wears the trousers magazine


incoming: zola jesus
March 1, 2010, 6:39 pm
Filed under: news, trouser press | Tags: , ,

Zola Jesus
Stridulum EP

[Sacred Bones; March 8]

Presumably named after Giulio Paradisi’s 1979 sci-fi stinker, more commonly known as ‘The Visitor’, this EP is the latest despatch from prolific young songwriter Nika Rosa Danilova and, as the super-striking artwork indicates, it promises to step up the production values from last year’s wonderfully lo-fi The Spoils [review]. Opening track ‘Night’ has been making waves as a free download [here]. If it’s indicative of the EP as whole, we’re in for a sweet gothic treat.

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robyn planning three new albums for 2010
March 1, 2010, 6:25 pm
Filed under: news, trouser press | Tags: ,

It appears that three is most definitely the magic number for everybody’s favourite Swedish popstar, Robyn. Having been bombarded with countless editions of her career rejuvenating 2005 self-titled album and multiple re-released singles, the patience of her stalwart fans will be rewarded with not one, not even two, but three new albums set for release in the next twelve months. And we thought Laura Marling was being ambitious!

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teenagersintokyo announce debut album
March 1, 2010, 5:53 pm
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With the celebrated release of their 2008 self-titled EP, teenagersintokyo have positioned themselves as one of the bands to watch in 2010 having sold out venues across the UK, bumped bottoms with the likes of CSS, The Slits and Gossip during some coveted live support slots, and, most recently, topped the Hype Machine chart with The Horrors remix of forthcoming single ‘Peter Pan’ (out next week through Backyard Recordings). Somehow the Aussie quintet have also found time to record their debut album, Sacrifice, due on June 1.

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the knife in collaboration with mt. sims & planningtorock: tomorrow, in a year (2010)

The Knife in collaboration with Mt. Sims & Planningtorock
Tomorrow, In A Year ••••½
Rabid / Brille

Just as life was formed on Earth, music was born as an unordered swarm of sounds and rhythms. Starting out very primitive and simple, its development has been complex, long and difficult. As humansʼ cultural needs evolved, so too did music. Through abstract thinking, music took on new meanings and functions; it didnʼt stay just as a medium for worshipping and prayers, it became a source of salvation in itself. The peak of its vertical complexity came with the widespread adoption of polyphony in the Renaissance era. Since then, musicians have evolved contrapunctus-led, multilayered compositions into something simpler but still sophisticated. For many, the effort to achieve complexity with a minimalism that ensure clarity and diversity is today’s subconscious modus operandi, and just like evolution, its results still push the boundaries of creativity.

The origins of Tomorrow, In A Year lie with Hotel Pro Forma, a Danish performance group who wanted to celebrate the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin, inventor of the theory of evolution, with an opera unlike any other. Swedish duo The Knife were their first choice as collaborators, a pair whose analytical approach to music could fairly be likened to the way in which Darwin slowly and scrutinisingly worked on his theory. The tractable nature of Karin and Olof Dreijer’s music, which ranges from ’90s Europop to minimal techno and avant-garde electronica, has long hinted that they might one day shift their attention to something even more challenging and odd. And Tomorrow, In A Year is certainly both of those things.

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kaki king: junior (2010)
March 1, 2010, 11:21 am
Filed under: album, review | Tags: , ,

Kaki King
Junior ••••
Cooking Vinyl

It takes a humility rarely seen in the world of rock for an artist already four albums old to give her fifth studio offering the title Junior, as though she were (in her words) “a little kid or novice, starting something again”; but then Kaki King has always been something of a rara avis, as proven by her election as first female Guitar God by Rolling Stone magazine. There is relatively little in the way of humility in the tracks themselves, though, which twist, thunder and growl with an infectious energy and artistic confidence, with all the rippling guitar wizardry that fans of King have come to expect.

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thus:owls: cardiac malformations (2010)
March 1, 2010, 11:20 am
Filed under: album, review | Tags: , ,

Thus:Owls
Cardiac Malformations ••••
Almost Musique

On ‘Climbing The Fjelds Of Norway’, the third track on this debut album by Swedish five-piece Thus:Owls, vocalist Erika Alexandersson sings, “When I was a child I climbed the fjields of Norway / I could never reach the peak of the mountain / there was always another one behind it”. As it happens, this description of her formative mountaineering experiences also serves as a pretty accurate allegory for the Cardiac Malformations listening experience. Songs take their own sweet time to develop and the few discernible hooks are delivered slowly and deliberately so you never feel able to quite get the measure of its eleven tracks. Put simply, it’s hard work. But, give it a fair hearing and you’ll find that your efforts pay handsome dividends in the form of some truly beautiful musical vistas. A bit like climbing a mountain, then.

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