Thursday, April 5th, 2007
There’s been a lot of Scotland covered this week so let’s jump across the Irish Sea for a moment and meet Dublin’s The Butterfly Explosion, though this weekend we don’t really need to make the trek since they’re right here in Toronto for a show at Neutral on Saturday as part of Kensington Station, one of the myriad indie/Britpop/dance nights here in Hogtown, and also on Tuesday for a free show at the Horseshoe.
Though Irish they may be, they draw their influences from the UK and in particular, the era in the early to mid 1990s affectionately called “the shoegaze years”. Their first EP Vision, available to download in its entirety from their website, balances a couple of rather unremarkable rock tunes alongside an atmospheric instrumental piece that’s also a bit aimless but does foreshadow the direction of their new EP, Turn The Sky. The new record is leaps and bounds ahead of its predecessor, with more assured songwriting that runs from spaced-out ambience to fuzzed-out dream-pop. It’s still not much of a challenge to play “spot the influence” but it’s shimmering and lovely in all the right places, and there’s no reason to think it won’t make an excellent soundtrack for an evening out. Or two.
And if you needed another reason to head to Neutral on Saturday night, consider the other band on the bill – The Airfields. I’ve declared my affection for the band many times before and considering it’s been over a year since I’ve seen them perform, it’ll be a treat to see them back in action. They’ve been largely in park over the last eight or nine months – hopefully this and a couple of upcoming shows (April 19 at Sneaky Dee’s, May 18 at Rancho Relaxo) will signal a permanent return to action for one of Toronto’s finest indie-pop outfits.
MP3: The Butterfly Explosion – “Sophia”
MP3: The Butterfly Explosion – “Chemistry”
MP3: The Butterfly Explosion – “The Great Game”
MP3: The Airfields – “Nowhere Left To Go”
MySpace: The Buttefly Explosion
More generosity from Tanya Donelly – after posting a slew of demos from both the Belly days and her solo records, she’s now posted a bunch of tracks from the live shows that made up her last record This Hungry Life but didn’t make the album. Tanya = the best.
Remember what I said yesterday about Idlewild not being able to catch a break? Well the streak continues – Billboard reports that their US label Sanctuary is pulling a V2 and going catalog-only after they work their current release lineup (including Make Another World).
Another artist affected by their slow shuttering is ex-Cranberry singer Dolores O’Riordan who will be releasing her solo debut Are You Listening? on May 15 and kicking off her north American tour at the Phoenix in Toronto on July 7.
Some more acts announced for Virgin Festival Toronto – day one will now also feature The Arctic Monkeys, MIA and Mute Math while day two is bolstered by Metric, Peter Bjorn & John and Honeycut. Now this is obviously all subject to personal taste, but taken together with the previously announced headliners, it seems to me that day one is stomping all over day two in a big way. Just sayin’.
Chart talks to Stuart Livingstone about life in A Northern Chorus. Note that their new record The Millions Too Many just got a 4-N review from NOW and also that I’m still giving away passes to their show on Friday at the El Mocambo with The Twilight Sad. If you were to enter right now, your odds would be very very very good. Just so you know.