May 31, 2011

Dawn Golden And Rosy Cross

They are not two but one. And that one is Chicago producer Dexter Tortoriello. The project began in Tortoriello's bedroom as an experiment in different recording techniques, and quickly escalated as vocals were added and ideas rounded out. The debut EP, "Blow" was released in April on Mad Decent and it is 6 tracks of sinewy, elastic golden glory. Below is the standout track in "White Sun". Highly recommended.

MP3: White Sun-Dawn Golden and Rosy Cross

May 27, 2011

Helplessness Blues-Fleet Foxes

An instant classic. From the very first time that I heard the beautiful strains of the title track some months ago it was pretty obvious that Fleet Foxes were definitely going to deliver the goods on their long anticipated second album. This is a harmonic masterpiece, a treasure trove of soaring moments and delectable melodies. No slump here.

Twelve tracks of gorgeous grace. A dozen deliriously good tunes. It is warm and inviting, blissfully unaware of its inherent greatness. "Montezuma" is a delightful entree, showcasing immediately the rustic ambiance of this Seattle sixtet. Led by the heavenly voice of Robin Pecknold, it is the first step on a sun kissed journey. Guitars trill, voices collide, hearts rest. "Bedouin Dress" and "Sim Sala Bim" keep the mood flowing with unbeatable melodies and deft touches. You could possible say that "Battery Kinzie" is a standout, but this album is so consistently great that there are zero dips of fortune. Only high peaks. It must be said though that although the melodies that abound here are joyous and sunlit, there is a certain pensive and even sombre tone to the album. I wouldn't call it dark, but it has a feeling of despair more seen then on the stupendous self titled debut. I would call it blissful despair. This is best illustrated on the sublime two song centre block. "The Plains/Bitter Dancer" builds ever so slowly with a deliberate and careful pace before blowing out the doors, whilst the title track sounds better with every listen. As Pecknold sings "I was raised up believing I was somehow unique. Like a snowflake distinct among snowflakes, unique in each way you can see. And now after some thinking, I'd say I'd rather be a functioning cog in some great machinery serving something beyond me", you can hear his heart sighing. The transition in this song is breath taking too. A signature moment in 2011. There is plenty more to enjoy though, the delicate "Someone You'd Admire" or the robust and thrusting closer "Grown Ocean" are good places to explore. This is music that harks back to a distant era, but it feels now and ready. The musicianship is expert, the harmonies are divine and I know one thing. It will take something awfully excellent to better this in 2011.

MP3: Grown Ocean-Fleet Foxes

May 26, 2011

Gillian Welch Announces New Album

It's been a long time, but it's finally happening. That magnificent vestibule of goodness, Gillian Welch will be releasing a new album on June 28. "The Harrow & The Harvest" was produced by longtime collaborator David Rawlings and will contain 10 golden tracks.

The Harrow & The Harvest Track Listing
1 Scarlet Town
2 Dark Turn Of Mind
3 The Way It Will Be
4 The Way It Goes
5 Tennessee
6 Down Along The Dixie Line
7 Six White Horses
8 Hard Times
9 Silver Dagger
10 The Way The Whole Thing Ends

May 25, 2011

Malkmus Returns!

Fact One: Malkmus is a genius. Fact Two: Malkmus makes music. If you combine these two facts, then bliss ensues. So, on August 23 Matador will be releasing "Mirror Traffic", the brand new album from Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks. As an added bonus, the album was produced by Beck Hansen. The new release will also be the last one featuring the skills of drummer Janet Weiss. Stay tuned for more news.

May 22, 2011

5 X 5 (An Art Event In Canberra)

Yesterday was a full day. In the morning we attended the Sydney Writers' Festival, where the highlight was a conversation between James Valentine and the multi-talented Brendan Cowell. Cowell has just written his first book, "How It Feels", which was a great read. Full of pain, blood, spit and tears. Their conversation was illuminating and entertaining. Then the girl and I drove to Canberra to attend a small but impressive art event that was known as "5 x 5". It took place in suburban Downer and showcased the work of George Rose, Leah Brideson, Tara Bromham, Ash Peak and Bohie Palecek. Each artist displayed 5 pieces of art, all no bigger then 5 by 5 inches. All the artists are currently studying or have studied at ANU. They designed the show and it was a great success. Hopefully a sign of great things to come. One of the artists, Tara, is actually my sister-in-law and even though I am biased, she is awfully talented. The night was enlivened by open fires, pumpkin soup, mulled wine and a fiddle player from Pennsylvania. It was also very cold.
Below are some more shots of the work on display.

Please find here more info on the artists involved-

George Rose

Tara Bromham

Bohie Palecek

May 21, 2011

Spencer Krug (Insert Hyperbole Here) Returns As Moonface

In terms of news, this really makes all other news seriously redundant. Seriously. Spencer Krug, resident genius of Wolf Parade, Sunset Rubdown, Swan Lake, et al, is now Moonface. In 2009 he gave us "Dreamland EP: Marimba and Shit Drums". Now after recording through the Montreal winter he returns with "Organ Music Not Vibraphone Liked I'd Hoped". It will consist of 5 tracks and last 37 minutes. Jagjaguwar will give us the good on August 2.

To quote the great man, " At first this record was going to be another percussion album, not completely unlike the Dreamland EP, done with a vibraphone and some sparse guitar, extra percussion, what have you. But it wasn't happening. I don't know why. Sometimes it just doesn't happen. Then, one night, laying awake and thinking about music, I suddenly wanted to play an old double-manual organ - the kind from the 80s that you find in your grandmother's basement. I would procure such an organ, hook it up to big whirling speakers and powerful amplifiers, and make a long, drone-filled, lush and noisy album of intense volume and beauty and poeticism. This was the new plan. Half of it happened."

You can listen to the first track for preview below. It's fantabulous!

Organ Music Not Vibraphone Liked I'd Hoped Track Listing
1 Return to the Violence of the Ocean Floor
2 Whale Song (Song Instead of a Kiss)
3 Fast Peter
4 Shit-Hawk in the Snow
5 Loose Heart = Loose Plan

MP3: Fast Peter-Moonface

May 20, 2011

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah / Hysterical from CYHSY on Vimeo.

This was a shock! But a good one. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah will be releasing album number three on September 20. "Hysterical" will be their first in four years. Can't wait!

May 19, 2011

Modest Mouse Tour

Nothing much more needs to be said, other then that this is great news! Today Modest Mouse announced three shows in Australia/NZ as part of their Splendour trip.

Modest Mouse Tour Dates
25 July Metro Theatre, Sydney
27 July Prince Bandroom, Melbourne
1 August Powerstation, Auckland

Tickets on sale 27 May

May 16, 2011

"Itchin on a Photograph"-Grouplove

Here is the brand new single and video from the wonderful Grouplove. This single will be from their forthcoming debut album, due out in 2011. Looking forward to a Splendour sideshow!

May 12, 2011

The War On Drugs Is Not Over

Last year The War On Drugs teased us with a mini-album. Now, gratefully, we can look forward to a full length. "Slave Ambient" will be released on August 16, via Secretly Canadian. The album contains 12 tracks, of which 3 were actually included on last year's "Future Weather". I have loved everything this band have done in the past, so I am definitely looking forward to this one.

Slave Ambient Track Listing
1 Best Night
2 Brothers
3 I Was There
4 Your Love Is Calling My Name
5 The Animator
6 Come To The City
7 Come For It
8 It's Your Destiny
9 City Reprise #12
10 Baby Missiles
11 Original Slave
12 Black Water Falls

MP3: Baby Missiles

May 10, 2011

Jolie Holland Returns

June 28. Mark that date. For that is when the wonderful Jolie Holland will release her newest album. "Pint of Blood" will be coming out on ANTI- and I can't wait. It was recorded mostly in her home studio with producer Shahzad Ismaily and contains 10 tracks. Have a listen to the preview song, "Gold and Yellow". It's pretty great!

Pint Of Blood Track Listing
1 All Those Girls
2 Remember
3 Tender Mirror
4 Gold and Yellow
5 June
6 Wreckage
7 Little Birds
8 The Devil's Sake
9 Honey Girl
10 Rex's Blues

Jolie Holland - Gold and Yellow by antirecords