Although I sort of promised to make posts about artists that will be visiting Australia in the near future, I had to steer away from that today. I recently had Electrelane's newest release sent to me by the lovely people at Too Pure Records. If I'm not mistaken, No Shouts, No Calls, shouldn't be out until mid April, so I was pretty excited to have my little hands on this. The album is what you've come to know and love about Electrelane, personally I was hoping they wouldn't change their style that was their last release Axes and although they have gone back to doing some instrumental tracks on this album, they haven't disappointed. Their still grunge, their still soft and delightful, and they know how to stay loyal to their fans. Could definitely be an album on my end of the year list. Fingers crossed for an Australian invasion by these lovely girls.
Electrelane To The Sea link removed by request of band Electrelane After The Call link removed by request of band
I always fall for romantic lyrics, no doubt. Jens Lekman is a genius in such fields. A pop star in his native Sweden, everything about his music is heartfelt and literal. Strongly reminiscent of Stephin Merritt of The Magnetic Fields, he combines gentle guitar, humorous samples and light, gorgeous melodies layered over delicate arrangements. Such humbleness and wonder exists in every one of his songs, it never, ever falters, while evoking feelings of warmness. Truly intimate and lovely, Lekman is a charming pop visionary to behold and treasure.
In trying to keep my posts about up and coming tours, next comes Neko Case. She's doing a round of shows around Australia this week and next to promote her latest release Fox Confessor Brings The Flood and with shows selling out and pretty much being forced to put on second shows, she could be here longer then expected. Adelaide, Perth, and Brisbane have already had their taste of Neko Case. She has two shows planned for Sydney and also Melbourne. Support act for the remaining shows is Jon Langford And The Bronte Pool Cosmonauts. From what I've read so far, Neko Case has been putting on some really great shows with some variations.
Apostle Of Hustle is one of the many side projects of Broken Social Scene members; formed by Andrew Whiteman the lead guitarist after his two month stay in Cuba (despite the band's Latin influence) along with friends Julian Brown and Dean Stone. 2004's debut "Folkloric Feel" is noisy lo-fi acoustic folk and some say the extension of BSS's "You Forgot It In People". The latest record "National Anthem Of Nowhere" is a major step up from that proving have found the Apostle Of Hustle sound. National Anthem Of Nowhere is bright; there's noticeably an array of instruments, creating complex layers, rhythmic patterns and guitar jams. Track opener "My Sword Hand's Anger" reminds me of Stephen Malkmus, vocals slightly but song structure wise, it shows. There's consistency throughout the album, each track carefully adapting to the previous making a lasting impression. The album ends on a slower and softer note with the track "NoNoNo"; minimalism of minor keys and strings. NAON is truly the album to fall in love with Apostle Of Hustle. (I've already gone ahead and chosen it for one of my picks so I'm there.) The record is scheduled for release on Tuesday February 6th via Arts & Crafts records. Arts & Crafts records are holding a competition to create your own version of Apostle Of Hustle's track "My Sword Hand’s Anger". Prize includes recording gear, tickets to see the band live and a signed copy of the new album. You can download the track at their website.
There are two important dates in Australia. One being Australia day on the 26th of this month and the other being the Big Day Out. There is no other event that attracts a crowd of all sorts. You walk in and you don't know what to expect. There could be an emo on the left, a goth on the right, a retro right in front of you, and a wu-tang behind you (i really dont like to label but its how i have to describe them). This years Big Day Out wont change that at all, having started in Auckland last Saturday and now making it's way through Australia, this year the Big Day Out has pulled out some big guns. Down below are the list of bands I plan on seeing.
I've already posted about Of Montreal's new record due tomorrow Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer? so this is kind of a reminder to buy it. I can't help but post about the latest video of Heimdalsgate Like A Promethean Curse from the record. If I'm correct this is their first non animated video clip. These guys get quirkier by the day with their costumes. Hemidalsgate... talks about Kevin Barne's personal struggle through depression and drugs with the help from his wife Nina Twin. (I'm in a crisis / I need help / Come on mood shift / shift back to good again / Come on be a friend / Nina Twin is trying to help, and I really hope that she succeeds.) The track itself proves to be upbeat with elements of electronics which has some how found its way to be the new sound. Of Montreal will also be releasing a new EP "Icons, Abstract Thee" which will only be available through their record label Polyvinyl and they're also touring extensively in the US at the moment.
Panda panda panda! Satomi Matsuzaki, the lead vocalist of band Deerhoof, has had no formal musical training, like the other members of Deerhoof. But who cares about that? They have somehow perfectly formulated a way to compose meticulously chaotic, strange compositions of sound, while still retaining an absolutely great melody and an ability to keep in time (something that would be hard for such a band). I would never of thought that it was possible to have meticulous and chaos next to each other in a sentence, but Deerhoof has proved me wrong. It's an electric mish mash of harsh noise and light, catchy melodies that are wildly performed. While it takes time to get familiar with the music, you can later appreciate the effort. The vocals are beautiful and smooth and the diverse instrumentation is used well.
Deerhoof will release their 8th album, Friend Opportunity on the 23rd of January, and are in Australia in April for The Great Escape.
Here's yet another band with an exclamation mark thrown into their name and perhaps more members than they really need, but all is forgiven in the case of Los Campesinos! They have been generating quite a buzz with their glockenspiel-sprinkled tunes, alternating boy-girl vocals, jangly guitars and infectious energy. I simply love how this song escalates in the beginning, unabashedly coaxing you onto the dancefloor.
Tera Melos plays a mind-bending blend of freeform jazz meets hardcore punk with ambient electronic effects, and are reportedly an absolute musical riot live. Only 500 copies of but the EP Drugs to the Dear Youth were released on 12" vinyl and the band themselves have given fans the green light to make it an "interactive record", ie to rip the tracks from vinyl onto mp3 and share them with the rest of the world, so go ahead and have a taste of what they're all about.
What can you expect from Broadcast? Everything always evolves with the newly fresh and eerily hypnotic duo (formerly a quintet). While not always instantly enjoyable, it's definitely surprising. You canlook forward to Trish Keenan's dreamy, ethereal vocals that ring a bell of Acid House Kings but all the while sinister over sample-heavy and retro, futuristic electronic beats used minimally. Everything about them reminds me of the words 'synth' and 'analog.' There's this mysterious atmosphere that clouds. While also branching out in surreal, ambient dream-pop, Broadcast is cemented in my mind as the cool as, strange sci-fi flick reminiscent band who perfectly mix androgyny and effeminateness. You can pretend it's the new age of space!
My senses have been set on the DIY scene in Sydney for quite some time. It's really grown and built a small base. One band got me listening after finding myself at one of their gigs early last year and again last week was Naked On The Vague otherwise known as NoTV. They're a boy and girl duo made up of Matthew P. Hopkins and Lucy Cliche and they both sure do make a lot of noise out of an organ, broken bass guitar, drum machine, tambourine, recorder, their vocals and well anything else they can put together. They've describe their style as experimental, psychedelic, no-wave, minimal pop, punk and medieval folk (whatever that may be). What comes to mind for me is a band that would likely play at a haunted house for a Halloween party.
I'd like to now introduce a band that most likely you have never heard of, unless you live in Melbourne. Oh Mercy have recently just won the Triple J Unearthed Competition to play at the Melbourne Big Day Out (The Killers, Muse, The Presets, Hot Chip, plus more). The band has not released anything officially, the only songs they have out are the ones on their Myspace. Oh Mercy mixes a real soft indie rock with very delicate vocals and have made some incredibly moving songs. If there is one band I recommend you listen too, it would be Oh Mercy.
Everyone must be aware of the plenitude of singer-songwriters out there, but there's something about Fionn Regan which makes him stand out from his contemporaries. The languid, calming vocals are sung to minimalist setups. Amazingly soft chords and fluid, but frantic finger plucking (without technical obsessions) interchange effortlessly and without mistake. The songs encapsulate different emotions, perfectly interpreted through his poetic lyricism, which is abundant throughout - it easily evokes vivid and picaresque images. For a debut, he is stunningly mature! Currently, The End of History is one of my favourite albums to listen to. Regan will be supporting Damien Rice on his Australian tour in February, and will be here again in March for Laneway Festival.
Where have these guys been!? Softlightes bring's something new to the world of music, mixing acoustic and electronic beats. Some people have compared them too Belle And Sebeastian, Sufjan Stevens, and Australia's very own Cut Copy. But I'm not seeing it, well, maybe Cut Copy a little bit. The band have already made in impact down here in Australia touring here for the first time last November with MSTRKRFT and then month later being asked to come back by Modular Records to support New Young Pony Club. Hopefully these guys wont stay away from Australia for too long, maybe a third visit is in the making. Fingers crossed.
The Cops are a band that aren't afraid of change. Three EP's into their career and three member changes, I think the band are finally happy with what they've got. Their newest EP 80 In The Shade has been (as usual) flogged by Triple J Radio with their single Call Me Anytime being the most requested numerous amounts of time. Before 80 In The Shade the band, to me, were uninteresting, they weren't doing anything new, nothing exciting, just boring. But now with the added keyboards and a little change in style, I think the band has proven themselves worthy. Catch the band in March supporting !!! (Chk Chk Chk) around the East Coast of Australia.
So, did anyone ever actually wonder what happened to Jesse and Sebastien after the split of Death From Above 1979? Well, I for one was hoping that both would make a return some way or another. We didn't have to wait too long for Jesse to reveal his next project, that being MSTRKRFT, a techno based band which he started with Al-P and released the album The Looks to much welcome. But whatever happened to Sebastien? Well, not until recently did Sebastien finally get his butt into gear and make some music. And boy did he! Much like Jesse, Sebastien has taken the electronic/dance path, but his pulled off way better than Jesse could ever have. It's more listenable, more funky, and just plain great! Sebastien has only released a two track single called Foggy Sea, Foggy Dew. Please do yourself a favor and get into this. For those of you in America, Sebastien will be supporting Bloc Party and Albert Hammond Jr. (in the one tour!) during March. Look out for him. Four songs are on offer today, one being Sebastien's newest, another being a MSTRKRFT track, and the other two are my favorite Death From Above 1979 tracks, enjoy.
For those lovers of casiotone synthesized beats, simple pop melodies, soft female harmonies; Brooklyn, New York band Au Revoir Simone's second album The Bird Of Music isn't due until next month and to be released on Valentines Day in Europe through Moshi Moshi Records (no confirmation yet as to other countries). So you'll just have to wait to purchase this sweet treat for that special someone (or if not yourself). After excessive amounts of listens, I've grown to like The Bird Of Music more and more each time. The production of this record has improved, you could tell the band has grown musically and I guess you could say the songs are more satisfying to the ears. So in the meantime I thought I'd post my favourite track "Stars" as well as a remix of one of the tracks "Fallen Snow" worked by London/Paris group The Teenagers. If you check out Au Revoir Simone's myspace, they have two other tracks; "Sad Song" and "Fallen Snow" from The Bird Of Music to stream.
New Buffalo (aka Sally Seltmann) is a project that has been going for some years now. Since releasing her debut EP About Last Night in 2001, New Buffalo has only ever since released an album back in 2004 under the title The Last Beautiful Day, fingers crossed for another album soon. New Buffalo has also done their fair share of touring over the years. Supporting Broken Social Scene early last year, as well Architecture In Helsinki numerous times, and has also featured in their fair share of festvials. New Buffalo's music is intoxicating, folksy, absorbing, and unique. Did I mention shes also married to Darren Seltmann of The Avalanches? Enjoy!
Bummer, I guess I'm a little too late to make a Top 15 of 2006 post. Pardon my laziness, but honestly, I think there's been enough of such lists in the music blogosphere. No worries though - to make up for it, I've made up a list of 7 completely random things I'm looking forward to in 2007. Coincidentally, it's the 7th of January too! 7's my favourite number and from the looks of it 2007 is an absolutely promising year for music. Watch this space.
1. Of (Modest) Mice and Men
I've heard mixed reviews on Modest Mouse's upcoming new single 'Dashboard' but I'm still pretty excited for the soon to be released 'We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank'. I don't even care if people think it's uncool to like this band anymore. With The Smith's former guitarist Johnny Marr and original MM drummer Jeremiah Green, the album is undoubtedly one of the most anticipated releases of 2007. And personally, I think this song is catchy as hell.
It's been 6 long years since The Avalanches released Since I Left You, an absolute riot of an album consisting just about a million samples, that spawned the highly infectious and quote-worthy single 'Frontier Psychiatrist'. It's about time for a new album, don't you think? Apparently the album was completed last year but the guys are still in the studio tweaking it on to perfection. I'm crossing my fingers for it to be released sometime this year, or someone's gonna get hurt. In the meantime here's an older cover song from tribute/compilation album To Hal And Bacharach.
Come February 19, the second day of the Chinese Lunar New Year, thousands of party animals, including yours truly, will be attending the Good Vibrations festival in Singapore's very own Fort Canning Park. Being the only Singaporean poster on Off The Record and having heard so much about Australian music festivals, you can bet I'm excited. With acts like the Beastie Boys, Jurassic 5 and Cut Copy, this is one event I wouldn't dare miss.
Even though rumours of a Blur comeback this year have been dismissed (woe!), Blur fans can still look forward to frontman Damon Albarn's side project which includes The Clash's bassist Paul Simonon, The Verve's ex-guitarist Simon Tong and Africa 70 drummer Tony Allen. To top it all off, the album, which drops on the 22nd of this month, will be produced by Danger Mouse. All that aside, their music has a sort of hollow, gauzy post-Gorillaz quality that intrigues me.
This saucy electro-pop minx, whose real name is the surprisingly sweet Anna-Catherine Hartley, already has her fair share of detractors, but who cares when her fanbase is expanding faster than you can say "pop the glock"? Love her or hate her, Uffie looks set to be the poster girl of France's electro club scene. Her debut album will be released on Ed Banger Records in mid-late 2007.
Last year, Norwegian duo Kings of Convenience charmed the crowds at Singapore's very own Mosaic music festival. This year, the line-up is no less impressive, including the Duke Ellington Orchestra, Femi Kuti, and an act I'm particularly looking forward to, Jaga Jazzist. Hailing from Norway as well, they're one of the most unique experimental jazz bands around and I can't wait to see them live in concert.
To round it all up, here's a track by Yo La Tengo because - surprise, surprise - they'll be hitting the shores of Singapore this year as well. From what I hear, they'll be playing a few shows in Australia too. This band has been around since even before I was born and have released a grand total of 17 albums thus far, the most recent one being 2006's quirkily-titled 'I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass'. Here's to their continued all-around awesomeness.
From now on when I'm making a post I've decided that I wont be posting about up-and-coming releases (Sandra's pretty much got that covered) but rather, bands that will be touring Australia. First up is Cansei De Ser Sexy, who recently just rocked everyone's socks at the Falls Festival during the New Years Celebrations. Everyone by now must know the whole story behind Cansei De Ser Sexy (CSS if you abbreviate it, Tired Of Being Sexy if you translate it). These guys have one goal and one goal only, to make everybody shake their asses.
I've been waiting to do this post for quite some time. Those ever so many lists caught up and never had the time to before hand. I've receive loads of new tracks from yet to be released albums. Many of those being instrumental tracks which is great to unwind to some smooth tunes after the New Year celebrations. New tracks from Air, Explosions In The Sky and Do Make Say Think and also if you're still in the party mood; some LCD Soundsystem which I'm really into at the moment as well as a few others. I'd like to clarify some expected dates for those releases including some others. It's also expected albums some time this year from Animal Collective, Expatriate, Soft Tigers, Architecture In Helsinki, Art Brut, Au Revoir Simone, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Beirut, Built To Spill, Dinosaur Jr., Feist, Final Fantasy, Gang Of Four, The Go! Team, Kings Of Leon, The Cribs, Maximo Park, Metric, Modest Mouse, The National, The New Pornographers, The Pixies, The Rakes, Rilo Kiley, Spoon, Stereolab, The Thrills, Tortoise, Travis, Wilco and Wolf Parade. All looks good this year, I can't wait.
2007 Dates: Field Music - Tones Of Town (22nd January) Deerhoof - Friend Opportunity (23rd January) Of Montreal - Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer? (23rd January) The Shins - Wincing The Night Away (23rd January) Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Same Loud Thunder (30th January) Patrick Wolf - The Magic Position (5th February) The Apples In Stereo - New Magnetic Wonder (6th February) Bloc Party - A Weekend In The City (6th February) Sondre Lerche - Phantom Punch (6th February) Explosions In The Sky - All Of A Sudden I Miss Everyone (20th February) Do Make Say Think - You, You're A History In Rust (26th February) !!! - Myth Takes (6th March) Air - Pocket Symphony (6th March) LCD Soundsystem - Sound Of Silver (20th March) Ted Leo And The Pharmacists - Living With The Living (20th March) Arcade Fire - Neon Bible (March/April) Bright Eyes - Cassadaga (10th April)
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