Friday, 30 March 2012

2:54 Unveil Video for "You're Early"

Today smouldering sisters Colette and Hannah Thurlow unveiled the murky new video for their single "You're Early", out April 6th on Fiction. Well, they actually unleashed it yesterday via a Rolling Stone exclusive stream but now the rest of us can nab it from YouTube and all that jazz.

The pair are on a UK headline tour in April with the incredible Chelsea Wolfe, and I'm very much looking forward to the Brighton date at the Green Door Store (on the 11th). Click for more info on their other dates here. In the meantime enjoy this new video, and the cover art for their upcoming eponymous record (top), due out on May 28th via Fiction too.

Watch: Niki & The Dove - Tomorrow

Watch Malin navigate her way from space to an awesome lake in the beautiful new video for their single "Tomorrow". I've pretty much been going on about this band for the last two years, non-stop, but my original sentiment remains: they write near-perfect pop. It's euphoric, emotive and generally delicious stuff.

They've just confirmed an Eat Your Own Ears show on Wednesday May 16th at XOYO, so grab tickets here if you're a Londoner who wants to experience their live show.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Album Stream: 'Pop Etc Mixtape' by Pop Etc

Strictly speaking this isn't an album, but rather a 'hello world' mixtape from Pop Etc. In case you missed all the kerfuffle at the end of last week, the Morning Benders decided to change their name to Pop Etc for a variety of reasons they describe in detail here.

In summary, they didn't know it was a derogatory term for gay men in the UK and were like 'ok, that doesn't sit well with us - we don't want to look like some irony-mongering and hipsterised homophobes'. So they changed it. Fair play.

The point is, the music still sounds as good as it ever did, and now their name  is rather conveniently a description of the tunes they make. They're poppy, etc innit. Enjoy.

Keep up with all their new Pop Etc ventures and download the mixtape for yourself on their site.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Song of the Day: "Street Knock" - Swizz Beatz feat. ASAP Rocky

There isn't a huge amount to say about this track, besides the fact that its incessant guitar hook is pretty damn addictive. It's not game-changing stuff by any means, but is another sign A$AP's on a clear mission to get his name out there as much as possible. And hey, I respect that.

Fingers crossed my press spot for the June gig in London comes through, because if the response to his set at Cargo earlier this week was anything to go by, it should be awesome. Just nobody throw bottles at the stage, please. I don't want to watch some hipsters get their faces punched in by boys from the from A$AP mob. Not so much.

Friday, 16 March 2012

Watch: My Panda Shall Fly + Benjamin Jackson - Mantra

Directed by Andrew Corrigan, this tripped-out piece of choreographed and glitchy madness is the new video for "Mantra", from the production duo currently invading my ears. My Panda Shall Fly and Benjamin Jackson are playing their EP launch party tomorrow night at the Shacklewell Arms, so if you're in London I'd highly recommend dropping by to experience their tunes in the flesh. .

Solo, Suren of My Panda is renowned for his epic mix of head-banging and hair flicks during his sets, so this should be a right visual and aural treat.

Free entry, 9pm til late 

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Watch: Hot Chip - Flutes

Here's the first single and video unleashed unto us by Hot Chip. As I posted a couple of weeks ago, their new album comes out in June and they'll follow it with a bunch of festival dates. If this track is anything to go by, it's a record that the summer's going to love, perfect for those festival pick-me-up moments in the mornings when everything's still a little hazy and you just need liquids.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Selebrities & Slow Magic Killed It

Both acts were totally amazing at the Old Blue last night. Full review coming soon on Addict Music, just wanted to share my initial excitement and two of the photos I snapped in there. Beautiful synth lines, Slow Magic tearing his way through two sets of drumsticks, chatting to the boys from Selebrities after the show: all pretty much perfect.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Stream 'Radio Music Society' by Esperanza Spalding

The good people at NPR Music have made this one possible, and I'm sinking my teeth into it right now. In case you haven't heard of her, Esperanza Spalding is an American multi-instrumentalist, singer, and the first jazz musician to ever win a Grammy for Best New Artist (which she nabbed at the ceremony last year).

She's been playing various instruments since she was about four years old, moving from the violin to guitar to bass to voice throughout her life. I was introduced to her by a housemate of mine last year with impeccable taste in this sort of accessible yet wildly intelligent music (come back, Steph!) and now indebted to her forever.

The album Radio Music Society comes out next Tuesday, March 20th on Concord Jazz. It'll be easy listening for anyone who grew up on a diet of jazz, soul and old r'n'b but will likely challenge people who gravitate towards a powerful guitar or howling synth at the forefront of an album. Listen to the album in its entirety here for a limited time only, and make up your own mind.

Chris Brown vs Human Logic

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a piece for Don't Panic on how quickly the entertainment industries forgive and forget brutal acts domestic violence, with the whole Chris Brown and Rihanna collaboration deal as my springboard. In case you haven't heard his guest verse on "Birthday Cake" yet, it's gross and it's here (and on the radio too).

Slow Magic + Selebrities at the Old Blue Last

I'm going to the London leg of this tour tomorrow night, to catch a strong and fresh line-up in action. There'll be textured euphoria from Slow Magic, master (mistress?) of anonymity and mystery. We'll have some glorious retro beats from Cascine signing and New Yorkers Selebrities. Finally, we'll get the soulful vocals and chilling soundscapes of Charleston, a small UK band I last covered quite a while ago.

I'm looking forward to this one cos I feel like I haven't been to a gig in ages (not since Future Islands last Tuesday or Wednesday) and more because I've got some exciting work coming up with Cascine. I'll be sharing more on that when it's all confirmed though!

For now, enjoy some sounds from all three bands, and pop down to the Old Blue for a fiver tomorrow night from 8pm if you like what you hear.

Night Heat by selebrities

SLOW MAGIC - Sorry Safari from Slow Magic on Vimeo.

Friday, 9 March 2012

Song of the Day: "I Tried So Hard" - Night Works

This song comes from a new and mysterious UK act, known as Night Works and reputedly the new project for ex-Metronomy member Gabriel Stebbing. Regardless of its origins, this piano-tinkled, bass riffed and synth-laden grower of a track has made my night.

I've been pretty much offline since Wednesday night (I'm in Geneva for the weekend, generally ignoring the internet and everything on it) but logged on to find this treat and couldn't resist sharing it. Get on the bandwagon now, so you can look back and tell your friends you heard of Night Works 'when they totally only had like, 25 likes on Facebook'. They'll love that.

Watch the teaser video for the track below (in a rather backwards fashion that I'm okay with):

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Song of the Day: "Myth" - Beach House

And here's the new track from this Baltimore duo, shared quietly and calmly via a bare hyperlink on their Twitter at midnight last night. Goshdarn, even their way of throwing music out on the internet is as romantic and cute as their sound.

No-one outside the band and their label knows anything concrete about the full-length release we may find this track on, though Pitchfork picked up on a rumour about it a few weeks ago. While we're left hanging, let's just bathe in Victoria's ever-throaty and emotive vocal and the usual tinkling keys lines we've come to expect lifted over hazy guitar. Mmm.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Q & A with Ramona of Nite Jewel

Last Friday I started off my evening chatting to Miss Ramona Gonzalez, the main creative force behind weird electronic-synth act Nite Jewel. This California girl doesn't give a shit about SXSW, likes being able to go out to a bar in LA at 7am and take shots, and is looking forward to driving the length and breadth of America on tour in April.

She's also psyched to come to London, most likely in July. That's not been confirmed by her management and whatnot, so I didn't put it in the piece, but we made a date to hang out. BOOM. (I'm only a little worried she'll stand me up).

Friday, 2 March 2012

Volume Magazine Issue 9 Launch Party

I interviewed Maria Minerva for Volume Magazine late last year, and the full issue's coming out this month. I'm super-excited to see the piece and the rest of the magazine, since this team always manages to pull off amazing content.

It's Issue 9: the Girls' Issue, and the launch party's going down the Thursday after next (March 15th), at Power Lunches on Kingsland Road. Come down if you're in London, it should be a fun night. I'll be the one body-rolling and smiling incessantly, while trying to wait to get home before excitedly stroking a select few pages of the mag.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

On How Indie Labels are Fighting Back

When Adele isn't giving the finger to 'the suits' at the Brits, she's pretty much buoying the entire independent record label community, in terms of sales. Though hard to believe for anyone who hates hearing "Rolling In The Deep" played as much as I do (though I have enough love for the Heatwave & Jamie xx refix), people are still going out and buying both of her albums. Now. In March 2012.

I look at how the major labels are trying to respond to this sudden burst of XL Recordings' market share in total UK album sales over the last year, and the significance of bands like Bon Iver and Arctic Monkeys for guitar-based indie sales. I then weigh that up against major labels latching onto internet hype and signing artists who can already bring them in a strong fanbase (A$AP Rocky, Mac Miller etc) and hey presto, you have my analysis on the indie v major battle.

Hot Chip Announce Album & Festival Tour Dates

Earlier today Hot Chip unveiled details of their forthcoming record, due out on Domino Records on June 11th. In Our Heads will be their first Domino release, and the most recent offering we've had from the band in about two years. 

I'm curious to hear what the largely self-produced LP is gonna sound like - have been belatedly dipping into Joe Goddard's The 2 Bears side-project and generally feeling it more than I thought I would.

Since Hot Chip was such a hugely hyped band in England, it'll be interesting to see how they follow up after the press has cooled down and given them a break as of late. So far no specifics on a first single have been announced, but you can check out the tracklisting below:
1. Motion Sickness
2. How Do You Do
3. Don't Deny Your Heart
4. Look At Where We Are
5. These Chains
6. Night And Day
7. Flutes
8. Now There Is Nothing
9. Ends Of The Earth
10. Let Me Be Him
11. Always Been Your Love

A handful of summer festival dates have also been released, and there'll be more on the way:

Fri 15 June - Lovebox: London, England
Sat 16 June - Sonar: Barcelona, Spain
Fri 27 July - Camp Bestival: Dorset, England
Fri 10 Aug - Dockville: Hamburg, Germany
Sat 11 Aug - Sonnemondsterne: Saalburg, Germany
Sun 2 Sept - Electric Picnic: Stradbally, Ireland
Thu 6 Sept - Bestival, Isle of Wight

Nite Jewel Unveils Video for "One Second Of Love"

One Second of Love by Nite Jewel.

Here's the pretty batshit new video for Nite Jewel's single "One Second of Love". From the Secretly Canadian album of the same name (out next Tuesday, March 6th) the song soundtracks a video involving a dancing cult, peen-flashing masked cult member in an animal mask and bougie housewives looking traumatised.

It's brilliant. I'm interviewing Ramona tomorrow for Don't Panic, so pretty psyched to ask her about it too.

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