Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Album Stream: "The Slideshow Effect" by Memoryhouse

And here it is, the full album stream for Sub Pop-signed Memoryhouse's latest effort which officially dropped today. Evan Abeele and Denise Nouvion make dreamy and rather beautiful pop from what I've heard so far and I'm looking to getting my teeth into this one

I haven't had the chance, since I've been obsessively listening to Nite Jewel, Grimes and David's Lyre over the last week or so. I'm pretty excited to chat to Nite Jewel on Thursday in fact, but there'll be more on that when the time comes.

Enjoy this one, and cop it below if you like what you hear.

via Sub Pop (in US$)
on iTunes US
on Amazon UK

Friday, 24 February 2012

My Panda Shall Fly Announces New Collaborative Project

Beat-maker and producer My Panda Shall Fly joins forces with drummer and overall rhythm obsessive Benjamin Jackson on a beautifully textured EP out this March. Let's Vibrate Together is a musical meeting of two minds, initially started over email and coming soon to a London launch party.

The people of Five Easy Pieces are releasing the six-song EP on March 12th, 2012 as both a digital download and on 12" vinyl. Fans of Gold Panda, Jamie xx and of course My Panda Shall Fly will find themselves bathed in a familiar warm swash of pulsating synths, rap-tapping drum sounds and expertly layered samples.

If you haven't heard of any of those guys before, I'd recommend checking this out anyway. Listen to my personal favourite from the EP above, and stream it in full here. Then buy it in March if you like what you hear and enjoy supporting small independent labels and artists too.

The duo are playing a free launch party at the Shacklewell Arms on Saturday March 17th, which I'll be heading to. Come down and say hey.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

2:54 Announce New Single "You're Early"

This wonderful sibling duo have just revealed their newest single, "You're Early", from their forthcoming album. Last year I interviewed Colette and Hannah for Don't Panic, so as ever I'm eager to hear the new bits and pieces they've got coming out.

The single drops via Fiction on April 9th, and the girls are on the road at the following UK shows around the same time. I'm trekking to Brighton just to catch them with Chelsea Wolfe, since that should be an absolutely amazing gig.

Apr 2 - Norwich Waterfront w/ Chelsea Wolfe
Apr 4 - Manchester Deaf Institute w/ Chelsea Wolfe
Apr 5 - Glasgow Captain’s Rest w/ Chelsea Wolfe
Apr 10 - Bristol Thekla w/ Chelsea Wolfe
Apr 11 - Brighton Green Door Store w/ Chelsea Wolfe
Apr 12 - Tunbridge Wells Forum w/Deaf Club
Apr 13 - Liverpool Shipping Forecast w/Deaf Club
Apr 14 - Leeds Cockpit w/Deaf Club
Jun 7 - London Scala

Watch The Shins - Simple Song

This video for "Simple Song" is brilliant, and is backed by a single (from January) that isn't too shabby either. The Shins massively remind me of the end of high school, so I'll probably always have a nostalgic soft spot for them.

Their new album, Port Of Morrow, comes out on March 20th and they're two London dates around the same time. Find out more about that, and the rest of their live shows, here. For now, enjoy this darkly laugh-out-loud video.

Watch: Xiu Xiu - Beauty Towne

XIU XIU - Beauty Towne from Bella Union on Vimeo.

Xiu Xiu are bringing their sad-face and avant-garde pop over to London next month, and in the meantime are releasing their new album Always next Monday (February 27th 2012). Devin Hoff's back in the band on this record, and I'm pretty excited to hear more of it when I go see them play Rich Mix in March (on the 16th, for all interested Londoners).

Here's the video for their single, "Beauty Towne" and you can pre-order the record now from Bella Union. Full UK tour dates below:

Monday 12 March – Bristol – The Fleece (£9)
Tues 13 March – Manchester – The Ruby Lounge (£9)
Wed 14 March – Glasgow – The Captain’s Rest (£9)
Thurs 15 March – Brighton – Sticky Mikes Frog Bar (£10)
Friday 16 March – London – Rich Mix (£12.50)

Monday, 20 February 2012

Q & A with Tennis

Last week I hung out on some sofas with Alaina and Patrick from Tennis, in a Hoxton bar. They were just as lovely, polite and insightful as I'd predicted and hoped; the results of our chinwag are up on the Don't Panic site now.

I've been playing their album non-stop for a good few weeks now (it came out via ATP Recordings in the UK last Monday) so it was awesome to hear more about what went into making it. We chat about their production work with Patrick Carney from the Black Keys, the Denver music scene and how amazing Beyonce is.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

I'm DJing at the Old Blue Last tonight

Danielle and I are playing the Internet Forever album launch party, after they treat us to a live set. Stairs to Korea and Her Parents are also taking to the stage before us, so their different variations on quirky pop should serve as a pretty smooth segue into our hip hop and electro set.

Er, right? I'm likely to drop some of these gems below, so if you're in London and at a loose end, come through. Free entry. Stairs to Korea on at 8:30pm; Her Parents: 9:30pm; Internet Forever: 10:30pm.

The best DJ set you've heard all month: 11:15pm. (That may or may not turn out to be true, depending on how much you like Joy Division & early Rihanna.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Reviewed: Alt-J & Ghostpoet at Koko

I went to see Ghostpoet and new-ish band Alt-J play Koko last night for Addict Music and it was freaking amazing. Well, Ghostpoet was amazing. He only went and brought on Lianne La Havas (screamed so much for her I lost my voice again), Katy B & the incredible Tawiah for guest drops on three different tracks. No biggie.

Alt-J are alright, but you can tell they've still got more gigging to do to really hone their craft. There's potential in their songs but their charisma doesn't sparkle on stage yet. In any case, they've been getting Radio 1 plays and love from a dude in Snow Patrol so should be well on their way to building up a fanbase. PS: the singer's voice is amazing and weird.

Read a more coherent version of these thoughts:

OK Go: A Band or a Gimmick?

What is the deal with OK Go? I remember buying that album with "Here It Goes Again" on it because I'd seen the treadmill video and was like, 'cool'. I've never listened to that album all the way through. That was about six years ago. And I wonder if I'm the only one.

In this piece for Don't Panic I look at why the eff we even care about them, how they've stayed relevant and what their music even sounds like. With videos that play out like adverts with quirky background music, most people would be hard pressed to actually know what their music is all about (or am I just being harsh?).

Here's the latest video for "Needing/Getting", which inspired this article.

Q & A with Cloud Nothings

I interviewed Dylan of Cloud Nothings a few weeks ago for Don't Panic. It sort of sucked, because I got really ill, developed tonsillitis then lost my voice as we were meant to have a phoner chat.

The interview got relegated to an email exchange, and as you can see from his pretty brief answers, lacks the depth that comes from a proper chat. Bit of a bummer, but here it is anyway. Enjoy the video for awesome album opener "No Future/No Past" below.

Cloud Nothings - "No Future / No Past" Official Video from Urban Outfitters on Vimeo.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Big Deal premiere video for "Talk"

Watch Alice perform surgery on KC in their new video for this beautiful song. When they first had "Talk" on Soundcloud, I was playing it about twelve times a day. Then when I got the album, I would constantly put it on repeat while playing the record all the way through.

Going back to it now, it still sounds as wonderfully bittersweet as ever. They're playing a few US dates, with the awesome 2:54, which I've listed below in case any of you are reading from across the pond.
March 11th – Brooklyn, NY – The Glasslands (with 2:54)

March 12th – New York, NY – The Mercury Lounge (with 2:54)

March 13th-18th – SXSW – Austin, TX

March 20th – Los Angeles, CA – Echo (with 2:54)

FREE SHIT Part 33: Niki And The Dove

DJ Ease My Mind (Jakwob Remix) by Niki & The Dove

This Jakwob remix is just the right level of rework and nod to the original, and makes for rather addictive listening. Grab it as a free download in the widget above now, for a limited time (til they run out, basically).

Niki And The Dove play in London this week but it's obviously sold out, so click here to keep up with their news and hear when they'll be coming through to your town.

Song of the Day: "Starling" - This Many Boyfriends

Simple, quick and oh-so-sweet pop from these Northerners. I first saw This Many Boyfriends play the Old Blue with FAMY and Kurran & The Wolfnotes, and they fared pretty darn well. They wear their influences on their sleeves, play with balloons in the middle of their shows and don't seem to really care that they're just on the dangerous side of twee. Fair play.

It's worth mentioning that they're due to release this single as part of a fanzine package, full of recipes, little quizzes and other handmade goodies that will make girls who wear satin bows in their hair want to implode with happiness. Cute is what they do. It's just what they do.

If you want to see this euphoric pop in action, head to one of their many upcoming UK dates:
23 Feb  - Manchester: The Deaf Institute*
24 Feb - Sheffield: Queens Social Club*
25 Feb - London: 100 Club, Oxford St
26 Feb - Leeds: Brudenell Social Club*
28 Feb - London: ULU Live^
29 Feb - Cardiff: Buffalo Bar*
01 March - Edinburgh: The Liquid Room^
02 March - Brighton: Concorde 2^
03 March - Leeds: Metropolitan University ^
* = with Allo Darlin'
^ = with The Cribs 

Video: Eugene McGuiness - "Shotgun"

Eugene McGuinness is a Domino Records signing whom I'd heard little about until about a week ago. His brand of polished and slightly experimental pop wouldn't normally be my thing (probably cos he wears a suit and uses that really obvious 'look, I'm old school!' typeface for his branding) but something about his songwriting keeps me listening.

This is his new video for single "Shotgun", all slowly building layers behind him doing stuff in a suit. I personally still prefer "Lion" from last year but this record sounds like it'll make for some interesting listening.

"Shotgun" is officially released on March 26th, but can be downloaded from iTunes here, as far as I can tell. The full album's due out in about June, so keep an ear to the ground if his style grabs your attention. 

Click for his Facebook page and main site.

Monday, 6 February 2012

Song of the Day: "Forget" - Lianne La Havas

I'm still kicking myself for missing La Havas' last London show (though I was seeing another band so need to get working on that time travel machine asap), and let the release of this video slip under my radar a few weeks ago. 

Luckily it's still as amazing now as it was the moment it came out, so do enjoy. This woman is a hugely talented soul/pop songwriter and beautiful singer so if you haven't heard of her yet I'd suggest giving her a listen. She was shortlisted for the BBC Sound Of 2012, writes her own stuff and has released an EP which you can grab on iTunes now.

Lianne's going on a European and UK tour in March, details of which you can find here. All the London dates are sold out but there are still plenty of other cities she'll be dropping into. As a bit of an extra treat (kinda to myself too), I'll leave you with her Blogotheque Take-Away performance of "No Room For Doubt" from September last year.

ASAP Rocky Announces UK June Tour

The self-proclaimed pretty muthafucker is heading to our shores in the early days of summer, and tickets for this batch of dates will be released this Friday morning (February 10th). 

Given the amount of hype he's received since mixtape LiveLoveA$AP dropped last autumn, this is likely to sell out in London at least. I don't know if there are enough new music fanatics in the other cities to push it to that level, but I could easily learn something come Friday. Here are the four dates:
London Camden Electric Ballroom (Tues June 5)
Birmingham HMV Institute (Thurs June 7)
Manchester HMV Ritz (Fri June 8)
Glasgow The Arches (Sat June 9)

I'm still debating whether to go to this or not, but in the meantime you can watch some American teens go ape-shit over ASAP in this TRL-style interview below. Seriously, TRL used to be The One: Carson Daly, an adolescent version of me will always love you. End of.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Album Stream: 'Picture Of Our Youth' by David's Lyre

The long-awaited debut from this baroque pop outfit is finally coming out, on a pay-what-you-like basis via Bandcamp, on the 20th of February. It's been a long time coming, and though singer/producer has put out awesome Christmas-time Advent albums two years running, it seemed like a strictly David's Lyre record wasn't going to happen.

Here's a bit of the back-story: within six months of launching the project, Dixon was signed by a major and an LP was projected to drop by the end of 2011.

Things didn't quite work out that way though, and after what I can only assume were some awkward contractual/legal issues, this album's finally come together without the big label behind it.

On a first listen, Picture Of Our Youth sounds just as textured and sweetly poppy as I would have hoped. Have a listen for yourself, then head to their Bandcamp in a few weeks if your ears are pleased.

Friday, 3 February 2012

Watch: M.I.A. - Bad Girls

I ignored this song when it first dropped less than a week ago; I did that whole 'what the hell else can MIA really have to say at this point?' thing but this is wonderfully catchy. I sound like a properly fickle blogger now. Awkward.

Enjoy the car tricks and gold chains, if you've not already caught this video premiere on Noisey's YouTube channel. 

Directed by Romain Gavras 

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Album Stream: 'Blondes' by Blondes

I don't know where the hell I've been, and why I missed the news of this record coming out but I am so damn happy I stumbled across massive tune "Lover" today. Blondes are an insane electronica/house duo currently based in Brooklyn who wield gorgeous synth melodies and pulsating bass patterns like their lives depend on it.

They're coming to London to play their album launch show at the Shacklewell Arms on February 16th (though the record actually comes out next Monday on the 6th) and tickets for that are here. I'll probably be that girl losing her shit towards the front. 

Pre-order the album on iTunes, or on physical double CD release here.

Photo Diary 7

Shots from last autumn, all taken by me.

Bristol boys
VICE.com Issue Launch

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