rooms; 3) a lot of people love The Phoenix when it offers a relatively intimate setting for who might normally play larger rooms but for whatever reason – choice or circumstance – are downsizing.

It’s that third category that I was front of mind yesterday as a batch of concert announcements rolled in. Already scheduled for two dates at The Air Canada Centre supporting Pink on November 30 and December 2, Swedish garage rock heroes The Hives have decided days off are for chumps and have scheduled their own show at The Phoenix for December 1, tickets $29.50. Their last headlining show in support of last year’s Lex Hives was in July 2012 and at The Sound Academy, so their playing a room one-third the size is rather a boon for their fans, at least those who didn’t rush out to buy Pink tickets to see them. Which I would think would include all of them.

Video: The Hives – “Wait A Minute”

New Zealand electro-poppers The Naked & Famous, on the other hand, may be finding out that they’re neither sufficiently naked or famous to fill the Sound Academy as they’ve downgraded their October 14 show in support of their just-released second album In Rolling Waves from there to The Phoenix. Playing the room wasn’t overreaching as their last show in support of their hit debut Passive Me, Aggressive You was there and was their fourth local performance in a year, no less, but kids these days have short attention spans. Remaining tickets for the show are $28.50 in advance. BBC has an interview with the band as does Noisey, along with a stream of the new record.

Video: The Naked & Famous – “Hearts Like Ours”
Stream: The Naked & Famous / In Rolling Waves

When British soul singer Jessie Ware made her local debut at The Opera House in April, it seemed a foregone conclusion that her next visit would be in a much bigger room. And while I won’t suggest that her upwards trajectory has stalled – she and Devotion are just too good to be denied – I was surprised to see that her November 6 show at The Sound Academy had also been downsized to The Phoenix. On the plus side, I already know a few people for whom this show has gone from “ugh” to “ooh”, so it should still be a good and full house when she and The Invisible return to town. Whatever tickets remain for that one are $25 in advance. Interestingly, one of her New York shows on this tour was also downsized from a 3000+ room to a 1000 but a Brooklyn show was also added, so maybe this is as much about the experience as soft sales. Or not. Anyways, if you were on the fence then it’s time to get to a ticket outlet.

Video: Jessie Ware – “Wildest Moments”

The Rural Alberta Advantage have been fairly quiet of late, presumably working on a follow-up to 2011’s Departing – their last local show was last Fall with Dan Mangan at The Danforth Music Hall – but they’ll be taking the stage at the Adelaide Music Hall on October 18 as part of Indie Week, which is apparently a thing. You can get in with a festival wristband or paying $25 for an advance ticket.

MP3: The Rural Alberta Advantage – “Stamp”

Widowspeak fans dismayed that their only opportunity to see them this Fall was as support for Iron & Wine at The Sound Academy – that place again! – on September 28 will be pleased to know that they’ll be back soon enough in support of their new EP The Swamps, out October 29, for a show at The Silver Dollar on November 2 with Pure Bathing Culture and tickets running a very reasonable $12.50.

MP3: Widowspeak – “The Devil Knows”

Baltimore’s Future Islands haven’t announced anything about a follow-up to 2011’s On The Water, but they’re still hitting the road and will be at The Drake Underground on November 10, tickets $15.50.

MP3: Future Islands – “Before The Bridge”

At some point, the release of Illinois roots-pop artist Lissie’s second album got pushed back a few weeks, but they’ve now committed to both an October 8 street date for Back To Forever as well as a Fall tour to support it. Ms Maurus will be at the Adelaide Music Hall on November 21, tickets for the show $22.50 in advance.

Video: Lissie – “Further Away (Romance Police)”

They may not have been crowned Polaris champs on Monday night, but Young Galaxy can still announce themselves as 2013 shortlisters when they take the stage at The Hoxton on November 22. Not that they would or should; that’s kind of gauche. Tickets for that one are $18 in advance.

Video: Young Galaxy – “Pretty Boy”

If you missed fantastical Swedish synth-pop duo The Deer Tracks when they were here in March – and mathematically, most all of you did – then you can rectify that when they bring their opus The Archer Trilogy back to North America for a victory lap. They’ll be back at The Silver Dollar on November 28.

MP3: The Deer Tracks – “W”

His Toronto debut a couple weeks ago having completely sold out even after being upgraded from The Drake to Wrongbar, Archy Marshall – aka King Krule – will bring his album Six Feet Beneath The Moon back as part of a larger tour and will be at Lee’s Palace on December 9, tickets $20. The New York Times has a feature piece on the artist.

Video: King Krule – “Octopus”

Interview, MTV, and Rolling Stone have features on Swedish electro-pop sensations Icona Pop, whose North American debut This Is… Icona Pop is out this week.

MTV Hive, Elle, and Interview chat with Nanna Øland Fabricius of Oh Land, whose new album Wish Bone is also out this week and is available to stream courtesy of The Line Of Best Fit. Esquire also has a video session with the artist, who plays The Great Hall on September 30.

Stream: Oh Land / Wish Bone

Indians have rolled out a new video from their/his debut Somewhere Else.

Video: Indians – “La Femme”

The New Strait Times, South China Morning Post, and Electronic Musician have interviews with Icelandic composer Ólafur Arnalds.

Le Blogotheque serves up an Empty Spaces session with Sigur Rós filmed in the catacombs of Paris.

A Heart Is A Spade interviews Kate Boy.

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

New You

My Bloody Valentine decide your eardrums have had enough time to heal, thank you very much

Photo via FacebookFacebookWhile I as much as anyone appreciate that there remains an impulse to respond to news of My Bloody Valentine doing anything with an “oh my god!”, the fact is that circa late 2013, the shoegazing gods have successfully transitioned from myth back into a real, active band – albeit one that moves at their own leisurely pace – and are going to do things like release new record and tour.

Okay, that the former happened – you’ll recall the semi-sneak release of twenty years-in-the-making mbv back in February – is still remarkable, but this week’s announcement of east coast dates shouldn’t really have come as a surprise. This year has already seen the band hit Asia, Australia, Europe, and the west coast of North America – if they skipped the east altogether, that would have been a surprise. And so it is that they’ll be back in Toronto on November 5 – tickets $45 in advance – at the Kool Haus where they first made their local comeback appearance in September 2008. That show, if you’ll recall, had originally been slated for the 6000+ capacity Ricoh Coliseum before the reality of their legend-to-actual fanbase ratio hit home and they downsized the venue appropriately.

What’s interesting about recent shows compared to that one is that the set lists from this year are nearly identical in composition and order to 2008, save for the insertion of four new songs and the excision of one rarity (“Slow”). Which means that this show will be at least 15 minutes longer than the last one, unless they trim the “holocaust” portion of “You Made Me Realise” which carved our brains like a sonic glacier for 24 minutes last time… I’m guessing they won’t.

Stream: My Bloody Valentine / mbv

Another one for the, “it’s happening, really” file – Mazzy Star making good on their promise to tour behind Seasons Of Your Day, their first record in 17 years, after it comes out September 24. Pitchfork has the complete itinerary for the Californian dream-pop duo of Hope Sandoval and David Roback, which stops in at the Danforth Music Hall on November 16 – tickets for that range from $32.50 to $47.50.

Stream: Mazzy Star – “California”

Soldiering on following the sudden passing of bassist Chris Friedrich last month, Boston post-rockers Caspian are teaming up with English spiritual and stylistic cousins 65daysofstatic for a Fall tour that hits Lee’s Palace on November 7, tickets $15.50. Caspian’s last album was 2012’s Waking Season, while 65daysofstatic’s new record Wild Light will be out October 29 – they talk to The Skinny about it.

MP3: 65daysofstatic – “Prisms”
Stream: Caspian / Waking Season

San Francisco psych-rockers Wooden Shjips will release a new album in Back to Land on November 12, about midway through their North American tour in support of it. They’re at The Horseshoe on November 10, tickets $15.50, and Spin has album and tour details.

MP3: Wooden Shjips – “Lazy Bones”

Australian electro-rock outfit Cut Copy have been teasing their new record Free Your Mind with billboards set up in a half-dozen locales around the world, but have now announced they’ll bring their new songs to their fans rather the other way round via a world tour. Free Your Mind is out November 5 – you can stream the title track below – and they’re at The Danforth Music Hall on November 15, tickets $30 to $40 in advance.

Stream: Cut Copy – “Free Your Mind”

London-bred, Vienna-based, 4AD-signed electro-soul producer/artist SOHN will be making his Toronto debut at The Drake Underground on November 23, tickets $12. There’s no word of his debut album yet but presumably he’ll have more to perform than a 40-minute remix of his single.

Video: SOHN – “Bloodflows”

NME has an advance stream of Motto, the forthcoming record from Sky Larkin, out as of Monday September 16.

Stream: Sky Larkin / Motto

Greek don’t-call-them-chillwave duo Keep Shelly In Athens have given their full-length debut At Home an advance stream at Pitchfork before it comes out September 17. They play Wrongbar on October 15.

Stream: Keep Shelly In Athens / At Home

Interview talks to Spaniards Delorean, who bring their just-released new album Apar to The Horseshoe on October 17.

Anna Calvi is streaming another new song from her forthcoming One Breath, out October 7.

Stream: Anna Calvi – “Sing To Me”

Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand runs down the music that soundtracked his life for Pitchfork, and he tells The AV Club why “Kumbaya” is not on that list. They play The Kool Haus on October 24.

There’s not much in the way of information, but this teaser trailer says that Nina Persson will be releasing her first solo record – not a Cardigans or A Camp record – in January of next year. Which is, of course, exciting.

DIY interviews Summer Camp.

Under The Radar has an interview with Sigur Rós.

Le Blogotheque has posted their three-headed Take Away Show with Phoenix, recorded all over Paris.

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

(I Don't Mean To) Wonder

Neil Halstead rediscovers his distortion pedals, forms Black Hearted Brother

Photo via FacebookFacebookFor as long as he’s been out of Slowdive – and probably longer, if you consider how much a departure their electronic-ambient final record Pygmalion was – Neil Halstead has been hearing fans beg him to return to his electric, amplified roots as a shoegazing pioneer, never mind that everything he’s done in the past 20 years, from fronting the cosmic-country Mojave 3 to his current acoustic-folkie solo carer – has been in the opposite trajectory. And while for the longest time, he’d deflect live requests for Slowdive songs with “that’s another band”, on his last tour he finally relented and included versions of “Alison” and “40 Days” in the set, even bringing along a delay pedal for proper effect. This, combined with comments made last Summer that a Slowdive reunion wasn’t out of the question – even with Rachel Goswell basically retired from music – set hopeful shoegazing hearts a-flutter with the prospect that the previously unthinkable might happen and Halstead would want to make some bona fide noise again.

And indeed he does, just not in the way that people necessarily expected. I thank The Dumbing Of America for pointing me yesterday to Black Hearted Brother, a new band featuring Halstead and two friends with producer credits on Mojave 3 and Halstead solo records – Mark Van Hoen, ex of Seefeel and Nick Holton, apparently of something called Holton’s Opulant Oog. Some years in the making – and perhaps indirectly responsible for Halstead’s renewed interest in his old works – they’ve come together to create something loud, trippy, and tuneful, or at least that’s what the first song from the project – premiered at Spin – would imply. Their debut album Stars Are Our Home will be out on October 22, and on a thread on his own Facebook page, Halstead sounds genuinely enthused about the project and mentions that he hopes to tour behind it. Here’s hoping that if they do, they’ll have rehearsed a few Slowdive songs for the inevitable requests.

Stream: Black Hearted Brother – “(I Don’t Mean To) Wonder”

DIY, Digital Spy, and Gigwise chat with White Lies about their new album Big TV, out August 21. They play The Opera House on October 1.

Mumford & Sons have released a new video from Babel which aims to trigger crises of faith amongst those who hate their band but love actors Ed Helms, Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis and Will Forte; Rolling Stone finds out how the clip came together. They play The Molson Amphitheatre on August 26.

Video: Mumford & Sons – “Hopeless Wanderer”

Frightened Rabbit are streaming one of the three new tracks that will appear on their Woodpile EP when it comes out on September 1; Chicago Magazine and Red Bull Music also have interviews. They are in town at The Kool Haus on October 17.

Stream: Frightened Rabbit – “Default Blues”

Delorean are streaming another new track from their forthcoming Apar, due out September 10. They play The Horseshoe on October 17.

Stream: Delorean – “Destitute Time”

CHVRCHES have released a new video for one of their oldest songs; it will appear on their debut The Bones of What You Believe when it comes out on September 24. They play the Danforth Music Hall on September 15.

Video: CHVRCHES – “The Mother We Share”

Anna Calvi has announced an October 7 release date for her second album, entitled One Breath. DIY has details and you can watch the trailer for the record below.

Trailer: Anna Calvi / One Breath

The Guardian has premiered a new PJ Harvey song written for the last British resident being held in Guantanamo Bay.

MP3: PJ Harvey – “Shaker Amaar”

MTV Hive has an interview with Belfast’s Little Green Cars, who’ve released a new video from their debut Absolute Zero since last we checked in.

Video: Little Green Cars – “Big Red Dragon”

M83 has somehow squeezed another video out of 2011’s Hurry Up We’re Dreaming, and if you live in the US you can watch it via Stereogum. Everyone else can, evidently, suck it. Thank goodness for people who know how to rip YouTube videos.

Video: M83 – “Claudia Lewis”

Sigur Rós, on the other hand, have turned to fans from anywhere to source Instagram video footage for their latest video from Kveikur.

Video: Sigur Rós – “Stormur”

BlipTV has a video session with Still Corners.