Posts Tagged ‘Cut Copy’

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

Animal Heart

Nina Persson increases global levels of Nina Persson with solo album

Photo By Shervin LainezShervin LainezWhither Nina Persson? Despite fronting two bands, she’s made herself pretty scarce in recent years. The Cardigans haven’t released a new record since 2006’s Super Extra Gravity and A Camp, her project with Niclas Frisk, Mark Linkous, and Nathan Larson, was last heard of on 2009’s Colonia.

But she hasn’t just been taking some down time. She recently moved to New York, splitting time between there and Malmö, and as revealed in the 2011 Swedish documentary I Am My Own Dolly Parton, was diagnosed with cervical cancer. Fortunately, it was detected early and successfully removed – she discussed in in a 2011 interview with Sweden’s Express and roughly translated into English at Cardies fansite Plain Picture Parade – and she’s since become a mother. Pretty good reasons to have stepped away from making music for a while.

And now she’s back. The Cardigans are technically active again, performing a recital of Gran Turismo at a bunch of European and Asian festivals last year and playing some “greatest hits” dates in Asia and Russia as we speak – they’re actually in Osaka tonight. Whether this will lead to more dates or recording is unclear, but The Cardigans are out of mothballs, at least.

And as for looking forwards rather than back, Persson has just announced her first solo record, implying that the A Camp name is done. The album is entitled Animal Heart, written with Larson and Eric Johnson of the now-defunct Fruit Bats, recorded at her home in Harlem, and coming with “disco and eighties soul” reference points, will be released on February 10. Persson discusses the making of the album in the official bio and has released a video for the title track of the record.

Video: Nina Persson – “Animal Heart”
Trailer: I’m My Own Dolly Parton

New Zealand psych-pop-soul singer Connan Mockasin has announced a short North American tour behind his second album Caramel; he’ll be in Toronto at The Drake Underground on January 13, tickets $13. There’s features on him at The Line Of Best Fit, Interview, Red Bull, and eMusic, you can stream the new album via The Fader and watch a new video at Nowness.

MP3: Connan Mockasin – “Dolphin Love”
Video: Connan Mockasin – “I’m The Man, That Will Find You”
Stream: Connan Mockasin / Caramel

So my sleuthing around the precise release dates of I Break Horses’ new album have turned out to be a little off, but for the better – rather than the January 28 release I speculated on, Chiaroscuro will be out in North America on January 21, the day after it comes out in Europe. No staggered releases here!

Exclaim has details on the sophomore album from The Jezebels, entitled The Brink and due out February 18. Check out the first video from it below.

Video: The Jezabels – “The End”

Spain’s Delorean have premiered the new video from Apar at Nowness; they make up their previously canceled date in support of the record at The Hoxton on February 20.

Video: Delorean – “Unhold”

Icona Pop have released a new video from This Is Icona Pop and have announced a slew of tour dates which brings them back to Toronto on March 31… opening for Miley Cyrus at the Air Canada Centre.

Video: Icona Pop – “Just Another Night”

The Fly checks in with Bo Madesen of Mew.

DIY has a brief interview with Austra-Scandinavian outfit Kate Boy.

Greek duo Keep Shelley In Athens have released a new video from their debut full-length, At Home.

Video: Keep Shelley In Athens – “Oostende”

Noisey has premiered the new video from Japanese post-rockers Mono, taken from their latest album For My Parents.

Video: Mono – “Dream Odyssey”

Phoenix have premiered their new Sofia Coppola-directed video from Bankrupt! at the MoMA website.

Video: Phoenix – “Chloroform”

Spin is streaming a new song from M83, taken from the soundtrack to You And The Night, a French film about an orgy.

Stream: M83 – “Ali & Matthias”

eMusic, Billboard, and Exclaim have interviews with Cut Copy.

Paste talks Hunger Games and other matters with Of Monsters & Men.

Rolling Stone chats with Björk, and Time has dug up an old video of a young Björk explaining how a television works.

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

Wonder 2

My Bloody Valentine at The Kool Haus in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangMy Bloody Valentine’s last visit to Toronto in September 2008 was a singular event on a few levels. Besides being their first visit in over a decade and a half, it was in-the-flesh proof that one of the most improbable returns to active duty in recent years was actually happening; considering that the seemingly simple task of reissuing Isn’t Anything and Loveless was already months overdue at the time and would actually take another three and half years to come out, only the most optimistic would have expected them to get their act together enough to pull off a North American tour. But they did, and it was glorious.

And so Tuesday night’s show – again at the Kool Haus – in support of their long-promised third album mbv came without some of that weight of expectation that surrounded their previous visit, but was still cause for excitement – these were still legends, after all… But even legends are still human. Unexpected for a band as epically amplified as they, both Kevin Shields and drummer Colm Ó Cíosóig started off with acoustic guitars and Belinda Butcher on keyboards for a reading of “Sometimes” that kept drifting out of synch with itself, the basic click track underpinning it not quite up to the job of keeping everyone in time. Shields would comment, “We really fucked that up” when it was over and he wasn’t wrong.

But a few more missteps aside – most notably “Thorn” getting two false starts before being abandoned midway through a third shot, Shields blaming a guitar “in the wrong key” – it was another immensely satisfying show. For being expectedly and incredibly loud, the mix was surprisingly clear with drums, keys, and most importantly vocals being sufficiently audible over the six-string din (a third guitarist beefed things up even further when not covering on keys). That they achieved this in a room that can be unforgiving to less proficient sound techs was remarkable, and it allowed the beauty of their softer moments – like mbv‘s “New You” – to come through and allowed the more violent numbers to do their work with surgical elegance rather than just as blunt instruments.

The set list drew fairly evenly from their three albums and b-sides, showcasing both their elegant and aggressive sides, with highlights including a deliciously bent “Only Shallow”, an impressive “Wonder 2” that again brought Ó Cíosóig from behind the kit to add a guitar while a drum track kept time, and the still-irresistibly dancey “Soon”, to say nothing of the endless parade of offset-body Fender guitars. The usually silent Shields was a bit chattier than normal, if just to explain and apologize for their technical hiccups, with Butcher adding a polite “thank you” before their closing salvo of “Feed Me With Your Kiss” and the scorched-earth “You Made Me Realize”, though rather than try to top the 23-minute ‘holocaust’ section from 2008, they capped it at a reasonable nine. There’s not many bands that you’d actually feel some disappointment that they didn’t apply the aural equivalent of a dental cleaning with a space shuttle booster rocket for the length of a network sitcom, but there’s not many bands like My Bloody Valentine. Or any.

The Toronto Star, National Post, NOW, and Exclaim also have reviews of the show. The attached photo is from the 2008 photoset; no photography was permitted this time around.

Video: My Bloody Valentine – “Only Shallow”
Video: My Bloody Valentine- “Soon”
Video: My Bloody Valentine – “To Here Knows When”
Video: My Bloody Valentine – “Swallow”
Video: My Bloody Valentine – “You Made Me Realise”
Video: My Bloody Valentine – “Feed Me With Your Kiss”
Stream: My Bloody Valentine / mbv

DIY, Consequence Of Sound, Paper, and FasterLouder talk to Cut Copy about their just-released new album, Free Your Mind. They’re in town November 15 at The Danforth Music Hall.

Blood Orange is streaming the whole of his new album Cupid Deluxe, which will be available digitally next week on November 12 before coming out in physical formats on November 19.

Stream: Blood Orange / Cupid Deluxe

Artist Direct, The Telegraph, and Yahoo talk to Shane Meadows about directing the Made Of Stone documentary on The Stone Roses. It gets a Toronto premiere at both The Bloor and Cineplex Yonge-Dundas on November 22, and continues screening at YDS from November 24 to 28.

Drowned In Sound talks to Cate Le Bon about her new record Mug Museum, out November 12. She’ll be at The Drake Underground on January 21.

When it was announced that Until The Colours Run – the new record from Lanterns On The Lake – wasn’t getting a North American release until January 14 despite coming out in the UK in October, I hoped it meant that the record would get a much-deserved proper promotional push over here. And indeed, they’ve announced a North American tour for next year that brings them to the Drake Underground on February 1. Under The Radar has the full itinerary as well as a stream of a new song, but you can hear the whole thing via a link in my review of the record last month.

Stream: Lanterns On The Lake – “The Buffalo Days”

Johnny Flynn has released a new video from Country Mile as well as some North American tour dates in the first part of next year. Interestingly, there’s no Toronto date but there is a Montreal one on January 21 and several days off around it, so I’m guessing it will be announced sooner or later.

Video: Johnny Flynn – “Gypsy Hymn”

Drowned In Sound, The Jakarta Post, and The Star find out what Danish prog-rockers Mew are up to, besides working on a new album.

The Line Of Best Fit checks in with The Raveonettes, who will begin recording a new record in the new year.

The Sydney Morning Herald talks to Anna Calvi, who has released a video for the opening track of her new record, One Breath.

Video: Anna Calvi – “Suddenly”

Patrick Wolf has released a new video for the Sundark & Riverlight version of “The Libertine”, premiered at in support of LGBT rights at the Sochi Olympics.

Video: Patrick Wolf – “The Libertine”

Exclaim talks to Neil Halstead about Black Hearted Brother and the band, as a unit, list some of their most influential albums for MusicOmh.

DIY talks to Foals.

PopMatters has an interview with Los Campesinos!.

Friday, October 25th, 2013


I Break Horses keep the “Faith”

Photo By Magnus HardnerMagnus HärdnerSince offering up the first proof of its existence in July with a new stream, followed not long after by a video, I’ve been anxiously waiting on official information regarding the new album from Swedish electronic act I Break Horses. Pitchfork had previously reported an October release for the follow up to 2011’s Hearts, but as we’re into the final days of the month that seems pretty unlikely.

So in lieu of the new record, yesterday’s flurry of news about the new record will have to do. For starters, a second new song was premiered via beautifully shot video at Noisey, the title of the album – Chiaroscuro – was revealed, though to be fair if I’d seen this interview with Maria Lindén which ran on MTV Iggy at the start of September I’d have already known that, and with a little bit of sleuthing it would appear the general “early 2014” release window that Bella Union is offering will actually be January 20 in Europe and January 28 in North America. Obviously this is all subject to change, but I will take it for now. And the new song, too. Swoon.

Video: I Break Horses – “Faith”
Video: I Break Horses – “Denial”

It might seem a bit backwards, but Swedish glammers The Sounds have made their new record Weekend available to stream at Spin a few days before its release on October 29, but a full week after their North American tour brought them through town. In any case, We Love DC and The Bay Bridged also have interviews with the band.

Stream: The Sounds / Weekend talks to José González of Junip.

Drowned In Sound has some annotations from Efterklang on the two new – and final – videos they’ll be releasing from last year’s Piramida.

Video: Efterklang – “Between The Walls”
Video: Efterklang – “Black Summer”

The Wall Street Journal and San Francisco Examiner talk to Danish singer-songwriter Nanna Fabricius of Oh Land.

The Guardian has got video from one of the songs Sigur R&ocaute;s performed as part of a concert for the BBC at their Maida Vale Studios.

Le Blogothèque has a Still Room Session with Of Monsters & Men.

Redefine has an interview with composer Ólafur Arnalds and frequent collaborator and tourmate Nils Frahm; Bloomberg and The Daily Aztec talk to Arnalds on his own.

Australian electro-rockers Cut Copy have made a stream of their new record Free Your Mind available to stream before it comes out November 5; check it out via Pitchfork, and also the video for the title track if you like. They’re at The Danforth Music Hall on November 15, tickets $30 to $40 in advance.

Video: Cut Copy – “Free Your Mind”
Stream: Cut Copy / Free Your Mind

The Line Of Best Fit has details of Live From KCRW a new Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds live record recorded earlier this year at the Los Angeles radio station that is being released in time for Record Store Day on November 29 before getting a wide release on December 2.

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

New You

My Bloody Valentine decide your eardrums have had enough time to heal, thank you very much

Photo via FacebookFacebookWhile I as much as anyone appreciate that there remains an impulse to respond to news of My Bloody Valentine doing anything with an “oh my god!”, the fact is that circa late 2013, the shoegazing gods have successfully transitioned from myth back into a real, active band – albeit one that moves at their own leisurely pace – and are going to do things like release new record and tour.

Okay, that the former happened – you’ll recall the semi-sneak release of twenty years-in-the-making mbv back in February – is still remarkable, but this week’s announcement of east coast dates shouldn’t really have come as a surprise. This year has already seen the band hit Asia, Australia, Europe, and the west coast of North America – if they skipped the east altogether, that would have been a surprise. And so it is that they’ll be back in Toronto on November 5 – tickets $45 in advance – at the Kool Haus where they first made their local comeback appearance in September 2008. That show, if you’ll recall, had originally been slated for the 6000+ capacity Ricoh Coliseum before the reality of their legend-to-actual fanbase ratio hit home and they downsized the venue appropriately.

What’s interesting about recent shows compared to that one is that the set lists from this year are nearly identical in composition and order to 2008, save for the insertion of four new songs and the excision of one rarity (“Slow”). Which means that this show will be at least 15 minutes longer than the last one, unless they trim the “holocaust” portion of “You Made Me Realise” which carved our brains like a sonic glacier for 24 minutes last time… I’m guessing they won’t.

Stream: My Bloody Valentine / mbv

Another one for the, “it’s happening, really” file – Mazzy Star making good on their promise to tour behind Seasons Of Your Day, their first record in 17 years, after it comes out September 24. Pitchfork has the complete itinerary for the Californian dream-pop duo of Hope Sandoval and David Roback, which stops in at the Danforth Music Hall on November 16 – tickets for that range from $32.50 to $47.50.

Stream: Mazzy Star – “California”

Soldiering on following the sudden passing of bassist Chris Friedrich last month, Boston post-rockers Caspian are teaming up with English spiritual and stylistic cousins 65daysofstatic for a Fall tour that hits Lee’s Palace on November 7, tickets $15.50. Caspian’s last album was 2012’s Waking Season, while 65daysofstatic’s new record Wild Light will be out October 29 – they talk to The Skinny about it.

MP3: 65daysofstatic – “Prisms”
Stream: Caspian / Waking Season

San Francisco psych-rockers Wooden Shjips will release a new album in Back to Land on November 12, about midway through their North American tour in support of it. They’re at The Horseshoe on November 10, tickets $15.50, and Spin has album and tour details.

MP3: Wooden Shjips – “Lazy Bones”

Australian electro-rock outfit Cut Copy have been teasing their new record Free Your Mind with billboards set up in a half-dozen locales around the world, but have now announced they’ll bring their new songs to their fans rather the other way round via a world tour. Free Your Mind is out November 5 – you can stream the title track below – and they’re at The Danforth Music Hall on November 15, tickets $30 to $40 in advance.

Stream: Cut Copy – “Free Your Mind”

London-bred, Vienna-based, 4AD-signed electro-soul producer/artist SOHN will be making his Toronto debut at The Drake Underground on November 23, tickets $12. There’s no word of his debut album yet but presumably he’ll have more to perform than a 40-minute remix of his single.

Video: SOHN – “Bloodflows”

NME has an advance stream of Motto, the forthcoming record from Sky Larkin, out as of Monday September 16.

Stream: Sky Larkin / Motto

Greek don’t-call-them-chillwave duo Keep Shelly In Athens have given their full-length debut At Home an advance stream at Pitchfork before it comes out September 17. They play Wrongbar on October 15.

Stream: Keep Shelly In Athens / At Home

Interview talks to Spaniards Delorean, who bring their just-released new album Apar to The Horseshoe on October 17.

Anna Calvi is streaming another new song from her forthcoming One Breath, out October 7.

Stream: Anna Calvi – “Sing To Me”

Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand runs down the music that soundtracked his life for Pitchfork, and he tells The AV Club why “Kumbaya” is not on that list. They play The Kool Haus on October 24.

There’s not much in the way of information, but this teaser trailer says that Nina Persson will be releasing her first solo record – not a Cardigans or A Camp record – in January of next year. Which is, of course, exciting.

DIY interviews Summer Camp.

Under The Radar has an interview with Sigur Rós.

Le Blogotheque has posted their three-headed Take Away Show with Phoenix, recorded all over Paris.

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

Swordfish Hotkiss Night

Empire Of The Sun and Miami Horror at The Sound Academy in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangSome were disappointed when Empire Of The Sun’s long-awaited Toronto debut on Tuesday night was moved from the lakeside Echo Beach venue to the generally loathed Sound Academy for undisclosed “production issues”; it turned out to be a blessing as the weather finally got the memo that Autumn was here and, well, it would have been awfully cold down outside on the water at Ontario Place. Plus, there was the novelty of having the show take place right across the street from where Cirque du Soleil had pitched their Totem tent, and while one technically had nothing to do with the other, it was hard not to appreciate the convergence of solar-themed entertainment. Well I thought it was neat, anyways.

Another benefit of the new venue was the ability to close off portions of it to squeeze the people in, for although those who were there were rightfully excited that the Australian band had finally made it to town – they had to cancel a show last Summer due to scheduling – there weren’t really that many of them; maybe 1500 tops at the show’s peak in a room that could hold twice that, but still better than an outdoor venue where everyone could lie down and make sand angels without touching a neighbour. However it wouldn’t be fair to say that a fraction of that total were on hand when openers and fellow Aussies Miami Horror took the stage at the stroke of eight to kick things off – you could count the attendees on two hands and maybe a foot.

Regardless, it was the scheduled time for the party to start and so Miami Horror started the party. Apparently Miami Horror can refer to either producer/keyboardist Benjamin Plant doing DJ duties or the live band, which we saw this night, and which belonged instead to singer/guitarist Josh Moriarty. While his bandmates remained pretty static tending to their keys, bass and drum duties, Moriarty was living out every kid’s rock star dreams up there, channeling not a little bit of Prince in his guitarsexy moves (points for sporting a reverse-headstock thinline Stratocaster) and solos over a bed of New Romantic-approved synths – there were more than a few plectrums pointed heavenwards, it was just that kind of night – a bit gratuitous but entertaining. Over the course of their set the crowd swelled from a handful to hundreds, most happily dancing their way in from the doors to the party anthems coming offstage and as the vibe improved, so did the material. By set’s end, it was evident that their debut Illumination had a few genuinely solid songs to recommend the band, not just the ability to soundtrack a party.

I am pretty sure that the last time Luke Steele was in Toronto, it was some eight years ago when his old/other band The Sleepy Jackson (who are still technically a going concern even though Personality came out a half-decade ago) at Lee’s Palace opening up for My Morning Jacket – very different company and environs, indeed. That Luke Steele was a slightly pudgy guy with a big mess of curly hair, dubious moustache and questionable fashion sense; that was not this Luke Steele.

No, the Luke Steele who strode onto his elevated stage platform as the scrim obscuring the stage dropped was sleek, space-age and clad in an elaborate blue headdress and cosmic kimono – a cosmic messiah who came to save us all with insanely harmonized guitar solos… though still with a hint of a moustache. Understand that Empire Of The Sun is as much a visual experience as an aural one, with the set costumes and set dressings carefully matched to the elaborate artwork of and videos from their album Walking On A Dream. Going in, I’d wondered if there’d be some kind of narrative to the show to justify the costumes and over-the-top visuals – within a couple of songs, I put those thoughts out of my mind as it was clear that no justification was needed – they were being fantastical for the sake of being fantastic, and that was plenty.

Musically, they were a three-piece – Steele on guitar and keys, Nick Littlemore on guitar (I think it was the prodigal co-conspirator back there – I missed the intro but it looked like him) and a live drummer – playing over many backing tracks. And while the live instrumentation certainly added a dynamicism and volume that the album sometimes lacks, you had to be careful not to listen too too closely; I was standing right in front of their guitar amps at a few points and the rhythm parts being played were… not exactly tight. But stepping back and taking in the spectacle of it all, any human imperfections became insignificant against the grandeur of it all.

As crucial a part of the performance as the band were the dancers, numbering four but with dramatic costume changes and choreography for every song, ranging from the shiny pink jumpsuit outfits for “Half Mast” and “We Are The People” to become furry blonde cavorting swordfish that for “Swordfish Hotkiss Night”, they were arguably the highlight of a show made up of nothing but highlights. Steele also changed outfits a few times, even getting his hair done between a songs at one point, all without missing a beat or a cue in the tightly-produced show, which makes sense considering they’ve been touring almost this exact show around the world for nigh on two years now (though some past festival sets seem to have been even more elaborate in costumes and staging). I suspect that if I went to more or any Top 40/pop shows where costumes and spectacle are de rigeur this might have been less impressive, but I don’t so it was all wow.

It wasn’t all rigidly scripted, though – Steele broke whatever character he was playing a few times to say hello to the enraptured fans and declare how happy he was that they’d finally made it to Toronto; he also brought his daughter Sunny Tiger out on stage to say hello towards the show’s end, and then immediately followed that tender moment by smashing his guitar to pieces and tossing the wreckage into the crowd. It was that kind of night. And it wasn’t over – while they were following standard concert convention in leaving the stage before playing their “hit”, they were putting the time to good use, returning for the encore of “Walking On A Dream” with the dancers dressed in intergalactic geishas and Steele in a dazzling white samurai outfit in front of a fountain of fire video projection; truly a show-stopper. I’m not sure what was up with the giant grim reaper puppet they wheeled out for the song, but if there’s one thing to be learned from an Empire Of The Sun show, it’s to not ask why – just be dazzled by it.

Exclaim and Panic Manual also have reviews of the show.

Photos: Empire Of The Sun, Miami Horror @ The Sound Academy – September 13, 2011
Video: Empire Of The Sun – “Half Mast”
Video: Empire Of The Sun – “Without You”
Video: Empire Of The Sun – “Standing On The Shore”
Video: Empire Of The Sun – “Walking On A Dream”
Video: Empire Of The Sun – “We Are The People”
Video: Miami Horror – “Holidays”
Video: Miami Horror – “Echoplex”
Video: Miami Horror – “I Look To You”
Video: Miami Horror – “Moon Theory”
Video: Miami Horror – “Sometimes”
Video: Miami Horror – “Don’t Be Down On Her”

Cut Copy have premiered a new video from Zonoscope.

Video: Cut Copy – “Blink And You’ll Miss A Revolution”

Howling Bells frontwoman Juanita Stein pens a column on fashion for Clash.

Junip have released a new video from 2010’s Fields.

Video: Junip – “Without You”

Jens Lekman’s new EP An Argument With Myself is available to stream ahead of its September 20 street date.

MP3: Jens Lekman – “An Argument With Myself”
Stream: Jens Lekman / An Argument With Myself

El Perro Del Mar is streaming a new song inspired by the London riots, probably not set to appear on her new record Pale Fire when it comes out next year. Thanks to The Line Of Best Fit for the tip.

Stream: El Perro Del Mar – “What Did You Expect”

Clash gets to know Maria Lindén of I Break Horses.

More screenings of the Sigur Ros live film Inni have been announced, including at Toronto’s TIFF Lightbox starting on October 28 – I am assuming there’ll be more than just one since they say director Vincent Morriset will be on hand at select screenings. The live CD/DVD set for the film is due out in November.

Video: Sigur Ros – “Klippa”
Trailer: Sigur Ros: Inni

British dreampop newcomers Still Corners have released a new MP3 from their forthcoming debut Creatures Of An Hour, out October 11. They’re at The Drake Underground on October 25.

MP3: Still Corners – “Into The Trees”

KCRW has a session with The Horrors; they’re at Lee’s Palace on September 27.

Wears The Trousers chats with Emmy The Great.

The New York Times, AV Club and Los Angeles Times check in with Nick Lowe, whose new album The Old Magic is out just in time for his two shows opening up for Wilco at Massey Hall this Friday and Saturday nights.