wears the trousers magazine

new po’ girl album coming in may
January 13, 2009, 10:48 am
Filed under: news, trouser press, video, where's the gigs | Tags: , , , , , ,

130109_pogirlFirst release with newly trimmed line-up announced

Often unfairly tagged as a Be Good Tanyas side project, Po’ Girl will have the chance to dodge that association altogether with their upcoming fourth album, due in May (April in the US). Multi-instrumentalist Trish Klein, the link between the two bands, quit Po’ Girl in late 2007, with violinist Diona Davies also departing. Deer In The Night sees founder members Allison Russell and Awna Teixeira recording for the first time under the Po’ Girl banner with new bandmate Benny Sidelinger (an “impossibly talented tickler/maker of all stringed things”) and LA-based percussionist Michael Jerome (“he lets the good times roll!”), who also assisted with production. (Allison and Awna quietly put out an album under the name of Sofia last year – so quietly in fact that even we didn’t notice!)

Recorded at Screen Door Studios in Austin, Texas, in June 2008, Deer In The Night sees Po’ Girl bring a fresh clarity to their self-styled urban roots music, distilling the seemingly instinctive interplay and magical chemistry between Allison and Awna into life-affirming, soulful jams. You’ll be able to witness (and dance to) said jams when the band return to the UK for a tour of small, local venues all over the country. Catch them at the following venues:

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julie collings: a little bird told me (2008)
January 12, 2009, 10:30 am
Filed under: album, review | Tags: , , ,


Julie Collings
A Little Bird Told Me •••½

With her second album A Little Bird Told Me Julie Collings delivers a slow burner, and that’s no bad thing. While the singer-songwriter ethos has never really gone out of fashion, the trend these days is to have a few extra bells and whistles, whether it is playing an unusual instrument or having a voice with Marmite factor (love it or hate it). Collings is cut from the old cloth – she stands and delivers with a voice that is warm and dry, backing that up with obvious craft on the guitar. It’s not an approach that is as immediate as some, but it has a sparse intimacy that is handsomely rewarding with a little patience.

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max de mara: classist (2008)


Max de Mara
Classist ••½
Six Inch Records 

Classist is an album that’s not to be taken too seriously. The collaboration between Mara Carlyle and Max de Wardener, under the name ‘Max de Mara’, is one of three short works to be released by purpose-built label Six Inch Records. The man responsible is Radiohead’s favourite artist Stanley Donwood, who was, so the story goes, a little drunk when he came up with the idea. Each album has a limited run of 333 copies, and each will be sold at £6.66 (economic realities obviously thwarting the rule of three). Classist isn’t a recording you really ask ‘why?’ of, simply because the answer is so obviously ‘why the hell not?’

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the innocence mission: street map ep (2008)
January 5, 2009, 9:40 am
Filed under: EP, review | Tags: , , ,


The Innocence Mission
Street Map EP ••••½

Reviewing The Innocence Mission is at once a pleasure and an absolute pain. They are so wonderfully easy to listen to and so awfully difficult to write about that the temptation to spend your time only doing the former is ever present. When eventually you get to the latter there are plenty of traps in which to fall. Many critics become so enamoured with the band that they can’t help but make vocalist Karen Peris, her husband Don Peris, and Mike Pitts sound like the leaders of a religious cult. Plenty of others get caught up in trying to describe the sound produced by the Pennsylvania trio and start wading in clichés (the big, dirty f-word here being ‘fey’). There are even those strange few who just don’t get it.

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so long, 2008: most read features
December 31, 2008, 4:29 pm
Filed under: feature, retrospective | Tags: , ,


Since we relaunched our website in July after a 6-month hiatus, we’ve published around 70 features based on full length interviews and our Voices On The Verge questionnaire for DIY/unsigned and emerging artists. Our 100th interview was published in mid October (wears the trousers: the first 100 interviews). Here are this year’s most popular reads.


01 Nina Nastasia by Chris Catchpole
02 Rose Elinor Dougall by Charlotte Richardson Andrews
03 Kamila Thompson by Sacha Whitmarsh
04 HK119 by Léigh Bartlam
05 Rose Kemp by Alan Pedder
06 Kelli Ali by Léigh Bartlam
07 Anjani Thomas by Alan Pedder
08 Society Of Imaginary Friends by Alan Pedder and Katy Carr
09 Manda Rin by Alan Pedder and Chris Catchpole
10 Holly Golightly by Sacha Whitmarsh
11 The Ditty Bops by Martyn Clayton
12 Amelia Fletcher by Alan Pedder and Chris Catchpole
13 Nanci Griffith by Trevor Raggatt
14 Melody Gardot by Alan Pedder
15 Die So Fluid by Gary Munday
16 Pepi Ginsberg by Anja McCloskey
17 Meg Baird by Hugh Armitage
18 Rickie Lee Jones by Trevor Raggatt
19 Sandy Dillon by Alan Pedder
20 Kim Richey by Sacha Whitmarsh
21 My Ruin by Charlotte Richardson Andrews
22 Silje Nes by Alan Pedder
23 Elíza by Alan Pedder 
24 The Lovely Eggs by Charlotte Richardson Andrews
25 Shannon McArdle by Alan Pedder and Mario Onnis
26 Beth Rowley by Alan Pedder and Michael Banna
27 Vile Vile Creatures by Charlotte Richardson Andrews
28 Madam by Alan Pedder and Katy Carr
29 Kate Campbell by Alex Ramon
30 Bec & Beth by Charlotte Richardson Andrews

voices on the verge 

Lots more of these to come in 2009!

01 Penny Broadhurst by Alan Pedder
02 Doctors & Dealers by Alan Pedder
03 Joni Davis by Alan Pedder
04 Polly Scattergood by Alan Pedder
05 Oh, Atoms by Alan Pedder
06 Honey Ryder by Alan Pedder
07 Gemma Ray by Alan Pedder
08 The Beautiful Word by Alan Pedder
09 Los by Charlotte Richardson Andrews
10 Ana Silvera by Alan Pedder
11 Tallulah Rendall by Alan Pedder
12 Naomi Hates Humans by Alan Pedder
13 Saint Saviour by Alan Pedder
14 Alessi by Alan Pedder
15 Jo Gabriel by Alan Pedder

so long, 2008: most read reviews
December 31, 2008, 2:18 pm
Filed under: feature, retrospective | Tags: , ,


Of the many, many reviews we published this year, these are the top 30 you flocked to in your hundreds and thousands:

01 Tori Amos – Live At Montreux 1991/1992 by Alex Ramon
02 Lisa Hannigan – Sea Sew by Paige Taylor
03 Björk feat. Thom Yorke – Nättúra by Léigh Bartlam
04 Joan Baez – Day After Tomorrow by Alex Ramon
05 Grace Jones – Hurricane by Léigh Bartlam
06 Amanda Palmer – Who Killed Amanda Palmer by Paige Taylor
07 Heather Nova – The Jasmine Flower by Paige Taylor
08 Ani DiFranco – Red Letter Year by Charlotte Richardson Andrews 
09 Peggy Sue & The Pictures – The Body Parts EP by Charlotte Richardson Andrews
10 Kría Brekkan – Wildering EP by Léigh Bartlam
11 Laura Dockrill – Mistakes In The Background by Charlotte Richardson Andrews
12 Mara Carlyle – Ancient & Modern EP by Alan Pedder
13 Rosie Thomas – A Very Rosie Christmas by Alan Pedder
14 Jenny Lewis – Acid Tongue by Anna Claxton
15 Russian Red – I Love Your Glasses by Loria Near
16 Rose Kemp – Unholy Majesty by Alex Ramon
17 Laura Veirs – Two Beers Veirs EP /
     Laura Gibson – Six White Horses EP by Alan Pedder
18 Hector Zazou & Katiejane Garside – Corps Electriques
     Queen Adreena – Ride A Cock Horse by Sophia Rawlinson
19 Uh Huh Her – Common Reaction by Paige Taylor
20 Diane Cluck – Live At Cargo 11/06/08 by Alan Pedder
21 Scarlett Johansson – Anywhere I Lay My Head /
     She & Him – Volume One by Hugh Armitage
22 Kitty, Daisy & Lewis – Kitty, Daisy & Lewis by Paige Taylor
23 The Swell Season – Live At The Artists Den /
     Cara Dillon – The Redcastle Sessions by Alan Pedder & Trevor Raggatt
24 The Lovely Eggs – Have You Ever Heard The Lovely Eggs? EP  
     by Charlotte Richardson Andrews
25 My Brightest Diamond – Live At Soho Theatre 15/09/08 by Alan Pedder
26 Alice Russell – Pot Of Gold by Paige Taylor 
27 Emilíana Torrini – Me & Armini by Charlotte Richardson Andrews
28 Those Dancing Days – In Our Space Hero Suits by Charlotte Richardson Andrews
29 My Brightest Diamond – From The Top Of The World EP /
     White Hinterland – Luniculaire EP by Alan Pedder
30 Leila – Blood, Looms & Blooms by Léigh Bartlam

marianne faithfull: easy come, easy go (2008)


Marianne Faithfull
Easy Come, Easy Go ••••

From Soho street corner to the Salzburg Festival, with more than 20 albums behind her and acting roles encompassing Ophelia and the Devil, Empress Maria Theresa and, most recently, an elderly masturbatrix, Marianne Faithfull’s progression from Andrew Loog Oldham-tailored ready-made muse to respected elder stateswoman of rock remains one of contemporary music’s most singular and surprising trajectories. It’s a compelling survivor’s story, no doubt about it. But the more sensational aspects of Faithfull’s rockstar myth (stoked by her own highly self-regarding autobiographies) have arguably had the effect of obscuring her creative output, which, while not exactly consistent in terms of quality, has at least been of consistent interest and ambition since the release of her watershed ‘comeback’ album Broken English in 1979.

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kría brekkan: apotropaíosong armor (2008)
December 31, 2008, 2:22 am
Filed under: album, review | Tags: , , ,


Kría Brekkan
Apotropaíosong Armor ••

There are some artists that you continue to love and remain loyal to no matter what. You have followed them through numerous incarnations and found yourself bewitched every step of the way. Their work becomes almost like a back catalogue of lovers. Each project of theirs has a significance to your past in the same way an ex does, and you feel guilty if you follow them when they venture into territory you’d ordinarily be less than thrilled with. Even still, you find their occasional critical failures eventually becoming your favourites, and that seems to strengthen your loyalty toward them (see: Kate Bush’s The Dreaming). Like that seedy affair you shouldn’t have had, but are secretly quite glad of. But alas, there does actually come a time in some fans’ relationship with their icons when they simply have to draw the line and say, “No really, what are you doing!?”. It is uncertain whether Kría Brekkan (aka: Kristín Anna Valtýsdóttir, former lead singer with Icelandic folktronica hermits Múm) has reached that point just yet, but she is pretty close for sure and is not exactly making it very easy for any potential listeners who may be following her post-Múm recordings to continue to carry their torch.

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ema & the ghosts: boy in the milkbox ep (2008)
December 31, 2008, 1:57 am
Filed under: EP, review, video | Tags: , , ,


Ema & The Ghosts
Boy In The Milkbox EP ••••

At first glance the Boy In The Milkbox EP doesn’t look particularly promising. Its creator, one Ema Tuennerman, is 18, hails from California, and prefers to go by the moniker ‘Ema & The Ghosts’ (no, there’s no band). She makes heavy use of the accordion and sprinkles her songs with kazoo and a jaunty whistle. So you could be entirely forgiven for expecting the usual folk whimsy that seems de rigueur these days. Fortunately, there’s no menagerie of bats, birds and other winged things tearing, snapping or biting at hearts metaphorical or otherwise here. Tuennerman has learnt the first, and possibly only, commandment of Stephin Merritt: a big-hearted loser with a ukulele is always adorable and rarely gets bad reviews.

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au revoir simone: reverse migration (2008)
December 31, 2008, 1:45 am
Filed under: album, review | Tags: , , ,


Au Revoir Simone
Reverse Migration ••••
Our Secret Record Company

Unlikely to earn Au Revoir Simone much club exposure, Reverse Migration is a remix album that initially proves largely unappealing (particularly when listened to in reverse order – oops) but, over time (about a week) and a few plays (about 5), will hopefully earn the listeners respect, not for its booty shaking suitability – which is lacking – but rather for its transformative approach. All of the remixes on this album are far removed from the original versions found on last year’s The Bird Of Music.

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