wears the trousers magazine


sail away ladies
November 30, 2009, 12:52 pm
Filed under: stuff 'n nonsense, video

An animated video by Anika Mottershaw of top blog Anika In London and Wears The Trousers editor Alan Pedder, made in 9 hours in Alan’s kitchen last Friday. Who needs a budget when you have coloured paper, White-Tak and a bit of imagination?

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cate le bon: me oh my (2009)
October 26, 2009, 1:19 pm
Filed under: album, review, video | Tags: , , ,

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Cate Le Bon
Me Oh My •••••
Irony Bored

Cate Le Bon is the latest musical export from deepest, darkest Wales. Well, Cardiff anyway. Despite some attention gained from last year’s Welsh-language EP, Edrych Yn Llygaid Ceffyl Benthyg, and a self-released single, she remains relatively unknown across the border. Now, with a little help from her friends, that looks set to change very quickly. Super Furry Animals chief Gruff Rhys, whose Mercury Music Prize-nominated Neon Neon side project featured Le Bon on vocals, is repaying the favour by releasing the artist’s debut album, Me Oh My, on his brand new imprint, Irony Bored. Despite the cover depicting Le Bon holding a golden egg, there’s nothing embryonic about this accomplished collection of songs; Me Oh My is fully formed and well matured, showing just how far Le Bon has come since her early performances.

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dragonette: fixin to thrill (2009)
October 14, 2009, 10:05 am
Filed under: album, review, video | Tags: , , , ,

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Dragonette
Fixin To Thrill ••••½
Dragonette Inc.

Capitalising on the minor success of their debut album, 2007’s Galore, Canadian group Dragonette return with possibly one of the best electro-pop albums of the year. Largely dispensing with the electric guitars and made-for-American-radio sound that appeared on much of their debut, singer Martina Sorbara, husband/producer Dan Kurtz, guitarist Chris Hugget and drummer Joel Stouffer have reinvented their sound into a spliced up palette of ’80s synths, hefty beats and pulsating basslines that marry huge, hook-laden choruses with the kind of lyrical chutzpah Sorbara has become known for. This new direction might have had something to do with their recent collaboration with Cyndi Lauper on last year’s Bring Ya To The Brink; the result, ‘Grab A Hold’, was a wonderfully retro ’80s number that called to mind Lauper’s own She’s So Unusual, and it is from this classic album that Fixin To Thrill takes many of its musical cues.

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charlotte hatherley: new worlds (2009)
October 12, 2009, 9:33 am
Filed under: album, mp3, review, video | Tags: , , ,

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Charlotte Hatherley
New Worlds •••½
Little Sister

Charlotte Hatherley’s musical career to date has been well documented: rocking in the grunge influenced outfit Nightnurse by 15, she was plucked from obscurity to become the fourth member of Ash at 17, discarding her A-Levels and a normal life to do so. When she left Ash in 2006 to pursue a solo career, it seemed a bold move on the part of someone who had some serious guts to go from being in a successful and established ‘day job’ to going it alone. However, what isn’t so well documented, and which has only just recently been revealed, is that it was actually Ash who asked Hatherley to leave, wanting to return to their trio status. So this somewhat changes the perception we have of Hatherley; she went it alone full time because she had no choice, not because she was gutsy. Although her first solo album Grey Will Fade was released while still in the band, subsequent works are now more than a side project created while on a winter break. Now the solo work is the day job.

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nancy elizabeth: wrought iron (2009)
October 10, 2009, 10:26 am
Filed under: album, review, video | Tags: , , ,

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Nancy Elizabeth
Wrought Iron •••••
The Leaf Label

In the best of all possible worlds, everyone would have a grandma from the Faroe Islands. Or at least, given the paucity of Faroese population numbers, any musician broadly operating within a folk milieu. Nancy Elizabeth Cunliffe has just such a grandma, and wrote much of her second album Wrought Iron in that particular ancestral home. And if this anything to go by, there is nothing like the tough romance of Europe’s chilly island peripheries for imbuing what you do with a shock of understated naturalistic ardour. From the piano-led instrumental landscape poetry of the opening ‘Cairns’ through to the wispy mesmeric season blues of the closing ‘Winter, Baby’, an intense thematic sense of isolation pervades. The Faroes can’t take all the credit though; rural Spain and, closer to her Wigan home, The Lake District also played their part. No doubt too did the 17th century cottage in North Wales where the album was recorded without too much contemporary trickery. The result? A gorgeous piece of work in the downbeat yet uplifting pastoral contemporary folk tradition of Nick Drake.

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nerina pallot: the graduate (2009)
October 10, 2009, 10:07 am
Filed under: album, review, video | Tags: , , ,

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Nerina Pallot
The Graduate •••½
Echo

“I wasn’t built for too much philosophising,” Nerina Pallot muses at one point on The Graduate, “I get tired of thinking about things”. That may be true, but it’s clear that a lot of reflection and thought has gone into the Jersey-born singer-songwriter’s long-awaited third album – her first since 2005’s Fires – an unsurprising fact given the life-changing events of the past four years. Not only did she bravely interrupt the momentum provided by previous hits ‘Everybody’s Gone To War’ and ‘Sophia’ to go back to university and complete a degree in English Literature, she also married a man to whom she became engaged within half an hour of dating. This blend of incisive reflection and reckless romance – a deep engagement with the emotions as much as the intellect, though perhaps not both at the same time – is present throughout the knowingly titled The Graduate.

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free music friday: charlotte gainsbourg
October 9, 2009, 10:31 am
Filed under: free music friday, mp3, review, video | Tags: , , ,

fmf_charlottegainsbourgCharlotte Gainsbourg
‘IRM’

For those who are still struggling to get over Charlotte Gainsbourg’s disturbing performance in Lars Von Trier’s ‘Antichrist’, perhaps a little taste of her forthcoming third album IRM will help those images burned black onto your retina to fade. The follow-up to her critically acclaimed, half-million selling 2006 release 5:55, which saw her team up with Air, Jarvis Cocker, Neil Hannon and producer Nigel Godrich, IRM was recorded and produced by Beck at his Los Angeles studio and looks set to push Charlotte’s music into several previously unexplored directions. The title track makes an excellent case for it with Charlotte’s very clinical, almost robotic vocal delivery conjuring up images of a tense hospital drama – IRM is MRI backwards, dontcha know – with lyrics that reel off medical terms over an urgent drum and synth rhythm that creates an interesting frisson when set against Charlotte’s almost nonchalant enunciations. Add in some ghostly male backing vocals and you have a highly effective set piece that should do much to generate buzz for the album’s release on January 25th through Because Music. MP3 after the jump.

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