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Posts Tagged ‘Var’

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

Hold On

Annie streams comeback EP

Photo By Maxime BallesterosMaxime BallesterosI don’t know that Norwegians are especially renowned for their senses of irony, but it’s pretty funny that following the 2009 release of her second album of sassy, sugary, and on occasion, delightfully smack-talking electro-pop Don’t Stop, Anne Lilia Berge Strand – that’s Annie to her public – seemingly did just that. Okay, that’s not entirely fair; after touring behind the album, she was reportedly back in the studio in 2010 working on the follow-up, but the results from those sessions didn’t surface until earlier this year in the form of the “Tube Stops And Lonely Hearts” single, which was certainly welcome but didn’t necessarily come with a promise of more material to follow.

That promise finally came earlier this month with the announcement of a new EP – The A’NR EP, named for Strand and her producer Richard X and slated for release as of yesterday – and a steady stream of stream premieres, such that you could reasonably wonder why not just stream the whole thing in one place? As it turns out you can just below.

The Fader, The Line Of Best Fit, and DIY have interviews with Strand where she explains her absence and her return, but doesn’t tip her hat as to when a proper third album will be out. So with that in mind, you can also get your Annie fix via a recent single from Norwegian electronic artist Ralph Myerz, to which she contributed lead vocals.

Video: Annie – “Tube Stops And Lonely Hearts”
Video: Ralph Myerz featuring Annie – “Take A Look At The World”
Stream: Annie / The A&R EP

Pitchfork has the details about the new Icona Pop record they’d like you to think is their debut but really isn’t, really – according to the tracklist at DIY, This Is… – out September 24 – overlaps with their Swedish debut by only their already-released singles but is otherwise all-new. They’re streaming one of those new songs and have released a video for another, and are featured in an interview in Instinct. And while they were supposed to play Garrison Commons as part of The Grove Fest this coming Saturday, one can’t help but notice they’re no longer listed on the website. You do the math (hint: it’s subtraction).

Stream: Icona Pop – “All Night”
Video: Icona Pop – “Girlfriend”

Experimental Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson will be at The Music Gallery on September 8, bolstered by the ACME String Quartet; tickets are $20 in advance.

MP3: Jóhann Jóhannson – “Odi Et Amo”

The Line Of Best Fit has premiered the official video to accompany the new I Break Horses single released a few weeks ago and which precedes their second album, due out in October-ish.

Video: I Break Horses – “Denial”

Noisey talks to Elias Ronnenfelt and Loke Rahbek of Vår.

Under The Radar interviews the gentlemen of Junip.

Channel 4 is streaming the meeting of Björk and Sir David Attenborough.

Video: When Björk Met Attenborough

Raggi Thórhallsson of Of Monsters & Men answers some questions from MusicOmh and Gigwise (in two parts).

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

Every Weekday

Camera Obscura defeats the slow news day with Desire Lines stream

Photo By Anna Isola CrollaAnna Isola CrollaWith yesterday being both Memorial Day in the US and a Bank Holiday in the UK, the internet was understandably reasonably quiet, at least from a music news perspective. If you covered, say, municipal affairs in Toronto, then it was far from it. But I digress.

If you were to have only one noteworthy item to lead off a post, however, you could do far worse than to announce that Scotland’s Camera Obscura have made their new long-player of elegant indie-pop Desire Lines – the first since 2009’s My Maudlin Career – available to stream in whole via NPR before its formal release date of next Tuesday, June 4. And the perfect accompaniment for that listening session would be these feature pieces on the band in The Scotsman and The List, and the knowledge that in just over a month’s time – July 4 – they’ll be in town opening up for She & Him on the first night of the Toronto Urban Roots Fest at Garrison Commons.

MP3: Camera Obscura – “Fifth In Line To The Throne”
Stream: Camera Obscura / Desire Lines

Consequence Of Sound interviews Laura Marling as her new record Once I Was An Eagle is officially out in North America as of today.

Beady Eye have released a second video from their second album BE, due out in the UK on June 10.

Video: Beady Eye – “Second Bite Of The Apple”

CHVRCHES have rolled out another track that will presumably appear on their forthcoming debut album when it comes out this Fall. Which also means you will recognize one more song they play at The Hoxton on June 12. Counteract has an interview with the band.

Stream: CHVRCHES – “Gun”

Iceage explains to aux.tv why they’re not fascists, which really, is exactly what a fascist would say. They’re at The Horseshoe on June 15 for NXNE.

Spin, The Scotsman, and Liverpool Echo talk to Bobby Gillespie about the new Primal Scream album More Light – out now abroad and June 18 in North America – while The Guardian welcomes the band for an acoustic video session.

MTV Hive chats with Palma Violets, who’ve released a new video from their debut 180. They make their third local appearance of the year on August 3 at Garrison Commons as part of The Grove Fest.

Video: Palma Violets – “Best Of Friends”

Thomas Mars of Phoenix – who are headlining The Grove Fest at Garrison Commons on August 3 – recounts the soundtrack of his life for The Guardian.

Consequence Of Sound and The Boston Globe talk to James Blake, who has been announced as one of the featured acts at this year’s Drake-assembled OVO Fest at The Molson Amphitheatre on August 4. NPR is also streaming a complete concert in HD from DC recently.

By way of Elizabeth Sankey’s blog, Summer Camp report that their second album is done, with release details still to come.

The Daily Star reports that Manic Street Preachers will break their hiatus which began after 2010’s Postcards From a Young Man with two new albums, being recorded simultaneously – one mostly acoustic, the other mostly not.

Brett Anderson discusses the success of the Suede reunion with Drowned In Sound.

NPR has a World Cafe session with Frightened Rabbit.

MusicOmh interviews Victoria Hesketh of Little Boots.

NOW previewed Charli XCX’s visit last week with an interview, while Stereogum captured a Backstreet Boys cover in a video session. She also just released a new video from her debut True Romance.

Video: Charli XCX – “Take My Hand”

Rolling Stone grabbed a wide-ranging Q&A with Damon Albarn before Blur’s Coachella appearances last month where he reflects on projects past and future, including a new Blur record and his first solo album.

British Sea Power have rolled out a new video from their latest album, Machineries Of Joy.

Video: British Sea Power – “Hail Holy Queen”

Allo Darlin’ unveil a new song via a video session for BalconyTV.

The Alternate Side has a session and interview with and The Georgia Straight a feature piece on Daughter.

Daytrotter has a session with Billy Bragg.

CBC Music got to know Iceland’s Of Monsters & Men before they played their festival this past weekend.

The 405 meets The Raveonettes.

The Fly has a feature piece on Denmark’s Vår.

Friday, May 17th, 2013

Stop Taking My Time

This is the new Club 8 record and now I am on holiday

Photo By Kjell B PerssonKjell B PerssonKnow what the worst thing about not going to SXSW this Spring was? Not missing SXSW, but not having my previously annual late-Winter vacation. In fact, save for a weekend jaunt to New York last November, the last time I got out of the 416 was Labour Day – that’s well over eight months ago, and right mental. And while I’d like to say that the European theme of this post is a hint as to where I’m getting away to, it unfortunately is not. I still hope to make it across the Atlantic later this Summer – who wants to go to Stockholm? – but for now, an extra-long weekend getaway to Chicago is going to have to scratch my “get out of EDT” itch. I’ll check back in before next week’s end, but we be going dark for a bit after this. Or after tomorrow, because I have a quick contest to put up. Anyways.

To keep you company – and to build up the Swedish travel karma – you can now stream in whole Above The City, the new near-perfect blend of dancefloor beats and indie-pop moping from Swede-pop veterans Club 8, which is officially out on May 21. And to go along with the stream, the Johan Angergård half of the band talks to Billboard about his and Karolina Komstedt’s first record in three years, the status of his other project The Legends, and what’s coming next from his label Labrador, and over at DIY he offers a track-by-track walkthrough of the record.

Stream: Club 8 / Above The City

With their debut album No One Dances Quite Like My Brothers out now, Copenhagen’s Vår have posted the thing up at Pitchfork for your streaming pleasure.

Stream: Vår / No One Dances Quite Like My Brothers

The Vancouver Sun and The Province interview Icelandic ambassadors Of Monsters & Men, in town at Echo Beach for CBCMusic.ca Fest at Echo Beach on May 25.

Camera Obscura have made another new track from their forthcoming Desire Lines available to stream. The record is out June 4 and they play Garrison Commons for TURF on July 4.

Stream: Camera Obscura – “Fifth In Line To The Throne”

Russell Lissack talks to The Miami New times about new music that Bloc Party might be releasing later this Summer. They play the Arts & Crafts Field Trip fest at Garrison Commons on June 8.

Though of small comfort to those of us who missed out on seeing it in person thanks to the illness that tanked their show during CMF, 4AD has announced they will release a live Efterklang album recorded in Fall 2012 with the Copenhagen Philharmonic. The Piramida Concert will be available as a digital download and vinyl package and be out June 10.

Stream: Efterklang – “The Living Layer + Vælv” (live)

Jónsi þór Birgisson gives Premier Guitar a guided tour of his live guitar rig with Sigur Rós. Their new record Kveikur is out June 18, and they’re on The Simpsons this Sunday night.

Stereogum talks to Bobby Gillespie of Primal Scream, whose new album More Light is out in North America on June 18.

The Los Angeles Times reports that former Belle & Sebastian bassist Stuart David will be writing his memoirs about his time in the band, which started from its very inception – he founded it with Stuart Murdoch in 1996 – through his departure following Fold Your Hands Child, You Walk Like A Peasant in 2000.

aux.tv has a feature-length interview and NPR a video session with Savages, coming to town for a show at The Mod Club on July 16.

Billboard and USA Today check in with the ladies of Icona Pop, coming to town as part of the Grove Fest lineup at Garrison Common on August 3.

Franz Ferdinand have announced the August 27 release of their fourth record, Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action; The Line Of Best Fit has details and Domino has an album trailer, but the important thing is it’s only three more months until people can complain that the new record isn’t as good as their first.

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

Dreamy English folk-pop purveyors Lanterns On The Lake aren’t offering any specifics on their second album besides that it’ll be out later this year, but they have released a first video from it.

Video: Lanterns On The Lake – “Another Tale From Another English Town”

Melody’s Echo Chamber have a new video from last year’s self-titled debut.

Video: Melody’s Echo Chamber – “Some Time Alone, Alone”

The Quietus gets an interview with The Knife.

The Independent profiles Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds.

The Line Of Best Fit grabs Neil Halstead for a video session.

The Line Of Best Fit interviews British Sea Power.

The Province, Seattle Weekly, and The San Francisco Examiner interview Kate Nash.

Monday, May 13th, 2013

Knock Me On The Head

Stornoway and Field Report at The Horseshoe in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank Yang2010 wasn’t really that long ago, but apparently it was long enough that I’d just about forgotten about Oxford, England’s Stornoway despite their debut Beachcomber’s Windowsill making it onto my year-end list, helped along by a stellar local live debut that December at the El Mocambo. Which is not to say that I had forgotten them completely or that I liked them, but by the time their follow-up album Tales From Terra Firma came out in mid-March, they’d fallen far enough off the front burner of my memory that I rolled into Thursday night’s show at The Horseshoe driven more by curiosity than excitement.

Support act Field Report, hailing from Milwaukee, Wisconsin and making their Toronto debut, didn’t worry too much about cultivating curiosity from their audience. Playing songs from their self-titled debut, they offered raspy narratives over slow, atmospheric folk tunes dusted from the well-worn roads of Americana. Crafting something fresh didn’t seem to be as of much importance as doing it in great detail, as well as building a rapport with the audience – much time was spent introducing the songs, chatting with the audience, and complimenting the city. Ultimately more charming than memorable.

I’m not normally one to allow Pitchfork to dictate the conversation – at least not ones that I’m having – but that their tepid review of Terra Firma cited a lack of memorable melodies as a one of its chief complaints is just bewildering to me. I may not have spent the time I’d have liked with the record prior to this show, but even the handful of listens I’d given it affirmed it as at least as tuneful as its predecessor, which itself was plenty melodically rich. The reason this came to mind at the show was because when the six-piece band got into full swing – the core quartet were joined by a touring violinist and multi-instrumentalist, both with sheaves of sheet music in front of them – the problem was not trying to find a delicious melody to listen to but choosing which one to concentrate on.

They were like a candy store of folk-pop, every hand and mouth contributing to the glorious rustic orchestra onstage; it was hard to not be drawn to Oli Steadman’s basslines, so much funkier and more prominent in the live mix than on record, Jon Ouin’s textured bed of keyboards or spidery guitar leads, Rob Steadman’s wonderfully creative drum patterns, or Brian Briggs’ gorgeous tenor, often leading immaculate, multi-part harmonies. Listening to any of them in isolation would have been lovely; hearing them in concert with one another was astonishing, even without most of the instruments as on their reading of “The Ones We Hurt The Most”, the four-part harmonies performed perfectly and unaccompanied save for acoustic guitar and single violin. And then there was their use of live wood-chopping as the rhythm bed for “Farewell Appalachia”. Who does that?

The set was split about evenly between the two records, keeping a consistently jaunty pace with occasional spikes of jubilant, yet always sounding elegant and sophisticated. Unlike some more populist acts who could be filed as their peers in the genre, Stornoway don’t need to try to broadcast authenticity with their dress or mannerisms; they’re timeless – not throwback – and just plugged directly into it. And while their audience might not have been as large, they were devoted and clearly in it for the long haul – even those, like myself, who’d temporarily forgotten that they were. But if there was an upside to that memory lapse as to how great Stornoway were, it was that it allowed me to rediscover the fact all over again.

Photos: Stornoway, Field Report @ The Horseshoe – May 9, 2013
MP3: Stornoway – “Fuel Up”
MP3: Stornoway – “On The Rocks”
MP3: Stornoway – “Zorbing”
Video: Stornoway – “The Bigger Picture”
Video: Stornoway – “Knock Me On The Head”
Video: Field Report – “I Am Not Waiting Anymore”

Spin and Interview have features on Copenhagen’s Vår, who’ve released a new stream from their debut album No One Dances Quite Like My Brothers, out tomorrow.

Stream: Vår – “Into Distance”

Pitchfork reports that New Order will be releasing a benefit live album recorded at last year’s Bestival on the Isle Of Wight. Live at Bestival 2012 will be out July 8.

The livestreamed Savages put on last week to mark the release of their debut Silence Yourself is now available to stream on demand at YouTube; The Creators Project has a Q&A with the performance’s director. They play The Mod Club on July 16.

Planet Notion offers an interview with Victoria Hesketh of Little Boots.

Daytrotter has a session with Noah & The Whale.

The Toronto Star talked to Foals ahead of Saturday night’s gig at the Kool Haus.

The Line Of Best Fit has an interview with Iceland’s Sóley.

Friday, April 12th, 2013

What I Like

Stream Charli XCX’s True Romance. Or don’t. Whatever.

Photo By Dan CurwinDan CurwinAs much as I’d like to be able to claim to have seen Charli XCX’s latent stardom from the get-go, a quick look back at my writeup from SXSW 2012 confirms that I was not, in fact, overly impressed with the set I caught, but this also acknowledges that performing in a stripped-down setting accompanied only by a keyboardist isn’t really putting an electro-pop artist’s best foot forward. She came across much better five months later at Osheaga, kicking off the festival with a good balance of energy, songs, and showmanship – plus a solid cover of “The Killing Moon”.

The young Englishwoman’s star has steadily continued to rise since then, and the buzz will come to a head – for now, at least – with the release next week of her debut album True Romance, a convincing collection of party-friendly, synth-built anthems with plenty of confidence and personality. As is the custom, the record is getting an advance stream before its release, this time courtesy of Pitchfork. There’s also feature interviews with the Charlotte Aitchison at MXDWN and Idolator. She is in town at Echo Beach on May 23 opening up for Marina & The Diamonds.

MP3: Charli XCX – “Nuclear Seasons”
Stream: Charli XCX / True Romance

NOW and A Music Blog, Yea? talk to The Joy Formidable ahead of their show at The Phoenix tonight, April 12.

Mashable is streaming the M83-powered soundtrack to the new Tom Cruise flick Oblivion. The soundtrack came out this week but the film doesn’t open until the 19th of this month.

Stream: M83 / Oblivion soundtrack

Spin and KQED talk to Jessie Ware, who finally gets a North American release for her debut Devotion next week, on April 16.

The Line Of Best Fit has premiered the new video from the Junip self-title, coming out April 23. They play The Great Hall on June 10.

Video: Junip – “Your Life Your Call”

Filter and Billboard have feature pieces on Phoenix, whose new album Bankrupt! comes out April 23. They’ve just released an acoustic performance video from it and will headline The Grove Fest at Garrison Common on August 3.

Video: Phoenix – “Entertainment!” (acoustic)

Palma Violets have released a new video from their debut 180. They’re also interviewed by WhatCulture and have a headlining show at Lee’s Palace on May 3 as well as being part of The Grove Fest lineup.

Video: Palma Violets – “We Found Love”

James Blake has released a video for the title track of his just-released new album Overgrown. He plays The Danforth Music Hall on May 4.

Video: James Blake – “Overgrown”

Topman Magazine talks to Primal Scream’s Bobby Gillespie about their forthcoming album More Light, out May 13.

Pigeons & Planes have premiered the new video from Elliphant, making her local debut on June 7 supporting Twin Shadow at The Phoenix.

Video: Elliphant – “Make It Juicy”

NME confirms details of the new Beady Eye album, which will be called BE – acronym or shouting, take your pick – and be out June 10.

CHVRCHES have released a new live video. They play The Hoxton on June 12 and their debut is out in September.

Video: CHVRCHES – “Lies” (live)

The Line Of Best Fit has an interview with Iceage and Matablog has got a new studio performance video and download from their latest, You’re Noting. They’ll be in Toronto for NXNE on June 15, and Iceage spin-off Vår is streaming a new track from their debut No One Dances Quite Like My Brothers, coming out May 14.

MP3: Iceage – “Morals”
Video: Iceage – “Morals” (live)
Stream: Vår – “The World Fell”

DIY and Glamour get to know Icona Pop, who will be playing the aforementioned Grove Festival at Garrison Common on August 3.

Swedish punks Holograms are streaming the first track from their second album Forever, now confirmed for a September 3 release.

Stream: Holograms – “Flesh And Bone”

Loud & Quiet, Dazed, and MTV Hive all have feature pieces on The Knife.

Daytrotter has posted a session and A Heart Is A Spade, Fractured Air, and Buzzine interviews with Ólafur Arnalds.

Efterklang performs a Tiny Desk Concert for NPR.

The AV Club talks to Nick Cave.

And thanks to PopMatters for unearthing an excellent quality video of an almost-complete concert from the very end days of Catherine Wheel. Never forget.