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Posts Tagged ‘Spiritualized’

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

Eliza

Breathe easy; the return of Anna Calvi is nigh

Photo By Roger DeckkerRoger DeckkerI’d like to say that I’ve been on tenterhooks waiting for new music from Anna Calvi, but the truth is that her 2011 self-titled debut – one of that year’s favourites – is still in fairly heavy rotation, the combination of her sensual vocals and searing guitarwork still eliciting swoons more than two and a half years on. But that’s not to say that the news of her second record isn’t tremendously welcome.

Said record – entitled One Breath – will be out on October 7, and Calvi tells NME that it’s a more personal album, the lyrics strongly informed by her battles with depression. This doesn’t mean that it’s going to be a downcast affair – the first official single, which has been made available to stream, is as energized as anything she’s done, and the sample that soundtrack the album trailer might be more melancholic, but it still soars. One Breath may document a battle, but it certainly sounds like one that Calvi is triumphing over.

There’s only three North American dates currently on her Fall itinerary, but you know more are to come. Or they damn well better be – I’ve still yet to see a full show.

Stream: Anna Calvi – “Eliza”
Trailer: Anna Calvi / One Breath

The Vaccines have released a new video for the title track of their just-released Melody Calling EP and also stopped in at USA Today for a video session. They open up for Mumford & Sons at the Molson Amphitheatre next week on August 26.

Video: The Vaccines – “Melody Calling”

The Guardian and Exclaim talk to Franz Ferdinand as they gear up for the August 27 release of their new record Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action, a record which has just been made available to stream in advance at NPR. Franz Ferdinand play The Kool Haus on October 24.

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

Fellow Scots Glasvegas are hoping their third album Later… When The TV Turns To Static, out September 3, is the one that turns their fortunes back towards the buzz that greeted their debut and not the shrugs that met the follow-up. Rolling Stone is offering a download of the title track for you to decide for yourself. Clash also has an interview.

MP3: Glasvegas – “Later… When The TV Turns To Static”

Lanterns Of The Lake are streaming – and offering to download in exchange for an email – an alternate take of a track from their new record Until The Colours Run, coming out September 9.

Stream: Lanterns On The Lake – “The Buffalo Days” (alternate)

Tone Deaf, LeftLion, and Gigwise have interviews with newcomers London Grammar, whose debut If You Wait is out on September 10 and who are in town to play BLK BOX on October 4.

The Quietus talks to Elvis Costello, whose new collaborative album with The Roots – Wise Up Ghost – is out September 17.

The Line Of Best Fit has details on the second Yuck record, their first without former frontman Daniel Blumberg. Glow & Behold will be out on September 30 and a second sample track from it is available to stream.

Stream: Yuck – “Middle Sea”

NPR has a World Cafe session, and Refinery29 and Stylecaster interviews with Jessie Ware; she is back in town to play The Sound Academy on November 6.

Laura Groves, whom some of you may remember from her lovely 2009 record Blue Roses whilst still performing under the alias of Blue Roses, finally has a new release – an EP – ready and will be releasing it this Fall under her own name. There’s a video for the first release from it and yup, still lovely whatever the name is.

Video: Laura Groves – “Inky Sea”

I was all excited about the prospect of hearing new Blood Orange material but as Pitchfork reports it, this is just a Drake cover. But it’s still better than Drake.

Stream: Blood Orange – “Hold On, We’re Going Home”

Dazed Digital have premiered the new video from Spiritualized’s Sweet Heart Sweet Light.

Video: Spiritualized – “I Am What I Am”

Camera Obscura have released a new vide from Desire Lines and are also featured in a World Cafe session at NPR. Further, Under The Radar has posted their feature from the current issue which puts Tracyanne Campbell in interview with Lloyd Cole – yes, that Lloyd – complete with appendices.

Video: Camera Obscura – “Break It To You Gently”

Denver Westword interviews Kevin Shields of My Bloody Valentine.

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

Where You Come In

Review of Shout Out Louds’ Optica and giveaway

Photo By Frode & MarcusFrode & MarcusI get why people have such affection for Shout Out Louds’ 2005 debut Howl Howl Gaff Gaff; the way it tapped into the scrappy, garage-rock sound in vogue at the time but rather than the insouciant attitude that typically came with the aesthetic, it offered a wide-eyed and sincere charm and stood apart from the pack for it. That said, it was only with 2007′s Our Ill Wills, which polished up their pop and expanded it to widescreen dimensions, that I was personally won over by the band. Happily for me and less so for those on Team Howl, it’s been this template that has informed each Shout Out Louds record ever since, this year’s Optica being no exception.

They did tweak their approach a bit with 2010′s Work tweaked the formula by going for a more organic, live-off-the-floor sound, but while Optica lets things drift back to the more produced side of things a bit, those holding out hope that the band might let things get raucous again should probably just go and find themselves a new, charmingly rough Scandi-pop band to patronize. Shout Out Louds have got this elegant pop thing down pat – “Blue Ice” is tastefully orchestrated and “Walking In Your Footsteps” may offer the best flute hook of the year – and even when they get relatively dark or heavy, they do it more through tone and atmosphere than volume; “14th Of July” is the riffingest number on the record and it really just jangles. Mostly, though, Optica adopts a pleasant midtempo pace and relies on its immaculate popcraft and melodicism to win the listener over.

Shout Out Louds’ North American tour kicks off in early May and will stop in at The Opera House in Toronto on May 14. Tickets for the show are $18.50 in advance, but courtesy of LiveNation, I’ve got three pairs of passes to give away to their show and as a bonus, courtesy of Big Hassle and Merge, a copy of the band’s “Blue Ice” 7″ – no, not the actual ice one, don’t be ridiculous. To enter, email me at contests@chromewaves.net with “I want to Shout Out Loud” in the subject line and your full name in the body, and if you would also like the 7″, say so and include your mailing address. Have all that to me by midnight, May 6.

Rolling Stone just premiered the newest video from Optica.

MP3: Shout Out Louds – “Blue Ice”
Video: Shout Out Louds – “Illusions”
Video: Shout Out Louds – “Walking In Your Footsteps”
Video: Shout Out Louds – “Blue Ice”

Spin and The San Francisco Examiner check in with Palma Violets, coming to town on May 3 for a show at Lee’s Palace and again on August 3 as part of The Grove Fest at Garrison Commons.

Los Campesinos! have announced details of and a track from their first-ever live album, entitled A Good Night For A Fistfight, recorded last December and to be released digitally May 5. DIY has specifics and some words from Gareth Campesinos! about the recording.

MP3: Los Campesinos! – “We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed” (live at Islington Assembly Hall)

Noah & The Whale are streaming the title track from their forthcoming album Heart Of Nowhere, due out May 6, and it guest stars the wonderful Anna Calvi. The Yorkshire Evening Post and Gigwise have interviews with frontman Charlie Fink.

Stream: Noah & The Whale – “Heart Of Nowhere”

7 Digital interviews Victoria Hesketh of Little Boots about her second album Nocturnes, slated for a May 7 release.

MTV Hive gets to know Charli XCX; she opens for Marina & The Diamonds at Echo Beach on May 23.

The 405 interviews Elliphant, who is streaming a new song and making her local debut on June 7 supporting Twin Shadow at The Phoenix.

Stream: Elliphant – “Make A New Breed”

Interview chats with Jose Gonzalez of Junip, whose new self-titled album came out this week. They play The Great Hall on June 10.

While the May 13 UK release of Primal Scream’s new long-player More Light was long-confirmed, there’s only just come word that there’ll be a domestic release in North America, coming June 18. Details on that at Spin.

Under The Radar has an interview with Pet Shop Boys, whose new album Electric comes out in June.

Spin, eMusic, The 405, The Guardian, MTV, The Daily Beast, NPR, and Exclaim all have feature interviews with Phoenix with Exclaim offering a sidebar piece on the band, Spin the fruits of their photo shoot, and NPR a KCRW video session. Phoenix headline The Grove Fest at Garrison Commons on August 3.

Filter hangs out with the girls of Icona Pop. You can do the same at The Grove Fest at Garrison Commons on August 3.

MTV Hive takes fashion tips from Hot Chip, also playing The Grove Fest on August 3.

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds are streaming one of the tracks that appeared on their Record Store Day 7″ release.

Stream: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – “Animal X”

Mystery Jets have made their Record Store Day release, the self-explanatory Live At The Royal Festival Hall, available to stream for those who missed out on getting a copy on Saturday or who never even had the opportunity what with it only being available in the UK and all.

Stream: Mystery Jets / Live At The Royal Festival Hall

Kate Nash has released a new video for the a-side from her Record Store Day 7″, and later this week she’ll roll out the next clip from Girl Talk. But not yet.

Video: Kate Nash – “Free My Pussy”

Clash gets into the heads of British Sea Power.

The Big Takeover has an interview with Veronica Falls.

PopMatters and Black Book interview Ólafur Arnalds.

Stereogum points out a stream of a new Jens Lekman song, written for an Esopus magazine compilation and about a fan who mailed him a dead bird.

Stream: Jens Lekman – “Regarding A Package”

Rolling Stone sits down with Thom Yorke and Nigel Godrich to talk about Atoms For Peace and the state of dance music, and somehow the conversation drifts to the topic of Radiohead.

Rolling Stone got a moment of Jason Pierce’s time at Coachella to talk about things of a Spiritualized nature.

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

110%

Review of Jessie Ware’s Devotion

Photo By Kate MorossKate MorossIn all honesty, I intended to write up Jessie Ware’s debut Devotion today whether or not it took the Mercury Prize last night or not – it went, as expected, to the heavily-favoured and bewilderingly dull Alt-J – I don’t need the validation of a shadowy cabal of British music industry types to tell me what the best British (or Irish) album of the past year is. Not to say that I’m bestowing that title on Devotion myself, but with each successive listen, it certainly makes a stronger case for itself.

Initially, the temptation is to classify her as a soul singer and indeed, her voice is a rich, emotive instrument with the perfect balance of breathy, brassy, and husky and if Ware had opted to follow a more traditional or throwback path, accolades would still surely be coming her way. But instead, the production on Devotion – courtesy of Dave Okumu of The Invisible – bounces from electronic, sample-happy beats (fitting, since she first attracted attention via her guest vocals on a SBTRKT song) to slick conventional band arrangements to inventive intersections of the two, generally refusing to hew to any specific musical dogma and emerging all the better for it.

And yet for all the musical ear candy permeating Devotion, it’s Ware’s songs and vocals that make it a remarkable record. It yearns and aches where it should without ever getting overwrought. Where lesser songwriters would turn to vocal tricks to grab the listener’s attention, Ware offers up gorgeous melodies, emotive lyrics, and rock-solid hooks. It’s a record that immediately announces itself as noteworthy, yet thanks to its smouldering pace, takes its time to reveal itself and grows stronger and more impressive each time out. It may not have won the Mercury, but Devotion is a stunning, can’t-lose debut.

Devotion has yet to receive a North American release, but that’s coming in 2013. She’s signed a deal with Cherrytree that will first yield a sampler EP in 110% by December to be followed by a brief US tour in the new year. Presumably more extensive touring will follow the proper release of the record, or at least it better.

The Telegraph and Grazia have interviews with Ware.

Video: Jessie Ware – “Night Light”
Video: Jessie Ware – “Wildest Moments”
Video: Jessie Ware – “110%”
Video: Jessie Ware – “Running”

Kate Nash loves her some Hallowe’en. Not only did she release a spooky-themed video for a song that will appear on an upcoming EP – you can also download it from her website in exchange for an e-mail – she also teamed up with Emmy The Great for a Buffy-themed Hallowe’en party wherein they recreated the musical episode, “Once More With Feeling”, on stage, though trainspotters may point out that Emmy is dressed as Willow and Willow didn’t really participate in the musical episode because Alyson Hannigan can’t sing worth a lick… But I digress. You can watch videos from the show at Bleeding Cool. And I won’t lie – I would buy a recording of this show.

Video: Kate Nash – “Fri-End?”

Polly Scattergood is putting the finishing touches on her promising and intermittently inspired 2009 self-titled debut and has made a track from it available to stream. The album, still untitled, is due out next Spring.

Stream: Polly Scattergood – “Disco Damaged Kid”

Charli XCX is streaming a new song taken from her new Super Ultra mixtape that’s scheduled to become available next Wednesday.

Stream: Charli XCX featuring Brooke Candy – “Cloud Aura”

NPR and Stereogum have interviews with Beth Orton.

Exclaim interviews Natasha Khan of Bat For Lashes.

Billboard talks to Pete Wiggs and Bob Stanley of Saint Etienne about undertaking their first North American tour in a decade without a label behind them. The San Francisco Examiner, meanwhile, talks to Sarah Cracknell.

The Line Of Best Fit report that Brighton’s Esben & The Witch will release their second album – Wash The Sins Not Only The Face – on January 21. A first taste is available to stream now.

Stream: Esben & The Witch – “Deathwaltz”

Allo Darlin’ have compiled a bunch of covers – all wonderful, like the Darren Hayman/The French track below – on a limited edition 10″ they’ve called Covers. It’s out November 28.

Stream: Allo Darlin’ – “Wu Tang Clan”

Japan Times talks to Guy Connelly of Clock Opera.

Jason Pierce of Spiritualized chats with Drowned In Sound and The Yorkshire Evening Post.

The Quietus and The Independent talk to Nicky Wire about the 20th anniversary of Manic Street Preachers’ debut Generation Terrorists, the mandatory deluxe edition of which is out on Monday.

Exclaim has collected some information on Johnny Marr’s first proper solo record – apparently we’re not counting when he fronted the disappointingly bland Healers – which will be called The Messenger and be due out in or around February.

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

Tied To You

Neil Halstead makes offhand Slowdive reunion comment, throws internet into a tizzy

Photo By Andy WhiteAndy WhiteOkay not the whole internet – Obama’s AMA probably did more to clog those tubes yesterday – but for a certain demographic, an interview Neil Halstead gave to MTV Hive certainly registered as a major event. Not because Neil doesn’t talk – he’s got a new solo record in Palindrome Hunches coming out on September 11, of course he’s talking – but because he addressed the topic of a potential Slowdive reunion not with denials or dismissals, but with a rather positive-sounding “It’s definitely possible at some point”.

He goes on to point out that there’s no bad blood to be overcome – three-fifths of the shoegazing/ambient trailblazers went on to a long and fruitful career as Mojave 3 following Slowdive’s dissolution in 1995 – and presumably if the stars aligned and the offer was right, it could happen. Obviously this is far from definite, but considering it seemed a non-starter for as long as Mojave 3 and his solo career have been going concerns – he’s always declined to even play Slowdive songs live in either of those contexts – it’s certainly a more open door than we’ve seen, and seeing as how he’s playing a few M3 gigs (in China!) before beginning the Palindrome Hunches promo circuit, the man can multi-task and keep his musical identities straight.

Of course, the current Mojave 3 lineup doesn’t include bassist Rachel Goswell, who largely retired from music after fighting a debilitating ear ailment a few years back. I’d be happy enough to see her back in Mojave 3, but if we’re dreaming, why not go all the way? Further, it’s been pointed out to me that Halstead has begun playing Slowdive songs live… someone call out “Alison” when he’s at The Dakota on October 8, please? Toronto was the site of the final live Slowdive show; maybe we can talk Neil into the symbolic value of making it the site of the first reunion show… Or not. Anyways. It’s something to dream about. Ideally while Souvlaki plays in the background.

There’s another, less momentous interview with Haltead at LA Music Blog and another track from Palindrome Hunches has been made available to download.

MP3: Neil Halstead – “Digging Shelters”
Video: Slowdive – “Alison”

Richard Hawley chats with State and Worksop Guardian; his latest Standing At The Sky’s Edge came out in North America this week.

Two Door Cinema Club have made their new album Beacon available to stream at NME ahead of its September 4 release date. They play The Sound Academy on October 11.

Stream: Two Door Cinema Club / Beacon

The Guardian, NPR, MTV.ca, and JAM talk to Kele Okereke of Bloc Party. They play The Danforth Music Hall on September 10 and 11.

The xx are streaming another new song from Coexist, out September 11, and aux.tv have made the cover feature on the band from their iPad magazine available online.

Stream: The xx – “Sunset”

Django Django’s self-titled debut still isn’t out in North America until September 25, but the band have got a new EP in Hail Bop ready to release back in the UK on September 4, and have made it available to stream. They play Wrongbar on September 29.

Stream: Django Django / Hail Bop

Dramatic atmospheric rock sister act 2:54, who made their local debut at NXNE, return for a date at The Horseshoe on October 22 – tickets are $14.50 in advance.

MP3: 2:54 – “The March”

That Saint Etienne show I was so excited about last week will still be happening on October 24, but has been moved from The Mod Club to The Opera House. Tickets are $28.50, go on sale today at 10AM, and sorry – still no sign of the other North American dates.

The Guardian has got some new music from Anna Calvi – not as a precursor to a new album, but a cover she recorded of a song by The Invisible from their latest album Rispah – but hey, new music from Anna Calvi.

MP3: Anna Calvi – “The Wall”

Mogwai’s Stuart Braithwaite walks The Quietus through some of his favourite albums.

DIY interviews Charli XCX.

And Pluck Your Strings has an interview with Maxïmo Park.

Clash and The Limerick Leader grab a quick word with Metronomy.

NPR welcomes Spiritualized for a World Cafe session.

DIY catches up with The Cribs at Reading & Leeds Festival.

State talks to Faris Badwan of The Horrors ahead of their appearance at Electric Picnic in Ireland.

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

Under The Westway

Blur release final comeback new single

Photo via The GuardianThe GuardianSo yes, been away a little while – San Francisco was lovely, thanks for asking, I’ve just started putting up photos on Flickr – and yes, there’s a bit of a backlog of stuff to get through. But there’s also a dollop of jet lag to get over, so I’ll just ease back into this if it’s all the same to you.

We may as well start with the only thing that I actually listened to from all the RSS/Twitter/email items immediately: yesterday’s livestreamed Blur mini-concert from atop a London rooftop – the exact location of which was not revealed – wherein they debuted both sides of a new single to coincide with its digital release with the physical release by way of limited edition 7″ on August 6. That date, of course, coincides with their August 12 gig at Hyde Park which is meant to close out the Olympic Games but which many are speculating will also close out their career.

The band have been vague about their plans for the future beyond this single, the Blur 21 box set due out July 31, and the brace of small warm-up and big festival gigs that will lead up to the Hyde Park show; some quotes seem to unequivocally point to the band’s end, other explicitly contradict that finality (not that there’s any sort of symbolism in playing a London rooftop concert, no not at all). It leads one to think that they’re not so much being cagey about it as they genuinely have no idea what’s next, if anything.

And I actually kind of like that. The new tunes are solid, so there’s clearly some gas left in the tank, and if they choose to roll out a new single every now and again without all the weight of expectation, then it’s like a gift. And if that turns into an album and/or North American tour, well that’s cool as well.

The webcast of yesterday’s concert can be seen at The Guardian and rather nifty takes on the usually blah lyric video concept for each of the songs allow some decent streaming of the studio versions of the songs.

Lyric Video: Blur – “Under The Westway”
Lyric Video: Blur – “The Puritan”

Spiritualized have released a second video from Sweet Heart Sweet Light, and Blurt gets some insight on the clip from director Vincent Haycock.

Video: Spiritualized – “Little Girl”

Over at Gigwise, Nicky Wire of MSP expounds on why the Stone Roses is the greatest thing ever.

Pet Shop Boys are streaming a new song from their forthcoming album Elysium, coming September 17.

Lyric Video: Pet Shop Boys – “Winner”

Consequence Of Sound tracks down Emma Anderson of Lush to talk about their final album Lovelife and the nuts and bolts of why there hasn’t been a Lush reunion, though it’s interesting to learn how far along one has gotten.

Florence & The Machine have released another video from Ceremonials; pretty much every album should have been put out as a single by the time they play The Molson Amphitheatre on August 2.

Video: Florence & The Machine – “Breaking Down”

Summer Camp are streaming another track from their Always EP over at The Guardian, and don’t worry about what you might have heard about them going hip-hop on it – neither Jeremy nor Elizabeth tries to bust a verse, they’ve enlisted Odd Future associate Pyramid Vritra to do it for them. The EP is out next week, and apropos of nothing, Jeremy Warmsley lists off his fantasy band lineup for The Independent.

Stream: Summer Camp – “City”

Spin documents Charli XCX’s first foray to America, back in the Spring during SXSW. She’s back this Summer as part of the HARD festival at Fort York on August 4, and also talks to MTV Hive about her in-progress debut album, due out later this year. And oh, new vid.

Video: Charli XCX – “You’re The One”

The Line Of Best Fit welcomes Dry The River for a video session.

Los Campesinos! frontman Gareth Paisey follows up his musical salute to Housemartins/Beautiful South frontman Paul Heaton with an interview at Drowned In Sound about his new opera Presents The 8th, in which Paisey has a part.

Sigur Rós have released another video from Valtari, though this one contains 100% less celebrity penis than the last one.

Video: Sigur Rós – “Rembihnútur”

Filter and Relix get to know Of Monsters & Men.

Southern Souls shares a session recorded with Revolver, recorded when they were in town for NXNE last month.