wears the trousers magazine

sounding off: november 2009 (iii)

Part three of our November roundup looks at debuts from Norwich indie-pop upstarts The Kabeedies, US sensation Kid Sister and the homemade charms of Lady Lazarus.

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The Kabeedies
Rumpus ••••

Norwich’s keenest The Kabeedies bounced onto our radar with a triumphant performance at Glastonbury 2008, and they’ve been picking up momentum ever since. Following on from an enjoyable pair of EPs comes the irrepressible band’s debut full-length, appropriately named Rumpus. A jauntily pop, heels-in-the-air, loop-the-flipping-loop of an album, it successfully marryies compulsively danceable rhythms with vocal melodies so infectious the government will no doubt soon be putting up posters in bathrooms telling you how to wash your ears.

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sounding off: november 2009 (ii)

In the second part of our November roundup, we pour some love on the new EP from The Good Natured, get smitten by The Happy Hollows and swoon a little to Catriona Irving.

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The Good Natured
Your Body Is A Machine EP ••••

If the title of this EP is to be believed, I think mine’s the kind that sells Twixes and Skittles for 65p. Still, the gadgets on this four-track set from Sarah McIntosh (aka The Good Natured) are certainly used as familiarly as bodies on this well paced and highly impressive second release, her electronic bleeps and winding synths forming the strong and steady heartbeat of the record around which the melancholy vocals entwine with purpose.

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sounding off: november 2009 (i)

In this first part of our November roundup, we take a look at A Fine Frenzy’s festive offering, the unstoppable power of An Experiment On A Bird In The Air Pump, and a revamped Pepi Ginsberg.

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A Fine Frenzy
Oh Blue Christmas EP •••½

When Alison Sudol released her second album Bomb In A Birdcage earlier this year, huge commercial success seemed assured. Word of mouth regarding her 2007 debut One Cell In The Sea had secured her over a million ‘followers’ on Twitter, but pulling the pin to catalyse a chart-busting follow-up proved more difficult and Bomb In A Birdcage spent just one week inside the Billboard Top 100 albums. Sudol must surely be a little disappointed, but the title of this EP can’t be taken as any indication of that. Recorded months before the release of Bomb In A Birdcage, during a sticky LA summer, it’s an enjoyable set of three Christmas classics and three original songs.

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hope sandoval and martina topley-bird visit heligoland
November 24, 2009, 10:27 am
Filed under: news, trouser press, where's the gigs | Tags: , , ,

It’s been almost seven years since Massive Attack released their last studio album 100th Window, which featured guest vocals from Sinéad O’Connor and Damon Albarn among others, so the February 2010 release of the long-awaited Heligoland is bound to attract a lot of attention. As usual, the remaining founding members Robert del Naja and Grant Marshall have lined up a stellar cast of vocalists to give the album a boost, including Hope Sandoval, Martina Topley-Bird, Elbow’s Guy Garvey and TV On The Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe, plus the return of Horace Andy and Damon Albarn. Produced by Neil Davidge, the album also features DFA’s Tim Goldsworthy and Portishead’s Adrian Utley on guitar. Songs from recording sessions with Dot Allison, Beth Orton, Elizabeth Fraser and touring vocalist Stephanie Dosen didn’t make the final cut.

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kathryn williams and kt tunstall sing for climate change
November 24, 2009, 9:46 am
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Following on from last year’s well publicised Arctic expedition by a gaggle of artistic types who included Laurie Anderson, Martha Wainwright, Feist, Jarvis Cocker and Robyn Hitchcock, organised by climate change organisation Cape Farewell to “instigate a cultural response to climate change”, comes the Shift Festival, a week-long series of events to run in late January at London’s Southbank Centre. Among the first events to be announced is a ‘Maritime Evening’ on January 30 with Robyn Hitchcock and friends to celebrate his trip to the icy tip of Greenland. So far these friends include the lovely Kathryn Williams and KT Tunstall, with more to be announced. Comedian Marcus Brigstocke will host the previous night’s entertainment with some as yet unannounced musical guests. Both events will be held at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, and tickets are on sale now.

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po’ girl back in the studio in january
November 24, 2009, 8:21 am
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Canadian roots music wonders Po’ Girl are already heading back into the studio to record their next album and are looking to their fans to help fund the studio time by pre-ordering a special pre-release edition of the as yet untitled set. For $25, including tax and shipping, buyers will receive a copy of the album in a signed and numbered cardboard case hand-printed by the band. The album is being recorded with producer Zach Goheen in Chicago in January and pre-sale copies will be shipped in early April. Pre-orders will close on January 15. For more info visit the Po’ Girl website.

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beth nielsen chapman announces new album
November 24, 2009, 7:51 am
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Following on from a surprising appearance at this summer’s ABBA tribute show in Hyde Park, where she sang ‘Fernando’ and ‘Slipping Through My Fingers’, Beth Nielsen Chapman has announced that her first “mainstream pop album” since 2005’s Look will be released on January 25 through her own label BNC Records. Back To Love features eleven new songs largely themed around “awakening the heart and letting love in”. Already a breast cancer survivor, Beth was diagnosed with a benign but fast growing tumour on her brain while writing the album. With increased pressure on her left frontal lobe, which plays a large role in language processing, she was finding the lyrics hard to finish. The impact of removing the tumour was immediate, she says: “I woke up in the recovery room after my surgery and even before the waves of anesthesia subsided, I thought of one of the lines I’d been trying to write for weeks!”

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