Posts Tagged ‘Go-Betweens’

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

It Is What It Is

Review of Blood Orange’s Cupid Deluxe

Photo By Stacey MarkStacey MarkTo say that following the musical career of Dev Hynes is an adventure is rather an understatement. Starting out with the deliberately sophomoric art-punk Test Icicles, he recast himself as an orch-folk troubadour on Falling Off The Lavender Bridge, his 2008 solo album under the Lightspeed Champion name. It was an identity he quickly found himself outgrowing, his second and last record in that guise – 2010’s Life Is Sweet! Nice To Meet You – had its share of high points but felt unfocused, like at a creative crossroads. Focus came with another new identity, Blood Orange, and 2011’s Coastal Grooves – a stripped-down and decidedly solo soul/disco record that sounded made in and for the bedroom that was criminally overlooked.

But crucially, while refining and redefining his own artistic identity, Hynes was becoming a highly sought-after producer, particularly after becoming Solange Knowles’ co-writer, producer, and sideman. That all-consuming role through most of this year, not to mention his other production duties, made it unclear if he’d be able to return to his own work anytime soon but somehow he still found time to not only record and release his second Blood Orange album Cupid Deluxe, out this week.

The most marked difference between Cupid and its predecessor is the sheer number of hands on deck. Coastal Grooves was entirely Hynes’ show, a fact emphatically made by his live shows – but Cupid finds Hynes more than happy to be allowing the likes of Chairlift’s Caroline Polachek, Friends’ Samantha Urbani, Dirty Projectors’ David Longstreth from his indie rock world and Despot, Skepta, and Clams Casino from his hip-hop world take centre stage while he remains the producer and songwriter running the show. And that show is akin to a dazzlingly diverse r&b revue built around themes of both alienation and community in New York City, coupling heartfelt sentiment to slick grooves.

Dev Hynes has been making music now for almost a decade, and what in isolation might seem like random and disparate creative shifts, when viewed as a whole, paint the picture of an impressively complex and immensely talented artist. Cupid Deluxe is, thus far, the most cohesive assemblage of his gifts – ironic, since it overtly showcases him the least. I personally would have liked to have his guitarwork given a little more prominence – the man can shred, as anyone who’s ever seen him live can attest – but for the time being, the brilliant missed riff key change at 2:43 of “Uncle ACE” will keep me going.

Hynes talks influences with The New York Times and is the cover feature of The Fader, for whom he’s also assembled hour-long mixtape containing new material. But if you’re waiting on tour dates to support the new record, don’t hold your breath.

Video: Blood Orange – “Time Will Tell”
Video: Blood Orange – “Chamakay”

Noisey has premiered the video for the title track of Rose Elinor Dougall’s new EP Future Vanishes, out officially this week.

Video: Rose Elinor Dougall – “Future”

NME has got the new video from Beady Eye, taken from their second album BE which is apparently getting a North American release this week because North Americans have been clamouring for it…?

Video: Beady Eye – “Soul Love”

Rolling Stone is streaming another new song from Kele’s forthcoming Heartbreaker solo EP, out November 25.

Stream: Kele – “God Has A Way”

The Guardian and Drowned In Sound talk to Welsh singer-songwriter Cate Le Bon; she’s in town at The Drake Underground on January 21.

NME has details on the new album from Maxïmo Park, entitled Too Much Information and due out February 3. They’ve released a video for the first single, which you can also download in exchange for an email address from their website.

Video: Maxïmo Park – “Brain Cells”

Fanfarlo have announced details of their third studio album: Let’s Go Extinct will be out February 10, and of course there’s a trailer.

Trailer: Fanfarlo / Let’s Go Extinct

The Guardian talks to Lily Allen about her impending return to music with a separate piece about the brouhaha surrounding her comeback video.

Anna Calvi lists off ten life-changing albums for MusicRadar.

Metro has an interview with M.I.A., who has released a new video from her latest, Matangi.

Video: M.I.A. – “Y.A.L.A.”

Consequence Of Sound interviews Charli XCX.

Little Boots has made a couple of extended edits of songs from Nocturnes available to download via HungerTV.

MP3: Little Boots – “Broken Record” (Nocturnal version)
MP3: Little Boots – “Strangers” (Nocturnal version)

Franz Ferdinand salute Australia with a cover of The Go-Betweens in a video session for Triple J. They’ve also released a new official video from Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action.

Video: Franz Ferdinand – “Bullet”
Video: Franz Ferdinand – “Was There Anything I Could Do?” (live)

Black Book interviews CHVRCHES and The Alternate Side welcomes them for a session.

Drowned In Sound gets a look at Summer Camp’s tools of the trade (read: their musical gear).

The Huffington Post gets some EDM smack talk of out reigning Mercury Prize champ James Blake.

A Music Blog, Yea? talks to drummer Rick McMurray of Ash.

BrooklynVegan interviews Johnny Marr.

The Quietus revisits the first House Of Love album on the occasion of its 25th anniversary.

Under The Radar talks to Mark Gardener and Andy Bell of Ride about the enduring legacy of their debut album Nowhere.

Sunday, June 3rd, 2012

"Was There Anything I Could Do?"

Maxïmo Park covers The Go-Betweens

Photo via AmazonAmazonIt’s always amused me the amount of hand-wringing there seems to occur here in North America over the use of the word “independent” – or “indie”, as the kids say – as a musical adjective and/or genre while over in the UK, its been accepted as a legitimate descriptor for decades, even to the point of there existing compilation albums dedicated to celebrating its endurance. That was ostensibly the mandate of Independents Day: ID08, released in 2008 and featuring one disc of covers with current independent artists covering their forbears and a second featuring recommendations of up and coming acts by those same artists. Kind of a multi-generational group hug thing,

One of the participating artists was Newcastle’s Maxïmo Park, who chose to pay homage to one of Australia’s greatest pop bands in The Go-Betweens. They don’t mix it up too much, only goosing the tempo and tension to more Maxïmo-friendly levels and transferring Amanda Brown’s violin solo to synths, but the original is such a great tune that to try and tweak it too much would only result in a poorer version – I suspect the band knew this. Or they were just being lazy.

After a few years’ break, Maxïmo Park return with their fourth album The National Health next week. The Go-Betweens ceased being a band with the untimely death of singer-guitarist Grant McLennan just over six years ago. Co-founder Robert Forster continues on as a solo artist; his last solo record The Evangelist was released in 2008.

And if you were curious, the band that Maxïmo Park recommended on the second disc of the comp was Cougar.

MP3: Maxïmo Park – “Was There Anything I Could Do?”
Video: The Go-Betweens – “Was There Anything I Could Do?”

Sunday, January 30th, 2011

"Bachelor Kisses"

The Radio Dept. covers The Go-Betweens

Image via Friendly NoiseFriendly NoiseSweden’s Radio Dept. have a pretty singular sound when compared to the rest of the pop music landscape – making static and melancholy gleam and glisten as they do is easier said than done – but their musical genome is actaully pretty easy to map. That they use take texture from Jesus & Mary Chain and balance it with Belle & Sebastian’s soft, open heart is most obvious but the swooningly sophisticated pop sensibilities of, say, The Go-Betweens might be overlooked at first – or at least until you hear them covered.

The Radio Dept. covered The Go-Betweens’ “Bachelor Kisses” from their 1984 release Spring Hill Fair as a contribution to a 2007 issue of the Friendly Noise zine and it’s rather astonishing how they manage to make it sound exactly like something from their own canon while simultaneously paying tribute to the original by playing it as straight as they’re capable of doing. And from whichever angle you choose to look at it, It’s a gorgeous piece of work.

The Radio Dept. releases their singles/b-sides compilation Passive Aggressive last week – and “Bachelor Kisses” is included amongst the latter – and their first full and proper North American tour starts on Tuesday night, making its way to Lee’s Palace in Toronto on February 7. The Go-Betweens came to an end in May 2006 when Grant McLennan died of a heart attack. His songwriting partner Robert Forster has continued on as a solo artist, most recently releasing The Evangelist in 2008.

MP3: The Radio Dept. – “Bachelor Kisses”
Video: The Go-Betweens – “Bachelor Kisses”