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Posts Tagged ‘Twilight Sad’

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

Everybody's Changing

Veronica Falls and Cold Showers at The Garrison in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangSo this is the first time in nine years that I am NOT in Austin for SXSW; reasons for this are myriad, but the broad strokes can be inferred from this. So while this means rather than embarrassment of concert riches to choose from, my live music options amongst bands not deep in the heart of Texas were decidedly shallower, but still pretty great – after all, Veronica Falls were back in town.

It was at SXSW 2011 that I first made the acquaintance of the Anglo-Scottish quartet, proceeding to catch them at home and abroad, with their show at The Garrison last February the last show I caught in support of their self-titled debut, and just as well – as much as I loved the record, there was only so much mileage to be squeezed out of a single 36-minute collection.

That wasn’t an issue on Tuesday night when they returned to The Garrison with their second album Waiting For Something To Happen exactly one month old and still fresh and delightful. It strikes the perfect balance of keeping what made their debut a gem – the throwback ’80s-styled indie-pop exulting under moodily overcast skies – and improving it with catchier hooks, stronger vocals in all departments – melodies, harmonies, expressiveness – and just enough extra stylistic boundary-pushing. It was everything I would have wanted in a follow-up, and that it gave them excuse to come back to town was all the better.

Openers Cold Showers keep a pretty low online profile – it took more digging than it should have to establish they hail from Los Angeles – but putting a finger on their sound wasn’t nearly as difficult. Their dark, post-punk sound mines the territory of early Cure and Joy Division, but they manage to avoid sounding dismissively derivative. Built on a bed of muscular, mechanical drumming, prone to measured bursts of noise, and surprisingly melodic while maintaining a persistant broodiness. Not the most exciting, presentation-wise, but it sounded good.

It was funny to go back and re-read my writeup of last year’s Veronica Falls show at The Garrison because I noted the problems the band were having with their on-stage monitor mixes – funny because a year later, they still seemed to be having the same issues. But still, except for the drums sounding a bit overloud – more because of Patrick Doyle’s right foot than any sound reinforcement issues – the house mix sounded fine. Though hardly overly-polished on record, live they added an appealing extra layer of grit to the proceedings and were incrementally more energized than they were whilst supporting their debut; frontwoman Roxanne Clifford was bouncing around the stage, whipping her hair about, and even cracked smiles when not grimacing at the sound coming from their monitors. Having twice the material to draw from meant this show was nearly twice as long as their last visit, with the set list split almost evenly between the two records and for the encore, they acquiesced to a fan request for “Starry Eyes”, a b-side that pre-dated their debut. It would have been nicer to see more people on hand – I wouldn’t have put the attendance much more than who came out last year – but at least the fans were ardent.

Photos: Veronica Falls, Cold Showers @ The Garrison – March 12, 2013
MP3: Veronica Falls – “Come On Over”
MP3: Veronica Falls – “Found Love In A Graveyard”
Video: Veronica Falls – “Teenage”
Video: Veronica Falls – “My Heart Beats”
Video: Veronica Falls – “Bad Feeling”
Video: Veronica Falls – “Come On Over”
Video: Veronica Falls – “Beachy Head”
Video: Veronica Falls – “Found Love In A Graveyard”
Video: Cold Showers – “BC”

Spinner talks to Billy Bragg about his new album Tooth And Nail, in stores next Tuesday. He plays the Danforth Music Hall on May 3.

NOW talks to CHVRCHES in advance of their Canadian Musicfest-opening show at The Mod Club on March 20.

For Folk’s Sake and The Chicago Tribune have interviews with Richard Thompson, in town next week at Massey Hall on March 22 opening for Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell.

British Sea Power have gone with the title track as the first video from their new record Machineries Of Joy, out April 1.

Video: British Sea Power – “Machineries Of Joy”

The Alternate Side has posted a video session with Jessie Ware. She makes her local debut at The Opera House on April 6.

British soul singer Laura Mvula – fourth on this year’s BBC Sound of 2013 poll – will make her local debut on April 20 at The Drake Underground in support of the just-released debut album Sing To The Moon. DIY has a feature piece.

Video: Laura Mvula – “Green Garden”

Johnny Marr offers DIY some thoughts on the likelihood of a Smiths reunion, and they’re not encouraging if you’re someone holding out hope for a Smiths reunion. Best just head to his show at The Phoenix on April 27 if you want to see Marr live.

Rolling Stone has premiered the new video from Foals’ Holy Fire; the NSFW warning seems pretty much a given by this point. They play The Kool Haus on May 11.

Video: Foals – “Late Night”

GQ has an interview with Kele Okereke of Bloc Party, who’ve just released a crowdsourced new video from Four. They’ll play Garrison Commons at Fort York as part of Field Trip on June 8.

Video: Bloc Party – “Truth”

The Fly has a feature piece on one of the possible saviours of British guitar rock, Peace; they’re in town on June 15 as part of NXNE.

The Line Of Best Fit reports that Pet Shop Boys have already completed a follow-up to last year’s Elysium; Electric will be out in June and of course there’s a trailer.

Trailer: Pet Shop Boys / Electric

The Vaccines have rolled out a new clip from their second album Come Of Age. They’re sort-of in town on August 24 in Simcoe taking part in the Mumford & Sons-led Gentlemen Of The Road Stopover fest. Mumford & Sons also have a new video from their own second record, Babel.

Video: The Vaccines – “Bad Mood”
Video: Mumford & Sons – “Whispers In The Dark”

TOY have rolled out another new video from their debut, TOY.

Video: TOY – “My Heart Skips A Beat”

The Twilight Sad has made a new song from the No One Can Ever Know sessions available to stream.

Stream: The Twilight Sad – “Tell Me When We’re Having Fun”

PopMatters chats with Patrick Wolf.

Consequence Of Sound and Blurt talk to Robyn Hitchcock about his new record Love From London.

Over at Talkhouse, Shearwater’s Jonathan Meiburg has an excellent essay/review about David Bowie’s new record The Next Day and the evolution of Bowie’s voice through the decades.

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

Candles

Daughter, Choir Of Young Believers, and Little Green Cars at The Drake Underground in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangI guess I should blame Letterman. When it was announced that English trio Daughter were doing a short North American tour around their CMJ appearance, I was quite excited as I figured with their full-length debut not due out until the new year, and only a couple of low profile EPs in The Wild Youth and His Young Heart to their name, their Monday night showcase at The Drake would be a intimate, even secret, occasion for those of us in the know. After all – what’s the point of going all the way to Texas to be wowed by them at SXSW if not to be able to be ahead of the curve if just by one show? But then Letterman goes off and has them on The Late Show a couple weeks ago and then, all of a sudden, the show is not only sold out but people are being told very explicitly that there are no more tickets, anywhere, so stop asking. Somehow my little low-key performance has become the hot ticket in town.

Not that it was necessarily all thanks to Daughter. The bill featured two other acts from abroad, both with their own momentum coming out of CMJ, and both also making their Toronto/Canadian debuts. Dublin’s Little Green Cars curiously don’t have much of an online footprint, despite having signed to Glassnote (their debut is out early next year) and having been on tour across America for the last few weeks; this show was their last in the New World – and the first where they were legally allowed to drink, all being of the tender ago of 20 – so it was reasonable to expect they’d make it a good one. And maybe a drunk one. Coming out a cute pre-show, side-stage huddle, they went not for their instruments but straight to their mics to open with an impressive a capella number showcasing their five-part harmonies. Now the more cynical might say that we’re all full up with boisterously earnest folk-rock bands from the British Isles, thanks very much – and they wouldn’t necessarily be wrong – but Little Green Cars won’t be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Their roots show, no doubt, but there’s also enough ’50s-vintage rock’n’roll, gospel soul, and jangle-pop in the mix to make it stand out without becoming pastiche. Their sound hasn’t fully cohered yet, but as mentioned they’re crazy young. It’ll get there.

Copenhagen’s Choir Of Young Believers were talked about hereabouts last week, and having spent a moderate amount of time with their latest Rhine Gold, I had a pretty good idea of what to expect. A precise idea, as it turned out, as the five-piece lineup did a pretty remarkable job of recreating the tones and textures of the album almost note-perfectly – and only almost because the cello was way low in the mix and the keys up, leaving the sonic balance tilted in favour of their New Wave tendencies, and Jannis Noya Makrigiannis took some more extended and free-form guitar excursions. It sounded quite good – the sadness and yearning of the material was more keenly felt live – but I didn’t detect it quite connecting with the audience, who responded more politely than passionately. If they’d gotten the crowd fully behind them, I suspect it could have felt epic but as it was, it was just alright.

It was genuine excitement that rippled through the packed Drake Underground by the time Daughter came out to set up for their set. They may not have had the personnel numbers of the preceding acts, but they did have some impressively complex pedalboards to help balance that out. You wouldn’t think so much technology would be needed for their dark folk-pop, but as with all aspects of the band, still waters run deep. Daughter may have initially been a pseudonym for frontwoman Elena Tonra, but it’s impossible to imagine how they’d sound without Igor Haefeli’s intricately layers of guitar atmosphere or Remi Aguilella’s spare but creatively treated drums and percussion.

And yet, it still all comes down to Tonra. Demure and hiding under her fringe, a shy girl with a sly smile, she seemed flustered by the attention yet her songs – elegant and reserved on the surface, yet clearly roiling just underneath with regrets, confessions, and accusations – are not the work of someone who prefers to stay silent or play things close to the vest. I was wholly impressed with the first impressions back in March, but having had time to get to know the songs and then see them performed, it took things to another level. Tonra did an exceptional job of tempering the intensity with charm, modestly introducing a solo reading of “The Woods” by saying that if it didn’t go well, to pretend it didn’t happen and then of course absolutely destroying it, and at the set’s close, thanking everyone for letting them in the building. The correct response, of course, was to thank her for letting us into her songs.

Photos: Daughter, Choir Of Young Believers, Little Green Cars @ The Drake Underground – October 22, 2012
MP3: Daughter – “Love”
MP3: Choir Of Young Believers – “Sedated”
MP3: Choir Of Young Believers – “Patricia’s Thirst”
MP3: Choir Of Young Believers – “Nye Nummber Et”
MP3: Choir Of Young Believers – “Paint New Horrors”
MP3: Little Green Cars – “It’s A Long Way To Tipperary”
Stream: Daughter – “Run”
Stream: Daughter – “Smother”
Video: Little Green Cars – “The John Wayne”

Dazed, Pitchfork, Planet Notion, eMusic, Interview, and Consequence Of Sound all want to talk to Bat For Lashes’ Natasha Khan with the release of her third album The Haunted Man. She also goes through the album track-by-track in a video piece for Billboard.

Ábrete De Orejas interviews David Gedge of The Wedding Present, and if you thought that this year’s Seamonsters recitals mean that it was time for Watusi to take centre stage… nope. They’ve announced a handful of 2013 dates in the US and will be playing George Best and their Hit Parade A-sides. Those of us waiting for the return of Cinerama material will have to keep waiting.

NPR has a KCRW session with Hot Chip.

DIY reports that Foals have given their third album, due out next year, a name – Holy Fire.

A Music Blog, Yea? has some questions for The Twilight Sad, in town at The Horseshoe on November 18.

The Line Of Best Fit interviews Ritzy Bryan of The Joy Formidable, whose new album Wolf’s Law comes out January 23. They play The Sound Academy on November 25 supporting The Gaslight Anthem.

Hayden Thorpe of Wild Beasts talks to The New Statesman about starting work on their new album.

Fab talks to Patrick Wolf.

Loud & Quiet have got a full, marvelously-shot and sounding Horrors show from their hometown of Southend-on-Sea available to watch.

State gets to know Clock Opera, who perform a video session for They Shoot Music and have released a new video from their album Ways To Forget.

Video: Clock Opera – “The Lost Buoys”

Beth Orton lists off some of her favourite albums for The Quietus.

The Village Voice and NOW have features on The xx.

Interview and Billboard talk to Stephen Morris and Bernard Sumner of New Order, while The Quietus talks to Peter Hook – formerly of New Order. Do you think the subject of one another comes up? Noew Order plays the second of two nights at The Sony Centre tonight.

Clash asks Guy Garvey of Elbow what he’d do with the last day of his life.

The Daily Mail offers an update on David Bowie’s ongoing retirement. And that is he’s still retired.

That Marina & The Diamonds/Icona Pop show originally scheduled for December 3 at The Phoenix has been moved to The Kool Haus. Adjust your bus schedules accordingly.

The Capilano Courier talks to Søen Løkke Juul of Indians; their debut Somewhere Else is out January 29 and they’re at The Horseshoe on November 23 supporting Other Lives.

The Raveonettes have released a new video from Observator. Stereogum has some thoughts from directors about the clip.

Video: The Raveonettes – “Curse The Night”

The Alternate Side has a session with The Tallest Man On Earth.

The Fader has a video session with Jens Lekman recorded in a New York bakery.

Sambassadeur is teasing a new album due out in 2013 with a new limited edition 7″ out on November 20.

MP3: Sambassadeur – “Memories”

Sigur Rós have rolled out a couple more videos from their Valtari “Mystery Film Experiment”.

Video: Sigur Rós – “Fjögur píanó”
Video: Sigur Rós – “Varðeldur”

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

FME 2012 Day Two

Feist, Louis-Jean Cormier, and more at Festival de musique émergente 2012

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangSo yesterday I talked about where and what Rouyn-Noranda was; today I will do the same for FME. You don’t need to be bilingual to discern that “Festival de musique émergente” implies a mandate of focusing on new and upcoming artists, primarily but not exclusively from Québec, with a few relatively big names to bring in the less musically adventurous. It was started ten years ago when the organizers were tired of driving to Montréal eight hours away to see shows and so they started a festival as a pretence to bring bands to them.

From drawing around 3000 people in its first year to an estimated 20,000 this year, it’s concentrated on growing in scale while maintaining its intimate and sometimes impromptu vibe and also become an important showcase for European festival bookers to discover Francophone talent. It’s definitely a grassroots/boutique-type festival – think Hillside meets Iceland Airwaves, but much smaller – that brings a few days of great music and arts to a community that has an immense appetite for it but is well away from conventional touring routes and for Anglophones like myself, provide a fascinating window into the often opaque world of Québec popular music.

After a Friday morning spent ziplining in a forest a little out of town – no broken bones! A triumph! – it was into town to catch some of their “5 á 7” series of free day shows. Well, one of them – they were all at 5PM so conflicts were going to happen. I hit up Avec pas d’casque at Salle Evolu-Son on account of their latest Astronomie having made the Polaris long list this year, giving them more name recognition than anyone else playing. Lost list benefits in action! But while I knew who they were, I didn’t actually know what they sounded like so their slightly creaky country-pop was a total surprise to me. Of course, if they’d been a straightahead rock band or metal-reggae group, I’d have been just as surprised so whatever. Their down-home songwriting was augmented by some interesting instrument choices – steel and bowed guitars, a euphonium, autoharp, and kazoo were all drafted into service at some point in their set and while they demonstrated the ability to make their sound swell dramatically if they wanted to, they mostly kept it pretty mellow.

Photos: Avec pas d’casque @ Salle Evolu-Son – August 31, 2012
Video: Avec pas d’casque – “En attendant que ça paye”
Video: Avec pas d’casque – “Talent”
Video: Avec pas d’casque – “Dans les bras de la femme bionique”
Video: Avec pas d’casque – “Dans la nature jusqu’au cou”

For the evening programme, there wasn’t really anywhere else to be than the outdoor stage erected on 7e rue – this was where the festival’s headliner, save the special Sunday night performance, was going to be. Louis-Jean Cormier would have known what it was to be one of FME’s main draws – his band Karkwa had played the fest a number of times (their manager being the founder), most recently in 2010 – the year they won the Polaris Prize. With the band on the backburner for the foreseeable future, Cormier was using this occasion to showcase material which would appear on his solo debut, out on September 18, and while I’d seen him perform a number of times, it was always in the context of trying to introduce himself to unfamiliar audiences and win them over; it was quite different to see him in front of those who were already won over. Playing in a light, steady rain and fronting a five-piece band, Cormier gave ample proof that he was the melodic, pop heart of Karkwa. His stuff was more immediate and the fussier elements, while still present, were dialed down significantly. It was guitar pop of the sort that you didn’t need to understand the lyrics to enjoy, though the closing number’s chorus of “Goodbye Charest” made its sentiment pretty clear, along with Cormier’s political leanings and from the shouts of approval, the audience’s as well.

Photos: Louis-Jean Cormier @ Scène extérieur desjardins 7e rue – August 31, 2012
Stream: Louis-Jean Cormier – “L’ascenseur”

Being an international star, Feist has played a lot of places in Canada and abroad but it was probably safe to say she’d never played Rouyn-Noranda before. That, plus the fact that it was a festival headlining set towards the end of the touring cycle for Metals made me wonder if she might deviate from the consistent (read: same) set she’d been performing for most of the past year and maybe acquiesce to playing a few more of the hits? Not that I’d seen the set in question; I’d caught a bit of her at Osheaga but the last time I saw her perform was last October at the CBC’s Glenn Gould Studio, and that was a decidedly unique and guest star-laden show.

One look at the stage showed at least one way in which this would be different; Mountain Man, the trio who had been Feist’s backing singers for the entirety of the Metals tours, were absent and instead it was a four-piece band who would be playing tonight, though both Brian LeBarton and Charles Spearin’s musical workstations flanking Feist’s spot centre-stage were loaded with gear. They may have been small, but they were hardly unequipped.

Once they got started – the skies had cleared and a full moon shone – another benefit to the smaller band became evident: it gave them space. It’s difficult to be spontaneous with a big band but a lean unit – particularly one that’s been playing countless show for months – can turn on a dime and given this freedom and the casual vibe of the festival, Feist turned in an energized, exuberant set that proved that she stil knew where her indie rock roots were. Unsurprisingly, Metals material made up the bulk of the set, some of the selections had already mutated into new forms from the past year of live interpretations. I would have expected her French to be better given the time spent in Paris, but Feist was still able to engage the audience and invite them to act as choral vocalists on a few songs. The outro of “How Come You Never Go There” went alright – “whoa whoa” isn’t too hard to do – but the multi-octave harmonies on “So Sorry” were well beyond their abilities and were a kind of charming disaster.

It was the older material that really stood out, though, and not just because it was more familiar. “My Moon My Man” was a near-rager, replete with healthy guitar abuse, and “Feel It All” was a veritable punk rock number. The encore kept this up, with Feist and LeBarton – swapping keys for drums – turning “When I Was A Young Girl” into a garage rock-y White Stripes tribute and, with the rest of the band back on stage, making “Sea Lion Woman” a free-form jam before ending with an impressively big, “Let It Die”. It will probably be a while before Feist ever returns to Rouyn, but until then she left the town with a lot of lasting musical memories.

Spinner grabbed an interview with Feist prior to the show.

Photos: Feist @ Scène extérieur desjardins 7e rue – August 31, 2012
Video: Feist – “Anti-Pioneer”
Video: Feist – “Cicadas & Gulls”
Video: Feist – “The Bad In Each Other”
Video: Feist – “I Feel It All”
Video: Feist – “Honey Honey”
Video: Feist – “My Moon My Man”
Video: Feist – “Mushaboom”
Video: Feist – “1, 2, 3, 4”
Video: Feist – “One Evening”
Video: Feist – “It’s Cool To Love Your Family”

It would be hard to top that show, so Kandle’s midnight set at Agora des arts was doomed to pale by comparison, but even if that hadn’t been the context it probably still would have underwhelmed. The offspring of 54-40 frontman Neil Osbourne, Kandle Osborne should be commended for trying something completely different musically, but the moody, country-noir sound she’s going for is, for now at least, beyond her reach. Her voice may have the right smoky timbre but she didn’t demonstrate any of the range necessary to imbue it with emotion and her songwriting also lacked the maturity and sophistication needed to sell it. Maybe with time and experience, both musical and life, she’ll get more convincing but for now she comes across as an ingenue trying to play the femme fatale role and it’s not working.

And then we went for poutine.

Photos: Kandle @ Agora des arts – August 31, 2012
Video: Kandle – “Small”
Video: Kandle – “Knew You’d Never”
Video: Kandle – “Know My Name”

A brace of concert announcements following the long weekend yesterday. Starting with the quick and free, know that Bloc Party will augment their two-night stand at the Danforth Music Hall with a free show at Sugar Beach – that’s down at the Corus/CFNY/Edge building on Lakeshore – on September 11 at 7:30PM. Details at Arts & Crafts.

Video: Bloc Party – “Octopus”

West coast lo-fi fellows Craft Spells have a date at The Shop under Parts & Labour on September 23, tickets $12.50 for those who plan ahead.

MP3: Craft Spells – “You Should Close The Door”
MP3: Craft Spells – “Party Talk”

Aussies enamoured of their Kiwi neighbours’ jangle-pop traditions – read: Flying Nun et al – The Twerps will be at The Silver Dollar on October 22. Don’t know who they are? eMusic finds out.

Video: The Twerps – “Through The Day”

Portland’s Blitzen Trapper will find some time amidst their tour with Brandi Carlile to play a headlining show of their own at Lee’s Palace on October 22. Tickets $17.50.

MP3: Blitzen Trapper – “Black River Killer”
MP3: Blitzen Trapper – “Love The Way You Walk Away”

Texas psych-rock pioneer Roky Erickson is at Lee’s Palace on November 3, tickets $29.50. His last release was 2010’s Will Sheff-produced, Okkervil River-backed True Love Cast Out All Evil. The Advocate talks to Sheff about working with Erickson and what’s next for Okkervil.

Stream: Roky Erickson – “Be And Bring Me Home”

More Portlanders coming to town in the form of ornate folk outfit Horse Feathers. Their latest Cynics New Year came out in the Spring and they’ll be playing selections from it at The Drake on November 8, tickets $15.

MP3: Horse Feathers – “Fit Against The Country”
MP3: Horse Feathers – “Cascades”

And again from Australia, Tame Impala have announced a local date in support of their new record Lonerism, out October 9. Look for them and their psychedelically jammy ways at The Phoenix on November 12, tickets $20. SF Weekly has an interview.

MP3: Tame Impala – “Runway, Houses, City, Clouds”

The Twilight Sad brought No One Can Ever Know to town back in March and they’ll do so again with fellow Scots Errors in tow for a show at The Horseshoe on November 18, tickets $13.50.

MP3: The Twilight Sad – “Another Bed”
Video: Errors – “Ammaboa Glass”

Spinner talks Lawless with Nick Cave, screenwriter.

The Vinyl District interviews Pip Browne of Ladyhawke. She’s at The Hoxton on September 15.

The National Post interviews Torq Campbell of Stars. They support Metric at The Air Canada Centre on November 24.

Daytrotter sessions up an a capella Futureheads.

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

Loney Blues

Loney Dear at The Horseshoe in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangGetting back and forth from Sweden to North America isn’t cheap – trust me, I’ve looked – so having already been through town in November for last year’s chart-topping Hall Music, I really didn’t expect Loney Dear to be coming back anytime soon even though history has shown them to be more willing to tour through North America than many of their countrymen. So the unexpected announcement of a handful of Summer dates including Sunday night at The Horseshoe felt more like a gift than anything else.

That said, and as wonderful as that show at The Drake last Fall was, I really hoped it wouldn’t be a repeat performance. Which is to say that while Emil Svanängen totally managed to beguile as a solo performer (aided by a studio’s worth of gear onstage), Loney Dear shines brightest as a full band – anyone at their previous visit to the ‘Shoe in October 2009 or their Toronto debut at Lee’s in June 2007 could testify to that. So it was pretty nice to walk into the venue and see the stage covered with more gear than one person could possibly play on their own, even though last time out Svanängen certainly gave it a shot.

Interestingly, though Loney Dear was a four-piece this time, Svanängen’s station remained the same as when he was on his own – a chair surrounded by looping equipment, organ pedals, percussion instruments, extra mics – each of his bandmates also had a similarly complex setup; the stage was an incomprehensible morass of boxes, cables and stands. Apparently rather than spread out the workload of recreating his compositions, he was going to increase it exponentially. The core of it may well have been what Svanängen brought in the Fall – even with a drummer on hand, the looped drum and cymbal tricks remained in the mix – the addition of the rhythm section and Malin Ståhlberg on keys, accordian, and backing vocals added a whole new dimension to the songs live. And yet for all the sonic tools at their disposal, the front half of the show – dedicated to Hall Music material – felt intimate, baroque, and elegiac in tone, successfully translating the songs inspired by and meant to be played with Swedish chamber orchestras to a bar in North America, performed without any strings at all. The grand swelling choruses that defined the earlier records felt a thousand miles away.

The older material did come, though, albeit thoroughly recontextualized: “Saturday Waits” was given to Ståhlberg to take lead vocals on; “Ignorant Boy, Beautiful Girl” built to gorgeous heights around the steady “Na Ma Na Ma” vocal lines; “Dear John” was rendered spare and jazzily with an emphasis on some improvised vocal acrobatics. All were markedly different from their recorded versions, yet still immediately familiar and just as beautiful in their way. The gathered crowd wasn’t especially large but it was appreciative, such that after finishing their main set with “Violent”, the band didn’t even leave the stage – they just bowed a few times and acquiesced to play a few more songs. They attempted to make it interactive for “I Fought The Battle Of Trinidad & Tobago” but Svanängen had far too much confidence in the audience’s collective abilities to execute multi-part harmonies, but were content to allow us to bask in “Sinister In A State Of Hope” and “I Was Only Going Out”. I hope some audience member took Svanängen up on his invitation to drink the band under the tables; they’d earned it.

Loney Dear is one of the artists featured in Swedish Music Landscape, a new photographic book focusing on Swedish pop musicians and their environment; I’ve ordered a copy, I’ll let you know if it’s swell.

Photos: Loney Dear @ The Horseshoe – July 8, 2012
MP3: Loney Dear – “Name”
MP3: Loney Dear – “My Heart”
MP3: Loney Dear – “Loney Blues”
MP3: Loney Dear – “Calm Down”
MP3: Loney Dear – “Maria, Is That You?”
MP3: Loney Dear – “D Major”
MP3: Loney Dear – “Largo”
MP3: Loney Dear – “Young Hearts”
MP3: Loney Dear – “Durmoll”
MP3: Loney Dear – “What Have I Become”
MP3: Loney Dear – “Ignorant Boy, Beautiful Girl”
MP3: Loney Dear – “Airport Surroundings”
MP3: Loney Dear – “I Was Only Going Out”
MP3: Loney, Dear – “I Am John”
MP3: Loney, Dear – “A Few Good Men”
Video: Loney Dear – “Loney Blues” (European)
Video: Loney Dear – “Loney Blues” (American)
Video: Loney Dear – “Young Hearts”
Video: Loney Dear – “I Was Only Going Out”
Video: Loney Dear – “Airport Surroundings”
Video: Loney, Dear – “I Am John”
Video: Loney, Dear – “Saturday Waits”

The Line Of Best Fit points to a cover First Aid Kit did of The Rolling Stones for BBC6. They’re at The Danforth Music Hall on September 26.

Stream: First Aid Kit – “Play With Fire”

The lead single from Jens Lekman’s forthcoming I Know What Love Isn’t is available to download; he plays The Phoenix on October 4.

MP3: Jens Lekman – “Erica America”

It may technically be a commercial, but this video performance of The Tallest Man On Earth for Carmel Guitars is worth watching, even if you’re not in the market for a new acoustic.

Video: The Tallest Man On Earth – “Leading Me Now” (live)

Clash finds out what Hives frontman Pelle Almqvist would do if it were his last day on earth.

Pitchfork takes Icona Pop out for a night of karaoke; karaoke ensues. Idolator also has a feature on the duo and Fader pokes through their handbags.

With their early days compilation Early Birds out on July 17, Múm have released both an MP3 and a video from it for your approval.

MP3: Múm – “0,000Orð”
Video: Múm – “Hvernig á að særa vini sína”

Pitchfork has a new track from the forthcoming Raveonettes album Observator, out September 11, available to stream. The play The Phoenix on October 2.

Stream: The Raveonettes – “She Owns The Streets”

Good news for Frightened Rabbit fans: the band’s fourth album is complete! Bad news: it’s not out until 2012. Good news: they’ll be releasing a new EP on September 25 to satiate your appetites. More good news: they’re also touring. Catch them at The Mod Club on October 10, tickets $21.50 in advance. Good news wins!

MP3: Frightened Rabbit – “Swim Until You Can’t See Land”

What F***ing Ian Guy interview James Graham of The Twilight Sad.

The Wedding Present’s David Gedge chats with The Medway Broadside.

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

Lost Kids

Blood Red Shoes are made for walking. Or touring.

Photo By Anton CoeneAnton CoeneRemember, not so long ago, when big-ass bands with memberships numbering in the double-digits were all the fuss? Me neither. Seems two is all you need to make a racket and an impression, as yesterday’s post can attest and today’s can reinforce. What sets Brighton two-piece Blood Red Shoes apart from most of the other outfits who can tour in a Cooper Mini are the fact that though they’re plenty good at the loud, they’re much less reliant on the white noise bombast to get their message across.

Their 2010 release Fire Like This drew on plenty of ’90s-era grunge and alt.rock influences, but their strong melodic sensibilities and the mixture of drummer Steven Ansell and guitarist Laura-May Carter’s vocals had an innate sweetness, even when snarling, that couldn’t help but temper their aggression. That’s a relative statement, mind you, as anyone at their show at The Horseshoe in October 2010 could attest; there was plenty of aggression there to spare.

And there’ll be more to come. Their third album In Time To Voices was released in the UK back in March, but will get a North American release come July 24 and the band will follow that up with a North American tour that brings them back to Toronto for a show at The Drake Underground on September 26, tickets $12.50 in advance. Female First and Spoonfed have interviews with the band.

MP3: Blood Red Shoes – “Light It Up”
Video: Blood Red Shoes – “Lost Kids”
Video: Blood Red Shoes – “Cold”
Stream: Blood Red Shoes / In Time To Voices

Keeping on the blood theme – Blood Orange have released another new video from Coastal Grooves.

Video: Blood Orange – “I’m Sorry We Lied”

Coup de Main has an interview with Ryan Jarman of The Cribs, who’ve just released an interactive new video from In The Belly Of The Brazen Beast.

Video: The Cribs – “Glitters Like Gold”

2:54 have a new video from their just-released self-titled debut, and for good measure Filter has a live in-studio performance video of the same tune. Clash and Stereogum have interviews with the band, who’re at Lee’s Palace on June 16 for NXNE.

Video: 2:54 – “Creeping”

Boy, that Florence & The Machine sure do like making videos, don’t they? Here’s another from Ceremonials and head to DigitalSpy has a behind-the-scenes video of the David LaChapelle production. They’re at The Molson Amphitheatre on August 2.

Video: Florence & The Machine – “Spectrum”

Summer Camp are streaming the title track from their forthcoming new EP Always, due out July 10.

Stream: Summer Camp – “Always”

The Vaccines have announced a September 3 release date for their second album No Hope For The Vaccines and are streaming the first single and kind-of title track from it right now.

Stream: The Vaccines – “No Hope”

Also in the, “much-anticipated British sophomore efforts due out this Fall” category are Mumford & Sons, whose as-yet untitled second album will be out come September 24. Some details to be had at Paste.

DIY, Inthemix, and The Guardian interview Hot Chip, whose In Our Heads is out June 12 and who play The Sound Academy on July 15.

Clash and The Village Voice get to Elizabeth Morris of Allo Darlin’.

Daytrotter has a session up with The Wave Pictures.

The Big Takeover talks to Stevie Jackson about his new solo record (I Can’t Get No) Stevie Jackson, out in North America on July 3.

Undersong interviews James Graham of The Twilight Sad.

The Fly has a feature piece on Richard Hawley.

Pitchfork has a +1 video session and The Georgia Straight with Spiritualized.

Artrocker talks to Tim Burgess of The Charlatans.