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Posts Tagged ‘Wedding Present’

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

Time In The Machine

Review of Black Hearted Brother’s Stars Are Our Home

Photo By Frank YangSabine ScheckelWith all due respect to Mark Van Hoen and Nick Holton and their works with Seefeel and Holton’s Opulant Oog, respectively, it’s entirely reasonable to discuss Stars Are Our Home, the debut album from England’s Black Hearted Brother, almost entirely in terms of Neil Halstead. Because not only is it Halstead’s work in Slowdive, Mojave 3, and as a solo artist that’s going to sell this record, it’s his past work which offers the strongest reference points. And yet what fans of the aforementioned will get out of this record depends entirely on the expectations they come into it with, for despite a return to electric instruments, a band context, and the unapologetically cosmic allusions of the record, Stars occupies an orbit all its own that promises no return to Souvlaki Space Station.

In fact, for all the echoes of Halstead’s past work that inhabit Stars, there’s little that’s reminiscent of Slowdive at their most beloved. The downbeat “Take Heart” comes closest to recreating a Souvlaki-esque sigh, but for the most part guitars have more psych and bite than swell and bloom, and the electronics at play leave little of the space that defined Pygmalion. The songwriting at its best captures the brighter, poppier side of Mojave 3 as well as the laid-back melodicism of solo Halstead – both “This Is How it Feels” and “UFO” combine these marvellously – and even when it’s not quite as refined – some of it feels jammier than you’d have ever found on a M3 or Slowdive record – the palpable enjoyment these long-time mates get out of playing together still carries it through.

As I mentioned the last time he came through town, Halstead’s gift for musical reinvention while remaining wholly himself is quite remarkable, and with Black Hearted Brother – who use their own past as influences, but still create something all-new – this continues.

Stars Are Our Home is out today, and MusicOmh gets a track-by-track walkthrough of the album from the band. Meanwhile, Exclaim! has an extensive interview with Halstead about not just Black Hearted Brother, but the plausibility of a Slowdive reunion (the door he opened last year remains reluctantly wide open) and the upcoming solo gigs at which Rachel Goswell will guest on vocals for a planned live record.

And further to the Halstead singularity in which we now find ourselves, a limited-edition 7″ featuring solo versions of “Alison” and “Yer Feet” will be made available for sale online this Friday, providing they don’t sell out at the London gigs. Which they really should.

Update: Also fun – the band have put out an introduction video for those not familiar with the principals.

MP3: Black Hearted Brother – “This Is How It Feels”
Video: Black Hearted Brother – “This Is How It Feels”

The Boston Herald, Boston Globe, and Metro profile Franz Ferdinand, coming to town for a show at The Kool Haus on October 24.

The 405 talks to Los Campesinos! about their new record No Blues, coming out next wek on October 29.

With the November 5 release of her new album Matangi a couple weeks away, Pitchfork, The Fader, and The Guardian all want to talk to M.I.A..

Clash has a stream of another new tune from Rose Elinor Dougall, who will release the Future Vanishes EP on November 18.

Stream: Rose Elinor Dougall – “Poison Ivy”

Toy have released a video for the title track of their new record Join The Dots, coming out December 9.

Video: Toy – “Join The Dots”

Slate The Disco and Leeds Music Scene talk to Lanterns On The Lake about their new album Until The Colours Run, which gets a North American release on January 14.

Thom Yorke’s Atoms For Peace has rolled out another video from AMOK and a making-of video for said video, viewable at Pitchfork.

Video: Atoms For Peace – “Before Your Very Eyes”

When Scottish rockers Idlewild announced a hiatus following 2010’s Post-Electric Blues, it certainly seemed like the permanent sort but this photo posted yesterday to their Facebook implies that they’re feeling it again, which is good news. Or they’re just messing around with the emotions of their Facebook page fans.

Guitar World talks to Noah & The Whale guitarist Tom Hobden about his world of guitars.

The Line Of Best Fit reports that Manic Street Preachers have unearthed some new Holy Bible-era material – not music, but archival material – and may include it in a 20th anniversary release.

Editors have a new video from The Weight Of Your Love.

Video: Editors – “Honesty”

The Fly chats with Yuck 2.0.

David Gedge of The Wedding Present discusses the return to Hit Parade with The Glasgow Evening Times and lists off the soundtrack of his life for High 50

NPR welcomes Daughter for a Tiny Desk Concert, while The List and Refinery 29 have interviews with frontwoman Elena Tonra.

Arctic Monkeys describe to Rolling Stone how they went reinvented themselves from being a chart-topping rock band to a chart-topping rock band.

And since this is where my head has been at lately, know that the 1993 Suede live concert film Love and Poison is available to watch in its entirety on YouTube; the VHS-transfered visuals aren’t amazing but the soundtrack is quite acceptable.

Video: Suede / Love And Pain

Monday, September 23rd, 2013

You Caught The Light

Review of CHVRCHES’ The Bones Of What You Believe

Photo By Eliot Lee HazelEliot Lee HazelIf hype were actual currency, you could trade in copies of Scottish trio CHVRCHES’ debut album The Bones Of What You Believe for bars of gold, their buzz-versus-time graph having steadily grown over the last year, successfully buoying them through three North American tours of increasing stature and scale before their first full-length was in stores.

These heightened expectations might seem to demand a big record, but those who were in attendance at the band’s first Toronto show in March – hardly a powerhouse live show with two-thirds of the band anchored to their keyboard stations and frontwoman Lauren Mayberry personable but not exactly owning the stage with her presence – can attest that it’s the small aspects of the band that give them their charm, an opinion borne out by Bones.

The karaoke versions of these songs might easily be mistaken for M83 numbers, with their big synth textures and singalong melodies reaching unashamedly skywards, Mayberry’s sweet voice and the melancholic-to-miserable sentiments it delivers keeps things grounded and resonant at a human scale. It’s understandable if the lyrics aren’t the first things that the listener notices – the big gleaming hooks around them, both instrumental and vocal, do tend to grab one’s attention – but they do offer welcome substance to the proceedings and add an extra dimension that helps them exceed expectations. To be clear: even if Mayberry was singing nonsensical verses about squirrels and tapioca these songs would be earworms of the highest order, but that there’s heart and intelligence here as well makes Bones a record that will merit plays well after the hype machine has moved onto the next big thing.

The Bones Of What You Believe is out this week on September 24 and NPR has a stream of the album. Consequence Of Sound, Billboard, The Wall Street Journal, and The Scotsman have features on the band and their ascent and CBC Music has a video session.

MP3: CHVRCHES – “The Mother We Share”
Video: CHVRCHES – “The Mother We Share”
Video: CHVRCHES – “Gun”
Video: CHVRCHES – “Recover”
Stream: CHVRCHES / The Bones Of What You Believe

The Independent gets to know Daughter, in town for a show at The Phoenix on September 29.

MusicOmh talks to Johnny Flynn, who is streaming a new song from his forthcoming album Country Mile, hitting stores September 30.

Stream: Johnny Flynn – “Fol-De-Rol”

Yuck have released a new video from their forthcoming second record Glow & Behold, out September 30.

Video: Yuck – “Middle Sea”

Rolling Stone has made another song from the Neil Hasltead-fronted Black Hearted Brother available to download; their debut Stars Are Our Home comes out October 22.

MP3: Black Hearted Brother – “This Is How It Feels”

Under The Radar has posted the excerpts of the interview with Charli XCX that went into last issue’s cover story. She plays Wrongbar on November 9.

The Fader is streaming a new song from London’s Arthur Beatrice – introduced back in July – taken from their full-length debut, due out early next year.

Stream: Arthur Beatrice – “Grand Union”

Katie Harkin of Sky Larkin talks to DIY and The Yorkshire Evening Post about their new album Motto.

The Guardian, Exclaim, The National Post, and Stereogum talk to Elvis Costello and The Roots about their just-released collaborative album Wise Up Ghost.

Summer Camp takes The Quietus on a track-by-track tour of their new record Summer Camp.

JAM and Pitchfork have feature interviews with Arctic Monkeys.

The Wall Street Journal has a video session with Laura Marling, who has just released a new video from her latest album Once I Was An Eagle.

Video: Laura Marling – “Devil’s Resting Place”

Noisey, The Georgia Straight, and City Pages interview Savages.

PopMatters talks to Tracyanne Campbell of Camera Obscura, who just gave birth to her first child. Congratulations!

Metro finds out what Johnny Marr thinks of Queen.

The Toronto Star caught up with Peter Hook before his visit to town last week.

Berlin Beat talks to David Lewis Gedge of The Wedding Present.

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

Metal & Dust

Review of London Grammar’s If You Wait

Photo By Paolo ZerbiniPaolo ZerbiniI’m sure it’s purely coincidence, but it’s a hell of one that the title of If You Wait, the 2013 debut from London Grammar, is but one word apart from If You Leave, the 2013 debut Daughter. After all, both are London-based, female-fronted three-pieces with atmospheric aesthetics, singular vocal signatures, and who plumb the depths of the heart’s frailties for lyrical inspiration.

But while they occupy a similar space, London Grammar stake out their own territory. A ways away from Elena Tonra’s wistful sigh of a voice, Hannah Reid’s rich, husky alto is clearly a powerful instrument akin to Florence Welch’s but rather than use it to blow the doors off, she keeps it set on a deep and steady soul-infused smoulder that expresses her wounded sentiments in rich tones. The musical accompaniment, built largely around guitar and piano, is sparse by default but more than able to swell for effect and works well in adding to the twilight ambience. One does wish that Dan Rothman’s lines and style – palm-muted and echoed – was a little less xx-marks-the-spot, but there’s no arguing its effectiveness in this context.

If there’s a complaint to be made about If You Wait, it’s in that the London Grammar aesthetic is a little too defined and consistently applied and over the course of the record starts feeling a bit monochromatic. It feels like a photograph of something beautiful, viewable from a single angle, than a living, breathing thing – more than acceptable for now, but a limitation they’ll have to transcend sooner rather than later.

NME reports that If You Wait is presently the odds-on favourite to win the Mercury Prize, the shortlist of which will be announced tomorrow and whose winner will be announced October 30. The West Australian and The Guardian have feature pieces on London Grammar and The Line Of Best Fit has a video of their covering La Roux for BBC’s Live Lounge. If You Wait is out today, September 10, and their inaugural North American tour brings them to Toronto for a show at The Great Hall on October 4.

Video: London Grammar – “Strong”
Video: London Grammar – “Wasting My Young Years”

The Guardian has a stream of Summer Camp’s second self-titled album, out now, while The Fly has a feature piece on the duo and Noisey gets them to go through and comment on their old photo albums.

Stream: Summer Camp / Summer Camp

Interview, Spin, The Telegraph, Tone Deaf, and The Fly mark today’s release of Arctic Monkeys’ AM with feature interviews; they play The Kool Haus on September 15.

DIY and vita.mn talk to CHVRCHES as the September 24 release date of their debut The Bones Of What You Believe draws near; but first they play The Danforth Music Hall on September 15.

NPR is streaming the new Elvis Costello/Roots collaboration Wise Up Ghost ahead of its September 17 release date.

Stream: Elvis Costello with The Roots / Wise Up Ghost

Peter Hook updates The Hollywood Reporter on the attempts to take possession of those Joy Division/New Order master tapes rescued from the trash recently. And as you can assume from the word “attempts”, they’re not going well. Hook plays The Hoxton on September 18.

Pitchfork has got a stream of another new track from Laura Groves, nee Blue Roses, taken from her new EP Thinking About Thinking, due out September 30.

Stream: Laura Groves – “Pale Shadows”

Yuck has released an in-studio video of them getting their New Order on; their second album Glow & Behold comes out September 30.

Video: Yuck – “Age Of Consent”

Frightened Rabbit play a video session for The Line Of Best Fit from a pirate ship at the End Of The Road festival; they are at The Kool Haus on October 21.

The 405 talks to Polly Scattergood, who has released a new video from her second album Arrows, originally set for a June release but now locked in to an October 21 street date.

Video: Polly Scattergood – “Cocoon”

MTV Hive has an interview and NPR a World Cafe session with Franz Ferdinand, who’ve just put out a new video from Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action; they play The Kool Haus October 24.

Video: Franz Ferdinand – “Evil Eye”

Though still coy about details of a new album, The High Wire have made another new song available to download.

MP3: The High Wire – “The Thames & The Tide”

The xx tell NME they’re already at work on album number three.

Little Boots has released a new video from Nocturnes.

Video: Little Boots – “Satellite”

NME and Billboard talk to Billy Bragg about being recognized for his “outstanding contribution to music” by the UK’s Association of Independent Music.

The Guardian talks to James Allan of Glasvegas.

God Is In The TV has an interview with Chris Olley of Six By Seven.

The Wedding Present are streaming a new single which will be available for sale as a 7″ on their upcoming UK tour.

Stream: The Wedding Present – “Two Bridges”

NPR marks the 20th anniversary of Britpop with a playlist of the scene’s best.

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

The Universe Expanded

While I was out… featuring Franz Ferdinand and things of a British nature

Photo By Andrew KnowlesAndrew KnowlesThe biggest releases of last week both happened to be Scottish in nationality. There was Franz Ferdinand’s fourth long-player Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action, which was the topic of conversation with Alex Kaparnos at NPR, Billboard, Canada.com, and DIY, while Kapranos and Bob Hardy both chat with Stereogum and Paul Thomson answers the phone when CBC calls. Further, Pitchfork has video of that acoustic Grimes cover the band played for French radio that everyone was linking to last week. They play The Kool Haus come October 24.

Meanwhile, with their new b-sides comp The Third Eye Centre finally out, Belle & Sebastian have released a new video featuring Hannah Murray from Skins and Game Of Thrones. Under The Radar has compiled their multi-part interview with the band into a single piece, PopMatters has a chat with Richard Colburn, and over at The Quietus, Stuart Murdoch opts to talk about other peoples’ records rather than his own.

Video: Belle & Sebastian – “Your Cover’s Blown” (Miaoux Miaoux remix)

James Allan talks to The Quietus, MusicRadar, and Yahoo! about Glasvegas’ new album Later… When The TV Turns To Static. It wasn’t alluded to in the lede, despite being Scottish, because a) it came out this week and not last week, and b) not many people care anymore.

Arctic Monkeys are streaming a new b-side which doesn’t appear on AM, due out September 10. And if you only care about the songs which do appear on the album, you’re in luck – the whole thing is now streaming at iTunes. Arctic Monkeys are at The Kool Haus on September 15.

Stream: Arctic Monkeys – “Stop The World I Want To Get Off With You”
Stream: Arctic Monkeys / AM

Drowned In Sound talks to London Grammar, who are offering a full stream of their debut album If You Wait via their own website with just a few hoops to jump through. The record is out September 10 and they play The Great Hall on October 4.

Stream: London Grammar / If You Wait

In a video session for Gigwise, Frightened Rabbit offer up a cover of Jessie Ware’s “Wildest Moments” and another track from the Late March, Death March EP, out September 10, is available to stream via Stereogum. They play The Kool Haus on October 17.

Stream: Frightened Rabbit – “Candlelit”

Savages have premiered a new performance video from Silence Yourself at Pitchfork; they play The Opera House on September 12.

Video: Savages – “I Am Here”

Gigwise and MusicRadar check in with CHVRCHES, whose debut The Bones Of What You Believe is almost finally out on September 24 but not before they headline the Danforth Music Hall on September 15.

James Dean Bradfield of Manic Street Preachers talks to Wales Online about their new album Rewind The Film, while Nicky Wire takes The Quietus through the new record track by track. And NME has posted the whole of their recent Wire-led Twitter Q&A. Rewind The Film is out September 16.

The Quietus looks at the many, many collaborations Elvis Costello has undertaken in his career, the latest of which is Wise Up Ghost with The Roots, due out September 17. Costello talks to The Brisbane Times about the new record.

Peter Hook talks about matters past, present, future, and legal with Billboard, Pitchfork, The Huffington Post, Exclaim, and The Dumbing Of America. He leads his new band The Light through old material at The Hoxton on September 18.

Daughter are streaming a new b-side; they play The Phoenix on September 29.

Stream: Daughter – “Smoke”

Yuck talks to Rolling Stone about carrying on without their original frontman, as documented on their new album Glow & Behold, out September 30.

Two Door Cinema Club have released a video for the title track of their new Changing Of The Seasons EP, due out September 30; NME has details. They play The Danforth Music Hall on October 15.

Video: Two Door Cinema Club – “Changing Of The Seasons”

Anna Calvi has released the first video from her forthcoming One Breath, out October 7.

Video: Anna Calvi – “Eliza”

Lanterns On The Lake have released a video for the title track of their new album Until The Colours Run, which is due out on October 7 in the UK and will get a North American release early next year on January 14.

Video: Lanterns On The Lake – “Until The Colours Run”

The Line Of Best Fit reports Suede will finally reissue their entire catalog on vinyl on October 21, but the catch is you have to buy them all in one super-expensive box set, it’s only available in the UK, and you have to take A New Morning with the rest. And oh, they released a new video from Bloodsports.

Video: Suede – “For The Strangers”

Los Campesinos! have confirmed an October 29 release date for their new record No Blues, and have made the first track from it available to stream.

Stream: Los Campesinos! – “What Death Leaves Behind”

M.I.A. is streaming another new track from her forthcoming Matangi, out November 5.

Stream: M.I.A. – “Come Walk With Me”

The Charli XCX show originally scheduled for September 16 at The Hoxton has been rescheduled to Saturday, November 9, and will now take place at Wrongbar. All previous tickets will be honoured and all the new dates can be seen at Exclaim.

MP3: Charli XCX – “Valentine”

Drowned In Sound checks in with Josh Hayward of The Horrors on the status of their next album, due out in early 2014.

Drowned In Sound chats with David Gedge of The Wedding Present, who will be undertaking an exhaustive reissue series of their back catalog in the near future; FACT has details on that.

Tessa Murray talks to Vogue about the new Still Corners video from Strange Pleasures.

Video: Still Corners – “Fireflies”

Under The Radar and Pitchfork talk to Bobby Gillespie of Primal Scream.

With the assistance of Hefner’s Darren Hayman, Allo Darlin’ frontwoman Elizabeth Morris has put together a solo EP entitled Optimism, available for digital purchase now.

eMusic has an interview with Billy Bragg.

Friday, August 2nd, 2013

Newsworthy

Sky Larkin share new Motto

Photo via FacebookFacebookFrequently when an artist announces a new album a number of years on from when its predecessor came out, the question of, “where’ve you been?” is a natural ones. In the case of Sky Larkin principal Katie Harkin, the answer is simply “everywhere”. Since her band wrapped up touring commitments behind 2010’s Kaleide, she signed on as a touring member of Wild Beasts for their Smother tour (which stopped here in October 2011).

But Harkin has gotten back to her own business, and with a new lineup in place – original bassist Doug Adams amicably departed the band and was replaced and a second guitarist added – they’ve announced a September 16 release of their third album, entitled Motto. A new track from it is available to stream via The Guardian and offers a lighter counterpoint to the more pummelling first taste – now revealed as the album’s title track – which surfaced back in May and more than affirms their recipe of sleekly ragged guitars and sneakily sophisticated melodicism is still a most effective one. I look forward to their return.

Stream: Sky Larkin – “Loom”
Stream: Sky Larkin – “Motto”

Annie has released a new video from her just-out A&R EP; Idolator talks to Richard X – the EP’s producer and “R” namesake – about the record.

Video: Annie – “Back Together”

Clash and NME talk to White Lies about their new album Big TV, out August 21. They play The Opera House on October 1.

Rolling Stone talks to Martin Gore of Depeche Mode about the impending North American tour that brings them to the Molson Amphitheatre on September 1.

Manic Street Preachers have unveiled a new video from their next album Rewind The Film, out September 16.

Video: Manic Street Preachers – “Show Me The Wonder”

The Line Of Best Fit reports that English folkie Johnny Flynn has given his new record Country Mile a September 30 release date. The first song from it is available to preview via lyric video.

Lyric Video: Johnny Flynn – “The Lady Is Risen”

Charli XCX walks aux.tv through her video for “What I Like”. She plays The Hoxton on September 16.

Australia’s The Naked & Famous have announced the September 17 release of their second In Rolling Waves, offering some context for their already-announced date at the Sound Academy on October 14. The first video from the new record is also out.

Video: The Naked & Famous – “Hearts Like Ours”

Under The Radar reports that former Mercury Prize nominees The Invisible have been named as support for Jessie Ware on her North American tour, starting November 6 at The Sound Academy. The pairing makes perfect sense since Invisible frontman Dave Okumu co-wrote and produced much of Ware’s Devotion; their last album was 2012’s Rispah.

MP3: The Invisible – “London Girl”

Page 31 talks to Caroline Hjelt and Windy City Media to Aino Jawo of Icona Pop. Their album This Is… comes out September 24.

The Horrors tell NME that any expectations of a new record in 2013 are unfounded and their next release will come in early 2014.

The Quietus has both an interview with and the first new music from Rose Elinor Dougall in far too long; with luck a second album isn’t too far behind.

Stream: Rose Elinor Dougall – “Strange Warnings”

The High Wire have released a video for their latest single, which quite effectively leverages footage from the film Ashes, starring Ray Winstone. The Guardian has more information about the film.

Video: The High Wire -“LNOE”

The Guardian talks to Daniel Blumburg, formerly of Yuck, about his new project as Hebronix and the debut album Unreal.

Bobby Gillespie of Primal Scream unloads to NME about the state of festivals in 2013.

Baeble Music has a video session with Foals and NME gets Yannis Philippakis’ thoughts on US whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Cut Copy have made a new single, released last month in limited edition at the Pitchfork Music Festival, available to stream for all to hear.

Stream: Cut Copy – “Let Me Show You”

NPR has video from a KCRW session with Savages.

The Quietus catches up with David Lewis Gedge of The Wedding Present.

The Skinny finds out what Emma Pollock has been up to since the 2010 release of The Law Of Large Numbers, namely setting up a studio engineering course for aspiring producers.