Fresh off the back of his Grammy wins for Best Alternative Music Album & Best New Artist (not sure how they work that latter one out but whatever, the guy deserves it) and continuing the trend of beautifully shot Bon Iver videos, here we have the rather nice new video for Towers courtesy of Nabil Elderkin. Stunning cinematography combined with an excellent song from one of last years best releases.
I mentioned this superb track a few weeks ago but now it has a nice and intimate live video to go with it. Sounds of the summer right here folks. The album’s out 2nd of April and the single is available now from various places on the net!
Live dates are as follows:
15th – 17 – SXSW Showcase Info TBA
22nd – Los Angles
24th – San Francisco
24th – Paris
25th – Massy
26th – Marseille
27th – Nice
28th – Bordeaux
2nd – Koko, London
3rd – Picture House, Edinburgh
4th – Band on the Wall, Manchester
5th – WDR Anniversary, nr. Cologne, Germany
6th – Hare and Hounds, Birmingham
I wouldn’t usually post a call to arms (wallets) like this but Grails are in desperate need of the fans help this week, and being one of my favourite bands this is the least we can do. To summarise the situation, a hard-drive containing “1000s of hours of work for all 3 bands we produce, not all Grails, but it immediately impacts Black Tar [prophecies] 5, half of the next Lilacs & Champagne record is on there and probably towards 3 HolySons records…” has died and the band are planning to send it to Drive Savers in order to, hopefully, rescue the contents!
So how can we help I hear you ask? Well Grails need to raise around $2400 by Wednesday to ease the cost of saving this music. They are offering three options in order to help on their mailorder store. click HERE! to go and start saving the future of music. There are three options;
number one – an open donation which can be any amount.
number two, for $15 – five unreleased live tracks. These are culled from the best live moments that we could find in the archives from the early days..
Burden of Hope, Paris 2006
Back To The Monastery, Boston 2006
Word Made Flesh, Amsterdam 2006
The March, Paris 2004
Dargai, Geneva 2006
Grails will reply with a link to download within 24 hrs.
and finally, number three, for $30 – Your choice of the LP’s they have in stock: Burden of Hope, Redlight, Important Records 300th release compilation, or Lilacs & Champagne.
Personally I went with number two, the unreleased live tracks.
It’s worth mentioning the Lilacs & Champagne album that was released earlier this month was outstanding and the follow up is hanging in the balance right now, so if like me you care about Grails future music please consider helping them out!
Geoff Barrow of Portishead fame; under the moniker of Fuzzface, has a new hip-hop project called Quakers.
Barrow, producing the project along with Portishead engineer 7-Stu-7 and Australia’s DJ Katalyst, worked with over 35 artists to create a 41 track album.
The album started when the producers uploaded a series of beats to their Myspace page for anyone to download. People were then encouraged to rap over the samples and return them to the group. Entries that the group liked were then included on the album. Artists that contributed include Dead Prez, Prince Po, Aloe Blacc, Guilty Simpson, and M.E.D.
The reasoning behind the project is that the three like-minded producers, disillusioned with the current hip-hop landscape, wanted to create a record that they would like to listen to themselves. The method they used, meant that a wide range of genuine talent could be be showcased on the project, not just the current hottest names. Hence the name Quakers; it comes from ‘earthquake’ – they’re here to shake the foundations.
The various vocal talent is held together with a heavy, lo-fi and gritty production style, that can be heard to great effect on the first track released – Fitta Happier. The track features Guilty Simpson and M.E.D rapping over what seems to be a marching band covering Radiohead’s ‘National Anthem’.
Listen to Fitta Happier (ft. Guilty Simpson and M.E.D.) below
I really like the sound of this track and I’m looking forward to the album that comes out on 27th March.
The album will be available on Stones Throw Records as 2/LP, Digital, and 2/CD (vocal disc & instrumental disc).
I think I’ve found my album of the year. Yup, I’m willing to crown it already. Lilacs & Champagne, Alex Hall and Emil Amos of instrumental rockers Grails, have managed to craft one of the most interesting and promising debuts I think I’ve ever heard. It’s a rich tapestry woven from samples and organic pieces strung together perfectly to create a sound that’s incredibly fresh.To put it crudely, if you take the Grails template from their recent efforts and give it a hip hop, sample focused twist, this is what you get.
Throughout it’s surprisingly short run-time there’s a real 70′s B-movie vibe, it’s a cool sound indeed with fuzzy warm production and interesting samples. As Grails fans will attest, the duo obviously aren’t afraid to bring in influences from over seas and this enhances the already broad spectrum to pull from with an eastern feel on many tracks. It’s psychedelic stuff; a broad collage of ideas and moments that never outstay their welcome, perhaps due to the length of the record, but either way one of Lilacs & Champagnes greatest strengths. There are some wonderful melodies here and the addition of vocals on Lilacs (check out the video below) and Battling The City really bring them to life. It’s these short bursts of brilliance that really help this debut shine, it really is a versatile record and for something that on paper sounds like it should never work Hall and Amos have really succeeded in pulling it together.
It’s colourful stuff and you’ll yearn for repeat listens in order to take it all in. It’s going to take something special to remove this from the top of my album of the year pedestal and I’m confident I’m not going to find anything like it for a while – if you can place something in front of me similar or better I challenge you.
Grails have been having some hard-drive issues recently and there was mention of the next Lilacs & Champagne record being on said hard-drive, we can only keep our fingers crossed it survives (along with the next Grails albums) as if it’s anything like this debut, there’s plenty to look forward to.
Tracklisting is as follows:
01 Everywhere, Everyone
03 Nice Man
05 Battling The City
06 Corridors of Power II
07 King Of Kings
08 Laid Fucking Back
09 Moroccan Handjob
10 Midnight Creeper
11 Listener X
The album’s available from mexican summer on LP, CD and mp3.
The long awaited Burial EP Kindred is finally with us and is now available over on the Hyperdub store to stream and purchase. What’s evident from a quick spin of the three tracks is the evolution of Bevan’s sound from his previous works. This could be attributed to collaborations with both Four Tet & Thom York, and Massive Attack last year, whose influences creep into the new tunes. It’s a thicker, polished and darker sounding EP with more presence than previous Burial tracks which have tended to verge more on the laid back side despite being full of tension and atmosphere. The latter is still present but this bolder edge works well and the latter two tracks, Loner and Ashtray Wasp stand out in particular against previous Burial tracks. It’ll be interesting to see where Will Bevan takes this sound for a full length follow up, it’s clear he’s not afraid to evolve and embrace other genres of electronic music, it’s been a long time since the brilliant Untrue and hopefully we wont be waiting too much longer…
Stream and Grab the EP over at the Hyperdub store.
Sorry for the hiatus the last 10 days, we’re back, and so is Benn Jordan with his new release Opus At The End Of Everything under The Flashbulb pseudonym. It’s really more of the same sound heard on the previous Flashbulb albums and that of course is no bad thing. If anything it has a little more of a mellow vibe and as ever Jordan’s production is superb throughout, warm yet crisp and full of depth. I wasn’t expecting this one so it’s been a nice surprise for a snowy Friday morning. Listen to some highlights below and check out the album teaser, which I totally missed last October!
Grab the album over at The Flashbulb bandcamp page.
Jack White has unveiled his new solo single Love Interruption, his first non-collaborative release since the split of the White Stripes.
White recently admitted on Zane Lowe’s Radio 1 show that he only began recording his solo material after an unnamed artist failed to show up for a session at his Nashville studio.
The track has a warm, minimalist sound and a memorable melody – without the heavy trademark riffing that is associated with White’s previous works.
The track will be released as a 7″ single, backed with non-album B-side Machine Gun Silhouette on the 7th February and the LP Blunderbuss is due for release on 23rd April. They are available to preorder from JackWhiteIII.com and Thirdmanrecords.com