Posts Tagged ‘Invisible’

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

1000 Answers

The Hives and object lessons in venue relativism

Photo By Tobias SutterTobias SutterThings that are true about live music rooms in Toronto: 1) Everyone hates the Sound Academy, for reasons that don’t really need to be expounded on; 2) a lot of people hate The Phoenix when it represents a tipping point for ascendant acts moving out of clubs and into bigger rooms; 3) a lot of people love The Phoenix when it offers a relatively intimate setting for who might normally play larger rooms but for whatever reason – choice or circumstance – are downsizing.

It’s that third category that I was front of mind yesterday as a batch of concert announcements rolled in. Already scheduled for two dates at The Air Canada Centre supporting Pink on November 30 and December 2, Swedish garage rock heroes The Hives have decided days off are for chumps and have scheduled their own show at The Phoenix for December 1, tickets $29.50. Their last headlining show in support of last year’s Lex Hives was in July 2012 and at The Sound Academy, so their playing a room one-third the size is rather a boon for their fans, at least those who didn’t rush out to buy Pink tickets to see them. Which I would think would include all of them.

Video: The Hives – “Wait A Minute”

New Zealand electro-poppers The Naked & Famous, on the other hand, may be finding out that they’re neither sufficiently naked or famous to fill the Sound Academy as they’ve downgraded their October 14 show in support of their just-released second album In Rolling Waves from there to The Phoenix. Playing the room wasn’t overreaching as their last show in support of their hit debut Passive Me, Aggressive You was there and was their fourth local performance in a year, no less, but kids these days have short attention spans. Remaining tickets for the show are $28.50 in advance. BBC has an interview with the band as does Noisey, along with a stream of the new record.

Video: The Naked & Famous – “Hearts Like Ours”
Stream: The Naked & Famous / In Rolling Waves

When British soul singer Jessie Ware made her local debut at The Opera House in April, it seemed a foregone conclusion that her next visit would be in a much bigger room. And while I won’t suggest that her upwards trajectory has stalled – she and Devotion are just too good to be denied – I was surprised to see that her November 6 show at The Sound Academy had also been downsized to The Phoenix. On the plus side, I already know a few people for whom this show has gone from “ugh” to “ooh”, so it should still be a good and full house when she and The Invisible return to town. Whatever tickets remain for that one are $25 in advance. Interestingly, one of her New York shows on this tour was also downsized from a 3000+ room to a 1000 but a Brooklyn show was also added, so maybe this is as much about the experience as soft sales. Or not. Anyways, if you were on the fence then it’s time to get to a ticket outlet.

Video: Jessie Ware – “Wildest Moments”

The Rural Alberta Advantage have been fairly quiet of late, presumably working on a follow-up to 2011’s Departing – their last local show was last Fall with Dan Mangan at The Danforth Music Hall – but they’ll be taking the stage at the Adelaide Music Hall on October 18 as part of Indie Week, which is apparently a thing. You can get in with a festival wristband or paying $25 for an advance ticket.

MP3: The Rural Alberta Advantage – “Stamp”

Widowspeak fans dismayed that their only opportunity to see them this Fall was as support for Iron & Wine at The Sound Academy – that place again! – on September 28 will be pleased to know that they’ll be back soon enough in support of their new EP The Swamps, out October 29, for a show at The Silver Dollar on November 2 with Pure Bathing Culture and tickets running a very reasonable $12.50.

MP3: Widowspeak – “The Devil Knows”

Baltimore’s Future Islands haven’t announced anything about a follow-up to 2011’s On The Water, but they’re still hitting the road and will be at The Drake Underground on November 10, tickets $15.50.

MP3: Future Islands – “Before The Bridge”

At some point, the release of Illinois roots-pop artist Lissie’s second album got pushed back a few weeks, but they’ve now committed to both an October 8 street date for Back To Forever as well as a Fall tour to support it. Ms Maurus will be at the Adelaide Music Hall on November 21, tickets for the show $22.50 in advance.

Video: Lissie – “Further Away (Romance Police)”

They may not have been crowned Polaris champs on Monday night, but Young Galaxy can still announce themselves as 2013 shortlisters when they take the stage at The Hoxton on November 22. Not that they would or should; that’s kind of gauche. Tickets for that one are $18 in advance.

Video: Young Galaxy – “Pretty Boy”

If you missed fantastical Swedish synth-pop duo The Deer Tracks when they were here in March – and mathematically, most all of you did – then you can rectify that when they bring their opus The Archer Trilogy back to North America for a victory lap. They’ll be back at The Silver Dollar on November 28.

MP3: The Deer Tracks – “W”

His Toronto debut a couple weeks ago having completely sold out even after being upgraded from The Drake to Wrongbar, Archy Marshall – aka King Krule – will bring his album Six Feet Beneath The Moon back as part of a larger tour and will be at Lee’s Palace on December 9, tickets $20. The New York Times has a feature piece on the artist.

Video: King Krule – “Octopus”

Interview, MTV, and Rolling Stone have features on Swedish electro-pop sensations Icona Pop, whose North American debut This Is… Icona Pop is out this week.

MTV Hive, Elle, and Interview chat with Nanna Øland Fabricius of Oh Land, whose new album Wish Bone is also out this week and is available to stream courtesy of The Line Of Best Fit. Esquire also has a video session with the artist, who plays The Great Hall on September 30.

Stream: Oh Land / Wish Bone

Indians have rolled out a new video from their/his debut Somewhere Else.

Video: Indians – “La Femme”

The New Strait Times, South China Morning Post, and Electronic Musician have interviews with Icelandic composer Ólafur Arnalds.

Le Blogotheque serves up an Empty Spaces session with Sigur Rós filmed in the catacombs of Paris.

A Heart Is A Spade interviews Kate Boy.

Friday, August 2nd, 2013


Sky Larkin share new Motto

Photo via FacebookFacebookFrequently when an artist announces a new album a number of years on from when its predecessor came out, the question of, “where’ve you been?” is a natural ones. In the case of Sky Larkin principal Katie Harkin, the answer is simply “everywhere”. Since her band wrapped up touring commitments behind 2010’s Kaleide, she signed on as a touring member of Wild Beasts for their Smother tour (which stopped here in October 2011).

But Harkin has gotten back to her own business, and with a new lineup in place – original bassist Doug Adams amicably departed the band and was replaced and a second guitarist added – they’ve announced a September 16 release of their third album, entitled Motto. A new track from it is available to stream via The Guardian and offers a lighter counterpoint to the more pummelling first taste – now revealed as the album’s title track – which surfaced back in May and more than affirms their recipe of sleekly ragged guitars and sneakily sophisticated melodicism is still a most effective one. I look forward to their return.

Stream: Sky Larkin – “Loom”
Stream: Sky Larkin – “Motto”

Annie has released a new video from her just-out A&R EP; Idolator talks to Richard X – the EP’s producer and “R” namesake – about the record.

Video: Annie – “Back Together”

Clash and NME talk to White Lies about their new album Big TV, out August 21. They play The Opera House on October 1.

Rolling Stone talks to Martin Gore of Depeche Mode about the impending North American tour that brings them to the Molson Amphitheatre on September 1.

Manic Street Preachers have unveiled a new video from their next album Rewind The Film, out September 16.

Video: Manic Street Preachers – “Show Me The Wonder”

The Line Of Best Fit reports that English folkie Johnny Flynn has given his new record Country Mile a September 30 release date. The first song from it is available to preview via lyric video.

Lyric Video: Johnny Flynn – “The Lady Is Risen”

Charli XCX walks through her video for “What I Like”. She plays The Hoxton on September 16.

Australia’s The Naked & Famous have announced the September 17 release of their second In Rolling Waves, offering some context for their already-announced date at the Sound Academy on October 14. The first video from the new record is also out.

Video: The Naked & Famous – “Hearts Like Ours”

Under The Radar reports that former Mercury Prize nominees The Invisible have been named as support for Jessie Ware on her North American tour, starting November 6 at The Sound Academy. The pairing makes perfect sense since Invisible frontman Dave Okumu co-wrote and produced much of Ware’s Devotion; their last album was 2012’s Rispah.

MP3: The Invisible – “London Girl”

Page 31 talks to Caroline Hjelt and Windy City Media to Aino Jawo of Icona Pop. Their album This Is… comes out September 24.

The Horrors tell NME that any expectations of a new record in 2013 are unfounded and their next release will come in early 2014.

The Quietus has both an interview with and the first new music from Rose Elinor Dougall in far too long; with luck a second album isn’t too far behind.

Stream: Rose Elinor Dougall – “Strange Warnings”

The High Wire have released a video for their latest single, which quite effectively leverages footage from the film Ashes, starring Ray Winstone. The Guardian has more information about the film.

Video: The High Wire -“LNOE”

The Guardian talks to Daniel Blumburg, formerly of Yuck, about his new project as Hebronix and the debut album Unreal.

Bobby Gillespie of Primal Scream unloads to NME about the state of festivals in 2013.

Baeble Music has a video session with Foals and NME gets Yannis Philippakis’ thoughts on US whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Cut Copy have made a new single, released last month in limited edition at the Pitchfork Music Festival, available to stream for all to hear.

Stream: Cut Copy – “Let Me Show You”

NPR has video from a KCRW session with Savages.

The Quietus catches up with David Lewis Gedge of The Wedding Present.

The Skinny finds out what Emma Pollock has been up to since the 2010 release of The Law Of Large Numbers, namely setting up a studio engineering course for aspiring producers.

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

SxSW 2010 Night One A/V

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangFull writeup of the evening over here.

– Seattle-based power-pop outfit fronted by the awesome Rachel Flotard released Message To Garcia last year. Spinner has an interview.
Photos: Visqueen @ Stubb’s – March 17, 2010
MP3: Visqueen – “Hand Me Down”
MP3: Visqueen – “Beautiful Amnesia”
Video: Visqueen – “Crush On Radio”
Video: Visqueen – “Mrs. Elder”
MySpace: Visqueen

Trespassers William
– Seattle duo released The Natural Order Of Things EP last year and are currently working on their third full-length album while their cover of “The Rainbow Connection” from Sing Me To Sleep: Indie Lullabies is streaming over here. Spinner has a chat with the band.
Photos: Trespassers William @ 18th Floor at Hilton Garden – March 17, 2010
MP3: Trespassers William – “Sparrow”
MP3: Trespassers William – “Lie In The Sound”
MySpace: Trespassers William

– Swede-fronted London-based pop orchestra still riding high on last year’s glorious Reservoir are currently on tour in North America and will make their Toronto debut on April 9 at Lee’s Palace. They’re also giving away a free live EP on their website in exchange for an email address.
Photos: Fanfarlo @ The Galaxy Room Backyard – March 17, 2010
MP3: Fanfarlo – “Harold T Wilkins”
MP3: Fanfarlo – “I’m A Pilot”
MP3: Fanfarlo – “Luna”
MP3: Fanfarlo – “Finish Line”
Video: Fanfarlo – “The Walls Are Coming Down”
Video: Fanfarlo – “Harold T Wilkins”
Video: Fanfarlo – “Fire Escape”
MySpace: Fanfarlo

The Megaphonic Thrift
– Norwegian sonic anarchists released their debut full-length Decay Decoy at the start of March. Spinner has an interview.
Photos: The Megaphonic Thrift @ Habana Calle 6 – March 17, 2010
Video: The Megaphonic Thrift – “Acid Blues”

Rose Elinor Dougall
– Former Pipette who will release her solo debut Without Why in the Fall talks to Under The Radar.
Photos: Rose Elinor Dougall @ The Galaxy Room – March 17, 2010
MP3: Rose Elinor Dougall – “Fallen Over”
Video: Rose Elinor Dougall – “Start/Stop/Synchro”
MySpace: Rose Elinor Dougall

The Invisible
– London-based three-piece whose 2009 self-titled debut was shortlisted for the Mercury Prize begin a North American tour this week that stops at The Opera House in Toronto on Friday, April 2.
Photos: The Invisible @ Latitude 30 – March 17, 2010
MP3: The Invisible – “London Girl”
Video: The Invisible – “Jacob & The Angel”
Video: The Invisible – “London Girl”
MySpace: The Invisible

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

SxSW 2010 Night One

Rose Elinor Dougall, Fanfarlo, Trespassers William and more at SxSW

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangIt used to be that at 8PM, you could still wander into Stubb’s relatively easily as most were still getting their beer and BBQ on and couldn’t be expected to be in go-mode so early in the night. Apparently those days are past. Upon arriving at one of Sx’s largest venues, I was greeted with a line that went down and around the block, certainly the largest one I’d ever considered getting into. But seeing as how I had no other enticing options for that time slot, I opted to line up with everyone else and hope for the best. Things moved at just the right speed to not abandon ship and I managed to get into the venue and as politely as possible, plow my way up to the photo pit just in time to be let in for Seattle’s Visqueen.

I had been enjoying Message To Garcia, the latest slab of power pop from Rachel Flotard and company, so to hear them start with a vocal-and-cello crooner was a bit of a surprise – had there been a change of direction in the past year, perhaps inspired by Flotard’s stint as sidewoman to Neko Case a few years ago? Not in the least – with song two, the electric guitars came out and the big rock began. Their set was only four songs, but they were jam-packed with hooks, riffs and melodies, anchored by Flotard’s not inconsiderable charisma.

It was as I was leaving Stubb’s and heading to the Hilton Garden 18th Floor – a clever name for a conference room on the 18th floor of the Hilton Garden hotel – that word of Alex Chilton’s passing reached me, ensuring that the rest of the night would be at least moderately bummed out. So in that sense, the serenely downcast sounds of Trespassers William were an ideal choice. The Seattle outfit do not tour North America much, so SxSW has been my only opportunity to see them – their show in 2008 was a considerably different affair from this one, featuring a much larger band and a much louder approach. This time out, it was just principals Anna-Lynne Williams and Matt Brown with some help on drums from Robert Gomez and accordingly, it was much quieter and intimate. Their set included a couple of new songs, hopefully from a forthcoming album, and closed with a remarkable cover of Radiohead’s “Videotape”, for which Williams’ voice seemed tailor-made. A welcome pause from the general chaos of SxSW.

A chaos which I flung myself right into by trying to get into Fanfarlo at the Galaxy Room Backyard next. There wasn’t any real urgency to see them this week since they’ll be coming to Toronto in a few weeks (April 9 at Lee’s, assuming that no passports are stolen), but gave it a go and after a moderate wait in line, got in just in time for the start of the set. Or what would have been the start of the set had they started on time. Instead, they continued to soundcheck for nigh on 20 minutes longer and then, when things were set and the clock ticking, the showcase sponsor actually came out and read a prepared introduction. Dude, the house is packed and things are already running stupid late. Shut up and get off. Which he eventually did and the London five-piece came on, playing an abbreviated set that didn’t quite match the grandeur of their show last year, but a big tent is not the Central Presbyterian Church so that probably couldn’t be expected. They sounded leaner and scrappier than that show, but more boisterous and less polite – positive things both. I attribute that to frontman Simon Balthazar’s not wearing a bow tie this time out.

Post-Fanfarlo, I was almost at Latitude 30 for Johnny Flynn when I decided I’d be better off seeing someone I’d never seen before, and that meant Norway’s Megaphonic Thrift – which turned out to be a great idea except that I had forgotten I hated Habana Calle 6 as a venue. They too were running late with sound check, not getting started until 15 minutes into their set, but you don’t need a lot of time to get across what they’re about. Take one part Sonic Youth and one part Dinosaur Jr, throw them in a blender and set to “pop” and let it ride. Hellaciously loud and rife with guitar abuse, if the above recipe sounds like an awesome combination to you, then The Megaphonic Thrift may well be the most awesome thing to come down the pipe in the last 10 years.

Ex-Pipette Rose Elinor Dougall went completely against SxSW convention by booking only one single show at the festival, official or otherwise, which made her midnight show at the Galaxy Room a must-see. Previewing material from her forthcoming solo debut Without Why, due out sometime this year, Dougall seemed quite keen to break from her past by trading polka dot dresses for a black leather jacket and assembling a band more keen on ’80s dreampop guitar textures than ’50s girl group sounds. Always the strongest singer in the Pipettes, Dougall’s solo material puts that voice front and centre overtop some solid songwriting and sharp pop sensibilities. I do wish the Pipettes Mk 2 all the luck in continuing on through all their roster changes, but it’s very clear that Dougall made the right choice in setting out on her own. Definitely looking forward to that album.

As a nightcap, I stopped in at Latitude 30 en route back to the hotel to see London’s The Invisible. They did me the favour of playing “London Girl” as their second song of the set, so I didn’t feel too bad when I ducked out early. Their low-key, chilled-out groove was clearly doing it for some – there was some impressive dancing going on in the audience – but wasn’t what I needed just then. I was not going to need any help in falling asleep this night.

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

In Retrograde

An introduction to The Invisible

Photo By Mads PerchMads PerchI kind of hate for the most apt reference point for a band to be the most obvious one, but if you have to offer an elevator pitch on London trio The Invisible, it’s hard not to want to use the letters T, V, O, T and R. The comparison goes beyond the superficial multi-racial composition of the band, though.

It also applies to their collective musical ability and creativity, both clearly on display but not ostentatiously so, and their aesthetic, which filters rock, rhythm and blues and soul influences through a thoroughly contemporary and frequently electronically-enhanced filter. Where they differ from the Brooklyn outfit is in their approach, which dials down – but doesn’t eliminate – the post-millennial tension and angst that informs much of TV On The Radio’s work in favour of a more chilled-out vibe. There’s still fire beneath the surface, but The Invisible opt to deliver it in a smoother, more soulful and dance-friendly sound.

Their 2009 self-titled debut, still only available in Europe, was a heady enough brew to garner the band a place on last year’s Mercury Prize shortlist, and after a short visit to New York for CMJ last Fall, they’re returning to North America this Spring; first for SxSW and then a proper tour that will allow music writers on this side of the Atlantic to make all kinds of bad puns about the seeing (or not seeing) the band and includes an April 2 date at the Opera House in Toronto. So if you, like me, were having trouble deciding between Serena-Maneesh at the Great Hall and A Sunny Day In Glasgow at The Garrison… your life just got a little more complicated.

MP3: The Invisible – “London Girl”
Video: The Invisible – “Jacob & The Angel”
Video: The Invisible – “London Girl”
MySpace: The Invisible

The Vinyl District gets The Joy Formidable frontwoman Ritzy Bryan to reminisce about her favourite records. They’ve released a new video as a preview of their debut full-length, due out sometime this Summer.

Video: The Joy Formidable – “Popinjay”

Music Snobbery and Spinner have interviews with Kate Nash, whose new record arrives on April 20 and now has a name – Crayon Full Of Color. Pitchfork likes the first giveaway track “I Just Love You More” more than I do. Spin has a stream of the more agreeable first official single, “Do Wah Do”, complete with obnoxious marketing voiceover. Update: The Music Slut says the new record is actually called My Best Friend Is You. I don’t know who to believe anymore.

MP3: Kate Nash – “I Just Love You More”

What better way to celebrate the North American release of Little Boots’ debut Hands than by canceling one of the dates on her North American tour? The April 30 Toronto date at the Phoenix is no longer showing up at either Ticketmaster or Ticketweb and there’s no trace of it on the promoter’s website. Still looking for an official word or reason, but none of the above are good signs. But on the bright side, it does make the question of whether to go see Jonsi at the Sound Academy that much easier to answer. Artist Direct has an interview with Victoria Hesketh.

Spinner talks to Rose Elinor Dougall about making her post-Pipette North American debut at SxSW. Her solo debut Without Why is due out this year. The Pipettes’ new one Earth Vs Pipettes is also due out in 2010.

Drowned In Sound, BBC and Pitchfork have words with Los Campesinos!. They’re at the Phoenix on April 20.

Horrors bassist Rhys Webb talks to Spinner about the band’s preparations for recording album number three.

NPR has an interview with Dev Hynes of Lightspeed Champion.

Doves have announced they’ll release a best-of collection entitled The Places Between: The Best of Doves on April 6, consisting of a CD of their singles, a second disc of rarities and a DVD of their videos. Specifics on the set available at Pitchfork, and if you were wondering only about half the material on Lost Sides is repeated here and there are three all-new songs scattered amongst the two discs.

The Clientele’s Alasdair MacLean submits five recommended hallucinatory children’s books to Owl & Bear, while Baeble Music gets a Guest Apartment video session and video interview. The AV Club also has a chat. The Clientele are at The Horseshoe on March 19.

The Georgia Straight talks to We Were Promised Jetpacks, who will release a new EP on March 9 entitled The Last Place You’ll Look. Head over to Stereogum to grab an MP3 from the short-player.

Get Hampshire talks to Frightened Rabbit frontman Scott Hutchison about their new record The Winter Of Mixed Drinks, due out March 9. They’re at the Opera House on May 4.

The Line Of Best Fit have premiered the new video from The Twilight Sad, who will be at Lee’s Palace on May 26.

Video: The Twilight Sad – “The Room”

JAM talks to Gary Jarman of The Cribs about adding legend Johnny Marr to their lineup.

Clash excerpts their feature piece on Tindersticks, getting guitarist David Boulter to recount tales of his early days.

Blurt has a twopart interview with Andy Partridge of XTC. Okay, technically that should be “formerly of”, but I can’t bring myself to say that. Or type that.