Posts Tagged ‘Rose Elinor Dougall’

Monday, October 25th, 2010

Halifax Pop Explosion 2010 Day Three

Basia Bulat with Symphony Nova Scotia at Halifax Pop Explosion

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangThe “see something new” mandate largely fell apart on the third night of Halifax Pop Explosion, but with good reason; when you get the opportunity to see Basia Bulat perform with a symphony, you take it. Bulat was the third artist to be brought together with Symphony Nova Scotia as part of the Pop Explosion, Ron Sexsmith and Owen Pallett had done so in past years, and it was Pallett who crafted the orchestral arrangements of Bulat’s songs for this performance which took place in the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium on the Dalhousie campus.

The evening was structured more like a symphony concert than a pop one, split into two halves and opening with the symphony performing a piece by Toronto composer Jordan Pal before being joined by Bulat and bandmates Holly Coish on vocals and taropatch and Bobby Bulat on drums. Bulat’s songs have often been called orchestral-pop and often come out of the box lovingly adorned with strings, brass and woodwinds, but the strength of her work comes from the emotional directness of their simple folk hearts. So to hear them with their sonic dressings increased tenfold (or so) was fascinating to witness. Pallett’s treatments took those supporting elements and gave them a new level of animation, sometimes taking hues that were muted and enhancing them to technocolour levels or simply adding all-new shapes and colours and in doing so, inverting the tone of the song completely. The symphony emphasized the shadows lurking on “Heart Of My Own” and practically inverted the usually-joyous “I Was A Daughter” into an elegiac sort of farewell.

For me, the real test would be “The Shore”, which was pretty much perfect in its austere presentation on Heart Of My Own and was even more stunning in its live solo arrangement. The rearranged version pretty much came out of it a draw, with the timpani and percussion giving it a stirring, tidal rumble but the trilling woodwinds distracting from the song’s emotional heft. And that would largely sum up how the collaborative pieces went – a lot of embellishment and some distraction. When they played together, it could feel trepidatious, particularly rhythmically, as though songs that were used to flitting freely in light Summer dresses were now having to move with heavy, fancy formal wear on. But even so, in the end the pieces were always made winners not by the massive orchestra or Pallett’s contributions, but by Bulat and her songs.

In addition to the eight orchestral pieces, Bulat played a number of selections either with Coish and her brother or solo, and those performances – aided by the theatre’s stunning acoustics – were just as much highlights of the night as those with the symphony. In particular, one of two new songs – “It Can’t Be You” – featured a vocal performance from Bulat that was just jaw-dropping, and the encore-closing unamplified stomp-and-clap of “Death Come Creeping” on the fancy auditorium stage in front of the orchestra, was as wonderful as it was incongruous. More, actually.

I won’t say that the symphonic treatments improved Bulat’s songs – I think they’re “right” the way they were originally conceived and presented – but that wasn’t the intention in the first place. Rather, it was an artistic and musical experiment for everyone involved that yielded interesting and frequently beautiful results, and one that I still feel privileged to have gotten to see. Here’s hoping that more orchestral collaborations are in the cards for the future so that others can share that privilege and the works can evolve further as their own entities.

This ended up being the only thing I attended on the third night of HPX – partly because Rebecca Cohn was far enough from any other venue that it would have required a whole lot of effort to get anywhere else, partly because the idea of going to a little club after this show and getting blasted in the face with some punk rock wasn’t very palatable and partly because it was going to be more fun to just kick back and hang out with friends afterwards. I’d make up for it the next night.

The Halifax Chronicle-Herald also has a review of the show. She now opens up a series of cross-Canada shows for Josh Ritter, including tomorrow night at The Phoenix.

Photos: Basia Bulat with Symphony Nova Scotia @ Rebecca Cohn Auditorium – October 22, 2010
MP3: Basia Bulat – “Go On”
MP3: Basia Bulat – “Gold Rush”
MP3: Basia Bulat – “In The Night”
MP3: Basia Bulat – “Snakes & Ladders”
Video: Basia Bulat – “The Pilgriming Vine”
Video: Basia Bulat – “In The Night”
MySpace: Basia Bulat

Rae Spoon rolled out a couple more videos from Love Is A Hunter over the last while.

Video: Rae Spoon – “There is a Light (but it’s not for everyone)”
Video: Rae Spoon – “Joan”

Sufjan Stevens talks about some of the personal issues that informed and delayed The Age Of Adz with Exclaim.

The Vancouver Sun talks to Matt Ward of She & Him.

The Asheville Citizen-Times chats with Band Of Horses’ Bill Reynolds and Tyler Ramsey.

NPR interviews School Of Seven Bells.

The video for Johnny Flynn’s new single is out, featuring a live performance in a garden with Laura Marling covering her parts as she does on the studio version on Been Listening. Flynn will be at Lee’s Palace on November 14.

Video: Johnny Flynn with Laura Marling – “The Water”

A couple of interesting international bands are on the Nu Music Nite bill at The Horseshoe tomorrow night (October 26). From the UK there’s folk singer Alessi’s Ark and all the way from Australia, The Jezebels. Easier for you to give the samples a listen, than for me to try and describe a couple of acts I’m only a little familiar with, but the combination of both on one bill and it being free makes it hard for me to stay cooped up at home, as much as I’d like to.

MP3: The Jezebels – “Mace Spray”
MP3: Alessi’s Ark – “Hands In The Sink”

The Dumbing Of America and The Seattle Post-Intelligencer interview Sky Larkin, who are in town at the Horseshoe on Wednesday night.

Under The Radar talks to Rose Elinor Dougall.

Lykke Li has put out a new single – mainly digital but also as a 7″ for collectors – and you can download the a-side below and the b-side at her website. A new album should be out in the early part of next year.

MP3: Lykke Li – “Get Some”

Friday, August 27th, 2010

Into The Great Wide Open

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers and Crosby, Stills & Nash at The Air Canada Centre in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangHonestly, I’d thought that Tom Petty had retired. Between the themes of he and The Heartbreakers’ last studio record, 2002’s The Last DJ, and the victory lap of 2006’s 30th anniversary tour, I thought that he’d called it a day on active touring and my opportunities to see him perform had dried up. I don’t know how or why I had that notion, but it was clearly wrong as Wednesday night, there I was at the Air Canada Centre, ready to see Mr. Petty and company for the first time and, needless to say, excited about it. Update: And further proof I thought he retired – I completely forgot about the existence of 2006’s solo record Highway Companion. Oops.

Conversely, I’d never thought that Crosby, Stills & Nash had called it a day. Even though they’d not released a CSN record proper since 1994, they’d been touring constantly – sometimes with Neil Young, more often without – and though I had respect for their work and reputation, had never felt compelled to see them live. That said, I had no problem with adding another legendary act to my, “yeah I saw them” list. And that’s about all I got out of their almost headline-length opening set, as it was clear that whatever magic they had in their younger days was greatly diminished.

I appreciate that the ’60s are a long ways gone and all three had done more than their share of living in the interim, but hearing how shaky their once-pristine trademark harmonies had gotten was disappointing to say the least. They still performed with aplomb – more rock than their folk roots with Stephen Stills taking more than a few big rock guitar solos and Graham Nash chatty and charming as the group’s de facto spokesman – but the numbers that should have shone brightest, like “Our House” and “Love The One You’re With”, came off the wobbliest and they only got away with it because most of the audience was loudly singing along with all the old chestnuts and probably weren’t paying that close attention to the actual performance. One couldn’t help but think how this would have gone if Neil were along for the ride? He’d have probably kicked their asses backstage.

Petty and The Heartbreakers likewise came to give the people what they wanted to hear but did it almost perfectly, the way you’d expect one of America’s finest rock bands of the past 35 years to do. Petty, dapper in a duster and sporting a sharp-looking beard, was all smiles and Southern charm and opened with the big bold jangle of “Listen To Her Heart” before sliding effortlessly into a slightly greased-up “You Don’t Know How It Feels”. The band sounded nothing short of amazing as a unit – maybe not so surprising considering how long they’ve been playing together, but remarkable to see and hear nonetheless. The arrangements of the songs were largely faithful to the recorded versions, leaving their perfect pop structures and southern accents intact, but improvisationally pushing the edges just enough to let them stretch out and show off a bit. This mainly applied to lead guitarist Mike Campbell, whose economical solos on record serve the song perfectly but in live setting, allow him to inject that extra dose of flash and bang.

One gets the sense that letting Campbell better showcase his talents was a large part of the reasoning behind their blues-centric new record Mojo, which I should and do appreciate for giving them the excuse to head back on the road but not much else. The blues is not alien territory for the band, being an essential part of their Americana stew, but brought to the fore as it is on the new material, it’s just not interesting with their faithfulness to the genre coming at the expense of the hooks and melodies. The four-song set of Mojo material dropped in the middle of the set really put the damper on what to that point had been some terrific momentum though on the plus side, it did give Campbell some impressive solos and allowed a good portion of the audience to refill their beer.

That said, there wasn’t any better way to get things back on track than with a gorgeously stripped down version of “Learning To Fly”, followed by a thundering “Don’t Come Around Here No More” and a grand “Refugee” to close the main set. At this point the 11PM curfew was drawing awfully close, but there was no way the nearly-full arena was going to let things end without the encore, and so they returned for “Runnin’ Down A Dream” and what I thought for sure would be the coup de grace show stopper – and my favourite Petty tune – “American Girl”. But instead of the big ringing D chord I expected, they broke into the Wildflowers-vintage descending riff of “You Wreck Me” and while I like that song a lot, it’s not “American Girl”. And after the big linked-arm bows and the house lights came up, it became clear that there would be no “American Girl”. And as great as most of the show was to that point, it was and remains a bit of a bitter finish for me… In time I’ll be able to focus on the great 100 minutes they did play and not the three they didn’t, but y’know Campbell, you could have soloed just a little less and bought some time and it would have been perfect. Just saying.

The Toronto Sun, The Toronto Star, The Globe & Mail and eye all have reviews of the show.

Photos: Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Crosby, Stills & Nash @ The Air Canada Centre – August 25, 2010
Video: Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – “Walls”
Video: Tom Petty – “You Wreck Me”
Video: Tom Petty – “You Don’t Know How It Feels”
Video: Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – “Mary Jane’s Last Dance”
Video: Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – “Peace In L.A.”
Video: Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – “King’s Highway”
Video: Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – “Into The Great Wide Open”
Video: Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – “Learnin’ To Fly”
Video: Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – “Yer So Bad”
Video: Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – “A Face In The Crowd”
Video: Tom Petty – “Free Fallin'”
Video: Tom Petty – “Runnin’ Down A Dream”
Video: Tom Petty – “I Won’t Back Down”
Video: Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – “Jammin’ Me”
Video: Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – “Rebels”
Video: Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – “Don’t Come Around Here No More”
Video: Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – “You Got Lucky”
Video: Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – “A Woman In Love (It’s Not Me)”
Video: Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – “The Waiting”
Video: Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – “Here Comes My Girl”
Video: Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – “Refugee”
MySpace: Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
MySpace: Crosby, Stills & Nash

As expected with such a massive tour already lined up, Sufjan Stevens will release his first new and proper album in ages on October 12, the day before he plays Massey Hall. Pitchfork has details on what to expect from The Age Of Adz and the first MP3 is up for grabs.

MP3: Sufjan Stevens – “I Walked”

James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem clarifies (or makes vaguer) his intentions to retire the band to The Quietus.

New York Magazine talks to Kevin Barnes of Of Montreal. Their new record False Priest is out September 14.

The Montreal Gazette and Chart have feature interviews with Land Of Talk’s Elizabeth Powell. They play Lee’s Palace on September 16.

alt.ohio interviews Scott Hutchison of Frightened Rabbit, complete video of whose show in San Francisco from this past May is available to stream in its entirety at Revision 3.

Rose Elinor Dougall has premiered a new video from Without Why over at The Guardian. Her debut album is out on Monday.

Video: Rose Elinor Dougall – “Carry On”

The Vine interviews Warren Ellis of Grinderman. Grinderman 2 is out September 14 and they kick off their North American tour November 11 in Toronto at the Phoenix.

The second part of Le Blogotheque’s Take-Away Shows from NXNE is now up.

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

Light It Up

An introduction to Blood Red Shoes

Photo By Steve GullickSteve GullickThough English – they hail from Brighton, England – most reference points for the duo of Laura-May Carter and Steven Ansell, aka Blood Red Shoes, hail from this side of the Atlantic. With she on guitar and he on drums, they’re a touch too polished to really call punk but are much indebted to the grunge movement of the ’90s and all that followed and some of what preceded it. Which is to say they deliver a loud, punchy attack that’s light on frills, heavy on distortion and informed by angst but with enough pop hooks and charisma to be worthy of attention.

Ansell handles the majority of vocals from behind the kit but Carter’s backing vox and occasional leads offer some welcome compliment and contrast to his decidedly aggressive approach to the mic. This is not to suggest that Carter’s contributions are any more gentle than Ansell’s – she’s behind all the furious guitar riffage on their records, and there’s a lot of it. Though there’s just the two of them, they make a righteously large and full sound.

Their 2008 debut Box Of Secrets showcased their tried and true approach effectively, but their follow-up Fire Like This doesn’t sacrifice the intensity but adds just enough sophistication and nuance to their sound to keep them interesting over extended listens. It’s this foot that they’re putting forward when album number two, released in the Spring in the UK, becomes their North American debut on October 5 (following an appearance on the Scott Pilgrim vs The World soundtrack), which will be followed by a two-week North American tour, including an October 27 date at the Horseshoe in Toronto.

Glasswerk documents the “smash your shit” ethos that went into the making of their new video for “Heartsink”.

MP3: Blood Red Shoes – “Light It Up”
Video: Blood Red Shoes – “Heartsink”
Video: Blood Red Shoes – “Don’t Ask”
Video: Blood Red Shoes – “Colours Fade”
Video: Blood Red Shoes – “This Is Not For You”
Video: Blood Red Shoes – “Say Something, Say Anything”
Video: Blood Red Shoes – “I Wish I Was Someone Better”
Video: Blood Red Shoes – “It’s Getting Boring By The Sea”
MySpace: Blood Red Shoes

BBC6 gets a status update on their new album from Elbow. Its current working title is Lippy Kids – somehow I don’t expect that one to stick.

Digital Spy reports that Patrick Wolf’s next record will no longer be called The Conqueror nor be a thematic sequel to last year’s The Bachelor. Nor is it on pace to be complete in time for release this year, as originally intended.

The Twilight Sad have released a video for the title track from their new EP The Wrong Car, due out on September 28. It’s long, angsty and puppet-powered.

Video: The Twilight Sad – “The Wrong Car”

The Line Of Best Fit and Clash talk to Barry Burns of Mogwai, whose live audio/video experience Burning/Special Moves is out tomorrow.

Kele gets critical of his output with Bloc Party in conversation with Spinner. He will be at the Mod Club – solo-style – on September 3.

Manic Street Preachers are building anticipation for their new record by giving away a non-album track to download. Postcards From A Young Man is out September 28.

MP3: Manic Street Preachers – “I’m Leaving You For Solitude”

Shut Your Fucking Face And Listen talks to frontman Wesley Patrick Gonzalez of Let’s Wrestle. Wrestling does not ensue, at least not on the record.

Isobel Campbell talks about her working relationship with Mark Lanegan to The Guardian and to The Herald about making their new album together, Hawk. It’s out this week and streaming in its entirety at Facebook. They’re at Lee’s Palace on October 20.

Stream: Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan / Hawk

Also streaming in whole is Rose Elinor Dougall’s solo debut Without Why – it’s out next week.

Stream: Rose Elinor Dougall / Without Why

Exciting news from The Radio Dept. – following the release of a new single on November for “Never Follow Suit”, the reclusive Swedes will be coming to North America for a pair of shows in New York City on November 30 and December 1. And while I flew down there the last time they paid a visit, I’m hoping that won’t be necessary this time as they’re also promising more US (North American dates?) in early 2011 following the release of a double-disc compilation of b-sides and rarities in January. Radio Dept! Doing stuff! Yay! More details on the above available at Under The Radar.

Thursday, August 19th, 2010

Quarry Hymns

Review of Land Of Talk’s Cloak And Cipher

Photo via Saddle CreekSaddle CreekWhen their debut mini-album Applause Cheer Boo Hiss arrived in 2006, Land Of Talk appeared as though Canada had a new hard rock heroine in Liz Powell, her white-hot guitar work matched only by her distinctive vocals, equal parts angst and yearning. It wasn’t a title – or pigeonhole – that Powell seemed interested in, however, and their 2008 proper debut album Some Are Lakes surprised not only by dialing down the white-knuckle rock in favour of a somewhat softer and more spacious sound, but by making it sound as good, if not in some ways better, than the big, brash document that many had been imagining it would be.

Last year’s Fun & Laughter EP reignited those expectations, though, as producer Jace Lasek coaxed back some of the rough edges that Lakes producer Justin Vernon had smoothed out and with Lasek also helming album number two, perhaps expectations that we now lived in a kinder, gentler Land Of Talk were premature. Instead, Cloak And Cipher – out next week – again confounds expectations by splitting the difference and proving, perhaps, that it doesn’t really matter who’s producing or what the balance of heavy and light songs across the record are – it’s the quality of the songs that matters and in that department, Cloak And Cipher delivers.

It’s been suggested that Land Of Talk are one big song away from breaking out in a major way and if that’s true, then Cloak And Cipher is probably not the record that will do it. It holds no anthem or ballad that stops you in your tracks or burrows deep into your skull on a single listen – what it does have is ten compositions that showcase the breadth of Powell’s talents, each sounding fully self-realized and yet for all the shifts in tones, textures and players, hang together marvelously. Album standout “Quarry Hymns” sounds deceptively simple but is just about perfect in how it’s assembled, showcasing Powell’s ability to mate her distinctive voice with just the right melody and phrasing and her unconventional, spidery guitar playing while the blistering “The Hate I Won’t Commit” aptly demonstrates her punk edge is still well intact but even then, is exceptionally layered and sophisticated. No breakout hit? No bangers? No jams? That’s fine, I’ll take a rich, solid from top to bottom album every day of the week.

The National Post is currently streaming the whole of the new record with accompanying song-by-song commentary from Liz Powell. In addition to the one download below, you can get “Quarry Hymns” over here in exchange for your email address. Land Of Talk play Lee’s Palace on September 16.

MP3: Land Of Talk – “Quarry Hymns”
MP3: Land Of Talk – “Swift Coin”
MySpace: Land Of Talk

Dan Mangan is staging a cross-country tour this Fall that includes a stop at Trinity-St. Paul’s in Toronto on October 28, tickets $22.50, with Bry Webb (formerly?) of Constantines supporting in his Harbourcoats guise. The Polaris-nominated Nice, Nice, Very Nice was just released in the US.

MP3: Dan Mangan – “Road Regrets”
MP3: Dan Mangan – “Robots”

Also coming from out west and graduating on to bigger rooms is Hannah Georgas, who is teaming up with Royal Wood for a cross-country tour that will be at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on November 26.

MP3: Hannah Georgas – “Chit Chat”

Prefix interviews The Acorn

NPR is streaming a full session with Laura Marling.

The Daily Mail has a feature piece on Florence Welch of Florence & The Machine. She’s at the Sound Academy on November 3.

Just Played chats with Rose Elinor Dougall; her solo debut Without Why is out August 30.

This week, Exclaim is streaming the whole of Mogwai’s live album Special Moves, due out next week.

Stream: Mogwai / Special Moves

Rolling Stone talks to Nick Cave and Exclaim to Jim Sclavunos of Grinderman, whose Grinderman 2 is due out September 14 and whom the Huffington Post is calling the “first great band of the Anthropocene epoch”. Well duh. Grinderman play the Phoenix on November 11.

Monday, August 16th, 2010


Forest City Lovers, Gentleman Reg and Carmen Elle at The Great Hall in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangThough I’d seen Forest City Lovers a few times in the past year while their new record Carriage was being written, I can’t say as though I remember (m)any of the new songs being aired out live before being committed to tape; perhaps all the more reason that I was bowled over by just how good the new album is when I finally got to hear the finished product a couple months ago.

And that was also part of the motivation to head down to the Great Hall on Thursday night for their homecoming record release show, capping a tour that took them to the west coast of Canada and back. Better judgement suggested that staying in and resting up in the middle of a very busy week would be the smarter course of action, but I wanted to hear these new songs live and there would be time for sleep later. And the hall. It’s great.

For support, they enlisted a couple of noteworthy locals – one already so and the other well on her way. The latter was Carmen Elle, whom I’d seen back in 2006 and even then, at age 17, she was already a remarkable singer, guitarist and performer. Checking in three and a half years later, she’s even better. This time instead of a full band, it was her and a drummer and the economical arrangements allowed her smoky vocals and impressive guitar chops to come to the fore. The material struck the right balance between simple and sophisticated with plenty of great melodies and just enough rock action. She mentioned that they were debating band names so looking for Carmen Elle records might not yield the desired results – I’m not even sure there are any yet – but any project with her associated with it, like her other band Donlands & Mortimer, is worth taking note of.

Pop-smith Gentleman Reg has been doing his thing for well on a decade now, but has gone through periods of both ubiquity and extended absence. The release of last year’s Jet Black and its companion Heavy Head EP marked a period of the former over the past year, with numerous shows including a month-long Drake Underground residency, but partway through their set Reg Vermue mentioned that this might be their last show for a while, implying that a break was in order. And if so, they bowed out on a high note – I’ve seen Reg play in a variety of configurations and with different people, and this lineup really seemed to compliment him and his songs best, particularly the female harmonies offered by drummer Dana Snell and keyboardist Kelly McMichael. McMichael, in particular, shone on their unexpected cover of Sheryl Crow’s “If It Makes You Happy”, taking the chorus while Reg handled the verses.

In the past, Forest City Lovers have always given their songs an extra kick in a live setting, building on their albums’ understated charms with the contributions of new and extra players. With Carriage, they’ve brought that ethos into the studio resulting in their liveliest and most varied record yet but on stage, they sounded a bit tentative on the new material as though they still weren’t fully comfortable with playing them live. This isn’t to say they didn’t play them well, not at all, but the extra gear that I was used to them finding wasn’t quite there for the Carriage material. And it wasn’t an off night for them either, as the older material did find that next level and net, they put on a pretty great show in what I think was their largest room to date, the core lineup bolstered by keys and a second violin. Carriage should be their breakthrough record and I’m certain that next time I catch them live, it’ll all sound equally grand.

View has a feature profile on Forest City Lovers.

Photos: Forest City Lovers, Gentleman Reg, Carmen Elle @ The Great Hall – August 12, 2010
MP3: Forest City Lovers – “Light You Up”
MP3: Forest City Lovers – “If I Were A Tree”
MP3: Gentleman Reg – “We’re In A Thunderstorm”
MP3: Gentleman Reg – “Plan On Including Me”
Video: Forest City Lovers – “If I Were A Tree”
Video: Forest City Lovers – “Pirates”
Video: Forest City Lovers – “Song For Morrie”
Video: Forest City Lovers – “Please, Don’t Go”
Video: Gentleman Reg – “How We Exit”
Video: Gentleman Reg – “Rewind”
Video: Gentleman Reg – “We’re In A Thunderstorm”
Video: Gentleman Reg – “Over My Head”
Video: Gentleman Reg – “Boyfriend Song”
MySpace: Forest City Lovers
MySpace: Gentleman Reg

PopMatters converses with Sarah Harmer. She plays Massey Hall on November 20.

Spinner talks to Dog Day about going from a quartet to a duo.

Chart, Metro, The Vancouver Sun and Spinner have interviews with Kathryn Calder about her new solo record Are You My Mother?.

NPR is streaming a World Cafe session with The New Pornographers.

Check out the first video from Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan’s new record Hawk, out next week. They play Lee’s Palace on October 20.

Video: Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan – “You Won’t Let Me Down Again”

Spinner wonders if Johnny Flynn will be the next British folk star. If it means his second album Been Listening gets a release in North America, I vote yes.

Exclaim reports that Elvis Costello will release a new record entitled National Ransom on October 5.

NME is sharing a track from Rose Elinor Dougall’s forthcoming debut album Without Why, due out August 30.

MP3: Rose Elinor Dougall – “Come Away With Me”

Drowned In Sound and Spinner talk to Kele; he plays the Mod Club on September 3.

Pitchfork has details on The Concretes’ new album WYWH, due out November 8.

MP3: The Concretes – “Good Evening”

And since I get the sense that you guys like winning stuff, check out this contest to win a trip to the Polaris Music Prize gala on September 20 at the Masonic Temple in Toronto. You know, I see nothing in the rules and regulations that stipulates that Polaris jurors can’t enter. Of course, I couldn’t use the flight since I live down the street from the hall, but maybe I could trade that for a pedicab. Or a piggyback ride.