Tuesday, 25 May 2010
An exclusive track from the forthcoming Drum Eyes album Gira Gira! The accompanying spiel says it pretty well: "It’s a real triumph of an album and finally sees DJ Scotch Egg make an album deserved of attention not only from his loyal fanbase but far and wide across the metal, ambient and electronic worlds of modern music, it’s an album that obliterates genres with pride and grace, whilst remaining true in it’s identity and ability to lodge in your mind."
Drum Eyes headline Brainlove Festival 2010 this weekend.
Drum Eyes - 50/50 (Upset The Rhythm Records) by brainlove
MP3: I Don't Like You (Coz You Don't Like The Pastels)
To-cool-for-art-school indie-pop upstarts This Many Boyfriends have released a taster from their forthcoming EP "Getting A Life With This Many Boyfriends". It's a song with a massive possible double-meaning in the chorus that singer Richard says was unintended, so we're left not knowing whether the song's protagonist likes it's subject or not. You'll have to guess.
Order the EP, with badges and a fanzine, from Thee SPC here.
Tuesday, 18 May 2010
Released on Brainlove June 14th.
"Your New Favourite Band Is Here" - BBC Introducing
14th May - Cargo, London (w/ Left With Pictures)
27th May - The Camp, London (w/ Napoleon IIIrd)
30th May - Brainlove Festival @ The Windmill (w/ Drum Eyes, David Thomas Broughton etc)
15th June - The Old Blue Last, Single Release Party (w/ Pagan Wanderer Lu)
Stairs To Korea, aka Anglo-Icelandic singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Will Vaughan, is to release his third single this June 14th. An earworm ditty that's perfect for the onset of summer, "Paul, Is This How You Wanted It?" continues the drip-feed of accomplished, memorable pop songs from the vaunted Stairs To Korea live show.
Under the sunshine of the tune and the sparkling production "Paul.." tells a gradually unfolding story, but Vaughan is keen to state that it's not documentary. "I used to live with a Paul but this isn't about him, for the record," Vaughan explains. "This Paul is a personification - he's a man who's slowly losing his identity and self-esteem in a whirlwind of misappropriated blame."
As with Stairs To Korea's previous singles, it's the juxtaposition of light sensibility and subtle substance that adds meat to the juicy bones of the song. "I guess it's one of the darker songs but at the same time the most bubblegum song I've recorded," he muses. "I think those two qualities bolster each other - the melodies lay bear the kinda nihilistic angst of the lyrics. Sort of pop with a point."
Sunday, 16 May 2010
Friday, 14 May 2010
BRNLVFSTVL 2010's first outdoor lineup has been released - featuring a sunset performance from Oxford's We Aeronauts, a rare and precious UK performance from Icelandic troubadour Svavar Knutur, an improvised cello performance from Bleeding Heart Narrative's Oliver Barrett, Norwich's twee DIY duo The Middle Ones, arch pop from the Woe Betides, acclaimed Oxfordian blues man David G. Cox, DIY uke hero Jam On Bread, comedy from Chris Boyd (who we saw just before Josie Long at last year's Green Man Festival) and lots more...
Saturday May 29th
DAVID THOMAS BROUGHTON
BLEEDING HEART NARRATIVE
THE BEAR DRIVER
A SCHOLAR & A PHYSICIAN
JAM ON BREAD
DAVID G. COX
THE MIDDLE ONES
GREG STEWART (We Aeronauts)
CHAD MASON SONGBOOK
DJ: RICH THANE (The Line Of Best Fit / Ill Fit)
DJ: ANTHONY CHALMERS (God Don't Like It)
Sunday May 30th
STIG NOISE MMX
SUDDEN WEATHER CHANGE
STAIRS TO KOREA
ABI MAKES MUSIC
ETHICAL DEBATING SOCIETY
FOLLOW YOUR HEART
THE WOE BETIDES
CHRIS BOYD (Comedian)
OLI BARRETT (Bleeding Heart Narrative)
THE FIRE ENGINES
+ more TBC
DJ: JOHN BRAINLOVE
DJ: GUESTS TBC
Thursday, 13 May 2010
MP3: Fight For Me
Chilly churchy vibes on the new Wildbirds & Peacedrums EP, Retina, out May 24th on The Leaf Label. Reminiscent of Vespertine-era Björk and Bat For Lashes doing her best Kate Bush impression. Which is, I guess, all the time.
They play London on Saturday, too:
Saturday 15 May
Bishopsgate Institute, LONDON (with Choir Of Young Believers)
230 Bishopsgate, EC2M 4QH
Three independent record labels have joined forces for a very special show at Denmark's urban festival and industry hoedown: SPOT Festival. English Brainlove Records, Icelandic Kimi Records and Danish Good Tape Records will each present a band from their roster at the afternoon event, which takes place on Friday May 21st at the ArcHauz venue in Åarhus.
"It was Airwaves where the idea started," says the event's instigator Kamilla Hannibal of Danish label Good Tape. "There were Kimi and Brainlove showcases there, but no Good Tape one. So I was wandering around, getting inspired by all the off-venue activites. It was driven more from passion and creativity than business, with good, creative people supporting it and standing behind it, and having fun doing so. I was thinking the world is pretty small when it comes to music so maybe bringing us closer to work together more and play with open cards. Not worry about borders so much. I think a lot about the... collaboration, internationally. It makes so much sense."
Spot is an annual festival that plays host to the best new music from across Scandinavia, with international guests. Bands playing this year include FM Belfast, Chimes & Bells and The Kissaway Trail, amongst many others. Previous years have seen early performances from breakthrough bands like Sigur Ros, Mew, Múm, Junior Senior and Raveonettes.
FREE THREE-TRACK LABEL LOVE COMPILATION:
21st May 2010
LABEL LOVE @ SPOT Festival, Åarhus, Denmark
Benni Hemm Hemm (Kimi Records)
Murder (Good Tape Records)
Mat Riviere (Brainlove Records)
THE LABEL LOVE BANDS:
Benni Hemm Hemm is a band from Reykjavik, Iceland consisting of anything from one to forty members. Benni Hemm Hemm play delightful songs about hills, snow, ships, blood and norwegian kings, written and orchestrated by Benedikt H. Hermannsson. Benni Hemm Hemm just released an EP called Retaliate.
Video link: http://www.vimeo.com/10800460
Kimi Records is an Icelandic label based in Reykjavik and Gent (BE). It was founded in 2007 and focuses on the vibrant Icelandic alternative music scene. Kimi Records has released albums with bands such as Sin Fang Bous, Hjaltalin, Benni Hemm Hemm, Reykjavik!, Sudden Weather Change and kimono.
Mat Riviere is a solo performer from Norwich, UK. He creates strange and memorable songs from old synthesizers, overlapping loops, clanking rhythms and cryptic lyrics sung in a distinctive, plaintive voice. His debut album "Follow Your Heart" is out now.
Video link: http://vimeo.com/7199494
Brainlove Records is a UK label working to unearth and present exciting new music. The philosophy of the label is to support musicians exhibiting creativity, spirit, intelligence and imagination, regardless of genre, commercial potential, or technical ability. As such, Brainlove is a record label with artistic rather than commercial values at it's core.
Murder consists of long-standing friends Jacob Bellens and Anders Mathiasen. Their music flits moodily between genres, currently residing somewhere amongst brooding blues and neo-folk, always shot through with melancholy and melodies of murderous intent.
Video link: http://vimeo.com/3348262
Mads Vraa and Kamilla Traberg Hannibal started Good Tape Records in 2006 over a shared love of melody and the mixtapes. Their first release, Murder's genre-defining neo-folk album "Stockholm Syndrome", was the starting point on a winding path that weaves between singer-songwriters, bright-eyed indie-pop, alternative rock and experimental electro.
Wednesday, 12 May 2010
Monday, 10 May 2010
For those who were expecting a different result, here's an anthem for the start of a glum post-election week. Nina Nastasia's new single "Cry, Cry Baby" is a typically beautiful ballad, filmed here with live strings. And, as always, Nastasia mines something fresh and uplifting from under the downbeat contents of the song.
The single is out today, and Nastasia plays Dalston's Café Oto on May 23rd and 24th, touring the UK afterwards. Find out more on her MySpace.
22nd May: South Street Arts Centre, Reading
23rd May: Café Oto, London
24th May: Café Oto, London
25th May: St Margaret’s Church, Manchester
26th May: Cluny 2, Newcastle
27th May: Nice and Sleazy’s, Glasgow
28th May: The Folk House, Bristol
30th May: Talking Heads, Southampton
31st May: The Freebutt, Brighton
Wednesday, 5 May 2010
MP3: Tin Man
Future Islands are a particularly odd pop proposition. With their grumbling keyboards and galloping drums, wind-in-your-hair tunes and triumphant chord sequences, they sounds almost like some great lost 80's pop band, like they could maybe be included in the prom scene in a John Hughes movie.
But something isn't right. Like the stray ear in Blue Velvet, there's a spanner in the works. There's a certain awkwardness in how the sounds scrape together. The keyboards have an abrasive edge that tips Future Islands away from Depeche Mode and towards Xiu Xiu. Singer Samuel T. Herring's vocals come with a trans-Atlantic accent that seems to be influenced by both Ian Curtis and Vegas-era Elvis. At times genuinely unhinged, he's reminiscent of a drunken mid-breakdown Kurt Wagner doing karaoke as some alternate-reality synth-pop Meatloaf, kicking drinks from the tables as people look on aghast.
When the emotion spills over into theatrical mania and when distortion overwhelms the synthetic sound of the keyboards; this is when Future Islands blossom. They take the syrupy sentimentality of pop love songs and run riot with it. The Hollywood pink-sunset endings are blighted with belching black smoke as the whole thing tumbles off the rails like a suicidal teen movie hero Thelma-and-Louiseing off the Golden Gate bridge.
It comes as no surprise that they met in art school. There's a conceptual edge to what Future Islands do. It's just that step too far to be entirely earnest. But J Gerrit Whelmers' carefully balanced music carries the weight of the desperation in the vocals. The emotional exhibitionism inherent in Future Islands is a heartfelt cabaret that is more affecting than affected, and plumbs unexpected depths as a result.
Tuesday, 4 May 2010
This is the new M.I.A. video. It's by the chap who made the censor-baiting "Stress" video for Justice, and it's equally unsafe for work. The song itself is a direct lift from Suicide's "Ghost Rider", down to the the reverb-ridden vocals. And it's great.
Monday, 3 May 2010
MP3: Dancing (via Brooklyn Vegan)
I've been pretty hung up on Sheffield three-piece Standard Fare's heartfelt indie-pop lately. What initially seemed simplistic has been revealed as smart and engaging, via strikingly honestly lyrics on the topic of relationship woe. Their debut record 'The Noyelle Beat' is out on Thee SPC, and they support Allo Darlin' at the Lexington on June 15th.