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Posts Tagged ‘We Were Promised Jetpacks’

Friday, February 24th, 2012

Hook You Up

Charlotte Hatherley reveals herself as Sylver Tongue devil

Photo via GuardianThe GuardianWith her tenure in Ash, as sidewoman to the likes of KT Tunstall and Bat For Lashes and a solo career that’s yielded three good albums, Charlotte Hatherley has pretty well established herself as a purveyor of sharp, smart power-pop and more than a bit of a guitar heroine. But apparently she’s been hiding another side of herself that worships at the altar of ’80s-vintage electro-pop and that side has now surfaced under the guise of Sylver Tongue.

So far there’s just the one single to represent her first work since 2009’s New Worlds, but it comes with an accompanying video that demonstrates in no uncertain terms what the aesthetic of the project is, which is to say happily neon and glammy. The track itself is far from a club floor banger, its dreamy pace probably better suited for slow dances at proms and if you traded some synths for guits, it wouldn’t have been out of place on her second album The Deep Blue. In any case, it’s good to know that Hatherley remains a solid songwriter, whatever the genre or identity.

Album information is still forthcoming, but the “New band of the day” feature at The Guardian implies they’ve heard more from her and they like it. Which bodes well.

MP3: Sylver Tongue – “Hook You Up”
Video: Sylver Tongue – “Hook You Up”

The Independent and The Fly have interviews with Beth Jeans Houghton.

Pitchfork has got the… interesting cover art from the new Spiritualized record Sweet Heart Sweet Light, due out April 17, and a stream of the first single. They’re at The Phoenix on May 5.

Stream: Spiritualized – “Hey Jane”

SXSW chats with We Were Promised Jetpacks, who will be at Lee’s Palace on April 15.

Mystery Jets have given their fourth album a title of Radlands and a release date of April 30; some details on the release and a trailer for the album can be found at Exclaim.

Charles Watson of Slow Club talks to The Vinyl District.

The Fly chats with the Brewis brothers of Field Music.

NPR has a World Cafe session with Los Campesinos!.

DIY interviews Fanfarlo, whose Rooms Filled With Light comes out on Tuesday, February 28. They play The Mod Club on March 25.

The April 17 Kaiser Chiefs show at The Phoenix has been moved to The Opera House due to “scheduling conflicts”, so don’t read the downgrade in venue as indicative of their popularity. No, seriously.

English DJ-type guy Star Slinger is back for a show at Lee’s Palace on May 14 as part of a Spring tour.

MP3: Star Slinger – “Mornin'”
MP3: Star Slinger – “Minted”

James Blake talks to Spinner about where he wants to head, musically-speaking, next.

Under The Radar has got videos of Blur’s comeback performance at The Brits earlier this week, and The Quietus examines the merits of some of their lesser-known, non-album tracks. Oh, and they’re now headlining the Way Out West festival in Gothenburg, Sweden in August – anyone want to go?

Holy Moly has a sit-down with Niki & The Dove. Their debut Instinct is out May 14.

The Line Of Best Fit has posted a video session with The Mary Onettes.

Denmark’s Alcoholic Faith Mission, whom I believe impressed a lot of people when they were here for NXNE last year, are coming back for a date at The Drake on May 2, tickets $13.50 in advance. They’re giving away their last album Daylight From Above until February 29 over here and their new one Ask Me This comes out March 27.

MP3: Alcoholic Faith Mission – “Running With Insanity”

Paste has an interview with Icelandic composer Ólufar Arnalds about his two new releases: Living Room Songs, which collects tracks that were recorded and released one a day last October and Another Happy Day, which is a soundtrack to the film of the same name and out next week. One of the Living Room Songs tracks also has a video, even though clips of the actual recording sessions for each song are also out there. Arnalds was one of the highlights at Iceland Airwaves last year, and has been soundtracking a lot of my time lately. Recommended if you like pretty things.

MP3: Ólufar Arnalds – “Near Light”
Video: Ólufar Arnalds – “Near Light”
Stream: Ólufar Arnalds / Another Happy Day original soundtrack and Living Room Songs

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

Circles And Squares

We Were Promised Jetpacks tour North America; may not be powered by jetpack

Photo By Neil Thomas DouglasNeil Thomas DouglasAs I understand it, yesterday was Robbie Burns Day and while I may have missed out on my annual tradition of posting something suitably Scottish to mark the day – a tradition I’ve marked exactly zero times in the past forever years – I’m going to make up for it a little bit by leading with some Scots-related content.

Firstly, We Were Promised Jetpacks have finally scheduled a second North American tour in support of last year’s In The Pit Of The Stomach; they did a leg of touring Stateside in the later part of the year but routing didn’t bring them up through town that time. This time, they’ve got an April 27 date at Lee’s Palace, with advance tickets running you $15 in advance. I wasn’t quite bowled over with their 2009 debut These Four Walls, but am on record as saying that Stomach shows some pretty significant artistic growth. And their live shows have always been good, loud and intense so yeah. Mark this one down.

MP3: We Were Promised Jetpacks – “Act On Impulse”
Video: We Were Promised Jetpacks – “Human Error”

Meanwhile, labelmates and countrymen The Twilight Sad continue to ramp up to the February 7 release of their new record No One Can Ever Know. They’ve released a second video from the record and there’s also an interview with frontman James Graham and guitarist Andy MacFarlane at The Spill. They’ll be at Lee’s Palace on February 29.

Video: The Twilight Sad – “Another Bed”

Exclaim reports that Belle & Sebastian are will be curating a second Late Night Tales compilation which, in addition to including tracks selected by the band, will include a cover of the Scots covering The Primitives’ “Crash”. That’s one to file under, “worth the price of admission”. It’s out March 26 and will hopefully keep fans appeased while Stuart Murdoch continues to round up funding for his God Help The Girl film project.

No Ripcord interviews Allo Darlin’, whose second album Europe will be out in April.

Florence & The Machine has released another new video from Ceremonials. Florence Welch talked to MTV about her staging plans for their just-announced US tour, which doesn’t have a local date. I’m genuinely curious where she’ll play (and how much it’ll cost) when she eventually winds her way up to Canada – I’m guessing Air Canada Centre, even if just theatre mode, but wouldn’t be shocked if they went for the whole hog. Anyways.

Video: Florence & The Machine – “Lover To Lover”

There’s a new Laura Marling video taken from A Creature I Don’t Know, and a clip for a live reading of “Night After Night” has also surfaced.

Video: Laura Marling – “I Was Just A Card”
Video: Laura Marling – “Night After Night” (live)

They Shoot Music goes hunting for Wild Beasts and finally corner them in a Copenhagen freight elevator. Video ensues.

Drowned In Sound meets Metronomy, who have a date at The Hoxton on April 2.

DIY reports that Brighton’s Blood Red Shoes have set a March 26 release date for their new record In Time To Voices. Steve Ansell – the non-guitar half of the duo – penned a piece for Drowned In Sound about the state of guitar music in the UK right now.

If it seemed like Arctic Monkeys have been releasing a tonne of videos from Suck It And See, well they have. And now they’ve released a clip for the b-side from the forthcoming “Black Treacle” single, a tune which features vocals from the inimitable Richard Hawley.

Video: Arctic Monkeys – “You & I” (featuring Richard Hawley)

The Guardian reports that Saint Etienne are giving away a track from their first new album in seven years via their website in exchange for your personal details. Word is the album will be entitled Words and Music by Saint Etienne, no word on release date.

Stream: Saint Etienne – “Tonight”

Richard Thompson talks to Billboard about his plans for his next album, which will be electric, recorded in a trio format and probably be out before the end of the year.

Kate Bush has released a new animated video from 50 Words For Snow.

Video: Kate Bush – “Elder Falls At Lake Tahoe”

The Psychedelic Furs have made a date at Lee’s Palace for March 29, tickets $36.50 in advance.

Video: The Psychedelic Furs – “Love My Way”

Fanfarlo are paving the road to the February 28 release of Rooms Filled With Light with the release of a series of live session videos of songs from the record. The first is for the lead single from the record. They’re at The Mod Club on March 24.

Video: Fanfarlo – “Shiny Things” (live session)

The Line Of Best Fit has premiered a track from The Mary Onettes’ forthcoming Love Forever EP, due out February 28.

MP3: The Mary Onettes – “Love’s Taking Strange Ways”

Australians The Jezabels have made a headlining date for The Mod Club on April 18; tickets are $15.50 in advance.

MP3: The Jezabels – “Try Colour”

Just a week after wondering when that first single would show up, DIY points to a stream of the first taste of Ladyhawke’s Anxiety. The US release date for the record has now been pushed back a week to March 27.

Stream: Ladyhawke – “Black, White & Blue”

Monday, January 16th, 2012

Without Why

A (re)introduction to Rose Elinor Dougall

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stream: Projectionists – “Falling Into You”

Daytrotter has posted a session with Laura Marling.

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

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

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

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

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

MP3: Field Music – “A New Town”

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

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

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

Stream: First Aid Kit / The Lion’s Roar

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

11th Hour

Clock Opera offers Ways To Forget

Photo via FacebookFacebookTo promise that something is coming in “early 2012” may be sufficient detail when that date is still a ways off on the horizon, but at a certain point it will eventually actually be early 2012 – as it is now – and when that time arrives you’d best have a little more to offer. That first part of that scenario was most of 2011 for London’s Clock Opera, who despite sounding more than ready for prime time when I first saw them last SXSW and reconfirmed at Iceland Airwaves have been rather shy about offering any details about their debut album besides that it’d be out “in early 2012”.

Well refreshingly quietly, details of their debut album came to light at the very end of last year by way of an iTunes preorder link, and really all you need to know is that it’s called Ways To Forget and will be out – in the UK at least – on April 9. Going for a soft launch with that info may prove to be wise as I expect things will get exceptionally fast-paced for this quartet as word of their electro-anthemic rock – think a younger Elbow armed with sequencers – and attendant excellent live shows gets out.

And the first shot in that metaphorical attack came yesterday with the release of a second video for the song “Once And For All”, which already had a perfectly good clip for the original single release but seeing as how it was re-recorded for the album, a new, heartstring-tugging vid was clearly in order. And so here it is, along with what I would consider to be sufficient argument that Ways To Forget will be one of the highlight releases of, well, early 2012.

MP3: Clock Opera – “Once And For All”
MP3: Clock Opera – “Belongings” (live at Maida Vale)
Video: Clock Opera – “Once And For All” (2012)
Video: Clock Opera – “Lesson No. 7”
Video: Clock Opera – “Belongings”
Video: Clock Opera – “Once And For All”
Video: Clock Opera – “White Noise”

The Ting Tings – whom I am convinced are part of a larger sociological experiment to discern exactly what the shelf life of formerly buzzy but ultimately vapid pop bands is – hope that enough people still remember who they are to buy their second album Sounds From Nowheresville, out February 27 in the UK and shortly thereafter in North America, and to go see them when they play The Phoenix on April 6. To say nothing of paying $26 to do so. Spin has a conversation with the duo about the new record.

Video: The Ting Tings – “Hang It Up”

I can’t say I was too interested in the previously-announced return of Cults to town – happening April 25 at The Phoenix, but the fact that Spectrals – aka London-based retro-pop revivalist Louis Jones – would be opening makes me a bit more keen. His debut Bad Penny came out last Fall.

MP3: Spectrals – “7th Date”
MP3: Spectrals – “Peppermint”
Video: Spectrals – “Bad Penny”

The Arctic Monkeys talk evolution with The Sydney Morning Herald. They open up for The Black Keys at The Air Canada Centre on March 14.

The Alternate Side has a session to watch with We Were Promised Jetpacks.

Gold Flake Paint talks to James Graham about the third Twilight Sad album No One Can Ever Know. It’s out February 21 and they band are at Lee’s Palace on February 29.

Loud & Quiet plays go-between in facilitating a Q&A between Veronica Falls and Johnny Marr. Veronica Falls are at The Garrison on February 14.

Is This Music chats with David Gedge of The Wedding Present. They bring Seamonsters to The Horseshoe on March 25.

Spinner talks to Rosa Rex of Peggy Sue; DIY also had a year-end chat with the band.

Laura Marling has put together a poetry- and art-powered minisite for “The Beast”, which one assumes is the next single from A Creature I Don’t Know.

Clash and The Guardian have pieces on hotly-tipped singer-songwriter Beth Jeans Houghton, whose debut album backed by The Hooves Of Destiny – Yours Truly, Cellophane Nose – is out February 28. A video from said record came out last month.

Video: Beth Jeans Houghton & The Hooves Of Destiny – “Sweet Tooth Bird”

For Folk’s Sake and American Songwriter meet First Aid Kit, whose new record The Lion’s Roar – out January 24 – brings them to The Great Hall on April 4.

DIY and BBC profile Swedish duo Niki & The Dove, whose debut album is due out sometime this Spring.

The Line Of Best Fit – who agreed with me that I Break Horses’ debut Hearts was their favourite of 2011 – goes through the album track-by-track with Maria Linden. They’re opening up for M83 at The Sound Academy on May 6; DIY talks to Anthony Gonzalez of that outfit.

Q gets former label honcho Alan McGee to offer a buyer’s guide to the Creation Records catalog.

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

Through The Dirt And The Gravel

Review of We Were Promised Jetpacks’ In The Pit Of The Stomach

Photo By Nic ShonfeldNic ShonfeldAlongside labelmates and countrymen The Twilight Sad and Frightened Rabbit, Glasgow-via-Edinburgh’s We Were Promised Jetpacks should have formed a 21st century dream team of new Scottish acts, dispensing their peoples’ distinctive brand of angst through their respective brands of rock. And yet while those other two won and maintain places in my heart, Jetpacks’ 2009 debut These Four Walls did’t quite win me over.

The specifics of why aren’t entirely clear, but I suspect that it was just a little too shouty, too unrelenting. Granted, those are the band’s key strengths – guitarist/vocalist Adam Thompson’s bellows overtop the breakneck musical churn – but I found Walls a bit exhausting to get through. That hardly warranted writing the band off, however, so I was more than happy to give their sophomore effort In The Pit Of The Stomach, released last month, a few spins and it’s almost as though the band heard about my complaints and decided to meet me partway. Which is awful gracious of them.

To either casual followers or die-hard fans of the band, Stomach probably sounds perfectly familiar and satisfying. It’s still loud and punishing – album closer “Pear Tree” is a six-and-a-half minute flurry of face punches – but those crescendos are now better tempered with quieter passages and a greater emphasis on melody, both vocally and instrumentally. By reining things in a bit and singing rather than shouting while the drums and guitars steadily build, “Act On Impulse” comes across far more dynamically and interesting than anything I can recall on Walls. Similarly, the instrumental front half of “Sore Thumb” is evocative of Mogwai in their gentler moods before bringing the hammer down like Mogwai in their angrier moods; which is to say it’s kind of Mogwai-ish, in a good way.

In The Pit Of The Stomach evidences the sort of artistic growth and sophistication you’d hope a young band who’re probably not given to turning their sound upside down would develop. It certainly won’t lose them any fans but it may well sway some who had been on the fence onto their side. Trust me on this.

The Dallas Observer talks to the band about guitarist Michael Palmer’s cancer scare between albums one and two.

MP3: We Were Promised Jetpacks – “Act On Impulse”
Video: We Were Promised Jetpacks – “Human Error”

I now have a Valentine and her/their name is Veronica Falls. The London quartet will be back in town for a show at The Garrison on February 14, tickets $10.50 in advance. DIY has an A-to-Z with/of the band.

MP3: Veronica Falls – “Come On Over”
MP3: Veronica Falls – “Found Love In A Graveyard”

Arena-sized in the UK, club-sized in North America, Kasabian will bring their latest album Velociraptor to The Phoenix on March 29, tickets $24.50 in advance. Perhaps they’ll be able to commiserate with Toronto about the (lack of) wisdom in naming things after dinosaurs that were briefly in fashion 20 years ago.

Video: Kasabian – “Switchblade Smiles”

Drowned In Sound gets their turn in the Los Campesinos! media-go-round.

Clash checks in with Milo Cordell of The Big Pink as they put the finishing touches on their new record Future This, out January 17.

Slow Club have a new video from Paradise.

Video: Slow Club – “If We’re Still Alive”

Similarly, Noah & The Whale have released a new clip from Last Night On Earth

Video: Noah & The Whale – “Give It All Back”

Two videos – or animations, as they’re being called – from the new Kate Bush album 50 Words For Snow have been released. It’s reasonable to expect more.

Video: Kate Bush – “Misty”
Video: Kate Bush – “Wild Man”

The New York Times Q&A’s Noel Gallagher, who has just released a short film that uses three of the songs from his solo debut as accompaniment.

Video: Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – “Ride The Tiger”

NME reports that Liam Gallagher has declared Oasis material may be on the table for future Beady Eye live performances.

The Guardian proxies questions from readers to Jarvis Cocker. The Jarv answers.

The Alternate Side has posted an Elbow studio session to watch and interview to read while Under The Radar reports that the band has been tapped to record the soundtrack to the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London.

Adele is capping off what’s been a pretty good year for her (except for all those canceled shows and throat surgery) with the release of the Live At The Royal Albert Hall DVD/BR today – Spin is streaming the audio from the document while you can watch 25 minutes of the thing at Vevo.

Stream: Adele / Live At The Royal Albert Hall
Video: Adele / Live At The Royal Albert Hall (excerpt)

Kate Jackson talks to NME about her post-Long Blondes solo ambitions.

State chats with Clock Opera, whose debut album should be out in the new year.

NME follows Wild Beasts around on tour for a while.

The Stool Pigeon chats with Robyn Hitchcock.