Posts Tagged ‘Star Slinger’

Friday, October 11th, 2013

In The Meantime

Happy Thanksgiving; have a serving of Spacehog

Photo By Lee ClowerLee ClowerThere’s nothing like going into the long weekend with a healthy dose of WTF, so we’ll run with this – a concert announcement either torn from the playlists of Alternative Nation circa 2005 or the dollar bins of CD stores for pretty much every year after that. That’d be the double-bill of Leeds-born, New York-based glam-rock revivalists Spacehog and Detroit’s post-grunge champions Sponge, who will take the stage at Lee’s Palace on December 11, tickets $23 (that’s about $15 in 1995 dollars, if you were wondering).

Also, if you were wondering, they do both have new material that they’re ostensibly promoting. Though they basically split in 2001, Spacehog reunited in 2008 and released a new record in As It Is On Earth at the start of this year. Sponge, remarkably, never actually broke up and have been chugging along since their commercial peak with Wax Estatic and put out and Stop The Bleeding last month. But it’s okay if you don’t care; they probably know you don’t. But they know you wanna hear those old singles so you’re just going to have to deal.

The Nottingham Post has a quick interview with one of Spacehog’s Langdon brothers. It’s not really clear which one.

Stream: Spacehog – “Try To Remember”
Stream: Spacehog – “Glad To Know”
Video: Spacehog – “In The Meantime”
Video: Sponge – “Wax Ecstatic (To Sell Angelina)”

While it’s disappointing that Keep Shelly In Athens had to cancel their Toronto date at Wrongbar next week due to visa issues, their co-headliner Chad Valley will still be coming to town and be playing for free at The Horseshoe on October 15, set time 11:40PM.

MP3: Chad Valley – “I Want Your Love”

English producer Darren Williams has already toured through a couple times in the past two years as Star Slinger, will release his debut album next year – he’s offered a taste to stream below – but not before he puts together another tour that will bring him to the Drake Underground on November 16, tickets $15.

Stream: Star Slinger – “Free”

English singer-songwriter Jake Bugg may have to wait until the end of the month to learn if he’s going to win the Mercury Prize, but he’s already thinking big, following up this past August’s local debut at The Mod Club with a new date at The Sound Academy on January 14, tickets $29.50. Though the fact that his second album Shangri La will be out on November 19 might also have something to do with the tour.

Video: Jake Bugg – “What Doesn’t Kill You”

With a new album in Mug Museum due out on November 12, Welsh singer-songwriter Cate Le Bon has announced a North American tour that brings her to The Drake Underground on January 21 of the new year, tickets $12.50 in advance.

Stream: Cate Le Bon with Perfume Genius – “I Think I Knew”
Stream: Cate Le Bon – “Are You With Me Now”

The Line Of Best Fit, The Fly, and DIY have interviews with Anna Calvi about her new record One Breath, which came out this week.

If you missed the album stream that went with the UK release of Summer Camp’s second album back in September, Interview is hosting another preview of Summer Camp ahead of its US release next week on October 15.

Stream: Summer Camp / Summer Camp

The Neil Halstead-fronted Black Hearted Brother have released a new video from their debut Stars Are Our Home, due out October 22.

Video: Black Hearted Brother – “This Is How It Feels”

Los Campesinos! have made available a stream of a new song from No Blues, their forthcoming album due out October 29.

Stream: Los Campesinos! – “Avocado, Baby”

Posting of remixes is usually verboten around here but when it involves David Bowie, exceptions can be made. LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy’s remix of “Love Is Lost” is one of the main selling points of The Next Day Extra, being released November 4, and it was premiered yesterday via Pitchfork but if you have the inclination, the rip of the BBC premiere is worth hearing for the short interview with Murphy that precedes it. And the version of “Sound & Vision” that soundtracked a cellphone commercial earlier this year is also available to hear (and buy, if you like) – Exclaim explains that one.

Stream: David Bowie – “Love Is Lost” (Hello Steve Reich mix)
Stream: David Bowie – “Sound & Vision” (Sonjay prabhakar mix)

There didn’t end up being a local Stone Roses date this year as I’d prophesied – sorry to anyone who believed me – but the Made Of Stone documentary film about their legacy and reunion definitely is. It’ll screen at The Bloor Cinema on November 22, so circle that one if you’re interested.

Trailer: The Stone Roses: Made Of Stone

Bowlegs has a video session with Lanterns On The Lake, whose wonderful new record Until The Colours Run doesn’t get a North American release until January 14.

The 405 have got a stream of the new Peggy Sue album Choir of Echoes, due out on January 27 of the new year.

Stream: Peggy Sue – “Idle”

The Fly checks in with The Horrors, at work in the studio on their next album.

Filter talks to Bobby Gillespie of Primal Scream.

Manic Street Preachers have released a poignant new video from their latest, Rewind The Film.

Video: Manic Street Preachers – “Anthem For A Lost Cause”

Camera Obscura have released a new old-school sci-fi video from Desire Lines.

Video: Camera Obscura – “Troublemaker”

Noisey chats up London Grammar about their current North American tour

Under The Radar has an interview with Savages.

A Music Blog, Yea grabbed an interview with Daughter when they were in town a couple weeks back.

In excerpting the book Isle Of Noises: Conversations With Great British Songwriters, Clash gets some insights into the processes of Laura Marling and Johnny Marr.

Noisey sends Emmy The Great to find out how much it would cost to be A$AP Rocky’s girlfriend a la the prerequisites in “Fashion Killa”; hilarity ensues.

Anyone who had “founding a company dedicated to building and restoring early 1990s Porches” in the, “What has former Catherine Wheel frontman Rob Dickinson been doing since releasing his first and only solo record Fresh Wine For The Horses way back in 2005″ pool, congratulations – you win. Hypebeast has a video interview with Dickinson, who sadly doesn’t sound like a man who misses strapping on a Stratocaster and singing “Black Metallic”.

Friday, February 24th, 2012

Hook You Up

Charlotte Hatherley reveals herself as Sylver Tongue devil

Photo via GuardianThe GuardianWith her tenure in Ash, as sidewoman to the likes of KT Tunstall and Bat For Lashes and a solo career that’s yielded three good albums, Charlotte Hatherley has pretty well established herself as a purveyor of sharp, smart power-pop and more than a bit of a guitar heroine. But apparently she’s been hiding another side of herself that worships at the altar of ’80s-vintage electro-pop and that side has now surfaced under the guise of Sylver Tongue.

So far there’s just the one single to represent her first work since 2009’s New Worlds, but it comes with an accompanying video that demonstrates in no uncertain terms what the aesthetic of the project is, which is to say happily neon and glammy. The track itself is far from a club floor banger, its dreamy pace probably better suited for slow dances at proms and if you traded some synths for guits, it wouldn’t have been out of place on her second album The Deep Blue. In any case, it’s good to know that Hatherley remains a solid songwriter, whatever the genre or identity.

Album information is still forthcoming, but the “New band of the day” feature at The Guardian implies they’ve heard more from her and they like it. Which bodes well.

MP3: Sylver Tongue – “Hook You Up”
Video: Sylver Tongue – “Hook You Up”

The Independent and The Fly have interviews with Beth Jeans Houghton.

Pitchfork has got the… interesting cover art from the new Spiritualized record Sweet Heart Sweet Light, due out April 17, and a stream of the first single. They’re at The Phoenix on May 5.

Stream: Spiritualized – “Hey Jane”

SXSW chats with We Were Promised Jetpacks, who will be at Lee’s Palace on April 15.

Mystery Jets have given their fourth album a title of Radlands and a release date of April 30; some details on the release and a trailer for the album can be found at Exclaim.

Charles Watson of Slow Club talks to The Vinyl District.

The Fly chats with the Brewis brothers of Field Music.

NPR has a World Cafe session with Los Campesinos!.

DIY interviews Fanfarlo, whose Rooms Filled With Light comes out on Tuesday, February 28. They play The Mod Club on March 25.

The April 17 Kaiser Chiefs show at The Phoenix has been moved to The Opera House due to “scheduling conflicts”, so don’t read the downgrade in venue as indicative of their popularity. No, seriously.

English DJ-type guy Star Slinger is back for a show at Lee’s Palace on May 14 as part of a Spring tour.

MP3: Star Slinger – “Mornin'”
MP3: Star Slinger – “Minted”

James Blake talks to Spinner about where he wants to head, musically-speaking, next.

Under The Radar has got videos of Blur’s comeback performance at The Brits earlier this week, and The Quietus examines the merits of some of their lesser-known, non-album tracks. Oh, and they’re now headlining the Way Out West festival in Gothenburg, Sweden in August – anyone want to go?

Holy Moly has a sit-down with Niki & The Dove. Their debut Instinct is out May 14.

The Line Of Best Fit has posted a video session with The Mary Onettes.

Denmark’s Alcoholic Faith Mission, whom I believe impressed a lot of people when they were here for NXNE last year, are coming back for a date at The Drake on May 2, tickets $13.50 in advance. They’re giving away their last album Daylight From Above until February 29 over here and their new one Ask Me This comes out March 27.

MP3: Alcoholic Faith Mission – “Running With Insanity”

Paste has an interview with Icelandic composer Ólufar Arnalds about his two new releases: Living Room Songs, which collects tracks that were recorded and released one a day last October and Another Happy Day, which is a soundtrack to the film of the same name and out next week. One of the Living Room Songs tracks also has a video, even though clips of the actual recording sessions for each song are also out there. Arnalds was one of the highlights at Iceland Airwaves last year, and has been soundtracking a lot of my time lately. Recommended if you like pretty things.

MP3: Ólufar Arnalds – “Near Light”
Video: Ólufar Arnalds – “Near Light”
Stream: Ólufar Arnalds / Another Happy Day original soundtrack and Living Room Songs

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011


Review of I Break Horses’ Hearts

Photo By Sebastian DehesdinSebastian DehesdinI’m sure it’s a generational thing, but back in my day when someone said “shoegazing”, it meant guitars. Fender guitars, if we’re being particular – Jazzmasters, Jaguars, Mustangs and their offset-bodied ilk, run through as many fuzzing, phasing and flanging pedals as people could string together and turned up loud. That was how you built a wall of noise. At least that’s how you did it in the ’90s. These days, it seems that while the guit-based approach hasn’t fallen out of favour, the more ambitious and original dreampop sounds and textures are being built with more overtly electronic and synthetic materials.

An equal facility with keyboards and laptops as well as guitars has certainly helped Frenchman Anthony Gonzalez make M83 one of the leading contemporary lights of the genre, though he’d best be prepared to soon share the spotlight with Swede Maria Lindén, who plies her craft under the guise I Break Horses. Together with collaborator Fredrik Balck, their debut album Hearts is a beautiful and bewitching collection of songs born of keyboards, bred of guitars and bathed in reverb.

Hearts is possessed of a distinctly Scandinavian combination of mechanical precision and organic warmth, but rather than play against each other, those two sides blend together effortlessly and almost magically, It’s not magic, however – it’s Lindén’s vocals; airy enough to permeate everything yet carrying plenty of emotional heft and yearning, it’s the the sonic mortar that binds it all together. Sometimes the exact words are hard to discern but their meaning is never less than clear: Their name is I Break Horses but their mandate is breaking Hearts.

The album is out August 23 in the UK; two singles have been released with accompanying videos. The Iceberg inquires as to how they got their name and tangentially but interesting, Imprint has a conversation with Vaughan Oliver, who designed the Hearts album art as well as most of the 4AD catalog in its heyday. You’ve seen his work. You have.

MP3: I Break Horses – “Winter Beats”
MP3: I Break Horses – “Hearts”
Video: I Break Horses – “Winter Beats”
Video: I Break Horses – “Hearts”

Niki & The Dove are another Swedish two-piece, albeit one that treads more dancey/electronic terrain than their countrymen. So far their only output is The Fox EP, released earlier this Summer, but a full-length is due out on Sub Pop later this year and a new song was made available to stream the other day. I find them intriguing and look forward to seeing them at Iceland Airwaves.

MP3: Niki & The Dove – “The Fox”
Stream: Niki & The Dove – “Last Night”

Speaking of M83, Exclaim has the artwork for their new album Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming, due out October 18. They play Lee’s Palace on November 18.

Irish singer-songwriter Lisa Hannigan has set a September 20 release date for her new record Passenger and will follow that up with an October 15 show at The Mod Club. Paste has full North American dates and a stream of a new song; grab a track from her Mercury-nominated 2009 effort Sea Sew below.

MP3: Lisa Hannigan – “Lille”

The Horseshoe isn’t where you’ll normally find DJ/electronic-oriented acts but that’s what UK act Star Slinger will be serving up on November 2; it’s part of a North American tour in support of his debut album Volume 1.

MP3: Star Slinger – “Mornin'”
MP3: Star Slinger – “Minted”

I’m not sure what’s more surprising – that The Kooks are still around or that they’re apparently still big enough to play The Sound Academy. Both of these things are clearly true, as they are doing just that on November 23 with tickets being $25 for general admission and $35 for a VIP balcony view. It’s part of a North American tour in support of their new record Junk Of The Heart, out September 13.

Video: The Kooks – “You Don’t Love Me”

Though not out until August 16, Blood Orange’s pretty frickin’ excellent debut album Coastal Grooves is now streaming in whole over at Hype Machine. And making sure that the Dev Hynes love is spread evenly across the internet, there’s a Devonte-assembled mixtape up for grabs at Yours Truly, over at Fader, a New Villager cover and at Dazed, an interview.

MP3: Blood Orange – “Lighthouse”
Stream: Blood Orange / Coastal Grooves

And speaking of New Villager, the New York art collective have made a September 26 date at The Drake Underground in support of their self-titled debut, out August 16.

Video: NewVillager – “ShotBigHorixon”
Video: NewVillager – “Lighthouse”

The Line Of Best Fit reports that all those Radiohead King Of Limbs remixes that have been kicking around over the Summer will be collected into an official double-disc set under the title of TKOL RMX and out on September 19. They’ve got a few of said remixes available to preview over here. Update: Billboard has the release date as October 11.

Rolling Stone confirms that Noel Gallagher is no less quotable now that he’s out of Oasis; his solo debut Noel Gallagher and the High Flying Birds is out November 8.

The Joy Formidable tell NME they’ve got plenty of material ready to go for album number two, they just need to find the time to stop promoting album number one to go and record it. Look for the follow-up to The Big Roar next year. And speaking of The Big Roar, it appears that it will be getting a domestic vinyl pressing for August 30; previously, the only way to get it on LP was by the limited edition pre-order back in the Winter. So there’s that.

NPR interviews Noah & The Whale and also solicits a Tiny Desk Concert from the band.

And finally, Pitchfork has a good roundup of just how badly affected a lot of independent record labels will be by the destruction of the Sony/PIAS distribution warehouse in London during Monday night’s rioting. Short version – buy their records, buy their MP3s, help them get back on their feet and keep releasing great music.