Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008

Wishing Well

CONTEST – Love Is All @ The Horseshoe – December 11, 2008

Photo via 2:302:30 PublicityI was reading a piece in the latest issue of Exclaim wherein Nicholaus Sparding of Love Is All commented on the band’s inability to get arrested in their native Sweden, perhaps on account of their refusal/inability to adhere to what’s typically thought of when you talk about Swedish indie – that is, elegant pop of the orchestrally twee persuasion.

And perhaps that’s why I ultimately ignored their debut, 2006’s Nine Times That Same Song – I really like that elegant, orchestrally twee pop, particularly delivered in a Swedish accent, and that’s most definitely not what Love Is All are about, except maybe the accent part. From Josephine Olausson’s gleeful caterwaul to James Ausfahrt’s skronking saxophone, Love Is All are resolutely scrappy, abrasive and frantic. The Cardigans, they are not.

But score one for personal growth, as I’ve given the follow-up A Hundred Things Keep Me Up at Night more of a chance and am pleased to find myself coming around to its charms. Within Hundred‘s ten tracks there reside a handful of lustrous pop jewels that no amount of sonic dirt can dull – manic lead single “Wishing Well” and the Spector-iiffic “When Giants Fall” chief amongst them – and the numbers that don’t reach the same level of inspiration do their best to compensate with loads of anarchic energy. I can’t say that Love Is All are an outfit that I necessarily see myself forming a long and lasting relationship with, but for a good night out, you could do far worse.

And on that note, Love Is All are about to kick off a North American tour which will bring them to the Horseshoe next Thursday night, December 11. Courtesy of Against The Grain, I’ve got two pairs of passes to give away. To enter, email me at contests AT with “Love Is All I need” in the subject line and your full name in the body. Contest closes at midnight, December 8.

Exclaim has posted up the complete transcript of the interview that seeded the feature mentioned above, and The San Francisco Bay Guardian also has an interview with Josephine Olausson.

MP3: Love Is All – “Wishing Well”
Video: Love Is All – “Wishing Well”
MySpace: Love Is All

One of the nicest things to show up in my inbox lately is from New Yorkers The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, whose ’80s-vintage jangly/fuzzy brand of pop is as twee-friendly as their name. Pretty much what you might expect from a band on the venerable Slumberland marque, and totally scratching an itch I’d forgotten I had. Their self-titled debut will arrive on February 3 and a short Winter tour brings them to Toronto on February 12 for a show at Neutral.

MP3: The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – “Everything With You”
MP3: The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – “Come Saturday”
Video: The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – “Everything With You”
MySpace: The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart

The Wedding Present, for whom POBPAH are currently opening a string of dates in the UK, have released a download-only, throwaway (my subjective opinion) Christmas single, complete with video. The Gedge is really into this Californian lifestyle thing, from the looks of it.

Video: The Wedding Present – “Holly Jolly Hollywood”

The title track from Los Campesinos’ new record We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed is now available to download.

MP3: Los Campesinos! – “We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed”

Contact Music interviews Asobi Seksu. Their new album Hush is out February 17.

BBC talks to Noah & The Whale, who are set to release a mini-album under the guise of their A-Sides punk band persona, just in time for Christmas though just barely – it’s out December 22. They also give some hints about the direction album number two – currently in production and the reason for their cancelled North American tour – is taking.

And also cancelled is CSS’s December 15 date at the Opera House. I guess the Brazilians finally discovered that December is COLD in the northern hemisphere (actually they say it’s due to visa issues).

And those of you who didn’t get tickets to Franz Ferdinand’s show at Lee’s tomorrow night – which is most of you – may be heartened to know that they’re doing another tiny show at the Masonic Temple (aka MTV Canada studios) on Friday but the only way to get tickets is to listen to CFNY (aka “The Edge”, to those of you under 30). Whether you’re willing to make that great a sacrifice to try and get tickets is up to you.

March will prove to be a good month for those whose tastes run towards the rootsier end of things. First, March 3 brings the Middle Cyclone (artwork!), the new album from Neko Case (she talks to Paste about making the album and buying a farm – A farm, not THE farm), and on March 31 Great Lake Swimmers will release their latest, Lost Channels.

By : Frank Yang at 8:12 am
Category: Contests

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