OMFG, have you heard this song? Have you seen thi s video? Have you seen the cover for Wilderness Heart? Black Mountain are quickly making any argument against music vids and album art moot points.
Archive for the ‘ Media ’ Category
Prior to NXNE this past week, I had the chance to speak with Andy McLean, the Managing Director and co-founder of the fest here in Toronto, Canada. We talked festival history as well as what they look for when choosing bands from the thousands of entries they get each year. You can listen to the interview in the grand context of the New Wax Show here, or on its lonesome below.
I don’t know this man, or what possessed him to a) make this video and b) post it on youtube for the world to see, but this is freaking amazing. Apparently we both write for the same website (Chartattack) – does this mean I have to make one of these to keep up with the Jones-es?
This review originally appeared at Chartattack.com
Although they’re being touted in some circles as the new band from Crystal Castles‘ former drummer Cameron Findlay, comparisons to his former band are pointless, given they sound nothing like Parallels.
The Toronto band find a middle ground between no-wave dance-rock and ’80s synth-pop, sounding like ’80s Madonna if Pat Benatar were her backing band. Findlay holds the band in check with his lock-solid drumming, but vocalist Holly Dodson is the star here.
Her vocals soar overtop of the wall of synths and beats on tracks like “Ultralight,” delivering dark disco lyrics like “Tell me are you falling for me?/I release my hands and I let you go” through gorgeous melodies.
Sure, there’s lots of bands treading around the same water as Parallels, but is anyone doing it this well?
English duo The Big Pink, whose recent gig with A Place to Bury Strangers I quite enjoyed, have re-recorded their track “Tonight” from debut A Brief History of Love and released it as a single. You can listen to the new version, as well as its B-sides, which include a cover of Beyonce‘s “Sweet Dreams,” a remix of “Too Young to Love” by UNKLE and album standouts “Velvet” and “Dominoes,” below.
This post originally appeared at Chartattack.com
Hannah Georgas could be the next breakout Canadian star, or she could just as easily flame out in a ball of obscurity. So is the roll of the popular culture dice.
The point is that the title of the Vancouver singer’s This Is Good debut is actually a bit of an undersell — the record is actually quite fantastic. Georgas artfully straddles the indie/pop line like Feist and Emily Haines before her, but her personality should win over any detractors bothered by the artistic overlap. And if that doesn’t, the songs themselves should.
It’s easy to imagine opener “Chit Chat” blaring out of Starbucks speakers, or climbing up the MuchMusic Countdown; the rare bastion of “well, this is actually quite good” amongst the sea of sensitive singer-songwriters and oversexed pop-tarts. Essentially, there’s something for everyone to latch onto here.
If Georgas does hit the big-time, she’ll quickly be cast off by the indie crowd as too calculated and commercial. And if she never makes it, This Is Good will be held up as a great “should have been huge” cult album.
Either way, you should check it out now so you can say “I told you so.”
This review originally appeared at Chartattack.com
You’d think The Dap-Kings would have run out of steam so long ago. Just how far can you go when you purposely chasing a retro sound? But the band and their label, Daptone, have managed to keep things fresh for eight years.
Their latest album with Sharon Jones is no different, still adhering to the old-school funk and soul sound that made the singer famous, yet never coming off as novelty or a rehash of their previous work.
Jones has proven herself to be quite the bombastic singer, and starts things off far more subdued on the mid-tempo “The Game Gets Old” and from there continues to let subtlety rule. Not that holding back is a sign of the group running out of steam; four records in, I Learned The Hard Way finds Jones and the Dap-Kings full of ideas and new ways to approach their sound.
The record ends with the excellent “Mama Don’t Like My Man,” which owes more to doo-wop than funk and soul. It’s just one last curveball on a record that does everything it can to subvert what to expect within a narrow box.
“I Learned the Hard Way”
This review originally appeared at Exclaim.ca
A year-and-a-half after it was originally due, and four years after their last LP, 2006′s Pet Grief, Sweden’s the Radio Dept. are finally unleashing this long-gestating record upon the world. While this doesn’t match Pet Grief‘s massive sonic shift, Clinging to a Scheme does see a continued evolution in the band’s sound, honing their pop chops.
Nowhere is this more apparent than on “Heaven’s On Fire,” propelled by a bouncy beat and filled with shimmering guitars. Intro-ed by a clip of Thurston Moore calling for a take down of the “bogus capitalist process” that co-ops youth culture, it’s the best thing the band have ever done. And while the rest of the album doesn’t quite live up to this early highlight, tracks like “David” and “Never Follow Suit” come dangerously close.
Johan Duncanson’s vocals continue to float above the music, which works well with these tracks. But the lackadaisical delivery contributes to making lesser tunes that much more forgettable. Although Clinging to a Scheme might not be fully worth the four-year gap, it still makes a strong argument for the wait.
Hey Kids, remember Blur? Yeah, those “Woo-hoo” guys (or for the actual kids, the guy from Gorillaz old band). Well they’re back together and the reunited quartet just released their first new track with guitarist Graham Coxon since 2000′s “Music Is My Radar,” as their contribution to Saturday’s Record Store Day. It’s pretty rad. And for all of us who were unable to find a copy of the very limited edition seven-inch, you can download the track over at their website.
Also, I would highly encourage new fans and die-hards alike to check out their recent documentary and live concert film No Distance Left to Run… you won’t regret it.
“No Distance Left to Run” Trailer