Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Russian Circles - Empros

Chicago trio Russian Circles release their highly anticipated and critically praised new album Empros today.

Russian Circles return with not only their fourth and heaviest album to date, but also with Empros they're poised to take the crown as innovators reinvigorating the staid trappings of genre. Empros picks up where the anthemic riffs and melodies of 2009's Geneva left off and injects evermore slithering rhythms amid skull-crushing heft with all the visceral intensity of Godflesh, Swans and Neurosis. Put simply, Empros is Russian Circles' Master of Reality: a radical revision of both heavy and melody that is monolithic in its clarity and perfection. Or, like a lone surviving wooly beast emerging from a brutal winter's frost, Empros is the sound of a band shaking the ages from its shoulders with all the brutal force of a behemoth awakened.

The album opens with an imposing mechanical drone leading into funereal guitar notes that are abruptly interrupted by a propulsive drum beat as the proceedings of "309" erupt into something akin to a neo-industrial revision of Celtic Frost. The song lunges through nearly 9 minutes of masterful rhythmic shifts and brutal guitar warfare with such assertive grace it sounds as though the band is throwing down a gauntlet defying all challengers. "Mladek" kicks off with the soaring notes of Sullivan's signature hammer-on guitar arpeggios as Cook's volume-swelling bass notes surge like bubbling molten lava. Turncrantz's innovative rephrasing of the drum pattern elevates the song as it slinks from part to part, guided by the syncopated chatter traded between chiming guitar notes and churning bass. Elsewhere, there are beautiful moments of melodic respite, helping to underscore the album's majestic strength. And, there may even be a few surprises awaiting within the album's six tracks. There are riffs, yes -- many of them. But, with Empros the entire band seems to be the embodiment of the riff itself.

Empros is Russian Circles' first full-length to be released worldwide exclusively via Sargent House, the band's longtime management company and record label that had previously released only the vinyl editions of its three prior albums. It is available everywhere on LP, CD and Download on October 25th, 2011.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Art vs. Science 'With Thoughts'

Australia’s Art vs. Science has made waves here after releasing the new animation video for their single With Thoughts, the band's latest chart-topping track in the homeland.

With Thoughts is one of the awesome tracks taken from their debut album The Experiment.

Forbidden Friends - Totally Low

Portland's Forbidden Friends announced the second single titled Totally Low due out on September 27 via Kill Rock Stars.

Forbidden Friends is the side-project of Hutch Harris from The Thermals. An almost-acoustic affair, the songs are at once modern and old-fashioned. The instrumentation is incredibly minimal - simple and effective. The lyrics are love stories sung from a hidden location - keep it underneath, in a place where only you and I know.

"Totally Low" is the second single from Forbidden Friends, recorded by Kendra Lynn at Jackpot! in Portland, Oregon. Harris performed all the basic instruments (drums, guitar, bass, voice) and percussion was supplied by his fellow Thermals Kathy Foster and Westin Glass. The title may sound negative, but in truth "Totally Low" is totally up. Not 'low' like 'down', but 'low' like 'on the down low' - keep it like a secret.

Buy your Totally Low copy now at KRS.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Odonis Odonis - Hollandaze

The debut onslaught from Toronto-based Odonis Odonis - a new project from former Ten Kens member Dean Tzenos - Hollandaze is a grimy, gum-splattered ménage of surf-gaze, punk and lo-fi, cut from twanging reverb & fuzz heavy guitars, thick, driving bass-and-drum machines and overdriven Hammond organ.

Hollandaze, which compiles home recordings created over the last couple of years, is a collection of killer, hook-driven tunes that hark back to the classic '80s sounds of The Jesus & Mary Chain, Pixies, Big Black and The Cure.

Tzenos recorded almost all of the material found on Hollandaze in his tiny home studio, writing two or three songs a day. Hollandaze is due out on November 1st in the US and a new studio album, recorded with Colin Stewart of Black Mountain, will follow early in 2012.

Originally a solo project for the prolific Tzenos, Odonis Odonis has only recently become a live band, playing their first live shows in May and picking up heat as one of the buzz bands of Toronto's NXNE festival.

Here's the music video for "Mr. Smith", a track from the split they released with Lotus Plaza on Palmist.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Grace Woodroofe 'I've Handled Myself Wrong'

Australian folk-blues chanteuse, Grace Woodroofe released a new video for album track I've Handled Myself Wrong.

St Vincent - Strange Mercy

St. Vincent, the nom-de-stage of Annie Clark, released her third album Strange Mercy. Having worked together on 2009's Actor, Clark reunited with producer John Congleton, recording the album in her hometown of Dallas, TX at Elmwood Studios. The 11 new tracks showcase Clark's inimitable gift for melody, packing elegant arrangements with hefty emotional punches.

Clark's virtuosity has long been recognised, and Strange Mercy finds her redefining the idea of the guitar hero, utilizing the instrument as a pointillist artist might wield a brush. On 'Cruel' she elicits punchy bursts like an R&B horn section. 'Cheerleader' froths and boils, with deep and fuzzy guitars bubbling up to the surface, while 'Surgeon' twirls about endlessly, Clark's vocals dancing amid a blizzard of notes.

Strange Mercy isn't an entirely solitary affair either, with Clark joined by a host of other musicians. Included among them are Beck keyboardist and musical director Brian LeBarton, Grammy Award winning musician Bobby Sparks on mini Moog, clavinet, Arp and Wurlitzer, Midlake's MacKenzie Smith on drums, Daniel Hart on violin, Evan Smith on woodwinds and Phil Palazzolo.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Cut Copy 'Blink And You'll Miss A Revolution'

Cut Copy has released the new video for their latest single from Zonoscope, “Blink And You’ll Miss a Revolution”.

Found in a rusty chest in an ancient grotto in Saint-Maximin, France, archaeologists can ascertain from the hieroglyphic-like scribes inside the chest, it was directed by Emile Sornin, and produced by Jules de Chateleux at Division.

ANR - Stay Kids

Miami duo ANR released the deluxe edition of their post-apocalyptic indie pop album Stay Kids through 10K Islands. Though the band consists of merely two members – Brian Robertson (Keys, Vocals) and Michael-John Hanock (Vocals, Drums) – they create a powerful sound filled with layered melodies and bountiful hooks. It has landed them shows with bands like Animal Collective, Neon Indian, No Age, and Fucked Up.

Stay Kids is a rhythmically propulsive, psychedelic trip that was inspired largely by recent floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, and other environmental disasters. Much of the album’s lyrics meditate on how such ‘natural’ disasters affect individuals and humanity at large. However, sonically-speaking the album is by no means morose. Instead, the synth-heavy and often danceable material feels triumphant. Each song is a journey through carefully sculpted, dream-pop soundscapes with frequent, unexpected and exciting detours.

ANR’s live show highlights a different aspect of the band, bringing out their punk influences as well as their penchant for German progressive acts of the 70’s.

Check out the latest video of their song It's Around You.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Planningtorock Announces W

W is the second Planningtorock album by Bolton-born, Berlin-based musician and visual artist Janine Rostron, a genuinely unique artist. Her individuality and ingenuity is heard here on W in the full glory of a creative high. Unsettling yet evocative, making comparisons to such luminaries as Grace Jones and Bjork not far wide of the mark.

The latest single to be released from W is the baroque boogie of “Living It Out.” A song described as a “tense disco track” and one of the album’s stand-out highlights by Pitchfork and “euphoric” by Nylon Magazine, it is one of the most immediate tracks on the album and features the drumming skills of LCD Soundsytem’s Pat Mahoney. On this two part remix 12” the inimitable, and much missed Warp producer, France’s Jackson (Jackson and His Computer Band) delivers an exceptional eight minute remix, teasing out the original tune’s pulses, rhythms and spaces, all beautifully cut up with Janine’s myriad vocal layers, building up to an epic, dirty crescendo at the four minute mark, before taking us home with an absolute hands-up dancefloor thumping. More info coming soon.

American Babies 'Joeline'

Tom Hamilton’s American Babies are kicking off their Fall with a new look to their online presence with the release of the new VIDEO for Flawed Logic’s “Joeline”. This is the band’s third video from Flawed Logic directed by Hamilton and finds a cast made up of some of Philadelphia’s finest musicians, including members of Dr. Dog, Hezekiah Jones, and the Disco Biscuits.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Destroyer 'Savage Night at the Opera'

Destroyer - Savage Night at the Opera from Merge Records on Vimeo.

Another superb video from indie pop outfit Destroyer brought to you by Merge Records.

Blackbells 'This is Home'

Monday, 19 September 2011

A Very She & Him Christmas Album Out in October

Merge Records is proud to announce the release of She & Him’s first-ever holiday recording entitled A Very She & Him Christmas on October 25, 2011.

A Very She & Him Christmas is a wonderful collection of holiday tunes from two of music’s most impressive artists–Zooey Deschanel (She) & M. Ward (Him). Inspired by seminal holiday albums by the likes of The Carpenters, Vince Guaraldi, The Beach Boys, Elvis Presley and more, She & Him have set out to create an intimate holiday recording of Christmas classics that helps bring new emotions out of old songs.

Recorded in Los Angeles and NYC at various points in 2011, A Very She & Him Christmas sees the duo stepping back slightly from the layered, lush aesthetic of their critically acclaimed second album, Volume Two. On A Very She & Him Christmas, Deschanel and Ward let the songs speak for themselves, oftentimes recording them with just acoustic guitar and vocals. Consistent in everything are the elements that have made She & Him one of the most loved bands of the last few years–Deschanel’s soulful vocal delivery and Ward’s impressive guitar work, both sounding as timeless as ever.

Check in soon for more information.

Silje Nes Unveils New Video

Berlin-based Norwegian Silje Nes has released a great new video. Created in the unusual portrait format, it was filmed by Blank Blank in time lapse over 24 hours in Flø, Norway.

The video was created for Silje's live performance at the GO WITH THE FLØ festival. Beautifully shot, the film documents the Norwegian countryside and changing atmospheric conditions and is sympathetically soundtracked by a new abstract instrumental track which Silje created.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Bonnie Prince Billy - Quail & Dumplings EP

What strange crop doth the Indian summer season harvest? Behold - our soil births a living song or three! And not just any old living music, but Bonnie 'Prince' Billy meats, fresh, pink and raw, just how you likes 'em! These first golden(-pink) fruit(-meat)s are yours for the swiping: "Quail & Dumplings" a digital-only single! If you haven't guessed, it guess it up now - "Quail & Dumplings" is from that extremely forthcoming Wolfroy Goes to Town album, the new Bonnie 'Prince' Billy soiree that will be occurring on LP/CD/and digital of course. As a bonus, some type of Bon-roid additive cultivated 2 (that's right, two) non-LP tracks as a "b-side," woot!

1. Quail & Dumplings
2. Black Ice Cream (non-album track)
3. E Iesu/Maka'i No (non-album track)

Download: Domino

Quail & Dumplings is taken from the forthcoming Bonnie 'Prince' Billy album 'Wolfroy Goes To Town' which is released on Domino on October 3rd and can be pre ordered from Domino.

Juan Maclean Announces Everybody Get Close

Since the release of 2009’s The Future Will Come, John “Juan” Maclean has stayed quite busy remixing artists like Chairlift, Matthew Dear, The Tough Alliance and forthcoming remixes for Yoko Ono and Stevie Nicks. He’s also appeared on both the Holy Ghost! Static on the Wire! EP (shredding guitar solo!) and took front man duties on Shit Robot’s “Grim Receiver”.

Juan Maclean is now gearing up for the November 7th release of Everybody Get Close on DFA Records. The digital only album features previously released outtakes and re-mastered tracks as well as remixes from some of his most talented colleagues.

Interspersed among the eleven songs are five that originally appeared on Find A Way, an EP only previously available at Juan Maclean live shows. “Find A Way” opens the record with call-and-response vocals from Maclean and bandmate Nancy Whang atop an electronic pop base, followed by “Let’s Talk About Me,” which bounds blissfully throughout. “Deviant Device” is laden with dubby percussion and echo-drenched synths reminiscent of Basic Channel. “X2” offers up wide hall of house and robotized vocals. Short and sweet track “The Robot” is filled with mechanical sounds and extraterrestrial noises. “Feel So Good,” from the DJ-Kicks compilation also features vocals from Whang and is built on a rolling loop and an indefatigable beat provided by late drummer Jerry Fuchs. Japanese bonus track “When I Am With You” leisurely moves along on a relaxing romantic groove. Album closer and title track “Everybody Get Close” has mechanical vocals and funky synth bleats that show faint traces of major influences like Zapp and S.O.S. band, respectively.

Juan Maclean and Nancy Whang have begun work on The Juan Maclean’s 3rd LP for DFA Records. In the meantime the digital compilation Everybody Get Close, serves as a handy compilation and welcome reminder of the music Juan Maclean has contributed to both the dance and indie community. It also can only hint at what might come next from the chameleon-like Juan Maclean.

Enjoy a free track of Juan Maclean over HERE.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Amy Winehouse & Tony Bennett 'Body and Soul'

The track and video for the long awaited Amy Winehouse and Tony Bennett duet "Body and Soul" was premiered on September 14 to commemorate what would have been Amy's 28th birthday.

"Body and Soul" was recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London and is the final recording she ever made before her passing on July 23rd. The recording session was filmed by Oscar winning cinematographer Dion Beebe ("Chicago," "Memoirs Of A Geisha") as part of a large documentary film on Bennett that is in the works.

All proceeds from the sale of the "Body and Soul" single and video will go to The Amy Winehouse Foundation, the organization founded by the singer's parents, Mitch and Janis Winehouse, with a mission to provide support for young people struggling with ill health, disability, financial disadvantage, or addiction.

Download the single now on iTunes.

King Fantastic Release Locals Only Video

King Fantastic presented the new video of their track Locals Only, as featured on their latest EP Death of Summer.

The video for "Locals Only" was directed, shot, and edited by Nick Goossen (Grandma's Boy, Nick Swardson's Pretend Time, Rad Omen) on Super8 on one Sunday in Venice, CA. for a tripped out vintage beach vibe. It's sort of King Fantastic's "band on the street". According to rapper/lyricist Killer Reese One,"We wanted it to be authentic, and it is."

King Fantastic is not your ordinary musical duo from LA, but then again nothing is ordinary about their music. We’re living in an era where hip-hop progressively feasts itself upon electronic beats and King Fantastic delves head first into both arenas. Given the diverse upbringings of both producer and internationally known DJ, Troublemaker and Rapper/lyricist Killer Reese One (who is one half of LA underground rap duo Bleu Collar) one would safely say that it’s karma how they united.

“Death of Summer” follows the duo’s groundbreaking and critically acclaimed 2010 debut LP “Finger Snaps and Gun Claps “ which spawned the wildly scandalous- "Why? Where? What?" video that is nearing 1 million plays on vimeo.

Jay-Z 'Empire State of Mind' (Life + Times Version)

Junya Watanabe Check Yarn Shirt

One of the fine pieces spotted from Junya Watanabe's Fall/Winter 2011 range, this is simply a sexy shirt to equip for the season.

Cotton gabardine long sleeves shirt, corduroy back shoulder yoke, breast patch pocket and interior of the sleeves in check yarn-dyed pattern, wool elbow pads. Buttoning tab on the front.

Available now at colette.