Posts Tagged ‘Kate Bush’

Sunday, September 16th, 2012


Wild Nothing covers Kate Bush

Photo via Captured TracksCaptured TracksIt was last December that I posted a couple of covers of Kate Bush’s “Cloudbusting” – perhaps my favourite song of hers – and while both Neil Halstead and Gemma Hayes’ reinterpretations were good, they were both built on stripped-down acoustic arrangements. A reasonable approach for letting the lyrics, melodies, and performance shine through, but also kind of safe.

Acoustic guitars don’t really fit into the Wild Nothing aesthetic, so that avenue wasn’t so open to Jack Tatum when he decided to record a version of the song for a 7″ single in 2009. Instead, he turned to his usual arsenal of synthetic instruments and processors and turned out a glistening version that successfully evokes the dramatic strings of the original while being entirely its own thing. Pretty.

Wild Nothing released their second album Nocturne at the end of August and will be at The Great Hall on Tuesday night to play it live. Many expected Kate Bush’s 2011 comeback album 50 Words For Snow to make the Mercury Prize shortlist last week; it did not. But that is Donald Sutherland in the “Cloudbusting” video. So there’s that.

MP3: Wild Nothing – “Cloudbusting”
Video: Kate Bush – “Cloudbusting”

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

Circles And Squares

We Were Promised Jetpacks tour North America; may not be powered by jetpack

Photo By Neil Thomas DouglasNeil Thomas DouglasAs I understand it, yesterday was Robbie Burns Day and while I may have missed out on my annual tradition of posting something suitably Scottish to mark the day – a tradition I’ve marked exactly zero times in the past forever years – I’m going to make up for it a little bit by leading with some Scots-related content.

Firstly, We Were Promised Jetpacks have finally scheduled a second North American tour in support of last year’s In The Pit Of The Stomach; they did a leg of touring Stateside in the later part of the year but routing didn’t bring them up through town that time. This time, they’ve got an April 27 date at Lee’s Palace, with advance tickets running you $15 in advance. I wasn’t quite bowled over with their 2009 debut These Four Walls, but am on record as saying that Stomach shows some pretty significant artistic growth. And their live shows have always been good, loud and intense so yeah. Mark this one down.

MP3: We Were Promised Jetpacks – “Act On Impulse”
Video: We Were Promised Jetpacks – “Human Error”

Meanwhile, labelmates and countrymen The Twilight Sad continue to ramp up to the February 7 release of their new record No One Can Ever Know. They’ve released a second video from the record and there’s also an interview with frontman James Graham and guitarist Andy MacFarlane at The Spill. They’ll be at Lee’s Palace on February 29.

Video: The Twilight Sad – “Another Bed”

Exclaim reports that Belle & Sebastian are will be curating a second Late Night Tales compilation which, in addition to including tracks selected by the band, will include a cover of the Scots covering The Primitives’ “Crash”. That’s one to file under, “worth the price of admission”. It’s out March 26 and will hopefully keep fans appeased while Stuart Murdoch continues to round up funding for his God Help The Girl film project.

No Ripcord interviews Allo Darlin’, whose second album Europe will be out in April.

Florence & The Machine has released another new video from Ceremonials. Florence Welch talked to MTV about her staging plans for their just-announced US tour, which doesn’t have a local date. I’m genuinely curious where she’ll play (and how much it’ll cost) when she eventually winds her way up to Canada – I’m guessing Air Canada Centre, even if just theatre mode, but wouldn’t be shocked if they went for the whole hog. Anyways.

Video: Florence & The Machine – “Lover To Lover”

There’s a new Laura Marling video taken from A Creature I Don’t Know, and a clip for a live reading of “Night After Night” has also surfaced.

Video: Laura Marling – “I Was Just A Card”
Video: Laura Marling – “Night After Night” (live)

They Shoot Music goes hunting for Wild Beasts and finally corner them in a Copenhagen freight elevator. Video ensues.

Drowned In Sound meets Metronomy, who have a date at The Hoxton on April 2.

DIY reports that Brighton’s Blood Red Shoes have set a March 26 release date for their new record In Time To Voices. Steve Ansell – the non-guitar half of the duo – penned a piece for Drowned In Sound about the state of guitar music in the UK right now.

If it seemed like Arctic Monkeys have been releasing a tonne of videos from Suck It And See, well they have. And now they’ve released a clip for the b-side from the forthcoming “Black Treacle” single, a tune which features vocals from the inimitable Richard Hawley.

Video: Arctic Monkeys – “You & I” (featuring Richard Hawley)

The Guardian reports that Saint Etienne are giving away a track from their first new album in seven years via their website in exchange for your personal details. Word is the album will be entitled Words and Music by Saint Etienne, no word on release date.

Stream: Saint Etienne – “Tonight”

Richard Thompson talks to Billboard about his plans for his next album, which will be electric, recorded in a trio format and probably be out before the end of the year.

Kate Bush has released a new animated video from 50 Words For Snow.

Video: Kate Bush – “Elder Falls At Lake Tahoe”

The Psychedelic Furs have made a date at Lee’s Palace for March 29, tickets $36.50 in advance.

Video: The Psychedelic Furs – “Love My Way”

Fanfarlo are paving the road to the February 28 release of Rooms Filled With Light with the release of a series of live session videos of songs from the record. The first is for the lead single from the record. They’re at The Mod Club on March 24.

Video: Fanfarlo – “Shiny Things” (live session)

The Line Of Best Fit has premiered a track from The Mary Onettes’ forthcoming Love Forever EP, due out February 28.

MP3: The Mary Onettes – “Love’s Taking Strange Ways”

Australians The Jezabels have made a headlining date for The Mod Club on April 18; tickets are $15.50 in advance.

MP3: The Jezabels – “Try Colour”

Just a week after wondering when that first single would show up, DIY points to a stream of the first taste of Ladyhawke’s Anxiety. The US release date for the record has now been pushed back a week to March 27.

Stream: Ladyhawke – “Black, White & Blue”

Sunday, December 18th, 2011


Neil Halstead and Gemma Hayes cover Kate Bush

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangOne of the music stories of 2011 was the return of Kate Bush from whatever misty English castle she’d been hiding in since releasing her last album, Aerial, in 2005. It began with the curious remix/renovation project Director’s Cut in the Spring, but was followed by a proper collection of new works this Fall in 50 Words For Snow. And there was much rejoicing throughout the land. To mark this – and also because I’ve had the tune kicking around my head for a while – are a couple covers of one of my favourite Kate Bush songs by two artists who don’t, incidentally, belong to the ever-growing cohort of Kate Bush art-rock devotees emerging into the UK music scene of late.

Given that Bush was one of Britain’s biggest stars when Neil Halstead first led Slowdive out of Reading in 1989, it’s unlikely that wasn’t some degree of fan. And though his solo output has been fine – 2008’s Oh Mighty Engine was quite enjoyable – I’m hoping he can draw inspiration from her comeback this year to restart Mojave 3. They’ve been on hiatus since 2006’s Puzzles Like You, though the band did reconvene to play some shows earlier this year – precisely who was in the lineup is unclear to me, though. Otherwise all that he’s done this year is contribute a track to his label’s Christmas compilation, a one-off in the vein of where this cover comes from – a collection of indie lullabies. Sorry Neil, we want more.

Irish singer-songwriter Gemma Hayes put out her fourth solo record Feel It Break earlier this year so even though it took three years to follow up Hollow Of Morning, she escapes any chiding for being lazy. And certainly none for not being generous; this live recording of “Cloudbusting” comes from an early December 2009 gig in Cork, Ireland and was given away for free by Hayes a couple weeks later.

MP3: Neil Halstead – “Cloudbusting”
MP3: Gemma Hayes – “Cloudbusting”
Video: Kate Bush – “Cloudbusting”

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

Through The Dirt And The Gravel

Review of We Were Promised Jetpacks’ In The Pit Of The Stomach

Photo By Nic ShonfeldNic ShonfeldAlongside labelmates and countrymen The Twilight Sad and Frightened Rabbit, Glasgow-via-Edinburgh’s We Were Promised Jetpacks should have formed a 21st century dream team of new Scottish acts, dispensing their peoples’ distinctive brand of angst through their respective brands of rock. And yet while those other two won and maintain places in my heart, Jetpacks’ 2009 debut These Four Walls did’t quite win me over.

The specifics of why aren’t entirely clear, but I suspect that it was just a little too shouty, too unrelenting. Granted, those are the band’s key strengths – guitarist/vocalist Adam Thompson’s bellows overtop the breakneck musical churn – but I found Walls a bit exhausting to get through. That hardly warranted writing the band off, however, so I was more than happy to give their sophomore effort In The Pit Of The Stomach, released last month, a few spins and it’s almost as though the band heard about my complaints and decided to meet me partway. Which is awful gracious of them.

To either casual followers or die-hard fans of the band, Stomach probably sounds perfectly familiar and satisfying. It’s still loud and punishing – album closer “Pear Tree” is a six-and-a-half minute flurry of face punches – but those crescendos are now better tempered with quieter passages and a greater emphasis on melody, both vocally and instrumentally. By reining things in a bit and singing rather than shouting while the drums and guitars steadily build, “Act On Impulse” comes across far more dynamically and interesting than anything I can recall on Walls. Similarly, the instrumental front half of “Sore Thumb” is evocative of Mogwai in their gentler moods before bringing the hammer down like Mogwai in their angrier moods; which is to say it’s kind of Mogwai-ish, in a good way.

In The Pit Of The Stomach evidences the sort of artistic growth and sophistication you’d hope a young band who’re probably not given to turning their sound upside down would develop. It certainly won’t lose them any fans but it may well sway some who had been on the fence onto their side. Trust me on this.

The Dallas Observer talks to the band about guitarist Michael Palmer’s cancer scare between albums one and two.

MP3: We Were Promised Jetpacks – “Act On Impulse”
Video: We Were Promised Jetpacks – “Human Error”

I now have a Valentine and her/their name is Veronica Falls. The London quartet will be back in town for a show at The Garrison on February 14, tickets $10.50 in advance. DIY has an A-to-Z with/of the band.

MP3: Veronica Falls – “Come On Over”
MP3: Veronica Falls – “Found Love In A Graveyard”

Arena-sized in the UK, club-sized in North America, Kasabian will bring their latest album Velociraptor to The Phoenix on March 29, tickets $24.50 in advance. Perhaps they’ll be able to commiserate with Toronto about the (lack of) wisdom in naming things after dinosaurs that were briefly in fashion 20 years ago.

Video: Kasabian – “Switchblade Smiles”

Drowned In Sound gets their turn in the Los Campesinos! media-go-round.

Clash checks in with Milo Cordell of The Big Pink as they put the finishing touches on their new record Future This, out January 17.

Slow Club have a new video from Paradise.

Video: Slow Club – “If We’re Still Alive”

Similarly, Noah & The Whale have released a new clip from Last Night On Earth

Video: Noah & The Whale – “Give It All Back”

Two videos – or animations, as they’re being called – from the new Kate Bush album 50 Words For Snow have been released. It’s reasonable to expect more.

Video: Kate Bush – “Misty”
Video: Kate Bush – “Wild Man”

The New York Times Q&A’s Noel Gallagher, who has just released a short film that uses three of the songs from his solo debut as accompaniment.

Video: Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – “Ride The Tiger”

NME reports that Liam Gallagher has declared Oasis material may be on the table for future Beady Eye live performances.

The Guardian proxies questions from readers to Jarvis Cocker. The Jarv answers.

The Alternate Side has posted an Elbow studio session to watch and interview to read while Under The Radar reports that the band has been tapped to record the soundtrack to the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London.

Adele is capping off what’s been a pretty good year for her (except for all those canceled shows and throat surgery) with the release of the Live At The Royal Albert Hall DVD/BR today – Spin is streaming the audio from the document while you can watch 25 minutes of the thing at Vevo.

Stream: Adele / Live At The Royal Albert Hall
Video: Adele / Live At The Royal Albert Hall (excerpt)

Kate Jackson talks to NME about her post-Long Blondes solo ambitions.

State chats with Clock Opera, whose debut album should be out in the new year.

NME follows Wild Beasts around on tour for a while.

The Stool Pigeon chats with Robyn Hitchcock.

Monday, November 21st, 2011

Midnight City

M83 and Active Child at Lee’s Palace in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangA few songs into M83’s performance at Lee’s Palace on Friday night, frontman and mastermind Anthony Gonzalez stepped to the mic and said something to the effect of, “thanks, this is our first time here”. Which was perplexing as it was far from their Toronto debut – it was their fourth time here, the last time being not THAT long ago in November 2008. It wasn’t even their first time playing the venue, as it was where they made their actual first local appearance back in 2005. Maybe he meant his band, though keyboardist/vocalist Morgan Kibby was along the last time out as well so maybe he was talking about his bassist/second guitarist Jordan Lawlor who was most definitely new this time out (he’d have been all of 17 years old during their last tour – did he win the audition?). But probably not. But while it was an odd thing to say on any quantitative level, in a broader, macro sense it felt kind of true.

When they first started getting attention with their 2003 second album Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts, much of it came from old-school shoegaze and dreampop fans who found something familiar and exciting in the walls of sound that Gonzalez and then-collaborater Nicolas Fromageau were crafting, albeit with synthesizers rather than guitars. M83 become Gonzalez solo as of 2005’s Before The Dawn Heals Us and took their sound in a more melodic, vocal-oriented and over-the-top direction, in the process expanding their fanbase beyond those with threadbare Slowdive t-shirts in their closets. Both trends continued with 2008’s technicolour Saturdays=Youth and now, with their double-disc opus of excess Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming, getting bigger has turned into blowing up – this show was sold out for months, scalpers demanding triple digits for ducats and the median age of the audience, by my guesstimate, was about a decade younger than it was in 2005. So not their first visit, technically, but the atmosphere certainly made it feel like a new start.

Support came from Los Angeles’ Active Child, who I’d seen last Fall opening for School Of Seven Bells (who, incidentally, opened up for M83 their last time through). This time out, they had both a proper album out in You Are All I See and a drummer in the fold and either or both of these factors made for a more compelling show. It was still largely stolen by Pat Grossi’s angelic vocals and harp stylings, but their electro-tribal choirboy soul had a lot more cohesiveness this time out, having coalesced from a bunch of interesting ideas into an actual sound.

The M83 narrative may have reached a new plateau with this record and tour, but the show itself remained pretty familiar to those who’d seen them before. Okay, the amount of stage lighting all over the stage was new – it looked like they’d raided a factory outlet for lasers, spots, LED pillars and a starfield backdrop – as was the costumed alien who came out to open the show by way of raised arms. But the rest of it – Gonzalez’s big guitar moves and unrestrained vocals (the man seems to have become perfect hybrid of rock star and celeb DJ), Kibby’s angelic voice as a foil for his (though she’s still billed as a “guest”, it’s hard to imagine M83 live or on record without her presence), the unabashedly grandiose live renderings of songs already filled to the bursting point with grandeur (all without even acknowledging the very concept of irony let alone indulging in it) – were already established hallmarks of the M83 live experience and done as well on this night as any I’ve seen.

What set this show apart from the previous – and I apologize if I’m repeating myself – was the audience. They were tossing Toronto’s reputation for being stolid right out the window, dancing and waving their arms about with abandon through the whole set, creating a miniature festival vibe of the sort you don’t often see in these parts, at least not at a club show. It’s not a response that Gonzalez would have gotten from his old shoegazing demographic, I’ll tell you that. But he works from a place of memories of his youth, of optimism, of endless possibility – it makes sense that that would resonate most with the young. Or maybe the kids just dug the big beats and cosmic, mind-bendy sounds – watching them get down to the show-closing “Coleurs”, which was more rave than encore, that could have been it.

Photos: M83, Active Child @ Lee’s Palace – November 18, 2011
MP3: Active Child – “You Are All I See”
MP3: Active Child – “Wilderness”
MP3: Active Child – “Body Heat (So Far Away)”
Video: M83 – “Midnight City”
Video: M83 – “We Own The Sky”
Video: M83 – “Graveyard Girl”
Video: M83 – “Kim And Jessie”
Video: M83 – “Teen Angst”
Video: M83 – “Don’t Save Us From The Flames”
Video: M83 – “Run Into Flowers”
Video: M83 – “America”
Video: Active Child – “I’m In Your Church At Night”

QRO and Interview talk to various members of Los Campesinos!.

Neil Halstead has premiered a video for a new song over at Paste, his contribution to the seasonal This Warm December, A Brushfire Holiday Vol. 2 compilation being put out by his label. Not that this necessarily points to anything new from him solo or Mojave 3, but it’s nice to hear his voice again.

Video: Neil Halstead – “Home For The Season”

Elbow are presently streaming the video of their recent performance at Manchester Cathedral over at their website. You can also watch a studio performance of “The River” for CBC’s Q below.

Video: Elbow – “The River” (live on Q.

The Independent talks to Hayden Thorpe of Wild Beasts.

The Daily Record and MTV have interviews with Noel Gallagher.

NPR has a brief piece on Peggy Sue, whose Toronto show was canceled last week on account of border issues with the other band on the bill. Hopefully another date will be scheduled soon.

The Independent and The Washington Post talk to Kate Bush.

Another new Florence & The Machine video from Ceremonials – I think the third? It’s like they want to get the whole album promo cycle over and done with before the end of the year.

Video: Florence & The Machine – “No Light, No Light”

Vice has a video feature on Veronica Falls.

A Heart Is A Spade has a quick Q&A with Ellie Goulding.