Posts Tagged ‘Asteroids Galaxy Tour’

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

Terribly Dark

Review of Frida Hyvönen’s The The Soul

Photo By KnotanKnotanArtists lose record deals; it happens all the time. But when it happens to an international artist and rather than find a new deal, they disappear off your radar entirely, well that’s just a shame. Swedish singer-songwriter Frida Hyvönen was represented by Secretly Canadian for her first two albums, 2005’s Until Death Comes and 2008’s Silence Is Wild, but after that they parted ways and as such, the release of her third pop album To The Soul back in April escaped my notice completely.

Which is a shame, because I quite liked both of Hyvönen’s other releases (the above ‘pop’ distinction is necessary because her two albums under the Frida Hyvönen gives you: marque are soundtracks for a poodle-inspired dance recital and photographic exhibition and outside the scope of my experience). Death was a more skeletal affair, built largely around Hyvönen’s voice, piano, and idiosyncratic worldview, but when she toured behind it in Spring 2007, it was perfectly suited for her to perform solo, showcasing both her musical talents and genuinely eccentric personality. Silence, in comparison, filled out her sound with both bigger pop numbers and more pointedly personal compositions and I’m genuinely disappointed that she didn’t come back on tour with it – I would have loved to hear “London!” and “Dirty Dancing” live.

That disappointment pales to having to not hearing the follow-up until some four months after it was released not just because I couldn’t find a copy, but because I didn’t even know it existed. To The Soul continues the trajectory marked by the previous two data points in Hyvönen’s discography, taking her songwriting into sonically and emotionally richer territory while she’s arguably never been in finer voice. There’s more variety between her jaunty pop and sweeping ballads, as she swaps piano for synth textures on the New Wave-y “Terribly Dark” and enlists orchestral assistance on the dramatic “In Every Crowd”. Most striking about Soul is how the sort of material which was presented as grandiose pop on Silence has evolved to become almost theatrical in scale; it’s no stretch to imagine “Saying Goodbye” or “Gold” as a show-stopper in a Broadway production, and it’s not just in the presentation – the songs are just that big. The only bigger shame than the fact that the album is only available in North America via iTunes is that people probably don’t even know that much. So if you’re any kind of Hyvönen fan, know that To The Soul is out there and that it’s worth the hunt.

PSL has a video session with Hyvönen. Yes, it’s in Swedish.

Video: Frida Hyvönen – “Terribly Dark”

Pitchfork has details on Pale Fire, the finally-confirmed new record from El Perro Del Mar Pale Fire. It’s out November 13, a new single is available to stream, and tour dates are apparently forthcoming. Huzzah.

Stream: El Perro Del Mar – “Walk On By”

For Folk’s Sake talks to Anna Ternheim about her new record The Night Visitor.

The Alternate Side has a session with Niki & The Dove, with whom DIY caught a word with at Reading & Leeds Festival. They play the slightly smaller Drake Underground on October 2.

Jens Lekman talks to MTV, Playground, and The Sydney Morning Herald about his glorious new album I Know What Love Isn’t, out September 4 and arguably his best record yet. Yes, better than those other ones you love so much. Don’t believe me? The Quietus is streaming the whole thing right now. He plays The Phoenix on October 4. And if you need a refresher as to why all of Lekman’s records are so good, Paste has compiled a list of his best lyrical turns of phrase.

MP3: Jens Lekman – “Erica America”
Stream: Jens Lekman / I Know What Love Isn’t

NPR has a World Cafe session with The Tallest Man On Earth.

The Hives have released a new video from Lex Hives.

Video: The Hives – “Wait A Minute”

Denmark’s Choir Of Young Believers will be at The Drake on October 22 supporting Daughter. Their latest Rhine Gold came out back in March. Full tour dates at BrooklynVegan.

MP3: Choir Of Young Believers – “Sedated”
MP3: Choir Of Young Believers – “Patricia’s Thirst”
MP3: Choir Of Young Believers – “Nye Nummber Et”

Danish disco outfit The Asteroids Galaxy Tour return to a North American orbit for a show at The Danforth Music Hall on November 5, tickets $20. Their second album Out Of Frequency came out back in January.

MP3: The Asteroids Galaxy Tour – “Major”
MP3: The Asteroids Galaxy Tour – “Around The Bend”

DIY has a video session with Of Monsters & Men, and DigitalSpy, The Bay Bridged, Tone Deaf, and The Guardian have interviews.

German ambient-electronic duo Mouse On Mars will be at Lee’s Palace on October 19 in support of their new EP Wow, even though it’s not out until November 2. Tickets for that are $15.

Video: Mouse On Mars – “They Know Your Name”

Daytrotter has a session with The Jezabels, in town at The Mod Club on October 24.

The Los Angeles Times and Rolling Stone talk to Nick Cave about writing and scoring the film Lawless.

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

You Wish You Were Red

Review of Trailer Trash Tracys’ Ester

Photo By Harley WeirHarley WeirNo question, the first thing that needs to be addressed is their name. Even in an era with no shortage of terrible band names, Trailer Trash Tracys is an exceptionally terrible band name; the London quartet would probably be the first to admit it. But if there’s an upside to it, it’s that it offers no clues to what their debut album Ester might hold, so you’ve no choice to experience it with an open mind, if perhaps also lowered expectations.

Not that pressing “play” is quite enough – instrumental opener “Rolling – Kiss The Universe” is an abstracted mash-up of textures and tones that may intrigue or annoy, depending on your mood. But stick it out to the deep, twanging guitar line that announces “You Wish You Were Red” and Ester pays off in spades. The band owes obvious debts to Morricone and Badalamenti soundtracks, both in sound and mood, but attempting to pigeonhole them as Brits acting as cinematic tourists doesn’t account for the angelic croon of Susanne Aztoria, the unabashedly synthetic rhythms that bubble up throughout, the general lo-fi gauziness that permeates the proceedings or the unexpected bursts of guitar tapping that remind you that guitar tapping exists.

The sheer number of ideas and influences that go into Ester makes it seem like it should be a random mess, succeeding only occasionally and despite itself, but somehow it all manages to cohere in a way that’s unsettling yet alluring. It’s dream-pop that doesn’t sound much like that which typically gets called dream-pop, perhaps because rather than attempting to evoke what people think the subconscious sounds like, all soft-focus and slow-motion, Trailer Trash Tracys make music that sounds like it actually does – abstract and unpredictable while coming across as completely logical and natural within its own frame of reference. Well, that’s how my subconscious sounds, at least.

Addict Music has an interview with the band, while Spin has an interview as well as a stream of the album, which was released last month in the UK but is out in North America as of February 7.

MP3: Trailer Trash Tracys – “Candy Girl”
MP3: Trailer Trash Tracys – “Candy Girl” (demo)
MP3: Trailer Trash Tracys – “Dies In 55”
Video: Trailer Trash Tracys – “Englehart’s Arizona”
Video: Trailer Trash Tracys – “You Wish You Were Red”
Stream: Trailer Trash Tracys / Ester

The Twilight Sad’s James Graham talks haggis with Food Republic. No One Can Ever Know is out February 7 and they play Lee’s Palace on February 29.

Amanda Mair has released a first video from her self-titled debut, due out February 15.

Video: Amanda Mair – “Sense”

The Daily Record gets to know Niki & The Dove.

Of Monsters & Men have put their international, major-label record deal monies to good use, releasing a first video from My Head Is An Animal. The album is out April 3 and they’re at The Mod Club on April 12.

Video: Of Monsters & Men – “Little Talks”

NOW welcomes The Asteroids Galaxy Tour to Toronto, where they’re playing The Hoxton on Monday night.

The Dø have decided to cover Janelle Monáe. It sounds like this. They also did a session for The Line Of Best Fit, as well as an interview back in November when Both Ways Open Jaws came out.

Stream: The Dø – “Tightrope”

Saturday, January 28th, 2012

CONTEST – The Asteroids Galaxy Tour @ Wrongbar – February 6, 2012

Photo By Sigurd GrunbergerSigurd GrunbërgerWho: The Asteroids Galaxy Tour
What: A six-piece cosmic-electro-jazz-disco-psych-pop party-time ensemble from Copenhagen. Yeah, another one of those.
Why: Their second album Out Of Frequency is coming out this Tuesday, January 31, and they’re touring it across the asteroid galaxy we call North America.
When: Monday, February 6, 2012
Where: The Hoxton in Toronto (19+)
Who else: Vacationer open things up.
How: Tickets for the show are $16.50 in advance but courtesy of Embrace, I’ve got two pairs of passes to give away for the show. To enter, email me at contests AT with “I want to take the Asteroids Galaxy Tour” in the subject line and your full name in the body and have that in to me before midnight, February 1.
What else: Go Pride interviews vocalist Mette Lingberg.

MP3: The Asteroids Galaxy Tour – “Major”
MP3: The Asteroids Galaxy Tour – “Around The Bend”

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

Friends Of Friends

Time to show Hospitality some hospitality

Photo By Kyle Dean ReinfordKyle Dean ReinfordIf you listen to Hospitality, the debut album from the band also called Hospitality, you may quickly find yourself in a game of “where are they from?” based on singer Amber Papini’s accent and entries of any and all of the UK, Scandinavia or Australia/New Zealand would be perfectly reasonable. After all, the outfit’s idiosyncratic yet hooky pop style would fit quite easily in the musical traditions of any of the above.

The truth of it, however, is far less foreign; they’re from Brooklyn, though if you want/need more exoticness than that, Papini originally hails from Kansas City. And the accent? Just affectation. That doesn’t make their tunes any less enjoyable, though, and it makes the odds that they’ll be able to tour North America that much greater – one in one, as a matter of fact. In support of the January 31 release of their debut on Merge, they’ve got a short tour of the northeast planned and it includes a January 11 date at The Horseshoe – while it doesn’t show up on the above itinerary, it is happening, tickets $10. And apparently they’re supporting some outfit called Caveman? Come for the Hospitality, stay for the Caveman or vice-versa? The important thing is that you go.

MP3: Hospitality – “Betty Wang”
MP3: Hospitality – “Friends Of Friends”

Also in the just-announced column – UK electro outfit Fujiya & Miyagi will be at Wrongbar on January 24 in support of this year’s Ventriloquizzing.

MP3: Fujiya & Miyagi – “YoYo”
MP3: Fujiya & Miyagi – “Sixteen Shades Of Black & Blue”

Danish disco-funk collective The Asteroids Galaxy Tour – yes that’s a real thing – will release their new record Out Of Frequency on January 31 and follow it up with a show at The Hoxton on February 6, tickets $16.50 in advance. I saw them back at SXSW 2009; they’re entertaining.

MP3: The Asteroids Galaxy Tour – “Major”
MP3: The Asteroids Galaxy Tour – “Around The Bend”

South Africa’s Die Antwoord haven’t announced a release date for their second album Ten$ion yet – their ditching their label probably has something to do with that – but having just announced a February 14 date at The Phoenix, one presumes that they believe it will be out sooner rather than later. Tickets for the show are $29 in advance.

Video: Die Antwoord – “Fok Julle Naaiers”

North Carolina’s Bowerbirds have announced a March 6 release date for their new record The Clearing, and they’ll bring it to The Garrison on March 27 as part of a full tour. You can hear the first MP3 from the record below.

MP3: Bowerbirds – “Tuck The Darkness In”

It’s interesting that the Nordic Music Prize – awarded to the best Scandinavian record – only has a lag time of a few days between announcing the long list, with a dozen records from each of Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland and Iceland, and the short list of a final twelve from all countries. And surprising to me, at least, that I Break Horses’ gorgeous debut Hearts wasn’t at least on the former. But then I have no idea what’s actually big in Sweden. I do know, however, that The Quietus and Loud & Quiet have features on the duo and that Maria Lindén has become my number one indie rock crush. Le sigh.

Lykke Li – who is on the Nordic long list for Wounded Rhymes – has released another of the random live session videos that she seems to have so many of.

Video: Lykke Li – “Youth Knows No Pain” (acoustic)

Patrick Wolf has a new video that appears both on this year’s Lupercalia and the Brumalia companion EP which is due out December 4. Still waiting on a North American release for either/both of these, Patrick. Stereoboard and The Oxford Student have interviews.

Video: Patrick Wolf – “Together”

The Guardian talks to Laura Marling, who has two sold-out shows at Camera Bar on December 7.

Anna Calvi covers TV On The Radio’s “Wolf Like Me” in session for The Guardian in what’s basically a proper video. Maybe she’ll bust that one out when she plays Lee’s Palace on December 8. The Vine also has an interview with Calvi. Update: Stereogum’s got an MP3 of the cover to download if you like.

Video: Anna Calvi – “Wolf Like Me”

Still Corners have released a new video from Creatures Of An Hour; they’re at The Horseshoe on December 9, opening up for The War On Drugs.

Video: Still Corners – “Into The Trees”

Clash talks artistic evolution with Horrors bassist Rhys Webb.

Londonist chats with Little Boots about her new single “Shake”, which presumably augurs a second album in the new year.

Exclaim documents the history of the now-resurrected Stone Roses.

Spin chats with Nick Lowe.

Thursday, March 26th, 2009

SxSW 2009 A/V – The Asteroids Galaxy Tour

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangThe Asteroids Galaxy Tour
Copenhagen, Denmark

Danish dance-funk collective featured in an iPod Touch ad will release their debut album Fruit on May 19
Show review
– interviews at Black Book and Austin 360

Photos: The Asteroids Galaxy Tour @ Emo’s Annex – March 19, 2009
MP3: The Asteroids Galaxy Tour – “The Sun Ain’t Shining No More”
MP3: The Asteroids Galaxy Tour – “The Sun Ain’t Shining No More” (Thomas Gold remix)
Video: The Asteroids Galaxy Tour – “Around The Bend”
Video: The Asteroids Galaxy Tour – “The Sun Ain’t Shining No More”
MySpace: The Asteroids Galaxy Tour